By Dr John Sydenham
Suppose some country had allowed a dangerous virus that it was developing to escape. Would we just put this down to experience? Suppose this country was shown to have used its control over multinational corporations and academia to silence any coverage of how it had infected the world. Would we just shrug and say "that's life"?
Yet this is what has happened.
This is how it happened. In 2018 Dr Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance applied to the US Defence Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) for funds to use reverse engineering to synthesise COVID-like viruses as part of an attempt to stop bats from carrying coronaviruses that could infect humans. The project was called "Defuse" although "Pre-empt" is sometimes used. DARPA was highly professional because it identified the terrible risks associated with the project and rejected it. DARPA was absolutely clear about the dangers:
"1. The proposal is considered to potentially involve Gain of Function/DURC research because they propose to synthesize spike glycoproteins which bind to human cell receptors and insert them into SARSr-CoV backbones to assess whether they can cause SARS-like disease."
DARPA rejected this gain of function research because it could have military uses by potential enemies (dual use) and might produce a virus would be able to escape control by vaccines.
Despite the refusal by DARPA to fund the project the US National Institute of Health under Dr Faucci sanctioned at least $600,000 of NIH/NIAID money to be used by EcoHealth Alliance to finance research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We can only assume that this research would have had much in common with "Defuse" because it involved the same people in China as "Defuse". China picked up much of the cost and the research was undertaken in the dual military/civilian Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The rest is history. The research went ahead and they created or cultured a virus that causes COVID that we now know as SARS-CoV-2. The virus escaped from the laboratory in Wuhan and caused a pandemic.
That COVID was a laboratory escape was obvious from the start. The virus could either have come from an animal or a laboratory. There are thousands of animal markets in China but only one Biosafety Level 4 centre of coronavirus research in mainland China: the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The chance that an animal virus crossed over to become a human infection within a few miles of the centre for coronavirus research is much less than one in a hundred. Given these odds the theory that the COVID pandemic had an animal origin was always highly unlikely. However, the statistically most likely theory, that COVID was a laboratory escape, has been widely condemned by the mass media. Why?
Recently released emails in the USA show that
a powerful group of scientists, led by Dr Faucci and influenced by
China, has deliberately covered up the origin of COVID to avoid what
they describe as "unnecessary harm to science in general and science in
China in particular". Millions have died and this group of people have
confused their career and financial interests with the well-being of the
people of the world.
As early as 2nd of February 2020 the group took the decision that the laboratory origin of COVID would be suppressed and were supported by academics throughout the world to preserve the reputation of China and stop any collateral damage to people such as themselves (see below).
This approach is made clear in one of the emails:
"... An accusation that nCoV-2019 might have been engineered and released into the environment by humans (accidental or intentional) would need to be supported by strong data, beyond a reasonable doubt. It is good that this possibility was discussed in detail with a team of experts. However, further debate about such accusations would unnecessarily distract top researchers from their active duties and do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular"
This email was sent by Dr Ron Fouchier, the Dutch (and EU) representative to the group, in email communications on the 2nd February 2020 (See Recently released emails ). Although it is shocking to contemplate, it looks like these powerful academics were working in the interests of China. The group of people who were involved in, or aware of, the cover up of the origin of COVID were: Drs. Jeremy Farrar, Anthony Fauci, Patrick Vallance, Christian Drosten, Marion Koopmans, Edward Holmes, Kristian Andersen, Paul Schreier, Mike Ferguson, Francis Collins, Ron Fouchier, Andrew Rambaut and Josie Golding. See Note (1) at the end for the Chinese connections of these people.A member of the group, Kristian Andersen, was commissioned to publish a paper called "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2 (2020)" to "prove" that the virus did not come from a laboratory and was not man made.
The paper by Andersen et al (2020) argues that the virus could not be made in a laboratory because it is not the "ideal solution" for infection and because a sufficiently similar base virus, the main part of the virus used as a template, has not yet been found. This is a very thin argument on which to condemn any ideas of a laboratory origin. The rebuttal is straightforward. Anyone creating the virus would stop at "good enough" rather than ideal, especially given that a special (furin) site provides a boost to infectivity. This simple rebuttal dispenses with the first argument. Two contenders for the base or template virus have indeed been found which dispenses with the second argument, a virus called RaTG13 is very close in structure to SARS-CoV-2.
However, there were two possibilities for a lab escape: SARS-CoV2 could have been a rare natural virus in the Wuhan collection of virus cultures or it could have been a man-made virus. Chinese virological laboratories have a poor safety record and in the past have allowed the deadly SARS virus to escape four times. The two virological laboratories in Wuhan maintained collections of bat coronavirus cultures and a site survey that was performed in Wuhan concluded that the laboratories had very poor biosafety. This survey also found that bats had never been sold in the nearby Hua Nan fish market and dismissed the possibility of an animal origin for COVID (See The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus). The Chinese Centre for Disease Control also confirmed that COVID did not come from the animal market (China Global Times 26th May 2020). The bat viruses that are closest to SARS-CoV-2 come from Yunnan, not Wuhan:
It looks very likely that COVID escaped from one or other of the Wuhan labs in the same way as SARS had escaped from laboratory cultures in China in the past. It was indeed a laboratory escape from stored viral cultures, either from viruses collected from bats or from synthetic viruses.
Was the virus man made?Given that the paper that is used everywhere to "disprove" the possibility that the virus is man-made does not do so, who are the scientists that say that it is man made? Initially several people noticed that the virus contained HIV proteins and mused on how these had got there. The most persuasive authority who believes COVID19 was a man made disease is Professor Luc Montagnier, the winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering HIV, who says: “With my colleague, bio-mathematician Jean-Claude Perez, we carefully analyzed the description of the genome of this RNA virus,”.."in order to insert an HIV sequence into this genome, molecular tools are needed, and that can only be done in a laboratory.". The most complete analysis of the possibility that the virus is man-made was done by Li-Meng Yan et al . Li-Meng Yan risked her life to escape from Hong Kong to bring the story to the West but Twitter and broadcasters have banned any mention of her work because the factcheckers all condemn it as being inconsistent with the single paper by Anderson et al (2020). These are indeed strange times when unqualified fact checkers can take the conclusions of a single scientific paper and cause all subsequent scientific work that disagrees with it to be suppressed.
Of course, we now know that Ecohealth Alliance had planned to both collect and synthesise coronaviruses and had pressed ahead with these plans at Wuhan.
The Role of China
China has been suppressing any mention that COVID19 is a lab escape and possibly man made. Most broadcasters in the West have now been persuaded, perhaps as a result of pressure from China, that there was no possibility of a lab escape of a wild or man made virus in Wuhan. The pressure from China to stop any mention of a lab escape has been intense.
Many virologists are involved in research to make viral infections more dangerous. The argument for doing this "gain of function" research is that it allows virologists to be prepared for the next pandemic. There are virological laboratories all over the world doing these experiments. We should be aware that 13 of the 22 highest biosafety laboratories in the USA are run by the Department of Defense - notice that most workers in this field are not "academic". The UK, EU, Russia are also spending heavily on bioweapons. So the claim that "gain of function" research is for the good of humanity is false.
Gain of Function research relies on the biosafety of laboratories. It would be very dangerous to produce a virulent, pandemic virus and then accidentally allow it to escape (as seems to have happened in China).
A study of high safety US virological laboratories by Lipsitch and Galvani (2014). produced a figure of there being a 20% risk of a laboratory worker getting infected every 10 years by a lab escape and 5-60% of such escapes causing a pandemic. In other words, as a result of laboratory experiments in the USA alone, the world is running a similar risk of a pandemic from laboratory escapes in any 10 year period as getting two sixes in two throws of a dice. There has been a high growth in risk as virology research is extended:
|Source Science Magazine|
The non-academic labs above are largely military.
The risk posed by laboratories is so high that Furmanski (2014) wrote a review called "Laboratory Escapes and 'Self-fulfilling prophecy' Epidemics" in which he identified numerous lab escapes. The section on SARS is particularly interesting. In 2004 the Chinese National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Beijing, which is part of China’s Center for Disease Control (CDC), had four lab escapes of SARS. In 2003 Singapore and Taiwan had one escape each.
The WHO was moved to report that:
“The possibility that a SARS outbreak could occur following a laboratory accident is a risk of considerable importance, given the relatively large number of laboratories currently conducting research using the SARS-CoV or retaining specimens from SARS patients. These laboratories currently represent the greatest threat for renewed SARS-CoV transmission through accidental exposure associated with breaches in laboratory biosafety." WHO 2003
So the WHO, in 2003, warned that laboratory escapes were a high risk when dealing with coronaviruses but in 2021 dismisses even the possibility that such escapes could happen (See Independent article).
We know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was performing gain of function experiments on coronaviruses using genetic engineering. It was their main business. How safe was the Wuhan Institute of Virology?
A group of dignitaries and scientists who visited the lab in 2018 were so alarmed that they sent cables to the US State Department which reported that:
"the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic."
"During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory" (Washington Post).
The big question is why aren't the mainstream media mentioning some of the points above when reviewing the WHO reports?
They might at least mention have mentioned that one of the leading "Western" scientists in the WHO team was Peter Daszak* who is president of EcoHealth Alliance which has funded the collection and synthesis of coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and is therefore an interested party. The WHO inquiry could not possibly have been independent. The mainstream media might also mention that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was a dual military-civilian establishment and is now under tight military control.
Did we really just witness the WHO simply dismissing the possibility of a lab escape as "unlikely" without any supporting argument and the mainstream media headlining it as "COVID not a lab escape"? Did we really just lose years of our lives without journalists even asking why?
Expect another pandemic in the next 20 years because no-one will have learnt from this one.
What happened: France built a lab that was suitable for bioweapons development in Wuhan. Western corporations, including the NIH/NIAID & Dr Faucci, poured funds through EcoHealth Alliance into the Wuhan Institute of Virology to collect and create the most dangerous viruses possible. WIV was a civilian/military operation (now wholly military) so the scientists would hand over any viruses with weapons potential for military development. Ultimately the naivety and negligence of the Western Corporate Elite are partly to blame although without the enthusiastic support and recklessness of China COVID would not have happened. Our governments need to be far more professional and circumspect when dealing with dangerous states like China.
Now that COVID has reached a stable phase the real villains in this story are the Corporate media which is still suppressing the truth.
*Daszak, along with most of the WIV virology staff, has his name on a paper (Lei-Ping et al 2016) describing the genetic engineering of viruses. Daszak is the key figure in the collection of bat viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (also see Nature article).
Note 1: Chinese Connections
Dr Fouchier works for Erasmus MC which is deeply involved with China. Andrew Rambaut and Kristian Andersen work at the Scripps Institute which is so strongly connected to China through Ningbo University and Shenzhen Bay laboratory that it has been identified as a risk to US security, Edward Holmes is Honorary Visiting Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai, Christian Drosten has been singled out as a voice supporting China in the European Parliament and is involved with Zhejiang University in China through Erasmus and the Virology Dept of Berlin Charité Hospital, Marion Koopmans is head of medicine at Erasmus University Rotterdam which has a branch in China. Josie Golding, Mike Ferguson and Jeremy Farrar are all with the Wellcome Trust, a private organisation that has innumerable programs and investments in China.
Only Patrick Vallance seems clear of Chinese influence and control. Faucci even sanctioned $600,000 of NIH money to finance research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Recommended reading on COVID19:
Martin Furmanski MD. (2014) Laboratory Escapes and “Self-fulfilling prophecy” Epidemics. Scientist’s Working Group on Chemical and Biologic Weapons. Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. https://armscontrolcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Escaped-Viruses-final-2-17-14-copy.pdf
Lei-Ping Zeng, Yu-Tao Gao, Xing-Yi Ge, Qian Zhang, Cheng Peng, Xing-Lou Yang, Bing Tan, Jing Chen, Aleksei A. Chmura, Peter Daszak, Zheng-Li Shi. (2016) Bat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Like Coronavirus WIV1 Encodes an Extra Accessory Protein, ORFX, Involved in Modulation of the Host Immune Response. Journal of Virology Jun 2016, 90 (14) 6573-6582; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03079-15
Almost all the authors come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Notice that "bat woman" Zheng-Li Shi was involved. https://jvi.asm.org/content/90/14/6573
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