There has been renewed interest in the origins of Covid and the lab leak theory this week following the release of further emails between senior U. S. Government health official Dr . Anthony Fauci and others as they conspired in early February 2020 to kitchen counter the theory and suppress this.
The first thing to note is that the emails confirm that those involved – Fauci, Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust and CEPI, Oughout. K. Chief Scientist Patrick Vallance, Kristian Andersen through Scripps, Germany’s Christian Drosten and more – were not aware prior to late January the virus was likely to be of lab origin. The question seems to be raised with Fauci simply by Kristian Andersen via Jeremy Farrar on January 31st 2020. Fauci responds that a group of evolutionary biologists should get together “ as soon as possible” to examine the data carefully and that “ if everyone will abide by this concern, they should statement it to the appropriate authorities”. Notably, Fauci does not seem to know who that is, yet says he “ might imagine that in the USA this would be the FBI and in the U. K. it would be MI5”. There is no indication here of cover-up instructions having previously already been received.
On February 2nd, Fauci produces that, “ like most of us, I do not know how this evolved”, and Farrar creates, “ on a spectrum in case 0 is nature plus 100 is release – I am honestly at 50”. On February 4th, Farrar clarifies that in his see it’s “ probably not” engineered but it might have originate from lab work in other ways:
“ Engineered” probably not. Remains very genuine possibility of accidental lab passage in animals to give glycans… Eddie [Edward Holmes] would be 60: 40 laboratory side. I remain 50: 50…
Christian Drosten, on Feb 9th, wonders where the concept came from in the first place: “ That came up with this story in the beginning? Are we working on debunking our own conspiracy theory? ” He adds that he believed the aim of their discussions was to challenge a “ certain theory”: “ Didn’t we congregate to challenge a certain theory, and if we could, drop it? ” The particular “ certain theory” is certainly understood by the others as the linking of the virus in order to HIV as found in the January 2020 pre-print.
Drosten’s questions are quickly answered by some other group members. Edward Sherlock holmes explains what their team is up to (which, for framework, follows the appearance of new information from pangolins):
I don’t know where this story came from, but it has nothing whatsoever to try and do [with] the particular HIV nonsense. Please don’t relate this with that. This is a wider story.
Ever since this outbreak started there have [been] suggestions that the computer virus escaped from the Wuhan laboratory, if only because of the coincidence of where the outbreak occurred and the location of the lab. I actually do a lot of work in China and I can [tell] you that a lot of people right now there believe this and believe they are being lied to. Things were made worse whenever Wuhan lab published the bat virus sequence – a bat sampled in the different province for which they have a large collection of samples.
I believe the particular aim/question here is whether all of us, as scientists, should try to publish something balanced on the science behind this? There are disagreement for and against doing this.
Individually, with the pangolin virus having 6/6 key sites within the receptor binding domain, We are in favour of the natural evolution theory.
Farrar explains further:
The theory of the origin of the [virus] has gathered substantial momentum not in social media, but increasingly among several scientists, in main stream-media, and among politicians.
The aim of this was to bring a neutral, respectable, scientific group together to look at the data and in a neutral, considered way provide an opinion and we hoped to focus the particular discussion on the science, not really on any conspiracy other theory and to lay down a respected statement to body whatever debate goes on – before that debate will get out of hand with potentially hugely damaging ramifications.
With the additional information within the pangolin virus, information unavailable even 24 hours ago, I believe the argument is even clearer.
Our preference is that a thoroughly considered piece of science, earlier in the public domain, will help reduce more polarised debate. If not, that debate will more and more happen and science is going to be reacting to it. Not a good placement to be in.
Kristian Andersen does recognize though that they have been “ trying to disprove any type of lab theory”:
Our main work over the last couple of weeks has been focused on attempting to disprove any type of lab theory, but we are at a crossroad where the scientific evidence isn’t conclusive enough to say that we have high confidence in any of the 3 main theories considered.
Until the pangolin sequences showed up, the general opinion in the emails was settling on the proposal that while the virus didn’t appear deliberately manufactured it could have resulted through “ repeated tissue culture passage” in a lab. Whilst Francis Collins argues this particular “ doesn’t explain the particular O-linked glycans” which usually emerge in the presence of the immune system, Holmes said, according to the email above, it was feasible for “ accidental lab passage in animals to give glycans”.
Patrick Vallance, for one, was glad to know that the pangolin sequences would likely counter the “ passing origin”:
Thanks for sharing and thanks to those involved for a important piece of work. I think this looks fairly balanced and useful. I think it would be helpful to make sure that the sequence data from the pangolins is included and to indicate what that might mean in terms of any prolonged period of adaptation within animals. The glycan point is important and could be given additional weight against a passage origin. Once complete I think it would be helpful to publish this particular.
The eventual outcome of this dialogue was the “ Proximal Origins ” paper in Nature on March 17th 2020. The final paper largely displays the prior deliberations, though the previously assessments of a preference for your lab origin are gone, which the authors would presumably attribute to the arrival of the pangolin sequences. (For the case for your virus being engineered see here ; for that case for a lab origins (whether or not engineered) see here . )
Notably omitted from the published paper are the mentions that research to alter SARS-like bat coronaviruses had been taking place for many years in Wuhan at low biosecurity ranges (i. e., BSL-2). Andersen noted on February eighth that “ passage of SARS-like CoVs have been continuous for several years, and more specifically in Wuhan under BSL-2 conditions”. While Andersen’s point seems to be that there was nothing new about this, so no cause to think it was suddenly the reason for a pandemic, equally other people would note that it is clearly an accident waiting to happen. Furthermore, who knows how many times this had happened before, using viruses that just did not get very far or even do very much?
The scientists are in advance that they are motivated to prevent, in order to quote Farrar, “ hugely damaging ramifications”, by which these people appear to mean to themselves as implicated in this study and to the wider field of biodefence virus analysis.
This sentiment of not wanting to open up the ‘ can of worms’ of the virus turning out to arise from Oughout. S. -linked virus studies common to the wider biodefence network of the U. S i9000. and its allies. In a 06 2021 article in Vanity Fair , we find it cropping up to frustrate investigations of the virus origins again and again.
A months long Vanity Fair investigation, selection interviews with more than 40 people, as well as a review of hundreds of pages associated with U. S. Government documents, including internal memos, meeting minutes, and email communication, found that conflicts of interest, stemming in part from big government grants supporting controversial virology research, hampered the U. S. investigation directly into COVID-19’s origin at every stage. In one State Department meeting, officials seeking to demand visibility from the Chinese Government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s gain-of-function research, because it would certainly bring unwelcome attention to U. S. Government funding of it.
In an inner memo obtained by Vanity Fair, Thomas DiNanno, former Acting Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Conformity, wrote that staff through two bureaus, his own and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, “ warned” leaders within his bureau “ not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19” because it would “ ‘ open a can associated with worms’ if it continued. ”
Christopher Park, Director of the Condition Department’s Biological Policy Staff in the Bureau of Global Security and Nonproliferation, has been one among many who transmitted such warnings.
Park, who within 2017 had been involved in raising a U. S. Authorities moratorium on funding regarding gain-of-function research, was not the only real official to warn the State Department investigators against digging in sensitive places. As the [State Department] group probed the lab-leak situation, among other possibilities, the members were repeatedly recommended not to open a “ Pandora’s box”, said 4 former State Department authorities interviewed by Vanity Fair. The admonitions “ smelled just like a cover-up”, said Thomas DiNanno, “ and I wasn’t likely to be part of it”.
The Vanity Fair article makes clear China was also blatantly covering it up, and that U. S. CDC Director Robert Redfield was instantly suspicious.
Upon January 3rd 2020, Doctor Robert Redfield, Director from the U. S. Centers designed for Disease Control and Prevention, got a phone call from his counterpart Dr . George Fu Gao, head from the Chinese Center for Illness Control and Prevention. Gao described the appearance of a strange new pneumonia, apparently restricted to people exposed at a market in Wuhan. Redfield immediately offered to send a team of specialists to help check out.
But when Redfield saw the breakdown of early cases, some of which were family clusters, the market description made less sense. Experienced multiple family members gotten sick via contact with the same pet? Gao assured him there is no human-to-human transmission, says Redfield, who nevertheless advised him to test more widely in the neighborhood. That effort prompted the tearful return call. Many cases had nothing to do with the market, Gao admitted. The virus appeared to be jumping from person to person, the far scarier scenario.
Redfield immediately considered the Wuhan Institute of Virology. A team can rule it out being a source of the outbreak in just a few weeks, by testing experts there for antibodies. Redfield formally reiterated his offer to send specialists, but Chinese officials didn’t respond to their overture.
The cleverness community (IC) of the Oughout. S. and its allies offers largely persisted in this cover-up. On April 30th 2020 the office of the U. T. Director of National Cleverness (which at that time was in vacancy) issued a declaration that: “ The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 computer virus was not manmade or genetically modified. ” On Might 5th 2020 CNN reported the briefing from a Five Eyes intelligence source going as long as to back the Chinese Community Party’s (CCP) wet market theory.
Intelligence shared among Five Eyes nations signifies it is “ highly unlikely” that the coronavirus outbreak has been spread as a result of an accident in a laboratory but rather originated in a Chinese market, based on two Western officials who else cited an intelligence assessment that appears to contradict statements by President Donald Trump and Secretary of Condition Mike Pompeo.
These intelligence briefings were in direct contradiction to the declare made at the time by President Trump that he had seen evidence that will gave him a “ high degree of confidence” COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated which he agreed with Trump’s assessment:
There is enormous evidence that which is where this began. Coming from said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outside, but I believe the whole world can see now… there exists a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory within Wuhan.
There was indeed plenty of proof, but many of those who experienced access to it were performing their utmost to bury it. The result was that regardless of Trump and Pompeo’s insistence, and perhaps in part because of this, the lab leak concept was largely left unexamined and unmentioned for the rest of 2020, as media and fact-checkers suppressed it as a ‘ conspiracy theory’.
Come August 2021, however , and with a new President in post, U. S. cleverness published a declassified report that summarised current U. Ersus. intelligence on each concept. This report was, however , still strongly skewed towards natural origins theory. “ Most IC analysts assess with low confidence that will SARSCoV-2 was not genetically engineered, ” it said. Nor was it an ordinary trojan that was being used in a lab: “ Four IC elements, the National Intelligence Council, and some analysts at components that are unable to coalesce around either explanation” back the natural origin theory along with “ low confidence”, this said. It also rejected earlier spread, saying the first disease probably occurred “ simply no later than November 2019”, with “ the first recognized cluster of COVID-19 situations arising in Wuhan, The far east in December 2019”. It cursorily dismissed the growing evidence of banked samples testing beneficial earlier than this, saying these were probably unreliable.
The report also declares the IC does not deem China to have been aware of the virus before the end of Dec.
The particular IC assesses China’s authorities probably did not have foreknowledge that SARS-CoV-2 existed prior to WIV researchers isolated this after public recognition of the virus in the general human population. Accordingly, if the pandemic originated from a laboratory-associated incident, they probably were unaware in the initial months that such an incident had occurred.
What makes these denials of early spread, China’s foreknowledge and lab origin so unusual is that they contradict a number of reviews from the U. S. intelligence community itself. Indeed, the particular report notes that one cleverness agency, the NCMI, evaluated that it was a lab drip with “ moderate confidence”. Why can it see the evidence that the others can’t?
Michael Callahan, whom Robert Malone has described since “ arguably the top Oughout. S. Government/CIA expert both in biowarfare and gain of function research”, stated in an interview with Rolling Stone in August 2020 that he was already following the virus within November 2019 having been tipped off by Chinese colleagues, and that he even travelled to Singapore to study a good outbreak of the “ mysterious germ” there.
In early January, when the first hazy reports of the new coronavirus outbreak had been emerging from Wuhan, Cina, one American doctor had already been taking notes. Michael Callahan, an infectious condition expert, was working with Chinese colleagues on a longstanding avian flu collaboration in Nov when they mentioned the appearance of a strange new virus. Quickly, he was jetting off to Singapore to see individuals there who presented with associated with the same mysterious germ.
This causes it to be clear that both the Oughout. S. and China were aware of the outbreak within November 2019, a details that agrees with other intelligence reports yet is at odds with the August 2021 declassified report’s statements about the tests of U. S. cleverness.
The recent Senate report , which is presumably based a minimum of in part on U. Ersus. intelligence, states that the CCP made a major safety intervention at the WIV on November 12th 2019, and that Chinese SARS-CoV-2 vaccine research furthermore appears to have begun in those days. Other media reports quote Oughout. S. intelligence sources stating they became aware of a good outbreak in China in November 2019 from findings of health facilities plus intercepted communications, and that NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION and the Israeli military had been briefed at the end of November.
Interestingly, Michael Callahan himself initially informed Robert Malone in early February 2020 which the virus was natural, stating “ my people have meticulously analysed the sequence, plus there is no evidence that this disease was genetically engineered”. Yet by September 2021 , following the release of the declassified intelligence report, he or she implies he actually considers the virus came from the Wuhan lab and China is addressing it up. Did he change his mind, or did he just start stating what he really considers?
The image is increasingly coming into concentrate. The Chinese Government, Fauci & Co and many inside the U. S. intelligence community and biodefence network are covering up the origin from the virus and frustrating initiatives to investigate it because they are themselves implicated in the research that will likely created it and because they do not want biodefence analysis discredited. It is not, however , an ideal conspiracy as not all concur: some still push meant for investigations into the lab drip theory and endorse the theory themselves. Nonetheless, enough in those networks are sufficiently motivated to shut down plus frustrate the investigations to make the cover-up largely successful.
Where the self-delusion stops and conscious lying starts is hard to say. The Fauci emails reveal scientists at the same time assessing evidence ‘ objectively’ and aiming at a particular conclusion. They appear to be trying to convince themselves as much as anyone else, and they may well have succeeded within convincing themselves – although that doesn’t make them right. How far they are conscious of deceiving others, and how far they have talked themselves into believing some thing convenient but false delete word fully justified on the evidence, is unclear.
My overall conclusion from these emails and the other evidence is that the high degree of messiness and dissent around the laboratory leak cover-up indicates it will not come so much as a diktat from on high, or even from a Grand Puppet Learn, but from a general instinct that permeates the Oughout. S. biodefence network due to that network being highly compromised on risky pathogen research.