2021 May 8, 5:59pm
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The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?By Nicholas Wade | May 5, 2021... In what follows I will sort through the available scientific facts, which hold many clues as to what happened, and provide readers with the evidence to make their own judgments. I will then try to assess the complex issue of blame, which starts with, but extends far beyond, the government of China. ...As many people know, there are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped. It matters a great deal which is the case if we hope to prevent a second such occurrence. ...After the pandemic first broke out in December 2019, Chinese authorities reported that many cases had occurred in the wet market — a place selling wild animals for meat — in Wuhan. This reminded experts of the SARS1 epidemic of 2002, in which a bat virus had spread first to civets, an animal sold in wet markets, and from civets to people. A similar bat virus caused a second epidemic, known as MERS, in 2012. This time the intermediary host animal was camels. ...Wuhan, however, is home of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a leading world center for research on coronaviruses. So the possibility that the SARS2 virus had escaped from the lab could not be ruled out. ...From early on, public and media perceptions were shaped in favor of the natural emergence scenario by strong statements from two scientific groups. These statements were not at first examined as critically as they should have been.“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” a group of virologists and others wrote in the Lancet on February 19, 2020, when it was really far too soon for anyone to be sure what had happened. Scientists “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife,” they said, with a stirring rallying call for readers to stand with Chinese colleagues on the frontline of fighting the disease.Contrary to the letter writers’ assertion, the idea that the virus might have escaped from a lab invoked accident, not conspiracy. It surely needed to be explored, not rejected out of hand. A defining mark of good scientists is that they go to great pains to distinguish between what they know and what they don’t know. By this criterion, the signatories of the Lancet letter were behaving as poor scientists...It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”Virologists like Daszak had much at stake in the assigning of blame for the pandemic. For 20 years, mostly beneath the public’s attention, they had been playing a dangerous game. In their laboratories they routinely created viruses more dangerous than those that exist in nature. ...A second statement that had enormous influence in shaping public attitudes was a letter (in other words an opinion piece, not a scientific article) published on 17 March 2020 in the journal Nature Medicine. Its authors were a group of virologists led by Kristian G. Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute. “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” the five virologists declared in the second paragraph of their letter.Unfortunately, this was another case of poor science, in the sense defined above. True, some older methods of cutting and pasting viral genomes retain tell-tale signs of manipulation. But newer methods, called “no-see-um” or “seamless” approaches, leave no defining marks. Nor do other methods for manipulating viruses such as serial passage, the repeated transfer of viruses from one culture of cells to another. If a virus has been manipulated, whether with a seamless method or by serial passage, there is no way of knowing that this is the case. Andersen and his colleagues were assuring their readers of something they could not know. ...Science is supposedly a self-correcting community of experts who constantly check each other’s work. So why didn’t other virologists point out that the Andersen group’s argument was full of absurdly large holes? Perhaps because in today’s universities speech can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.The Daszak and Andersen letters were really political, not scientific, statements, yet were amazingly effective. Articles in the mainstream press repeatedly stated that a consensus of experts had ruled lab escape out of the question or extremely unlikely. Their authors relied for the most part on the Daszak and Andersen letters, failing to understand the yawning gaps in their arguments. Mainstream newspapers all have science journalists on their staff, as do the major networks, and these specialist reporters are supposed to be able to question scientists and check their assertions. But the Daszak and Andersen assertions went largely unchallenged. ...Why would anyone want to create a novel virus capable of causing a pandemic? Ever since virologists gained the tools for manipulating a virus’s genes, they have argued they could get ahead of a potential pandemic by exploring how close a given animal virus might be to making the jump to humans. And that justified lab experiments in enhancing the ability of dangerous animal viruses to infect people, virologists asserted.With this rationale, they have recreated the 1918 flu virus, shown how the almost extinct polio virus can be synthesized from its published DNA sequence, and introduced a smallpox gene into a related virus.These enhancements of viral capabilities are known blandly as gain-of-function experiments. ...Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by China’s leading expert on bat viruses, Shi Zheng-li or “Bat Lady,” mounted frequent expeditions to the bat-infested caves of Yunnan in southern China and collected around a hundred different bat coronaviruses. ...From the hindsight of 2021, one can say that the value of gain-of-function studies in preventing the SARS2 epidemic was zero. The risk was catastrophic, if indeed the SARS2 virus was generated in a gain-of-function experiment. ...Because, by a strange twist in the story, her work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). And grant proposals that funded her work, which are a matter of public record, specify exactly what she planned to do with the money.The grants were assigned to the prime contractor, Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who subcontracted them to Shi. ...What this means, in non-technical language, is that Shi set out to create novel coronaviruses with the highest possible infectivity for human cells. ...It cannot yet be stated that Shi did or did not generate SARS2 in her lab because her records have been sealed, but it seems she was certainly on the right track to have done so. “It is clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was systematically constructing novel chimeric coronaviruses and was assessing their ability to infect human cells and human-ACE2-expressing mice,” says Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety.“It is also clear,” Ebright said, “that, depending on the constant genomic contexts chosen for analysis, this work could have produced SARS-CoV-2 or a proximal progenitor of SARS-CoV-2.” ...On December 9, 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic became generally known, Daszak gave an interview in which he talked in glowing terms of how researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been reprogramming the spike protein and generating chimeric coronaviruses capable of infecting humanized mice.“And we have now found, you know, after 6 or 7 years of doing this, over 100 new SARS-related coronaviruses, very close to SARS,” Daszak says around minute 28 of the interview. ...In disjointed style, Daszak is referring to the fact that once you have generated a novel coronavirus that can attack human cells, you can take the spike protein and make it the basis for a vaccine. ...Daszak was possibly unaware of, or perhaps he knew all too well, the long history of viruses escaping from even the best run laboratories. The smallpox virus escaped three times from labs in England in the 1960’s and 1970’s, causing 80 cases and 3 deaths. Dangerous viruses have leaked out of labs almost every year since. Coming to more recent times, the SARS1 virus has proved a true escape artist, leaking from laboratories in Singapore, Taiwan, and no less than four times from the Chinese National Institute of Virology in Beijing. ...For the lab escape scenario, a Wuhan origin for the virus is a no-brainer. Wuhan is home to China’s leading center of coronavirus research where, as noted above, researchers were genetically engineering bat coronaviruses to attack human cells. They were doing so under the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 lab. If a virus with the unexpected infectiousness of SARS2 had been generated there, its escape would be no surprise. ...The moratorium specifically barred funding any gain-of-function research that increased the pathogenicity of the flu, MERS, or SARS viruses. But then a footnote on page 2 of the moratorium document states that “[a]n exception from the research pause may be obtained if the head of the USG funding agency determines that the research is urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security.”This seems to mean that either the director of the NIAID, Anthony Fauci, or the director of the NIH, Francis Collins, or maybe both, would have invoked the footnote in order to keep the money flowing to Shi’s gain-of-function research.
FWIW"Chinese Military Discussed Weaponizing COVID In 2015 'To Cause Enemy's Medical System To Collapse"https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/chinese-military-discussed-weaponizing-covid-2015-cause-enemys-medical-system-collapse
Fauci must answer for his role in Wuhan’s COVID labAlmost immediately, any inquiries into how the outbreak started beyond the CCP’s original story were brushed aside and dubbed conspiracy theories by the US’s corporate media. Quite why is a question that should trouble any independent-minded person.When Sen. Tom Cotton, after viewing intelligence, suggested that perhaps the virus leaked from the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, the largest bio safety laboratory for studying BSL-4 coronaviruses, news outlets such as the Washington Post declared his comment a ‘debunked conspiracy theory’ even as some of its own journalists raised the same questions. ...There are now more connections emerging from the Wuhan Institute that should be explored further. These connections involve the United States government, the National Institutes of Health and Dr Anthony Fauci — and he should have to explain them before Congress.These questions could of course pose complications to the mainstream media storyline that Fauci is a great hero, a man lionized, even fetishized by the political left for being the antithesis to then-president Donald Trump. ...To boil things down: the United States was outsourcing the study of novel coronaviruses to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, a group which according to NPR was doing the bulk of collection of coronavirus samples from bats and transferring those samples and research to the Wuhan Institute.The original grant money provided to EcoHealth was $3.7 million, $76,000 of which was slated for the Wuhan Institute. This funding was approved with the backing of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the agency that Anthony Fauci heads, according to Newsweek. ...Peter Dasazk of EcoHealth Alliance gave an interview to the Bulletin in December 2019, shortly before the first reports of the COVID-19 outbreak where he ‘talked in glowing terms of how researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been reprogramming the spike protein and generating chimeric coronaviruses capable of infecting humanized mice’.
I honestly suspect that Fauci created the virus to be released at the right time politically (right after the first impeachment attempt failed) and to help certain people in the vaccine industry profit. The tech oligarchs figured out that this was a very good thing for them as well, so they happily support one of the greatest crimes of all time and censor anyone who gets too close to the truth.
Literally 3 people could have let this out
Daszak is referring to the fact that once you have generated a novel coronavirus that can attack human cells, you can take the spike protein and make it the basis for a vaccine.
Carlson then zeroed in on Fauci, “The WHO’s investigation in the origins of the virus was fraudulent and that matters to public health globally. But one thing you’ll notice is that Tony Fauci did not say that. Why? Because once again, he is implicated in it personally.” He said, “The gain-of-function research that Peter Daszak was bragging about in the video we just showed you had in fact, been banned explicitly by the U.S. government.”Tucker delivered the damning details; “There was a federal moratorium on the funding of exactly the kind of gain-of-function experiments that went on at the Wuhan lab due to disastrous effects. So why didn’t the U.S. government halt its funding of the lab in Wuhan? That is a central question and Nicholas Wade, to his great credit, looked into it. And here’s what he found, quote, “Someone wrote a loophole into the moratorium. The moratorium specifically barred funding of any gain-of-function research that increased the pathogenicity of the flu, MERS or SARS viruses.” He said, “But then a footnote on page two of the moratorium document states that quote, ‘an exception from the research pause may be obtained if the head of the U.S. government funding agency determines that the research is urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security.’”He continued to make his case; “And that’s exactly the loophole that was exploited. Who signed off on this? Tony Fauci, possibly, along with Francis Collins, the Director of the NIH invoked that special exemption in order to keep funding the Wuhan lab and the deadly experiments that were going on there, the experiments that clearly went so wrong.” Tucker said.Carlson added, “According to Richard Ebright quote, “Unfortunately, the NIAID Director (that would be Fauci) and the NIH Director exploited this loophole to issue exemptions to projects subject to pause, preposterously asserting that the exempted research was, quote, ‘urgently necessary to protect public health or national security and thereby nullifying the pause.’”He summed it all up; “This wouldn’t have happened if Tony Fauci didn’t allow it to happen. That is clear.” Tucker said, “It’s an amazing story. It is a shocking story.”