THE MAINSTREAM NARRATIVE AND GAIN-OF-FUNCTION RESEARCH
The mainstream narrative regarding the origin of covid is that the virus came from nature and somehow got into humans. But, if the out-of-nature explanation is so substantiated, then how come the director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, concluded himself: “We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do.”
In February of 2020, a group of virologists signed a statement affirming: “this coronavirus originated in wildlife”. But the statement had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York, which funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the virus leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, then it would not look good for Daszak to organize an entire statement for virologists to sign that says that covid never came out of a lab. On December 9th, 2019, Daszak boasted in an interview of how researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had developed a coronavirus that acted like the SARS virus and could infect humans:
“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 … Some of them get into human cells in the lab, some of them can cause SARS disease in humanized mice models and are untreatable with therapeutic monoclonals and you can’t vaccinate against them with a vaccine. So, these are a clear and present danger.”
He also said: “coronaviruses — you can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily.”
It thus makes sense that Daszak would come up with this statement declaring that covid did not come from a lab. He was covering for himself and his dangerous work. Emails obtained by a Freedom of Information group called U.S. Right to Know, revealed how this was an attempt at a cover up. In one email Daszak wrote to two scientists one of whom was Ralph Baric, an expert on coronaviruses who collaborated with the major researcher on covid in China, Shi Zhengli (both of whom were involved in making coronavirus more dangerous): “you, me and him should not sign this statement, so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn’t work in a counterproductive way.” He added: “We’ll then put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice.” Baric concurred: “Otherwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact.” Jamie Metzl explained why Daszak did not want to sign the statement: “if the pandemic started as part of a lab leak, it had the potential to do to virology what Three Mile Island and Chernobyl did to nuclear science.”
For twenty years, scientists like Daszak have been involved in a very dangerous thing called “gain-of-function”, which (to put it simply) is the engineering of viruses more dangerous than what is found in nature. These scientists argue that this is completely safe and that its important because it will help prepare virologists for when a real outbreak — in which viruses from animals infect humans — happens. In April of 2020 shoebat.com published an article on how scientists Ron Fouchier and Yoshihiro Kawaoka — conducting a “gain of function” project — engineered an extremely dangerous strand of H5N1 that has a 60% death rate. The research to develop such a virus was prohibited in 2014 by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but the prohibition was later lifted in 2017 once the White House developed an oversight board to superintend such projects (this oversight was called the HHS P3CO Framework, for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight). One of those involved in removing the moratorium on of gain-of-function was Christopher Park, the very person who, in December of 2020 in a conference on covid, would tell State Department investigators not to say anything about the US’s role in such dangerous research
In 2019 the government approved of the H5N1 research. If such a virus ever leaked out, it would kill a billion people and make covid look minuscule in comparison. This is exactly why a group of scientists in 2014 called the Cambridge Working Group warned against gain of function work:
“Accident risks with newly created ‘potential pandemic pathogens’ raise grave new concerns …Laboratory creation of highly transmissible, novel strains of dangerous viruses, especially but not limited to influenza, poses substantially increased risks. An accidental infection in such a setting could trigger outbreaks that would be difficult or impossible to control.”
Ending the ban on gain-of-function experiments was due to a loophole that was exploited by the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony Fauci and the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins. The loophole was that the ban on such research may be lifted “if the head of the USG funding agency determines that the research is urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security.” As Richard H. Ebright explained:
“The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have systematically thwarted efforts by the White House, the Congress, scientists, and science policy specialists to regulate GoF research of concern and even to require risk-benefit review for projects involving GoF research of concern.”
The gain-of-function research apparatus wields a lot of political leverage. David Asher, who led the State Department’s day-to-day COVID-19 origins investigation, stated that that “there is a huge gain-of-function bureaucracy” inside the federal government.
The danger of viruses leaking out of labs is a reality, and if it turns out that covid came out of a lab it “would shatter the scientific edifice top to bottom,” to use the words of Antonio Regalado, an MIT Technology Review editor. There was another letter declaring the out-of-nature narrative which came out in March of 2020; it was authored by a group of virologists led by Kristian G. Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute, and it affirmed that: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus”. Yet in January of the same year Andersen wrote an email to Anthony Fauci in which he specified that there were “unusual features” in the virus and that “one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.” Andersen also told Fauci that his team “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.” What this means is that the virus does not show signs that it adapted naturally.
However, there is a wild coronavirus that is the closest relative to covid and it definitely can infect and kill people. In 2012 a team of miners in the Mojiang county in southern Yunnan province were given the job of shoveling bat feces from the floor of a mine shaft. After weeks of doing this grueling task, the miners became sick and were sent to the First Affiliated Hospital at the Kunnming Medical University. They had the symptoms of covid: their breathing was heavily hindered, they had cough and fever. Zong Nanshan, who was a leading figure in the battle against SARS (and who would later lead a panel of experts for China’s National Health Commission on covid) was called by the hospital. Zhong asked what kind of bats were in the mine, and it was the rufous horseshoe bat, the same species that carried SARS. Within months, three of the six miners died, the oldest being sixty-three years old. Blood samples of the miners were sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology which concluded that they were positive for SARS antibodies.
In 2014 and 2016, Chinese scientist Shi Zhengli and her team of researchers studied samples of bat viruses taken from the mine shaft. They found many viruses, but there was only one that resembled SARS. They called it RaBtCoV/4991.
On February 3rd of 2020, Shi Zhengli and some of her colleagues published a research paper stating that covid was almost 80% identical to SARS, which caused the 2002 outbreak. But, they also stated that covid was 96.2% identical to a coronavirus sequence that these scientists had called RaTG13 which was priorly found in Yunnan province where wild coronaviruses are found in nature. The Chinese scientists then concluded that RaTG13 was the closest relative to covid. But they later affirmed that RaTG13 appeared identical to RaBtCoV/4991, the very virus that infected the miners. But, story does not prove the out-of-nature narrative. The infection of the miners was in Yunnan, which is 1500 kilometers away from Wuhan. How did the outbreak begin in Wuhan? How could the virus travel from Yunnan to Wuhan? The outbreak began just miles away from the Wuhan lab, and the bats that contain these coronaviruses are not in Wuhan. This leaves the lab, which held this dangerous coronavirus, in suspicion.
On January 3, 2020, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, got a phone call from his Chinese counterpart Dr. George Fu Gao, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Gao told Redfield of a mysterious new pneumonia, seemingly limited to people exposed at a market in Wuhan. Redfield right away offered to send a team of specialists to help with the investigation.
Redfield began to doubt the wet market narrative. Had numerous families been infected from the same animal? Redfield recounted how Gao affirmed to him that there was no human-to-human transmission. But Redfield exhorted Gao to test more people in the community. Gao called him back, and with sadness told Redfield of how the contagion, which was now rapidly spreading, had no connection to the wet market which at the time so many people were blaming on the covid outbreak. The virus was spreading from one person to the next. Redfield began to wonder if the Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved. The reason for his suspicion was the heavy involvement that the Institute had with gain-of-function research, or the process of making viruses dangerous. Even under the 2014 moratorium, the gain-of-function project on coronavirus was being bankrolled by the US government. As we read in Vanity Fair:
“In May 2014, five months before the moratorium on gain-of-function research was announced, EcoHealth secured a NIAID grant of roughly $3.7 million, which it allocated in part to various entities engaged in collecting bat samples, building models, and performing gain-of-function experiments to see which animal viruses were able to jump to humans. The grant was not halted under the moratorium or the P3CO framework. … Shi Zhengli herself listed U.S. government grant support of more than $1.2 million on her curriculum vitae: $665,000 from the NIH between 2014 and 2019; and $559,500 over the same period from USAID. At least some of those funds were routed through EcoHealth Alliance.”
On April 17th of 2020, a journalist for Newsmax asked Trump about the $3.7 million grant. “Why would the U.S. give a grant like that to China?” the reporter asked. Trump replied: “We will end that grant very quickly … Who was president then, I wonder.” One week later, an NIH official informed Daszak that his grant had been terminated. According to Fauci, testifying before a congressional committee, the order had come from the White House. The decision was responded with outrage. Eighty-one Nobel Laureates in science condemned the decision in an open letter to Trump’s health officials. But the NIH backtracked on its cancelation, reinstating the grant, but suspended its research until it fulfilled certain demands, such as giving info on the “apparent disappearance” of a Wuhan Institute of Virology researcher, who was rumored on social media to be patient zero. Here is a clip of the cancelation letter to EcoHealth:
Daszak’s model of research was under scrutiny, and rightfully so, since (according to Vanity Fair) it entailed “bringing samples from a remote area to an urban one, then sequencing and growing viruses and attempting to genetically modify them to make them more virulent”. This research was described by Richard Ebright as “looking for a gas leak with a lighted match.”
SHI ZHENGLI AND RALPH BARIC
In 2015, Chinese scientst Shi Zhengli and American coronavirus researcher Ralph S. Baric, wrote out their report on making wild coronaviruses dangerous to humans. In their report it speaks of giving these viruses the ability to infect humans so as to “examine the emergence potential (that is, the potential to infect humans) of circulating bat CoVs [coronaviruses].” To do this, these scientists (in November of 2015) took the backbone of the SARS1 virus and replaced its protein spike with one from a coronavirus from a bat (known as SHC014). This new virus was able to attack human cells when tested in a lab. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory,” said Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Shi and Baric both knew the dangers, writing that scientific review panels “may deem similar studies building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains too risky to pursue.”
They justified their project by writing that “the potential to prepare for and mitigate future outbreaks must be weighed against the risk of creating more dangerous pathogens. In developing policies moving forward, it is important to consider the value of the data generated by these studies and whether these types of chimeric virus studies warrant further investigation versus the inherent risks involved.” They didn’t actually use human cells; they used mice that were genetically engineered to contain the human version of a protein called ACE2 that reinforces the surface of cells that line the airways. It was Baric — the American scientist — who taught Shi this method of engineering bat coronaviruses to attack other species. While we put all the blame on China for covid, its important that we mention the fact that Shi’s covid research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). One former federal health official described the situation as an institute “funded by American dollars is trying to teach a bat virus to infect human cells, then there is a virus” in the same city (Wuhan) as that lab.
The grant proposal made it clear that the research was for the purpose of making coronaviruses infectious to humans:
“Test predictions of CoV inter-species transmission. Predictive models of host range (i.e. emergence potential) will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice.”
WHEN THE AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE HELPED
In 2020 the Washington Post put out a report about how the US embassy in Beijing, back in 2018, sent a cable to Washington warning about how “the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.” The Chinese scientists, led by Shi Zhengli, were researching coronavirus supposedly for the purpose of preventing the next SARS-like pandemic. But this did not mean that their research was not a safety hazard. According to Xiao Qiang, a research scientist at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley:
“The cable tells us that there have long been concerns about the possibility of the threat to public health that came from this lab’s research, if it was not being adequately conducted and protected”
The researchers in Wuhan were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations, but the Chinese were asking for additional help from the US. This help was not given even though it was asked for by the US embassy in its cables to Washington. The cables warned of the safety risks from the research on coronavirus. “The cable was a warning shot,” one U.S. official said. “They were begging people to pay attention to what was going on.”
COERCION NOT TO MENTION AMERICA’S INVOLVEMENT IN GAIN-OF-FUNCTION RESEARCH
According to Vanity Affair, there was one State Department meeting in which officials seeking to demand accountability from the Chinese government say they were firmly told by colleagues not to inquire into the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s gain-of-function research, because it would attract unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of such research. This hesitancy by the US government to inquire deeply sparks suspicion. David Feith, former deputy assistant secretary of state in the East Asia bureau, expressed this suspicion: “The story of why parts of the U.S. government were not as curious as many of us think they should have been is a hugely important one.”
In an internal memo obtained by Vanity Fair, Thomas DiNanno, former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, explained that staff from 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 of worms’ if it continued.”
FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE CDC ADMITS COVID CAME FROM A LAB
The former director for the Centers for Disease Control Robert Redfield concluded that covid leaked out of a lab: “I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped.”
Redfield later told Vanity Affair that he got death threats from fellow scientists after telling CNN that he believed COVID-19 had come from a lab: “I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis … I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”
Whether or not the coronavirus that has killed millions came directly from Shi’s lab has yet to be confirmed (since her records have been sealed), but it would not be surprising if that was the case. According to Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety: “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 … 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.”
When Ebright, the board of governors professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University, looked at the very first reports on the outbreak in Wuhan, it took him “a nanosecond or a picosecond” to consider a link to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Other than Wuhan, there are only two other labs in the world where such research is done: Galveston, Texas, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “It’s not a dozen cities,” said Ebright. “It’s three places.” The fact that the outbreak occurred in Wuhan sparks suspicion that it came from one of the three places on earth where such research is done.
THE OUT-OF-NATURE NARRATIVE IS SHAKY
If the coronavirus strictly came from bats to humans, then it would make sense that the first cases of covid infection would have been found in Yunnan and not Wuhan. The initial narrative was that the first cases of covid were found in a wet market just nine miles from the Wuhan lab. This, unto itself, is a cause to suspect that the virus leaked out of the lab. But later discoveries on the first cases makes the out-of-lab theory even more probable: the first cases were not in a wet market just nine miles from the lab, but in the Wuhan lab itself, and not in 2020 but in 2019. Three scientists in the Wuhan lab were involved in gain-of-function research for coronavirus and they got infected. As we read in a report from Reuters:
“Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019, a month before China reported the first cases of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing a U.S. intelligence report.
The newspaper said the previously undisclosed report – which provides fresh details on the number of researchers affected, the timing of their illnesses, and their hospital visits – may add weight to calls for a broader investigation into whether the COVID-19 virus could have escaped from the laboratory.”
On December 9th of 2020, around twelve employees of the State Department got together in a meeting at a conference room in Foggy Bottom. In the meeting the question was asked: what does the US do regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology? The three researchers of the Wuhan lab getting infected with covid became a point of focus. Christopher Park, the director of the State Department’s Biological Policy Staff in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, advised the officials not to bring attention to anything about the US government’s role in gain-of-function research. According to an official who is familiar with the meeting, some of the State Department employees were “absolutely floored” and that someone in the U.S. government could “make an argument that is so nakedly against transparency, in light of the unfolding catastrophe, was…shocking and disturbing.” As the group began to investigate the possibility that covid could have leaked out of a lab, they were told not to open a “Pandora’s box,” recounted four former State Department officials interviewed by Vanity Fair. The order “smelled like a cover-up,” said Thomas DiNanno, “and I wasn’t going to be part of it.”
Another Pandora’s box was that on January 15th, the State Department issued a fact sheet stating that the three scientists who got infected in the Wuhan lab were involved in secret projects with China’s military and “engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”
The two viruses that are closest to covid were found in bats in the caves of Yunnan which is 1,500 kilometers away from Wuhan. If covid was from the wild and not engineered, then it would be not surprising if the first cases happened nearby these caves, and not in Wuhan where it so happens that dangerous coronaviruses were being engineered. The initial story that was spreading around the internet was that covid infections were the results of people going to a wet market where bats were sold as food. Well, it turned out that bats were not sold in this particular market. These wild coronaviruses infect the horseshoe bat which has a range of 50 kilometers, so there is no way that these bats could have travelled from Yunnan to Wuhan. Also, how could people start getting infected in winter when bats are in hibernation at this time and are over a thousand kilometers away from the city where the first covid cases were recorded? These questions were asked by two Chinese scientists, Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao (who come from two separate universities in Wuhan) in a research paper on the origins of covid.
In this paper the two Xiaos wrote and concluded: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus. … the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as this paper appeared on the internet, it vanished. But US officials were quick enough to get their hands on it.
Moreover, if covid infected bats before it got into humans, then it would still be able to infect bats. But, covid has been found to be not that infectious in bats. As one group of researchers put it: “Tested bat species are poorly infected by SARS-CoV-2 and they are therefore unlikely to be the direct source for human infection”.
Another thing that makes Covid suspicious is that there are no signs of prior adaptation. For example, before SARS first appeared as a deadly virus, it first infected bats and then began entering civets before going through six further changes in its spike protein and then being able to infect people. But when covid (SARS-CoV-2) was first discovered, it already had the ability to infect human cells. According to researchers led by Alina Chan of the Broad Institute: “By the time SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in late 2019, it was already pre-adapted to human transmission to an extent similar to late epidemic SARS-CoV”. Ralph S. Baris noted that “early strains identified in Wuhan, China, showed limited genetic diversity, which suggests that the virus may have been introduced from a single source.” Its possible that covid incubated in a human population before adapting to the point of becoming dangerous. But this population has yet to be found. According to a WHO report there is “no evidence to suggest substantial SARSCoV-2 transmission in the months preceding the outbreak in December was observed.”
So lets summarize what we have learned here: Chinese scientists and Western collaborators like Ralph Baric and Peter Daszak were involved in making wild coronaviruses more dangerous and such research was getting American funding. Dangerous coronaviruses are found in the wild, but in the bat caves of Yunnan, over a thousand miles away from Wuhan where the outbreak began, leaving us with the question of how did this virus end up in this city so far away from where these pathogens are found in nature? The fact that the WHO affirms that we still don’t know where this virus came from means that the official narrative can indeed be questioned. And also the fact that the former director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, affirms that covid leaked out of a lab, gives major leverage to the belief that this pandemic spawned out of a laboratory. If it was done on purpose or by accident has yet to be revealed. What we must focus on is not just the origins of covid but the political and economic ramifications of the pandemic. The acceleration towards automation, the elevation of technocracy and the rise of scientism are the results of the pandemic. We must also keep in mind that the government printing of money to give handouts due to people not working during the pandemic has been a cause of major inflation. An economic bomb could set off and it will be the result of the pandemic. The rapidly growing trend of automation and the rising power of technocracy means that there will be many people left without work; unemployment due to economic diminishment will also be a reality, and a popularity for more radical ideologies, such as socialism, will grow. Protectionism has also been on the rise since the pandemic, and this trend will mark the transition of the new zeitgeist, where radical ideologies which were once considered fringe, will become popular.