The COVID-19 science cult â€” made â€œout of science, expertise, the university system, executive-branch â€˜norms,â€™ the â€˜intelligence community,â€™ the State Department, NGOs, the legacy news media, and the hierarchy of credentialed achievement in generalâ€�1 â€” has been held as gospel during the pandemic.
Anyone who dared to speak out against it or any of its narratives would quickly be silenced. The lab-leak hypothesis, which suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, accidently leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, is now going mainstream as rapidly accumulating evidence makes it impossible to ignore.
Yet, the very mention of this hypothesis has been heavily censored throughout the pandemic by Big Tech. Writing in The Guardian, U.S. columnist Thomas Frank stated:2
â€œThe social media monopolies actually censored posts about the lab-leak hypothesis. Of course they did! Because weâ€™re at war with misinformation, you know, and people need to be brought back to the true and correct faith â€” as agreed upon by experts.â€�
Ironically, Frank was among those who brushed off the lab-leak theory, even trying to talk a viewer out of believing the possibility that COVID-19 came from a lab.
â€œThe reason I did that,â€� he wrote, â€œis because the newspapers I read and the TV shows I watched had assured me on many occasions that the lab-leak theory wasnâ€™t true, that it was a racist conspiracy theory â€¦ that it got infinite pants-on-fire ratings from the fact-checkers, and because (despite all my cynicism) I am the sort who has always trusted the mainstream news media.â€� But, he posits, â€œWhat if this crazy story turns out to be true?â€�3
Faith of Millions Could Be Obliterated
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has staunchly defended the natural-origin theory for SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mainstream media used Fauci’s statements on the issue as â€œproofâ€� that the lab-leak theory was nothing more than a ridiculous conspiracy theory.4
A year later, Fauci is now claiming he’s “not convinced” the virus had a natural origin after all, and that we must continue to investigate “what went on in China until we find out, to the best of our ability, what happened.”5 The flip-flop is an embarrassment to all of those who used Fauciâ€™s word as proof, ignoring the evidence around them in favor of blind faith in the established COVID-19 rhetoric.
If it turns out that SARS-CoV-2 did come from a lab, Frank said, itâ€™s the type of thing â€œthat could obliterate the faith of millions.â€�6 To go from actively censoring and ridiculing those who urged officials to investigate the lab-leak theory further to suggesting they may have been right all along, is to call into question every other detail weâ€™ve been told to believe about the COVID-19 narrative. And itâ€™s likely to be a major shake-up.
Frank wrote, â€œShould it turn out that scientists and experts and NGOs, etc. are villains rather than heroes of this story, we may very well see the expert-worshiping values of modern liberalism go up in a fireball of public anger.â€�7
Signs Pointed to a Laboratory Leak From the Beginning
I first mentioned that the outbreak had the hallmarks of a laboratory escape in an article posted February 4, 2020, and it was dismissed by the mainstream media, as were others who also sounded the alarm. Frank said that his â€œcomplacency on the matter was dynamitedâ€� by an essay in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from May 2021,8 which details scientific facts about the potential origins of SARS-CoV-2.
Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance president, is a name that comes up often, because Daszakâ€™s EcoHealth Alliance funded controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Further, NIAID, a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, gave funding to the EcoHealth Alliance, which then funneled it to WIV.9
In February 2020, a group of virologists published a letter in the Lancet, stating they â€œoverwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife,â€� and calling the lab leak theory a conspiracy, adding, â€œWe stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.â€�10
Yet, the letter was not the result of independent investigation but, rather, a conflicted PR attempt. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reported:11
â€œIt later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszakâ€™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 Lancetâ€™s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, ‘We declare no competing interests.’â€�
Frank also summed up a number of details that have emerged that make the lab leak theory an increasingly likely scenario. Among them:12
- Laboratory accidents happen regularly. From January 1, 2015, to June 1, 2020, 28 lab incidents were reported at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillâ€™s biosafety level 3 labs, for instance. All involved genetically engineered organisms and six involved lab-created coronaviruses.13
- Daszak, despite working closely with WIV, was part of the World Health Organizationâ€™s investigative team charged with identifying the origin of SARS-CoV-2; the team dismissed the lab-accident theory.
- We know with great certainty that researchers at the WIV had access to and were doing gain-of-function research on coronaviruses. We also know that they collaborated with scientists in the U.S., and received funding from the National Institutes of Health for such research. As noted by Peter GÃ¸tzsche with the Institute for Scientific Freedom:14
â€œResearchers at the Wuhan Institute were led by Chinaâ€™s leading expert on bat viruses, Dr. Shi Zheng-li. Shi teamed up with Ralph S. Baric from the University of North Carolina who pioneered techniques for genetically manipulating these viruses, which became a major aspect of research at the Wuhan Institute.
Their work focused on enhancing the ability of bat viruses to attack humans so as to â€˜examine the emergence potential.â€™
In 2015, they created a novel virus by taking the backbone of the SARS virus replacing its spike protein with one from another bat virus known as SHC014-CoV. This manufactured virus was able to infect a lab culture of cells from the human airways.
They wrote that scientific review panels might deem their research too risky to pursue but argued that it had the potential to prepare for and mitigate future outbreaks. However, the value of gain-of-function studies in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic was negative, as this research highly likely created the pandemic.
On 9 December 2019, just before the outbreak of the pandemic, Daszak gave an interview in which he talked in glowing terms of how his researchers at the Wuhan Institute had created over 100 new SARS- related coronaviruses, some of which could get into human cells and could cause untreatable SARS disease in humanized mice â€¦â€�
Growing Effort to Reveal the Truth
The U.S. government has committed to redoubling their efforts to look into the real origins of COVID-19. While Beijing has stated that it considers the investigation to be complete,15 a U.S. investigation is expected to examine information from WIV held by NIH, NIAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, EcoHealth Alliance and the National Science Foundation.16
Meanwhile, the Senate passed an amendment to ban U.S. funding to WIV going forward, while another banned U.S. funding for any GOF research in China.17 This is a step in the right direction, but it doesnâ€™t go nearly far enough and will in no way prevent another manmade pandemic because this type of research is being done all around the world, not just in China.
Unless the U.S. government bans GOF research within its own borders, and encourages the rest of the world to ban it as well, thereâ€™s nothing to prevent researchers from creating another deadly pathogen that would never have arisen naturally. U.S. lawmakers have also begun to push for their own investigations. Josh Rogin wrote in The Washington Post:18
â€œSen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told me he is preparing sanctions legislation to push for a transparent forensic investigation into the Wuhan lab and â€˜impose costs if Beijing doesnâ€™t allow one.â€™
Lawmakers also want to probe the failures of the U.S. intelligence agencies, including why they were caught flat-footed when the pandemic hit: Why did they have no idea what was going on inside this network of Chinese labs conducting risky research? And that obviously canâ€™t be part of the intelligence communityâ€™s own investigation.
â€¦ Along the way we need to completely rethink how we manage oversight of these Chinese labs and all the U.S. labs that work with them. The answers may be complicated. But if it should turn out that most of the evidence points to the Wuhan labs, are lab leak skeptics really going to propose we do nothing and just wait for the next pandemic?â€�
The investigations are likely to face many hurdles, however. Already, WIV quietly deleted all mentions of its collaboration with NIAID, NIH and other U.S. research partners from its website shortly after Fauci testified in a Senate hearing in March 2021.19 Further, as Rogin noted:20
â€œSome say thereâ€™s little likelihood that the intelligence community or Congress will be able to find a conclusive answer on the lab leak theory in 90 days â€” if ever. Biden alluded to this possibility in his statement, saying Beijingâ€™s actions to cover up and conceal events in Wuhan early on â€˜will always hamper any investigation into the origin of covid-19.â€™â€�
As it stands, the preponderance of clues leans toward SARS-CoV-2 originating in a lab, most likely WIV, and having undergone some sort of manipulation to encourage infectiousness and pathology in humans. If and once this is confirmed, investigations into the many other widely dictated dogmas of the COVID-19 science cult are also long overdue.
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