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FTR #1131 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 7: Moderna Uber Alles

We begin by Intro­duc­ing the top­ic of Mod­er­na’s SARS Cov‑2 vac­cine as a mon­ey mak­er for both Mod­er­na and as a dri­ver for the mar­ket as a whole, we note last Mon­day’s announce­ment which gen­er­at­ed a major boost in the val­ue of Mod­er­na’s stock and a strong, gen­er­al ral­ly. The lat­ter appar­ent­ly stems from opti­mism that a sucess­ful vac­cine will alle­vi­ate the eco­nom­ic dam­age from Covid-19.

A Mar­ket­Watch piece about the rapid fluc­tu­a­tion of Mod­er­na’s stock under­scores the sig­nif­i­cance of the tim­ing of an announce­ment cast­ing Mod­er­na’s vac­cine tri­al in over­ly opti­mistic light:

1.–Moderna’s CEO (Stephen Ban­cel) and CFO (Lorence Kim) both sold stock on Fri­day, in accor­dance with pre­arranged trans­ac­tions. Bear in mind, that (as dis­cussed in FTR #1130) Mod­er­na’s stock was trad­ing at $23.46 at the begin­ning of the year, and the company–which has nev­er mar­ket­ed a vaccine–was the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of $483 mil­lion dol­lars in fed­er­al fund­ing ear­li­er in the year.) ” . . . . On Fri­day, Ban­cel sold 11,046 shares at a weight­ed aver­age price of $65.56 for about $724,200, as part of a pre­de­ter­mined trad­ing plan adopt­ed Dec. 28, 2018, accord­ing to a Form 4 fil­ing with the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion. He also dis­posed of 1,577 shares as part of a ‘bona fide’ gift. . . . Also, on Fri­day, Kim sold 20,000 shares at a weight­ed aver­age price of $65.53 for about $1.31 mil­lion, as part of a pre­de­ter­mined trad­ing plan. . . .”

2.–Kim also simul­ta­ne­ous­ly bought and sold shares of his firm for a net prof­it of $16.79 mil­lion on Mon­day, the day of an over­ly opti­mistic announce­ment by Mod­er­na. The for­tu­itous­ly timed Mod­er­na announce­ment made the fir­m’s CFO rough­ly $4 mil­lion: ” . . . . On Mon­day, he [Kim] exer­cised options to buy 241,000 shares at a weight­ed aver­age price of $12.45 for about $3 mil­lion, also as part of a pre­de­ter­mined plan. At the same time, Kim exe­cut­ed sales of 241,000 shares, at a weight­ed aver­age price of $82.12 for about $19.79 mil­lion. That means Kim net­ted about $16.79 mil­lion on the simul­ta­ne­ous buy and sale of shares. . . . with Monday’s stock price surge fol­low­ing the announce­ment of ear­ly data on its vac­cine can­di­date poten­tial­ly adding $4 mil­lion to Kim’s cof­fers. . . .”

3.–The above-ref­er­enced announce­ment by Mod­er­na led to a dra­mat­ic increase in Mod­er­na’s stock and boost­ed the mar­ket as a whole. Mod­er­na announced that evening that it would sell $1.34 bil­lion in stock to help its vac­cine oper­a­tion: ” . . . . Shares of Mod­er­na closed at a record high of $80.00 on Mon­day after the com­pa­ny released a slice of pos­i­tive inter­im clin­i­cal data from the first phase of its COVID-19 vac­cine tri­al. That night it announced it would sell $1.34 bil­lion in stock to help fund man­u­fac­tur­ing costs asso­ci­at­ed with the exper­i­men­tal COVID-19 vac­cine. . . .”

4.–Moderna’s stock nose­dived at the end of the trad­ing day on Tues­day, due to a crit­i­cal arti­cle from Stat News: ” . . . . The stock took a nose dive on Tues­day, clos­ing at $71.67, like­ly due in some degree to a Stat News sto­ry that ques­tioned a lack of clin­i­cal clar­i­ty in the data it pro­vid­ed to investors. . . .”
Mod­er­na’s announce­ment was crit­i­cal­ly assessed by Stat News, which point­ed out that the results were incom­plete at best: ” . . . . In a clin­i­cal-tri­al data dis­clo­sure on Mon­day, Mod­er­na shared that eight out of 45 par­tic­i­pants in its COVID-19 vac­cine study devel­oped neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies, a deci­sion that Stat’s Helen Bran­swell described as a ‘rea­son for cau­tion.’ It didn’t share infor­ma­tion about the immune response to the exper­i­men­tal vac­cine in the remain­ing 37 par­tic­i­pants. . . .”

5.–Nonetheless, Mod­er­na’s stock–bolstered by gov­ern­ment investment–has been on a dra­mat­ic upward swing: ” . . . . The company’s stock was up 3.8% in trad­ing on Wednes­day. Year-to-date, it has soared 270.2%, even though the com­pa­ny has no approved prod­ucts. . . .”

There are seri­ous ques­tions about the sub­stance of Mod­er­na’s state­ment:

1.–Moderna’s much tout­ed report on its vaccine—which trig­gered an upsurge in the mar­kets on Monday—appears to have been incom­plete, at best, and pur­pose­ful­ly decep­tive, at worst. “ . . . . While Mod­er­na blitzed the media, it revealed very lit­tle infor­ma­tion — and most of what it did dis­close were words, not data.. . . . If you ask sci­en­tists to read a jour­nal arti­cle, they will scour data tables, not cor­po­rate state­ments. With sci­ence, num­bers speak much loud­er than words. Even the fig­ures the com­pa­ny did release don’t mean much on their own, because crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion — effec­tive­ly the key to inter­pret­ing them — was with­held. . . .”

2.–Part of the rea­son for alarm and skep­ti­cism con­cerns the behav­ior of the NIAID—whose direc­tor is Antho­ny Fau­ci: “ . . . . The Nation­al Insti­tute for Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases has part­nered with Mod­er­na on this vac­cine. Sci­en­tists at NIAID made the vaccine’s con­struct, or pro­to­type, and the agency is run­ning the Phase 1 tri­al. This week’s Mod­er­na read­out came from the ear­li­est of data from the NIAID-led Phase 1. NIAID doesn’t hide its light under a bushel. The insti­tute gen­er­al­ly trum­pets its find­ings, often offer­ing direc­tor Antho­ny Fau­ci . . . or oth­er senior per­son­nel for inter­views. But NIAID did not put out a press release Mon­day and declined to pro­vide com­ment on Moderna’s announce­ment. . . .”

3.–To begin with, Moderna’s announce­ment was only sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sub­stan­tive for 8 of the 45 vol­un­teer sub­jects: “ . . . . The company’s state­ment led with the fact that all 45 sub­jects (in this analy­sis) who received dos­es of 25 micro­grams (two dos­es each), 100 micro­grams (two dos­es each), or a 250 micro­grams (one dose) devel­oped bind­ing anti­bod­ies. Lat­er, the state­ment indi­cat­ed that eight vol­un­teers — four each from the 25-micro­gram and 100-micro­gram arms — devel­oped neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies. Of the two types, these are the ones you’d real­ly want to see. We don’t know results from the oth­er 37 tri­al par­tic­i­pants. . . .”

4.–It is pos­si­ble that neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies may have been devel­oped in the 37 test sub­jects whose data was not released because the test­ing process is exact­ing. Still the state­ment war­rants cau­tion, at the least. “ . . . . This doesn’t mean that they didn’t devel­op neu­tral­iz­ing antibodies.Testing for neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies is more time-con­sum­ing than oth­er anti­body tests and must be done in a biose­cu­ri­ty lev­el 3 lab­o­ra­to­ry. Mod­er­na dis­closed the find­ings from eight sub­jects because that’s all it had at that point. Still, it’s a rea­son for cau­tion . . . .”

5.–In addi­tion, the age of the sub­jects was not released and that is rel­e­vant. “ . . . . Sep­a­rate­ly, while the Phase 1 tri­al includ­ed healthy vol­un­teers ages 18 to 55 years, the exact ages of these eight peo­ple are unknown. If, by chance, they most­ly clus­tered around the younger end of the age spec­trum, you might expect a bet­ter response to the vac­cine than if they were most­ly from the senior end of it. And giv­en who is at high­est risk from the SARS-CoV­‑2 coro­n­avirus, pro­tect­ing old­er adults is what Covid-19 vac­cines need to do. . . .”

6.–In addi­tion, there was no data released as to the dura­bil­i­ty of the neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies. If, for the sake of argu­ment, they are not long-last­ing, the util­i­ty of the vac­cine is neg­li­gi­ble. “ . . . . The report of neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies in sub­jects who were vac­ci­nat­ed comes from blood drawn two weeks after they received their sec­ond dose of vac­cine. Two weeks. ‘That’s very ear­ly. We don’t know if those anti­bod­ies are durable,’ said Anna Durbin, a vac­cine researcher at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty. . . .”

7.–Still anoth­er point of contention/alarm con­cerns the vari­abil­i­ty in neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies among recov­ered patients: “ . . . . But stud­ies have shown anti­body lev­els among peo­ple who have recov­ered from the ill­ness vary enor­mous­ly; the range that may be influ­enced by the sever­i­ty of a person’s dis­ease. John ‘Jack’ Rose, a vac­cine researcher from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, point­ed STAT to a study from Chi­na that showed that, among 175 recov­ered Covid-19 patients stud­ied, 10 had no detectable neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies. Recov­ered patients at the oth­er end of the spec­trum had real­ly high anti­body lev­els. So though the com­pa­ny said the anti­body lev­els induced by vac­cine were as good as those gen­er­at­ed by infec­tion, there’s no real way to know what that com­par­i­son means. . . .”

8.–It is less than encour­ag­ing that Mod­er­na dis­closed that more rel­e­vant data will be dis­closed in a report to be released in con­junc­tion with NIAID: “ . . . . STAT asked Mod­er­na for infor­ma­tion on the anti­body lev­els it used as a com­para­tor. The response: That will be dis­closed in an even­tu­al jour­nal arti­cle from NIAID, which is part of the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health. . . .”

9.–Ann Durbin was struck by the word­ing of Moderna’s release: “ . . . . Durbin was struck by the word­ing of the company’s state­ment, point­ing to this sen­tence: ‘The lev­els of neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies at day 43 were at or above lev­els gen­er­al­ly seen in con­va­les­cent sera.’ ‘I thought: Gen­er­al­ly? What does that mean?’ Durbin said. Her ques­tion, for the time being, can’t be answered. . . .”

10.–Jack Rose com­ment­ed on the opaque nature of Moderna’s release: “. . . . Rose said the com­pa­ny should dis­close the infor­ma­tion. ‘When a com­pa­ny like Mod­er­na with such incred­i­bly vast resources says they have gen­er­at­ed SARS‑2 neu­tral­iz­ing anti­bod­ies in a human tri­al, I would real­ly like to see num­bers from what­ev­er assay they are using,’ he said. . . .”

10.–To date, Mod­er­na issues press releas­es, not papers that can be vet­ted by the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty: “ . . . . It doesn’t pub­lish on its work in sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals. What is known has been dis­closed through press releas­es. That’s not enough to gen­er­ate con­fi­dence with­in the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty. ‘My guess is that their num­bers are mar­gin­al or they would say more,’ Rose said about the company’s SARS‑2 vac­cine, echo­ing a sus­pi­cion that oth­ers have about some of the company’s oth­er work. ‘I do think it’s a bit of a con­cern that they haven’t pub­lished the results of any of their ongo­ing tri­als that they men­tion in their press release. They have not pub­lished any of that,’ Durbin not­ed. . . .”

After sum­ma­riz­ing a high­ly tech­ni­cal arti­cle warn­ing that of the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of intro­duc­ing a SARS Cov‑2 vac­cine that gen­er­ates inad­e­quate­ly high lev­els of anti­bod­ies, we detail a 2016 STAT News arti­cle about Mod­er­na high­lights a num­ber of areas of con­cern, giv­en the speed and rel­a­tive­ly opaque nature of the poten­tial intro­duc­tion of its Covid-19 vac­cine.

The financ­ing of the com­pa­ny by DARPA, and Mon­cef Slaoui’s join­ing with Four Star Gen­er­al Per­na (ele­vat­ed by the Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen­er­al Mark A. Mil­ley) are of addi­tion­al con­cern.

1.–As of 2016, Mod­er­na had the largest val­u­a­tion of any pri­vate biotech firm and for­mer employ­ees felt that Mod­er­na prized mon­ey over sci­ence. Note that, as will be reviewed lat­er in the pro­gram, its stock has risen expo­nen­tial­ly as a result of the injec­tion of hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars. Bear in mind that Mod­er­na has also been under­writ­ten by DARPA. “ . . . . Mod­er­na is worth more than any oth­er pri­vate biotech in the US, and for­mer employ­ees said they felt that Ban­cel prized the company’s ever-increas­ing val­u­a­tion, now approach­ing $5 bil­lion, over its sci­ence. . . .”

2.–Moderna has main­tained a cul­ture of secre­cy, which in 2016, applied to the first two prod­ucts under­go­ing phase 1 tri­als: “ . . . . Mod­er­na just moved its first two poten­tial treat­ments — both vac­cines — into human tri­als. In keep­ing with the cul­ture of secre­cy, though, exec­u­tives won’t say which dis­eases the vac­cines tar­get, and they have not list­ed the stud­ies on the pub­lic fed­er­al reg­istry, ClinicalTrials.gov. List­ing is option­al for Phase 1 tri­als, which are meant to deter­mine if a drug is safe, but most com­pa­nies vol­un­tar­i­ly dis­close their work. . . .”

3.–Protein ther­a­py has been a dri­ving eco­nom­ic and ther­a­peu­tic fac­tor in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal busi­ness: “ . . . . For decades, com­pa­nies have endeav­ored to craft bet­ter and bet­ter pro­tein ther­a­pies, lead­ing to new treat­ments for can­cer, autoim­mune dis­or­ders, and rare dis­eases. Such ther­a­pies are cost­ly to pro­duce and have many lim­i­ta­tions, but they’ve giv­en rise to a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar indus­try. The anti-inflam­ma­to­ry Humi­ra, the world’s top drug at $14 bil­lion in sales a year, is a shin­ing exam­ple of pro­tein ther­a­py. . . .”

4.–Moderna aims at doing an end run around that tech­nol­o­gy with the injec­tion of mRNA (mes­sen­ger RNA) or DNA. This is a risky tech­nol­o­gy: “ . . . . Moderna’s tech­nol­o­gy promised to sub­vert the whole field, cre­at­ing ther­a­peu­tic pro­teins inside the body instead of in man­u­fac­tur­ing plants. The key: har­ness­ing mes­sen­ger RNA, or mRNA. . . . . It’s high­ly risky. Big phar­ma com­pa­nies had tried sim­i­lar work and aban­doned it because it’s exceed­ing­ly hard to get RNA into cells with­out trig­ger­ing nasty side effects. . . . .”

5.–CEO Ban­cel has main­tained the company’s cul­ture of secre­cy: “ . . . . Under Ban­cel, Mod­er­na has been loath to pub­lish its work in Sci­ence or Nature, but enthu­si­as­tic to her­ald its poten­tial on CNBC and CNN, tak­ing part in seg­ments on the world’s most dis­rup­tive com­pa­niesand the poten­tial “cure for can­cer.” . . .”

6.–Moderna had dra­con­ian atti­tude toward employ­ees from its incep­tion: “ . . . . From the begin­ning, Ban­cel made clear that Moderna’s sci­ence sim­ply had to work. And that any­one who couldn’t make it work didn’t belong. The ear­ly Mod­er­na was a chaot­ic, unpre­dictable work­place, accord­ing to for­mer employ­ees. One recalls find­ing him­self out of a job when a quick-turn­around exper­i­ment failed to pan out. Anoth­er helped train a group of new hires only to real­ize they were his replace­ments. . . .”

7.–Joe Bolen exem­pli­fied the treat­ment Mod­er­na met­ed out: “ . . . . Most stun­ning to employ­ees was the abrupt depar­ture of Joseph Bolen, who came aboard in 2013 to lead Moderna’s R&D efforts. Bolen was a big-name hire in biotech cir­cles, an expe­ri­enced chief sci­en­tif­ic offi­cer who had guid­ed Mil­len­ni­um Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals to FDA approval for a block­buster can­cer drug. . . ‘No sci­en­tist in his right mind would leave that job unless there was some­thing wrong with the sci­ence or the per­son­nel,” said a per­son close to the com­pa­ny at the time.’ . . .”

8.–Bolen had com­pa­ny: “ . . . . Bolen wasn’t alone. Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cer John Reyn­ders joined in 2013 to make Mod­er­na what he called the world’s “first ful­ly dig­i­tal biotech,”only to step down a year lat­er. Michael Morin, brought in to lead Moderna’s sci­en­tif­ic efforts in can­cer in 2014, last­ed less than 18 months. As did Greg Licholai, hired in 2015 to direct the company’s projects in rare dis­eases. The lat­ter two key lead­er­ship posi­tions remain unfilled. . . .”

9.–The expla­na­tion of CFO Lorence Kim is less than reas­sur­ing from the stand­point of prod­uct safe­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty: “ . . . . ‘We force every­one to grow with the com­pa­ny at unprece­dent­ed speed,’ Mod­er­na Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer Lorence Kim said. ‘Some peo­ple grow with the com­pa­ny; oth­ers don’t.’ . . .”

10.–Beginning in 2013, Mod­er­na part­nered with a series of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giants, includ­ing AstraZeneca, which has been select­ed to devel­op a Covid-19 vac­cine: “ . . . . That’s when Mod­er­na — which had just 25 employ­ees — signed a stag­ger­ing $240 mil­lion part­ner­ship with UK phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant AstraZeneca. It was the most mon­ey phar­ma had ever spent on drugs that had not yet been test­ed in humans. . . .”

11.–The firm has been lav­ish­ly cap­i­tal­ized: “ . . . . In ear­ly 2015, Mod­er­na dis­closed a $450 mil­lion financ­ing round, the largest ever for a pri­vate biotech com­pa­ny. This month, the com­pa­ny broke its own record, rais­ing anoth­er $474 mil­lion. . . . Though it has yet to reveal data from a sin­gle clin­i­cal tri­al, Mod­er­na is now val­ued at $4.7 bil­lion, accord­ing to Pitch­book. . . .”

12.–Initially, Mod­er­na aimed at devel­op­ing prod­ucts that would be admin­is­tered for a peri­od of years: “ . . . . From the start, Mod­er­na her­ald­ed its abil­i­ty to pro­duce pro­teins with­in cells, which could open up a world of ther­a­peu­tic tar­gets unreach­able by con­ven­tion­al drugs. The most rev­o­lu­tion­ary treat­ments, which could chal­lenge the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar mar­ket for pro­tein ther­a­py, would involve repeat­ed dos­es of mRNA over many years, so a patient’s body con­tin­ued to pro­duce pro­teins to keep dis­ease at bay. . . .”

13.–Instead of pro­duc­ing treat­ments that would be admin­is­tered over a peri­od of years, the com­pa­ny focused on vac­cines: “ . . . . But Moderna’s first human tri­als aren’t so ambi­tious, focus­ing instead on the crowd­ed field of vac­cines, where the com­pa­ny has only been work­ing since 2014. . . . The choice to pri­or­i­tize vac­cines came as a dis­ap­point­ment to many in the com­pa­ny, accord­ing to a for­mer man­ag­er. The plan had been to rad­i­cal­ly dis­rupt the biotech indus­try, the man­ag­er said, so ‘why would you start with a clin­i­cal pro­gram that has very lim­it­ed upside and lots of com­pe­ti­tion?’” . . . .”

14.–The answer to Moderna’s focus on vac­cines may be due to issues of prod­uct safe­ty: “ . . . Deliv­ery — actu­al­ly get­ting RNA into cells — has long bedev­iled the whole field. On their own, RNA mol­e­cules have a hard time reach­ing their tar­gets. They work bet­ter if they’re wrapped up in a deliv­ery mech­a­nism, such as nanopar­ti­cles made of lipids. But those nanopar­ti­cles can lead to dan­ger­ous side effects, espe­cial­ly if a patient has to take repeat­ed dos­es over months or years. . . .”

15.–Vaccines will only admin­is­ter mRNA at the time of vac­ci­na­tion, rather than over a long peri­od of time: “ . . . . ‘I would say that mRNA is bet­ter suit­ed for dis­eases where treat­ment for short dura­tion is suf­fi­cient­ly cura­tive, so the tox­i­c­i­ties caused by deliv­ery mate­ri­als are less like­ly to occur,’ said Katal­in Karikó, a pio­neer in the field who serves as a vice pres­i­dent at BioN­Tech. . . That makes vac­cines the low­est hang­ing fruit in mRNA, said Franz-Wern­er Haas, CureVac’s chief cor­po­rate offi­cer. ‘From our point of view, it’s obvi­ous why [Mod­er­na] start­ed there,’ he said.’ . . .”

16.–Moderna’s expla­na­tion for its focus on vac­cines is not reassuring—the speed with which it can pro­ceed to human tri­als. The firm’s secre­cy has gen­er­at­ed alarm: “ . . . . Mod­er­na said it pri­or­i­tized vac­cines because they pre­sent­ed the fastest path to human tri­als, not because of set­backs with oth­er projects. ‘The notion that [Mod­er­na] ran into dif­fi­cul­ties isn’t borne in real­i­ty,’ said Afeyan. But this is where Moderna’s secre­cy comes into play: Until there’s pub­lished data, only the com­pa­ny and its part­ners know what the data show. Every­one out­side is left guess­ing — and, in some cas­es, wor­ry­ing that Mod­er­na won’t live up to its hype. . . .”

17.–Moderna applies soft­ware and a busi­ness mod­el derived from Tes­la, Ama­zon and Uber: “ . . . . Mod­er­na has pio­neered an auto­mat­ed sys­tem mod­eled on the soft­ware Tes­la uses to man­age orders, Ban­cel said: Sci­en­tists sim­ply enter the pro­tein they want a cell to express, and testable mRNA arrives with­in weeks. . . . That has always been part of the plan, for­mer employ­ees said, point­ing to Bancel’s fas­ci­na­tion with the tech indus­try. Uber and Ama­zon were not the first to come up with their respec­tive busi­ness ideas, but they were the ones that built enough scale to ward off com­pe­ti­tion. And Mod­er­na is posi­tion­ing itself to do the same in mRNA. . . .”

Mon­cef Slaoui’s  opti­mistic state­ment on the Fri­day before the Mon­day announce­ment, presents impor­tant con­text for Moderna’s Mon­day announce­ment. That announce­ment moved mar­kets based on inad­e­quate data. “Oper­a­tion Warp Speed” (head­ed by Slaoui) sug­gests that can­di­date Trump  is very inter­est­ed in those pre­lim­i­nary results as well. 

Eliz­a­beth War­ren scored Slaoui’s con­flict of interest–a con­sid­er­a­tion that will be dis­cussed at length: ” . . . . Fol­low­ing Mon­cef Slaoui’s Fri­day appoint­ment as a co-leader of the Warp Speed pro­gram, he’s set to sell about 155,000 shares in Mod­er­na, accord­ing to press reports. They were worth an esti­mat­ed $10 mil­lion Fri­day, but after Monday’s stock run-up on pos­i­tive ear­ly data, they’re now val­ued at about $12.4 mil­lion. . . . Fol­low­ing Slaoui’s selec­tion, Sen. Eliz­a­beth War­ren tweet­ed that it’s a ‘huge con­flict of inter­est’ for him to keep the Mod­er­na stock as he assumes the new role. She said he should ‘divest imme­di­ate­ly.’ In a now-delet­ed tweet, Slaoui respond­ed that there ‘is no con­flict of inter­est, and there nev­er has been,’ Busi­ness Insid­er reports. . . .”

Even after agree­ing to sell his Mod­er­na stock, Slaoui’s invest­ments raise alarm­ing questions–note that he is a “ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist” and a long­time for­mer exec­u­tive at Glaxo-Smithk­line:

1.–The cir­cum­stances of his appoint­ment will per­mit him to avoid scruti­ny: ” . . . . In agree­ing to accept the posi­tion, Dr. Slaoui did not come on board as a gov­ern­ment employ­ee. Instead, he is on a con­tract, receiv­ing $1 for his ser­vice. That leaves him exempt from fed­er­al dis­clo­sure rules that would require him to list his out­side posi­tions, stock hold­ings and oth­er poten­tial con­flicts. And the con­tract posi­tion is not sub­ject to the same con­flict-of-inter­est laws and reg­u­la­tions that exec­u­tive branch employ­ees must fol­low. . . .”

2.–He will retain a great deal of Glaxo-Smithk­line stock: ” . . . . He did not say how much his GSK shares were worth. When he left the com­pa­ny in 2017, he held about [500,000 in West­ern Print Edi­tion] 240,000 shares and share equiv­a­lents, accord­ing to the drug company’s annu­al report and an analy­sis by the exec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion firm Equi­lar. . . .”

3.–Further analy­sis of Slaoui’s posi­tion deep­ens con­cern about the integri­ty of the process: ” . . . . ‘This is basi­cal­ly absurd,’ said Vir­ginia Can­ter, who is chief ethics coun­sel for Cit­i­zens for Respon­si­bil­i­ty and Ethics in Wash­ing­ton. ‘It allows for no pub­lic scruti­ny of his con­flicts of inter­est.’ Ms. Can­ter also said fed­er­al law barred gov­ern­ment con­trac­tors from super­vis­ing gov­ern­ment employ­ees. . . . Ms. Can­ter, a for­mer ethics lawyer in the Oba­ma and Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tions, the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion and oth­er agen­cies, point­ed out that GSK’s vac­cine can­di­date with Sanofi could wind up com­pet­ing with oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers vying for gov­ern­ment approval and sup­port. ‘If he retains stock in com­pa­nies that are invest­ing in the devel­op­ment of a vac­cine, and he’s involved in over­see­ing this process to select the safest vac­cine to com­bat Covid-19, regard­less of how won­der­ful a per­son he is, we can’t be con­fi­dent of the integri­ty of any process in which he is involved,’ Ms. Can­ter said. In addi­tion, his affil­i­a­tion with Medicxi could com­pli­cate mat­ters: Two of its investors are GSK and a divi­sion of John­son & John­son, which is also devel­op­ing a poten­tial vac­cine. . . .”

Mod­er­na stands to make bil­lions of dol­lars if their vac­cine goes to mar­ket:

1.–” . . . . What investors are bet­ting on, for Mod­er­na and oth­ers devel­op­ing vac­cines against the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus, is that a third of the devel­oped world’s pop­u­la­tion will get vac­ci­nat­ed every year. That could amount to a $10 bil­lion annu­al busi­ness, at an esti­mat­ed price of $30 per vac­ci­na­tion. . . .”

2.–” . . . . Mor­gan Stan­ley ana­lysts this past week­end sug­gest­ed that pric­ing might start at $5 to $10 a dose dur­ing this first pan­dem­ic cri­sis, then rise to a range of $13 to $30 for pre­ven­tive dos­es in future years. But at BMO Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, ana­lyst George Farmer spec­u­lat­ed that Mod­er­na could start charg­ing $125 per treat­ment in the U.S. mar­ket and raise that price over time to $200. . . . ”

We close the pro­gram with a reminder of the extent to which fed­er­al fund­ing dri­ves the val­ue of Mod­er­na: ” . . . . ‘Instead of wait­ing for the data and then scal­ing up with man­u­fac­tur­ing process … we can make as many dos­es as we can. We are doing both in par­al­lel,’ he said. The com­pa­ny plans to hire up to 150 peo­ple to sup­port the effort. Ban­cel said the com­pa­ny ‘couldn’t have done this’ with­out the fund­ing com­mit­ment from the Bio­med­ical Advanced Research and Devel­op­ment Author­i­ty, which is part of the Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices. . . .”


FTR #1130 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 6: The Magic Virus Theory, Part 3

In addi­tion to review­ing and high­light­ing cogent argu­ments that the SARS-Cov2 (Covid-19) virus may indeed have been made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry, the pro­gram exam­ines sig­nif­i­cant aspects of the hereto­fore puz­zling epi­demi­ol­o­gy of the virus. (We do NOT believe that the virus was syn­the­sized by Chi­na, as “Team Trump” is charg­ing.)

First, how­ev­er, the broad­cast sets forth infor­ma­tion about the quest for a Covid-19 vac­cine.

The make­up of Don­ald Trump’s “Oper­a­tion Warp Speed” pro­gram to devel­op a Covid-19 vac­cine in record time is alarm­ing. (No vac­cine has ever been devel­oped for human use in less than four years.)

“Oper­a­tion Warp Speed”:

1.–Is head­ed by Mon­cef Slaoui, for­mer­ly the chair­man of Mod­er­na’s prod­uct devel­op­ment com­mit­tee: ” . . . . Dr. Slaoui served on the board of Mod­er­na, a biotech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny that has an exper­i­men­tal coro­n­avirus vac­cine that just entered Phase 2 of clin­i­cal tri­als to deter­mine if it is effec­tive. As the chair­man of the Mod­er­na board’s prod­uct devel­op­ment com­mit­tee, Dr. Slaoui might have been privy to the ear­ly indi­ca­tions of tests of whether the company’s approach appeared promis­ing, now that it is being inject­ed into human sub­jects. . . .”

2.–Is seen by Slaoui as promis­ing by Slaoui, who may well be ref­er­enc­ing tests on Mod­er­na’s mRNA vac­cine: “. . . . Dr. Slaoui, now a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist, said that he had ‘recent­ly seen ear­ly data from a clin­i­cal tri­al with a coro­n­avirus vac­cine, and these data made me feel even more con­fi­dent that we will be able to deliv­er a few hun­dred mil­lion dos­es of vac­cine’ — enough to inoc­u­late much of the Unit­ed States — ‘by the end of 2020.’ . . . .”

3.–Will be assist­ed by a four-star gen­er­al: ” . . . . . . . . Mr. Slaoui will serve as the chief advis­er on the effort, and Gen. Gus­tave F. Per­na, a four-star gen­er­al who is in charge the Army Matériel Com­mand, will be the chief oper­at­ing offi­cer. . . .”

4.–Perna was recruit­ed by the Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs: ” . . . . Gen­er­al Per­na, who runs the Army’s com­plex sup­ply chain, said that he was asked by Gen. Mark A. Mil­ley, the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to help run the man­u­fac­tur­ing logis­tics relat­ed to the vac­cine devel­op­ment. . . .”

Note that Mon­cef Slaoui holds 10 mil­lion dol­lars worth of Mod­er­na stock, which has tripled in val­ue since the Covid-19 out­break began:” . . . . The for­mer phar­ma exec­u­tive tapped by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to lead the fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s hunt for a COVID-19 vac­cine has more than $10 mil­lion in stock options in one of the com­pa­nies receiv­ing fed­er­al fund­ing. . . . Described across four sep­a­rate fil­ings, Slaoui has 155,438 options in Mod­er­na. The stake is worth $10,366,000 at Mod­er­na’s cur­rent share price, $66.69 at the time of pub­li­ca­tion. Mod­er­na shares have almost tripled in val­ue dur­ing 2020. The $66.69 fig­ure rep­re­sents an increase of  184% from the $23.46 it was trad­ing for on Jan­u­ary 1. . . .” (The day the pro­gram was record­ed, Mod­er­na’s stock increased by 25% in val­ue, and Slaoui announced he would sell his stock.)

In past posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed the Moderna–one of the com­pa­nies select­ed to devel­op a Covid-19 vac­cine, has been sub­stan­tial­ly under­writ­ten by the Pen­ta­gon (DARPA). 

Key points of dis­cus­sion in that regard:

1.–Moderna is using nov­el vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy using the injec­tion of genet­ic mate­r­i­al to cre­ate anti­bod­ies. This tech­nol­o­gy has nev­er been used on human beings. “. . . . The sec­ond phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny that was select­ed by CEPI to devel­op a vac­cine for the new coro­n­avirus is Mod­er­na Inc., which will devel­op a vac­cine for the nov­el coro­n­avirus of con­cern in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the U.S. NIH and which will be fund­ed entire­ly by CEPI. The vac­cine in ques­tion, as opposed to Inovio’s DNA vac­cine, will be a mes­sen­ger RNA (mRNA) vac­cine. Though dif­fer­ent than a DNA vac­cine, mRNA vac­cines still use genet­ic mate­r­i­al ‘to direct the body’s cells to pro­duce intra­cel­lu­lar, mem­brane or secret­ed pro­teins.’ Moderna’s mRNA treat­ments, includ­ing its mRNA vac­cines, were large­ly devel­oped using a $25 mil­lion grant from DARPA and it often touts is strate­gic alliance with DARPA in press releas­es. . . .”

2.–The tech­nol­o­gy has alarm­ing pos­si­ble neg­a­tive side-effects. “. . . . Both DNA and mRNA vac­cines involve the intro­duc­tion of for­eign and engi­neered genet­ic mate­r­i­al into a person’s cells and past stud­ies have found that such vac­cines ‘pos­sess sig­nif­i­cant unpre­dictabil­i­ty and a num­ber of inher­ent harm­ful poten­tial haz­ards’ and that ‘there is inad­e­quate knowl­edge to define either the prob­a­bil­i­ty of unin­tend­ed events or the con­se­quences of genet­ic mod­i­fi­ca­tions.’ Nonethe­less, the cli­mate of fear sur­round­ing the coro­n­avirus out­break could be enough for the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor to devel­op and dis­trib­ute such con­tro­ver­sial treat­ments due to fear about the epi­dem­ic poten­tial of the cur­rent out­break. . . .”

3.–Looming large in the back­ground of the Mod­er­na vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy is DARPA fund­ing of “gene dri­ve” tech­nol­o­gy. “. . . . Con­cerns about Pen­ta­gon exper­i­ments with bio­log­i­cal weapons have gar­nered renewed media atten­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly after it was revealed in 2017 that DARPA was the top fun­der of the con­tro­ver­sial ‘gene dri­ve’ tech­nol­o­gy, which has the pow­er to per­ma­nent­ly alter the genet­ics of entire pop­u­la­tions while tar­get­ing oth­ers for extinc­tion. At least two of DARPA’s stud­ies using this con­tro­ver­sial tech­nol­o­gy were clas­si­fied and ‘focused on the poten­tial mil­i­tary appli­ca­tion of gene dri­ve tech­nol­o­gy and use of gene dri­ves in agri­cul­ture,’ accord­ing to media reports. . . . Co-direc­tor of the ETC Group Jim Thomas said that this tech­nol­o­gy may be used as a bio­log­i­cal weapon: ‘Gene dri­ves are a pow­er­ful and dan­ger­ous new tech­nol­o­gy and poten­tial bio­log­i­cal weapons could have dis­as­trous impacts on peace, food secu­ri­ty and the envi­ron­ment, espe­cial­ly if mis­used, The fact that gene dri­ve devel­op­ment is now being pri­mar­i­ly fund­ed and struc­tured by the US mil­i­tary rais­es alarm­ing ques­tions about this entire field.’ . . . . How­ev­er, the ther­a­pies being devel­oped by Inovio, Mod­er­na and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Queens­land are in align­ment with DARPA’s objec­tives regard­ing gene edit­ing and vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy. For instance, in 2015, DARPA geneti­cist Col. Daniel Wat­ten­dorf described how the agency was inves­ti­gat­ing a ‘new method of vac­cine pro­duc­tion [that] would involve giv­ing the body instruc­tions for mak­ing cer­tain anti­bod­ies. Because the body would be its own biore­ac­tor, the vac­cine could be pro­duced much faster than tra­di­tion­al meth­ods and the result would be a high­er lev­el of pro­tec­tion.’ . . . .”

As dis­cussed in FTR #1124–among oth­er programs–it is now pos­si­ble to cre­ate ANY virus from scratch, using “mail-order” or “design­er” genes. In FTR #282–recorded in May of 2001–we not­ed the ter­ri­ble sig­nif­i­cance of the devel­op­ment of such “Design­er Gene” tech­nol­o­gy.

A BBC sto­ry from 1999 high­lights the fears of experts that the advent of such tech­nol­o­gy could enable the devel­op­ment of eth­no-spe­cif­ic bio­log­i­cal weapons: ” . . . . Advances in genet­ic knowl­edge could be mis­used to devel­op pow­er­ful bio­log­i­cal weapons that could be tai­lored to strike at spe­cif­ic eth­nic groups, the British Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion has warned. A BMA report Biotech­nol­o­gy, Weapons and Human­i­ty says that con­cert­ed inter­na­tion­al action is nec­es­sary to block the devel­op­ment of new, bio­log­i­cal weapons.  . . . The BMA report warns that legit­i­mate research into micro­bi­o­log­i­cal agents and genet­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed ther­a­peu­tic agents could be dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from research geared towards devel­op­ing more effec­tive weapons. . . . Dr Vivi­enne Nathanson, BMA Head of Health Pol­i­cy Research said:  ‘The his­to­ry of human­i­ty is a his­to­ry of war. Sci­en­tif­ic advances quick­ly lead to devel­op­ments in weapons tech­nol­o­gy. . . .‘Biotech­nol­o­gy and genet­ic knowl­edge are equal­ly open to this type of malign use. . . .”

We high­light infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in FTR #1129, for pur­pos­es of empha­siz­ing the flim­sy nature of the argu­ment pre­sent­ed in a paper from Nature Med­i­cine.

Many sci­en­tif­ic and med­ical peo­ple dis­miss­ing the argu­ment that the Covid-19 coro­n­avirus may have been cre­at­ed in a lab­o­ra­to­ry may be act­ing out of the sin­cere desire to pre­clude a full-dress Cold War between the U.S. and Chi­na. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion has tire­less­ly flogged the “Chi­na did it and it came from a lab­o­ra­to­ry” meme. Many lib­er­als who dis­missed the obvi­ous fact that Pres­i­dent Kennedy was mur­dered by a cabal of pow­er­ful U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty inter­ests did so because of what Peter Dale Scott calls a “lev­el one cover-up”–alleged Sovi­et and/or Cas­tro Cuban manip­u­la­tion of Lee Har­vey Oswald, fab­ri­cat­ed by the exe­cu­tion­ers them­selves.

Two telling, thought­ful, sub­stan­tive cri­tiques of the Nature Med­i­cine arti­cle shed light on the flim­sy nature of its argu­ments.

It would not be unfair to char­ac­ter­ize the arti­cle as “The War­ren Report” of the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.

Genet­ic Engi­neer­ing

Like the Bible, it is open to seri­ous sci­en­tif­ic refu­ta­tion: ” . . . . To put it sim­ply, the authors are say­ing that SARS-CoV­‑2 was not delib­er­ate­ly engi­neered because if it were, it would have been designed dif­fer­ent­ly. How­ev­er, the Lon­don-based mol­e­c­u­lar geneti­cist Dr Michael Anto­niou com­ment­ed that this line of rea­son­ing fails to take into account that there are a num­ber of lab­o­ra­to­ry-based sys­tems that can select for high affin­i­ty RBD vari­ants that are able to take into account the com­plex envi­ron­ment of a liv­ing organ­ism. This com­plex envi­ron­ment may impact the effi­cien­cy with which the SARS-CoV spike pro­tein can find the ACE2 recep­tor and bind to it. An RBD select­ed via these more real­is­tic real-world exper­i­men­tal sys­tems would be just as ‘ide­al’, or even more so, for human ACE2 bind­ing than any RBD that a com­put­er mod­el could pre­dict. And cru­cial­ly, it would like­ly be dif­fer­ent in amino acid sequence. So the fact that SARS-CoV­‑2 doesn’t have the same RBD amino acid sequence as the one that the com­put­er pro­gram pre­dict­ed in no way rules out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that it was genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered. . . .”

Dr. Michael Anto­niou notes that dif­fer­ent genet­ic engi­neer­ing process­es than the one high­light­ed in the Nature Med­i­cine paper can be used: ”  . . . . There is anoth­er method by which an enhanced-infec­tiv­i­ty virus can be engi­neered in the lab. A well-known alter­na­tive process that could have been used has the cum­ber­some name of “direct­ed iter­a­tive evo­lu­tion­ary selec­tion process”. In this case, it would involve using genet­ic engi­neer­ing to gen­er­ate a large num­ber of ran­dom­ly mutat­ed ver­sions of the SARS-CoV spike pro­tein recep­tor bind­ing domain (RBD), which would then be select­ed for strong bind­ing to the ACE2 recep­tor and con­se­quent­ly high infec­tiv­i­ty of human cells. . . .”

The notion that the “Nature Med­i­cine” authors had not heard of the above process is not cred­i­ble: ” . . . . Such a direct­ed iter­a­tive evo­lu­tion­ary selec­tion process is a fre­quent­ly used method in lab­o­ra­to­ry research. So there is lit­tle or no pos­si­bil­i­ty that the Nature Med­i­cine arti­cle authors haven’t heard of it – not least, as it is con­sid­ered so sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly impor­tant that its inven­tors were award­ed the Nobel Prize in Chem­istry in 2018. . . .”

Of more than pass­ing sig­nif­i­cance is anoth­er arti­cle that finds seri­ous fault with the “Nature Med­i­cine” paper. ” . . . . Pro­fes­sor Stu­art New­man, pro­fes­sor of cell biol­o­gy and anato­my at New York Med­ical Col­lege, says that a key argu­ment used to deny that it could be a genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered strain that escaped from a lab­o­ra­to­ry actu­al­ly points to the exact oppo­site. In oth­er words, it indi­cates that SARS-CoV­‑2 could well be genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered and that it could have escaped from a lab. . . . As Adam Lau­r­ing, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of micro­bi­ol­o­gy, immunol­o­gy and infec­tious dis­eases at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan Med­ical School, has not­ed, Andersen’s paper argues that, ‘the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus has some key dif­fer­ences in spe­cif­ic genes rel­a­tive to pre­vi­ous­ly iden­ti­fied coro­n­avirus­es – the ones a lab­o­ra­to­ry would be work­ing with. This con­stel­la­tion of changes makes it unlike­ly that it is the result of a lab­o­ra­to­ry ‘escape’.‘But Pro­fes­sor New­man says that this is total­ly uncon­vinc­ing because ‘The ‘key dif­fer­ences’ were in regions of the coro­n­avirus spike pro­tein that were the sub­ject of genet­ic engi­neer­ing exper­i­ments in labs around the world (main­ly in the US and Chi­na) for two decades.’ . . .”

Pro­fes­sor New­man goes on to high­light oth­er, seri­ous flaws in the argu­ment: ” . . . In an email inter­view with GMWatch, New­man, who is edi­tor-in-chief of the jour­nal Bio­log­i­cal The­o­ry and co-author (with Tina Stevens) of the book Biotech Jug­ger­naut, ampli­fied this spec­u­la­tion by not­ing, ‘The Nature Med­i­cine paper points to vari­a­tions in two sites of the spike pro­tein of the new coro­n­avirus that the authors claim must have arisen by nat­ur­al selec­tion in the wild. How­ev­er, genet­ic engi­neer­ing of one of these sites, the ACE2 recep­tor bind­ing domain, has been pro­posed since 2005 in order to help gen­er­ate vac­cines against these virus­es (see this paper). It is puz­zling that the authors of the Nature Med­i­cine com­men­tary did not cite this paper, which appeared in the promi­nent jour­nal Sci­ence.’ More­over, New­man added, “The sec­ond site that Ander­sen et al. assert arose by nat­ur­al means, a tar­get of enzyme cleav­age not usu­al­ly found in this class of virus­es, was in fact intro­duced by genet­ic engi­neer­ing in a sim­i­lar coro­n­avirus in a paper they do cite. This was done to explore mech­a­nisms of path­o­genic­i­ty. . . . .”

Worth not­ing, again, is the British Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion’s warn­ing dis­cussed in FTR #1129, as well as above: ” . . . .The BMA report warns that legit­i­mate research into micro­bi­o­log­i­cal agents and genet­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed ther­a­peu­tic agents could be dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from research geared towards devel­op­ing more effec­tive weapons. . . .”

As the GMWatch authors con­clude: ” . . . . Such ‘enhanced infec­tiv­i­ty’ research is car­ried out on virus­es all over the world (and not just in Chi­na) to inves­ti­gate their behav­iour and to devel­op vac­cines and oth­er ther­a­pies, as well as for ‘biode­fence’ pur­pos­es. . . .”

Reports are now emerg­ing of pos­si­ble Covid-19 infec­tion among ath­letes who par­tic­i­pat­ed at the Mil­i­tary World Games in Wuhan in Octo­ber 19. 

We have spec­u­lat­ed at some length about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that infect­ing those very healthy, superbly-con­di­tioned indi­vid­u­als might have been an excel­lent vehi­cle for spread­ing the virus around the world. 

Fur­ther dis­cus­sion of this can be found in FTR #‘s 1118 and 1122. We note that Chi­na has spec­u­lat­ed about the Wuhan Mil­i­tary World Games being a vehi­cle for the U.S. to spread the infec­tion.

We have not­ed that lan­guage is, past a point, inad­e­quate to ana­lyze and dis­cuss some of the major con­sid­er­a­tions in the Covid-19 “op.” A bio-weapons would require a very small num­ber of agents in order to be effec­tive­ly dis­sem­i­nat­ed. In addi­tion, we note that–in the age of mind control–an oper­a­tive can be dis­pensed to per­form a func­tion with­out their knowl­edge.

In addi­tion to French ath­letes, con­tin­gents from Swe­den, Spain and Italy appear to have become infect­ed. The appar­ent infec­tion of the French ath­letes pre-dates the first con­firmed case in Chi­na by 20 days.

A fish mer­chant who worked near Charles De Gaulle Air­port test­ed pos­i­tive for the virus on Decem­ber 27.

The appar­ent­ly infect­ed ath­letes par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Mil­i­tary World Games fur­ther com­pli­cates the puz­zling epi­demi­ol­o­gy of the virus.

Doc­tors quot­ed in a New York Times piece under­score the anom­alous epi­demi­ol­o­gy of the virus: ” . . . . In San Jose, tis­sue sam­pling from a woman who died on Feb. 6 revealed that she was prob­a­bly the first known per­son in the U.S. whose death was linked to the coro­n­avirus — a strong sign that the virus may have been cir­cu­lat­ing in that part of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia in Jan­u­ary. But was it part of a large, pre­vi­ous­ly unrec­og­nized out­break? . . .

“. . . . Dr. George Ruther­ford, a pro­fes­sor of epi­demi­ol­o­gy and bio­sta­tis­tics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cis­co, the­o­rized that per­haps the woman, who worked for a com­pa­ny that had an office in Wuhan, was one of only a small num­ber of peo­ple who con­tract­ed the virus at that time and that trans­mis­sions prob­a­bly petered out for some rea­son. Oth­er­wise, he said, the region would have seen a much big­ger out­break. . . .

“. . . . Dr. [Trevor] Bed­ford said he also believed this was the more like­ly sce­nario, not­ing that up to half of peo­ple with coro­n­avirus infec­tions have no symp­toms. . . .

“. . . . There could have been a tiny num­ber of iso­lat­ed coro­n­avirus cas­es among trav­el­ers to the Unit­ed States in Decem­ber, Dr. Bed­ford said. But it is pret­ty clear that none of them spread.

“In part, sci­en­tists can tell that by look­ing at the genom­ic fin­ger­prints of each case. But anoth­er clue is the rapid rate at which the virus spreads, Dr. Ruther­ford said. . . . Researchers are not see­ing any chains that appear to go that far back. . . .”

Lead­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s rhetor­i­cal and polit­i­cal charge against Chi­na is Mike Pom­peo. Charg­ing that the virus “escaped” from a lab in Wuhan and equiv­o­cat­ing about whether that release was inten­tion­al, Koch broth­ers-pro­tege Pom­peo cit­ed alleged duplic­i­ty on behalf of Chi­na’s com­mu­nist par­ty in con­nec­tion with the virus. ” . . . . ‘I can tell you that there is a sig­nif­i­cant amount of evi­dence that this came from that lab­o­ra­to­ry in Wuhan,’ Pom­peo said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ Sun­day. ‘Do you think they inten­tion­al­ly released that virus, or it was an acci­dent in the lab?’ Co-Anchor Martha Rad­datz pressed. ‘I can’t answer your ques­tion about that,’ he said, ‘because the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty has refused to coop­er­ate with world health experts.’ . . .”

The Chi­nese med­ical and sci­en­tif­ic estab­lish­ment has worked close­ly with coun­ter­parts glob­al­ly in an attempt to ana­lyze and treat the virus.

The high­ly anom­alous epi­demi­ol­o­gy, the lack of symp­toms in half of infect­ed patients, the wide vari­ety of symp­toms the virus caus­es and, last­ly, the fact that this was a nov­el virus and result­ing infec­tion are all fac­tors to be con­sid­ered in eval­u­at­ing the time­li­ness of the Chi­nese response.

Pom­peo also asserts that the virus was not made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry.

Next, we high­light a mis­lead­ing sto­ry in Rupert Mur­doch’s “The Dai­ly Tele­graph” out of Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. The sto­ry alleges that the Five Eyes elec­tron­ic intel­li­gence net­work has cor­rob­o­rat­ed the “it came from a Chi­nese lab” meme.

Of more than pass­ing inter­est is the dis­clo­sure that the project on bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es con­duct­ed in the Wuhan lab­o­ra­to­ry was a joint U.S./Chinese project, and that Ralph Bar­ic was a key Amer­i­can part­ner in the project.

This is the under­tak­ing about which we have report­ed and dis­cussed exten­sive­ly in the past! ” . . . . One of Dr Shi’s co-authors on that paper, Pro­fes­sor Ralph Bar­ic from North Car­oli­na Uni­ver­si­ty, said in an inter­view with ‘Sci­ence Dai­ly’ at the time: ‘This virus is high­ly path­o­gen­ic and treat­ments devel­oped against the orig­i­nal SARS virus in 2002 and the ZMapp drugs used to fight ebo­la fail to neu­tralise and con­trol this par­tic­u­lar virus.’ . . . .”

Bar­ic was the selectee to recon­struct the SARS Cov2 virus from scratch. Note that the arti­cle below dis­cuss­es the U.S. sus­pen­sion of the “gain of func­tion” exper­i­ments and 2017 resump­tion of same, some­how spin­ning this into the “Chi­na did it” dis­in­for­ma­tion.

The mil­i­tary has links to the Wuhan lab in ques­tion: ” . . . . Fur­ther­more, DARPA and the Pentagon’s past his­to­ry with bioweapons and their more recent exper­i­ments on genet­ic alter­ation and extinc­tion tech­nolo­gies as well as bats and coro­n­avirus­es in prox­im­i­ty to Chi­na have been large­ly left out of the nar­ra­tive, despite the infor­ma­tion being pub­licly avail­able. Also left out of the media nar­ra­tive have been the direct ties of both the USAMRIID and DARPA-part­nered Duke Uni­ver­si­ty to the city of Wuhan, includ­ing its Insti­tute of Med­ical Virol­o­gy. . . .”

A “Guardian” arti­cle sources UK intel­li­gence assets claim­ing that the 15-page dossier didn’t come from a Five Eyes intel­li­gence assess­ment. They assert that it was based on open-source mate­ri­als and put for­ward by the US as “a tool for build­ing a counter-nar­ra­tive and apply­ing pres­sure to Chi­na.”

We con­clude with analy­sis of Trump’s deputy nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er.

Against the back­ground of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-Chi­na cam­paign rhetoric and attempts to pin the blame for Covid-19 on a “lab­o­ra­to­ry” leak and/or delib­er­ate release, we note that the offen­sive is being pushed by The Don­ald’s deputy nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er Matthew Pot­tinger.

“. . . . Matthew Pot­tinger, the deputy nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er who report­ed on SARS out­breaks as a jour­nal­ist in Chi­na, pressed intel­li­gence agen­cies in Jan­u­ary to gath­er infor­ma­tion that might sup­port any ori­gin the­o­ry linked to a lab. . . .”

Pot­tinger is the son of for­mer Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al J. Stan­ley Pot­tinger.

Pot­tinger, Senior was: Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al for Civ­il Rights under Nixon and Ford; report­ed by Don­ald Freed and Fred Lan­dis (in “Death in Wash­ing­ton”) to have foiled inves­ti­ga­tions into the assas­si­na­tions of Mar­tin Luther King and Orlan­do Lete­lier; the attor­ney for the Hashe­mi broth­ers in the Octo­ber Sur­prise inves­ti­ga­tion; a close per­son­al friend of George H.W. Bush (for whom CIA head­quar­ters was named) and, last but cer­tain­ly not least, Glo­ria Steinem’s lover for nine years.

Despite the fact that Steinem tout­ed her CIA back­ground as good jour­nal­is­tic cre­den­tials in both “The New York Times” and “The Wash­ing­ton Post” (both with long-stand­ing CIA links them­selves), Pot­tinger has defend­ed her against charges that she worked for the CIA!!

Worth not­ing, as well, is the fact that the Lete­lier assas­si­na­tion was one of the mur­ders con­duct­ed under Oper­a­tion Con­dor, assist­ed by the CIA. Lete­lier was killed by a car bomb in Wash­ing­ton D.C., while J.Stanley Pot­tinger’s good friend George H.W. Bush was in charge of the CIA when Lete­lier was hit.

(We have cov­ered Oper­a­tion Con­dor in numer­ous pro­grams, includ­ing AFA #19. One of the oper­a­tional cen­ters of Con­dor was the Chilean Nazi enclave Colo­nia Dig­nidad. In FTR #839, we set forth author Peter Lev­en­da’s brave, fright­en­ing vis­it to “The Colony.” This should be digest­ed by any­one inter­est­ed in the his­to­ry of which Pot­tinger, Sr., is a part.)

One won­ders if Matthew may have fol­lowed J. Stan­ley into the CIA, if in fact Dad­dio is Agency, as Mr. Emory sus­pects.

In FTR #s 998, 999, 1000, we set forth what Mr. Emory calls “weaponized fem­i­nism.” Refash­ion­ing the doc­trine of advanc­ing the cause of women into a legal and polit­i­cal weapon for destroy­ing tar­get­ed men, dom­i­nant man­i­fes­ta­tions of the #MeToo move­ment have served the cause of the far right.

Resembling–in its essence–the “libid­i­nal McCarthy­ism” of Arthur Miller’s play “The Cru­cible,”  many high-pro­file man­i­fes­ta­tions of #MeToo have been pro­pelled by evi­den­tiary mate­r­i­al that ranges from dubi­ous to ludi­crous to non-exis­tent.

We find it more than coin­ci­den­tal that Bernie Sanders sup­port­er Tara Read­e’s shape-shift­ing accu­sa­tions against Joe Biden have sur­faced decades after the alleged incident–coinciding with Biden’s chal­leng­ing of Trump and with Pot­tinger, Jr. help­ing to direct the admin­is­tra­tion’s traf­fic.


Moderna, The Military, Medicine and Money

In past posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed that Moderna–which has been select­ed to devel­op a Covid-19 vaccine–has been sub­stan­tial­ly under­writ­ten by the Pen­ta­gon (DARPA). The vac­cine they are devel­op­ing is a mRNA (mes­sen­ger RNA) vaccine–a type of vac­cine that has nev­er been admin­is­tered to human sub­jects and is seen as very risky: ” . . . . Both DNA and mRNA vac­cines involve the intro­duc­tion of for­eign and engi­neered genet­ic mate­r­i­al into a person’s cells and past stud­ies have found that such vac­cines ‘pos­sess sig­nif­i­cant unpre­dictabil­i­ty and a num­ber of inher­ent harm­ful poten­tial haz­ards’ and that ‘there is inad­e­quate knowl­edge to define either the prob­a­bil­i­ty of unin­tend­ed events or the con­se­quences of genet­ic mod­i­fi­ca­tions.’ . . .” The head of Trump’s “Oper­a­tion Warp Speed” coro­n­avirus vac­cine pro­gram is Mon­cef Slaoui, for­mer­ly in charge of Mod­er­na’s prod­uct devel­op­ment com­mit­tee. He says that he had ” . . . .‘recent­ly seen ear­ly data from a clin­i­cal tri­al with a coro­n­avirus vac­cine, and these data made me feel even more con­fi­dent that we will be able to deliv­er a few hun­dred mil­lion dos­es of vac­cine’ — enough to inoc­u­late much of the Unit­ed States — ‘by the end of 2020. . . .” This despite the fact that no vac­cine has been approved for human use in less than four years. Slaoui will be assist­ed by Gen­er­al Gus­tave F. Per­na, whose appoint­ment was facil­i­tat­ed by Gen­er­al Mark A. Mil­ley, Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs. Inter­est­ing­ly, Slaoui holds more than $10 mil­lion worth of Mod­er­na stock, which has increased 184% since the begin­ning of the year, due to ” . . . . more than $400 mil­lion from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to assist tri­als of a coro­n­avirus vac­cine. . . .”


Supplement #2 to “The Magic Virus Theory” Series

In FTR #1129, we fur­ther devel­oped argu­ments that the Covid-19 coro­n­avirus may well have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered (and NOT by Chi­na as is alleged by “Team Trump.”) In the first of two arti­cles from the jour­nal “GMWatch,” Dr. Michael Anto­niou notes that there are a num­ber of lab­o­ra­to­ry tech­niques effec­tive at pro­duc­ing a genome equal­ly func­tion­al from the stand­point of infec­tiv­i­ty to the com­put­er mod­el on which the “Nature Med­i­cine” authors rely: ” . . . . An RBD select­ed via these more real­is­tic real-world exper­i­men­tal sys­tems would be just as ‘ide­al’, or even more so, for human ACE2 bind­ing than any RBD that a com­put­er mod­el could pre­dict. And cru­cial­ly, it would like­ly be dif­fer­ent in amino acid sequence. So the fact that SARS-CoV­‑2 doesn’t have the same RBD amino acid sequence as the one that the com­put­er pro­gram pre­dict­ed in no way rules out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that it was genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered. . . .” Fur­ther­more, Dr. Anto­niou informs us that anoth­er tech­nique could pro­duce the desired results, using a process the devel­op­ment of which received the Nobel Prize for Chem­istry in 2018!: ”  . . . . There is anoth­er method by which an enhanced-infec­tiv­i­ty virus can be engi­neered in the lab. A well-known alter­na­tive process that could have been used has the cum­ber­some name of ‘direct­ed iter­a­tive evo­lu­tion­ary selec­tion process’. In this case, it would involve using genet­ic engi­neer­ing to gen­er­ate a large num­ber of ran­dom­ly mutat­ed ver­sions of the SARS-CoV spike pro­tein recep­tor bind­ing domain (RBD), which would then be select­ed for strong bind­ing to the ACE2 recep­tor and con­se­quent­ly high infec­tiv­i­ty of human cells. . . . Such a direct­ed iter­a­tive evo­lu­tion­ary selec­tion process is a fre­quent­ly used method in lab­o­ra­to­ry research. So there is lit­tle or no pos­si­bil­i­ty that the ‘Nature Med­i­cine’ arti­cle authors haven’t heard of it – not least, as it is con­sid­ered so sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly impor­tant that its inven­tors were award­ed the Nobel Prize in Chem­istry in 2018! . . .” In a sec­ond “GMWatch” arti­cle, Pro­fes­sors Stu­art New­man and Adam Lau­r­ing point out that: ” . . . . Andersen’s paper argues that, ‘the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus has some key dif­fer­ences in spe­cif­ic genes rel­a­tive to pre­vi­ous­ly iden­ti­fied coro­n­avirus­es – the ones a lab­o­ra­to­ry would be work­ing with. This con­stel­la­tion of changes makes it unlike­ly that it is the result of a lab­o­ra­to­ry escape’. But Pro­fes­sor New­man says that this is total­ly uncon­vinc­ing because ‘The ‘key dif­fer­ences’ were in regions of the coro­n­avirus spike pro­tein that were the sub­ject of genet­ic engi­neer­ing exper­i­ments in labs around the world (main­ly in the US and Chi­na) for two decades.’ . . .” In addi­tion, Pro­fes­sor New­man high­lights an arti­cle cit­ed by the “Nature Med­i­cine” authors that dis­proves their the­sis! ” . . . In an email inter­view with GMWatch, New­man, who is edi­tor-in-chief of the jour­nal ‘Bio­log­i­cal The­o­ry’ and co-author (with Tina Stevens) of the book ‘Biotech Jug­ger­naut,’ ampli­fied this spec­u­la­tion by not­ing, ‘The Nature Med­i­cine’ paper points to vari­a­tions in two sites of the spike pro­tein of the new coro­n­avirus that the authors claim must have arisen by nat­ur­al selec­tion in the wild. How­ev­er, genet­ic engi­neer­ing of one of these sites, the ACE2 recep­tor bind­ing domain, has been pro­posed since 2005 in order to help gen­er­ate vac­cines against these virus­es (see this paper). It is puz­zling that the authors of the ‘Nature Med­i­cine’ com­men­tary did not cite this paper, which appeared in the promi­nent jour­nal ‘Sci­ence.’ More­over, New­man added, ‘The sec­ond site that Ander­sen et al. assert arose by nat­ur­al means, a tar­get of enzyme cleav­age not usu­al­ly found in this class of virus­es, was in fact intro­duced by genet­ic engi­neer­ing in a sim­i­lar coro­n­avirus in a paper they DO cite. This was done to explore mech­a­nisms of path­o­genic­i­ty. . . .”


FTR #1129 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 5: The Magic Virus Theory, Part 2

Updat­ing our ongo­ing series of pro­grams con­cern­ing the Covid-19 out­break, we begin with sev­er­al arti­cles ana­lyz­ing the polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and psy­cho-social ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the phe­nom­e­non. 

We have termed the Covid-19 out­break and its mul­ti-dimen­sion­al man­i­fes­ta­tions, a “bio-psy-op.” Ampli­fy­ing what is meant by that term:

1.–An aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­duced by a Fed­er­al Reserve econ­o­mist posits the socio-polit­i­cal effects of the 1918 flu pan­dem­ic as a fac­tor con­tribut­ing to the rise of Nazism in Ger­many. Cit­ed by numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions, includ­ing The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Politi­co, the study under­scores some of our asser­tions con­cern­ing the fas­cist and extreme right-wing ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the pan­dem­ic. ” . . . . The paper, pub­lished this month and authored by New York Fed econ­o­mist Kris­t­ian Blick­le, exam­ined munic­i­pal spend­ing lev­els and vot­er extrem­ism in Ger­many from the time of the ini­tial influen­za out­break until 1933, and shows that ‘areas which expe­ri­enced a greater rel­a­tive pop­u­la­tion decline’ due to the pan­dem­ic spent ‘less, per capi­ta, on their inhab­i­tants in the fol­low­ing decade.’. . . The paper’s find­ings are like­ly due to ‘changes in soci­etal pref­er­ences’ fol­low­ing the 1918 out­break, Blick­le argues — sug­gest­ing the influen­za pan­dem­ic . . . . may have ‘spurred resent­ment of for­eign­ers among the sur­vivors’ and dri­ven vot­ers to par­ties ‘whose plat­form matched such sen­ti­ments.’ The con­clu­sions come amid fears that the cur­rent coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic will shake up inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics and spur extrem­ism around the world, as offi­cials and pub­lic health experts look to pre­vi­ous out­breaks for guid­ance on how to nav­i­gate the months and years to come. . . .”

2.–The social dis­lo­ca­tion caused by the Great Depres­sion also drove Ger­man and world polit­i­cal sen­ti­ment to the right, pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al momen­tum to glob­al forces of fas­cism. Cur­rent U.S. eco­nom­ic data bring that to mind. “U.S. Unem­ploy­ment Is Worst Since Depres­sion;” by Nel­son D. Schwartz and Ben Cas­sel­man; The New York Times; 5/9/2020; pp. A1-A13 [West­ern Edi­tion.]

3.–UN Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Anto­nio Guter­res warns that the pan­dem­ic has strength­ened eth­no-nation­al­ism, pop­ulism, big­otry and author­i­tar­i­an rule. Reac­tionary sen­ti­ment dri­ven by the pan­dem­ic has also spurred eugenic ratio­nale glob­al­ly. ” . . . . UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Anto­nio Guter­res said Fri­day the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic keeps unleash­ing ‘a tsuna­mi of hate and xeno­pho­bia, scape­goat­ing and scare-mon­ger­ing’ and appealed for ‘an all-out effort to end hate speech glob­al­ly.’ Guter­res said ‘anti-for­eign­er sen­ti­ment has surged online and in the streets, anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries have spread, and COVID-19-relat­ed anti-Mus­lim attacks have occurred.’ The UN chief said migrants and refugees ‘have been vil­i­fied as a source of the virus – and then denied access to med­ical treat­ment.’ . . . ‘With old­er per­sons among the most vul­ner­a­ble, con­temptible memes have emerged sug­gest­ing they are also the most expend­able,’ he said. ‘And jour­nal­ists, whistle­blow­ers, health pro­fes­sion­als, aid work­ers and human rights defend­ers are being tar­get­ed sim­ply for doing their jobs.’ . . . .”

4.–An arti­cle in The Guardian–citing a source with­in the Trump administration–compared the Covid-19 polit­i­cal land­scape in the U.S. with late Weimar Ger­many: ” . . . . Wel­come to the US in the age of coro­n­avirus. Faces and fists pound­ed the win­dows of Ohio’s capi­tol like a zom­bie apoc­a­lypse. In Michi­gan, an armed crowd stormed the state house. Then, his­to­ry repeat­ed itself. . . . A Trump admin­is­tra­tion insid­er con­veyed that it was all a ‘bit’ rem­i­nis­cent of the ‘late’ Weimar Repub­lic. We know how that end­ed. . . .Society’s guardrails crashed, the volk demand­ed its pound of flesh and democ­ra­cy made the fright­en­ing­ly unimag­in­able pos­si­ble. Hell became part of the here and now. . . .”

5.–Critical obser­va­tions by Wolf­gang Schauble–the German/EU “Aus­ter­i­ty Czar” who wrought so much suf­fer­ing fol­low­ing the 2008 eco­nom­ic collapse–has clear­ly enun­ci­at­ed the func­tion­al and philo­soph­i­cal essence of “cor­po­ratist” and eugenic doc­trine. After the onset of the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, he has redou­bled his “Teu­ton­ic bru­tal­i­ty” and his views have been embraced by the Ger­man estab­lish­ment: ” . . . . Schäuble’s tac­tics [dur­ing the finan­cial cri­sis] seemed to scare Europe with ‘trau­mat­ic effects’ and gave it a les­son in Ger­man eco­nom­ic ethics: Teu­ton­ic bru­tal­i­ty and at all costs. ‘Ter­ri­fy­ing,’ was the assess­ment the US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary made fol­low­ing his con­ver­sa­tion with Schäu­ble. Paris and Madrid were also appre­hen­sive; Athens called Schäu­ble an ‘arson­ist,’ on a ram­page through Europe. . . . Schäu­ble has elab­o­rat­ed in 2020 on what he had already made clear in 2012, dur­ing the inter­na­tion­al finan­cial cri­sis: ‘If I hear that every­thing else must take a back seat to the preser­va­tion of life, I must say that this, in such unequiv­o­cal­ness, is not right.’ Pro­tec­tion of human life does not have an ‘absolute pri­or­i­ty in our Basic Law.’ . . . Schäuble’s state­ments are exem­plary and are of ‘nation­al sig­nif­i­cance’ declared the Ger­man Ethics Coun­cil. . . .In fact, the gov­ern­men­t’s oblig­a­tion to the con­sti­tu­tion’s high­est val­ue — the pro­tec­tion of life — must be rel­a­tivized, just as Schäu­ble is doing, con­firm the major­i­ty of Ger­many’s gov­ern­ment lead­ers. . . .  a fel­low Green munic­i­pal politi­cian speaks in plain oper­a­tional terms; ‘Let me tell you quite blunt­ly: We may be sav­ing peo­ple in Ger­many, who, because of their age or seri­ous pre­vi­ous med­ical con­di­tions, may, be dead any­way in a half a year.’ . . . .”

In FTR #1128, we hypoth­e­sized about the pos­si­ble role in the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic of a post-Apartheid, under­ground fas­cist milieu with links to ele­ments of CIA and vet­er­ans of Project Coast. Those who reject such an hypoth­e­sis would do well to con­sid­er the mus­ings of an FBI infor­mant knowl­edge­able about “Die Organ­isas­ie.” That such a milieu might be will­ing to tar­get the U.S. seems prob­a­ble: ” . . . . South African trade attaché Gideon Bouw­er raved about the abil­i­ty to keep whites in pow­er through bio­log­i­cal war­fare, and he hint­ed at being part of a sep­a­rate agenda—some sort of extragov­ern­men­tal con­spir­a­cy, like the one described in the Air Force report, that had plans to unleash bio­log­i­cal agents world­wide on South Africa’s ene­mies if the need should ever arise. ‘Just be ready,’ Fitz­patrick remem­bers Bouw­er warn­ing him cryp­ti­cal­ly, then ask­ing, ‘How fast could get your daugh­ter out of the coun­try if you had to?’ . . .”

The bulk of the dis­cus­sion elab­o­rates on dis­cus­sion of the virus orig­i­nat­ing in a laboratory–in the U.S., NOT Chi­na.

As dis­cussed in FTR #1124–among oth­er programs–it is now pos­si­ble to cre­ate ANY virus from scratch, using “mail-order” or “design­er” genes. Sad­ly pre­dictable jour­nal­is­tic bro­mides that the Covid-19 coro­n­avirus could not have been/was not made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry fly in the face of bio-tech­nol­o­gy that has exist­ed for 20 years. A BBC sto­ry from 1999 high­lights the fears of experts that the advent of such tech­nol­o­gy could enable the devel­op­ment of eth­no-spe­cif­ic bio­log­i­cal weapons: ” . . . . Advances in genet­ic knowl­edge could be mis­used to devel­op pow­er­ful bio­log­i­cal weapons that could be tai­lored to strike at spe­cif­ic eth­nic groups, the British Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion has warned. A BMA report Biotech­nol­o­gy, Weapons and Human­i­ty says that con­cert­ed inter­na­tion­al action is nec­es­sary to block the devel­op­ment of new, bio­log­i­cal weapons. It warns the win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty to do so is very nar­row as tech­nol­o­gy is devel­op­ing rapid­ly and becom­ing ever more acces­si­ble. ‘. . . The BMA report warns that legit­i­mate research into micro­bi­o­log­i­cal agents and genet­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed ther­a­peu­tic agents could be dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from research geared towards devel­op­ing more effec­tive weapons. . . . Dr Vivi­enne Nathanson, BMA Head of Health Pol­i­cy Research said:  ‘The his­to­ry of human­i­ty is a his­to­ry of war. Sci­en­tif­ic advances quick­ly lead to devel­op­ments in weapons tech­nol­o­gy. . . .‘Biotech­nol­o­gy and genet­ic knowl­edge are equal­ly open to this type of malign use. . . . ”

Of para­mount impor­tance is the fact that the state­ments being issued that the virus was not made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry is not just irrel­e­vant, but absurd. ANY virus can be made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry, from scratch as is being done for the SARS-CoV­‑2 (Covid-19) virus. The bro­mides being issued–all too predictably–that the virus could not have been/wasn’t made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry are the viro­log­i­cal equiv­a­lent of the Mag­ic Bul­let The­o­ry.

In that con­text, we review the fact that Ralph Baric–who did the gain-of-func­tion mod­i­fi­ca­tion on the Horse­shoe Bat coronavirus–has been select­ed to engi­neer the Covid-19. ” . . . . Researchers are try­ing to cre­ate a copy of the virus. From scratch. Led by Ralph Bar­ic, an expert in coronaviruses—which get their name from the crown-shaped spike they use to enter human cells—the North Car­oli­na team expects to recre­ate the virus start­ing only from com­put­er read­outs of its genet­ic sequence post­ed online by Chi­nese labs last month. . . .”

Note what might be termed a “viro­log­ic Juras­sic Park” man­i­fes­ta­tion: ” . . . . The tech­nol­o­gy imme­di­ate­ly cre­at­ed bio-weapon wor­ries. . . . Researchers at the US Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) drove that point home in 2005 when they res­ur­rect­ed the influen­za virus that killed tens of mil­lions in 1918–1919. . . .”

We note in pass­ing the VERY unusu­al aspects of Covid-19. ” . . . . ‘I’ve been study­ing virus­es since 1978,’ Dr. James Hil­dreth, Mehar­ry Med­ical Col­lege CEO and an infec­tious dis­ease expert based out of Nashville, told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move this week (video above). ‘And I think it’s fair to say we’ve not encoun­tered a virus quite like this, just because of the broad range of tis­sue types in our body it infects.’ . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of two arti­cles refut­ing the “War­ren Report” of Covid-19 genesis–a Nature Med­i­cine arti­cle that is accept­ed as Gospel.

Like the Bible, it is open to seri­ous sci­en­tif­ic refu­ta­tion: ” . . . . To put it sim­ply, the authors are say­ing that SARS-CoV­‑2 was not delib­er­ate­ly engi­neered because if it were, it would have been designed dif­fer­ent­ly. How­ev­er, the Lon­don-based mol­e­c­u­lar geneti­cist Dr Michael Anto­niou com­ment­ed that this line of rea­son­ing fails to take into account that there are a num­ber of lab­o­ra­to­ry-based sys­tems that can select for high affin­i­ty RBD vari­ants that are able to take into account the com­plex envi­ron­ment of a liv­ing organ­ism. This com­plex envi­ron­ment may impact the effi­cien­cy with which the SARS-CoV spike pro­tein can find the ACE2 recep­tor and bind to it. An RBD select­ed via these more real­is­tic real-world exper­i­men­tal sys­tems would be just as ‘ide­al’, or even more so, for human ACE2 bind­ing than any RBD that a com­put­er mod­el could pre­dict. And cru­cial­ly, it would like­ly be dif­fer­ent in amino acid sequence. So the fact that SARS-CoV­‑2 doesn’t have the same RBD amino acid sequence as the one that the com­put­er pro­gram pre­dict­ed in no way rules out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that it was genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered. . . .”

Dr. Michael Anto­niou notes that dif­fer­ent genet­ic engi­neer­ing process­es than the one high­light­ed in the Nature Med­i­cine paper can be used: ”  . . . . There is anoth­er method by which an enhanced-infec­tiv­i­ty virus can be engi­neered in the lab. A well-known alter­na­tive process that could have been used has the cum­ber­some name of “direct­ed iter­a­tive evo­lu­tion­ary selec­tion process”. In this case, it would involve using genet­ic engi­neer­ing to gen­er­ate a large num­ber of ran­dom­ly mutat­ed ver­sions of the SARS-CoV spike pro­tein recep­tor bind­ing domain (RBD), which would then be select­ed for strong bind­ing to the ACE2 recep­tor and con­se­quent­ly high infec­tiv­i­ty of human cells. . . .”

The notion that the Nature Med­i­cine authors had not heard of the above process is not cred­i­ble: ” . . . . Such a direct­ed iter­a­tive evo­lu­tion­ary selec­tion process is a fre­quent­ly used method in lab­o­ra­to­ry research. So there is lit­tle or no pos­si­bil­i­ty that the Nature Med­i­cine arti­cle authors haven’t heard of it – not least, as it is con­sid­ered so sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly impor­tant that its inven­tors were award­ed the Nobel Prize in Chem­istry in 2018. . . .”

Of more than pass­ing sig­nif­i­cance is anoth­er arti­cle that finds seri­ous fault with the Nature Med­i­cine paper. ” . . . . Pro­fes­sor Stu­art New­man, pro­fes­sor of cell biol­o­gy and anato­my at New York Med­ical Col­lege, says that a key argu­ment used to deny that it could be a genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered strain that escaped from a lab­o­ra­to­ry actu­al­ly points to the exact oppo­site. In oth­er words, it indi­cates that SARS-CoV­‑2 could well be genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered and that it could have escaped from a lab. . . . As Adam Lau­r­ing, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of micro­bi­ol­o­gy, immunol­o­gy and infec­tious dis­eases at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan Med­ical School, has not­ed, Andersen’s paper argues that, ‘the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus has some key dif­fer­ences in spe­cif­ic genes rel­a­tive to pre­vi­ous­ly iden­ti­fied coro­n­avirus­es – the ones a lab­o­ra­to­ry would be work­ing with. This con­stel­la­tion of changes makes it unlike­ly that it is the result of a lab­o­ra­to­ry ‘escape’.‘But Pro­fes­sor New­man says that this is total­ly uncon­vinc­ing because ‘The ‘key dif­fer­ences’ were in regions of the coro­n­avirus spike pro­tein that were the sub­ject of genet­ic engi­neer­ing exper­i­ments in labs around the world (main­ly in the US and Chi­na) for two decades.’ . . .”

Pro­fes­sor New­man goes on to high­light oth­er, seri­ous flaws in the argu­ment: ” . . . In an email inter­view with GMWatch, New­man, who is edi­tor-in-chief of the jour­nal Bio­log­i­cal The­o­ry and co-author (with Tina Stevens) of the book Biotech Jug­ger­naut, ampli­fied this spec­u­la­tion by not­ing, ‘The Nature Med­i­cine paper points to vari­a­tions in two sites of the spike pro­tein of the new coro­n­avirus that the authors claim must have arisen by nat­ur­al selec­tion in the wild. How­ev­er, genet­ic engi­neer­ing of one of these sites, the ACE2 recep­tor bind­ing domain, has been pro­posed since 2005 in order to help gen­er­ate vac­cines against these virus­es (see this paper). It is puz­zling that the authors of the Nature Med­i­cine com­men­tary did not cite this paper, which appeared in the promi­nent jour­nal Sci­ence.’ More­over, New­man added, “The sec­ond site that Ander­sen et al. assert arose by nat­ur­al means, a tar­get of enzyme cleav­age not usu­al­ly found in this class of virus­es, was in fact intro­duced by genet­ic engi­neer­ing in a sim­i­lar coro­n­avirus in a paper they do cite. This was done to explore mech­a­nisms of path­o­genic­i­ty. . . . .”

Worth not­ing, again, is the British Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion’s warn­ing dis­cussed above: ” . . . .The BMA report warns that legit­i­mate research into micro­bi­o­log­i­cal agents and genet­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed ther­a­peu­tic agents could be dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from research geared towards devel­op­ing more effec­tive weapons. . . .”

As the GMWatch authors con­clude: ” . . . . Such ‘enhanced infec­tiv­i­ty’ research is car­ried out on virus­es all over the world (and not just in Chi­na) to inves­ti­gate their behav­iour and to devel­op vac­cines and oth­er ther­a­pies, as well as for ‘biode­fence’ pur­pos­es. . . .”


French Athletes Competing at the Military World Games May Well Have Been Infected

In FTR #‘s 1118 and 1122, we spec­u­lat­ed at some length about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that infect­ing the very healthy, superbly-con­di­tioned indi­vid­u­als par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Mil­i­tary World Games in Chi­na might have been an excel­lent vehi­cle for spread­ing the virus around the world. Reports are now emerg­ing of pos­si­ble Covid-19 infec­tion among ath­letes who par­tic­i­pat­ed at the games.


Pottinger Agonistes: Covid-19 Disinformation Meets Weaponized Feminism

“A lib­er­al’s idea of courage is eat­ing at a restau­rant that has­n’t been reviewed yet.”–Mort Sahl. In FTR #‘s 998, 999 and 1000, we set forth what Mr. Emory calls “weaponized fem­i­nism.” Refash­ion­ing the doc­trine of advanc­ing the cause of women into a legal and polit­i­cal weapon for destroy­ing tar­get­ed men, dom­i­nant man­i­fes­ta­tions of the #MeToo move­ment have served the cause of the far right. In Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M4, we set forth Glo­ria Steinem’s work for the CIA and her nine years’ rela­tion­ship with J. Stan­ley Pot­tinger. In addi­tion to Steinem’s lover, Pot­tinger was: Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al for Civ­il Rights under Nixon and Ford; report­ed by Don­ald Freed and Fred Lan­dis (in “Death in Wash­ing­ton”) to have foiled inves­ti­ga­tions into the assas­si­na­tions of Mar­tin Luther King and Orlan­do Lete­lier; the attor­ney for the Hashe­mi broth­ers in the Octo­ber Sur­prise inves­ti­ga­tion and a close per­son­al friend of George H.W. Bush (for whom CIA head­quar­ters was named). Despite the fact that Steinem tout­ed her CIA back­ground as good jour­nal­is­tic cre­den­tials in both “The New York Times” and “The Wash­ing­ton Post” (both with long-stand­ing CIA links them­selves), Pot­tinger has defend­ed her against charges that she worked for the CIA!! J. Stan­ley Pot­tinger’s son Matthew is Trump’s Deputy Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor and a point-man for the “Chi­na-did-it” Covid-19 meme. One won­ders if Matthew may have fol­lowed J. Stan­ley into the CIA, if in fact Dad­dio is Agency, as Mr. Emory sus­pects. We find it more than coin­ci­den­tal that Tara Read­e’s shape-shift­ing accu­sa­tions against Joe Biden have sur­faced decades after the alleged incident–coinciding with Biden’s chal­leng­ing of Trump and with Pot­tinger, Jr. help­ing to direct the admin­is­tra­tion’s traf­fic. Bernie Sanders sup­port­er Tara Read­e’s charge brings to mind George H.W. Bush cam­paign man­ag­er Lee Atwa­ter’s gam­bit of using Don­na Rice to destroy the Pres­i­den­tial can­di­da­cy of for­mer Sen­a­tor Gary Hart.


Preview of “Walkin’ the Coronavirus”

In Ser­pen­t’s Walk–which we have dis­cussed for decades–the SS go under­ground (which they did), buy into the opin­ion-form­ing media (which they did) and, infil­trate the mil­i­tary (which they have done), and, after a ter­ror­ist attack by genet­i­cal­ly-engi­neered virus­es dec­i­mates large parts of the Unit­ed States, mar­tial law is declared and the Nazis take over. NB: we do not know if “cross-vec­tor­ing” is occur­ring with the Covid-19 virus, how­ev­er that is some­thing to be con­tem­plat­ed and researched. From “Ser­pen­t’s Walk: ” . . . . ‘Pacov con­sists of two sep­a­rate re-work­ings of two DNA chains of exist­ing virus­es. It’s a pig­gy-back weapon, a two-stage oper­a­tion. You send in the first stage. The vec­tors . . . agents of trans­mis­sion . . . for Pacov‑1 are exten­sive. It trav­els through the air, the water, or direct­ly from per­son-to-per­son and is high­ly con­ta­gious. It spreads for hun­dreds of miles, if con­di­tions are opti­mal.  Pacov‑1 pro­duces only a mild, flu-like infec­tion that dis­ap­pears with­in a day or two. Pub­lic health author­i­ties would over­look it, nev­er con­sid­er it a seri­ous epi­dem­ic, and even if they did they’d have to look care­ful­ly to iso­late it. Once a vic­tim is over the ‘flu,’ Pacov‑1 becomes dor­mant and almost unde­tectable. A month or two lat­er, you send in the sec­ond stage: Pacov‑2 is also a virus, just as con­ta­gious as the first, and just as harm­less by itself. It reacts with Pacov‑1 to pro­duce a pow­er­ful coag­u­lant. . . . you die with­in three min­utes. No warn­ing, no vac­cine, no cure. Those not exposed to both stages remain unharmed. . . . Pacov‑2 goes inert, like Pacov‑1 with­in a week or two. Then you get your victim’s coun­try, all his prop­er­ty, in undam­aged con­di­tion. . . . and a lot of corpses to bury.’ . . . .” We note that, although a “coag­u­lant” is not caus­ing the phe­nom­e­non, blood clots are indeed one of the many symp­toms of the Covid-19: ” . . . . Doc­tors in hot spots across the globe have begun to report an unex­pect­ed preva­lence of blood clot­ting among COVID cas­es, in what could pose a per­fect storm of poten­tial­ly fatal risk fac­tors. . . . It’s grow­ing so com­mon with severe COVID cas­es, doc­tors are rec­og­niz­ing it as a new pat­tern of clot­ting called COVID-19-asso­ci­at­ed coag­u­lopa­thy, or CAC, which is notably asso­ci­at­ed with high inflam­ma­to­ry mark­ers in the blood, like D‑dimer and fib­rino­gen. . . . ‘In the begin­ning of the out­break, we start­ed only giv­ing them med­i­cine to pre­vent clots. We saw that it was­n’t enough,’ Dr. Cristi­na Abad, an anes­the­si­ol­o­gist at Hos­pi­tal Clínicos San Car­los in Madrid, told ABC News. ‘They start­ed hav­ing pul­monary embolisms, so we start­ed [full] anti­co­ag­u­la­tion on every­one.’ . . .”


Provocation: Covid-19 as a False Flag “Bio-Reichstag Fire” (Updated on 4/22/2020)

In FTR #1126, we exam­ined the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and GOP’s exploita­tion of the Covid-19 out­break as a cam­paign tac­tic and right-wing hints that the virus escaped from a Chi­nese bio­log­i­cal war­fare lab­o­ra­to­ry. Now, Ger­many, France and Britain are join­ing with the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and the GOP in hint­ing that the coro­n­avirus escaped from a Chi­nese bio­log­i­cal war­fare lab­o­ra­to­ry. As a “Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy” arti­cle notes, the tone of Amer­i­can, British, French and Ger­man rhetoric con­cern­ing Covid-19 is rem­i­nis­cent of the delib­er­ate dis­in­for­ma­tion that led to the inva­sion of Iraq in 2002. A) ” . . . . Last week­end, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump warned the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic that it should face con­se­quences if it was ‘know­ing­ly respon­si­ble’ for the spread of the pan­dem­ic. Wash­ing­ton is simul­ta­ne­ous­ly spread­ing delib­er­ate rumors that the virus could have orig­i­nat­ed in a Chi­nese lab­o­ra­to­ry. Where­as, sci­en­tists vehe­ment­ly refute the alle­ga­tions, Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Heiko Maas declared, he ‘does not want to exclude’ that the WHO will have to deal with these issues. On Mon­day, Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel called on Bei­jing to show ‘trans­paren­cy’ on the issue. . . .”; B) ” . . . . At the same time delib­er­ate rumors are being spread in the Unit­ed States that the Covid-19 virus could have orig­i­nat­ed in a Chi­nese lab­o­ra­to­ry — pos­si­bly in bioweapons lab. The US gov­ern­ment indi­cat­ed that it does not rule out this pos­si­bil­i­ty; US intel­li­gence ser­vices are cur­rent­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the issue. Par­tic­u­lar­ly giv­en the lie about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruc­tion, such an alle­ga­tion must be per­ceived as a threat to lend legit­i­ma­cy to new aggres­sions. . . .”; C) ” . . . . Already last week, Ger­man media organs have increas­ing­ly been call­ing Chi­na the ‘cul­prit’ behind the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic out­break. Under the head­line ‘what Chi­na already owes us,’ Ger­many’s Springer press even called for ‘repa­ra­tions.’ (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5]) Lead­ing British and French politi­cians have expressed sim­i­lar views. British For­eign Min­is­ter Dominic Raab has repeat­ed­ly declared that Chi­na will be held respon­si­ble for the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic. French Pres­i­dent Emmanuel Macron has now joined the cam­paign. Regard­ing the pan­demic’s alleged ori­gin, he declared, ‘there are clear­ly things that have hap­pened’ in Chi­na ‘that we don’t know about.’[6] It is not clear how Macron can know some­thing exists that he does not know about. It is how­ev­er clear that he seeks to impli­cate Bei­jing. . . .” In fact–as we have seen, the DARPA has been doing exten­sive research into bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es. In addi­tion, Fort Det­rick was shut down in ear­ly August of 2019 for safe­ty vio­la­tions.


Supplement to The Magic Virus Theory

As dis­cussed in FTR #1124–among oth­er programs–it is now pos­si­ble to cre­ate ANY virus from scratch, using “mail-order” or “design­er” genes. Sad­ly pre­dictable jour­nal­is­tic bro­mides that the Covid-19 coro­n­avirus could not have been/was not made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry fly in the face of bio-tech­nol­o­gy that has exist­ed for 20 years. In FTR #282–recorded in May of 2001–we not­ed the ter­ri­ble sig­nif­i­cance of the devel­op­ment of such “Design­er Gene” tech­nol­o­gy. A BBC sto­ry from 1999 high­lights the fears of experts that the advent of such tech­nol­o­gy could enable the devel­op­ment of eth­no-spe­cif­ic bio­log­i­cal weapons: ” . . . . Advances in genet­ic knowl­edge could be mis­used to devel­op pow­er­ful bio­log­i­cal weapons that could be tai­lored to strike at spe­cif­ic eth­nic groups, the British Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion has warned. A BMA report Biotech­nol­o­gy, Weapons and Human­i­ty says that con­cert­ed inter­na­tion­al action is nec­es­sary to block the devel­op­ment of new, bio­log­i­cal weapons. It warns the win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty to do so is very nar­row as tech­nol­o­gy is devel­op­ing rapid­ly and becom­ing ever more acces­si­ble. ‘Recipes’ for devel­op­ing bio­log­i­cal agents are freely avail­able on the Inter­net, the report warns. . . . The BMA report warns that legit­i­mate research into micro­bi­o­log­i­cal agents and genet­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed ther­a­peu­tic agents could be dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from research geared towards devel­op­ing more effec­tive weapons. . . . Dr Vivi­enne Nathanson, BMA Head of Health Pol­i­cy Research said: . . . ‘Biotech­nol­o­gy and genet­ic knowl­edge are equal­ly open to this type of malign use. Doc­tors and oth­er sci­en­tists have an impor­tant role in pre­ven­tion. They have a duty to per­suade politi­cians and inter­na­tion­al agen­cies such as the UN to take this threat seri­ous­ly and to take action to pre­vent the pro­duc­tion of such weapons.’ . . . ”