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FTR #1170 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 25: The Oswald Institute of Virology

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FTR #1170 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: Revis­it­ing Peter Daszak, cen­tral­ly involved in the gain-of-func­tion research that appears to have spawned the SARS CoV2 virus and Covid-19, we note that Daszak has deflect­ed inquiries into his work by call­ing crit­ics “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists.”  ” . . . The ‘media-indus­tri­al com­plex’ includes peo­ple in pow­er who vehe­ment­ly, if irra­tional­ly, deny a con­spir­a­to­r­i­al ver­sion of his­to­ry, auto­mat­i­cal­ly mock­ing any­one who sub­scribes to it as a ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist,’ code words for ‘dan­ger­ous­ly deranged fool.’ Utter­ing the phrase ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist’ is used as a con­ve­nient way of shut­ting down con­ver­sa­tion on a sub­ject. . . .”

We begin by return­ing to the sub­ject of syn­the­siz­ing virus­es in a lab­o­ra­to­ry. A study released by US Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences at the request of the Depart­ment of Defense about the threats of syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy con­clud­ed that the tech­niques to tweak and weaponize virus­es from known cat­a­logs of viral sequences is very fea­si­ble and rel­a­tive­ly easy to do.

In FTR #‘s 1157, 1158 and 1159, we high­light­ed very dis­turb­ing con­nec­tions between Peter Daszak and his Eco­Health Alliance and the Pen­ta­gon and USAID, a State Depart­ment sub­sidiary that serves as a fre­quent cov­er for CIA.

The Eco­Health Alliance–financed by USAID–partnered with the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy and Dr. Ralph Bar­ic of the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Chapel Hill to research bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es. A “chimeric” virus was cre­at­ed by Bar­ic under this pro­gram in 2015, and Bar­ic was sub­se­quent­ly select­ed to cre­ate the SARS Cov‑2 virus from scratch.

It is our con­sid­ered view that the WIV was set up for the blame for Covid-19, in a man­ner not unlike the “Paint­ing of Oswald Red” dis­cussed in–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR #‘s 925 and 926, as well as our series of inter­views with Jim DiEu­ge­nio.

We have also not­ed the pro­found links between ele­ments of the mil­i­tary and treat­ment reg­i­mens (vac­cines and med­i­cines) for Covid-19.

A new arti­cle adds fur­ther depth to the alarm­ing con­nec­tions of Daszak, the Eco­Health Alliance and Jef­frey Sachs. (As dis­cussed in a num­ber of pro­grams, includ­ing the above-men­tioned FTR #‘s 1157, 1158 and 1159, Sachs presided over the Har­vard Insti­tute of Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment, a US-fund­ed orga­ni­za­tion that advised Boris Yeltsin’s dis­as­trous eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy in Rus­sia.)

Many in Rus­sia view Sachs as “an emis­sary either of Satan or the CIA.” Recent polit­i­cal incar­na­tions have him as a mem­ber of the [Bernie] Sanders Insti­tute and an advi­sor to AOC.

A bril­liant, insight­ful arti­cle by Sam Hus­sei­ni on Inde­pen­dent Sci­ence News pro­vides crit­i­cal depth to our pre­vi­ous cov­er­age of Cit­i­zen Daszak.

Hus­sei­ni notes that:

  1.  The Pen­ta­gon and USAID (a State Depart­ment sub­sidiary that has fre­quent­ly front­ed for CIA) are the largest fun­ders of Eco­Health Alliance, which obscures this fact: “ . . . . Daszak’s Eco­Health Alliance obscures its Pen­ta­gon fund­ing. . . . Only buried under their ‘Pri­va­cy Pol­i­cy,’ under a sec­tion titled ‘Eco­Health Alliance Pol­i­cy Regard­ing Con­flict of Inter­est in Research,’ does the Eco­Health Alliance con­cede it is the ‘recip­i­ent of var­i­ous grant awards from fed­er­al agen­cies includ­ing . . . . the US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment and the Depart­ment of Defense.’ . . . Even this list­ing is decep­tive. It obscures that its two largest fun­ders are the Pen­ta­gon and the State Depart­ment (USAID) . . . . These two sources thus total over $103 mil­lion. . . .”
  2. One of the prin­ci­pal advis­ers to Eco­Health Alliance is David Franz: ” . . . . The mil­i­tary links of the Eco­Health Alliance are not lim­it­ed to mon­ey and mind­set. One note­wor­thy ‘pol­i­cy advi­sor’ to the Eco­Health Alliance is David Franz. Franz is for­mer com­man­der of Fort Det­rick, which is the prin­ci­pal U.S. gov­ern­ment biowarfare/biodefense facil­i­ty. . . .”
  3. Peter Daszak has high regards for Don­ald Rums­feld, whom he enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly quotes. (Rums­feld was Chair­man of the Board of Gilead Sci­ences for many years, leav­ing that posi­tion to become Sec­re­tary of Defense for George W. Bush. Rums­feld made mil­lions on his sale of Gilead stock, which soared in val­ue fol­low­ing the Pen­tagon’s pur­chase of Gilead­’s Tam­i­flu to com­bat a feared break­out of H5N1 influen­za. Gildead Sci­ences makes remde­sivir, which was being test­ed on rhe­sus macaques at the U.S. Army’s Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases at Fort Det­rick in the spring of 2019. The USAAMRIID was shut down by the CDC in ear­ly August of 2019, in part for the improp­er dis­pos­al of waste from “non-human pri­mates” infect­ed with a “select agent” which has not been dis­closed for nation­al secu­ri­ty rea­sons.) ” . . . . ‘It’s an awe­some quote! And yes, it’s Don­ald Rums­feld, Jeff, and I know he’s a Repub­li­can, but — what a genius!’ . . .”
  4. The close asso­ci­a­tion of Jef­frey Sachs and Daszak: ” . . . . In Sep­tem­ber, Sachs’ com­mis­sion [on the Lancet–D.E.] named Daszak to head up its com­mit­tee on the pandemic’s ori­gins. Daszak is also on the WHO’s com­mit­tee to inves­ti­gate the pandemic’s ori­gin. He is the only indi­vid­ual on both com­mit­tees. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Fur­ther devel­op­ment of the medi­a’s reflex­ive use of “con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry” and/or “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists” to pre­empt intel­li­gent analy­sis of lethal covert operations–both for­eign and domes­tic; The New York Times’ lead role in rhetor­i­cal fire­wall pro­tect­ing both domes­tic and for­eign covert oper­a­tions.

1. A study released by US Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences at the request of the Depart­ment of Defense about the threats of syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy con­clud­ed that the tech­niques to tweak and weaponize virus­es from known cat­a­logs of viral sequences is very fea­si­ble and rel­a­tive­ly easy to do:

“Syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy rais­es risk of new bioweapons, US report warns” by Ian Sam­ple; The Guardian; 06/19/2018

The rapid rise of syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy, a futur­is­tic field of sci­ence that seeks to mas­ter the machin­ery of life, has raised the risk of a new gen­er­a­tion of bioweapons, accord­ing a major US report into the state of the art.

Advances in the area mean that sci­en­tists now have the capa­bil­i­ty to recre­ate dan­ger­ous virus­es from scratch; make harm­ful bac­te­ria more dead­ly; and mod­i­fy com­mon microbes so that they churn out lethal tox­ins once they enter the body.

The three sce­nar­ios are picked out as threats of high­est con­cern in a review of the field pub­lished on Tues­day by the US Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences at the request of the Depart­ment of Defense. The report was com­mis­sioned to flag up ways in which the pow­er­ful tech­nol­o­gy might be abused, and to focus minds on how best to pre­pare.

Michael Impe­ri­ale, chair of the report com­mit­tee, and pro­fes­sor of micro­bi­ol­o­gy and immunol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, said the review used only unclas­si­fied infor­ma­tion and so has no assess­ment of which groups, if any, might be pur­su­ing nov­el bio­log­i­cal weapons. “We can’t say how like­ly any of these sce­nar­ios are,” he said. “But we can talk about how fea­si­ble they are.”

In the report, the sci­en­tists describe how syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy, which gives researchers pre­ci­sion tools to manip­u­late liv­ing organ­isms, “enhances and expands” oppor­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate bioweapons. “As the pow­er of the tech­nol­o­gy increas­es, that brings a gen­er­al need to scru­ti­nise where harms could come from,” said Peter Carr, a senior sci­en­tist at MIT’s Syn­thet­ic Biol­o­gy Cen­ter in Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts.

More than 20 years ago, Eckard Wim­mer, a geneti­cist at Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty in New York, high­light­ed the poten­tial dan­gers of syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy in dra­mat­ic style when he recre­at­ed poliovirus in a test tube. Ear­li­er this year, a team at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta built an infec­tious horse­pox virus. The virus is a close rel­a­tive of small­pox, which may have claimed half a bil­lion lives in the 20th cen­tu­ry. Today, the genet­ic code of almost any mam­malian virus can be found online and syn­the­sised. “The tech­nol­o­gy to do this is avail­able now,” said Impe­ri­ale. “It requires some exper­tise, but it’s some­thing that’s rel­a­tive­ly easy to do, and that is why it tops the list.”

Oth­er fair­ly sim­ple pro­ce­dures can be used to tweak the genes of dan­ger­ous bac­te­ria and make them resis­tant to antibi­otics, so that peo­ple infect­ed with them would be untreat­able. A more exot­ic bioweapon might come in the form of a genet­i­cal­ly-altered microbe that colonis­es the gut and churns out poi­sons. “While that is tech­ni­cal­ly more dif­fi­cult, it is a con­cern because it may not look like any­thing you nor­mal­ly watch out for in pub­lic health,” Impe­ri­ale said.

One bioweapon that is not con­sid­ered an imme­di­ate threat is a so-called gene dri­ve that spreads through a pop­u­la­tion, rewrit­ing human DNA as it goes. “It’s impor­tant to recog­nise that it’s easy to come up with a scary-sound­ing idea, but it’s far more dif­fi­cult to do some­thing prac­ti­cal with it,” said Carr.

2. In FTR #‘s 1157, 1158 and 1159, we high­light­ed very dis­turb­ing con­nec­tions between Peter Daszak and his Eco­Health Alliance and the Pen­ta­gon and USAID, a State Depart­ment sub­sidiary that serves as a fre­quent cov­er for CIA.

The Eco­Health Alliance–financed by USAID–partnered with the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy and Dr. Ralph Bar­ic of the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Chapel Hill to research bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es. A “chimeric” virus was cre­at­ed by Bar­ic under this pro­gram in 2015, and Bar­ic was sub­se­quent­ly select­ed to cre­ate the SARS Cov‑2 virus from scratch.

It is our con­sid­ered view that the WIV was set up for the blame for Covid-19.

We have also not­ed the pro­found links between ele­ments of the mil­i­tary and treat­ment reg­i­mens (vac­cines and med­i­cines) for Covid-19.

A new arti­cle adds fur­ther depth to the alarm­ing con­nec­tions of Daszak, the Eco­Health Alliance and Jef­frey Sachs. (As dis­cussed in a num­ber of pro­grams, includ­ing the above-men­tioned FTR #‘s 1157, 1158 and 1159, Sachs presided over the Har­vard Insti­tute of Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment, a US-fund­ed orga­ni­za­tion that advised Boris Yeltsin’s dis­as­trous eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy in Rus­sia.)

Many in Rus­sia view Sachs as “an emis­sary either of Satan or the CIA.” Recent polit­i­cal incar­na­tions have him as a mem­ber of the [Bernie] Sanders Insti­tute and an advi­sor to AOC.

A bril­liant, insight­ful arti­cle by Sam Hus­sei­ni on Inde­pen­dent Sci­ence News pro­vides crit­i­cal depth to our pre­vi­ous cov­er­age of Cit­i­zen Daszak.

Hus­sei­ni notes that:

  1.  The Pen­ta­gon and USAID (a State Depart­ment sub­sidiary that has fre­quent­ly front­ed for CIA) are the largest fun­ders of Eco­Health Alliance, which obscures this fact: “ . . . . Daszak’s Eco­Health Alliance obscures its Pen­ta­gon fund­ing. . . . Only buried under their ‘Pri­va­cy Pol­i­cy,’ under a sec­tion titled ‘Eco­Health Alliance Pol­i­cy Regard­ing Con­flict of Inter­est in Research,’ does the Eco­Health Alliance con­cede it is the ‘recip­i­ent of var­i­ous grant awards from fed­er­al agen­cies includ­ing . . . . the US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment and the Depart­ment of Defense.’ . . . Even this list­ing is decep­tive. It obscures that its two largest fun­ders are the Pen­ta­gon and the State Depart­ment (USAID) . . . . These two sources thus total over $103 mil­lion. . . .”
  2. One of the prin­ci­pal advis­ers to Eco­Health Alliance is David Franz: ” . . . . The mil­i­tary links of the Eco­Health Alliance are not lim­it­ed to mon­ey and mind­set. One note­wor­thy ‘pol­i­cy advi­sor’ to the Eco­Health Alliance is David Franz. Franz is for­mer com­man­der of Fort Det­rick, which is the prin­ci­pal U.S. gov­ern­ment biowarfare/biodefense facil­i­ty. . . .”
  3. Peter Daszak has high regards for Don­ald Rums­feld, whom he enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly quotes. (Rums­feld was Chair­man of the Board of Gilead Sci­ences for many years, leav­ing that posi­tion to become Sec­re­tary of Defense for George W. Bush. Rums­feld made mil­lions on his sale of Gilead stock, which soared in val­ue fol­low­ing the Pen­tagon’s pur­chase of Gilead­’s Tam­i­flu to com­bat a feared break­out of H5N1 influen­za. Gildead Sci­ences makes remde­sivir, which was being test­ed on rhe­sus macaques at the U.S. Army’s Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases at Fort Det­rick in the spring of 2019. The USAAMRIID was shut down by the CDC in ear­ly August of 2019, in part for the improp­er dis­pos­al of waste from “non-human pri­mates” infect­ed with a “select agent” which has not been dis­closed for nation­al secu­ri­ty rea­sons.) ” . . . . ‘It’s an awe­some quote! And yes, it’s Don­ald Rums­feld, Jeff, and I know he’s a Repub­li­can, but — what a genius!’ . . .”
  4. The close asso­ci­a­tion of Jef­frey Sachs and Daszak: ” . . . . In Sep­tem­ber, Sachs’ com­mis­sion [on the Lancet–D.E.] named Daszak to head up its com­mit­tee on the pandemic’s ori­gins. Daszak is also on the WHO’s com­mit­tee to inves­ti­gate the pandemic’s ori­gin. He is the only indi­vid­ual on both com­mit­tees. . . .”

“Peter Daszak’s Eco­Health Alliance Has Hid­den Almost $40 Mil­lion In Pen­ta­gon Fund­ing And Mil­i­ta­rized Pan­dem­ic Sci­ence” by Sam Hus­sei­ni; Inde­pen­dent Sci­ence News; 12/16/2020.

“Pan­demics are like ter­ror­ist attacks: We know rough­ly where they orig­i­nate and what’s respon­si­ble for them, but we don’t know exact­ly when the next one will hap­pen. They need to be han­dled the same way — by iden­ti­fy­ing all pos­si­ble sources and dis­man­tling those before the next pan­dem­ic strikes.”

This state­ment was writ­ten in the New York Times ear­li­er this year by Peter Daszak. Daszak is the long­time pres­i­dent of the Eco­Health Alliance, a New York-based non-prof­it whose claimed focus is pan­dem­ic pre­ven­tion. But the Eco­Health Alliance, it turns out, is at the very cen­tre of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic in many ways.

To depict the pan­dem­ic in such mil­i­ta­rized terms is, for Daszak, a com­mon­place. In an Oct. 7 online talk orga­nized by Colum­bia University’s School of Inter­na­tion­al and Pub­lic Affairs, Daszak pre­sent­ed a slide titled “Don­ald Rumsfeld’s Pre­scient Speech.”:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns — there are things we don’t know we don’t know.” (This Rums­feld quote is in fact from a news con­fer­ence)

In the sub­se­quent online dis­cus­sion, Daszak empha­sized the par­al­lels between his own cru­sade and Rumsfeld’s, since, accord­ing to Daszak, the “poten­tial for unknown attacks” is “the same for virus­es”.

Daszak then pro­ceed­ed with a not ter­ri­bly sub­tle pitch for over a bil­lion dol­lars. This mon­ey would sup­port a fledg­ling virus hunt­ing and sur­veil­lance project of his, the Glob­al Virome Project — a “doable project” he assured watch­ers — giv­en the cost of the pan­dem­ic to gov­ern­ments and var­i­ous indus­tries.

Also on the video was Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor Jef­frey Sachs. Sachs is a for­mer spe­cial advi­sor to the UN, the for­mer head of the Mil­len­ni­um Vil­lages Project, and was recent­ly appoint­ed Chair of the new­ly-formed EAT Lancet Com­mis­sion on the pan­dem­ic. In Sep­tem­ber, Sachs’ com­mis­sion named Daszak to head up its com­mit­tee on the pandemic’s ori­gins. Daszak is also on the WHO’s com­mit­tee to inves­ti­gate the pandemic’s ori­gin. He is the only indi­vid­ual on both com­mit­tees.

These lead­er­ship posi­tions are not the only rea­son why Peter Daszak is such a cen­tral fig­ure in the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, how­ev­er. His appoint­ment dis­mayed many of those who are aware that Daszak’s Eco­Health Alliance fund­ed bat coro­n­avirus research, includ­ing virus col­lec­tion, at the Wuhan Insti­tute for Virol­o­gy (WIV) and thus could them­selves be direct­ly impli­cat­ed in the out­break.

For his part, Daszak has repeat­ed­ly dis­missed the notion that the pan­dem­ic could have a lab ori­gin. In fact, a recent FOIA by the trans­paren­cy group U.S. Right To Know revealed that Peter Daszak draft­ed an influ­en­tial mul­ti-author let­ter pub­lished on Feb­ru­ary 18 in the Lancet. That let­ter dis­missed lab ori­gin hypothe­ses as “con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry.” Daszak was revealed to have orches­trat­ed the let­ter such as to “avoid the appear­ance of a polit­i­cal state­ment.”

Sachs for his part seemed sur­prised by Daszak’s depic­tion of Rums­feld but Daszak reas­sured him. “It’s an awe­some quote! And yes, it’s Don­ald Rums­feld, Jeff, and I know he’s a Repub­li­can, but — what a genius!”

Fol­low­ing the Eco­Health Alliance’s mon­ey trail to the Pen­ta­gon

Col­lect­ing dan­ger­ous virus­es is typ­i­cal­ly jus­ti­fied as a pre­ven­tive and defen­sive activ­i­ty, get­ting ahead of what “Nature” or “The Ter­ror­ists” might throw at us. But by its nature, this work is “dual use”. “Biode­fense” is often just as eas­i­ly biowar­fare since biode­fense and the prod­ucts of biowar­fare are iden­ti­cal. It’s sim­ply a mat­ter of what the stat­ed goals are.

This is open­ly acknowl­edged [See below] by sci­en­tists asso­ci­at­ed with Eco­Health Alliance when talk­ing about alleged pro­grams in oth­er coun­ties — like Iraq.

For much of this year, Daszak’s Eco­Health Alliance gar­nered a great deal of sym­pa­thet­ic media cov­er­age after its $3.7 mil­lion five-year NIH grant was pre­ma­ture­ly cut when the Trump admin­is­tra­tion learned that Eco­Health Alliance fund­ed bat coro­n­avirus research at the WIV.

The tem­po­rary cut was wide­ly depict­ed in major media as Trump under­min­ing the Eco­Health Alliance’s noble fight against pan­demics. The ter­mi­na­tion was reversed by NIH in late August, and even upped to $7.5 mil­lion. But entire­ly over­looked amid the claims and counter-claims was that far more fund­ing for the Eco­Health Alliance comes from the Pen­ta­gon than the NIH.

To be strict­ly fair to the media, Daszak’s Eco­Health Alliance obscures its Pen­ta­gon fund­ing. On its web­site Eco­Health Alliance states that “A copy of the EHA Grant Man­age­ment Man­u­al is avail­able upon request to the EHA Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer at finance ( at ) ecohealthalliance.org”. But an email to that address and numer­ous oth­ers, includ­ing Peter Daszak’s, request­ing that Man­u­al, as well as oth­er finan­cial infor­ma­tion, was not returned. Nei­ther were repeat­ed voice­mails.

Only buried under their “Pri­va­cy Pol­i­cy,” under a sec­tion titled “Eco­Health Alliance Pol­i­cy Regard­ing Con­flict of Inter­est in Research,” does the Eco­Health Alliance con­cede it is the “recip­i­ent of var­i­ous grant awards from fed­er­al agen­cies includ­ing the Nation­al Insti­tute of Health, the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion, US Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice, and the US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment and the Depart­ment of Defense.”

Even this list­ing is decep­tive. It obscures that its two largest fun­ders are the Pen­ta­gon and the State Depart­ment (USAID); where­as the US Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice, which accounts for a minus­cule $74,487, comes before either.

Metic­u­lous inves­ti­ga­tion of U.S. gov­ern­ment data­bas­es reveals that Pen­ta­gon fund­ing for the Eco­Health Alliance from 2013 to 2020, includ­ing con­tracts, grants and sub­con­tracts, was just under $39 mil­lion. Most, $34.6 mil­lion, was from the Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency (DTRA), which is a branch of the DOD which states it is tasked to “counter and deter weapons of mass destruc­tion and impro­vised threat net­works.”

Most of the remain­ing mon­ey to EHA was from USAID (State Dept.), com­pris­ing at least $64,700,000 (1). These two sources thus total over $103 mil­lion.

Anoth­er $20 mil­lion came from Health and Human Ser­vices ($13 mil­lion, which includes Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health and Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol), Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion ($2.6 mil­lion), Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty ($2.3 mil­lion), Depart­ment of Com­merce ($1.2 mil­lion), Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture ($0.6 mil­lion), and Depart­ment of Inte­ri­or ($0.3 mil­lion). So, total U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing for EHA to-date stands at $123 mil­lion, approx­i­mate­ly one third of which comes from the Pen­ta­gon direct­ly. The full fund­ing break­down is avail­able here and is sum­ma­rized by year, source, and type, in a spread­sheet for­mat.

Pdf ver­sions of this the spread­sheet are avail­able to down­load. The sum­ma­ry is here and all Fed­er­al grants and con­tracts are here.

More mil­i­tary con­nec­tions

The mil­i­tary links of the Eco­Health Alliance are not lim­it­ed to mon­ey and mind­set. One note­wor­thy ‘pol­i­cy advi­sor’ to the Eco­Health Alliance is David Franz. Franz is for­mer com­man­der of Fort Det­rick, which is the prin­ci­pal U.S. gov­ern­ment biowarfare/biodefense facil­i­ty.

David Franz was part of UNSCOM which inspect­ed Iraq for alleged bioweapons — what were con­stant­ly referred to as WMDs or Weapons of Mass Destruc­tion by the U.S. gov­ern­ment and the media. Franz has been one of those eager to state, at least when dis­cussing alleged Iraqi pro­grams, that “in biol­o­gy … every­thing is dual use — the peo­ple, the facil­i­ties and the equip­ment.” (NPR, May 14, 2003; link no longer avail­able).

Just this year Franz wrote a piece with for­mer New York Times jour­nal­ist Judith Miller, whose sto­ries of Iraqi WMDs did much to mis­in­form the US pub­lic regard­ing the case for the 2003 inva­sion of Iraq. Their joint arti­cle, “A Biose­cu­ri­ty Fail­ure: America’s key lab for fight­ing infec­tious dis­ease has become a Pen­ta­gon back­wa­ter,” urges more fund­ing for Fort Det­rick.

Miller and Franz are long-time asso­ciates. Miller co-wrote the book Germs, released amid the 2001 false flag anthrax attacks, which repeat­ed­ly quotes Franz. Miller at the time received a hoax let­ter with a harm­less white pow­der, increas­ing her promi­nence.

Franz con­tin­ued hyp­ing the exis­tence of Iraqi WMDs even after the inva­sion of Iraq. While she was still with the Times, Miller quot­ed him in a sto­ry “U.S. Ana­lysts Link Iraq Labs To Germ Arms” on May 21, 2003 push­ing the the­o­ry that Iraq had mobile bio­log­i­cal WMD units. (This the­o­ry was debunked by the British sci­en­tist Dr David Kel­ly, who would die, appar­ent­ly by sui­cide, soon there­after.

Four sig­nif­i­cant insights emerge from all this. First, although it is called the Eco­Health Alliance, Peter Daszak and his non-prof­it work close­ly with the mil­i­tary. Sec­ond, the Eco­Health Alliance attempts to con­ceal these mil­i­tary con­nec­tions. Third, through mil­i­taris­tic lan­guage and analo­gies Daszak and his col­leagues pro­mote what is often referred to as, and even then some­what euphemisti­cal­ly, an ongo­ing agen­da known as “secu­ri­ti­za­tion“. In this case it is the secu­ri­ti­za­tion of infec­tious dis­eases and of glob­al pub­lic health. That is, they argue that pan­demics con­sti­tute a vast and exis­ten­tial threat. They min­i­mize the very real risks asso­ci­at­ed with their work, and sell it as a bil­lion dol­lar solu­tion. The fourth insight is that Daszak him­self, as the God­fa­ther of the Glob­al Virome Project, stands to ben­e­fit from the like­ly out­lay of pub­lic funds.

Acknowl­edge­ments

Thanks to James Barat­ta and Mari­amne Everett for research­ing the fund­ing sources.

Foot­note

  1. The fig­ure for EHA’s USAID fund­ing was obtained from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis, a major grantee of PREDICT funds, which EHA has been a major sub-grantee of Davis con­firmed that EHA’s fund­ing from PREDICT totaled $64,722,669 (PREDICT‑1: 2009 to 2014: $19,943,214; PREDICT‑2: 2014 to present (2020) $44,779,455)

3. Daszak has dis­missed dis­cus­sion of a lab­o­ra­to­ry ori­gin of the virus as the work of “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists,” uti­liz­ing a time-worn device for dis­miss­ing infor­ma­tion with­out any intel­li­gent dis­cus­sion. ” . . . The ‘media-indus­tri­al com­plex’ includes peo­ple in pow­er who vehe­ment­ly, if irra­tional­ly, deny a con­spir­a­to­r­i­al ver­sion of his­to­ry, auto­mat­i­cal­ly mock­ing any­one who sub­scribes to it as a ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist,’ code words for ‘dan­ger­ous­ly deranged fool.’ Utter­ing the phrase ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist’ is used as a con­ve­nient way of shut­ting down con­ver­sa­tion on a sub­ject. . . .”

Into the Night­mare: My Search for the Killers of John F. Kennedy and Offi­cer J.D. Tip­pit by Joseph McBride; High­tow­er Press [SC]; Copy­right 2013 by Joseph McBride; ISBN 978–1939795250; p. 103.

. . . . There is such a stark dif­fer­ence in view­point between the aver­age Amer­i­can who tends to believe in con­spir­a­cy and what film crit­ic Jonathan Rosen­baum calls “the media-indus­tri­al com­plex” that we seem to be liv­ing in two dif­fer­ent real­i­ties. The “media-indus­tri­al com­plex” includes peo­ple in pow­er who vehe­ment­ly, if irra­tional­ly, deny a con­spir­a­to­r­i­al ver­sion of his­to­ry, auto­mat­i­cal­ly mock­ing any­one who sub­scribes to it as a “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist,” code words for “dan­ger­ous­ly deranged fool.” Utter­ing the phrase “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist” is used as a con­ve­nient way of shut­ting down con­ver­sa­tion on a sub­ject. . . .

4. The rhetor­i­cal reflex of dis­miss­ing seri­ous inves­tiga­tive effort as “con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry” dates large­ly to the coup of 11/22/1963.

Into the Night­mare: My Search for the Killers of John F. Kennedy and Offi­cer J.D. Tip­pit by Joseph McBride; High­tow­er Press [SC]; Copy­right 2013 by Joseph McBride; ISBN 978–1939795250; pp. 177–178.

Peo­ple who pre­tend that con­spir­a­cies don’t exist, when in fact they are among the most com­mon modus operan­di of sig­nif­i­cant his­tor­i­cal change through­out the world, includ­ing in this coun­try, become furi­ous when their naïve illu­sion is chal­lenged. They attack the mes­sen­gers, “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists,” for propos­ing alter­nate accounts of real­i­ty. Not only do they attack, they demo­nize. The con­ven­tion of por­tray­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists as crazy is crude but effec­tive way of stig­ma­tiz­ing them, ensur­ing that they aren’t tak­en seri­ous­ly by “rea­son­able” peo­ple, and send­ing the mes­sage to the main­stream media that such peo­ple are beyond the pale. Dr. [E. Mar­tin] Schotz writes that for years he thought the unpun­ished assas­si­na­tion of Kennedy was “a griev­ous wound to our democ­ra­cy in urgent need of being exposed so the soci­ety would heal,” but he came to real­ize it was instead “a wound against cer­tain polit­i­cal forces in our democ­ra­cy, but not to the democ­ra­cy itself. In fact, I sub­mit that the assas­si­na­tion was total­ly with­in the frame­work of how Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy works.” Much of Dr. Schotz’s analy­sis is acute­ly insight­ful, but I would sub­mit that the type of gov­ern­ment he describes is not a gen­uine “democ­ra­cy” but a mere sim­u­lacrum of one to fool the pub­lic into acqui­es­cence with the war poli­cies of dubi­ous legal­i­ty. In the regime of George W. Bush, fol­low­ing the stolen elec­tion of 2000, we saw the inevitable con­se­quences of the lack of gen­uine democ­ra­cy, the ulti­mate fall­out from the 1963 coup, on full ter­ri­ble dis­play in domes­tic ter­ror­ism, ille­gal wars of aggres­sion, and the strip­ping away of many of our basic civ­il lib­er­ties. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., per­sua­sive­ly demon­strat­ed in a 2006 inves­tiga­tive report for Rolling Stone that Bush and Dick Cheney also stole the 2004 elec­tion by com­mit­ting fraud in Ohio. This anti­de­mo­c­ra­t­ic trend in our coun­try unfor­tu­nate­ly did not end with the 2008 elec­tion of Barack Oba­ma, which was thought by many to be a form of heal­ing, but actu­al­ly only showed that the changes in the sys­tem had become sys­temic and almost impos­si­ble to reverse.

Our President’s mur­der in broad day­light on a pub­lic street fifty years ago, and the new government’s refusal to bring his killers to jus­tice, meant noth­ing less than the end of our long exper­i­ment in democ­ra­cy. We now live not in a democ­ra­cy but in what more accu­rate­ly can be termed a lim­it­ed police state, and that is the ulti­mate lega­cy of the Coup of 1963 . . . .

5. Pub­lish­er of the War­ren Report, The New York Times has “walked point” on the issue of dis­cred­it­ing crit­ics of the offi­cial lie about the JFK assas­si­na­tion.

In the imme­di­ate after­math of the coup of 11/22/1963, ” . . . . The paper’s man­ag­ing edi­tor, Turn­er Catledge, took the unusu­al approach of writ­ing a let­ter to the edi­tor on Novem­ber 26 object­ing to the label­ing of the mur­dered Oswald in the pre­vi­ous day’s paper as the ‘assas­sin.’ . . . .”

Into the Night­mare: My Search for the Killers of John F. Kennedy and Offi­cer J.D. Tip­pit by Joseph McBride; High­tow­er Press [SC]; Copy­right 2013 by Joseph McBride; ISBN 978–1939795250; pp. 111–112.

. . . . Most Amer­i­can media out­lets were as quick to con­vict Oswald extrale­gal­ly as the Dal­las police were to allow him to be exe­cut­ed in their head­quar­ters. The New York Times would flat­ly iden­ti­fy Oswald as the assas­sin once he was dead, in its ban­ner head­line on Novem­ber 25 “PRESIDENT’S ASSASSIN SHOT TO DEATH IN JAIL CCORRIDOR BY A DALLAS CITIZEN . . . ”  This posthu­mous ver­dict with­out the ben­e­fit of a tri­al was a seri­ous breach of jour­nal­is­tic ethics, show­ing the Times to be more of an organ of gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da than a dis­in­ter­est­ed seek­er of the truth. The enor­mous and egre­gious head­line on the day of Kennedy’s funer­al evi­dent­ly caused some dis­agree­ment with­in the Times. The paper’s man­ag­ing edi­tor, Turn­er Catledge, took the unusu­al approach of writ­ing a let­ter to the edi­tor on Novem­ber 26 object­ing to the label­ing of the mur­dered Oswald in the pre­vi­ous day’s paper as the “assas­sin.” Catledge not­ed that while the Dal­las police “thought they had an air-tight case against him, he was nev­er tried and con­vict­ed. Under the Amer­i­can sys­tem of jus­tice, he is inno­cent until proven guilty. Future sto­ries and head­lines will reflect that fact.” Yet the “paper of record” has kept call­ing Oswald the “assas­sin” ever since. The word “alleged” rarely appears in con­junc­tion with Oswald’s name in the main­stream media. The Times con­sis­tent­ly attacks those who ques­tion the lone-gun­man the­o­ry. Why that lead­ing news­pa­per has such a vest­ed inter­est in fol­low­ing and prop­a­gat­ing the offi­cial line after all these many years is a trou­bling ques­tion reflect­ing the extent to which our “free press” knuck­les under to the government’s pro­pa­gan­da needs. . . .”

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #1170 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 25: The Oswald Institute of Virology”

  1. The WHO team of experts tasked with study­ing the ori­gins of SARS-CoV­‑2 virus have issued their ini­tial pub­lic report. This is, of course, just one of the inter­na­tion­al teams that includes Peter Daszak, some­one who quite pos­si­bly has more con­flicts of inter­est in this inves­ti­ga­tion than any­one else on the plan­et.

    So what was the ver­dict? It was almost cer­tain­ly not a lab-based ori­gin and like­ly came from the virus nat­u­ral­ly jump­ing from bats to anoth­er ani­mal and then on to humans. In oth­er words, exact­ly as pre­dict­ed. Sur­prise!

    While the inves­ti­ga­tors are con­tin­u­ing to focus on the ani­mal-to-human jump hypoth­e­sis, they aren’t falling back on the ini­tial ‘wet mar­ket’ sce­nario that the virus jumped from ani­mal to human at the wet mar­ket near the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV). Instead, they note that the virus was found inside and out­side the mar­ket, sug­gest­ing the mar­ket was not nec­es­sar­i­ly the source of the out­break. But while the team is rec­om­mend­ing that fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gins of the virus be car­ried out, the ques­tion of a lab based ori­gin should NOT BE ASKED AGAIN GOING FORWARD. Yep.

    And what was the basis for their con­clu­sion that a lab ori­gin is so unlike­ly that it should­n’t even be con­sid­ered? Well, they held a lot of meet­ings with the WIV’s safe­ty pro­to­cols and con­clud­ed that it was extreme­ly unlike­ly a virus could have escaped from there. In oth­er words, their inves­ti­ga­tion into a lab ori­gin was exclu­sive­ly restrict­ed to an inves­ti­ga­tion of the WIV, a con­ve­nient fram­ing of the ques­tion. As we’ll see in the sec­ond arti­cle below, Peter Daszak was quite effu­sive in his praise of the WIV’s and Chi­nese gov­ern­men­t’s open­ness with the inves­ti­ga­tors.

    They did sort of address the gen­er­al ques­tion of whether or not Chi­nese researchers were involved with exper­i­ment­ing on coro­n­avirus­es, some­thing that is unde­ni­able giv­en the pub­lished research. The lead Chi­nese sci­en­tist on the inves­tiga­tive team, Liang Wann­ian, told reporters none of the labs in Wuhan had worked with the SARS-Cov­‑2 strain but did work on the virus’s “dis­tant rel­a­tives.” The char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of these virus­es as “dis­tant rel­a­tives” is inter­est­ing in the con­text of the find­ings by Harvard/MIT researcher Ali­na Chan that Shi Zhengli’s lab had access and sequenced the clos­et known rel­a­tive to SAR-CoV­‑2, the RaTG13 virus, mul­ti­ple times start­ing in 2017 and 2018. Keep in mind that, while RaTG13 is the clos­est known rel­a­tive to SARS-CoV­‑2, one could arguably still char­ac­ter­ize it as a “dis­tant rel­a­tive”. There was of course no men­tion of the his­to­ry of Shi Zhengli’s lab work­ing on gain-of-func­tion exper­i­ments on coro­n­avirus­es with inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tors. Inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tors that includes Peter Daszak and the Eco­Health Alliance.

    The alle­ga­tions about sick ath­letes at the Mil­i­tary World Games held in Wuhan in Octo­ber of 2019 was not addressed at all by the team. Sim­i­lar­ly, the stud­ies like the Ital­ian study that found evi­dence of the virus in Ital­ian blood sam­ples drawn in Sep­tem­ber of 2019 were not men­tioned.

    Liang Wann­ian did, how­ev­er, call for the inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gins of the virus to now expand beyond Chi­na to include the rest of the world. There’s no indi­ca­tion of that expand­ed search actu­al­ly tak­ing place.

    So, over­all, in the WHO team’s ini­tial report we find exact­ly what we should have expect­ed to find, which is basi­cal­ly noth­ing oth­er than a rehash­ing of the same talk­ing points we’ve been hear­ing all along. It’s the kind of report that should raise a whole lot of ques­tions about the ques­tions being asked by this inves­ti­ga­tion and, more impor­tant­ly, not being asked by this inves­ti­ga­tion:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    After Wuhan mis­sion on pan­dem­ic ori­gins, WHO team dis­miss­es lab leak the­o­ry

    By Ger­ry Shih and Emi­ly Rauha­la
    Feb. 9, 2021 at 7:24 a.m. CST

    TAIPEI, Tai­wan — After a 12-day vis­it, a World Health Orga­ni­za­tion mis­sion to Wuhan appeared no clos­er Tues­day to solv­ing the mys­tery of the pan­demic’s ori­gins, reit­er­at­ing that the coro­n­avirus like­ly spread to humans from an ani­mal and cast­ing doubt on the­o­ries it leaked from a lab.

    The group’s find­ings — more than a year after the ini­tial out­break and after months of wran­gling between Chi­na and the U.N. health agency — could be a small step toward under­stand­ing the roots of a glob­al cri­sis.

    The update is unlike­ly to sat­is­fy U.S. offi­cials and oth­ers around the world call­ing for greater trans­paren­cy from Chi­na — and is unlike­ly to silence ques­tions about whether the Gene­va-based WHO is equipped to inves­ti­gate at all.

    At a news con­fer­ence, the team of Chi­nese and inter­na­tion­al researchers said they found that the virus was spread­ing in Wuhan dur­ing Decem­ber 2019 both inside and out­side the Hua­nan Seafood Mar­ket. That sug­gest­ed the mar­ket was not nec­es­sar­i­ly the orig­i­nal source of the out­break, the sci­en­tists said.

    The team also left open the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the virus may have been trans­mit­ted to humans through frozen food — a once-fringe the­o­ry that Chi­nese offi­cials have been tout­ing as part of broad­er push to claim that covid-19, the dis­ease caused by the coro­n­avirus, did not come from Chi­na.

    Notably, the WHO team dis­missed as “extreme­ly unlike­ly” anoth­er the­o­ry that the virus leaked from lab­o­ra­to­ries at the local Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV). Peter Ben Embarek, the Dan­ish food safe­ty expert lead­ing the WHO team, said his group was sat­is­fied with answers about safe­ty at the WIV and will not rec­om­mend fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion into the pos­si­ble links to the lab.

    “Just say­ing that they have real­ly good safe­ty pro­to­cols is not an answer in my view,” said Marc Lip­sitch, a pro­fes­sor of epi­demi­ol­o­gy at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Pub­lic Health, who was not among the sci­en­tists on the trip. “That alone does not put my mind at rest.”

    It was nev­er like­ly that the team would reach a defin­i­tive con­clu­sion after two weeks in quar­an­tine and less than two weeks of on-site inves­ti­ga­tion. But the dis­missal of the lab the­o­ry, in par­tic­u­lar, is like­ly to draw scruti­ny.

    Most researchers believe the virus passed through an inter­me­di­ary ani­mal host — such as pan­golins — and evolved into a form that is eas­i­ly trans­mis­si­ble among humans.

    A small­er cir­cle of experts says the pos­si­bil­i­ty can­not be ruled out that the virus slipped out of the WIV, an insti­tu­tion that con­ducts work on coro­n­avirus­es sam­pled from bats.

    The mis­sion was com­posed of Chi­nese and inter­na­tion­al researchers. The lead Chi­nese sci­en­tist, Liang Wann­ian, told reporters that none of the labs in Wuhan had worked with the SARS-Cov­‑2 strain, as the nov­el coro­n­avirus is offi­cial­ly called, but on the virus’s dis­tant rel­a­tives.

    Instead, Liang point­ed to the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the virus jumped across species in nature through inter­me­di­ary hosts such as pan­golins, cats or minks. Ben Embarek agreed that it was “most like­ly” the virus evolved in nature and spread to humans through an inter­me­di­ary host.

    Ben Embarek told reporters that the judg­ment was based on “long, frank, open dis­cus­sions with researchers and man­age­ment” at insti­tu­tions includ­ing the WIV. The insti­tute pro­vid­ed “detailed descrip­tions of the center’s research both present and past on all projects involv­ing bats and coro­n­avirus­es and more advanced projects,” he said.

    He added that he ques­tioned WIV offi­cials exten­sive­ly about what they thought of the lab leak hypoth­e­sis. “They’re the best ones to dis­miss the claims and pro­vide answers to all the ques­tions,” the WHO team leader said.

    But that line of rea­son­ing drew skep­ti­cism from out­side experts.

    “If the only infor­ma­tion you’re allow­ing to be weighed is pro­vid­ed by the very peo­ple who have every­thing to lose by reveal­ing such evi­dence, that just does­n’t come close to pass­ing the sniff test,” said David A. Rel­man, a micro­bi­ol­o­gist at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty.

    Rel­man sug­gest­ed that the WHO team should have sought com­plete, detailed records from the lab­o­ra­to­ries about their exper­i­ments and the raw genom­ic sequence data of their research going back a decade.

    Raina Mac­In­tyre, pro­fes­sor of biose­cu­ri­ty at the Uni­ver­si­ty of New South Wales in Aus­tralia, was also sur­prised to see the idea of a lab acci­dent ruled out so quick­ly.

    With­out explor­ing all leads, she sug­gest­ed, “we may nev­er know the ori­gins of this virus.”

    ...

    On Tues­day, Liang and an offi­cial from China’s Nation­al Health Com­mis­sion declared the Chi­na leg of the WHO probe com­plete and called for its scope to be expand­ed glob­al­ly to answer the ori­gin ques­tion.

    In recent days, Chi­nese state media have pre­empt­ed Tuesday’s news con­fer­ence with reports declar­ing Wuhan has been “cleared of guilt” as the sus­pect­ed ori­gin of the pan­dem­ic, with some echo­ing the Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry in call­ing for an inves­ti­ga­tion into U.S. labs.

    A key ques­tion going for­ward will be whether the WHO team is allowed to return to Chi­na. In a pre-trip inter­view with The Wash­ing­ton Post, Ben Embarek said he believed the search would require trips to dif­fer­ent places in Chi­na.

    It remains to be seen, how­ev­er, whether Chi­na will grant the WHO access, said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fel­low for glob­al health at the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions.

    “There will be more pres­sure to do more work in Chi­na,” Huang said. “I hope this going to be the start­ing point of a more in-depth, more com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tion.”

    ————-

    “After Wuhan mis­sion on pan­dem­ic ori­gins, WHO team dis­miss­es lab leak the­o­ry” by Ger­ry Shih and Emi­ly Rauha­la; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 02/09/2021

    “Notably, the WHO team dis­missed as “extreme­ly unlike­ly” anoth­er the­o­ry that the virus leaked from lab­o­ra­to­ries at the local Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV). Peter Ben Embarek, the Dan­ish food safe­ty expert lead­ing the WHO team, said his group was sat­is­fied with answers about safe­ty at the WIV and will not rec­om­mend fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion into the pos­si­ble links to the lab.

    No fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion is rec­om­mend­ed into the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a lab ori­gin. The inves­ti­ga­tors point­ed to evi­dence that under­cuts the ini­tial sus­pi­cions about the local wet mar­ket, and left open the pos­si­bil­i­ty that it could have been trans­mit­ted through frozen food, but some­how were able to deter­mine con­clu­sive­ly that it could­n’t pos­si­bly have come from a lab:

    ...
    At a news con­fer­ence, the team of Chi­nese and inter­na­tion­al researchers said they found that the virus was spread­ing in Wuhan dur­ing Decem­ber 2019 both inside and out­side the Hua­nan Seafood Mar­ket. That sug­gest­ed the mar­ket was not nec­es­sar­i­ly the orig­i­nal source of the out­break, the sci­en­tists said.

    The team also left open the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the virus may have been trans­mit­ted to humans through frozen food — a once-fringe the­o­ry that Chi­nese offi­cials have been tout­ing as part of broad­er push to claim that covid-19, the dis­ease caused by the coro­n­avirus, did not come from Chi­na.

    ...

    It was nev­er like­ly that the team would reach a defin­i­tive con­clu­sion after two weeks in quar­an­tine and less than two weeks of on-site inves­ti­ga­tion. But the dis­missal of the lab the­o­ry, in par­tic­u­lar, is like­ly to draw scruti­ny.

    Most researchers believe the virus passed through an inter­me­di­ary ani­mal host — such as pan­golins — and evolved into a form that is eas­i­ly trans­mis­si­ble among humans.

    A small­er cir­cle of experts says the pos­si­bil­i­ty can­not be ruled out that the virus slipped out of the WIV, an insti­tu­tion that con­ducts work on coro­n­avirus­es sam­pled from bats.

    ...

    “If the only infor­ma­tion you’re allow­ing to be weighed is pro­vid­ed by the very peo­ple who have every­thing to lose by reveal­ing such evi­dence, that just does­n’t come close to pass­ing the sniff test,” said David A. Rel­man, a micro­bi­ol­o­gist at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty.

    Rel­man sug­gest­ed that the WHO team should have sought com­plete, detailed records from the lab­o­ra­to­ries about their exper­i­ments and the raw genom­ic sequence data of their research going back a decade.

    Raina Mac­In­tyre, pro­fes­sor of biose­cu­ri­ty at the Uni­ver­si­ty of New South Wales in Aus­tralia, was also sur­prised to see the idea of a lab acci­dent ruled out so quick­ly.

    With­out explor­ing all leads, she sug­gest­ed, “we may nev­er know the ori­gins of this virus.”
    ...

    And that con­clu­sive deter­mi­na­tion that the virus could­n’t have orig­i­nat­ed in a lab was made despite Liang Wan­ni­an’s admis­sion that, yes, labs in Wuhan were study­ing the dis­tant rel­a­tive of SARS-CoV­‑2, but not the virus itself. It’s the kind of admis­sion that should lead to an array of new ques­tions about the nature of this research, in Wuhan and else­where. But those ques­tions obvi­ous­ly aren’t real­ly being asked:

    ...
    The mis­sion was com­posed of Chi­nese and inter­na­tion­al researchers. The lead Chi­nese sci­en­tist, Liang Wann­ian, told reporters that none of the labs in Wuhan had worked with the SARS-Cov­‑2 strain, as the nov­el coro­n­avirus is offi­cial­ly called, but on the virus’s dis­tant rel­a­tives.

    Instead, Liang point­ed to the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the virus jumped across species in nature through inter­me­di­ary hosts such as pan­golins, cats or minks. Ben Embarek agreed that it was “most like­ly” the virus evolved in nature and spread to humans through an inter­me­di­ary host.
    ...

    Final­ly, we have Liang’s calls for expand­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion glob­al­ly. Calls that did­n’t appear to be echoed by any­one else, giv­ing us a clue as the like­li­hood of that hap­pen­ing:

    ...
    On Tues­day, Liang and an offi­cial from China’s Nation­al Health Com­mis­sion declared the Chi­na leg of the WHO probe com­plete and called for its scope to be expand­ed glob­al­ly to answer the ori­gin ques­tion.

    In recent days, Chi­nese state media have pre­empt­ed Tuesday’s news con­fer­ence with reports declar­ing Wuhan has been “cleared of guilt” as the sus­pect­ed ori­gin of the pan­dem­ic, with some echo­ing the Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry in call­ing for an inves­ti­ga­tion into U.S. labs.
    ...

    Next, here’s a report from last week about the progress the inves­tiga­tive team was mak­ing dur­ing their time in Chi­na. Peter Daszak had high praise for the Chi­nese experts they met with, in par­tic­u­lar Shi Zhengli, and not­ed no obsta­cles in their inves­ti­ga­tion. The arti­cle notes that Daszak and Shi worked togeth­er in the past on track­ing down the ori­gins of SARS.

    Daszak warned that it would like­ly take years to con­firm the ori­gins of the virus and described what would be required to do it: Exhaus­tive research is need­ed to pin down an outbreak’s ani­mal reser­voir, includ­ing tak­ing ani­mal sam­ples, genet­ic analy­sis and epi­demi­o­log­i­cal stud­ies. And that just hap­pens to describe the work of Dasza­k’s Eco­Health alliance. In oth­er words, Daszak is telling us that it will prob­a­bly be his own Eco­Health Alliance that will deliv­er the even­tu­al final con­clu­sion on this ques­tion of the ori­gin of the virus. Which will pre­sum­ably require more fund­ing for the project:

    Asso­ci­at­ed Press

    AP Inter­view: Chi­na grant­ed WHO team full access in Wuhan

    By EMILY WANG FUJIYAMA and SAM McNEIL
    Feb­ru­ary 5, 2021

    WUHAN, Chi­na (AP) — A mem­ber of the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion expert team inves­ti­gat­ing the ori­gins of the coro­n­avirus in Wuhan said the Chi­nese side grant­ed full access to all sites and per­son­nel they request­ed — a lev­el of open­ness that even he hadn’t expect­ed.

    Peter Daszak told The Asso­ci­at­ed Press on Fri­day that team mem­bers had sub­mit­ted a deeply con­sid­ered list of places and peo­ple to include in their inves­ti­ga­tion and that no objec­tions were raised.

    “We were asked where we want­ed to go. We gave our hosts a list ... and you can see from where we’ve been, we’ve been to all the key places,” Daszak said.

    “Every place we asked to see, every­one we want­ed to meet. ... So real­ly good,” said the British-born zool­o­gist, who is pres­i­dent of the NGO Eco­Health Alliance in New York City.

    Daszak said the team has now con­clud­ed site vis­its and will spend the next few days trolling through data and con­sult­ing with Chi­nese experts before pre­sent­ing a sum­ma­ry of their find­ings at a news brief­ing pri­or to their depar­ture on Wednes­day.

    “I can’t real­ly say too much about what we’ve found yet because we’re at that exact point in time where the teams are com­ing togeth­er look­ing at dif­fer­ent path­ways, dif­fer­ent issues,” he said.

    He said ques­tions include what were the first cas­es, what was the link with ani­mals and what, if any, was the role of the so-called “cold chain” — the pos­si­bil­i­ty the virus was brought into Chi­na on pack­ag­ing from import­ed frozen food, an unproven the­o­ry that Chi­na has long put for­ward.

    “And of course, we’re look­ing at every hypothe­ses that’s been out there and see­ing where the data take us and do they point to any par­tic­u­lar one,” Daszak said.

    Daszak had high praise for Chi­nese experts, who had been prepar­ing for the vis­it for months, par­tic­u­lar­ly deputy direc­tor of the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy, Shi Zhengli, with whom he worked to track down the ori­gins of sev­er acute res­pi­ra­to­ry syn­drome, or SARS, that orig­i­nat­ed in Chi­na and led to the 2003 out­break.

    Some, includ­ing peo­ple close to for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, had spec­u­lat­ed the insti­tute may have been the ori­gin of the out­break because of its large col­lec­tion of bat virus spec­i­mens and that Chi­nese author­i­ties were cov­er­ing up the truth.

    How­ev­er, Daszak said they were met dur­ing their vis­it to the high-secu­ri­ty insti­tute with a lev­el of open­ness even he hadn’t antic­i­pat­ed, and that sus­pi­cions sur­round­ing it had been “politi­cized on a glob­al scale.”

    “The pres­sure for this insti­tu­tion I’m sure has been intense so it was real­ly good to have, not just me, but this whole group of inter­na­tion­al experts be able to ask real­ly insight­ful ques­tions and also to have all the key peo­ple in the room when we did that,” Daszak said.

    Chi­na has strong­ly denied the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a leak from the lab and has pro­mot­ed unproven the­o­ries that the virus may have orig­i­nat­ed else­where before being brought to Wuhan, includ­ing pos­si­bly on import­ed frozen food pack­ag­ing.

    The vis­it by the WHO team took months to nego­ti­ate after Chi­na only agreed to it amid mas­sive inter­na­tion­al pres­sure at the World Health Assem­bly meet­ing last May, and Bei­jing has con­tin­ued to deny calls for a strict­ly inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion. Author­i­ties have kept a tight hold on infor­ma­tion about the pos­si­ble caus­es of the pan­dem­ic that has now sick­ened more than 105 mil­lion peo­ple and killed more than 2.2 mil­lion world­wide.

    Daszak said the team was also giv­en wide access when vis­it­ing hos­pi­tals that treat­ed patients in the ini­tial out­break at the end of 2019 and begin­ning of 2020.

    “To meet the first clin­i­cians who took in the first patients with COVID, that’s incred­i­ble ... that you can talk to that per­son who dealt with that first case and ask her what she saw and ask ques­tions,” Daszak said.

    The same lev­el of access was giv­en at the Hua­nan Seafood Mar­ket that was linked to ear­ly case clus­ters, he said. That includ­ed meet­ing with ven­dors and mar­ket man­agers and tour­ing the mar­ket with those who did the orig­i­nal envi­ron­men­tal swab­bing that pro­duced signs of the virus even after the mar­ket had been closed down.

    “So this is an in-depth, deep under­stand­ing of the sites and the peo­ple who were involved,” Daszak said.

    Daszak said the inves­ti­ga­tion by the team, com­posed of experts from 10 nations, was sim­ply an ini­tial step and that it would like­ly take years to con­firm the ori­gins of the virus. Exhaus­tive research is need­ed to pin down an outbreak’s ani­mal reser­voir, includ­ing tak­ing ani­mal sam­ples, genet­ic analy­sis and epi­demi­o­log­i­cal stud­ies.

    The virus is wide­ly sus­pect­ed to have orig­i­nat­ed in bats, which also pro­duced the SARS virus, before being passed to humans through an inter­me­di­ary species, pos­si­bly a wild ani­mal such as a pan­golin or bam­boo rat, con­sid­ered an exot­ic del­i­ca­cy by some in Chi­na. One pos­si­ble cause is that a wildlife poach­er might have passed the virus to traders who car­ried it to Wuhan but that has yet to be proven.

    Among mea­sures tak­en by Chi­na after the ini­tial out­break, Daszak had spe­cif­ic praise for the 76-day lock­down imposed on Wuhan, a city of 11 mil­lion, along with the almost total clo­sure of wildlife mar­kets and breed­ing farms nation­wide.

    ...

    In recent months, Chi­na has large­ly elim­i­nat­ed cas­es of local trans­mis­sion, with just six report­ed on Fri­day — five in the north­east­ern province of Hei­longjiang and one in the east­ern finan­cial hub of Shang­hai.

    Although some social dis­tanc­ing restric­tions have been eased, strict test­ing, quar­an­tines, elec­tron­ic mon­i­tor­ing and com­mu­ni­ty lock­downs remain in force, while mask-wear­ing in pub­lic is almost uni­ver­sal.

    ———-

    “AP Inter­view: Chi­na grant­ed WHO team full access in Wuhan” by EMILY WANG FUJIYAMA and SAM McNEIL; Asso­ci­at­ed Press; 02/05/2021

    “Daszak said the inves­ti­ga­tion by the team, com­posed of experts from 10 nations, was sim­ply an ini­tial step and that it would like­ly take years to con­firm the ori­gins of the virus. Exhaus­tive research is need­ed to pin down an outbreak’s ani­mal reser­voir, includ­ing tak­ing ani­mal sam­ples, genet­ic analy­sis and epi­demi­o­log­i­cal stud­ies.

    Are we in store for an explo­sion of invest­ments in virus hunt­ing research projects? That’s what Daszak is rec­om­mend­ing, and it’s not hard to imag­ine. An explo­sion of ‘defen­sive’ bio­log­i­cal research that just hap­pens to have obvi­ous bio­log­i­cal war­fare dual use appli­ca­tions. And that’s part of why under­stand­ing the bio­log­i­cal war­fare dual use impli­ca­tions of the Eco­Health Alliance and relat­ed ‘defen­sive’ bio­log­i­cal research is going to be more impor­tant than ever going for­ward. Because when you explode the fund­ing for dual use ‘defen­sive’ bio­log­i­cal research, you’re def­i­nite­ly chang­ing the risks of a viral dis­as­ter but not nec­es­sar­i­ly low­er­ing them.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 11, 2021, 4:09 pm
  2. @Pterrafractyl–

    Looks like the War­ren Report has “gone viral!”

    No men­tion of Dasza­k’s fund­ing com­ing most­ly from Pen­ta­gon, USAID, nor of his asso­ci­a­tion with David Franz, for­mer com­man­der of Ft. Det­rick.

    Daszak might be viewed as the Allen Dulles of this com­mis­sion.

    Keep up the great work!

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 11, 2021, 6:57 pm

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