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FTR#1191 The Oswald Institute of Virology, Part 10: “A Politically Useful Tool”

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FTR #1191 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: The pro­gram begins with an excerpt that comes from the con­sum­mate­ly impor­tant Whit­ney Webb arti­cle he has used on many occa­sions.

The Project For A New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry’s Rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s Defens­es argues that bio­log­i­cal warfare–particularly when twined with genet­ic engineering–can become a “polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.”

(In FTR#1190, we exam­ined the PNAC agen­da, its cod­i­fi­ca­tion in nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy in a doc­u­ment large­ly craft­ed by Philip Zelikow. Zelikow head­ed the 9/11 Com­mis­sion and was cen­tral­ly involved in writ­ing its flawed report, the sys­tem­at­ic short­com­ings of which could be said to char­ac­ter­ize the com­mis­sion as “The Omis­sion Com­mis­sion.) 

Zelikow is now head­ing a com­mis­sion to exam­ine the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, includ­ing the so-called “Lab-Leak Hypoth­e­sis.”

The pro­gram ref­er­ences this excerpt, des­ig­nat­ing Covid-19 as a “polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.”

Indeed, as we have said so many times, if one is going to detach the sec­ond-largest econ­o­my from the world and alien­ate that coun­try from oth­ers, the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic is, indeed, “a polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool” for so doing.

As seen below, there are indi­ca­tions that the DARPA pro­gram was, indeed, look­ing at the exploita­tion of genet­ics in the appli­ca­tion of bio­log­i­cal war­fare.

Next, we high­light an excerpt from an arti­cle that is fea­tured in FTR#‘s 686 and 1115” . . . . The pro­duc­tion of vac­cine against a stock­piled BW weapon must be con­sid­ered an offen­sive BW project Accord­ing to MIT sci­en­tists Harlee Strauss and Jonathan King, ‘These steps—the gen­er­a­tion of a poten­tial BW agent, devel­op­ment of a vac­cine against it, test­ing of the effi­ca­cy of the vaccine—are all com­po­nents that would be asso­ci­at­ed with an offen­sive BW program.’27 Clear­ly, with­out an anti­dote or vac­cine to pro­tect attack­ing troops, the util­i­ty of a stock­piled BW agent would be seri­ous­ly lim­it­ed. . . .”

We then review mate­r­i­al from FTR#1166, among oth­er pro­grams, look­ing at the devel­op­ment of Mod­er­na’s vac­cine, the drug remde­sivir and mil­i­tary dom­i­na­tion of the Oper­a­tion Warp Speed Covid vac­cine pro­gram.

They key con­sid­er­a­tion is: do these devel­op­ments indi­cate the dynam­ic Strauss and King cite above?

At a min­i­mum, they are no more than the prover­bial six degrees of sep­a­ra­tion from being part of an offen­sive bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram.

In pre­vi­ous posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed that Mod­er­na’s vac­cine work has been financed by DARPA. We have also not­ed that the over­all head of Oper­a­tion Warp Speed is Mon­cef Slaoui, for­mer­ly in charge of prod­uct devel­op­ment for Mod­er­na!

Of great sig­nif­i­cance is the cen­tral role of the mil­i­tary in the devel­op­ment of treat­ment for Covid-19:

  1. The pro­gram notes that: ” . . . . Remde­sivir pre­dates this pan­dem­ic. It was first con­sid­ered as a poten­tial treat­ment for Ebo­la, and was devel­oped through a long­stand­ing part­ner­ship between the U.S. Army and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. . . .”
  2. Jonathan King, who has chaired the micro­bial phys­i­ol­o­gy study sec­tion for the NIH has sound­ed the alarm about “vac­cine research” mask­ing offen­sive bio­log­i­cal war­fare research: “. . . . King, who has chaired the micro­bial phys­i­ol­o­gy study sec­tion for the NIH, believes that with­out inten­sive inde­pen­dent scruti­ny, the Pen­ta­gon is free to obscure its true goals. ‘The Defense Depart­ment appears to be pur­su­ing many nar­row, applied goals that are by nature offen­sive, such as the genet­ic ‘improve­ment’ of BW agents,’ King says. ‘But to achieve polit­i­cal accept­abil­i­ty, they mask these inten­tions under forms of research, such as vac­cine devel­op­ment, which sound defen­sive. . . .”
  3. Mod­er­na’s vac­cine devel­op­ment was over­seen by an unnamed Pen­ta­gon offi­cial: ” . . . . Moderna’s team was head­ed by a Defense Depart­ment offi­cial whom com­pa­ny exec­u­tives described only as ‘the major,’ say­ing they don’t know if his name is sup­posed to be a secret. . . . .”
  4. The per­va­sive role of the mil­i­tary in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed (the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s vac­cine devel­op­ment pro­gram) has gen­er­at­ed alarm in civil­ian par­tic­i­pants:”. . . . Scores of Defense Depart­ment employ­ees are laced through the gov­ern­ment offices involved in the effort, mak­ing up a large por­tion of the fed­er­al per­son­nel devot­ed to the effort.  Those num­bers have led some cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion to pri­vate­ly grum­ble that the military’s role in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed was too large for a task that is, at its core, a pub­lic health cam­paign. . . .
  5. Gen­er­al Gus­tave Perna–one of the prin­ci­pals in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed–has cho­sen a retired Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al to over­see much of the pro­gram: ” . . . . ‘Frankly, it has been breath­tak­ing to watch,’ said Paul Ostrows­ki, the direc­tor of sup­ply, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion for Oper­a­tion Warp Speed. He is a retired Army lieu­tenant gen­er­al who was select­ed to man­age logis­tics for the pro­gram by Gen. Gus­tave F. Per­na, the chief oper­at­ing offi­cer for Oper­a­tion Warp Speed. . . .”
  6. The mil­i­tary will be able to trace the des­ti­na­tion and admin­is­tra­tion of each dose: ” . . . . Mil­i­tary offi­cials also came up with the clever idea — if it works — to coor­di­nate the deliv­ery of vac­cines to drug­stores, med­ical cen­ters and oth­er immu­niza­tion sites by send­ing kits full of nee­dles, syringes and alco­hol wipes. Vac­cine mak­ers will be alert­ed when the kits arrive at an immu­niza­tion site so they know to ship dos­es. Once the first dose is giv­en, the man­u­fac­tur­er will be noti­fied so it can send the sec­ond dose with a patient’s name attached sev­er­al weeks lat­er. The mil­i­tary will also mon­i­tor vac­cine dis­tri­b­u­tion through an oper­a­tions cen­ter. ‘They will know where every vac­cine dose is,’ Mr. [Paul] Man­go said on a call with reporters. . . .”

Cen­tral to the inquiry about a lab­o­ra­to­ry gen­e­sis for the virus is Ralph Bar­ic. In the con­text of some of his actions in con­junc­tion with the devel­op­ment of vac­cines and pro­phy­lac­tic mea­sures in con­nec­tion with bio­log­i­cal war­fare, we note that:

  1. Bar­ic’s mod­i­fi­ca­tion of a horse­shoe bat virus to make it more infec­tious (in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Shi Zhengli and in an Eco­Health Alliance affil­i­at­ed project) took place in North Car­oli­na, not Wuhan. “. . . . Crit­ics have jumped on this paper as evi­dence that Shi was con­duct­ing “gain of func­tion” exper­i­ments that could have cre­at­ed a super­bug, but Shi denies it. The research cit­ed in the paper was con­duct­ed in North Car­oli­na. . . .”
  2. Bar­ic has been using relat­ed tech­niques to text remde­sivir (in 2017) and the Mod­er­na vac­cine. This places him in a milieu inex­tri­ca­bly linked to the mil­i­tary and pre-dat­ing the pan­dem­ic. ” . . . . Using a sim­i­lar tech­nique, in 2017, Baric’s lab showed that remde­sivir — cur­rent­ly the only licensed drug for treat­ing covid — could be use­ful in fight­ing coro­n­avirus infec­tions. Bar­ic also helped test the Mod­er­na covid vac­cine and a lead­ing new drug can­di­date against covid. . . .”

The flim­sy evi­den­tiary foun­da­tion of the Trump/Biden “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” did it charge is evi­denced by a new alle­ga­tion com­ing from David Ash­er, senior fel­low at the right-wing Hud­son Insti­tute and the for­mer State Depart­ment advis­er who co-authored a fact sheet last Jan­u­ary on activ­i­ty inside the lab as described in Kather­ine Eban’s Van­i­ty Fair piece.

Note that:

  1. Ash­er report­ed­ly told NBC News that he is “con­fi­dent” that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary was fund­ing a “secret pro­gram” that involved Shi Zhengli’s coro­n­avirus research at the WIV.
  2. Shi report­ed­ly worked with two mil­i­tary sci­en­tists at the lab. (Not sur­pris­ing giv­en that the vast bulk of BW research is inher­ent­ly “dual-use.”
  3. Ash­er claims he was told this by sev­er­al for­eign researchers who worked at the WIV who saw some per­son­nel there in mil­i­tary garb.
  4. IF true, the [alleged] mem­bers of this secret Chi­nese mil­i­tary biowar­fare research team appar­ent­ly didn’t think it was impor­tant to not wear mil­i­tary cloth­ing dur­ing their secret research at a research facil­i­ty intend­ed for civil­ian use only.
  5. We aren’t told the iden­ti­ty of these for­eign researchers who alleged­ly saw this.
  6. We aren’t told if Ash­er meant “for­eign researchers”–non-Chinese researchers work­ing at the WIV (so for­eign to Chi­na) or Chi­nese researchers work­ing at the WIV (so for­eign to Ash­er). 
  7. Shi’s research could be char­ac­ter­ized as fund­ed by the US mil­i­tary through the Eco­Health Alliance col­lab­o­ra­tion. 
  8. Keep in mind that this remark­able claim is based on anony­mous sources that may not exist but are are claimed by Ash­er to exist. 

Ash­er’s anony­mous­ly-sourced alle­ga­tions con­trast with infor­ma­tion from a Bloomberg News arti­cle about Danielle Ander­son, a bat-borne virus expert who worked at the WIV as late as Novem­ber 2019

Note that:

  1. Ander­son would have been at WIV dur­ing the peri­od when an out­break from the WIV would pre­sum­ably have tak­en place under a lab-leak sce­nario.
  2. Ander­son is described as the only for­eign researcher work­ing at the WIV.
  3. If Ander­son was the lone for­eign researcher at the WIV, who are Ash­er’s “sev­er­al anony­mous for­eign WIV researchers?”

A chill­ing arti­cle may fore­cast the poten­tial deploy­ment of even dead­lier pan­demics, as oper­a­tional dis­guise for bio­log­i­cal war­fare and geno­cide.

Note that the sub-head­ing refer­ring to the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis is fol­lowed by no men­tion of the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis, per se.

Is this a between-the-lines ref­er­ence to impend­ing bio­log­i­cal war­fare devel­op­ment and the deploy­ment of anoth­er pan­dem­ic?

Note that the Army sci­en­tist quot­ed in the con­clu­sion offers an obser­va­tion that is very close to a Don­ald Rums­feld quote reit­er­at­ed by Peter Daszak in an arti­cle we ref­er­ence in FTR#1170.

  1. From the Defense One arti­cle: ” . . . . ‘We don’t want to just treat what’s in front of us now,’  [Dr. Dim­i­tra] Stratis-Cul­lum said. ‘I think we real­ly need to be resilient. From an Army per­spec­tive. We need to be agile, we need to adapt to the threat that we don’t know that’s com­ing.’ . . .”
  2. From the arti­cle from Inde­pen­dent Sci­ence News: ” . . . . ‘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’. . . .”

We con­clude with anoth­er “look back look­ing for­ward.”

In FTR#456, we not­ed the eerie fore­shad­ow­ing the the 9/11 attacks by Turn­er Diaries author William Luther Pierce. Key aspects of that book, in turn, fore­shad­ow aspects of the 9/11 attacks.

  1. In 1998, the author of that tome,–William Luther Pierce–explic­it­ly fore­shad­owed the 9/11 attacks which defined and cement­ed Dubya’s admin­is­tra­tion. “ . . . . In one chill­ing com­men­tary Pierce, (after not­ing that Bin Laden and the rest of the lost gen­er­a­tion of angry Moslem youth had it with their par­ents’ com­pro­mis­es and were hell bent on revenge against infi­del Amer­i­ca) issued this stark, prophet­ic warn­ing in a 1998 radio address titled, ‘Stay Out of Tall Build­ings.’ ‘New York­ers who work in tall office build­ings any­thing close to the size of the World Trade Cen­ter might con­sid­er wear­ing hard hats . . .’ Pierce warned.’ . . . The run­ning theme in Pierce’s com­men­taries is—to para­phrase his hero Hitler—that Osama Bin Laden’s warn­ing to Amer­i­ca is ‘I Am Com­ing.’ And so is bio-ter­ror­ism.’ . . .”

In that con­text, we note that Chi­na is dev­as­tat­ed by a WMD/Third World War in Turn­er Diaries.

1. The pro­gram begins with an excerpt that comes from the con­sum­mate­ly impor­tant Whit­ney Webb arti­cle he has used on many occa­sions.

The Project For A New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry’s Rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s Defens­es argues that bio­log­i­cal warfare–particularly when twined with genet­ic engineering–can become a “polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.”

(In FTR#1190, we exam­ined the PNAC agen­da, its cod­i­fi­ca­tion in nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy in a doc­u­ment large­ly craft­ed by Philip Zelikow. Zelikow head­ed the 9/11 Com­mis­sion and was cen­tral­ly involved in writ­ing its flawed report, the sys­tem­at­ic short­com­ings of which could be said to char­ac­ter­ize the com­mis­sion as “The Omis­sion Com­mis­sion.) 

Zelikow is now head­ing a com­mis­sion to exam­ine the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, includ­ing the so-called “Lab-Leak Hypoth­e­sis.”

The pro­gram ref­er­ences this excerpt, des­ig­nat­ing Covid-19 as a “polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.”

As seen below, there are indi­ca­tions that the DARPA pro­gram was, indeed, look­ing at the exploita­tion of genet­ics in the appli­ca­tion of bio­log­i­cal war­fare.

“Bats, Gene Edit­ing and Bioweapons: Recent DARPA Exper­i­ments Raise Con­cerns Amid Coro­n­avirus Out­break” by Whit­ney Webb; The Last Amer­i­can Vagabond; 1/30/2020.

  • PNAC advo­cat­ed research into the appli­ca­tion of genet­ic engi­neer­ing in order to cre­ate eth­no-spe­cif­ic bio­log­i­cal war­fare weapons, as dis­cussed by the Project for a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry’s Rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s Defens­es. ” . . . . In what is arguably the think tank’s most con­tro­ver­sial doc­u­ment, titled ‘Rebuild­ing America’s Defens­es,’ there are a few pas­sages that open­ly dis­cuss the util­i­ty of bioweapons, includ­ing the fol­low­ing sen­tences: ‘…com­bat like­ly will take place in new dimen­sions: in space, ‘cyber-space,’ and per­haps the world of microbes…advanced forms of bio­log­i­cal war­fare that can ‘tar­get’ spe­cif­ic geno­types may trans­form bio­log­i­cal war­fare from the realm of ter­ror to a polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.’ . . .”
  • Into the DNA of both Russ­ian and Chi­nese pop­u­la­tions. ” . . . . Since the Pen­ta­gon began ‘redesign­ing’ its poli­cies and research towards a ‘long war’ with Rus­sia and Chi­na, the Russ­ian mil­i­tary has accused the U.S. mil­i­tary of har­vest­ing DNA from Rus­sians as part of a covert bioweapon pro­gram, a charge that the Pen­ta­gon has adamant­ly denied. Major Gen­er­al Igor Kir­illov, the head of the Russ­ian military’s radi­a­tion, chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion unit who made these claims, also assert­ed that the U.S. was devel­op­ing such weapons in close prox­im­i­ty to Russ­ian and Chi­nese bor­ders. Chi­na has also accused the U.S. mil­i­tary of har­vest­ing DNA from Chi­nese cit­i­zens with ill inten­tions, such as when 200,000 Chi­nese farm­ers were used in 12 genet­ic exper­i­ments with­out informed con­sent. Those exper­i­ments had been con­duct­ed by Har­vard researchers as part of a U.S. gov­ern­ment-fund­ed project. . . .”
  • Into “gene-driving”–a biotech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment that can per­ma­nent­ly alter the genet­ic make­up of entire pop­u­la­tion groups and lead to the extinc­tion of oth­er groups. ” . . . . 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. The rev­e­la­tion came after an orga­ni­za­tion called the ETC Group obtained over 1,000 emails on the military’s inter­est in the tech­nol­o­gy as part of a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA) request. 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.’ . . . .”
  • Into over­lap­ping tech­nolo­gies man­i­fest­ing philoso­phies of eugen­ics and eth­nic cleans­ing. ” . . . . In addi­tion, one pre­lim­i­nary study on the coro­n­avirus respon­si­ble for the cur­rent out­break found that the recep­tor, Angiotensin-con­vert­ing enzyme 2 (ACE2), is not only the same as that used by the SARS coro­n­avirus, but that East Asians present a much high­er ratio of lung cells that express that recep­tor than the oth­er eth­nic­i­ties (Cau­casian and African-Amer­i­can) includ­ed in the study. . . . the U.S. Air Force pub­lished a doc­u­ment enti­tled ‘Biotech­nol­o­gy: Genet­i­cal­ly Engi­neered Pathogens,’ which con­tains the fol­low­ing pas­sage: ‘The JASON group, com­posed of aca­d­e­m­ic sci­en­tists, served as tech­ni­cal advis­ers to the U. S. gov­ern­ment. Their study gen­er­at­ed six broad class­es of genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered pathogens that could pose seri­ous threats to soci­ety. These include but are not lim­it­ed to bina­ry bio­log­i­cal weapons, design­er genes, gene ther­a­py as a weapon, stealth virus­es, host-swap­ping dis­eases, and design­er dis­eases (empha­sis added).’ . . .”

2.  Next, we high­light an excerpt from an arti­cle that is fea­tured in FTR#‘s 686 and 1115” . . . . The pro­duc­tion of vac­cine against a stock­piled BW weapon must be con­sid­ered an offen­sive BW project Accord­ing to MIT sci­en­tists Harlee Strauss and Jonathan King, ‘These steps—the gen­er­a­tion of a poten­tial BW agent, devel­op­ment of a vac­cine against it, test­ing of the effi­ca­cy of the vaccine—are all com­po­nents that would be asso­ci­at­ed with an offen­sive BW program.’27 Clear­ly, with­out an anti­dote or vac­cine to pro­tect attack­ing troops, the util­i­ty of a stock­piled BW agent would be seri­ous­ly lim­it­ed. . . .”

“Can­cer War­fare: Nation­al Can­cer Insti­tute and the Fort Det­rick Link” by Richard Hatch; Covert Action Infor­ma­tion Bul­letin Num­ber 39 (Win­ter 1991–92).

. . . . In addi­tion, from 1968 to 1970, Pfiz­er had a con­tract for Scale Pro­duc­tion and Eval­u­a­tion of Staphy­lo­coc­cal Entero­tox­oid B” for the U.S. Army BW program.26 Staphy­lo­coc­cal entero­tox­oid is a pro­tec­tive vac­cine against a bac­te­r­i­al tox­in which was part of the U.S. arse­nal. The pro­duc­tion of vac­cine against a stock­piled BW weapon must be con­sid­ered an offen­sive BW project Accord­ing to MIT sci­en­tists Harlee Strauss and Jonathan King, “These steps—the gen­er­a­tion of a poten­tial BW agent, devel­op­ment of a vac­cine against it, test­ing of the effi­ca­cy of the vaccine—are all com­po­nents that would be asso­ci­at­ed with an offen­sive BW program.“27 Clear­ly, with­out an anti­dote or vac­cine to pro­tect attack­ing troops, the util­i­ty of a stock­piled BW agent would be seri­ous­ly lim­it­ed. . . .

3a. We then review mate­r­i­al from FTR#1166, among oth­er pro­grams, look­ing at the devel­op­ment of Mod­er­na’s vac­cine, the drug remde­sivir and mil­i­tary dom­i­na­tion of the Oper­a­tion Warp Speed Covid vac­cine pro­gram.

They key con­sid­er­a­tion is: do these devel­op­ments indi­cate the dynam­ic Strauss and King cite above?

At a min­i­mum, they are no more than the prover­bial six degrees of sep­a­ra­tion from being part of an offen­sive bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram.

In pre­vi­ous posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed that Mod­er­na’s vac­cine work has been financed by DARPA. We have also not­ed that the over­all head of Oper­a­tion Warp Speed is Mon­cef Slaoui, for­mer­ly in charge of prod­uct devel­op­ment for Mod­er­na!

Of great sig­nif­i­cance is the cen­tral role of the mil­i­tary in the devel­op­ment of treat­ment for Covid-19:

  1. The pro­gram notes that: ” . . . . Remde­sivir pre­dates this pan­dem­ic. It was first con­sid­ered as a poten­tial treat­ment for Ebo­la, and was devel­oped through a long­stand­ing part­ner­ship between the U.S. Army and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. . . .”
  2. Jonathan King, who has chaired the micro­bial phys­i­ol­o­gy study sec­tion for the NIH has sound­ed the alarm about “vac­cine research” mask­ing offen­sive bio­log­i­cal war­fare research: “. . . . King, who has chaired the micro­bial phys­i­ol­o­gy study sec­tion for the NIH, believes that with­out inten­sive inde­pen­dent scruti­ny, the Pen­ta­gon is free to obscure its true goals. ‘The Defense Depart­ment appears to be pur­su­ing many nar­row, applied goals that are by nature offen­sive, such as the genet­ic ‘improve­ment’ of BW agents,’ King says. ‘But to achieve polit­i­cal accept­abil­i­ty, they mask these inten­tions under forms of research, such as vac­cine devel­op­ment, which sound defen­sive. . . .”
  3. Mod­er­na’s vac­cine devel­op­ment was over­seen by an unnamed Pen­ta­gon offi­cial: ” . . . . Moderna’s team was head­ed by a Defense Depart­ment offi­cial whom com­pa­ny exec­u­tives described only as ‘the major,’ say­ing they don’t know if his name is sup­posed to be a secret. . . . .”
  4. The per­va­sive role of the mil­i­tary in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed (the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s vac­cine devel­op­ment pro­gram) has gen­er­at­ed alarm in civil­ian par­tic­i­pants:”. . . . Scores of Defense Depart­ment employ­ees are laced through the gov­ern­ment offices involved in the effort, mak­ing up a large por­tion of the fed­er­al per­son­nel devot­ed to the effort.  Those num­bers have led some cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion to pri­vate­ly grum­ble that the military’s role in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed was too large for a task that is, at its core, a pub­lic health cam­paign. . . .
  5. Gen­er­al Gus­tave Perna–one of the prin­ci­pals in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed–has cho­sen a retired Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al to over­see much of the pro­gram: ” . . . . ‘Frankly, it has been breath­tak­ing to watch,’ said Paul Ostrows­ki, the direc­tor of sup­ply, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion for Oper­a­tion Warp Speed. He is a retired Army lieu­tenant gen­er­al who was select­ed to man­age logis­tics for the pro­gram by Gen. Gus­tave F. Per­na, the chief oper­at­ing offi­cer for Oper­a­tion Warp Speed. . . .”
  6. The mil­i­tary will be able to trace the des­ti­na­tion and admin­is­tra­tion of each dose: ” . . . . Mil­i­tary offi­cials also came up with the clever idea — if it works — to coor­di­nate the deliv­ery of vac­cines to drug­stores, med­ical cen­ters and oth­er immu­niza­tion sites by send­ing kits full of nee­dles, syringes and alco­hol wipes. Vac­cine mak­ers will be alert­ed when the kits arrive at an immu­niza­tion site so they know to ship dos­es. Once the first dose is giv­en, the man­u­fac­tur­er will be noti­fied so it can send the sec­ond dose with a patient’s name attached sev­er­al weeks lat­er. The mil­i­tary will also mon­i­tor vac­cine dis­tri­b­u­tion through an oper­a­tions cen­ter. ‘They will know where every vac­cine dose is,’ Mr. [Paul] Man­go said on a call with reporters. . . .”

3b. Cen­tral to the inquiry about a lab­o­ra­to­ry gen­e­sis for the virus is Ralph Bar­ic. In the con­text of some of his actions in con­junc­tion with the devel­op­ment of vac­cines and pro­phy­lac­tic mea­sures in con­nec­tion with bio­log­i­cal war­fare, we note that:

  1. Bar­ic’s mod­i­fi­ca­tion of a horse­shoe bat virus to make it more infec­tious (in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Shi Zhengli and in an Eco­Health Alliance affil­i­at­ed project) took place in North Car­oli­na, not Wuhan. “. . . . Crit­ics have jumped on this paper as evi­dence that Shi was con­duct­ing “gain of func­tion” exper­i­ments that could have cre­at­ed a super­bug, but Shi denies it. The research cit­ed in the paper was con­duct­ed in North Car­oli­na. . . .”
  2. Bar­ic has been using relat­ed tech­niques to text remde­sivir (in 2017) and the Mod­er­na vac­cine. This places him in a milieu inex­tri­ca­bly linked to the mil­i­tary and pre-dat­ing the pan­dem­ic. ” . . . . Using a sim­i­lar tech­nique, in 2017, Baric’s lab showed that remde­sivir — cur­rent­ly the only licensed drug for treat­ing covid — could be use­ful in fight­ing coro­n­avirus infec­tions. Bar­ic also helped test the Mod­er­na covid vac­cine and a lead­ing new drug can­di­date against covid. . . .”

“To the Bat Cave: In Search of Covid’s Ori­gins, Sci­en­tists Reignite Polar­iz­ing Debate on Wuhan ‘Lab Leak’” by Arthur Allen; KHN; 05/19/2021

. . . . Crit­ics have jumped on this paper as evi­dence that Shi was con­duct­ing “gain of func­tion” exper­i­ments that could have cre­at­ed a super­bug, but Shi denies it. The research cit­ed in the paper was con­duct­ed in North Car­oli­na.

Using a sim­i­lar tech­nique, in 2017, Baric’s lab showed that remde­sivir — cur­rent­ly the only licensed drug for treat­ing covid — could be use­ful in fight­ing coro­n­avirus infec­tions. . . .

4. The flim­sy evi­den­tiary foun­da­tion of the Trump/Biden “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” did it charge is evi­denced by a new alle­ga­tion com­ing from David Ash­er, senior fel­low at the right-wing Hud­son Insti­tute and the for­mer State Depart­ment advis­er who co-authored a fact sheet last Jan­u­ary on activ­i­ty inside the lab as described in Kather­ine Eban’s Van­i­ty Fair piece.

Note that:

  1. Ash­er report­ed­ly told NBC News that he is “con­fi­dent” that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary was fund­ing a “secret pro­gram” that involved Shi Zhengli’s coro­n­avirus research at the WIV.
  2. Shi report­ed­ly worked with two mil­i­tary sci­en­tists at the lab. (Not sur­pris­ing giv­en that the vast bulk of BW research is inher­ent­ly “dual-use.”
  3. Ash­er claims he was told this by sev­er­al for­eign researchers who worked at the WIV who saw some per­son­nel there in mil­i­tary garb.
  4. IF true, the [alleged] mem­bers of this secret Chi­nese mil­i­tary biowar­fare research team appar­ent­ly didn’t think it was impor­tant to not wear mil­i­tary cloth­ing dur­ing their secret research at a research facil­i­ty intend­ed for civil­ian use only.
  5. We aren’t told the iden­ti­ty of these for­eign researchers who alleged­ly saw this.
  6. We aren’t told if Ash­er meant “for­eign researchers”–non-Chinese researchers work­ing at the WIV (so for­eign to Chi­na) or Chi­nese researchers work­ing at the WIV (so for­eign to Ash­er). 
  7. Shi’s research could be char­ac­ter­ized as fund­ed by the US mil­i­tary through the Eco­Health Alliance col­lab­o­ra­tion. 
  8. Keep in mind that this remark­able claim is based on anony­mous sources that may not exist but are are claimed by Ash­er to exist. 

“Wuhan virol­o­gist who worked on bat coro­n­avirus­es tied to mil­i­tary sci­en­tists, report says” by Edmund DeMarche; Fox News; 06/29/2021

A top Chi­nese virol­o­gist has been tied to at least two Chi­nese mil­i­tary sci­en­tists who col­lab­o­rat­ed with her on coro­n­avirus research in the past, includ­ing one now list­ed as deceased, a report Tues­day said.

In March, Dr. Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan-based virol­o­gist who has been accused of con­duct­ing risky exper­i­ments with bat coro­n­avirus­es, flat­ly denied alle­ga­tions that the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy con­duct­ed stud­ies with the mil­i­tary, an NBC News report said.

But the net­work report­ed that it uncov­ered evi­dence link­ing Shi to mil­i­tary sci­en­tists. She col­lab­o­rat­ed with Ton Yigang, a mil­i­tary sci­en­tist, on coro­n­avirus research in 2018 and then with Zhou Yusen, anoth­er mil­i­tary sci­en­tist in Decem­ber 2019. Zhou who was list­ed as deceased in the foot­note of an arti­cle pub­lished in 2020, the report said. The report said it could not con­firm the cause of his death.

David Ash­er, a for­mer State Depart­ment advis­er who co-authored a fact sheet last Jan­u­ary on activ­i­ty inside the lab, told NBC News that he is “con­fi­dent” that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary was fund­ing a “secret pro­gram” that involved coro­n­avirus­es.

He defend­ed his the­o­ry by say­ing he received the infor­ma­tion from sev­er­al for­eign researchers inside the lab who saw some researchers there in mil­i­tary garb. The report point­ed out that the lab insists that that facil­i­ty is only used for civil­ian pur­pos­es. Ash­er and the WIV did not imme­di­ate­ly respond to emails from Fox News.

Chi­na has called claims that the virus escaped the lab “absurd.”

“Some peo­ple in the Unit­ed States have fab­ri­cat­ed and ped­dled absurd sto­ries claim­ing Wuhan lab leak, which Chi­na is grave­ly con­cerned about,” a Chi­nese offi­cial said ear­li­er this month. “Chi­na urges the Unit­ed States to respect facts and sci­ence, refrain from politi­ciz­ing COVID-19 ori­gin trac­ing and con­cen­trate on inter­na­tion­al anti-pan­dem­ic coop­er­a­tion.”

The U.S. and oth­ers have accused Chi­na of fail­ing to pro­vide the raw data and access to sites that would allow a more thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion into where the virus sprung from and how it ini­tial­ly spread.

———-

5. Ash­er’s anony­mous­ly-sourced alle­ga­tions con­trast with infor­ma­tion from a Bloomberg News of Danielle Ander­son, a bat-borne virus expert who worked at the WIV as late as Novem­ber 2019

Note that:

  1. Ander­son would have been at WIV dur­ing the peri­od when an out­break from the WIV would pre­sum­ably have tak­en place under a lab-leak sce­nario.
  2. Ander­son is described as the only for­eign researcher work­ing at the WIV.
  3. If Ander­son was the lone for­eign researcher at the WIV, who are Ash­er’s “sev­er­al anony­mous for­eign WIV researchers?”

“The Last–And Only–Foreign Sci­en­tist in the Wuhan Lab Speaks Out” by Michell Fay Cortez; Bloomberg; 06/27/2021

Danielle Ander­son was work­ing in what has become the world’s most noto­ri­ous lab­o­ra­to­ry just weeks before the first known cas­es of Covid-19 emerged in cen­tral Chi­na. Yet, the Aus­tralian virol­o­gist still won­ders what she missed.

An expert in bat-borne virus­es, Ander­son is the only for­eign sci­en­tist to have under­tak­en research at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s BSL‑4 lab, the first in main­land Chi­na equipped to han­dle the planet’s dead­liest pathogens. Her most recent stint end­ed in Novem­ber 2019, giv­ing Ander­son an insider’s per­spec­tive on a place that’s become a flash­point in the search for what caused the worst pan­dem­ic in a cen­tu­ry. . . .

. . . . The U.S. has ques­tioned the lab’s safe­ty and alleged its sci­en­tists were engaged in con­tentious gain of func­tion research that manip­u­lat­ed virus­es in a man­ner that could have made them more dan­ger­ous.

It’s a stark con­trast to the place Ander­son described in an inter­view with Bloomberg News, the first in which she’s shared details about work­ing at the lab.

Half-truths and dis­tort­ed infor­ma­tion have obscured an accu­rate account­ing of the lab’s func­tions and activ­i­ties, which were more rou­tine than how they’ve been por­trayed in the media, she said.

“It’s not that it was bor­ing, but it was a reg­u­lar lab that worked in the same way as any oth­er high-con­tain­ment lab,” Ander­son said. “What peo­ple are say­ing is just not how it is.”

Now at Melbourne’s Peter Doher­ty Insti­tute for Infec­tion and Immu­ni­ty, Ander­son began col­lab­o­rat­ing with Wuhan researchers in 2016, when she was sci­en­tif­ic direc­tor of the biosafe­ty lab at Singapore’s Duke-NUS Med­ical School. Her research—which focus­es on why lethal virus­es like Ebo­la and Nipah cause no dis­ease in the bats in which they per­pet­u­al­ly circulate—complemented stud­ies under­way at the Chi­nese insti­tute, which offered fund­ing to encour­age inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion.

A ris­ing star in the virol­o­gy com­mu­ni­ty, Ander­son, 42, says her work on Ebo­la in Wuhan was the real­iza­tion of a life-long career goal. Her favorite movie is “Out­break,” the 1995 film in which dis­ease experts respond to a dan­ger­ous new virus—a job Ander­son said she want­ed to do. For her, that meant work­ing on Ebo­la in a high-con­tain­ment lab­o­ra­to­ry.

Anderson’s career has tak­en her all over the world. After obtain­ing an under­grad­u­ate degree from Deakin Uni­ver­si­ty in Gee­long, Aus­tralia, she worked as a lab tech­ni­cian at the Dana-Far­ber Can­cer Insti­tute in Boston, then returned to Aus­tralia to com­plete a PhD under the super­vi­sion of emi­nent virol­o­gists John Macken­zie and Lin­fa Wang. She did post-doc­tor­al work in Mon­tre­al, before mov­ing to Sin­ga­pore and work­ing again with Wang, who described Ander­son as “very com­mit­ted and ded­i­cat­ed,” and sim­i­lar in per­son­al­i­ty to Shi.

“They’re both very blunt with such high moral stan­dards,” Wang said by phone from Sin­ga­pore, where he’s the direc­tor of the emerg­ing infec­tious dis­eases pro­gram at the Duke-NUS Med­ical School. “I’m very proud of what Danielle’s been able to do.”

On the Ground

Ander­son was on the ground in Wuhan when experts believe the virus, now known as SARS-CoV­‑2, was begin­ning to spread. Dai­ly vis­its for a peri­od in late 2019 put her in close prox­im­i­ty to many oth­ers work­ing at the 65-year-old research cen­ter. She was part of a group that gath­ered each morn­ing at the Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Sci­ences to catch a bus that shut­tled them to the insti­tute about 20 miles away.

As the sole for­eign­er, Ander­son stood out, and she said the oth­er researchers there looked out for her.

“We went to din­ners togeth­er, lunch­es, we saw each oth­er out­side of the lab,” she said.

From her first vis­it before it for­mal­ly opened in 2018, Ander­son was impressed with the institute’s max­i­mum bio­con­tain­ment lab. The con­crete, bunker-style build­ing has the high­est biosafe­ty des­ig­na­tion, and requires air, water and waste to be fil­tered and ster­il­ized before it leaves the facil­i­ty. There were strict pro­to­cols and require­ments aimed at con­tain­ing the pathogens being stud­ied, Ander­son said, and researchers under­went 45 hours of train­ing to be cer­ti­fied to work inde­pen­dent­ly in the lab.

The induc­tion process required sci­en­tists to demon­strate their knowl­edge of con­tain­ment pro­ce­dures and their com­pe­ten­cy in wear­ing air-pres­sured suits. “It’s very, very exten­sive,” Ander­son said.

Enter­ing and exit­ing the facil­i­ty was a care­ful­ly chore­o­graphed endeav­or, she said. Depar­tures were made espe­cial­ly intri­cate by a require­ment to take both a chem­i­cal show­er and a per­son­al shower—the tim­ings of which were pre­cise­ly planned.

Spe­cial Dis­in­fec­tants

These rules are manda­to­ry across BSL‑4 labs, though Ander­son not­ed dif­fer­ences com­pared with sim­i­lar facil­i­ties in Europe, Sin­ga­pore and Aus­tralia in which she’s worked. The Wuhan lab uses a bespoke method to make and mon­i­tor its dis­in­fec­tants dai­ly, a sys­tem Ander­son was inspired to intro­duce in her own lab. She was con­nect­ed via a head­set to col­leagues in the lab’s com­mand cen­ter to enable con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion and safe­ty vigilance—steps designed to ensure noth­ing went awry.

How­ev­er, the Trump administration’s focus in 2020 on the idea the virus escaped from the Wuhan facil­i­ty sug­gest­ed that some­thing went seri­ous­ly wrong at the insti­tute, the only one to spe­cial­ize in virol­o­gy, viral pathol­o­gy and virus tech­nol­o­gy of the some 20 bio­log­i­cal and bio­med­ical research insti­tutes of the Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Sci­ences.

Virol­o­gists and infec­tious dis­ease experts ini­tial­ly dis­missed the the­o­ry, not­ing that virus­es jump from ani­mals to humans with reg­u­lar­i­ty. There was no clear evi­dence from with­in SARS-CoV‑2’s genome that it had been arti­fi­cial­ly manip­u­lat­ed, or that the lab har­bored prog­en­i­tor strains of the pan­dem­ic virus. Polit­i­cal observers sug­gest­ed the alle­ga­tions had a strate­gic basis and were designed to put pres­sure on Bei­jing. . . .

. . . . Ander­son said no one she knew at the Wuhan insti­tute was ill toward the end of 2019. More­over, there is a pro­ce­dure for report­ing symp­toms that cor­re­spond with the pathogens han­dled in high-risk con­tain­ment labs.

“If peo­ple were sick, I assume that I would have been sick—and I wasn’t,” she said. “I was test­ed for coro­n­avirus in Sin­ga­pore before I was vac­ci­nat­ed, and had nev­er had it.”

Not only that, many of Anderson’s col­lab­o­ra­tors in Wuhan came to Sin­ga­pore at the end of Decem­ber for a gath­er­ing on Nipah virus. There was no word of any ill­ness sweep­ing the lab­o­ra­to­ry, she said.

“There was no chat­ter,” Ander­son said. “Sci­en­tists are gos­sipy and excit­ed. There was noth­ing strange from my point of view going on at that point that would make you think some­thing is going on here.”

The names of the sci­en­tists report­ed to have been hos­pi­tal­ized haven’t been dis­closed. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and Shi Zhengli, the lab’s now-famous bat-virus researcher, have repeat­ed­ly denied that any­one from the facil­i­ty con­tract­ed Covid-19. Anderson’s work at the facil­i­ty, and her fund­ing, end­ed after the pan­dem­ic emerged and she focused on the nov­el coro­n­avirus.

‘I’m Not Naive’

It’s not that it’s impos­si­ble the virus spilled from there. Ander­son, bet­ter than most peo­ple, under­stands how a pathogen can escape from a lab­o­ra­to­ry. SARS, an ear­li­er coro­n­avirus that emerged in Asia in 2002 and killed more than 700 peo­ple, sub­se­quent­ly made its way out of secure facil­i­ties a hand­ful of times, she said.

If pre­sent­ed with evi­dence that such an acci­dent spawned Covid-19, Ander­son “could fore­see how things could maybe hap­pen,” she said. “I’m not naive enough to say I absolute­ly write this off.”

And yet, she still believes it most like­ly came from a nat­ur­al source. Since it took researchers almost a decade to pin down where in nature the SARS pathogen emerged, Ander­son says she’s not sur­prised they haven’t found the “smok­ing gun” bat respon­si­ble for the lat­est out­break yet.

The Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy is large enough that Ander­son said she didn’t know what every­one was work­ing on at the end of 2019. She is aware of pub­lished research from the lab that involved test­ing viral com­po­nents for their propen­si­ty to infect human cells. Ander­son is con­vinced no virus was made inten­tion­al­ly to infect peo­ple and delib­er­ate­ly released—one of the more dis­turb­ing the­o­ries to have emerged about the pandemic’s ori­gins.

Gain of Func­tion

Ander­son did con­cede that it would be the­o­ret­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble for a sci­en­tist in the lab to be work­ing on a gain of func­tion tech­nique to unknow­ing­ly infect them­selves and to then unin­ten­tion­al­ly infect oth­ers in the com­mu­ni­ty. But there’s no evi­dence that occurred and Ander­son rat­ed its like­li­hood as exceed­ing­ly slim. 

Get­ting autho­riza­tion to cre­ate a virus in this way typ­i­cal­ly requires many lay­ers of approval, and there are sci­en­tif­ic best prac­tices that put strict lim­its on this kind of work. For exam­ple, a mora­to­ri­um was placed on research that could be done on the 1918 Span­ish Flu virus after sci­en­tists iso­lat­ed it decades lat­er.

Even if such a gain of func­tion effort got clear­ance, it’s hard to achieve, Ander­son said. The tech­nique is called reverse genet­ics.

“It’s exceed­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to actu­al­ly make it work when you want it to work,” she said.

Despite this, Ander­son does think an inves­ti­ga­tion is need­ed to nail down the virus’s ori­gin once and for all. She’s dumb­found­ed by the por­tray­al of the lab by some media out­side Chi­na, and the tox­ic attacks on sci­en­tists that have ensued.

One of a dozen experts appoint­ed to an inter­na­tion­al task­force in Novem­ber to study the ori­gins of the virus, Ander­son hasn’t sought pub­lic atten­tion, espe­cial­ly since being tar­get­ed by U.S. extrem­ists in ear­ly 2020 after she exposed false infor­ma­tion about the pan­dem­ic post­ed online. The vit­ri­ol that ensued prompt­ed her to file a police report. The threats of vio­lence many coro­n­avirus sci­en­tists have expe­ri­enced over the past 18 months have made them hes­i­tant to speak out because of the risk that their words will be mis­con­strued.

6. A chill­ing arti­cle may fore­cast the poten­tial deploy­ment of even dead­lier pan­demics, as oper­a­tional dis­guise for bio­log­i­cal war­fare and geno­cide.

Note that the sub-head­ing refer­ring to the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis is fol­lowed by no men­tion of the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis, per se.

Is this a between-the-lines ref­er­ence to impend­ing bio­log­i­cal war­fare devel­op­ment and the deploy­ment of anoth­er pan­dem­ic?

Note that the Army sci­en­tist quot­ed in the con­clu­sion offers an obser­va­tion that is very close to a Don­ald Rums­feld quote reit­er­at­ed by Peter Daszak in an arti­cle we ref­er­ence in FTR#1170.

  1. From the Defense One arti­cle: ” . . . . ‘We don’t want to just treat what’s in front of us now,’  [Dr. Dim­i­tra] Stratis-Cul­lum said. ‘I think we real­ly need to be resilient. From an Army per­spec­tive. We need to be agile, we need to adapt to the threat that we don’t know that’s com­ing.’ . . .”
  2. From the arti­cle from Inde­pen­dent Sci­ence News: ” . . . . ‘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’. . . .”

“‘This May Not Be The Big One’: Army Sci­en­tists Warn of Dead­lier Pan­demics to Come” by Tara Copp; Defense One; 6/21/2021.

The ser­vice is clos­ing in on a “pan-coro­n­avirus” vac­cine and on syn­thet­ic anti­bod­ies that could pro­tect a pop­u­la­tion before spread. But that may not be enough.
June 21, 2021

The U.S. Army sci­en­tists who have spent the last year find­ing vac­cines and ther­a­peu­tics to stop COVID-19 cau­tioned that the nation remains vul­ner­a­ble to a viral pandemic—one that could be even dead­lier than the cur­rent one. 

Since the ear­li­est days of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, the emerg­ing infec­tious dis­eases branch at the Wal­ter Reed Army Insti­tute of Research has worked to devel­op a vac­cine that would help patients fend off not only the orig­i­nal virus strain but also new vari­ants. 

In ini­tial tests on mon­keys, hors­es, ham­sters, and sharks, Wal­ter Reed’s spike fer­ritin nanopar­ti­cle, or SpFN, vac­cine has shown effec­tive­ness against not only the cur­rent SARS-CoV­‑2 vari­ants, but also against the com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent SARS-CoV­‑1 out­break that occurred in 2003, the head of Wal­ter Reed’s infec­tious dis­eases branch said at the Defense One 2021 Tech Sum­mit Mon­day. 

“If we try to chase the virus­es after they emerge, we’re always going to be behind,” said Dr. Kayvon Mod­jar­rad, direc­tor of Wal­ter Reed’s infec­tious dis­eases branch. “So the approach that we took with our vac­cine, the nanopar­ti­cle approach, in which we can place parts of dif­fer­ent coro­n­avirus­es on to the same vac­cine to edu­cate the immune sys­tem about dif­fer­ent coro­n­avirus­es all at the same time.”

Wal­ter Reed’s vac­cine is now in the ear­ly stages of human tri­als. 

“And we see the same thing over and over again: a very potent immune response and a very broad immune response,” Mod­jar­rad said. “So if we show even a frac­tion of what we’re see­ing in our ani­mal stud­ies in humans, then we’ll have a very good con­fi­dence that this is going to be a very good option as a next-gen­er­a­tion vac­cine.” 

Dr. Dim­i­tra Stratis-Cul­lum, direc­tor of the Army’s trans­for­ma­tion­al syn­thet­ic-biol­o­gy for mil­i­tary envi­ron­ments pro­gram at the U.S. Army Com­bat Capa­bil­i­ties Devel­op­ment Com­mand, Army Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry, was tasked ear­ly on to assist the Hous­ton Methodist Research Insti­tute devel­op blood plas­ma as a COVID-19 ther­a­peu­tic. She’s now work­ing on devel­op­ing a large dataset, a library of COVID strains that would help the lab then cre­ate and dis­trib­ute syn­thet­ic anti­bod­ies to pre­emp­tive­ly pre­vent a spread. 
Relat­ed arti­cles

If the Lab-Leak The­o­ry Is Right, What’s Next?

Cre­at­ing a pan-coro­n­avirus vaccine—or syn­the­siz­ing anti­bod­ies slight­ly ahead of a known out­break still isn’t enough, the sci­en­tists cau­tioned. 

“We don’t want to just treat what’s in front of us now,”  Stratis-Cul­lum said. “I think we real­ly need to be resilient. From an Army per­spec­tive. We need to be agile, we need to adapt to the threat that we don’t know that’s com­ing.” 

The like­li­hood this gen­er­a­tion will see anoth­er pan­dem­ic dur­ing its life­time “is high,” Mod­jar­rad said. “We have seen the accel­er­a­tion of these pathogens and the epi­demics that they pre­cip­i­tate. And it may not be a coro­n­avirus, this may not be the big one. There may be some­thing that’s more trans­mis­si­ble and more dead­ly ahead of us.”   

“We have to think more broad­ly, not just about COVID-19, not just about coro­n­avirus, but all emerg­ing infec­tious threats com­ing into the future,” he said.

7. Exem­pli­fy­ing the polit­i­cal con­text in which the Covid-19 out­break [con­ve­nient­ly for the U.S.] occurred is an arti­cle about prepa­ra­tions for war with Chi­na:

“The  Big War;” Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy; 6/18/2021.

US mil­i­tary offi­cers debate US war against Chi­na. It’s tim­ing: “maybe as ear­ly as 2026 or 2024.”

While the Ger­man frigate Bay­ern is prepar­ing to set off for its Asia-Pacif­ic tour, high-rank­ing US mil­i­tary offi­cials are inten­si­fy­ing their dis­cus­sion on the type and time of a pos­si­ble large-scale war against Chi­na. Retired Admi­ral James Stavridis, for­mer NATO Supreme Allied Com­man­der Europe and author of a new­ly pub­lished nov­el on such a war, assumed until recent­ly that the bat­tle could begin in the com­ing decade and could pos­si­bly be trig­gered by a con­flict over Tai­wan or islands in the South and East Chi­na seas. How­ev­er, the mil­i­tary bal­ance of pow­er between the USA and Chi­na is rapid­ly shift­ing in favor of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic, which in some areas has already caught up, for exam­ple in the num­ber of war­ships or in cyber war­fare, Stavridis notes. He warns that “the bat­tle” between Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing “may come much soon­er. US allies play a cen­tral role and the USA is delib­er­ate­ly involv­ing them in “more aggres­sive” oper­a­tions, for exam­ple, in the South Chi­na Sea. Ger­many is among the allies he men­tioned.

An Expe­ri­enced Strate­gist

In his cur­rent pub­lic appear­ances, James G. Stavridis explic­it­ly warns of a big war between the Unites States and Chi­na. Stavridis, a high­ly dec­o­rat­ed retired admi­ral, had com­mand­ed US war­ships also in the Mediter­ranean and the Per­sian Gulf. From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis com­mand­ed the Enter­prise Car­ri­er Strike Group, which at the time, con­duct­ed com­bat oper­a­tions in the war on Iraq. From the sum­mer of 2009 to May 2013, he served as com­man­der of the U.S. Euro­pean Com­mand and as Supreme Allied Com­man­der Europe (SACEUR). The sub­se­quent five years, he served as Dean of the Fletch­er School of Law and Diplo­ma­cy at the pres­ti­gious Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty near Boston (in the US state of Mass­a­chu­setts). Stavridis, who likes to empha­size that he spent a sig­nif­i­cant part of his US Navy career in the Asia Pacif­ic seas, has also become known as an author of numer­ous books on mil­i­tary strat­e­gy, includ­ing wide­ly reviewed works. In his lat­est book, in the form of a nov­el, he explores a pos­si­ble US Chi­nese war.

The Mil­i­tary Bal­ance of Pow­er

In recent inter­views and arti­cles, Stavridis has repeat­ed­ly empha­sized two fac­tors that are cen­tral in this con­text: the devel­op­ment of the mil­i­tary bal­ance of pow­er between the Unit­ed States and Chi­na as well as the impor­tance of US alliance sys­tems. Accord­ing to Stavridis, the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic is rapid­ly catch­ing up and, in some areas, has already sur­passed the Unit­ed States. The Chi­nese Navy, for exam­ple, has already more war­ships (around 350) than the US Navy (around 300) and is “pump­ing out new war­ships on a near-week­ly basis.” Of course, one must take into account, that US ships are ton-for-ton larg­er, endowed with bet­ter offen­sive and defen­sive sys­tems, and manned by far more expe­ri­enced crews, the US admi­ral notes.[1] Chi­na is also mak­ing rapid progress in gear­ing up for cyber and space war­fare. Of course, in a poten­tial con­flict near Tai­wan, in the South and East Chi­nese seas, Chi­na enjoys a great advan­tage geo­graph­i­cal­ly, because the US armed forces have to oper­ate far away from their home ter­ri­to­ry, the US admi­ral con­cedes. Addi­tion­al­ly, with its bases on islands through­out the South Chi­na Sea Bei­jing has cre­at­ed “unsink­able air­craft car­ri­ers,” which some­what bal­ance the US bases in Japan, South Korea and Guam.[2]

The Impor­tance of Alliances

Stavridis attach­es great impor­tance to US alliance sys­tems. In case of a war against Chi­na, Japan, South Korea, and Aus­tralia would con­sti­tute the core, the retired admi­ral con­tends, also because they host US mil­i­tary bases and present an option of retreat for the US armed forces. More­over, the US has for­mal treaty alliances with New Zealand, the Philip­pines and Thai­land and it can also rely on “very strong part­ner­ships with Sin­ga­pore, Viet­nam, and Malaysia.” Rela­tions with India are also grow­ing stronger. How much the US could count on such part­ners is a grow­ing ques­tion, but Wash­ing­ton is work­ing on it. For Stavridis, the Quad (Quadri­lat­er­al Secu­ri­ty Alliance) of the US, Japan and Aus­tralia as well as India, is of great importance.[3] Allies in Europe can be added, “whose navies are capa­ble of glob­al deploy­ments to the Pacif­ic,” par­tic­u­lar­ly the UK, France and Ger­many, which have expressed will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate, at least, in “free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion” patrols in the South Chi­na Sea.[4] Chi­na has no equiv­a­lent struc­tures to com­pete with the US glob­al alliance sys­tems.

When the War Begins

Par­tic­u­lar­ly a con­flict over Tai­wan as well as one over var­i­ous islands in the South and East Chi­na seas could trig­ger a mil­i­tary esca­la­tion, accord­ing to Stavridis. The retired admi­ral excludes a land war in East Asia, but in a sea-air bat­tle, he gives a nar­row edge to the US forces: “Our tech­nol­o­gy, net­work of allies and bases in the region,” but also high-tech weapons sys­tems, like all kinds of drones and space capa­bil­i­ties — “still” — over­match China.[5] But Bei­jing is gain­ing “rapid­ly, and by the end of the decade — if not soon­er — it will be in a posi­tion to tru­ly chal­lenge the USA in the South Chi­na Sea.” Stavridis, who named his nov­el “2034” after the year in which a US/China war could even­tu­al­ly start, mean­while adds: “We may not have until 2034 to pre­pare for this bat­tle — it may come much sooner.”[6] “Very good book, but wrong date,” is “one of the most fre­quent reac­tions” he gets to his nov­el. “This is not about 2034,” but rather 2024 or 2026,” accord­ing to high-rank­ing mil­i­tary officials.[7]

Mar­itime Coali­tion against Chi­na

The Biden admin­is­tra­tion is inten­si­fy­ing its prepa­ra­tions for a pos­si­ble war against Chi­na on all lev­els — striv­ing to become eco­nom­i­cal­ly and tech­no­log­i­cal­ly inde­pen­dent of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic — but also with mil­i­tary mea­sures. Sec­re­tary of Defense, Lloyd Austin announced last week that the rec­om­men­da­tions devel­oped by the “Chi­na Task Force” he appoint­ed in Feb­ru­ary would be imple­ment­ed as soon as pos­si­ble. They are kept secret but, accord­ing to Austin, are aimed at vig­or­ous­ly ori­ent­ing the US armed forces toward a pow­er strug­gle with Chi­na and at “stream­lin­ing and strength­en­ing” coop­er­a­tion with US allies.[8] In this con­text, accord­ing to Stavridis, the US Navy will be under­tak­ing more aggres­sive patrols through­out the waters off Chi­na,” but also “grad­u­al­ly include oth­er allied war­ships in this aggres­sive free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion patrols. This “inter­na­tion­al­izes the push­back on Chi­nese claims of sov­er­eign­ty over the South Chi­na Sea.”[9] Ulti­mate­ly the goal is to “cre­ate a glob­al mar­itime coali­tion to face the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army’s high­ly capa­ble forces” — at the thresh­old of a pos­si­ble big war.

 For more infor­ma­tion on this sub­ject see: “The Start­ing Gun Has Gone Off”The World’s Cen­ter of Grav­i­ty and our video col­umn War against Chi­na.

[1], [2] James Stavridis: If the US went to war with Chi­na, who would win? asia.nikkei.com 30.05.2021.

[3] U.S. admi­ral warns against U.S.-China war in best-sell­er. asahi.com 02.06.2021.

[4], [5], [6] James Stavridis: It’s not too soon to pre­pare for a sea war in Asia. politico.com 13.05.2021.

[7] Bern­hard Zand: “Wir müssen ver­hin­dern, dass wir in einen großen Krieg hinein­schlit­tern”. spiegel.de 14.04.2021.

[8] See also “The Start­ing Gun Has Gone Off”.

[9] James Stavridis: How the US mil­i­tary is prepar­ing for a war with Chi­na. asia.nikkei.com 07.03.2021.

8. In FTR#456, we not­ed the eerie fore­shad­ow­ing the the 9/11 attacks by Turn­er Diaries author William Luther Pierce. Key aspects of that book, in turn, fore­shad­ow aspects of the 9/11 attacks.

  1. In 1998, the author of that tome,–William Luther Pierce–explic­it­ly fore­shad­owed the 9/11 attacks which defined and cement­ed Dubya’s admin­is­tra­tion. “ . . . . In one chill­ing com­men­tary Pierce, (after not­ing that Bin Laden and the rest of the lost gen­er­a­tion of angry Moslem youth had it with their par­ents’ com­pro­mis­es and were hell bent on revenge against infi­del Amer­i­ca) issued this stark, prophet­ic warn­ing in a 1998 radio address titled, ‘Stay Out of Tall Build­ings.’ ‘New York­ers who work in tall office build­ings any­thing close to the size of the World Trade Cen­ter might con­sid­er wear­ing hard hats . . .’ Pierce warned.’ . . . The run­ning theme in Pierce’s com­men­taries is—to para­phrase his hero Hitler—that Osama Bin Laden’s warn­ing to Amer­i­ca is ‘I Am Com­ing.’ And so is bio-ter­ror­ism.’ . . .”

In that con­text, we note that Chi­na is dev­as­tat­ed by a WMD/Third World War in Turn­er Diaries.

“The Turn­er Diaries;” Wikipedia.com

. . . . the Orga­ni­za­tion attacks it [Chi­na] with nuclear, chem­i­calradi­o­log­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons which ren­der the entire con­ti­nent of Asia unin­hab­it­able and rife with “mutants”. . . .

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