Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR#‘s 1254 & 1255 Pandemics, Inc., Parts 4 and 5

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to the com­ments made on pro­grams and posts–an excel­lent source of infor­ma­tion in, and of, itself, HERE.

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

Mr. Emory’s entire life’s work is avail­able on a 32GB flash dri­ve, avail­able for a con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more (to KFJC). Click Here to obtain Dav­e’s 40+ years’ work, com­plete through Late Fall of 2021 (through FTR #1215).

“Polit­i­cal language…is designed to make lies sound truth­ful and mur­der respectable, and to give an appe­warance of solid­i­ty to pure wind.”

— George Orwell, 1946

EVERYTHING MR. EMORY HAS BEEN SAYING ABOUT THE UKRAINE WAR IS ENCAPSULATED IN THIS VIDEO FROM UKRAINE 24

ANOTHER REVEALING VIDEO FROM UKRAINE 24

Mr. Emory has launched a new Patre­on site. Vis­it at: Patreon.com/DaveEmory

FTR#1254 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR#1255 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Dr. Jef­frey Sachs
Pho­to Cred­it: Wikipedia.org

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram fur­ther devel­ops the con­sor­tium of Eco­Health Alliance, Metabio­ta, In-Q-Tel and Munich Rein­sur­ance. 

Tak­en togeth­er, a num­ber of points of infor­ma­tion high­light­ed here go a long way to prov­ing the legal con­cept of “con­scious­ness of guilt,” the guilt being intent to cre­ate the pan­dem­ic and knowl­edge that such a thing was done.

(The infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed here should be tak­en in con­junc­tion with infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR#‘s 1151, 1152 and 1153. In turn, those pro­grams are devel­op­ments of doc­u­men­ta­tion pre­sent­ed in our many pro­grams about Covid-19.)

Of para­mount impor­tance in eval­u­at­ing the mate­r­i­al here and in the oth­er broad­casts about Covid-19 is the devel­op­ment of syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy and the man­ner in which it enables bio­log­i­cal war­fare: “ . . . 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. . . 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. . . . Today, the genet­ic code of almost any mam­malian virus can be found online and syn­the­sised. ‘The tech­nol­o­gy to do this is avail­able now,’ said [Michael] Impe­ri­ale. “It requires some exper­tise, but it’s some­thing that’s rel­a­tive­ly easy to do, and that is why it tops the list. . . .”

Going a long way toward prov­ing con­scious­ness of guilt are:

  1. The behav­ior of Peter Daszak and col­leagues in “gam­ing” the Lancet state­ment on the “nat­ur­al” ori­gin of the coro­n­avirus (Dasza­k’s Eco­Health Alliance–funded and advised by the nation­al secu­ri­ty establishment–is impli­cat­ed in the cre­ation of the SARS COV‑2.)
  2. The reac­tion of gov­ern­ment offi­cials to Trump admin­is­tra­tion fig­ures into the ori­gins of the virus, advis­ing would be inves­ti­ga­tors that such inquiries would open a “can of worms,” or “a Pan­do­ra’s Box” because it would should light on U.S. fund­ing of the projects.
  3. Metabiota–partnered with Eco­Health Alliance–was net­worked with In-Q-Tel (the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty’s ven­ture cap­i­tal arm) and Munich Re to pro­vide pan­dem­ic insur­ance. Their 2018 busi­ness mod­el direct­ly fore­shad­owed the pan­dem­ic.
  4. Many aspects of the SARS COV‑2 virus, includ­ing its curi­ous FCS site and insti­tu­tion­al­ized obfus­ca­tion of aspects of the pan­dem­ic it caused sug­gest delib­er­ate cov­er-up. Why would the NIH redact 290 pages of a doc­u­ment request­ed by an FOIA suit!! Why were sequences of bat coro­n­avirus genomes removed from pub­lic view?

We begin by not­ing the OUN/B affil­i­a­tion of Ulana Suprun, who was the Ukrain­ian Min­is­ter of Health from 2016 until2019, plac­ing her very much “in the mix” with Andrew C. Weber and the Metabio­ta, Eco­Health Alliance and Munich Re con­sor­tium.

” . . . . Suprun is the hus­band of the Ukrain­ian Amer­i­can Ulana Suprun, a promi­nent Ban­dera enthu­si­ast with ties to the Ukrain­ian far-right who served as the Health­care Min­is­ter of Ukraine from July 2016 through August 2019. . . .”

We can con­fi­dent­ly con­clude that Metabio­ta founder NathanWolfe was in Jef­frey Epstein’s orbit.

We include a link to an excel­lent Covert Action Mag­a­zine arti­cle about Epstein and his myr­i­ad intel­li­gence con­nec­tions for the con­ve­nience of the lis­ten­er and req­ui­site back­ground infor­ma­tion.

Recap­ping infor­ma­tion from our “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” series, we note that Trump offi­cials who were look­ing to tout the Chi­nese “lab-leak” hypoth­e­sis were told to avoid the top­ic, lest it cre­ate prob­lems for the U.S.

Note, as well, that both Peter Daszak and Ralph Bar­ic, asso­ci­at­ed with Eco­Health Alliance, were engaged in dubi­ous maneu­ver­ing to eclipse atten­tion on the pos­si­ble U.S. spon­sor­ship of the SARS COV‑2 gain-of-func­tion manip­u­la­tions.

  1. ” . . . . It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but orga­nized the influ­en­tial Lancet state­ment, with the inten­tion of con­ceal­ing his role and cre­at­ing the impres­sion of sci­en­tif­ic una­nim­i­ty. . . .”
  2. . . . . In one State Depart­ment meet­ing, offi­cials seek­ing to demand trans­paren­cy from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment say they were explic­it­ly told by col­leagues not to explore the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s gain-of-func­tion research, because it would bring unwel­come atten­tion to U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of it. . . . because it would ‘‘open a can of worms’ if it con­tin­ued.’. . .”
  3. ” . . . . As the group probed the lab-leak sce­nario, among oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, its mem­bers were repeat­ed­ly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ said four for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cials inter­viewed by Van­i­ty Fair. The admo­ni­tions ‘smelled like a cov­er-up,’ said Thomas DiNan­no . . . .”

In our exhaus­tive series on the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, we have pre­sent­ed over­whelm­ing evi­dence that the SARS COV‑2 was syn­the­sized in a U.S. lab.

Hav­ing chaired a Lancet com­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate the ori­gins of SARS CoV‑2, Dr. Jef­frey Sachs is “pret­ty con­vinced” that the virus came from a U.S. lab­o­ra­to­ry.

He opines that it was a “blun­der.”

Although we believe Covid-19 was a bio­log­i­cal war­fare attack, we are great­ly encour­aged that some­one of Sachs’ stature has come for­ward in this regard.

In many past pro­grams, we have high­light­ed insti­tu­tions impli­cat­ed in the appar­ent “bio-skull­dug­gery” sur­round­ing the U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare gam­bit involv­ing what Mr. Emory has termed “The Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy.” This is dis­cussed in: FTR#‘s 1157–1159, 1170, 1183 through 1193, and 1215.

The essence of the “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” gam­bit con­cerns the DTRA and Pen­ta­gon fund­ing of bat-borne coro­n­avirus research at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy, much of it through Peter Dasza­k’s Eco­Health Alliance. Once the research was com­plete, it result­ed in pub­li­ca­tion which includ­ed the genome of the bat virus­es being researched. Using tech­nol­o­gy dis­cussed above (in the Guardian arti­cle), the virus­es were then syn­the­sized from scratch and pop­u­la­tion groups were vec­tored with the same viral strains being researched by the WIV. 

Dr. Sachs’ rumi­na­tions about a U.S. bio­log­i­cal lab­o­ra­to­ry ori­gin of SARS-CoV­‑2 are fleshed out in an inter­view–fea­tured on his website–with the Tehran Times.

Note that he con­tin­ues to opine that the release was a “blun­der” and that it did not result from bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. Again, this is mod­i­fied lim­it­ed hang­out.

Next, the pro­gram reviews an excerpt­ing of a Wired Mag­a­zine arti­cle about the Metabiota/Munich Rein­sur­ance project.

Bear in mind that In-Q-Tel, the ven­ture cap­i­tal arm of the CIA and the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, is greas­ing the wheels of this project with financ­ing.

We high­light two key points of infor­ma­tion:

  • The busi­ness suc­cess of the pan­dem­ic insur­ance would nec­es­sar­i­ly incor­po­rate analy­sis of the “fear fac­tor” of poten­tial pan­dem­ic pathogens: ” . . . . As sophis­ti­cat­ed as Metabiota’s sys­tem was, how­ev­er, it would need to be even more refined to incor­po­rate into an insur­ance pol­i­cy. The mod­el would need to cap­ture some­thing much more dif­fi­cult to quan­ti­fy than his­tor­i­cal deaths and med­ical stock­piles: fear. The eco­nom­ic con­se­quences of a scourge, the his­tor­i­cal data showed, were as much a result of society’s response as they were to the virus itself. . . . The Sen­ti­ment Index was built to be, as Oppen­heim put it, ‘a cat­a­log of dread.’ For any giv­en pathogen, it could spit out a score from 0 to 100 accord­ing to how fright­en­ing the pub­lic would find it. . . . Mad­hav and her team, along with Wolfe and Oppen­heim, also researched the broad­er eco­nom­ic con­se­quences of dis­ease out­breaks, mea­sured in the ‘cost per death pre­vent­ed’ incurred by soci­etal inter­ven­tions. ‘Mea­sures that decreased per­son-to-per­son con­tact, includ­ing social dis­tanc­ing, quar­an­tine, and school clo­sures, had the great­est cost per death pre­vent­ed, most like­ly because of the amount of eco­nom­ic dis­rup­tion caused by those mea­sures,’ they wrote in a 2018 paper. . . .”
  • More sin­is­ter, still, is the fact that Metabio­ta had ana­lyzed the sce­nario of a nov­el coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic two years before it hap­pened. This appears to be the 2018 paper referred to above. Do not fail to note that, at the time that Metabio­ta was run­ning this sce­nario, they were part­nered with Eco­Health Alliance, which was using Pen­ta­gon and USAID mon­ey to research and per­form gain-of-func­tion on these types of coro­n­avirus­es!! ” . . . . As the human and eco­nom­ic dev­as­ta­tion mul­ti­plied in tan­dem across the globe, Metabiota’s employ­ees sud­den­ly found them­selves liv­ing inside their own model’s pro­jec­tions. Just two years ear­li­er, the com­pa­ny had run a large set of sce­nar­ios fore­cast­ing the con­se­quences of a nov­el coro­n­avirus spread­ing around the globe. . . .”

Despite our deep reser­va­tions about Jef­frey Sachs—expressed in numer­ous pro­grams and posts–it’s remark­able just how damn­ing our con­clud­ing arti­cle is.

Sachs is some­one in a posi­tion to bring real pub­lic atten­tion to this top­ic, if he choos­es to do so. The authors make a com­pelling case for an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion, and who would be in a bet­ter posi­tion than Sachs to make this case pub­licly after he dis­band­ed his Lancet Com­mis­sion over these kinds of con­cerns? That’s all part of what is going to make this a sto­ry to watch.

“ . . . . Infor­ma­tion now held by the research team head­ed by EHA (7), as well as the com­mu­ni­ca­tions of that research team with US research fund­ing agen­cies, includ­ing NIH, USAID, DARPA, DTRA, and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, could shed con­sid­er­able light on the exper­i­ments under­tak­en by the US-fund­ed research team and on the pos­si­ble rela­tion­ship, if any, between those exper­i­ments and the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2. . . .”

If our sus­pi­cions about Sachs are well-found­ed, he might be in posi­tion to con­trol the results that do emerge.

Nonethe­less, this arti­cle has some remark­able points of infor­ma­tion to be con­sid­ered and it is alto­geth­er wel­come and impor­tant that some­one of Dr. Sachs’ high pro­fes­sion­al pro­file and pres­tige has come for­ward:

  • “ . . . . Much of the work on SARS-like CoVs per­formed in Wuhan was part of an active and high­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive US–China sci­en­tif­ic research pro­gram fund­ed by the US Gov­ern­ment (NIH, Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency [DTRA—Pentagon, D.E.], and US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment [USAID]—State Depart­ment, fre­quent cov­er for CIA, D.E.), coor­di­nat­ed by researchers at Eco­Health Alliance (EHA—Chief fun­ders are Pen­ta­gon, USAID, sci­ence and pol­i­cy advi­sor is David Franz, for­mer com­mand­ing offi­cer of the U.S. Army Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Disease—D.E.), but involv­ing researchers at sev­er­al oth­er US insti­tu­tions. For this rea­son, it is impor­tant that US insti­tu­tions be trans­par­ent about any knowl­edge of the detailed activ­i­ties that were under­way in Wuhan and in the Unit­ed States. The evi­dence may also sug­gest that research insti­tu­tions in oth­er coun­tries were involved, and those too should be asked to sub­mit rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion (e.g., with respect to unpub­lished sequences). . . .”
  • “ . . . . as out­lined below, much could be learned by inves­ti­gat­ing US-sup­port­ed and US-based work that was under­way in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wuhan-based insti­tu­tions, includ­ing the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV), Chi­na. It is still not clear whether the IC inves­ti­gat­ed these US-sup­port­ed and US-based activ­i­ties. If it did, it has yet to make any of its find­ings avail­able to the US sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty for inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent analy­sis and assess­ment. If, on the oth­er hand, the IC [Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty] did not inves­ti­gate these US-sup­port­ed and US-based activ­i­ties, then it has fall­en far short of con­duct­ing a com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tion. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Par­tic­i­pat­ing US insti­tu­tions include the EHA, the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na (UNC), the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis (UCD), the NIH, and the USAID.Under a series of NIH grants and USAID con­tracts, EHA coor­di­nat­ed the col­lec­tion of SARS-like bat CoVs from the field in south­west Chi­na and south­east Asia, the sequenc­ing of these virus­es, the archiv­ing of these sequences (involv­ing UCD), and the analy­sis and manip­u­la­tion of these virus­es (notably at UNC). A broad spec­trum of coro­n­avirus research work was done not only in Wuhan (includ­ing groups at Wuhan Uni­ver­si­ty and the Wuhan CDC, as well as WIV) but also in the Unit­ed States. The exact details of the field­work and lab­o­ra­to­ry work of the EHA-WIV-UNC part­ner­ship, and the engage­ment of oth­er insti­tu­tions in the Unit­ed States and Chi­na, has not been dis­closed for inde­pen­dent analy­sis. The pre­cise nature of the exper­i­ments that were con­duct­ed, includ­ing the full array of virus­es col­lect­ed from the field and the sub­se­quent sequenc­ing and manip­u­la­tion of those virus­es, remains unknown. . . .
  • “ . . . . The NIH could say more about the pos­si­ble role of its grantees in the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2, yet the agency has failed to reveal to the pub­lic the pos­si­bil­i­ty that SARS-CoV­‑2 emerged from a research-asso­ci­at­ed event, even though sev­er­al researchers raised that con­cern on Feb­ru­ary 1, 2020, in a phone con­ver­sa­tion that was doc­u­ment­ed by email (5). Those emails were released to the pub­lic only through FOIA, and they sug­gest that the NIH lead­er­ship took an ear­ly and active role in pro­mot­ing the ‘zoonot­ic hypoth­e­sis’ and the rejec­tion of the lab­o­ra­to­ry-asso­ci­at­ed hypoth­e­sis. . . .”
  • “ . . . . The NIH has resist­ed the release of impor­tant evi­dence, such as the grant pro­pos­als and project reports of EHA, and has con­tin­ued to redact mate­ri­als released under FOIA, includ­ing a remark­able 290-page redac­tion in a recent FOIA release. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Act­ing NIH Direc­tor Lawrence Tabak tes­ti­fied before Con­gress that sev­er­al such sequences in a US data­base were removed from pub­lic view. . . .
  • “ . . . . Spe­cial con­cerns sur­round the pres­ence of an unusu­al furin cleav­age site (FCS) in SARS-CoV­‑2 (10) that aug­ments the path­o­genic­i­ty and trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty of the virus rel­a­tive to relat­ed virus­es like SARS-CoV­‑1 (1112). SARS-CoV­‑2 is, to date, the only iden­ti­fied mem­ber of the sub­genus sar­be­covirus that con­tains an FCS, although these are present in oth­er coro­n­avirus­es (1314). A por­tion of the sequence of the spike pro­tein of some of these virus­es is illus­trat­ed in the align­ment shown in Fig. 1, illus­trat­ing the unusu­al nature of the FCS and its appar­ent inser­tion in SARS-CoV­‑2 (15).From the first weeks after the genome sequence of SARS-CoV­‑2 became avail­able, researchers have com­ment­ed on the unex­pect­ed pres­ence of the FCS with­in SARS-CoV‑2—the impli­ca­tion being that SARS-CoV­‑2 might be a prod­uct of lab­o­ra­to­ry manip­u­la­tion. In a review piece argu­ing against this pos­si­bil­i­ty, it was assert­ed that the amino acid sequence of the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 is an unusu­al, non­stan­dard sequence for an FCS and that nobody in a lab­o­ra­to­ry would design such a nov­el FCS (13). . . .”
  • “ . . . . In fact, the asser­tion that the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 has an unusu­al, non­stan­dard amino acid sequence is false. The amino acid sequence of the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 also exists in the human ENaC a sub­unit (16), where it is known to be func­tion­al and has been exten­sive­ly stud­ied (1718). The FCS of human ENaC a has the amino acid sequence RRAR’SVAS ( 2), an eight–amino-acid sequence that is per­fect­ly iden­ti­cal with the FCS of SARS-CoV­‑2 (16).ENaC is an epithe­lial sodi­um chan­nel, expressed on the api­cal sur­face of epithe­lial cells in the kid­ney, colon, and air­ways (1920), that plays a crit­i­cal role in con­trol­ling flu­id exchange. The ENaC a sub­unit has a func­tion­al FCS (1718) that is essen­tial for ion chan­nel func­tion (19) and has been char­ac­ter­ized in a vari­ety of species. The FCS sequence of human ENaC a (20) is iden­ti­cal in chim­panzee, bonobo, orang­utan, and goril­la (SI Appen­dix , Fig. 1), but diverges in all oth­er species, even pri­mates, except one. (The one non-human non-great ape species with the same sequence is Pip­istrel­lus kuh­lii, a bat species found in Europe and West­ern Asia; oth­er bat species, includ­ing Rhi­nolo­phus fer­rume­quinem, have a dif­fer­ent FCS sequence in ENaC a [RKAR’SAAS]). . . .”
  • “ . . . . One con­se­quence of this “mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry” between the FCS of SARS CoV‑2 spike and the FCS of human ENaC is com­pe­ti­tion for host furin in the lumen of the Gol­gi appa­ra­tus, where the SARS-CoV­‑2 spike is processed. This results in a decrease in human ENaC expres­sion (21). A decrease in human ENaC expres­sion com­pro­mis­es air­way func­tion and has been impli­cat­ed as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the patho­gen­e­sis of COVID-19 (22). Anoth­er con­se­quence of this aston­ish­ing mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry is evi­denced by appar­ent cross-reac­tiv­i­ty with human ENaC of anti­bod­ies from COVID-19 patients, with the high­est lev­els of cross-react­ing anti­bod­ies direct­ed against this epi­tope being asso­ci­at­ed with most severe dis­ease (23).  [Auto-immune reac­tion, pos­si­bly over­lap­ping mRNA vaccines—D.E.]. . . .”
  • “ . . . . We do know that the inser­tion of such FCS sequences into SARS-like virus­es was a spe­cif­ic goal of work pro­posed by the EHA-WIV-UNC part­ner­ship with­in a 2018 grant pro­pos­al (“DEFUSE”) that was sub­mit­ted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (25).The 2018 pro­pos­al to DARPA was not fund­ed, but we do not know whether some of the pro­posed work was sub­se­quent­ly car­ried out in 2018 or 2019, per­haps using anoth­er source of fund­ing. . . .”
  • “ . . . . We also know that that this research team would be famil­iar with sev­er­al pre­vi­ous exper­i­ments involv­ing the suc­cess­ful inser­tion of an FCS sequence into SARS-CoV­‑1 (26) and oth­er coro­n­avirus­es, and they had a lot of expe­ri­ence in con­struc­tion of chimeric SARS-like virus­es (2729). In addi­tion, the research team would also have some famil­iar­i­ty with the FCS sequence and the FCS-depen­dent acti­va­tion mech­a­nism of human ENaC (19), which was exten­sive­ly char­ac­ter­ized at UNC (1718).For a research team assess­ing the pan­dem­ic poten­tial of SARS-relat­ed coro­n­avirus­es, the FCS of human ENaC—an FCS known to be effi­cient­ly cleaved by host furin present in the tar­get loca­tion (epithe­lial cells) of an impor­tant tar­get organ (lung), of the tar­get organ­ism (human)—might be a ratio­nal, if not obvi­ous, choice of FCS to intro­duce into a virus to alter its infec­tiv­i­ty, in line with oth­er work per­formed pre­vi­ous­ly. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Of course, the mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry of ENaC with­in the SARS-CoV­‑2 spike pro­tein might be a mere coin­ci­dence, although one with a very low prob­a­bil­i­ty. The exact FCS sequence present in SARS-CoV­‑2 has recent­ly been intro­duced into the spike pro­tein of SARS-CoV­‑1 in the lab­o­ra­to­ry, in an ele­gant series of exper­i­ments (1230), with pre­dictable con­se­quences in terms of enhanced viral trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty and path­o­genic­i­ty. Obvi­ous­ly, the cre­ation of such SARS‑1/2 “chimeras” is an area of some con­cern for those respon­si­ble for present and future reg­u­la­tion of this area of biol­o­gy. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Infor­ma­tion now held by the research team head­ed by EHA (7), as well as the com­mu­ni­ca­tions of that research team with US research fund­ing agen­cies, includ­ing NIH, USAID, DARPA, DTRA, and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, could shed con­sid­er­able light on the exper­i­ments under­tak­en by the US-fund­ed research team and on the pos­si­ble rela­tion­ship, if any, between those exper­i­ments and the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2. . . .”

1. We begin by not­ing the OUN/B affil­i­a­tion of Ulana Suprun, who was the Ukrain­ian Min­is­ter of Health from 2016 until2019, plac­ing her very much “in the mix” with Andrew C. Weber and the Metabio­ta, Eco­Health Alliance and Munich Re con­sor­tium.

” . . . . Suprun is the hus­band of the Ukrain­ian Amer­i­can Ulana Suprun, a promi­nent Ban­dera enthu­si­ast with ties to the Ukrain­ian far-right who served as the Health­care Min­is­ter of Ukraine from July 2016 through August 2019. . . .”

“CNN fea­tures fas­cist-adja­cent activist as expert on Russ­ian dis­in­fo” by Yasha Levine; yasha.substack.com/ 2/25/2020.

It gives a glimpse into how America’s Cold War weaponiza­tion of fas­cist move­ments con­tin­ues to poi­son and affect pol­i­tics — not just in Ukraine, but in Amer­i­ca.

Moss Robe­son — an inde­pen­dent researcher — pub­lished a short inves­ti­ga­tion of a Cana­di­an Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal activist who recent­ly appeared on CNN to give Amer­i­can view­ers his “expert” opin­ion about Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion.

Turns out Marko Suprun has a very dark and ugly back­ground. He pals around with neo-Nazis and is a big sup­port­er of Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tionist move­ments. And yet here he is, pre­sent­ed by CNN as a “reli­able source” for spy-fed con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about Russia’s sup­port for left­wing Amer­i­cans (aka Bernie Sanders).

Not long after Moss pub­lished his piece on Medi­um, it was flagged and removed for vio­lat­ing com­mu­ni­ty guide­lines. In a gener­ic mes­sage, Medi­um said Moss of doxed and harassed Marko Suprun — which is ridicu­lous. There is no dox­ing. Just pub­lic infor­ma­tion. And Suprun is a pub­lic fig­ure wor­thy of inves­ti­ga­tion. Jour­nal­ism is not harass­ment. It’s pret­ty clear that the Ukrain­ian right had a hand in some­how flag­ging the post for removal. Isn’t crowd­sourced, decen­tral­ized cen­sor­ship great?

Any­way, Moss is a great researcher who gets into the weeds of the var­i­ous shady and con­stant­ly shift­ing fas­cist Ukrain­ian emi­gre orga­ni­za­tions. His work is impor­tant. It gives a glimpse into how America’s Cold War weaponiza­tion of nation­al­ist and fas­cist Ukrain­ian immi­grants move­ments con­tin­ues to poi­son and affect pol­i­tics — not just in Ukraine, but in Amer­i­ca.

So I’m repub­lish­ing his cen­sored post below. Fol­low Moss’ work on Twit­ter.

“CNN, Bernie Sanders, and the ‘Ukrain­ian per­spec­tive on Russ­ian inter­fer­ence’” by Moss Robe­son;  2/24/2020.

 Yes­ter­day, in the wake of recent, unsub­stan­ti­at­ed reports that the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment is try­ing to sup­port Bernie Sanders’ pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, CNN’s John Avlon had “Stop­Fake” anchor and pro­duc­er Marko Suprun on to give voice to the “Ukrain­ian per­spec­tive on Russ­ian inter­fer­ence.”

What is Stop­Fake? The out­fit was launched in Ukraine in 2014 with back­ing from the Unit­ed States and from Euro­pean Union gov­ern­ments osten­si­bly to com­bat Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion. In real­i­ty, it was a pro­pa­gan­da project in its own right — employ­ing far-right activists to smear jour­nal­ists and pump out far-right and fas­cist friend­ly con­tent. As explained last year by Alex­ey Kovalev, inves­tiga­tive edi­tor at Meduza, a Russ­ian-lan­guage inde­pen­dent online news­pa­per, “Stop­Fake today is not a fact-check­ing or jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion. It’s a pro­pa­gan­da arm of Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment, and it should be treat­ed as such.”

Marko Suprun — who dialed in to CNN from Ukraine — was there as an expert to com­ment on the role that Hill colum­nist John Solomon played in the Trump-Ukraine-Biden scan­dal. But Suprun clear­ly had the new Sanders-Rus­sia med­dling sto­ry in mind when he deliv­ered his key line: “Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion is not about posi­tion­ing left ver­sus right but about using the left and the right against the cen­ter.”

What’s inter­est­ing about Marko Suprun is how deeply enmeshed he is in Ukraine’s fas­cist and nation­al­ist dias­po­ra.

Here’s a quick run­down:

If not him­self a mem­ber, Suprun is a very pub­lic apol­o­gist for and sup­port­er of Stepan Ban­dera and his fac­tion of the fas­cist Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN‑B).

Ban­dera was a Ukrain­ian fas­cist leader who hoped to become the Hitler of Ukraine. He and his out­fit col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis, fought to estab­lish an “racial­ly” pure Ukraine, eth­ni­cal­ly cleansed Poles, and played a big role in the geno­cide of over a mil­lion Ukrain­ian Jews. Dur­ing the Cold War, the OUN‑B con­tin­ued to oper­ate as a “rev­o­lu­tion­ary” fas­cist under­ground orga­ni­za­tion. Exiled from Sovi­et Ukraine, it effec­tive­ly hijacked much of the orga­nized Ukrain­ian dias­po­ra in Europe, Cana­da, and the Unit­ed States. The orga­ni­za­tion in var­i­ous forms still exists today.

Suprun is the hus­band of the Ukrain­ian Amer­i­can Ulana Suprun, a promi­nent Ban­dera enthu­si­ast with ties to the Ukrain­ian far-right who served as the Health­care Min­is­ter of Ukraine from July 2016 through August 2019.

He’s also bud­dies with Steve Ban­dera, a proud Cana­di­an descen­dant of Stepan Ban­dera. As report­ed by the JTA, Ste­vie “has stead­fast­ly main­tained for years that his grand­fa­ther, and the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist move­ment in gen­er­al, are inno­cent of per­pe­trat­ing war crimes against Jews.”

Suprun is also known to asso­ciate with all sorts of Ukrain­ian neo-Nazis and Holo­caust revi­sion­ists. He has also served on the board of direc­tors of orga­ni­za­tions affil­i­at­ed with the OUN‑B in the Unit­ed States. One of them is known as the Orga­ni­za­tion for the Defense of Four Free­doms of Ukraine (ODFFU), an OUN‑B front group dur­ing the Cold War head­quar­tered in New York City. The oth­er is the Cen­ter for US-Ukrain­ian Rela­tions (CUSUR), found­ed in 2000 by life­long “Ban­derites.”

Suprun, unfor­tu­nate­ly, is not the only Stop­Fake anchor with OUN‑B ties.

Ire­na Chalu­pa, a Ukrain­ian Amer­i­can, has prob­a­bly host­ed the most episodes of Stop­Fake besides Suprun. She was for­mer­ly employed by the OUN‑B’s now-defunct Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations (ABN), which jour­nal­ists Scott and Jon Lee Ander­son have described as “the largest and most impor­tant umbrel­la group for for­mer Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors in the world.” Bandera’s deputy, ide­ol­o­gist, and even­tu­al suc­ces­sor Yaroslav Stet­sko, like­wise a Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor and war crim­i­nal, led the ABN for life. Stet­sko also led the OUN‑B when, in the mid-1980s, Chalu­pa worked at the ABN/OUN‑B’s inter­na­tion­al head­quar­ters in Munich. The Kyiv Post’s Wash­ing­ton, D.C. cor­re­spon­dent Askold Krushel­ny­cky, for­mer­ly a Stet­sko fam­i­ly friend and ABN youth leader in Britain, has also host­ed an episode of Stop­Fake.

A few months before Bernie Sanders was born — a week after Nazi Ger­many declared war on the Sovi­et Union — Stet­sko declared a short-lived de fac­to Nazi client state on Bandera’s behalf in the west­ern Ukrain­ian city of Lviv.

“The new­ly formed Ukrain­ian state will work close­ly with the Nation­al-Social­ist Greater Ger­many,” Stet­sko said, and its forces “will con­tin­ue to fight with the Allied Ger­man Army…”

Five days pri­or, Stet­sko wrote a let­ter to Ban­dera in which he said, “We are mak­ing a mili­tia which will help to remove the Jews and pro­tect the [Ukrain­ian] pop­u­la­tion.” As not­ed by the Ukrain­ian Cana­di­an schol­ar John Paul Him­ka, “about a week lat­er that mili­tia played a lead­ing role in the Lviv pogrom,” and was sub­or­di­nat­ed to the SS. The year World War 2 began, a Ukrain­ian Cana­di­an pub­li­ca­tion pub­lished an arti­cle by Stet­sko in which he “placed Jews at the cen­tre of an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy by sug­gest­ing that Jew­ish cap­i­tal­ists and Jew­ish Com­mu­nists were col­lab­o­rat­ing to pro­mote Jew­ish inter­ests.”

Why is this old his­to­ry impor­tant?

A day after Marko Suprun appeared on CNN, Bernie Sanders did a CNN event of his own: a tele­vised town hall event in Charleston, South Car­oli­na. There on stage Sanders received a ques­tion about his Jew­ish iden­ti­ty, and the sig­nif­i­cance of poten­tial­ly being the first Jew­ish pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.

He explained,

As it hap­pens, my father’s fam­i­ly was wiped out by Hitler. My broth­er and I and our wives went to Poland, to the town that he [their father] was born in. And there they took us, the very nice peo­ple of the town, they took us to a place where the Nazis had had the [Jew­ish] peo­ple dig a grave and they shot them all, three hun­dred peo­ple in there.

It’s impor­tant to remem­ber that OUN — the Ukrain­ian fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion that CNN expert Marko Suprun sup­ports and lion­izes — was very much involved in the Holo­caust just east of where Sanders’ fam­i­ly lived. The OUN mem­bers who col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis didn’t sim­ply guard con­cen­tra­tion camps; they weren’t just pas­sive­ly involved. They did the actu­al killing — which includ­ed join­ing aux­il­iary police units that served at the front­lines of the “Holo­caust by Bul­lets.”

And CNN is pro­mot­ing this guy. It’s gross and dis­turb­ing.

Marko Suprun’s appear­ance on CNN should also serve as a wake-up call and a reminder that the Ban­dera cult which per­pet­u­al­ly clam­ors for a cat­a­clysmic con­flict with Rus­sia is alive and well today. And if the media con­tin­ues to pro­mote con­spir­a­to­r­i­al think­ing about a nonex­is­tent Bernie-Rus­sia rela­tion­ship, it risks boost­ing the anti-Semit­ic and cryp­to-fas­cist crew that Suprun runs with.

2. We can con­fi­dent­ly con­clude Wolfe was in Jef­frey Epstein’s orbit.

We include a link to an excel­lent Covert Action Mag­a­zine arti­cle about Epstein and his myr­i­ad intel­li­gence con­nec­tions for the con­ve­nience of the lis­ten­er and req­ui­site back­ground infor­ma­tion:

“Ter­ra­Mar Project Launch­es to Cel­e­brate and Pro­tect the World’s Oceans” By John Platt; Tree­hug­ger; Update 08/15/2019

Did you know that most of the world’s oceans belong to you? It’s true: 64 per­cent of the waters that exist out­side of nation­al juris­dic­tions are known as the high seas. Accord­ing to the Unit­ed Nation­al Law of the Sea Con­ven­tion, these unreg­u­lat­ed bod­ies of water — and the fish and min­er­als they con­tain — belong to all of mankind and should be used to serve the com­mon good.

A non­prof­it, The Ter­ra­Mar Project, aims to cel­e­brate and pro­tect those high seas. Offi­cial­ly launched Sept. 26 at the Blue Ocean Film Fes­ti­val & Con­ser­va­tion Con­fer­ence in Mon­terey, Cal­i­for­nia, the orga­ni­za­tion is the brain­child of life­long marine enthu­si­ast Ghis­laine Maxwell..

“Peo­ple tra­di­tion­al­ly see indi­vid­ual oceans and seas. The truth is that all the oceans are inter­con­nect­ed and relat­ed. It’s all one sea,” Maxwell says. “What Ter­ra­Mar wants to do is give this part of the world an iden­ti­ty.” An expe­ri­enced deep-sea div­er and ocean advo­cate, Maxwell says the goal of the orga­ni­za­tion is to inspire peo­ple to think of the ocean in a new way. “You can be attached to it. You can par­tic­i­pate in in a deep way. You can also have a say in how it is used.”

Maxwell has been plan­ning the launch of the Ter­ra­Mar Project for two years to fill what she per­ceives as a gap in how oth­er orga­ni­za­tions per­ceive the high seas. “There are a lot of peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions doing good work in spe­cif­ic areas” — she names the Sar­gas­so Sea as one exam­ple — “but no one was look­ing at the high seas as one huge, homoge­nous place.”

The main way Ter­ra­Mar hopes to engage peo­ple is with its inter­ac­tive web­site, where vis­i­tors can claim a par­cel of the ocean, “friend” a marine species like green tur­tles or sea otters, take a vir­tu­al dive, or find edu­ca­tion­al projects for par­ents and teach­ers. “Social engage­ment is real­ly key,” says Saman­tha Har­ris, TerraMar’s direc­tor of devel­op­ment. “That’s what we’re try­ing to devel­op here: a way to engage a large num­ber of peo­ple with the ocean by using our site.”

The spec­tac­u­lar vir­tu­al dive employs Google Ocean, which also pre­miered at the Blue Ocean fes­ti­val and pro­vides a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence to the search engine’s pop­u­lar Street Views but on the ocean floor. “Google’s an amaz­ing com­pa­ny that wants peo­ple to use their tech­nol­o­gy,” Maxwell says. “Google Ocean makes the high seas super-attrac­tive and engag­ing, so we chose to show­case it on our site.”

The announce­ment about the non­prof­it came from four cel­e­brat­ed marine experts: Dr. Sylvia Ear­le, Capt. Don Walsh, Dan Laf­fo­ley and virus hunter Nathan Wolfe. Ear­le, and oceanog­ra­ph­er and explor­er-in-res­i­dence with the Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety and founder of the Sylvia Ear­le Alliance, said at the time, “I am thrilled to be a found­ing cit­i­zen of Ter­ra­Mar and to cel­e­brate the vital sig­nif­i­cance of the high seas to all peo­ple, every­where.”

Laf­fo­ley, the marine vice chair for the IUCN’s World Com­mis­sion on Pro­tect­ed Areas, said he saw an impor­tant role for the Ter­ra­Mar Project: “What this does is actu­al­ly enable peo­ple to con­nect to the deep blue heart of the world beyond nation­al juris­dic­tions, make it a coun­try, to make it the respon­si­bil­i­ty of every­one in a sense.”

The Ter­ra­Mar Project plans to roll out sev­er­al new fea­tures on its web­site to keep engag­ing vis­i­tors in the impor­tance of the high seas. The site will also fea­ture fundrais­ing tools to help raise mon­ey for ocean-relat­ed research or oth­er projects. “Not only will we be able to set indi­vid­ual spon­sor­ship goals for fundrais­ing for cer­tain projects, but our cit­i­zen users can then cre­ate their own projects for oth­er peo­ple to fundraise for,” devel­op­ment direc­tor Har­ris says. . .

3a.  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. . . 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. . . . Today, the genet­ic code of almost any mam­malian virus can be found online and syn­the­sised. ‘The tech­nol­o­gy to do this is avail­able now,’ said [Michael] Impe­ri­ale. “It requires some exper­tise, but it’s some­thing that’s rel­a­tive­ly easy to do, and that is why it tops the list. . . .”

3b. Recap­ping infor­ma­tion from our “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” series, we note that Trump offi­cials who were look­ing to tout the Chi­nese “lab-leak” hypoth­e­sis were told to avoid the top­ic, lest it cre­ate prob­lems for the U.S.

Note, as well, that both Peter Daszak and Ralph Bar­ic, asso­ci­at­ed with Eco­Health Alliance, were engaged in dubi­ous maneu­ver­ing to eclipse atten­tion on the pos­si­ble U.S. spon­sor­ship of the SARS COV‑2 gain-of-func­tion manip­u­la­tions.

  1. ” . . . . It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but orga­nized the influ­en­tial Lancet state­ment, with the inten­tion of con­ceal­ing his role and cre­at­ing the impres­sion of sci­en­tif­ic una­nim­i­ty. . . .”
  2. . . . . In one State Depart­ment meet­ing, offi­cials seek­ing to demand trans­paren­cy from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment say they were explic­it­ly told by col­leagues not to explore the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s gain-of-func­tion research, because it would bring unwel­come atten­tion to U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of it. . . . because it would ‘‘open a can of worms’ if it con­tin­ued.’. . .”
  3. ” . . . . As the group probed the lab-leak sce­nario, among oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, its mem­bers were repeat­ed­ly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ said four for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cials inter­viewed by Van­i­ty Fair. The admo­ni­tions ‘smelled like a cov­er-up,’ said Thomas DiNan­no . . . .”

“The Lab-Leak The­o­ry: Inside the Fight to Uncov­er Covid-19’s Ori­gins” by Kather­ine Eban; Van­i­ty Fair; 6/3/2021.

. . . . On Feb­ru­ary 19, 2020, The Lancet, among the most respect­ed and influ­en­tial med­ical jour­nals in the world, pub­lished a state­ment that round­ly reject­ed the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis, effec­tive­ly cast­ing it as a xeno­pho­bic cousin to cli­mate change denial­ism and anti-vaxxism. Signed by 27 sci­en­tists, the state­ment expressed “sol­i­dar­i­ty with all sci­en­tists and health pro­fes­sion­als in Chi­na” and assert­ed: “We stand togeth­er to strong­ly con­demn con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries sug­gest­ing that COVID-19 does not have a nat­ur­al ori­gin.” 

The Lancet state­ment effec­tive­ly end­ed the debate over COVID-19’s ori­gins before it began. To Gilles Dema­neuf, fol­low­ing along from the side­lines, it was as if it had been “nailed to the church doors,” estab­lish­ing the nat­ur­al ori­gin the­o­ry as ortho­doxy. “Every­one had to fol­low it. Every­one was intim­i­dat­ed. That set the tone.” . . . . 

. . . . It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but orga­nized the influ­en­tial Lancet state­ment, with the inten­tion of con­ceal­ing his role and cre­at­ing the impres­sion of sci­en­tif­ic una­nim­i­ty.

Under the sub­ject line, “No need for you to sign the “State­ment” Ralph!!,” he wrote to two sci­en­tists, includ­ing UNC’s Dr. Ralph Bar­ic, who had col­lab­o­rat­ed with Shi Zhengli on the gain-of-func­tion study that cre­at­ed a coro­n­avirus capa­ble of infect­ing human cells: “you, me and him should not sign this state­ment, so it has some dis­tance from us and there­fore doesn’t work in a coun­ter­pro­duc­tive way.” Daszak added, “We’ll then put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our col­lab­o­ra­tion so we max­i­mize an inde­pen­dent voice.”

Bar­ic agreed, writ­ing back, “Oth­er­wise it looks self-serv­ing and we lose impact.” . . . .

. . . . A months long Van­i­ty Fair inves­ti­ga­tion, inter­views with more than 40 peo­ple, and a review of hun­dreds of pages of U.S. gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments, includ­ing inter­nal mem­os, meet­ing min­utes, and email cor­re­spon­dence, found that con­flicts of inter­est, stem­ming in part from large gov­ern­ment grants sup­port­ing con­tro­ver­sial virol­o­gy research, ham­pered the U.S. inves­ti­ga­tion into COVID-19’s ori­gin at every step. In one State Depart­ment meet­ing, offi­cials seek­ing to demand trans­paren­cy from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment say they were explic­it­ly told by col­leagues not to explore the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s gain-of-func­tion research, because it would bring unwel­come atten­tion to U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of it.

In an inter­nal memo obtained by Van­i­ty Fair, Thomas DiNan­no, for­mer act­ing assis­tant sec­re­tary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Con­trol, Ver­i­fi­ca­tion, and Com­pli­ance, wrote that staff from two bureaus, his own and the Bureau of Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty and Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, “warned” lead­ers with­in his bureau “not to pur­sue an inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gin of COVID-19” because it would “‘open a can of worms’ if it con­tin­ued.” . . . . 

. . . . As offi­cials at the meet­ing dis­cussed what they could share with the pub­lic, they were advised by Christo­pher Park, the direc­tor of the State Department’s Bio­log­i­cal Pol­i­cy Staff in the Bureau of Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty and Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, not to say any­thing that would point to the U.S. government’s own role in gain-of-func­tion research, accord­ing to doc­u­men­ta­tion of the meet­ing obtained by Van­i­ty Fair. . . .

. . . . Some of the atten­dees were “absolute­ly floored,” said an offi­cial famil­iar with the pro­ceed­ings. That some­one in the U.S. gov­ern­ment could “make an argu­ment that is so naked­ly against trans­paren­cy, in light of the unfold­ing cat­a­stro­phe, was…shocking and dis­turb­ing.”

Park, who in 2017 had been involved in lift­ing a U.S. gov­ern­ment mora­to­ri­um on fund­ing for gain-of-func­tion research, was not the only offi­cial to warn the State Depart­ment inves­ti­ga­tors against dig­ging in sen­si­tive places. As the group probed the lab-leak sce­nario, among oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, its mem­bers were repeat­ed­ly advised not to open a “Pandora’s box,” said four for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cials inter­viewed by Van­i­ty Fair. The admo­ni­tions “smelled like a cov­er-up,” said Thomas DiNan­no, “and I wasn’t going to be part of it.” . . . . 

4. In our exhaus­tive series on the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, we have pre­sent­ed over­whelm­ing evi­dence that the SARS CoV‑2 was syn­the­sized in a U.S. lab.

Hav­ing chaired a Lancet com­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate the ori­gins of SARS CoV‑2, Dr. Jef­frey Sachs is “pret­ty con­vinced” that the virus came from a U.S. lab­o­ra­to­ry.

He opines that it was a “blun­der.”

Although we believe Covid-19 was a bio­log­i­cal war­fare attack, we are great­ly encour­aged that some­one of Sachs’ stature has come for­ward in this regard.

In many past pro­grams, we have high­light­ed insti­tu­tions impli­cat­ed in the appar­ent “bio-skull­dug­gery” sur­round­ing the U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare gam­bit involv­ing what Mr. Emory has termed “The Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy.” This is dis­cussed in: FTR#‘s 1157–1159, 1170, 1183 through 1193, and 1215.

The essence of the “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” gam­bit con­cerns the DTRA and Pen­ta­gon fund­ing of bat-borne coro­n­avirus research at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy, much of it through Peter Dasza­k’s Eco­Health Alliance. Once the research was com­plete, it result­ed in pub­li­ca­tion which includ­ed the genome of the bat virus­es being researched. Using tech­nol­o­gy dis­cussed above (in the Guardian arti­cle), the virus­es were then syn­the­sized from scratch and pop­u­la­tion groups were vec­tored with the same viral strains being researched by the WIV. 

5. Dr. Sachs’ rumi­na­tions about a U.S. bio­log­i­cal lab­o­ra­to­ry ori­gin of SARS-CoV­‑2 are fleshed out in an interview–featured on his website–with the Tehran Times.

Note that he con­tin­ues to opine that the release was a “blun­der” and that it did not result from bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. Again, this is mod­i­fied lim­it­ed hang­out.

“Covid pos­si­bly came out of a U.S. biotech­nol­o­gy lab, says Colum­bia pro­fes­sor” By Moham­mad Mazhari [Tehran Times]; jeffsachs.org; 7/5/2022.

“The U.S. gov­ern­ment was spon­sor­ing a lot of dan­ger­ous genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of SARS-like virus­es and has not yet hon­est­ly revealed the nature of that work,” Jef­frey Sachs tells the Tehran Times.

 “There are wor­ry­ing signs that this research may have cre­at­ed SARS-CoV­‑2, the virus that caus­es Covid-19 dis­ease,” Sachs adds.

There is enough evi­dence “that made him reach this con­clu­sion, which should be looked into,” the pro­fes­sor from Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty notes. 

Sachs who also chairs the Covid-19 com­mis­sion at The Lancet, a renowned med­ical jour­nal, says that he was in the loop: It’s a blun­der, in my view, of biotech, not an acci­dent of a nat­ur­al spillover.

Fol­low­ing is the text of the inter­view:

Q: Is there sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven evi­dence about the ori­gin of Covid-19 or we should just rely on the­o­ries or hypothe­ses? Did it break out of nat­ur­al rea­son like the MERS that emerged in Sau­di Ara­bia?

A: There are two hypothe­ses: a nat­ur­al spillover (as with MERS) or a lab­o­ra­to­ry cre­ation. Both are pos­si­ble. The U.S. gov­ern­ment was spon­sor­ing a lot of dan­ger­ous genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of SARS-like virus­es and has not yet hon­est­ly revealed the nature of that work. There are wor­ry­ing signs that this research may have cre­at­ed SARS-CoV­‑2, the virus that caus­es Covid-19 dis­ease.  We can sus­pect this because U.S. sci­en­tists declared the inten­tion to manip­u­late virus­es in a way that could have cre­at­ed the virus. We need the U.S. gov­ern­ment to be more trans­par­ent about the research it was spon­sor­ing.

“There are wor­ry­ing signs that genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of SARS-like virus­es that may have cre­at­ed SARS-CoV­‑2, the virus that caus­es Covid-19 dis­ease.”

Q: How do you see the media-polit­i­cal war over the ori­gin of the pan­dem­ic? Amer­i­can offi­cials and media blamed Chi­na for its out­break.

A: Yes, the U.S. has tried to blame Chi­na with­out admit­ting its own pos­si­ble role. Gov­ern­ments should coop­er­ate with the WHO to find the truth. 

Q: Though the U.S. is a sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly and tech­no­log­i­cal­ly advanced coun­try the Covid-19 death rate is still high. How do you eval­u­ate the per­for­mance of the Trump and Biden admin­is­tra­tions to curb the pan­dem­ic?

A: The U.S. did a poor job, with more than 1 mil­lion dead. The pub­lic behaves bad­ly, reject­ing face masks for exam­ple. Trump was com­plete­ly irre­spon­si­ble. Biden did a lit­tle bet­ter in terms of sci­ence, but over­all U.S. per­for­mance was poor. 

Q: Do you think the globe can erad­i­cate Covid-19 in near future? And is it pos­si­ble for the world to face new pan­demics with unnat­ur­al ori­gins?

A: It is like­ly that Covid will be with us for a long time to come, per­haps with new seri­ous waves. The pan­dem­ic is still not close to being end­ed. 
A lot of dan­ger­ous bio­log­i­cal manip­u­la­tion of pathogens is still going on. This kind of lab­o­ra­to­ry research needs to be made pub­lic and prop­er­ly reg­u­lat­ed. Bioweapons research needs to stop. We need glob­al coop­er­a­tion for this to hap­pen. 

Q: Do you agree with con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries that claim that Covid result­ed from search for a bio­log­i­cal war?

A: I do not believe that Covid came from bio war­fare research. More like­ly, it came from research to cre­ate drugs and vac­cines. Either way, we need to know more. The U.S. NIH should make pub­lic the infor­ma­tion about this kind of research.

6. Next, the pro­gram reviews an excerpt­ing of a Wired Mag­a­zine arti­cle about the Metabiota/Munich Rein­sur­ance project.

Bear in mind that In-Q-Tel, the ven­ture cap­i­tal arm of the CIA and the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, is greas­ing the wheels of this project with financ­ing.

We high­light two key points of infor­ma­tion:

  • The busi­ness suc­cess of the pan­dem­ic insur­ance would nec­es­sar­i­ly incor­po­rate analy­sis of the “fear fac­tor” of poten­tial pan­dem­ic pathogens: ” . . . . As sophis­ti­cat­ed as Metabiota’s sys­tem was, how­ev­er, it would need to be even more refined to incor­po­rate into an insur­ance pol­i­cy. The mod­el would need to cap­ture some­thing much more dif­fi­cult to quan­ti­fy than his­tor­i­cal deaths and med­ical stock­piles: fear. The eco­nom­ic con­se­quences of a scourge, the his­tor­i­cal data showed, were as much a result of society’s response as they were to the virus itself. . . . The Sen­ti­ment Index was built to be, as Oppen­heim put it, ‘a cat­a­log of dread.’ For any giv­en pathogen, it could spit out a score from 0 to 100 accord­ing to how fright­en­ing the pub­lic would find it. . . . Mad­hav and her team, along with Wolfe and Oppen­heim, also researched the broad­er eco­nom­ic con­se­quences of dis­ease out­breaks, mea­sured in the ‘cost per death pre­vent­ed’ incurred by soci­etal inter­ven­tions. ‘Mea­sures that decreased per­son-to-per­son con­tact, includ­ing social dis­tanc­ing, quar­an­tine, and school clo­sures, had the great­est cost per death pre­vent­ed, most like­ly because of the amount of eco­nom­ic dis­rup­tion caused by those mea­sures,’ they wrote in a 2018 paper. . . .”
  • More sin­is­ter, still, is the fact that Metabio­ta had ana­lyzed the sce­nario of a nov­el coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic two years before it hap­pened. This appears to be the 2018 paper referred to above. Do not fail to note that, at the time that Metabio­ta was run­ning this sce­nario, they were part­nered with Eco­Health Alliance, which was using Pen­ta­gon and USAID mon­ey to research and per­form gain-of-func­tion on these types of coro­n­avirus­es!! ” . . . . As the human and eco­nom­ic dev­as­ta­tion mul­ti­plied in tan­dem across the globe, Metabiota’s employ­ees sud­den­ly found them­selves liv­ing inside their own model’s pro­jec­tions. Just two years ear­li­er, the com­pa­ny had run a large set of sce­nar­ios fore­cast­ing the con­se­quences of a nov­el coro­n­avirus spread­ing around the globe. . . .”

“We Can Pro­tect the Econ­o­my From Pan­demics. Why Didn’t We?” by Evan Ratliff; Wired; 06/16/2020

7.  Despite our deep reser­va­tions about Jef­frey Sachs—expressed in numer­ous pro­grams and posts–it’s remark­able just how damn­ing this next piece is. Sachs is some­one in a posi­tion to bring real pub­lic atten­tion to this top­ic, if he choos­es to do so. The authors make a com­pelling case for an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion, and who would be in a bet­ter posi­tion than Sachs to make this case pub­licly after he dis­band­ed his Lancet Com­mis­sion over these kinds of con­cerns? That’s all part of what is going to make this a sto­ry to watch.

“ . . . . Infor­ma­tion now held by the research team head­ed by EHA (7), as well as the com­mu­ni­ca­tions of that research team with US research fund­ing agen­cies, includ­ing NIH, USAID, DARPA, DTRA, and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, could shed con­sid­er­able light on the exper­i­ments under­tak­en by the US-fund­ed research team and on the pos­si­ble rela­tion­ship, if any, between those exper­i­ments and the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2. . . .”

If our sus­pi­cions about Sachs are well-found­ed, he might be in posi­tion to con­trol the results that do emerge.

Nonethe­less, this arti­cle has some remark­able points of infor­ma­tion to be con­sid­ered:

  • “ . . . . Much of the work on SARS-like CoVs per­formed in Wuhan was part of an active and high­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive US–China sci­en­tif­ic research pro­gram fund­ed by the US Gov­ern­ment (NIH, Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency [DTRA—Pentagon, D.E.], and US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment [USAID]—State Depart­ment, fre­quent cov­er for CIA, D.E.), coor­di­nat­ed by researchers at Eco­Health Alliance (EHA—Chief fun­ders are Pen­ta­gon, USAID, sci­ence and pol­i­cy advi­sor is David Franz, for­mer com­mand­ing offi­cer of the U.S. Army Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Disease—D.E.), but involv­ing researchers at sev­er­al oth­er US insti­tu­tions. For this rea­son, it is impor­tant that US insti­tu­tions be trans­par­ent about any knowl­edge of the detailed activ­i­ties that were under­way in Wuhan and in the Unit­ed States. The evi­dence may also sug­gest that research insti­tu­tions in oth­er coun­tries were involved, and those too should be asked to sub­mit rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion (e.g., with respect to unpub­lished sequences). . . .”
  • “ . . . . as out­lined below, much could be learned by inves­ti­gat­ing US-sup­port­ed and US-based work that was under­way in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wuhan-based insti­tu­tions, includ­ing the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV), Chi­na. It is still not clear whether the IC inves­ti­gat­ed these US-sup­port­ed and US-based activ­i­ties. If it did, it has yet to make any of its find­ings avail­able to the US sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty for inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent analy­sis and assess­ment. If, on the oth­er hand, the IC [Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty] did not inves­ti­gate these US-sup­port­ed and US-based activ­i­ties, then it has fall­en far short of con­duct­ing a com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tion. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Par­tic­i­pat­ing US insti­tu­tions include the EHA, the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na (UNC), the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis (UCD), the NIH, and the USAID.Under a series of NIH grants and USAID con­tracts, EHA coor­di­nat­ed the col­lec­tion of SARS-like bat CoVs from the field in south­west Chi­na and south­east Asia, the sequenc­ing of these virus­es, the archiv­ing of these sequences (involv­ing UCD), and the analy­sis and manip­u­la­tion of these virus­es (notably at UNC). A broad spec­trum of coro­n­avirus research work was done not only in Wuhan (includ­ing groups at Wuhan Uni­ver­si­ty and the Wuhan CDC, as well as WIV) but also in the Unit­ed States. The exact details of the field­work and lab­o­ra­to­ry work of the EHA-WIV-UNC part­ner­ship, and the engage­ment of oth­er insti­tu­tions in the Unit­ed States and Chi­na, has not been dis­closed for inde­pen­dent analy­sis. The pre­cise nature of the exper­i­ments that were con­duct­ed, includ­ing the full array of virus­es col­lect­ed from the field and the sub­se­quent sequenc­ing and manip­u­la­tion of those virus­es, remains unknown. . . .
  • “ . . . . The NIH could say more about the pos­si­ble role of its grantees in the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2, yet the agency has failed to reveal to the pub­lic the pos­si­bil­i­ty that SARS-CoV­‑2 emerged from a research-asso­ci­at­ed event, even though sev­er­al researchers raised that con­cern on Feb­ru­ary 1, 2020, in a phone con­ver­sa­tion that was doc­u­ment­ed by email (5). Those emails were released to the pub­lic only through FOIA, and they sug­gest that the NIH lead­er­ship took an ear­ly and active role in pro­mot­ing the ‘zoonot­ic hypoth­e­sis’ and the rejec­tion of the lab­o­ra­to­ry-asso­ci­at­ed hypoth­e­sis. . . .”
  • “ . . . . The NIH has resist­ed the release of impor­tant evi­dence, such as the grant pro­pos­als and project reports of EHA, and has con­tin­ued to redact mate­ri­als released under FOIA, includ­ing a remark­able 290-page redac­tion in a recent FOIA release. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Act­ing NIH Direc­tor Lawrence Tabak tes­ti­fied before Con­gress that sev­er­al such sequences in a US data­base were removed from pub­lic view. . . .
  • “ . . . . Spe­cial con­cerns sur­round the pres­ence of an unusu­al furin cleav­age site (FCS) in SARS-CoV­‑2 (10) that aug­ments the path­o­genic­i­ty and trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty of the virus rel­a­tive to relat­ed virus­es like SARS-CoV­‑1 (1112). SARS-CoV­‑2 is, to date, the only iden­ti­fied mem­ber of the sub­genus sar­be­covirus that con­tains an FCS, although these are present in oth­er coro­n­avirus­es (1314). A por­tion of the sequence of the spike pro­tein of some of these virus­es is illus­trat­ed in the align­ment shown in Fig. 1, illus­trat­ing the unusu­al nature of the FCS and its appar­ent inser­tion in SARS-CoV­‑2 (15).From the first weeks after the genome sequence of SARS-CoV­‑2 became avail­able, researchers have com­ment­ed on the unex­pect­ed pres­ence of the FCS with­in SARS-CoV‑2—the impli­ca­tion being that SARS-CoV­‑2 might be a prod­uct of lab­o­ra­to­ry manip­u­la­tion. In a review piece argu­ing against this pos­si­bil­i­ty, it was assert­ed that the amino acid sequence of the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 is an unusu­al, non­stan­dard sequence for an FCS and that nobody in a lab­o­ra­to­ry would design such a nov­el FCS (13). . . .”
  • “ . . . . In fact, the asser­tion that the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 has an unusu­al, non­stan­dard amino acid sequence is false. The amino acid sequence of the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 also exists in the human ENaC a sub­unit (16), where it is known to be func­tion­al and has been exten­sive­ly stud­ied (1718). The FCS of human ENaC a has the amino acid sequence RRAR’SVAS ( 2), an eight–amino-acid sequence that is per­fect­ly iden­ti­cal with the FCS of SARS-CoV­‑2 (16).ENaC is an epithe­lial sodi­um chan­nel, expressed on the api­cal sur­face of epithe­lial cells in the kid­ney, colon, and air­ways (1920), that plays a crit­i­cal role in con­trol­ling flu­id exchange. The ENaC a sub­unit has a func­tion­al FCS (1718) that is essen­tial for ion chan­nel func­tion (19) and has been char­ac­ter­ized in a vari­ety of species. The FCS sequence of human ENaC a (20) is iden­ti­cal in chim­panzee, bonobo, orang­utan, and goril­la (SI Appen­dix , Fig. 1), but diverges in all oth­er species, even pri­mates, except one. (The one non-human non-great ape species with the same sequence is Pip­istrel­lus kuh­lii, a bat species found in Europe and West­ern Asia; oth­er bat species, includ­ing Rhi­nolo­phus fer­rume­quinem, have a dif­fer­ent FCS sequence in ENaC a [RKAR’SAAS]). . . .”
  • “ . . . . One con­se­quence of this “mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry” between the FCS of SARS CoV‑2 spike and the FCS of human ENaC is com­pe­ti­tion for host furin in the lumen of the Gol­gi appa­ra­tus, where the SARS-CoV­‑2 spike is processed. This results in a decrease in human ENaC expres­sion (21). A decrease in human ENaC expres­sion com­pro­mis­es air­way func­tion and has been impli­cat­ed as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the patho­gen­e­sis of COVID-19 (22). Anoth­er con­se­quence of this aston­ish­ing mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry is evi­denced by appar­ent cross-reac­tiv­i­ty with human ENaC of anti­bod­ies from COVID-19 patients, with the high­est lev­els of cross-react­ing anti­bod­ies direct­ed against this epi­tope being asso­ci­at­ed with most severe dis­ease (23).  [Auto-immune reac­tion, pos­si­bly over­lap­ping mRNA vaccines—D.E.]. . . .”
  • “ . . . . We do know that the inser­tion of such FCS sequences into SARS-like virus­es was a spe­cif­ic goal of work pro­posed by the EHA-WIV-UNC part­ner­ship with­in a 2018 grant pro­pos­al (“DEFUSE”) that was sub­mit­ted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (25).The 2018 pro­pos­al to DARPA was not fund­ed, but we do not know whether some of the pro­posed work was sub­se­quent­ly car­ried out in 2018 or 2019, per­haps using anoth­er source of fund­ing. . . .”
  • “ . . . . We also know that that this research team would be famil­iar with sev­er­al pre­vi­ous exper­i­ments involv­ing the suc­cess­ful inser­tion of an FCS sequence into SARS-CoV­‑1 (26) and oth­er coro­n­avirus­es, and they had a lot of expe­ri­ence in con­struc­tion of chimeric SARS-like virus­es (2729). In addi­tion, the research team would also have some famil­iar­i­ty with the FCS sequence and the FCS-depen­dent acti­va­tion mech­a­nism of human ENaC (19), which was exten­sive­ly char­ac­ter­ized at UNC (1718).For a research team assess­ing the pan­dem­ic poten­tial of SARS-relat­ed coro­n­avirus­es, the FCS of human ENaC—an FCS known to be effi­cient­ly cleaved by host furin present in the tar­get loca­tion (epithe­lial cells) of an impor­tant tar­get organ (lung), of the tar­get organ­ism (human)—might be a ratio­nal, if not obvi­ous, choice of FCS to intro­duce into a virus to alter its infec­tiv­i­ty, in line with oth­er work per­formed pre­vi­ous­ly. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Of course, the mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry of ENaC with­in the SARS-CoV­‑2 spike pro­tein might be a mere coin­ci­dence, although one with a very low prob­a­bil­i­ty. The exact FCS sequence present in SARS-CoV­‑2 has recent­ly been intro­duced into the spike pro­tein of SARS-CoV­‑1 in the lab­o­ra­to­ry, in an ele­gant series of exper­i­ments (1230), with pre­dictable con­se­quences in terms of enhanced viral trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty and path­o­genic­i­ty. Obvi­ous­ly, the cre­ation of such SARS‑1/2 “chimeras” is an area of some con­cern for those respon­si­ble for present and future reg­u­la­tion of this area of biol­o­gy. . . .”
  • “ . . . . Infor­ma­tion now held by the research team head­ed by EHA (7), as well as the com­mu­ni­ca­tions of that research team with US research fund­ing agen­cies, includ­ing NIH, USAID, DARPA, DTRA, and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, could shed con­sid­er­able light on the exper­i­ments under­tak­en by the US-fund­ed research team and on the pos­si­ble rela­tion­ship, if any, between those exper­i­ments and the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2. . . .”

“A call for an inde­pen­dent inquiry into the ori­gin of the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus” by Neil L. Har­ri­son and Jef­frey D. Sachs; PNAS [Pro­ceed­ings of the Naion­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences]; 05/19/2022

Since the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the SARS-CoV­‑2 in Wuhan, Chi­na, in Jan­u­ary 2020 (1), the ori­gin of the virus has been a top­ic of intense sci­en­tif­ic debate and pub­lic spec­u­la­tion. The two main hypothe­ses are that the virus emerged from human expo­sure to an infect­ed ani­mal [“zoono­sis” (2)] or that it emerged in a research-relat­ed inci­dent (3). The inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gin of the virus has been made dif­fi­cult by the lack of key evi­dence from the ear­li­est days of the outbreak—there’s no doubt that greater trans­paren­cy on the part of Chi­nese author­i­ties would be enor­mous­ly help­ful. Nev­er­the­less, we argue here that there is much impor­tant infor­ma­tion that can be gleaned from US-based research insti­tu­tions, infor­ma­tion not yet made avail­able for inde­pen­dent, trans­par­ent, and sci­en­tif­ic scruti­ny.

The data avail­able with­in the Unit­ed States would explic­it­ly include, but are not lim­it­ed to, viral sequences gath­ered and held as part of the PREDICT project and oth­er fund­ed pro­grams, as well as sequenc­ing data and lab­o­ra­to­ry note­books from US lab­o­ra­to­ries. We call on US gov­ern­ment sci­en­tif­ic agen­cies, most notably the NIH, to sup­port a full, inde­pen­dent, and trans­par­ent inves­ti­ga­tion of the ori­gins of SARS-CoV­‑2. This should take place, for exam­ple, with­in a tight­ly focused sci­ence-based bipar­ti­san Con­gres­sion­al inquiry with full inves­tiga­tive pow­ers, which would be able to ask impor­tant questions—but avoid mis­guid­ed witch-hunts gov­erned more by pol­i­tics than by sci­ence.

Essen­tial US Inves­ti­ga­tions

The US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty (IC) was tasked, in 2021 by Pres­i­dent Joe Biden (4), with inves­ti­gat­ing the ori­gin of the virus. In their sum­ma­ry pub­lic state­ment, the IC writes that “all agen­cies assess that two hypothe­ses are plau­si­ble: nat­ur­al expo­sure to an infect­ed ani­mal and a lab­o­ra­to­ry-asso­ci­at­ed inci­dent” (4). The IC fur­ther writes that “China’s coop­er­a­tion most like­ly would be need­ed to reach a con­clu­sive assess­ment of the ori­gins of COVID-19 [coro­n­avirus dis­ease 2019].” Of course, such coop­er­a­tion is high­ly war­rant­ed and should be pur­sued by the US Gov­ern­ment and the US sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty. Yet, as out­lined below, much could be learned by inves­ti­gat­ing US-sup­port­ed and US-based work that was under­way in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wuhan-based insti­tu­tions, includ­ing the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV), Chi­na. It is still not clear whether the IC inves­ti­gat­ed these US-sup­port­ed and US-based activ­i­ties. If it did, it has yet to make any of its find­ings avail­able to the US sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty for inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent analy­sis and assess­ment. If, on the oth­er hand, the IC did not inves­ti­gate these US-sup­port­ed and US-based activ­i­ties, then it has fall­en far short of con­duct­ing a com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tion.

This lack of an inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent US-based sci­en­tif­ic inves­ti­ga­tion has had four high­ly adverse con­se­quences. First, pub­lic trust in the abil­i­ty of US sci­en­tif­ic insti­tu­tions to gov­ern the activ­i­ties of US sci­ence in a respon­si­ble man­ner has been shak­en. Sec­ond, the inves­ti­ga­tion of the ori­gin of SARS-CoV­‑2 has become politi­cized with­in the US Con­gress (5); as a result, the incep­tion of an inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent inves­ti­ga­tion has been obstruct­ed and delayed. Third, US researchers with deep knowl­edge of the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a lab­o­ra­to­ry-asso­ci­at­ed inci­dent have not been enabled to share their exper­tise effec­tive­ly. Fourth, the fail­ure of NIH, one of the main fun­ders of the US–China col­lab­o­ra­tive work, to facil­i­tate the inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gins of SARS-CoV­‑2 (4) has fos­tered dis­trust regard­ing US biode­fense research activ­i­ties.

Much of the work on SARS-like CoVs per­formed in Wuhan was part of an active and high­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive US–China sci­en­tif­ic research pro­gram fund­ed by the US Gov­ern­ment (NIH, Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency [DTRA], and US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment [USAID]), coor­di­nat­ed by researchers at Eco­Health Alliance (EHA), but involv­ing researchers at sev­er­al oth­er US insti­tu­tions. For this rea­son, it is impor­tant that US insti­tu­tions be trans­par­ent about any knowl­edge of the detailed activ­i­ties that were under­way in Wuhan and in the Unit­ed States. The evi­dence may also sug­gest that research insti­tu­tions in oth­er coun­tries were involved, and those too should be asked to sub­mit rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion (e.g., with respect to unpub­lished sequences).

Par­tic­i­pat­ing US insti­tu­tions include the EHA, the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na (UNC), the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis (UCD), the NIH, and the USAID. Under a series of NIH grants and USAID con­tracts, EHA coor­di­nat­ed the col­lec­tion of SARS-like bat CoVs from the field in south­west Chi­na and south­east Asia, the sequenc­ing of these virus­es, the archiv­ing of these sequences (involv­ing UCD), and the analy­sis and manip­u­la­tion of these virus­es (notably at UNC). A broad spec­trum of coro­n­avirus research work was done not only in Wuhan (includ­ing groups at Wuhan Uni­ver­si­ty and the Wuhan CDC, as well as WIV) but also in the Unit­ed States. The exact details of the field­work and lab­o­ra­to­ry work of the EHA-WIV-UNC part­ner­ship, and the engage­ment of oth­er insti­tu­tions in the Unit­ed States and Chi­na, has not been dis­closed for inde­pen­dent analy­sis. The pre­cise nature of the exper­i­ments that were con­duct­ed, includ­ing the full array of virus­es col­lect­ed from the field and the sub­se­quent sequenc­ing and manip­u­la­tion of those virus­es, remains unknown.

EHA, UNC, NIH, USAID, and oth­er research part­ners have failed to dis­close their activ­i­ties to the US sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty and the US pub­lic, instead declar­ing that they were not involved in any exper­i­ments that could have result­ed in the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2. The NIH has specif­i­cal­ly stat­ed (6) that there is a sig­nif­i­cant evo­lu­tion­ary dis­tance between the pub­lished viral sequences and that of SARS-CoV­‑2 and that the pan­dem­ic virus could not have result­ed from the work spon­sored by NIH. Of course, this state­ment is only as good as the lim­it­ed data on which it is based, and ver­i­fi­ca­tion of this claim is depen­dent on gain­ing access to any oth­er unpub­lished viral sequences that are deposit­ed in rel­e­vant US and Chi­nese data­bas­es (7,8). On May 11, 2022, Act­ing NIH Direc­tor Lawrence Tabak tes­ti­fied before Con­gress that sev­er­al such sequences in a US data­base were removed from pub­lic view, and that this was done at the request of both Chi­nese and US inves­ti­ga­tors.

Blan­ket denials from the NIH are no longer good enough. Although the NIH and USAID have stren­u­ous­ly resist­ed full dis­clo­sure of the details of the EHA-WIV-UNC work pro­gram, sev­er­al doc­u­ments leaked to the pub­lic or released through the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA) have raised con­cerns. These research pro­pos­als make clear that the EHA-WIV-UNC col­lab­o­ra­tion was involved in the col­lec­tion of a large num­ber of so-far undoc­u­ment­ed SARS-like virus­es and was engaged in their manip­u­la­tion with­in bio­log­i­cal safe­ty lev­el (BSL)-2 and BSL‑3 lab­o­ra­to­ry facil­i­ties, rais­ing con­cerns that an air­borne virus might have infect­ed a lab­o­ra­to­ry work­er (9). A vari­ety of sce­nar­ios have been dis­cussed by oth­ers, includ­ing an infec­tion that involved a nat­ur­al virus col­lect­ed from the field or per­haps an engi­neered virus manip­u­lat­ed in one of the lab­o­ra­to­ries (3).

Over­looked Details

Spe­cial con­cerns sur­round the pres­ence of an unusu­al furin cleav­age site (FCS) in SARS-CoV­‑2 (10) that aug­ments the path­o­genic­i­ty and trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty of the virus rel­a­tive to relat­ed virus­es like SARS-CoV­‑1 (1112). SARS-CoV­‑2 is, to date, the only iden­ti­fied mem­ber of the sub­genus sar­be­covirus that con­tains an FCS, although these are present in oth­er coro­n­avirus­es (1314). A por­tion of the sequence of the spike pro­tein of some of these virus­es is illus­trat­ed in the align­ment shown in Fig. 1, illus­trat­ing the unusu­al nature of the FCS and its appar­ent inser­tion in SARS-CoV­‑2 (15). From the first weeks after the genome sequence of SARS-CoV­‑2 became avail­able, researchers have com­ment­ed on the unex­pect­ed pres­ence of the FCS with­in SARS-CoV‑2—the impli­ca­tion being that SARS-CoV­‑2 might be a prod­uct of lab­o­ra­to­ry manip­u­la­tion. In a review piece argu­ing against this pos­si­bil­i­ty, it was assert­ed that the amino acid sequence of the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 is an unusu­al, non­stan­dard sequence for an FCS and that nobody in a lab­o­ra­to­ry would design such a nov­el FCS (13).

[see fig­ure]
Fig. 1.

In fact, the asser­tion that the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 has an unusu­al, non­stan­dard amino acid sequence is false. The amino acid sequence of the FCS in SARS-CoV­‑2 also exists in the human ENaC a sub­unit (16), where it is known to be func­tion­al and has been exten­sive­ly stud­ied (1718). The FCS of human ENaC a has the amino acid sequence RRAR’SVAS (Fig. 2), an eight–amino-acid sequence that is per­fect­ly iden­ti­cal with the FCS of SARS-CoV­‑2 (16). ENaC is an epithe­lial sodi­um chan­nel, expressed on the api­cal sur­face of epithe­lial cells in the kid­ney, colon, and air­ways (1920), that plays a crit­i­cal role in con­trol­ling flu­id exchange. The ENaC a sub­unit has a func­tion­al FCS (1718) that is essen­tial for ion chan­nel func­tion (19) and has been char­ac­ter­ized in a vari­ety of species. The FCS sequence of human ENaC a (20) is iden­ti­cal in chim­panzee, bonobo, orang­utan, and goril­la (SI Appen­dix , Fig. 1), but diverges in all oth­er species, even pri­mates, except one. (The one non-human non-great ape species with the same sequence is Pip­istrel­lus kuh­lii, a bat species found in Europe and West­ern Asia; oth­er bat species, includ­ing Rhi­nolo­phus fer­rume­quinem, have a dif­fer­ent FCS sequence in ENaC a [RKAR’SAAS]).

[see fig­ure 2]
Fig. 2.

One con­se­quence of this “mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry” between the FCS of SARS CoV‑2 spike and the FCS of human ENaC is com­pe­ti­tion for host furin in the lumen of the Gol­gi appa­ra­tus, where the SARS-CoV­‑2 spike is processed. This results in a decrease in human ENaC expres­sion (21). A decrease in human ENaC expres­sion com­pro­mis­es air­way func­tion and has been impli­cat­ed as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the patho­gen­e­sis of COVID-19 (22). Anoth­er con­se­quence of this aston­ish­ing mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry is evi­denced by appar­ent cross-reac­tiv­i­ty with human ENaC of anti­bod­ies from COVID-19 patients, with the high­est lev­els of cross-react­ing anti­bod­ies direct­ed against this epi­tope being asso­ci­at­ed with most severe dis­ease (23).  [Auto-immune reac­tion, pos­si­bly over­lap­ping mRNA vac­cines].

We do not know whether the inser­tion of the FCS was the result of nat­ur­al evo­lu­tion (213)—per­haps via a recom­bi­na­tion event in an inter­me­di­ate mam­mal or a human (1324)—or was the result of a delib­er­ate intro­duc­tion of the FCS into a SARS-like virus as part of a lab­o­ra­to­ry exper­i­ment. We do know that the inser­tion of such FCS sequences into SARS-like virus­es was a spe­cif­ic goal of work pro­posed by the EHA-WIV-UNC part­ner­ship with­in a 2018 grant pro­pos­al (“DEFUSE”) that was sub­mit­ted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (25). The 2018 pro­pos­al to DARPA was not fund­ed, but we do not know whether some of the pro­posed work was sub­se­quent­ly car­ried out in 2018 or 2019, per­haps using anoth­er source of fund­ing.

We also know that that this research team would be famil­iar with sev­er­al pre­vi­ous exper­i­ments involv­ing the suc­cess­ful inser­tion of an FCS sequence into SARS-CoV­‑1 (26) and oth­er coro­n­avirus­es, and they had a lot of expe­ri­ence in con­struc­tion of chimeric SARS-like virus­es (2729). In addi­tion, the research team would also have some famil­iar­i­ty with the FCS sequence and the FCS-depen­dent acti­va­tion mech­a­nism of human ENaC (19), which was exten­sive­ly char­ac­ter­ized at UNC (1718). For a research team assess­ing the pan­dem­ic poten­tial of SARS-relat­ed coro­n­avirus­es, the FCS of human ENaC—an FCS known to be effi­cient­ly cleaved by host furin present in the tar­get loca­tion (epithe­lial cells) of an impor­tant tar­get organ (lung), of the tar­get organ­ism (human)—might be a ratio­nal, if not obvi­ous, choice of FCS to intro­duce into a virus to alter its infec­tiv­i­ty, in line with oth­er work per­formed pre­vi­ous­ly.

Of course, the mol­e­c­u­lar mim­ic­ry of ENaC with­in the SARS-CoV­‑2 spike pro­tein might be a mere coin­ci­dence, although one with a very low prob­a­bil­i­ty. The exact FCS sequence present in SARS-CoV­‑2 has recent­ly been intro­duced into the spike pro­tein of SARS-CoV­‑1 in the lab­o­ra­to­ry, in an ele­gant series of exper­i­ments (1230), with pre­dictable con­se­quences in terms of enhanced viral trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty and path­o­genic­i­ty. Obvi­ous­ly, the cre­ation of such SARS‑1/2 “chimeras” is an area of some con­cern for those respon­si­ble for present and future reg­u­la­tion of this area of biol­o­gy. [Note that these exper­i­ments in ref. 30 were done in the con­text of a safe “pseudo­typed” virus and thus posed no dan­ger of pro­duc­ing or releas­ing a nov­el pathogen.] These sim­ple exper­i­ments show that the intro­duc­tion of the 12 nucleotides that con­sti­tute the FCS inser­tion in SARS-CoV­‑2 would not be dif­fi­cult to achieve in a lab. It would there­fore seem rea­son­able to ask that elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tions and oth­er rel­e­vant data from US groups should be made avail­able for scruti­ny.

Seek­ing Trans­paren­cy

To date, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, includ­ing the NIH, has not done enough to pro­mote pub­lic trust and trans­paren­cy in the sci­ence sur­round­ing SARS-CoV­‑2. A steady trick­le of dis­qui­et­ing infor­ma­tion has cast a dark­en­ing cloud over the agency. The NIH could say more about the pos­si­ble role of its grantees in the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2, yet the agency has failed to reveal to the pub­lic the pos­si­bil­i­ty that SARS-CoV­‑2 emerged from a research-asso­ci­at­ed event, even though sev­er­al researchers raised that con­cern on Feb­ru­ary 1, 2020, in a phone con­ver­sa­tion that was doc­u­ment­ed by email (5). Those emails were released to the pub­lic only through FOIA, and they sug­gest that the NIH lead­er­ship took an ear­ly and active role in pro­mot­ing the “zoonot­ic hypoth­e­sis” and the rejec­tion of the lab­o­ra­to­ry-asso­ci­at­ed hypoth­e­sis (5). The NIH has resist­ed the release of impor­tant evi­dence, such as the grant pro­pos­als and project reports of EHA, and has con­tin­ued to redact mate­ri­als released under FOIA, includ­ing a remark­able 290-page redac­tion in a recent FOIA release.

Infor­ma­tion now held by the research team head­ed by EHA (7), as well as the com­mu­ni­ca­tions of that research team with US research fund­ing agen­cies, includ­ing NIH, USAID, DARPA, DTRA, and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, could shed con­sid­er­able light on the exper­i­ments under­tak­en by the US-fund­ed research team and on the pos­si­ble rela­tion­ship, if any, between those exper­i­ments and the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2. We do not assert that lab­o­ra­to­ry manip­u­la­tion was involved in the emer­gence of SARS-CoV­‑2, although it is appar­ent that it could have been. How­ev­er, we do assert that there has been no inde­pen­dent and trans­par­ent sci­en­tif­ic scruti­ny to date of the full scope of the US-based evi­dence.

The rel­e­vant US-based evi­dence would include the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion: lab­o­ra­to­ry note­books, virus data­bas­es, elec­tron­ic media (emails, oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­tions), bio­log­i­cal sam­ples, viral sequences gath­ered and held as part of the PREDICT project (7) and oth­er fund­ed pro­grams, and inter­views of the EHA-led research team by inde­pen­dent researchers, togeth­er with a full record of US agency involve­ment in fund­ing the research on SARS-like virus­es, espe­cial­ly with regard to projects in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wuhan-based insti­tu­tions. We sug­gest that a bipar­ti­san inquiry should also fol­low up on the ten­ta­tive con­clu­sion of the IC (4) that the ini­tial out­break in Wuhan may have occurred no lat­er than Novem­ber 2019 and that there­fore the virus was cir­cu­lat­ing before the clus­ter of known clin­i­cal cas­es in Decem­ber. The IC did not reveal the evi­dence for this state­ment, nor when parts of the US Gov­ern­ment or US-based researchers first became aware of a poten­tial new out­break. Any avail­able infor­ma­tion and knowl­edge of the ear­li­est days of the out­break, includ­ing viral sequences (8), could shed con­sid­er­able light on the ori­gins ques­tion.

 

Discussion

One comment for “FTR#‘s 1254 & 1255 Pandemics, Inc., Parts 4 and 5”

  1. Fol­low­ing up on the insur­ance issue, won­der if this is relat­ed? Kevin Esvelt’s tes­ti­mo­ny before Sen­ate Home­land Sec Com­mit­tee, page 14 dis­cuss­es pro­pos­als for insur­ance poli­cies that would cov­er the “neg­a­tive exter­nal­i­ties” of “pan­dem­ic virus inves­ti­ga­tion”:

    https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Esvelt%20Testimony.pdf

    Posted by Bigfoot | August 3, 2022, 11:34 pm

Post a comment