Fifteen months ago, a group of Chinese scientists, working on the ground at the scene of the outbreak of a brand new virus, came to the conclusion that the novel coronavirus probably escaped from a government lab in Wuhan. They said so in the clearest possible terms, and then posted it on the internet. From our perspective, this struck us as an amazing and important story, and also, by the way, completely plausible. We expected a flurry of media interest in it. Where did this virus come from? That seemed worth knowing as people were dying of it. But no one asked the question. Instead, there was silence, punctuated only by occasional smirking about anti-Asian racism and conspiracy theories.
That’s where it stood for more than a year, until just a few weeks ago. Then suddenly, for reasons we still don’t really understand, all the smirking morons in the American news media changed their view completely, overnight.
Of course, COVID escaped from a Chinese virology lab. Duh. Did you really think it came from the wet market? Come on. That was the new consensus. An avalanche of evidence followed. The Wall Street Journal confirmed that the first COVID victims seem to have been researchers working with bat viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. BuzzFeed obtained thousands of emails showing that Tony Fauci knew from the beginning that COVID may have been manufactured in China in dangerous experiments he helped pay for. The lab leak theory, it turns out, was never crazy. It was always likely true.
So why did they lie to us about it for so long? A shocking new piece in, of all places, the celebrity suck-up magazine Vanity Fair, answers that question in great detail. You should read it.
In short, many research scientists are addicted to tax dollars. If the public understood just how recklessly they’ve behaved — endangering the entire world with their weird little experiments in poorly relegated labs in China — the money might dry up. As a former NSC official called Jamie Metzl put it, “If the pandemic started as part of a lab leak, it had the potential to do to virology what Three Mile Island and Chernobyl did to nuclear science.”
Can’t have that. Got to keep the money flowing. So they lied about it. And then they intimidated anyone who told the truth.
That included the director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, who received death threats from scientists after he suggested the virus came from a lab.
REDFIELD: I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely ideology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, escaped. Other people don’t believe that. It’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out. It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect the laboratory worker.
That’s not some guy on Twitter. It’s the former director of the CDC, so you’d think the world would stop and ask follow-up questions like “why do you think that?” and “Where’s the evidence?” But that’s not what happened.
“I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis,” Redfield told Vanity Fair. “I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”
Redfield had dared to buck the orthodoxy that had imposed by the global scientific establishment. It began on February 19, 2020, just as the virus was getting to this country and scaring the hell out of all of us.
At that moment, one of the leading science journals in the world, The Lancet, published a letter signed by 27 scientists. The letter declared flatly and for all time that the coronavirus did originate in a lab in Wuhan, and you’d have to be a bigot to believe otherwise. That letter, we now know, was organized by Peter Daszcak, a man with everything to gain by pretending COVID came from a wet market. Daszcak was involved in gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Emails show that Daszcak carefully selected other signatories to the Lancet letter so that this obviously disqualifying conflict of interest would remain secret. At one point, he wrote to another scientist named Ralph Baric, who was also working on gain-of-function research in China, telling him not to sign the letter.
Here’s why: “We’ll put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our collaboration, so we maximize an independent voice,” he wrote.
The whole thing was a fraud, and yet it worked. It was in The Lancet, everyone trusts The Lancet. In fact, Tony Fauci himself cited Daszcak’s letter as proof the virus wasn’t caused by research he was funding:
FAUCI: If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what exists now, it’s very, very strongly leaning towards that could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated. The way the mutations have naturally evolved. A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said everything about the progressive evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in the wild, then jumped species.
So really, this is a story about the self-licking ice cream cone that is the federal bureaucracy. No matter how badly they screw up, it’s never their fault. “Oh, we didn’t imagine WMD in Iraq” etc. Pick your screw-up. But it’s your fault, racist.
It wasn’t just Fauci who cited it. Self-described “fact-checkers” used The Lancet letter to censor anyone on social media who mentioned the possibility of a lab leak. It can’t be true, The Lancet says it’s not true. 27 scientists say it’s not true. Only a few scientists in the face of all of this dared to speak up.
One of them was called Gilles Demaneuf. He formed a group of researchers called “DRASTIC,” short for Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team.
Jamie Metzl, the former NSC official, soon joined the group. Almost immediately, as early as April of last year, it was clear to Metzel that the lab leak theory was not a conspiracy theory. In fact, it was plausible.
METZL: But I think if I had to just bet based on what I’ve read and logic I would bet it’s most likely an accidental leak from a lab.
Metzel wasn’t speculating. Unlike the official “scientists,” he and DRASTIC had evidence that they had bothered to gather. They found that the official scientific consensus had been doctored at the source.
In one instance, they discovered that Shi Zhengli — the “bat lady in Wuhan” — had collected samples of a bat coronavirus that were virtually identical to COVID-19. Where did she get these samples? She found them in a cave in the Yunnan province in China. Several miners had been killed there in 2012. She recognized that the virus was significant because it moved directly to humans, without going through an intermediate animal host first. The Chinese seemed to be looking for the most dangerous virus they could find. In that cave, they found it. After the coronavirus pandemic began, Shi Zhengli tried to hide that COVID-19 was virtually identical to the virus from the mine she’d collected. In her records, she renamed the virus to hide its source.
Peter Daszcak then published a paper with Shi Zhengli categorizing all of the various coronavirus strains they’d encountered in recent years. The paper listed hundreds of them. But somehow they omitted the deadly viruses found in the Yunnan mine. Funny.
Were those viruses significant? The government of China seems to think so. Late last year, journalists with the BBC tried to visit the mine to get some answers. When they arrived, they were followed by plainclothes police officers. They found the road to the mine was blocked by a well-placed broken-down truck. So, the Chinese government covered this up.
Here’s the worst and most shocking part if you’re an American: Some within the U.S. government helped them cover it up. They knew all of this was going on. But they buried the truth too. Because their interests were aligned with the interest of the Chinese government. Christopher Park, a director in the State Department’s nonproliferation bureau, told the agency’s investigators, “not to say anything that would point to the U.S. government’s own role in gain-of-function research.”
Why would he say that? It turns out Christopher Park was involved in the 2017 decision to lift the federal moratorium on funding gain-of-function research.
Vanity Fair obtained a memo from Thomas DiNanno, then the acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s arms-control bureau. In the memo, DiNanno wrote that staff from two State Department bureaus had warned leaders within his bureau quote “not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19” because it would “open a can of worms.”
These are Americans working to hide the truth of the origin of COVID-19 from a country that’s been destroyed by COVID-19. You can’t prevent outbreaks unless you know where they came from, and yet federal bureaucrats prevented us from learning where this one came from.
One of the officials who wanted to shut down the probe was Chris Ford, acting Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security. A former administration official with direct knowledge of the probe tells us that Chris Ford was briefed about the lab leak investigation earlier than December 2020 when Ford claims he first heard about it. We are told Ford wanted it shut down. He was overruled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Ford was not a permanent bureaucrat, he was a political appointee, but he spoke for many career bureaucrats — many of whom, we’re told, wanted to bury the probe out of political animus. They didn’t like the administration they served, and they didn’t want to give it points. They accused anyone who asked questions of being a “conspiracy theorist.” And in our conformist culture, that’s enough to shut people up.
In other words, they acted just like the people you see on TV. Just like MSNBC anchors. They did not act like federal officials sworn to protect American lives. They weren’t protecting American lives. They were protecting the consensus, and that endangered American lives. As for actual MSNBC anchors, they’ve regressed to a childlike state of incoherence. This dopey little fangirl swoon over Tony Fauci like he’s the bassist in a boy band:
FAUCI: As you learn more and more. You’ve got to continue to evolve with the data and that’s what I was trying to do is to always tell the truth on the basis of what the data is and it was never deliberately against the president…If you look at my emails, I never said anything derogatory about president Trump.
WALLACE: Well the true mark of someone is if they look good even when their personal emails come out, so you passed the test that very few of us would pass.
“I love you, Tony Fauci,” still talking about Trump. That’s where some of them still are.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the June 3, 2021, edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
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