Monday, Jun 24, 2024

The Most Dangerous Game

 

Unsealed Docs Unveil Fauci Role in Wuhan Lab Leak  

 

Documents released this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about dangerous “gain-of-function” experiments, strongly suggest they were funded in Chinese labs by former NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci, despite his many denials.

The documents surfaced in recent weeks, thanks to Judicial Watch which won a FOIA request from the HHS.

Gain-of-function refers to adding a more deadly pathogenic function to a virus so that scientists can potentially develop treatments (vaccines) in case of a future outbreak.

Critics argue the experiments pose massive risks to humanity, and have never been shown to provide any benefit. In light of mounting opposition to this high-risk form of experimentation, where the tiniest lapse of security or human error can trigger catastrophic consequences, the Obama administration in 2014 halted funding for it.

The NIH lifted that funding pause and loosened restrictions three years later to allow the experiments at Wuhan to continue through a back door intermediary–EcoHealth Alliance.

Despite widespread concerns that gain-of-function experiments may have led to the outbreak of Covid and the death of millions of people, the Biden administration continues to support the practice, according to National security council communications coordinator John Kirby.

Critics say the government’s stance flies in the face of common sense and basic decency, citing the newly released HHS documents that strongly suggest that gain-of-function research was responsible for the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in Wuhan.

These documents confirm earlier allegations made by Senator Rand Paul, R.-KY, during a Nov. 2021 congressional hearing where he charged Fauci with having funded the experiments that heightened the lethality of pathogens.

In sworn testimony, the infectious diseases expert denied he or agencies under his control had anything to do with funding gain-of-function research.

Former National Intelligence director John Ratcliffe told Congress last week that Fauci’s testimony “was not consistent with the available intelligence” —a polite way of saying the NIAID director had lied.

Changing Definitions to Avoid Being Caught

In an op-ed on Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul explained how Fauci and the NIH wiggled out of responsibility for the dangerous research at Wuhan by “scrubbing the NIH website of its ‘gain-of-function’ definition,” and substituting a new one.

This is one of many instances of how Fauci “changed the goal posts” to avoid being caught in a lie, critics point out.

When Covid vaccines proved to be ineffective in stopping infection or viral spread, he changed the definition of vaccines, insisting they were only intended to prevent hospitalization and death. When they failed at this as well, they were redefined as needed to be supplemented by regular boosters to accomplish protection.

“On October 20th, the NIH admitted in a letter to two Members of Congress that research supported by the NIH in Wuhan did create viruses that gained in lethality,” wrote Sen. Paul. “On the same day, the NIH removed its definition of gain-of-function research from its website and replaced it with another term: “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen” research.

The new term employed hair-splitting semantics that would exempt the Wuhan experiments from being defined as gain-of-function, a term which the NIH website no longer acknowledged.

Paul added that “worldwide approximately 15 million people died – the memory of their deaths demands that we have more scrutiny of this dangerous research.”

Republican Senators Call for Moratorium on Gain-of- Function

In January, a number of U.S. Senators led by Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. and Roger Marshall, M.D. R-Kan., moved to place a moratorium on all federal research grants involving risky gain-of-function research on pandemic pathogens.

Joining Blackburn and Marshall’s legislation as cosponsors were Senators Mike Braun, R-Ind., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Joni Ernst R-Iowa, James Lankford R-Okla., Rand Paul R-Ky., Marco Rubio R-Fla., Tommy Tuberville R-Ala., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

Blackburn also introduced legislation to establish an Office of Inspector General within the NIH to help restore much-needed accountability to the agency.

“In light of the new report from the GAO (Government Accountability Office), it has become abundantly clear that the NIH is currently incapable of properly enforcing oversight standards. If the Covid-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that there is no room for negligence in researching potential pandemic pathogens. These projects should not be allowed to continue until oversight is improved and safety guardrails become a guarantee,” said Blackburn.

“The dereliction of oversight duty at the NIH is not only unacceptable, it’s dangerous,” said Senator Tuberville. “The United States should not spend another penny of taxpayer funds on unaccountable gain-of-function research programs that have proven to be a risk to public health. Congress needs to demand transparency and oversight from all of our public health officials, especially for the billions of dollars sent to their agencies.”

Sen. Rubio: Wuhan’s Past Record of Accidents

In an appearance this month on Sean Hannity, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, said the problem with gain-of-function research is not restricted to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“Remember, there’s a second place there called the Wuhan Institute of Health, which unknown to many people is also involved in this,” Rubio said. “This is a place that’s had repeated accidents in the past. I think there’s every reason to suspect these two labs that were working on these pathogens and also happening to both be in the city where the pandemic began…All this is very suspect.

“The likeliest outcome here is like the FBI and the Department of Energy surmise: this was a lab accident covered up by the Chinese that half-destroyed the world.”

Referring to denials by Fauci and NIH officials that they funded gain of function research, Rubio said, “They can call it whatever they want but here’s what they mean in English… ‘We wonder what would happen if this virus mutates into something that’s infectious in humans…We need to know because if we can predict how it’s going to mutate, we can create a vaccine ahead of time.’ So to do that, you have to mess with the virus.”

“Well, what happens if someone messing with it gets infected by it and they go home and give it to a bunch of people, and it spreads like wildfire? Well, wait a minute. That sounds a lot like what happened in Wuhan…”

Experts Warned the White House

Testifying before the House Subcommittee for the Coronavirus Pandemic, David Feith, former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, revealed that some of his colleagues in the State Department “had warned the White House against gain-of-function research early in the pandemic,” wrote National Review.

“The Wuhan lab had a long record of secrecy about its coronavirus research,” Feith told the subcommittee members. “We at State worked to make this information public. Some of our colleagues warned us not to. They said not to highlight China’s gain-of-function research lest we draw attention to the U.S. government’s own role in such research. That might open a Pandora’s box.”

Gain-of-function research continues to be investigated by Congress in its efforts to nail down the origins of the coronavirus. That means plowing through a great deal of smoke and mirrors created by early attempts to obscure the facts.

“From the very start of the pandemic, Anthony Fauci was putting his own agenda ahead of the public interest, using his power behind the scenes to quash questions about Covid’s origins, wrote the NY Post. “It was about protecting him, not the nation.”

“He also aligned with Big Tech — notably Mark Zuckerberg — early in the pandemic to quash any dissident public voices defending the lab-leak theory,” the article said.

Meanwhile, EcoHealth director Peter Daszak, who served as the intermediary for the controversial Wuhan research, was engaged in his own long campaign to quash lab-leak discussion, engineering a near-blackout on the issue in science journals,” wrote the NY Post.

“Daszak also played a key role in the World Health Organization “investigation” that rejected the lab-leak idea. And Fauci’s NIH in turn showered EcoHealth with more grants than ever.”

At the same time, Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins, the two public health officials at the head of the NIH, orchestrated a campaign to suppress the lab-leak theory with its potential to ignite public outrage against the high-risk experimentation conducted in Wuhan. They poured public scorn not only on the theory but also on its proponents, some of them deeply respected scientists.

But there was never any science behind the natural-transmission theory and it was increasingly abandoned.

Bombshell at Congressional Hearing

Former National Intelligence Director Ratcliffe issued a bombshell statement at the Congressional Hearing on the Origins of the Pandemic that current intelligence supports the lab leak as the only credible explanation for how Covid-19 originated.

“My informed assessment has been and continues to be that a lab leak is the only explanation credibly supported by our intelligence, by science, and by common sense,” Ratcliffe told the House Subcommittee members in February.

“If our intelligence and evidence supporting a lab-leak theory was placed side by side with intelligence and evidence pointing to a natural-origins theory, the lab leak side of the ledger would be long, convincing, and overwhelming. The other side would be nearly empty,” asserted Ratcliffe.

“With SARS and MERS and all these other outbreaks, they’ve been able to produce the animal within three, four, or five months,” noted Sen. Marco Rubio in an appearance on the Sean Hannity show. “They’ve been able to say, here’s the animal, here’s the infection. They tracked it down to a date, to a moment.”

“In all the time since the outbreak, they have yet to come forward and say, ‘Here’s an animal infected with this exact virus. Here’s how it started.’ They’ve not done that. Of all these various zoonotic infections, this is the one case where they can’t find an animal link.”

Sen. Cruz Calls for Criminal Investigations

Sen. Ted Cruz, R.-TX, has called for criminal investigations into who was responsible for perpetuating gain-of-function at Wuhan and other sites, after the programs were supposed to be defunded by the government.

At a political action conference in March, Cruz singled out former NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci as the key government authority who authorized the funding, in addition to promulgating policies that the senator said “destroyed peoples’ lives, hurt tens of millions of kids across this country and destroyed businesses. He told Americans lies, knowingly, glibly.”

In recent months, Sen. Cruz’s blistering criticism has been echoed by many policy experts, scientists and political commentators who were previously trashed for dissenting with government policy and could find no mainstream platform willing to give them a voice.

Much has changed since 2020-2021.

Almost all of America’s leaders have gradually pulled back their Covid mandates, requirements, and closures—even in states like California, which had imposed the most stringent and longest-lasting restrictions on the public, noted Dr. Scott Atlas, former Covid-19 policy advisor to the White House, in a Newsweek op-ed this month.

“At the same time,” Atlas wrote, “the media has been gradually acknowledging the ongoing release of studies that totally refute the purported reasons behind those restrictions. This overt reversal is falsely portrayed as “learned” or “new evidence.” Little acknowledgement of error is to be found, and no public apology is offered for the promulgation of false information.

Running From Accountability

Atlas, who was himself censored and vilified for opposing lockdowns and school closings, slammed what he called the “run from accountability” by those who pushed these policies.

“We are seeing a macabre Orwellian attempt to rewrite history,” he said, “as those responsible for policy tend to deny their role today.”

“The historical record is critical. We must acknowledge the abject failure of Fauci’s policies, the reckless, unprecedented lockdowns that were contrary to established science. Those policies failed to stop the dying, failed to stop the infection from spreading, and inflicted massive damage and destruction.”

“The harsh truth is that lies were told. Those lies harmed the public. Those lies were directly contrary to the evidence, to decades of knowledge on viral pandemics, and to long-established fundamental biology.”

Atlas made the point that unless the mistakes and wrongdoing are acknowledged, they can be repeated. Lockdowns can be instituted again, mandates of all sorts can be imposed. People can be detained and stripped of their constitutional rights. All the lies that were foisted on a trusting public can be resurrected. [See Sidebar]

Former CDC Director:  We Need To Shut This Research Down

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield appeared in a panel in front of the House Covid Origins Select Committee earlier this month where he blasted gain-of-function research. In response to questioning by committee chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, Redfield said this form of research, to his knowledge, has never created a treatment or “life-saving vaccines.”

Nor does he believe there are any “tangible benefits” to the research that would make it worth the risks it involves.

The former CDC director also said that he “absolutely” believes the Wuhan Institute of Virology was engaging in gain-of-function research.

“I’ve been warning about the risks for years, and I’m certainly not the only one,” Redfield told the panel. “Merely requiring scientists to inform the government, which is the current NIH policy, is not enough. We need to shut this research down and take a long, hard look at it before any such experiments can go forward again.”

Redfield also said during the hearing that he told former NIAID Director Anthony Fauci in 2020 that he did not believe “natural spillover” — the virus traveling from animals or plants to humans — was “scientifically plausible” with the origins of Covid-19.  For his candidness, he said, he was “excommunicated” from the discussion.

“They told me they wanted a single narrative and I had a different point of view,” Redfield said.

“There is currently no environmental source identified for Covid-19. No intermediate host or species that has ever been identified,” Ratcliffe elaborated to the committee members. “Covid-19 was never known to exist in any animal or species before the pandemic began. Those are scientific facts that are not disputed, and there’s nothing political about that.”

“We’re now three and a half years, and every day that passes makes it less likely that there’s anything that will ever tie this to nature,” Ratcliffe said. Whereas on the other side of the ledger, the lab leak, it’s overwhelming.”

Writing in The Hill, Redfield and co-author Dr. Marc Siegel explained what lies behind their vigorous opposition to gain of function research. They stressed that “the NIH and the U.S. government have limited ability to oversee research here in the United States, and zero ability to oversee it in other countries, especially in China.”

“No amount of supervision can be foolproof,” the authors said, “even under the strictest conditions of level 4 biosafety labs. We are therefore calling for a moratorium on all gain of function research, where it is forbidden to deliberately alter a pathogen to provoke or assess its ability to spread among or sicken humans. This applies to research going on at pharmaceutical companies, in universities and anywhere else.”

“If gain of function didn’t cause this ferocious pandemic,” they concluded, “it most certainly can cause the next one.”

 

*****

The Biggest Fallacies Surrounding the Pandemic

Writing in Newsweek, Dr. Scott Atlas outlines ten falsehoods “known for years to be false, that were promoted by many of the nation’s public health leaders, as well as elected and unelected officials.” Many of these fallacies, now discredited, were unquestioningly accepted by large numbers of Americans.

  1. Covid-19 has a far higher fatality rate than the flu by several orders of magnitude.
    2. Everyone is at significant risk to die from this virus.
    3. No one has any immunological protection, because this virus is completely new.
    4. Asymptomatic people including children are major drivers of the spread.
    5. Locking down will stop or eliminate the virus.
    6. Masks will protect everyone and stop the spread.
    7. The virus is assumed to be naturally occurring; claiming it originated in a lab is a conspiracy theory.
    8. Teachers are at especially high risk.
    9. Covid vaccines stop the spread of the infection.
    10. Immune protection only comes from a vaccine.

“None of us are so naïve as to expect a direct apology for the lies foisted on us,” Atlas writes. “But to ensure that this public health disaster never happens again, government leaders, power-driven officials and influential academics must be held accountable.”

 

*****

Fauci Exempted Wuhan from Safety Review

In a recent appearance on Fox and Friends, Sen. Rand Paul discussed Dr. Fauci’s fateful decision to circumvent a federal protocol requiring scientists to submit their research proposals to a committee who would assess whether it passed the safety bar.

“I think Fauci deserves culpability because he made the judgment on his own to fund this dangerous gain-of-function research,” said Paul. “He went around the system. We had set up a system where researchers are supposed to go before a committee who would judge whether the experiments should be funded. Fauci exempted Wuhan from the committee. The committee that was supposed to provide safety and review never looked at the research in Wuhan because Tony Fauci gave them exemption.”

“In the end, there was a leak from the lab and millions of people died worldwide,” Sen. Paul went on. “This didn’t happen accidentally. The leak may have been accident, but the funding wasn’t accidental.

“So yes, he does bear responsibility to fund this dangerous research–maybe one of the worst judgment errors in the history of modern public health.”

Dr. Fauci headed NIAID for over 38 years, retiring with the largest salary in the entire federal government. He has shown himself to be remarkably agile “in shaking off accountability,” writes the Washington Times.

“But this time, he may not walk away totally unscathed,” the article suggests. “…He might actually be the perfect pansy for Democrats to pin the blame on, should the winds of Wuhan accountability shift uncomfortably left.

“Indeed, it’s getting hotter. The walls are closing in…. The Republicans may yet get their man.”

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