Irony Alert: Peter Daszak Will Lead The Lancet’s Task Force to Investigate the Origins of COVID

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Ever since it became “acceptable” to say the coronavirus may have leaked out of the lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that had been conducting gain-of-function research with bat-virus strains, one name in particular keeps popping up. That would be Peter Daszak.

Daszak is a zoologist and the President of the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization which describes itself as “a global environmental health nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and public health from the emergence of disease.”

EcoHealth received a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2014. His organization was involved with the WIV and it is believed that Daszak passed on some portion of that grant to subsidize gain-of-function research at WIV.

Daszak stands at the center of the effort to mislead the world as to the origin of the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, we learned that Daszak emailed Dr. Anthony Fauci on April 18, 2020 to essentially thank him for lying to protect the group’s effort to deceive Americans about how the virus may have begun. I posted about that here.

On Thursday, we learned that Daszak was the writer and the organizer of the joint statement signed by 27 renowned public health scientists that was published in the elite medical journal called The Lancet on Feb. 19, 2020. This letter, which was scolding in nature, effectively shut down debate over where COVID’s origins – just as it was intended to.

It read: “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”

These so-called “experts” did the world a great disservice by signing on to this statement. They allowed China to avoid blame for the virus – for a time anyway. It was this letter that did more than anything else to turn the tide away from the lab leak theory.

The media would point to this letter from the “experts” and ridicule anyone who mentioned the lab leak theory. ‘See, see the letter signed by 27 experts.’

Now we’re learning that The Lancet has set up a task force to investigate the origins of COVID and they’ve selected Daszak to lead it. This is akin to asking Jen Psaki to lead a probe into possible fraud in the 2020 election.

Summit News’ Steve Watson wrote “ANYBODY but this guy would be more suitable. … Dr Peter Daszak, who is heading up this task force, is perhaps the least suitable scientist on the planet to objectively analyse the data, given his track record.”

Daszak also works for the World Health Organisation. He was the lead investigator on the World Health Organization team that traveled to Wuhan in February to determine if the virus had escaped from the lab. Predictably, they concluded it had likely originated in nature. Watson wrote that Daszak reached that conclusion within three hours.

In the video below, recorded on December 9, 2019, shortly before the world found out about the coronavirus, Daszak is being interviewed by virologist Vincent Racaniello. Daszak tells Racaniello:

“You can manipulate them [coronaviruses] in the lab pretty easily. … The spiked proteins drive a lot about what happens. You can get the sequence you can build the protein, we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this, insert into the backbone of another virus and do some work in a lab.” (29:54 in the video)

Watson reports that “Daszak was later employed as an ‘expert fact checker’ by Facebook when it was monitoring and removing ‘misinformation’ about the origins of COVID on its platform, much of which was credible scientific research. Facebook has since reversed the policy of banning any posts containing information suggesting COVID-19 was “man-made”.”

Okay, so Daszak has funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, he led the WHO’s February investigation, he persuaded 27 respected scientists to sign onto a letter which derides, without offering any scientific evidence, anyone who thinks the virus could have escaped from the lab, and now he’s been appointed to lead The Lancet’s investigation.

Why?

Last spring, Gilles Demaneuf, a data scientist working for the Bank of New Zealand in Auckland wondered the same thing and began with a research project of his own. He ultimately assembled a group of researchers which became known as DRASTIC. He told his fascinating story to a Vanity Fair reporter. And I will write about it tomorrow.

Washington Post Admits Wuhan Lab Leak Theory Was Dismissed Because it was Supported by Trump

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At a Jan. 30, 2020 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican told colleagues: “This coronavirus is a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl for China. But actually, it’s probably worse than Chernobyl, which was localized in its effect. The coronavirus could result in a global pandemic. I would note that Wuhan has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.”

Cotton was widely mocked by the liberal media over those remarks and similar ones to follow.

Looking back to the early days of the coronavirus, anyone who mentioned that the virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan was labeled a conspiracy theorist. Saying the virus may have been created in that lab was even worse.

In recent weeks, however, journalists who once scoffed at such a notion are opening to the possibility.

The Washington Post’s “fact-checker,” Glenn Kessler, who was himself the subject of a fact-check involving remarks about Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, actually admits that the legacy media’s anti-Trump bias may have been behind their rejection of the lab leak theory.

Kessler excuses both himself and his colleagues from performing their due diligence by saying that the lab leak theory “often got mixed up with speculation that the virus was deliberately created as a bioweapon,” which he finds preposterous. (When the truth finally comes out, he may be proven wrong about that as well. But I digress.) Surely any journalist worth his or her salt would be able to separate the two, and investigate both theories. Did the virus escape accidentally from the lab that was tied to the CCP’s military or was it intentionally released?

It was China’s “lack of transparency” and “renewed attention to the activities of the Wuhan lab” that finally opened their eyes to the possibility that the virus may have leaked from the lab, the only lab in China that is known to work with this specific pathogen.

He finally gets around to the real reason: former President Donald Trump. Here too, Kessler tries hard to absolve himself and the rest of the media. He writes: “The Trump administration also sought to highlight the lab scenario but generally could only point to vague intelligence. The Trump administration’s messaging was often accompanied by anti-Chinese rhetoric that made it easier for skeptics to ignore its claims.”

I’m sure by now, nearly a year and a half after the coronavirus reached our shores, U.S. intelligence agencies have more solid information about its origins. But in those early days, all Trump had to go on was vague intelligence.

As for his anti-Chinese rhetoric making it easier to ignore his claims, wouldn’t a serious investigative journalist be able to put the President’s comments aside and look at the facts? Isn’t that a journalist’s job?

Isn’t Kessler essentially saying that the theory was dismissed mostly because of its connection to Trump?

Kessler takes readers through a COVID-19 timeline. Most of the early reactions were based on the lab leak theory and left the door open to the possibility that it could have been intentional.

Later in January, The Daily Mail and The Washington Times published articles making the connection between the virus and the Wuhan lab.

On Feb. 6, “Botao Xiao, a molecular biomechanics researcher at South China University of Technology, posts a paper stating that ‘the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.’ He pointed to the previous safety mishaps and the kind of research undertaken at the lab. He withdrew the paper a few weeks later after Chinese authorities insisted no accident had taken place,” according to The Post.

Did any journalists wonder why Xiao withdrew the paper? That researchers who didn’t acquiesce to the CCP’s version of events had a way of disappearing?

On Feb. 9, Cotton struck back via Twitter against China’s ambassador who had said his remarks were “absolutely crazy.”

Following more criticism from The Washington Post, Cotton responded with the following Twitter thread:

The hypotheses include: “1. Natural (still the most likely, but almost certainly not from the Wuhan food market); 2. Good science, bad safety (eg, they were researching things like diagnostic testing and vaccines, but an accidental breach occurred); 3. Bad science, bad safety (this is the engineered-bioweapon hypothesis, with an accidental breach); 4. Deliberate release (very unlikely, but shouldn’t rule out till the evidence is in); Again, none of these are ‘theories’ and certainly not ‘conspiracy theories.’ They are hypotheses that ought to be studied in light of the evidence.”

The turning point in the debate over COVID’s origins came on Feb. 19 when a group of public health scientists published a joint statement, which was scolding in its nature, in the elite medical journal Lancet.

It read: “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”

According to The Post, “the statement was drafted and organized by Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance,which funded research at WIV with U.S. government grants. (Three of the signers have since said a laboratory accident is plausible enough to merit consideration.)”

These so-called “experts” did the world a great disservice by signing on to this statement. They provided China with an excuse to escape blame for the virus. It was this letter that did more than anything else to turn the tide away from the lab leak theory.

The media would point to this letter from the “experts” and ridicule anyone who mentioned the lab leak theory.

So, why now are they changing their tune? Why did PolitiFact retract their earlier fact check (which debunked the lab leak theory) last week? Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing. Perhaps they’re privy to something that hasn’t been made public yet. Or maybe it’s because there is growing circumstantial evidence that points to the lab leak theory.

Whatever the reason, Kessler’s article was a feeble attempt to explain why the vast majority of journalists, once again, failed to do their jobs.

A version of this article was posted in The Western Journal.

Engineer Who Published Theory About Origin of COVID in February 2020 Is Looking Pretty Smart Right About Now

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Back in February 2020, Dr. Joel S. Holmes, who occasionally posts on this site, published a book entitled “The China Virus: Corona Pandemic, What Families and Countries Can Do.

In his book, Holmes told the story of how the Chinese may have obtained the coronavirus. I read his book at that time and immediately posted on it here on RedState.

Looking back to February 2020, anyone who mentioned that the virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan was labeled as a conspiracy theorist. Saying the virus may have been created in that lab was even worse.

Holmes first considered the uncommon characteristics of this virus:

1. The extraordinary length of the incubation period and its transmissibility during that period.

2. The length of time the virus remains alive on surfaces (nine days).

3. Its high R0 or “Basic Reproduction Number,” the number of people an infected person will transmit the disease to.

Here are several excerpts from Holmes book:

Specifically we start at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, and with Scientific Director Dr. Frank Plummer…On May 4, 2013 the Novel Coronavirus arrived at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg.

It was sent by well known Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, most certainly because the National Microbiology Laboratory of Canada specializes in complete testing services for COVID-19.

Fouchier himself had received it from a colleague in the Middle East who had isolated the virus from the lungs of a patient.

The Canadian Lab grew a research bank of the new virus and set about to see what animals could be infected by it.

The National Microbiology Laboratory is the only LEVEL 4 virology lab in Canada, capable of handling the most dangerous diseases.

Unfortunately there were additional dangers that the lab was not aware of. And those dangers were high level Chinese staff members who were engaged in espionage and theft.

One of the Chinese spies was Director of the Vaccine Development and Antiviral Therapies Section in the Special Pathogens Program. Xiangguo Qiu graduated from Hebei Medical University in 1985 and came to Canada for advanced studies.

How Dr. Xiangguo Qiu morphed from a medical doctor to a virologist is not known, but she ended up doing leading work at the Canadian lab.

And she was not alone at that lab. Her husband, Dr. Keding Cheng, a bacteriologist was also at the National Microbiology Laboratory, and who also mysteriously shifted into virology.

Together they infiltrated the NML and engaged in theft of technology, secrets, and of actual viral samples, which they sent secretly to China.

Of importance, is that Xiangguo Qiu is a specialist in biological warfare.

The management and staff of the NML were sleeping at the wheel while these two engaged in theft of dangerous viral samples. Perhaps political correctness played a role in turning a blind eye to possible irregularities.

In addition to their own espionage and thefts, these two arranged for additional Chinese nationals to infiltrate the NML…

Stolen materials, including samples of the Novel Coronavirus were somehow taken or shipped by this group of six to Wuhan.

And possibly taken personally by Dr Xiangguo Qiu on multiple trips she made to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017 and 2018.

It was not until early July 2019, too late, that the Canadian lab woke up to the obvious. Even then they did not act appropriately and bring in law enforcement, but simply escorted Xiangguo Qiu and her husband out of the building.

I wrote:

While we can’t know exactly what these two Chinese doctors were doing at the lab or what their motives were, the timeline Holmes specifies and the fact that the couple had been escorted out of the building last July are corroborated by this CBC Canada article dated October 3, 2019. Additionally, the article confirms that they are currently under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The receipt and the timing of the coronavirus sample is corroborated here.

It all sounds very plausible. China has a long history of stealing research and technology from foreign countries. We would be foolish not to investigate.

Last September, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson had Dr. Li Meng Yan, a leading Chinese virologist, as a guest on his show. The episode, which instantly went viral, spurred a number of “fact-checks” including one from PolitiFact which was retracted earlier this week. I posted about this here.

Dr. Yan told Carlson: “This virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature. It is a man-made virus created in the lab. … I can present solid scientific evidence to our audience that this virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature. It is a man-made virus created in the lab.”

She said that, previously, the bat coronavirus could not affect people, but after the [lab] modifications, it became a very harmful virus.

Carlson says, “You’re saying that the Chinese government manufactured this virus if I’m hearing you correctly?”

“Yes, exactly…,” Yan says.

She explained how the evidence that it was man-made could be found in the genome itself and that “big suppression” was coming from the Chinese Communist Party.

Following Yan’s revelations, Holmes wrote an article about the study she and other “internationally leading virology experts” had published.

The study can be viewed here: Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route

Holmes wrote that “the study shows clearly that the COVID-19 virus is a laboratory-created biological weapon.”

The study begins:

In this report, we describe the genomic, structural, medical, and literature evidence, which, when considered together, strongly contradicts the natural origin theory. The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone. Building upon the evidence, we further postulate a synthetic route for SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that the laboratory-creation of this coronavirus is convenient and can be accomplished in approximately six months.

Holmes: “This introduction makes the point that the virus is synthetic and that it can be recreated from the natural virus by any expert team in a six-month periodThe report specifically also states what part of the virus was modified to become a biological weapon. And that without the modification the virus would not be infectious to humans.”

SARS-CoV-2 contains a unique furin-cleavage site in its Spike protein, which is known to greatly enhance viral infectivity and cell tropism. Yet, this cleavage site is completely absent in this particular class of coronaviruses found in nature. In addition, rare codons associated with this additional sequence suggest the strong possibility that this furin-cleavage site is not the product of natural evolution and could have been inserted into the SARS-CoV-2 genome artificially by techniques other than simple serial passage or multi-strain recombination events inside co-infected tissue cultures or animals.”

Holmes: “The study nails matters, when it points out that the COVID-19 virus is quite similar to biological warfare viruses previously developed by the People’s Liberation Army:

The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China).”

Based upon information from other sources, Holmes wrote that the “father of the virus is reportedly … Dr. Anthony Fauci.” Holmes’ article continues:

That the funding for the creation of this virus was provided by Anthony Fauci to the Wuhan Virology Laboratory in 2017 is beyond dispute. It was US taxpayer money that his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provided as a grant to the Wuhan laboratory.

The United States had made illegal the creation of such Frankenstein monster synthetic viruses, called Chimeric Viruses, thus the work had to be outsourced to the Wuhan Laboratory.

Furthermore, it has been reported that a virus fragment added to the natural virus, is derived from an HIV virus fragment, amazingly enough quite similar to one on which a patent is held. The holder and creator of that patent is none other than Anthony Fauci.

Massive additional information provides unimpeachable evidence that the virus is man-made and based on a natural virus stolen from the Canadian National Level 4 Virology Lab.

Um, why didn’t our media look into any of this over the last 15 months?

 

Afraid of What You Might Find? Stop Looking; Biden Ends Trump Admin Probe Into Covid Lab Leak Theory

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CNN reported that the Biden Administration has ended a Trump era investigation into the origins of Covid-19, according to “three sources familiar with the decision.” The inquiry was opened by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “last fall” and was recently closed because administration officials were concerned about the “quality of the evidence.”

CNN explained:

Those involved in the previously undisclosed inquiry, which was launched last fall by allies of then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, say it was an honest effort to probe what many initially dismissed: that China’s biological weapons program could have had a greater role in the pandemic’s origin in Wuhan, according to two additional sources.

But the inquiry quickly became mired in internal discord amid concerns that it was part of a broader politicized effort by the Trump administration to blame China and cherry-pick facts to prove a theory.

The decision to terminate the inquiry, which was run primarily out of the State Department’s arms control and verification bureau, was made after Biden officials were briefed on the team’s draft findings in February and March of this year, a State Department spokesperson said. Questions were raised about the legitimacy of the findings and the project was deemed to be an ineffective use of resources, explained a source familiar with the decision.

First, I think we can stop calling the probability that the coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab a “theory.” As the report released last week by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee indicated, “significant circumstantial evidence” points to a lab leak as the likely origin of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prove or disprove the Committee’s findings because of the CCP’s obstruction.

Second, as Sen. Tom Cotton points out in the tweet below, if the Biden Administration is so concerned about the “quality of the evidence” from the State Department probe, why haven’t they opened their own investigation?

At the Monday White House briefing, Fox News’ Peter Doocy noted Sunday’s report in The Wall Street Journal which revealed that three researchers from the Wuhan lab had fallen ill in November 2019 and were hospitalized “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness.”

He asked press secretary Jen Psaki why the Biden Administration was not conducting an investigation into the lab leak theory. She replied: “We have repeatedly called for the [World Health Organization] WHO to support an expert-driven evaluation of the pandemic’s origins that is free from interference or politicization.”

They’re hopeful that the WHO can conduct “a more helpful, transparent Phase II investigation.”

Doocy pressed the issue leading Psaki to say, “I think you’re misunderstanding how this process actually works,” The U.S. can’t be “leaping ahead of an actual international process.”

Well, why the #&*$ not? Over 600,000 Americans have died as a result of this virus.

The WHO is so trustworthy, after all. On Jan. 14, 2020, they told the world, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus.”

After former President Donald Trump enacted a ban on flights from China, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a statement which said, “there is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. WHO doesn’t recommend limiting trade and movement.”

The WHO is in cahoots with China and cannot be trusted.

The CNN article says, “the inquiry also came amid a broader effort by some in the Trump administration to look for ways to blame the Chinese government for the outbreak and deflect responsibility from its own handling of the virus,”

This has become a frequently repeated talking point from the left.

The bottom line is that Americans (and the rest of the world) need to know definitively where this virus came from for two reasons.

The first is to prevent this from ever happening again.

The second, and perhaps more important of the two, is we need to know the role of the CCP in the early days of the pandemic. We need to obtain a precise timeline so that we can compare it to the actions taken by the CCP.

Why did they wait so long to disclose the fact that a deadly pathogen had escaped from the Wuhan Lab? Why did they stop domestic flights into and out of Wuhan, but continue to allow international flights out of Wuhan? Why, it’s almost as if they were trying to spread the virus to the world.

To the Biden Administration, climate change and extremism in the ranks of the U.S. military remain the existential threats to our national security.

Why would they shut down an existing State Department investigation into the origins of the coronavirus? Because they either already know how it evolved or have a pretty good idea.

And if it’s proven that China has acted in bad faith, which is almost certain, they would be forced to hold China accountable.

Yesterday, I posted about Biden’s failure to confront China over the CCP-tied hacking group Hafnium’s major cyberattack on the Microsoft Exchange Server in March. Although the company and other cybersecurity firms who have assessed the breach have attributed the attack to the group, Biden refuses to call them out.

Yet in April, the administration formally blamed the massive SolarWinds cyberattack on Russia’s SVR, the country’s foreign intelligence service in a White House fact sheet. And Biden openly attributed the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack to a hacker group called DarkSide which operates out of Russia.

Biden is a coward.

Simply put, he is afraid of what an investigation will reveal. And the actions he would have to take. For this president, ignorance is bliss.

PolitiFact Deletes Fact Check on Wuhan Lab Leak Theory

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The thing about “experts” in any field, and the fact-checkers who validate (or invalidate) their conclusions, is that being human, they each have their own (sometimes hidden) opinions. biases and sets of unique life circumstances which combine to shape their personal agendas. Before we can consider and ultimately accept their “facts,” we need to remember that, above all else, they are human beings, heavily influenced and motivated by their agendas.

Until now, experts, including the ubiquitous Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, and fact-checkers have told us the coronavirus had zoonotic origins, meaning that it jumped from an animal to a human, possibly at the Wuhan, China, wet market.

Those who thought it was possible the virus may have escaped from the nearby Wuhan Lab of Virology where gain-of-function research was being conducted and that the disease may have been enhanced (intensified, made more lethal) during their lab experiments, were called conspiracy theorists.

The left claimed that blaming China for the virus was racist and xenophobic.

In September, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson invited Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a virologist and former postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong, onto his show. She said, “This virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature. It is a man-made virus created in the lab.”

Carlson asked Yan to “give us, for a non-scientific audience, a summary of why you believe this virus came from a lab in Wuhan.”

“I can present solid scientific evidence to our audience that this virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature,” Yan replied. “It is a man-made virus created in the lab.”

She said that, previously, the bat coronavirus could not affect people, but after the [lab] modifications, it became a very harmful virus.

Carlson says, “You’re saying that the Chinese government manufactured this virus if I’m hearing you correctly?”

“Yes, exactly…,” Yan says.

She explained how the evidence that it was man-made could be found in the genome itself and that “big suppression” was coming from the Chinese Communist Party.

 

 

The show went viral. The next day, PolitiFact published a fact-check with the title, “Tucker Carlson guest airs debunked conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab.”

PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke wrote that “the claim is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!”

“The genetic structure of the novel coronavirus, which has been shared by thousands of scientists worldwide, rules out the possibility that it was manipulated in a lab,” Funke told readers. “Public health authorities have repeatedly said the virus was not created in a lab. Scientists believe the coronavirus originated in bats before jumping to humans. Experts have publicly rebuked Yan’s paper, and it’s unclear whether it was peer reviewed.”

Funke makes a heroic effort to disprove Yan’s claims, citing an endless number of experts, researchers and health officials. He points out that Facebook and Instagram had both flagged the video as “false information.”

“But how do we know Yan’s claims about the coronavirus are wrong — and where do they come from? Let’s review the facts,” asks Funke rhetorically.

His answer: Because “scientists worldwide have publicly shared the genetic makeup of the coronavirus thousands of times. If the virus had been altered, there would be evidence in its genome data.”

“But there isn’t. In March, several microbiology, infectious disease and evolutionary biology experts wrote in Nature — a respected scientific journal — that the genetic makeup of the coronavirus does not indicate it was altered.”

“Instead, scientists have two plausible explanations for the origin of the virus: natural selection in an animal host, or natural selection in humans after the virus jumped from animals.”

Funke never quite explains how “the genetic structure of the novel coronavirus rules out laboratory manipulation.” Just that it does.

His entire argument boils down to: ‘Because experts say so. And they’ve said so repeatedly.’

Very recently, an “awakening” if you will, seems to have begun among people who, for over a year, have refused to even consider the possibility that the coronavirus may have escaped from the Wuhan lab. “Experts” are quietly reversing their earlier positions.

Two weeks ago, pushed hard by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky during a Senate hearing, even Dr. Fauci opened the door to the lab leak theory.

Are these people trying to cover themselves ahead of a future revelation? Maybe.

Last week, PolitiFact retracted their September fact check about Yan’s remarks on Tucker Carlson’s show. An editor’s note read: “When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute. The original fact-check in its entirety is preserved below for transparency and archival purposes. Read our May 2021 report for more on the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Now, it’s looking more likely than ever that the virus originated in the lab.

Last week, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee released a report to Fox News, which said there is growing “circumstantial evidence” that the virus came from a lab.

An article published by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that a “State Department fact sheet, issued during the final days of the Trump administration,” said three researchers from the Wuhan Lab fell ill in November 2019 and were hospitalized “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness.”

Conservatives have been suspicious all along due to the fact that a lab that had been conducting research on the virus was located nearby and that we are dealing with China, who cannot be trusted. But experts and the media told us we were wrong and the fact checkers went to town.

The parade of experts, researchers and renowned scientists, each with their own agendas, never offered an explanation for why the coronavirus couldn’t have come from the lab or why it couldn’t have been modified. Just that it couldn’t. And we were supposed to accept it.

“Pants on Fire?” I don’t think so.

In the video below, Fox News contributor and radio host Dan Bongino “gives the fact checkers at PolitiFact the verbal beatdown they deserve.”

 

This article was originally published by The Western Journal.

Biden Includes Russia, But EXCLUDES China from His Cybersecurity Executive Order; Why?

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Cybercriminals launched a very serious attack on the Microsoft Exchange Server in March. After assessing the breach, the company’s “Threat Intelligence Center” concluded with “high confidence” the attack had originated in China, from the sophisticated Chinese hacking group, Hafnium, according to the MIT Technology Review. This group is said to have ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Outside cybersecurity experts agreed with Microsoft’s findings.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on May 12, the purpose of which is “to improve the nation’s cybersecurity and protect federal government networks.” According to the White House fact sheet, “recent cybersecurity incidents such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and the Colonial Pipeline incident are a sobering reminder that U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cyber criminals.”

The Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy finds it very strange that the Biden Administration has yet to acknowledge publicly that China is likely behind the cyberattack on the Microsoft Exchanger Server. He points out that, in April, the administration formally blamed the massive SolarWinds attack on Russia’s SVR, the country’s foreign intelligence service in a White House fact sheet.

Biden openly attributed the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack to a hacker group called DarkSide which operates out of Russia.

That’s why the refusal of Biden Administration officials and agencies to name China as the source of the attack on the Microsoft Exchange Server strikes Dunleavy, actually many of us, as odd.

He is not exaggerating. Below, he describes the runaround he’s gotten from government agencies.

“A spokesperson for the National Security Agency told the Washington Examiner to reach out to the National Security Council. The NSC did not provide a comment. A spokesperson for DHS said to “please contact the FBI for help with this inquiry.” The FBI spokesperson said that “unfortunately, we do not have a comment.” A DOJ spokesperson said they “don’t have anything to share with you on this at this time.” A spokesperson for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said that “we do not have a comment on attribution.” And the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to a request for comment.”

At a March White House press briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was asked if China was responsible for the Microsoft attack.

Sullivan replied, “I’m not in a position, standing here today, to provide attribution. But I do pledge to you that we will be in a position to attribute that attack at some point in the near future. And we won’t hide the ball on that. We will come forward and say who we believe perpetrated the attack.”

Except that they haven’t. No individual or agency within the administration will acknowledge the obvious.

Much of China’s progress been gained through theft.

Though tensions between the U.S. and China didn’t boil over until the pandemic hit, the Chinese have been trying to gain superiority over us for decades. They’ve held their vision of becoming the world’s dominant super power in their collective consciousness for so long, their ill will toward the U.S. has become impossible to hide.

They will lie, cheat, steal, threaten and even kill to reach their goal. They’ve become the bully of the world.

Cyberattacks have become their weapon of choice in recent years. The Week addressed this topic in an article entitled, “The most famous Chinese cyberattacks: How hackers made China one of ‘the world’s pre-eminent cyber players.’”

“Used as methods of espionage, state-sponsored data breaches and server hacks pose a significant threat to global security and public safety.”

“Cybercrime worldwide has risen by 600% during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research published by business insurance company Embroker. Analysts point to China as one of the main culprits. Even before the virus hit, China had overtaken Russia as the biggest state sponsor of cyberattacks against the West, research has found – although Beijing tells a very different story.”

Yet, Biden refuses to call them out after their massive cyberattack on a U.S. company.

Is Biden afraid of Xi Jinping? It certainly looks that way. What would explain the administration-wide circle of protection around China?

Last week, a video emerged of a renowned Chinese professor who embodies the goals of the CCP.

New York based blogger Jennifer Zeng obtained the video and provided the translation of the professor’s remarks. Ping Chen told the group:

“In 2020, China won the trade war, science and technology war, and especially the biological war. The achievement is unprecedented. This is an epoch-making historical record. So for the liberal, America-worshiping cult within China, their worship of the US is actually unfounded. After this trade war and biological warfare, the US was beaten back to its original shape.”

“So I think Trump’s attempt to restore the declining international status of the US during his four years has failed. This failure is not only the failure of Trump’s personal campaign for re-election as president, but also the failure of the neo-liberalism-led globalization of the past four decades led by the US and the UK. Therefore, the development and modernization model of the US and Europe is not worthy of China’s imitation and repetition.”

Zeng directs readers to Ping’s curriculum vitae and a clip of his remarks.

Biden’s silence in the face of China’s crimes against America is a direct threat to U.S. national security.

Does anyone in his administration care?

 

This article was previously published by The Western Journal.

Uh Oh: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Ghosted by His Chinese Counterpart

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Photo Credit: Image by David Mark from Pixabay

It looks like U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been ghosted by his Chinese counterpart, General Xu Qiliang, the vice-chair of the Central Military Commission and a member of the politburo.

“Three people briefed on the impasse” told The Financial Times on Friday that Austin has tried on three occasions to contact Xu, “but China has refused to engage.”

As evidenced by the acrimonious talks held in Alaska between Biden officials and CCP leaders two months ago, the US/Chinese relationship, while never smooth, has become increasingly more strained in recent months.

Austin would like to speak with Xu about “the rising tensions in the Indopacific,” specifically Chinese aggression in Taiwan and their military activity in the South China Sea. “The two militaries are increasingly coming into closer contact, particularly in the South China Sea as the Chinese navy and air force conduct aggressive activity near Taiwan,” according to the FT.

In March, a U.S. defense official told the FT that “President Xi Jinping was flirting with trying to seize Taiwan.” Within hours, “China flew a record number of fighters and bombers into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.”

In late January, the FT reported that Chinese military aircraft had conducted “simulated missile attacks on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier near Taiwan.”

Additionally, the U.S. is concerned about the ongoing territorial dispute between Japan and China over a small group of uninhabited islands located northeast of Taiwan. The islands are currently controlled by Japan, where they are known the Senkaku Islands. In China, they are called the Diaoyu islands.

These islands are important “because they are close to important shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and lie near potential oil and gas reserves” and they are located “in a strategically significant position,” according to the BBC.

A U.S. defense official who wished to remain anonymous told Reuters, “The military relationship is strained, no question about that. It’s hard to know how much this is reflective of that strain as much as it is just Chinese intransigence.”

“But we certainly want to have a dialogue. We just want to make sure we have a dialogue at the proper level,” the official added.

Reuters spoke to a second official who explained there was disagreement with the Biden administer over whom Austin should reach out to – General Xu or Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe. “Xu is seen as having more power and influence with Chinese President Xi Jinping.”

Both Austin and Wei had planned to attend the Shangri-La defense forum, scheduled to take place in Singapore next month, however, the gathering was cancelled last week due to COVID-19.

A defense official told the FT that Austin prefers to meet with Xu “who outranks Wei in the Chinese political and military system. … We believe the appropriate counterpart is the vice-chair of the Central Military Commission.”

FT reports that “[Former Defense Secretary] Jim Mattis met Xu in Beijing in 2018. … But China almost always offers up its defense minister instead. This has increasingly frustrated the US because he has little power in the Chinese system and does not serve on the 25-member politburo that rules China.”

“The White House is split over how Austin should handle the situation. Some National Security Council officials are opposed to Austin dealing with Wei. Another group are less resistant, but want Austin to use any meeting or call to tell Wei that he would only hold talks with the CMC vice-chair.”

Former Pentagon Asia official Heino Klinck explained that, due to the structural differences between the U.S. and Chinese militaries, “it had always been challenging agreeing [on] protocol for meetings.”

“Given the situation with Taiwan and other issues such as the East China Sea and South China Sea, as well as attempted Chinese coercion of our key allies and partners such as Australia, it is important to have clear communication,” Klinck told the FT. “We need to be conveying to the Chinese what our own red lines are because they convey theirs.”

China’s reluctance to engage with the U.S. should come as no surprise after the complete breakdown of the diplomatic talks in Alaska, where it was made immediately and abundantly clear that Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi had neither fear, nor respect, for the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The photographs below show that the U.S./Chinese relationship had been quite different under the Trump Administration.

America has never been as weak as they are now against China and the Chinese know it. Maybe Austin ought to drop his war against extremism “in the ranks” and his concern over the “existential” threat to national security from climate change, and focus on America’s real enemies.

 

This post was previously published by The Western Journal.

Satellite Images Showing Massive New Hangar Added to Remote Chinese Military Base Raise Eyebrows

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Photo Credit: Image by JL G from Pixabay

Over the last few years, satellite images have picked up the construction of a massive hangar near “Luhe-Ma’ana,” a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) bomber base located approximately 30 miles north of Nanjing in eastern China. The new facility is surrounded by high-security fencing and is “detached” from the main base.

Joseph Trevithick, who writes a column called The War Zone, has obtained satellite images of the progress of its development via Planet Lab and Google Earth, and provides some insight into what its purpose might be. He has included many of these photos in his report.

The images show that work on this “mysterious secluded facility” began in 2017. Trevithick estimates the hangar to be 265 feet long by 245 feet wide, and three stories high.

He believes that “the remote nature of the installation and its fortified perimeter indicate that it is used to support sensitive work.”

There are two layers of fencing around the perimeter. According to Trevithick, there are “guard towers and lights along the northern edge, and gates on the taxiway … that lead to Luhe-Ma’an’s main runway.”

He explains that the facility emerged “ahead of reports that one of the units at this base, the 30th Air Regiment, appeared to be operating the WZ-8, a large high-speed and high-flying rocket-powered spy drone designed to be launched in mid-air from the H-6N missile carrier aircraft. The construction has also come amid persistent rumors about the imminent public debut of China’s H-20 stealth bomber.”

“The primary aircraft based at Luhe-Ma’an are variants of the H-6 bomber, itself derived from the Soviet Tu-16 Badger, including the H-6H, H-6J, and H-6M missile carrier versions.”

Trevithick compared satellite images of this extension to existing ones at other PLAAF bomber bases, “but none of them have the same level of associated infrastructure and security measures, or as are secluded and highly developed, as the one seen at Luhe-Ma’an.”

 

 

Trevithick is skeptical that this new structure is “simply an expansion of the base’s infrastructure given the distance from the main portion, the additional security perimeter, and the unique set of self-contained facilities there. Typically, these kinds of features point to areas of military bases where uniquely sensitive activities occur.”

 

 

 

He goes into great detail about the capabilities of the WZ-8 and notes that while it’s “no longer secret,” it’s sensitivity may warrant “more specialized facilities, such as the ones at Luhe-Ma’an.”

And he points out that the location of these facilities in eastern China, provides them with “ready access to multiple areas of strategic significance in the western Pacific region.” Think Taiwan and Alaska.

 

 

Trevithick also speculates the new facility could potentially provide a new home for China’s still unveiled H-20 stealth bomber which “has reportedly been in development, at least on some level, since the early 2000s.” Though the Chinese have been very secretive about the H-20, it is “reported to be a flying wing-type design very roughly analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s B-2. The parking/runup area on the apron at the facility in question is roughly the same dimensions as the B-2.”

Reasons why this hangar may have been built to house the H-20, according to Trevithick, are its enhanced security and its ability “to fly, even just for test and evaluation purposes, from an established bomber base. A large hangar would be particularly useful to shield these aircraft from both prying eyes and the elements.”

He notes that the U.S. has built a similar facility at Edwards Air Force Base in California to prepare for the expected 2022 arrival of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber.

There’s also a chance, he says, it “is related, in some way, to the restoration of the PLAAF’s strategic nuclear mission, which formally occurred in 2017, according to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).”

Or the Luhe-Ma’an facility could have been built for something else entirely. Whatever its ultimate purpose, Trevithick is convinced the construction of this hangar and “the other associated infrastructure hidden away within its security perimeter,” are an indication that “some significant and sensitive activity [is] going on at the base.”

While it’s not clear what exactly this is meant to house, it seems evident that civilian infrastructure is not the only thing undergoing rapid construction in the country. Military installations are being expanded and hardened as China surges again. Hangers are just as important as the aircraft they house – these hold the tools, parts, fuel, and experts that keep the warplanes in service.

Regardless of what this facility was built for, it’s simply one more sign of China’s insatiable hunger for domination. It needs to be checked. And if not by the U.S., then by whom.

This is a time for strength. And we are being led by a buffoon.

Australian Senator Sounds the Alarm: We Have No Defenses in the Event of Hostilities with China

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Photo Credit: Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

One Australian senator is worried about his country’s defenses in the event of hostilities with China. As the communist power’s belligerence in the region and the world grows, Sen. Rex Patrick’s concerns are not misplaced.

During a Senate discussion about Australia’s military “readiness” on Monday, Patrick, an independent who represents South Australia, asked the following questions:

“Can the minister representing advise what capabilities the Australian Defense Force has in its current inventory that, in the event of major hostilities in the Western Pacific region, protect Australian cities from missile strikes from China?

“Does Australia currently possess any anti-ballistic missile systems capable of intercepting long-range ballistic missiles such as the DF-31, the DF-31A or the JL-2?”

Sen. Michaelia Cash of the Liberal Party responded, “The Australian government is investing more than $270 billion to upgrade the capabilities of the Australian Defense Force. We’re also engaging our allies and partners to ensure the peaceful development of our region. We are working in forums including the Missile Technology Control Regime and other measures to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missile technologies.

“But it is the case that advanced intercontinental missiles are very difficult to defend against.”

Patrick then asked, “Can the minister representing advise what other government plans, if any, for the acquisition of antiballistic missile capabilities, capable of defending Australia’s major cities from long-range missile attack? When will any such ability be operational?”

“The Force Structure Plan 2020 outlines the government’s plan for investment in integrated air and missile defense systems. Funding is planned mid-decade, seeking capability by the end of the decade,” Cash replied, clearly disappointing her colleague.

In a tweet Tuesday in which he shared the video, Patrick said, “While the Govt has talked up the ‘drums of war’, today I asked about potential missile threats to our cities in the event of a conflict with China. We have no defences, and the Govt’s reply shows there won’t be any for at least a decade, probably longer, if ever.”

Patrick is right to worry about the Chinese threat. It is rather amazing that a country as isolated and remote as Australia would be so complacent about its national security with a thug like Xi Jinping in the region.

If things go hot with China, there’s little the nation could do without outside help. If outside help doesn’t arrive, the consequences could be devastating for Australia.

As evidenced by an Australian Broadcasting Corp. interview with Defense Minister Peter Dutton on April 30, the country’s strategy regarding China appears to be one of conflict avoidance.

Dutton was asked about Chinese aggression in Taiwan: “Two of your former colleagues … believe the prospects of a battle over Taiwan are growing, could happen quite soon. Do you share that view? … Are there red lines as far as Australia is concerned?”

“I don’t think it should be discounted,” he replied.

Please click here to continue reading this article at The Western Journal.

 

This article was originally published by The Western Journal.

Sneak Preview of CNN Interview with Former CDC Director Reveals His Opinions on COVID-19 Origins, Timeline

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Photo Credit: Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

Now that he’s no longer a government employee, former CDC Director Robert Redfield can freely express his ideas about how and where he thinks COVID-19 originated and, equally interesting, when it originated.

Worldwide, 2.77 million deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus, nearly 560,000 of those have been in the U.S.

Speaking to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Redfield said, “If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September, October in Wuhan. That’s my own feelings. And only opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now.”

“I still think the most likely ideology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, escaped,” he told Gupta.

“The other people don’t believe that,” Redfield noted. “That’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.”

He added, “I am a virologist. I have spent my life in virology. I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and, at that moment in time the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human transmission.”

The full interview will air on CNN on Sunday.

The Daily Mail published a comparison of China’s official timeline, which shows Dec. 8, 2019, as the “earliest date that China has acknowledged an infection,” versus new evidence that indicates the virus was present months earlier than China admits.

There have been reports from Italy and Spain that the virus was detected in tissue samples taken in September and October of 2019.

The Mail reported that in September 2019, “blood samples” were “taken in a lung cancer screening trial in Italy which later test[ed] positive for coronavirus.”

Around two months ago, the World Health Organization sent a team of scientists to Wuhan to investigate the origins of the virus. The team spent time at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Dr. Peter Daszak, a British zoologist on the WHO team, told Sky News at that time, “They are sharing data with us that we have not seen before – that no one has seen before. They are talking with us openly about every possible pathway. We really are getting somewhere and I think every member of the team would say that.”

After all the lies from Chinese officials and the agency that has repeatedly provided cover for them, it’s difficult to entirely believe that. In addition, over a year had elapsed since the pandemic had begun.

Unsurprisingly, WHO-led team concluded that the virus “most likely jumped from one species to another before entering the human population and is highly unlikely to have leaked from a laboratory,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The WHO team on Tuesday said it was also possible that the virus may have been transmitted to humans through imported frozen food, a theory heavily promoted by Beijing. But the team said the most likely scenario was one in which the virus spilled over naturally from an animal into humans, such as from a bat to a small mammal that then infected a person.

Does anyone really trust these conclusions?