Blackened emails returned to UK’s Daily Mail make the case these “experts” are hiding something about coronavirus origins.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that House Republicans demanded answers about the “dramatic change” in how top scientists first talked about the coronavirus in July.
The representatives noted that initial discussions included assessments that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) had features that “(potentially) look engineered” to calling it a “crackpot theory” a few days later. They focused specifically on a still-secretive teleconference call with Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the top GOP member on House Oversight, sent a letter to Kristian Andersen, a professor of immunology at Scripps Research, asking him “to brief the committees about gain-of-function research conducted at the Wuhan lab and the possibility COVID-19 was engineered to be more contagious.”
Jordan and Comer wrote: “On the evening of February 1, 2020, you and several other international virologists participated in a conference call with Dr. Fauci. The American public does not know what happened on this call, as all emails pertaining to the content of the discussion have been redacted. But we do know what happened after.”
The Republicans pointed out that on Feb. 4, 2020, Andersen sent a letter to EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak, saying: “The main crackpot theories going around at the moment relate to this virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case. Engineering can mean many things and could be done for either basic research or nefarious reasons, but the data conclusively show that neither was done.”
The Republicans said: “In three days, with no explanation as to why, you flipped your perspective entirely and began calling a theory you lent credence to only days earlier a ‘crackpot theory.’ It would appear the primary intervening event was the February 1, 2020 conference call with Dr. Fauci.
The Daily Mail used the Freedom of Information rules to obtain a cache of 32 emails about the secretive teleconference between British and American health officials. The returned documents were almost completely blacked out.
The response is quite damning to those who participated in the teleconference.
The Mail on Sunday requested emails, minutes and notes on the call between Sir Patrick Vallance – Britain’s chief scientific adviser – and its organisers Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust medical charity, and Anthony Fauci, the US infectious diseases expert and presidential adviser.
Yet when the documents were released they had page after page redacted with thick lines of black ink by Whitehall officials. Even the names of experts copied in on discussions were blocked – and exchanges as trivial as one Edinburgh biologist’s ‘thank you’ for being invited – leaving only a few basic details about the call visible.
The lines left intact include a demand for the discussions, involving 13 participants around the world, to be conducted in ‘total confidence’, and an intriguing email line suggesting ‘we need to talk about the backbone too, not just the insert’.
That was possibly sent by Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, a member of the World Health Organisation team that produced a widely criticised report into Covid’s origins.
It is vital to keep one aspect of the timeline related to this teleconference in mind. At 10:32 p.m. on the evening before the February 1 conference, Fauci had received a memo from Kristian G. Andersen, a virologist at the Scripps Research Institute in California (and the scientist to whom the congressional letter was directed).
Andersen reported that the virus seemed to be man-made. “The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome,” he wrote, referring presumably to a genetic component known as a furin cleavage site, which greatly enhances the virus’s infectivity, “so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
Andersen went on to note that “after discussions earlier today, Eddie, Bob, Mike and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory”— meaning that, in their unanimous view, the virus didn’t come from nature. “Those opinions could still change,” Andersen added. Eddie is Edward C. Holmes of the University of Sydney. Bob is Robert F. Garry of Tulane University. Mike is Michael Farzan at Scripps Research.
The message sent Fauci into a whirlwind of activity. “You will have tasks today that must be done,” he emailed his deputy director, Hugh Auchincloss, two hours later at 12:29 am on February 1.
Shortly after that teleconference, Anderson did a complete 180 on the origin theory.
Just three days after the conference call, Andersen emailed Daszak to discuss how to counter ‘crackpot theories’ suggesting ‘this virus being somehow engineered with intent’ when it was ‘demonstrably not the case’.
Andersen, who deleted his combative Twitter account after emails emerged that exposed his earlier views, later said this was ‘a textbook example of the scientific method’ in which a preliminary theory was rejected as more information emerged. Yet there remains no evidence to show Sars-CoV-2 spilled over naturally from animals. So we need to understand why these experts changed their minds so fast and so decisively that they scorned people with views they had held themselves only recently.
If those emails contained evidence of the natural origins of that virus, I suspect the words would have been substantially more visible.
However, as timeline data suggests, it appears these scientists are trying to hide the fruits of the poisonous “gain-of-function” research that should never have been approved, funded, or conducted by researchers genuinely interested in public health. I would argue that the blackened emails support that scenario most eloquently.DONATE
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