The Intercept’s Ryan Grim reviews February 2020 timeline of how coronavirus lab-leak theory was suppressed for “international harmony”.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that in October of last year, I reported that the government had turned over nearly completely blacked-out emails in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Daily Mail.
The UK publication eventually obtained a cache of 32 emails about the secretive teleconference between British and American health officials at the heart of the “dramatic change” in how top scientists first talked about the origins of the coronavirus during the first week in February, 2020.
Those emails are at the core of some recent exchanges between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci that have been particularly heated.
Rand Paul on Tuesday night called Dr. Anthony Fauci for being a ‘menace’, a ‘political creature’ and not a scientist after their showdown during a Senate Health Committee hearing earlier that day.
The Kentucky senator insisted to Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that there is a probability of ’90 to 10′ that the COVID-19 virus was engineered through gain-of-function research in a lab in Wuhan, China and subsequently leaked from that lab. He has also blamed Fauci’s department of the National institute of Health for helping fund the lab and it’s gain-of-function research.
Fauci, the nation’s top immunologist and White House go-to on the coronavirus response, has repeatedly denied these claims to Paul’s face in a series of terse back-and-forths during committee hearings over the last nearly two years.
Bombshell email revelations now show that even leading Western experts admitted that a Wuhan lab leak is the most ‘likely’ cause and origin of the COVID-19 virus.
Top UK government health adviser Sir Jeremy Farra, who publicly denounced the theory as a ‘conspiracy’, admitted in private emails to Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins in February 2020 that a ‘likely explanation’ was that the virus was man-made.
As Ryan Grim (Washington, D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept) notes, the Republicans in the U.S. Congress have been privy to the unredacted portions of those emails. His assessment is that the emails are even more damming than we think, especially in light of the scientific discussion supporting the lab leak origin that was provided in the exchanges that occurred in early February of 2020.
On February 2, Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease expert and the director of Wellcome, sent around notes, including to Fauci and Collins, summarizing what some of the scientists had said on the call.
Farzan, a Scripps professor who studied the spike protein on the 2003 SARS virus, “is bothered by the furin site and has a hard time explain that as an event outside the lab (though, there are possible ways in nature, but highly unlikely),” Farrar’s note reads, referring to a spike protein feature that aids interaction with furin, a common enzyme in human lung cells. Farzan didn’t think the site was the product of “directed engineering,” but found that the changes would be “highly compatible with the idea of continued passage of the virus in tissue culture.”
It is important to note that the furin site substantially enhances transmission to humans. It is difficult to explain how this strand of viral DNA is substantially altered in one, small area with four amino acids and 12 nucleotides with the remainder of the sequence remaining intact.
Why were the voices of those suggesting a lab leak origin silenced? For the sake of “international harmony” and to protect Chinese science.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, who publicly denounced the theory as a ‘conspiracy’, admitted in a private email in February 2020 that a ‘likely explanation’ was that the virus was man-made.
The then-UK Government adviser said at the time he was ’70:30 or 60:40′ in favour of an accidental release versus natural origin.
In the email, sent to American health chiefs Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins, Sir Jeremy said it was possible Covid had been evolved from a Sars-like virus in the lab. He went on that this seemingly benign process may have ‘accidentally created a virus primed for rapid transmission between humans’.
But the British scientist was shut down by his counterparts in the US who warned further debate about the origins of the virus could damage ‘international harmony’.
He was told by other scientists with links to virus manipulation research that it could cause ‘unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular’.
Sir Jeremy claimed in his emails that other respected scientists also believed the virus could not have emerged naturally. Names included Professor Mike Farzan, the Harvard researcher who first discovered how the original Sars virus binds to human cells.
As Grim notes, it is everyone’s best interest for the discussion of the origin not to be viewed though Left-Right lenses. We need serious answers if we are going to avoid another pandemic . . . especially one engineered in a lab to have enhanced transmissibility to humans.DONATE
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