Government-Funded Group Blacklisted Sites Giving Daylight to COVID Lab-Leak Theory

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Earlier in February, RedState reported on the discovery of a government-funded group called the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) that created blacklists used by ad companies to punish conservative sites. Among these sites were Epoch Times, Daily Wire, and RedState.


One such ad distribution company utilizing the blacklist was Microsoft-owned Xandr.

(READ: Microsoft-Owned Ad Group Blacklisted Conservative Sites, Including RedState, in Attempt to Break Them Financially)

Upon circulation of this report, Microsoft released a statement that said that it had discontinued blacklisting conservative sites and distancing Xandr from the GDI blacklist.

More information has come out concerning the GDI scandal thanks to a Washington Examiner report that details how this government-backed GDI blacklist was targeting websites that promoted or spoke openly about the Wuhan lab leak theory.

According to the Examiner, GDI published several reports on COVID-19 disinformation. For instance, in February of 2020, GDI published a report titled “Coronavirus: The makings of a disinformation pandemic?” Within it, GDI accused people openly discussing the lab leak theory of generating “adversarial narratives” as part of a “disinformation tactic.” This included slamming Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton for discussing the theory on Fox News.

In March of that same year, GDI released another report titled “Why is Ad Tech Funding These Ads on Coronavirus Conspiracy Sites?” The report targeted the conservative blog American Thinker and its article “The Wuhan Virus Escaped From a Chinese Lab,” on which an ad service was displaying an ad for an N-95 mask.


Further reports were issued from GDI, including one denouncing President Donald Trump for launching an investigation into the lab leak theory, which GDI said would only generate more conspiracies and misinformation.

As the Washington Examiner reported, one government watchdog found GDI’s use of taxpayer money to denounce the lab leak theory before any investigation had even been declared:

“GDI’s own content on the lab leak perfectly fits its own definition of ‘disinformation,'” Justin Goodman, senior vice president for advocacy and public policy at White Coat Waste Project, a federal spending watchdog, told the Washington Examiner. “A growing majority of taxpayers, scientists around the world, lawmakers, and even the Biden Administration’s FBI and Energy Department agree that dangerous animal experiments at the NIH-funded Wuhan lab caused COVID.”

“Yet, in early 2020, before a pandemic was even declared and any investigation had taken place, GDI was apparently using U.S. taxpayers’s money to gaslight the public by labeling the lab leak a ‘conspiracy theory’ and seeking to censor and demonetize media outlets reporting on it,” he added.

It should be remembered that GDI was paid $250,000 in 2021 from the State Department via The National Endowment for Democracy, a non-profit authorized through Congress. They also received a stark amount of money from the same organization in 2020, making the total somewhere around $665,000.


That’s well over half a million dollars of taxpayer money dedicated to silencing American citizens seeking and discussing evidence that the virus had indeed leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. On Sunday, it was revealed by the U.S. Department of Energy that intelligence points to the lab leak theory being the most likely origin of the COVID-19 virus.

(READ: U.S. Department of Energy Drops Bombshell, New Intelligence Shows Lab Leak Most Likely COVID-19 Origin)

This means that the GDI was a strong source of misinformation itself and that its attempts at silencing websites — specifically conservative sites — from discussing the facts make it the very danger it accused everyone else of being.


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