Today, Vanity Fair published a fairly exhaustive look into the effort inside the federal government to keep anyone from talking about the probability that the Wuhan virus was engineered in a Chinese lab and, either through calculation or incompetence, released into the human population in that province. There has always been much more circumstantial evidence pointing to the virus being developed in a lab than occurring naturally, and, as time goes by, that evidence grows stronger.
For instance, watch this exchange between noted conservative firebrand and provocateur Marco Rubio and America’s lawn gnome:
So SARS-1 we identified the host animal within four months; MERS, I believe we identified the host animal within nine months. It’s now been 15 and a half, 16 months and we’ve still not seen, and China has not produced any evidence of the host animal that transmitted COVID 19 from…to a human. We know that China has a history of lab accidents.
The Vanity Fair piece purports, in its headline, to be The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins. In fact, it is something very different. There was no “fight to uncover COVID-19s origins.” Rather, it details the scramble inside of the State Department and other federal agencies to effectively shut down any discussion of any theory other than that the Wuhan virus had mutated and made the leap from bats (yes, bats) to humans.
In an internal memo obtained by Vanity Fair, Thomas DiNanno, former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, wrote that staff from two bureaus, his own and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, “warned” leaders within his bureau “not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19” because it would “‘open a can of worms’ if it continued.”
A small group within the State Department’s Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance bureau had been studying the Institute for months. The group had recently acquired classified intelligence suggesting that three WIV researchers conducting gain-of-function experiments on coronavirus samples had fallen ill in the autumn of 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak was known to have started.
As officials at the meeting discussed what they could share with the public, they were advised by Christopher Park, the director of the State Department’s Biological Policy Staff in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, not to say anything that would point to the U.S. government’s own role in gain-of-function research, according to documentation of the meeting obtained by Vanity Fair.
In January 2020, a Wuhan ophthalmologist named Li Wenliang, who’d tried to warn his colleagues that the pneumonia could be a form of SARS was arrested, accused of disrupting the social order, and forced to write a self-criticism. He died of COVID-19 in February, lionized by the Chinese public as a hero and whistleblower.
“You had Chinese [government] coercion and suppression,” said David Feith of the State Department’s East Asia bureau. “We were very concerned that they were covering it up and whether the information coming to the World Health Organization was reliable.”
The article goes on to detail a discovery already made by our own Scott Hounsell ( watch it rolled on our VIP chat last night and in BREAKING: Wuhan Lab Funder Daszak Behind ‘Lancet’ Article Claiming COVID-19 Arose Naturally) that the guy who wrote the Lancet article declaring the lab-leak theory to be poppycock AND recruited the signatories for the letter was none other than the guy who was funneling US research money into the Wuhan Institute of Virology from Anthony Fauci’s NIAID.
As questions swirled, Miles Yu, the State Department’s principal China strategist, noted that the WIV had remained largely silent. Yu, who is fluent in Mandarin, began mirroring its website and compiling a dossier of questions about its research. In April, he gave his dossier to Secretary of State Pompeo, who in turn publicly demanded access to the laboratories there.
Incredibly, the intelligence community weighed in on the issue without one whit of empirical evidence to back their position and a crap-ton to say otherwise.
It is not clear whether Yu’s dossier made its way to President Trump. But on April 30, 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put out an ambiguous statement whose apparent goal was to suppress a growing furor around the lab-leak theory. It said that the intelligence community “concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified” but would continue to assess “whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”
“It was pure panic,” said former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger. “They were getting flooded with queries. Someone made the unfortunate decision to say, ‘We basically know nothing, so let’s put out the statement.’”
This is the statement:
The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.
About this time, Facebook leaped into the fray, shutting down any discussion of the lab-leak hypothesis. The reason for this action deserves an investigation all its own.
You can’t read the article and not come away with the feeling that even though there were several unrelated reasons that everyone closed ranks to shut down any investigation, there was a single factor that everyone rallied around. Careers and reputations all depended upon the virus having been created by deus ex machina; what brought the conspirators together and kept them unified was a hatred of President Trump.
Once President Trump had aired out the possibility that the virus was deliberately created by apparatchiks of the Chinese Communist Party, the topic became taboo:
Then, the bomb-thrower-in-chief weighed in. At a press briefing just hours later, Trump contradicted his own intelligence officials and claimed that he had seen classified information indicating that the virus had come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Asked what the evidence was, he said, “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
Trump’s premature statement poisoned the waters for anyone seeking an honest answer to the question of where COVID-19 came from. According to Pottinger, there was an “antibody response” within the government, in which any discussion of a possible lab origin was linked to destructive nativist posturing.
The revulsion extended to the international science community, whose “maddening silence” frustrated Miles Yu. He recalled, “Anyone who dares speak out would be ostracized.”
There are several sad conclusions that can be drawn from this story.
There is absolutely no guiding ethical principle inside the US scientific community. They will happily create viruses that can bring the world to a screeching halt just because they can. The bureaucrats who are supposed to oversee the scientists working with federal grants seem much more interested in basking in the reflected glory of the research they are funding than ensuring you and I are safe. Scientific consensus statements are merely propaganda tools…I hope “climate change” papers get some scrutiny in the future. Our civil service will make major decisions based on whether they like a president or not.
All in all, it is damned hard to see how this situation can be rectified short of knocking stone from stone and plowing the earth with salt.