Have you noticed that *mainstream* politicians and media are now talking about the’lab theory’ for the origins of the COVID pandemic?
Isn’t it a little curious?
A year-plus ago, when I – and various others – were forwarding the ‘lab theory’, it was demonised and dismissed as conspiracy theory. But now President Biden apparently wants to know if the virus came from a lab. Even Dr Anthony Fauci, previously claiming to be sceptical about the lab leak theory, is now apparently ‘open’ to it.
As The Guardian reports, ‘an increasing number of mainstream figures, from those in the press to influential scientists and government officials such as US chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, are at least open to the idea that the pandemic may have started with a containment failure in China, or a souped-up virus experiment gone wrong.‘
At what point did this go from conspiracy theory to serious consideration being explored by political leaders? Furthermore, if anything demonstrates how disingenuous the mainstream media is, it’s the fact that the very same theory they dismissed as crazy a year ago is one they’re now taking seriously – simply because government sources are telling them to. Thus perfectly illustrating the extinction of investigative journalism or initiative in mainstream media platforms: instead they just function now as a glorified press-release service, bending to the whims of various vested interests.
As for the question of why the media is only now willing to talk about the lab leak hypothesis, one thought that comes to mind is that both the media and politicians were only willing to publicly entertain this possibility once the vaccine programmes were already well underway: because any seeming validation of what were once ‘conspiracy theories’ in the mainstream would risk creating even more vaccine hesitancy and mistrust.
Let’s just revisit some of what I put into the PDF from last April: and then we’ll come back to what’s being said now.
So, obviously, I talked about the Wuhan biological lab and Wuhan Institute of Virology. The fact that this pandemic came out of Wuhan – and that the Wuhan lab is right there – made it bloody obvious that there must’ve been some connection there.
But, among other things explored in that PDF, there were two other important elements I looked at in terms of the lab leak theory.
Firstly, there was the possibility that there had been a lab leak in the United States: specifically at Fort Detrick.
And secondly – and most important of all – was that there had been joint American/Chinese research into coronaviruses conducted in 2015 and which could well have been the source for what is now called COVID-19.
Let’s start with the possibility of a US lab leak.
A military biological lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland, was closed down in August 2019: and this was apparently after a “mystery respiratory illness” broke out, striking at elderly people in particular. There were reportedly ‘clusters’ of people suffering from this outbreak, including a number of deaths.
The Center for Disease Control apparently covered up the details, citing national security concerns. The media was covering this outbreak as being related to ‘vaping illness’ – suggesting that all of these cases were caused by vaping or e-cigarettes. But, as some observers have noted, the symptoms were apparently almost identical to the symptoms being described with COVID-19: and there’s been no talk before or since then of any kind of ‘vaping illness’ outbreak happening anywhere.
It’s important to note that Fort Detrick has a particularly shady history involving the CIA, bio warfare research and also MK-Ultra and mind control experiments. This article from 2019 – appearing in as mainstream a source as Politico – lays out the lab’s history and controversies.
It’s also important to note that Fort Detrick has been the central location of the United States’ biological warfare and defense research for decades.
Now, whatever it was that resulted in Fort Detrick being shut down, it’s possible it had no relationship to what was coming with COVID. But it’s another one of those coincidences (and there are so many coincidences involving the pandemic outbreak): that this lab, which had been in continuous operation for decades (even through all of its various controversies) just happened to get shut down a few months before the COVID outbreak.
For example, as this New York Times piece from 2019 tells us, ‘in 2009, research at the institute in Fort Detrick was suspended because it was storing pathogens not listed in its database.’ For another example, the micro-biologist and vaccine expert Bruce E. Ivins – the leading suspect (or, according to some, the fall guy or scapegoat) in the anthrax mailings of 2001 (part of the 9/11 and Iraq War psy-ops) – was also based there, with Fort Detrick believed to be where the anthrax had come from. Ivins died in 2008 – officially by suicide.
As Glenn Greenwald wrote on his website; ‘What made the anthrax attacks of 2001 particularly frightening was how sophisticated and deadly the strain was. It was not naturally occurring anthrax. Scientists quickly identified it as the notorious Ames strain, which researchers at the U.S. Army lab in Fort Detrick had essentially invented. As PBS’ Frontline program put it in 2011: “in October 2001, Northern Arizona University microbiologist Dr. Paul Keim identified that the anthrax used in the attack letters was… developed in U.S. government laboratories.”
And yet none of that resulted in the CDC shutting it down.
It’s also worth considering that Fort Detrick has had some history of experimenting on human beings – including without consent.
As even its Wikipedia entry tells us, ‘The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report on September 28, 1994, which stated that between 1940 and 1974, DOD and other national security agencies studied hundreds of thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances… Many experiments that tested various biological agents on human subjects, referred to as Operation Whitecoat, were carried out at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in the 1950s. The human subjects originally consisted of volunteer enlisted men. However, after the enlisted men staged a sitdown strike to obtain more information about the dangers of the biological tests, Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) who were conscientious objectors were recruited for the studies…’
In the 1980s, the KGB agent Jakob Segal also claimed – rightly or wrongly – that Fort Detrick is where HIV originated: with the implication being that it was created by the US government.
The notion that deadly viruses could originate in government labs – be it in the US, China or anywhere else – should not be dismissed as conspiracy theory. As this NBC News piece from 2011 says, ‘You don’t have to dig very deep or go very far back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace, making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins…’ The article goes on to detail various known incidents in which the government had conducted experiments on unwitting citizens.
And it is no different in the UK. As I explored in this older piece on the Salisbury Poisoning controversy, it is by now well known that Porton Down, under the MoD, has been involved in chemical warfare research and human testing, and that up to 20,000 people took part in experiments there between the 1950s and up to 1989. The head of Biological Defense at Porton Down at one point was Dr David Kelly – the same David Kelly who was suicided during the lead-in to the Iraq War.
A 2008 docu-film, Anthrax War, asserted that the late David Kelly in fact had links to illegal human experiments on British servicemen at Porton Down. It’s funny how many of these people involved in biological warfare research end up either killing themselves or dying at strange moments.
Unsurprisingly – and no doubt in response to this recent US talk of the Wuhan lab as a possible origin for the COVID outbreak – Chinese officials have been pushing the counter-theory that Fort Detrick is where the virus came from.
So… essentially, both super-powers have a thing they can point to in order to accuse – or counter-accuse – the other of being to blame for the global pandemic.
To be honest, China pointing to Fort Detrick is disingenuous, given that the Wuhan bio lab is one of the biggest smoking guns in history.
But again, here is where we need to come to the matter of the joint Chinese-American research into coronaviruses.
This was joint research between the University of North Carolina and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Shi Zhengli – a key figure in the Wuhan lab’s ‘Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens and Bio Safety’ – received grants from the US government (and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology), as well as from half a dozen scientific organisations in China: to carry out this research into corona viruses (and specifically bat coronaviruses: she apparently has the nickname ‘batwoman’).
Her work apparently spliced together two different coronaviruses, creating a more dangerous version that was more transmissible to humans.
According to a recent FT article, a ‘multinational group of 15 scientists working at the Wuhan Institute received $600,000 of US public funds between 2015 and 2020‘ to investigate coronaviruses: studies that, it is accepted, involved ‘gain-of-function’ research – methods that involve deliberately making pathogens more lethal in order to study their behaviour.
As I pointed out in the PDF last April, scientific articles from the time (here and here, for example) highlighted that some scientists were concerned about ‘whether the information gleaned from the experiment justifies the potential risk.’ For example, one virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris expressed concern that the researchers had ‘created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells’. He warned, “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory”…’
Again, as I’ve said previously, it’s extraordinary that major media organisations barely (if at all) talked about these studies when the COVID pandemic was dominating all the news headlines. I mean, these experiments literally involved the Wuhan lab and were specifically focused on bat coronaviruses… and the ‘official’ narrative of the pandemic’s origins is still the one involving bats and the Wuhan wet market.
They’re starting to talk about it now, as this piece, for example, in the FT shows. As with the lab leak hypothesis, this stuff is belatedly making its way into mainstream media discourse: over a year after alternative and independent media sources (and ‘wacky conspiracy theorists’) were bringing it up.
It’s just funny that this was all despicable ‘conspiracy’ nonsense a year ago.
So, with all of that reestablished here, let’s come back to The Guardian piece. The Guardian piece says, ‘What is also known for sure, is that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), nearby to the first recorded outbreaks, is the world’s premier collector of wild bat coronaviruses, has grown them in their in-house laboratories before, and had the expertise to conduct gain-of-function experiments. If you wanted to create a pandemic coronavirus in a lab, the WIV would be a hell of a place to do it...’
Yeah, no shit.
But what’s even more curious is that the main basis being cited for this lab-leak theory reevaluation is ‘…an “anonymous intelligence report” about WIV members becoming sick with a pneumonia-like illness in November 2019.’
Really? An ‘anonymous intelligence report’? That’s what they’re citing: when, again, it’s already established that American and Chinese scientists were conducting gain-of-function studies into bat coronaviruses back in 2015 and it involved the Wuhan lab?
Isn’t *that* a stronger basis for examining the ‘lab leak’ theory?
Yet, instead, they’re talking about an ‘anonymous intelligence report’? Why cite the weaker piece of evidence when you have a much stronger source of evidence staring you in the face?
Is this an attempt to *seemingly* address the lab leak theory, but to then ultimately invalidate it? Or is it an attempt to make sure China bears the blame for the coronavirus catastrophe? I’m not sure. But if the US decides to point at the Wuhan lab, then China will just retaliate by pointing at Fort Detrick (which it is already doing).
And where’s that going to leave us?
The key point here, again, is that the research done in Wuhan was joint Chinese/American research, with significant American funding.
An investigation recently published in Vanity Fair reveals that State Department officials were told in December 2020 not to explore claims about gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab: because it would risk drawing attention to US funding.
As the BBC notes, Dr Fauci – the public face of the COVID pandemic in America and the chief advisor on the matter to two US Presidents now – ’emphatically denied the US had ever funded controversial gain of function research at the Wuhan lab.’ However, it seems clear now that he was lying. The recent release of a trove of emails seem to show that Fauci was deliberately downplaying any talk of a lab leak origin for the virus, even while he was apparently discussing the possibility with other scientists.
If COVID did come from the Wuhan lab – involving American funded research (and, even more seriously, American participation in the studies) – then it would make sense why Fauci (and others, including a World Health Organisation pretty much bankrolled by the US, heavily pro Chinese Communist Party and indebted to Fauci’s friend Bill Gates) would try to downplay that possibility and instead advocate for the wet market theory and the transmission from animals.
Where we are with this now is that, essentially, there’s a group of interests who want to avoid the lab leak hypothesis entirely, for obvious reasons.
And there’s another group of interests who want to focus on it – so that they can blame China entirely.
And then there’s China, which doesn’t want to be blamed – and will point the finger at the US instead.
The (provisional) conclusion I came to last April in the PDF was that the virus ‘outbreak’ had happened both in China and the US, coming out of both Chinese and US labs: and that this would’ve been a deliberate/controlled ‘outbreak’ (as part of a pre-planned agenda that both China and the US was seeking to bring about).
But even if you’re not quite with me in drawing that conclusion (and I can understand why), even one-time sceptics should by now be coming around to the likelihood that COVID-19 came from a lab, even if it was by accident.
And, regardless of whether Fort Detrick was involved or not, the Wuhan lab certainly was: and, given the US involvement in the Wuhan research, it wouldn’t actually matter if Fort Detrick was actually a source for the virus or not, because the experiments that spawned the pandemic would’ve involved both countries anyway.
Whatever the newly-respectable lab leak theory is now aimed at accomplishing, we really have little choice but to assume that all official-level discussion of the pandemic or its origins is going to be BS, focused primarily on PR management and public perception control. And, at the very least, it’s going to be highly politicised too.