Classified study reportedly says COVID-19 may have started in a Chinese lab

Sinclair is reporting that a study conducted a year ago by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that the coronavirus that started the COVID-19 pandemic could have come from a Chinese lab.

The lab is a leading biodefense research for the Department of Energy, according to the report.

Click here to read the full report.

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Scientists Called BS On The WHO’s Bogus COVID Origins Report, And China Isn’t Happy

The Chinese Foreign Ministry attacked World Health Organization (WHO) advisory committee member Jamie Metzl because he published an open letter Wednesday calling out the WHO’s COVID-19 origins report for being full of factual inaccuracies.

The letter, co-organized by Metzl and signed by 23 other scientists, highlights 12 statements that were incorrect, disputed, contradictory, or imprecise in the WHO and Chinese joint report on the origins of the pandemic. (Metzl’s questions and concerns may have been addressed by the panel of investigators if the WHO didn’t give reporters only 30 minutes to review the 123-page report on the origins of the Wuhan virus before last week’s press conference.)

The WHO report “failed to reach some of the most basic standards of credible analysis and assessment,” the scientists said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian blasted Metzl and the other scientists, saying, “By blatantly questioning the independence and research conclusions of real scientists, they will not only cripple international cooperation on origin tracing, but also undercut global anti-epidemic efforts.”

The only setback in the investigation, Lijian claimed, is it was tainted by the United States and other countries that are “bent on politicizing the origin-tracing issue in an attempt to disrupt China’s cooperation with WHO and discredit China.” Lijian added that China has been commended for its “openness and transparency,” by the joint Chinese and WHO investigation team.

Far from open and transparent, the Chinese government demanded total control over all research into the pandemic’s origins. The WHO gave China veto power over scientists selected to be on the panel of investigators. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced on March 19 that Chinese experts received the English version of the WHO report two days prior to its public debut because, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its release “depend[ed] on discussions between Chinese & international experts.”

The WHO’s report downplayed the theory that COVID-19 could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. Even before the report was released, WHO investigators were insisting the virus did not originate from a lab. There is substantial evidence indicating some of the investigators are compromised by China (besides the fact that they are Chinese-approved). Some appear to have a personal interest in not giving any credit to the Wuhan lab-leak theory since it would harm their own scientific research and business dealings.

Metzl’s open letter calls for a new probe into the origins of the pandemic that strips China and any other government of veto power over the scientists selected to investigate the pandemic’s origins. The letter also asks for whistleblower protections to ensure Chinese scientists can “share relevant information without fear of retribution.” Metzl said it was “truly unfortunate” China chose to “obfuscate & deflect” from the criticisms and concerns he laid out in the open letter.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that the WHO’s report “lacks crucial data, it lacks information, and it lacks access. It represents a picture that is partial and, in our view, incomplete.” Price added his concerns were shared by countries around the world, pointing to a joint statement the U.S. government released with 13 other democracies the day the WHO’s origin report was released, expressing “shared concerns” over China’s influence on the report.

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U.S., other countries express ‘concerns’ about WHO report on COVID origins

On Tuesday, the United States and 13 other countries released a statement expressing “concerns” with a report from a World Health Organization (WHO)-led team into the origins of coronavirus, saying it lacked complete access to the information it needed.

“We voice our shared concerns that the international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples,” the nations said in a joint statement.

There have been concerns for a long time about the independence of the WHO-led team of experts, working jointly with Chinese scientists, and whether the Chinese government was providing full access to needed information on the origins of the virus.

A leaked draft of the WHO report, first reported Monday by the Associated Press, says it’s “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus escaped from a lab. While not reaching a definitive conclusion, the report instead says the virus was likely transmitted from animals to humans.

Asked on Tuesday at a White House press briefing if China had cooperated enough with the report—according to The Hill—press secretary Jen Psaki said: “They have not been transparent, they have not provided underlying data, that certainly doesn’t qualify as cooperation.”

“We don’t believe that in our review to date that it meets the moment,” Psaki added about the report.

The joint statement was the first reaction after the official release of the report earlier Tuesday, The Hill noted. Joining the U.S. in the statement were Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, South Korea, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

“Scientific missions like these should be able to do their work under conditions that produce independent and objective recommendations and findings,” the 14 countries stated.

“Going forward, there must now be a renewed commitment by WHO and all Member States to access, transparency, and timeliness,” the statement from the 14 countries added.

On Tuesday in reaction to the report, the WHO said that research is continuing and that it is not ruling out any hypotheses at the moment, according The Hill.

Shortly before the report’s release, The Wall Street Journal noted, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for a more extensive probe into whether COVID-19 had escaped from a lab, the strongest terms he has used in public yet on the matter. He said he was ready to deploy additional experts to look into that theory.

Last week, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield said he believes the outbreak began at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab.

“I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory—you know, escaped. Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine,” Redfield said in a CNN interview. “Science will eventually figure it out. It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker.”

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China in comments to CNN’s Dana Bash.

“We’ve got real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” Blinken said.

China has denied any cover up regarding the WHO report.

In the U.S., the WHO has also garnered bipartisan backlash for the aforementioned reasons.

GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted Sunday that the investigation did not suffice.

“Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party has lied & covered-up to the world the pandemic’s origins,” Zeldin tweeted.

“The World Health Organization has played along time & again as the CCP’s useful idiots. A thorough & truly independent investigation is long overdue.”

Atlantic Council senior fellow Jamie Metzl, who worked at the White House National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that it’s comparable to letting the Soviet Union investigate the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which was covered up by local authorities.

“It was agreed first that China would have veto power over who even got to be on the mission,” said Metzl, a former staffer to President Joe Biden when he headed the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee

“WHO agreed to that,” he continued. “On top of that, the WHO agreed that in most instances, China would do the primary investigation and then just share its findings with these international experts. So these international experts weren’t allowed to do their own primary investigation.”

Journalist Lesley Stahl then asked, “You’re saying that China did the investigation and showed the results to the committee and that was it?”

“Pretty much that was it—not entirely, but pretty much that was it. Imagine if we had asked the Soviet Union to do a co-investigation of Chernobyl, it doesn’t really make sense,” Metzl said.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Corporate Media Issue Dishonest ‘Fact Checks’ Of Trump-Era CDC Director Who Says COVID May Have Escaped From Wuhan Lab

Corporate media outlets are misconstruing former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield’s theories about the origins of COVID-19 after he said he doesn’t believe the virus outbreak began with transmission from a bat.

“I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped,” Redfield told CNN in an interview. “Now, other people don’t believe that, that’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out. It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in the laboratory to infect the laboratory worker.”

The Chinese Communist Party has worked strenuously to suppress discussion of and investigation into this possibility. Corporate media outlets assisted that effort by taking issue with Redfield’s comments and issuing misdirected “fact checks” of a Wuhan lab theory separate from the virologist’s initial suggestion.

CBS News took the first swing at the Trump-era official in an article headlined “Former CDC chief says ‘most likely’ cause of coronavirus is that it ‘escaped’ from a lab.” While the article stated that “it’s too early to know for sure and investigations are ongoing” and clarified that Redfield does not think the virus was manmade, CBS devoted multiple paragraphs to airing the opinions and concerns of scientists and other “experts” who claimed that “none of (Redfield’s) comments” are “backed by available evidence” and that “there is ‘no evidence’ to suggest that [COVID-19] was created in a lab.”

One of the sources quoted in the article even claimed that Refield’s hypothesis is “‘counterproductive,’ especially given the rise in discrimination and violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic.”

The New York Times made a similar mistake in its coverage of Redfield’s comments, claiming that the former CDC director “favors debunked COVID-19 origin theory.”

“The C.D.C.’s ex-director offers no evidence in favoring speculation that the coronavirus originated in a lab,” the headline stated.

In the article, the Times quoted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s statement claiming that the “Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified,” a theory Redfield did not discuss in his interview, to conclude that “intelligence agencies…had no evidence that the coronavirus had escaped from the lab” and that he was wrong.

The same statement from April 2020 that the Times relied on for this conclusion, however, clearly states that intelligence agencies “will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Corporate media outlets such as The Times and the Washington Post previously smeared Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas early in the pandemic, often claiming he was peddling conspiracy dangerous theories after he suggested the U.S. look into communist China’s attempts to cover up the origins of COVID-19.

“Since the start of this outbreak, I’ve maintained that animal-to-human transmission or a ‘good science, bad safety’ accidental breach in a lab studying coronavirus — like the one in Wuhan — are the most likely origin scenarios,” Cotton tweeted.

“Because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says. And China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all,” Cotton later added.

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Lawmakers Demand Investigation Of NIH ‘Secretively’ Funneling US Tax Dollars To Notorious Wuhan Lab

letter sent Tuesday from members of Congress to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm is demanding a “prompt and thorough investigation” into the National Institutes of Health’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party-run Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The 28 congressional signers, led by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., write:

The NIH, unfortunately, has played a major role in supporting [the Wuhan Institute of Virology] and this treacherous research and the promotion of spurious claims dismissing the NIH-funded lab’s potential role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is suspected by experts, including the U.S. State Department, to have caused the COVID-19 pandemic through an accidental lab leak.

Lawmakers write that the NIH and Pentagon are responsible for “secretively” funneling tax dollars to the Wuhan research lab through the U.S.-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. The Wuhan Institute of Virology has already received $600,000 in U.S. taxpayer funds between 2014 and 2019 to study bat-based coronaviruses through EcoHealth Alliance, and the lab is still authorized to receive U.S. tax dollars for animal experiments until 2024.

“In 2017, NIH Director Francis Collins personally supported and celebrated the resumption of dangerous taxpayer-funded ‘gain-of-function’ research designed to make viruses more transmissible and fatal,” the letter says. “[E]xperts now claim that WIV’s gain-of-function research could very well have engineered the novel coronavirus that caused the pandemic from a virus collected from bats in caves in China.”

Since January, American intelligence has had evidence that researchers at the Wuhan lab became infected with COVID-like symptoms before the first known cases in December 2019. “Despite the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military,” the State Department reported. “The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”

China, the corporate media, and health officials have dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” the hypothesis of U.S. intelligence that the Wuhan laboratory caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Collins was one of them. The letter cites a still-published blog post Collins wrote in March of 2020, in which he states, “Some folks are even making outrageous claims that the new coronavirus causing the pandemic was engineered in a lab.” Collins shared a link to his article on Twitter, writing in the caption, “New genomic study debunks claims that the novel #coronavirus causing #COVID- 19 was created in a lab.”

The letter adds that EcoHealth’s president also “sided with the CCP and openly criticized the U.S. government for investigating the theory that SARS-CoV-2 originated in the WIV lab to which he directed NIH funds and has closely collaborated with for decades.”

“In light of all this, we are gravely concerned about the NIH’s relationship with both EcoHealth and WIV, and the Agency’s handling of allegations that the COVID-19 pandemic was potentially caused by an NIH-funded laboratory at WIV,” the letter continues. “We also are alarmed that WIV is eligible to receive additional funding from the NIH through 2024.”

The members of Congress are requesting an investigation into the following questions concerning the NIH’s connections to the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

  1. When was the NIH first aware that coronavirus experiments were being conducted at WIV with taxpayer funds (via EcoHealth Alliance or otherwise)?
  2. Did NIH officials review WIV’s coronavirus experiments to assess compliance with Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO) guidelines?
  3. When was the NIH first aware of biosafety or other concerns at WIV?
  4. Was the NIH briefed on the concerns raised by the State Department in 2018 about the potential pandemic risk of WIV’s research?
  5. Did Dr. Collins or other NIH officials communicate with EcoHealth Alliance and/or WIV to coordinate responses to lab leak allegations?
  6. When does WIV’s current eligibility to receive NIH funding expire?
  7. Is WIV currently receiving any NIH support directly or indirectly?
  8. How much NIH funding — directly or indirectly — has WIV received from the NIH including grants, sub-grants, and other funding sources.

“Shipping U.S. tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology — a CCP-run animal lab working to supercharge coronaviruses so they’re deadlier and more contagious — is a recipe for disaster,” said Mackie Burr of White Coat Waste Project, the nonpartisan watchdog group that discovered the Wuhan lab is still authorized to receive U.S. tax dollars until 2024.

We applaud Congressman Scott Perry and his colleagues for working to hold the NIH accountable for funding WIV’s reckless research, for allowing it to receive even more tax money for animal tests until 2024, and for hastily dismissing experts’ concerns that this taxpayer-funded lab may have caused the COVID-19 outbreak before any real investigation has been conducted,” Burr said.

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Infamous Wuhan Lab Authorized To Receive US Taxpayer Funding, NIH Confirms

The National Institutes of Health confirmed Tuesday that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is authorized to receive U.S. taxpayer funding for animal research through January 2024, according to the Daily Caller.

The research lab in Wuhan is suspected to have caused the COVID-19 pandemic through an accidental lab leak and has already received $600,000 in U.S. taxpayer funds between 2014 and 2019 to study bat-based coronaviruses through EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization.

EcoHealth Alliance’s research of bat-based coronaviruses in China was funded by a $3.7 million grant in 2014 from a branch of the NIH, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to the Wall Street Journal. In April, the grant was terminated by the NIH amid criticism over EcoHealth Alliance’s relationship with the Wuhan research lab. The NIH said in a letter that the nonprofit’s work in China did not align with “program goals and agency priorities.”

The NIH told EcoHealth Alliance in July it would restore the grant if the organization met certain conditions, one of which was to arrange for an independent team to investigate the Wuhan Institute of Virology to determine if it had possession of the COVID-19 virus prior to the first known cases in December 2019, as suspected by the U.S. State Department.

The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, told NPR the NIH’s conditions were “preposterous.”

“I’m not trained as a private detective,” Daszak said. “It’s not really my job to do that.”

Daszak was the only U.S. member in the World Health Organization delegation who, in January and February, investigated the origins of COVID-19 in China. The WHO delegation has yet to release a report on its findings. Daszak, however, told the White House it should blindly accept the delegation’s conclusion and said it’s highly unlikely the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan lab.

Since January, American intelligence has had evidence that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became infected with COVID-like symptoms before the first known cases in December 2019, and while Daszak claims the U.S. State Department’s findings shouldn’t be trusted, the State Department also contends that the Wuhan lab has collaborated on “secret projects” with the Chinese military.

“Despite the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military,” the department reported. “The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”

The State Department evidence undercuts the main theory pushed by the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNIH, and WHO: that the virus jumped from an animal to a human in Wuhan before spreading around the world. China, the corporate media, and health officials have dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” the hypothesis of U.S. intelligence that the Wuhan laboratory caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology still has an active Foreign Assurance on file with the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, according to the office, enabling the lab to continue receiving taxpayer funds to carry out animal research.

A spokeswoman for the NIH told the Daily Caller that the Wuhan lab’s Foreign Assurance was approved on Jan 9, 2019, and is currently set to expire on Jan 31, 2024. She did not confirm whether the lab is currently receiving direct or indirect taxpayer funding for research activities. EcoHealth Alliance’s last known subgrant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology was in May 2019, according to USASpending.Gov.

EcoHealth Alliance received a new $7.5 million grant from the NIH to establish a Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases, but Daszak claimed in an NPR interview that the funds his organization received from the new grant will not be used for any research in China.

Anthony Bellotti, president of the nonpartisan watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, told the Daily Caller that EcoHealth Alliance should be defunded entirely for financing “reckless gain-of-function animal experiments that may have led to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We’re urging Congress and the White House to defund EcoHealth now and secure independent investigations into whether their treacherous gain-of-function animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology led to the COVID outbreak,” said Bellotti.

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Corrupt Corporate Media Finally Admits Coronavirus Probably Came From A Communist Chinese Lab

New York Magazine just became the first of the corporate media to acknowledge that the COVID-19 virus, which plagued the world for most of 2020, may have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

While many corrupt publications hounded conservatives and U.S. officials for spreading the same Chinese lab information earlier in the year, the magazine article received no backlash from the media for stating that there is a “reasonable chance” that a scientific experiment, created and designed in the lab to help prevent other respiratory viruses, could have likely escaped into the public due to an accident.

As a matter of fact, the corporate media did not even make a peep about the article’s explanation for how U.S. money, resources, and even scientists such as Dr. Anthony Fauci were involved in funding, informing, and encouraging this research, and how the federal government and Chinese scientists were concerned about the Wuhan lab in particular, even before a hint of the 2020 pandemic.

Many publications and networks originally downplayed concerns in early 2020 that the virus was created and then released from a lab in China, not contracted through a wet market, despite the fact that those concerns were coming from U.S. officials such as deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus,” Pottinger said recently. “Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story,” he continued.

Pottinger first began to raise concerns about the virus’s origins in January 2020, encouraging U.S. intelligence officials to investigate. Shortly after, Cotton began to sound the alarm about COVID-19’s beginnings in a Wall Street Journal opinion editorial outlining a new government investigation into the Chinese lab, which may have created and housed it. In the article, Cotton explained that China swiftly covered up any evidence about the lab and the coronavirus’s origins.

“Beijing has claimed that the virus originated in a Wuhan ‘wet market,’ where wild animals were sold. But evidence to counter this theory emerged in January,” he wrote.

It was at this point that the corrupt media corporations targeted Cotton for allegedly spreading what they claimed to be “conspiracy theories” with  “zero evidence” about COVID-19, citing and amplifying “experts” and “scientists” who condemned the information.

Despite the corporate media’s persistence in attacking Cotton and undermining his claims as “baseless,” the publications so far haven’t responded to the New York Magazine article with nearly the same level of scrutiny after it began to spread on Twitter and other social media platforms on Monday.

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