By Dr P S Venkatesh Rao
BANGALORE: As a defeat by the Democratic Party in the mid-term elections in the United States this year appears to be a certainty, and as possibility increases of the Republicans coming to control the US House of Representatives, the prospects of a Congressional hearing/investigation into Wuhan virus leak, also known as Covid-19, are a given. To head off a possible Congressional probe, the cast of US characters involved in the research and development of this genetically engineered virus that has killed millions all over the globe, is back to obfuscating the source of the virus—China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)—by calling it a natural virus in a bid to whitewash their own and the Xi Jinping regime’s culpability. This is apparent from the publishing of two articles on 26 July 2022, in the journal Science. Both these articles have multiple authors under Dr Kristian G. Andersen’s guidance in the US. Andersen is known for infamously switching from suspecting Covid-19 to be genetically engineered, to trying to prove that it naturally jumped from wild bats to humans. These two latest studies further prove that Covid-19 originated in Wuhan, but do not prove the zoonotic (jumping from animals to humans) origin of the virus that the authors are at pains to prove, based on numerous assumptions. Co-conspirators in the diversion of large US research funds to the WIV in China ensured the suppression of facts and orchestrated the publication of misleading scientific correspondence in the early days of the pandemic in 2020 to prove that the virus had a natural origin in the Wuhan wet market. This concerted disinformation campaign has been given life once again by some virologists who fear a prospective ban on high risk virus research, an exposure of their role in research like genetic engineering and gain of function, and are more concerned about their own funding than on the safety and welfare of humanity.
A MISLEADING STUDY: One of these two articles, an 18-page write-up by 18 authors is titled, “The Hunan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan was the early epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic.” It starts with the premise that understanding how Covid-19 virus emerged in 2019 is critical to prevent zoonotic outbreaks. Hence the article predetermines that the virus was natural in origin. The article provides the geographical distribution of the early suspected Covid-19 cases around the wet market in Wuhan, based on a flawed and biased sample. Their spatial distribution maps highlight the wet market location and ignore the Wuhan CDC (the agency that monitored the outbreak initially) just 280 metres away, leave alone the WIV 12 kilometres away. The Wuhan CDC had hosted experimental wild animals including bats collected from Hubei and Zhejiang provinces. The writers of the article found many early cases that had no direct links with the market. They found “susceptible” mammals such as racoon dogs for sale, but were unable to identify an intermediate host. They conceded that “there is insufficient evidence to define upstream events, and exact circumstances remain obscure”. They still concluded that “our analyses indicate that the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 occurred via the live wildlife trade in China, and show that the Huanan market was the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.” It is to be noted that the epicentre of an outbreak would be a crowded place near the source of the virus, and not necessarily the source itself.
THE OTHER MISLEADING STUDY: The other article, a 15-page study by 29 authors from the same institutions, and titled, “Molecular epidemiology of multiple zoonotic origins of SARS-CoV2” examines the strains of the virus found in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan. They mention two virus lineages A and B and propose multiple cross species transmissions—of lineage B virus to humans around 18 November 2019 and later of lineage A within a few weeks. It is simple logic that a cross species transmission that did not occur in centuries of existence of wet markets in China is most unlikely to occur multiple times in quick succession. Their claim papers over the well-known fact that “gain of function” research produces multiple strains. Who should know this better than these virologists? They speculate about racoon dogs and other mammals being the intermediate hosts, but their numerous errors suggest that animals and their samples may have been contaminated by infected humans. Their conclusion also ignores the fact that the only bats in Wuhan existed in the Wuhan labs and not in the wet market.
LAY MEDIA AND PUBLIC MISLED: Newspaper and network news journalists and ombudsman have always had a tough time understanding technical jargon and making sense of scientific claims. It is worse when leading experts publish scientific articles with dubious claims. Ideally the results of a scientific study should be explained rationally and should lead to a logical conclusion. It should not be reverse engineered to achieve a predetermined conclusion. Sometimes, as with these two studies the elaborate data and statistical analysis seems authentic but the authors jump to a conclusion that is not justified. An article by Laura Ungar on 27 July 2020 in Associated Press based on these two studies in Science and titled “New studies bolster theory coronavirus emerged from the wild” quotes Dr Kristian G. Andersen as saying, “Have we disproven the lab leak theory? No, we have not, but I think what’s really important here is there are possible scenarios and there are plausible scenarios and it’s really important to understand that possible does not mean equally likely.” This article was prominently republished by many leading Indian newspapers with the headline eventually evolving to an emphatic “Covid did originate in Wuhan market, say 2 studies”. Tragically, this will now be accepted as gospel truth by many in academia, intelligence, political and administrative circles.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS LEADING TO COVID-19 ORIGIN: After leaks even from the safest of western virology laboratories and outcry about creation of deadly Chimera viruses by virologists hoping to profit on vaccines for novel human viruses; this risky virus research with technology, equipment and facilities was outsourced to China. Chinese researchers were trained in gain of function and genetic engineering techniques, funded and hand held by well-connected senior US virologists. Western collaboration enabled Chinese researchers to clandestinely or otherwise collect deadly viruses existing in the wild in various parts of the world and steal samples from western laboratories.
THE ORIGINAL COVER-UP: My article of 6 June 2021, in The Sunday Guardian, titled, “International scientists covered up the lab origin of Covid-19” details the original cover-up. Here is a brief recap of the original cover-up from that article: On 1 Feb 2021, within hours of the researchers from IIT New Delhi submitting their findings online on bioRxiv, alarm bells rang around the world. Dr Kristian G. Andersen of Scripps Research Institute emailed Dr Fauci: “Some of the features look engineered, inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.” Following this a concerted suppression of findings, including of the New Delhi group was done by vested interests. On 19 February 2020, a group of 27 senior virologists from the US, Australia, Germany, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Malaysia, Hong Kong including Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance, that was funding WIV, published in Lancet a “Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19”. In a correspondence published on 17 March 2020 in Nature titled “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2”, Kristian G. Andersen, who on 1 February had emailed Dr Fauci, now turned contrarian and with four other researchers argued that “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus”. On 26 March 2020, Dr Francis Collins supported Dr Andersen’s analysis on the NIV director’s blog: “next time you come across something about COVID-19 online that disturbs or puzzles you, I suggest going to FEMA’s new Coronavirus Rumor Control web site. It will help to distinguish rumours from facts.”
The motto of these compromised researchers is: If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Dr P.S. Venkatesh Rao is Consultant Endocrine, Breast & Laparoscopic Surgeon, Bangalore