The new report examining the behind-the-scenes battle over COVID’s origins follows new evidence to support the theory that the coronavirus pandemic may have leaked from WIV — raising questions about why the possibility wasn’t investigated more thoroughly from the outset.
‘The story of why parts of the U.S. government were not as curious as many of us think they should have been is a hugely important one,’ David Feith, former deputy assistant secretary of state in the East Asia bureau, told Vanity Fair.
In an interview with the outlet, DiNanno describes how his probe into the lab leak theory was thwarted at every turn, with hostile and antagonistic technical staff warning him not to open ‘Pandora’s box.’
Things came to a head at a meeting on December 9, when State Department staff met to discuss what the department could or should say publicly about the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
According to people at the meeting, 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. Park, a Trump appointee like DiNanno, had been involved in lifting a U.S. government moratorium on funding for gain-of-function research in 2017. Park was reportedly not the only one who raised concerns about the investigation ultimately raising questions about U.S. funding.
As the group probed the lab-leak scenario and other possibilities, its members were repeatedly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ four former State Department officials told the magazine.
The admonitions ‘smelled like a cover-up,’ said DiNanno, ‘and I wasn’t going to be part of it.’
It’s unclear exactly much U.S. government funding was going to the WIV, but at least some of it was being routed through a nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance.
By 2018, EcoHealth Alliance was pulling in up to $15 million a year in grant money from an array of federal agencies, including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to tax filings.
EcoHealth Alliance and its founder Peter Daszak have been working with Shi Zhengli, the WIV virologist known as the ‘bat lady’, for more than 15 years.
British-born Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance — and in the early days of the pandemic, he was key in establishing the veneer of a ‘scientific consensus’ that the lab-leak origin was impossible.
Daszak not only signed but spearheaded a letter signed by 27 scientists rejecting the lab leak hypothesis, which was published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet.
Leaked emails later revealed that he encouraged colleagues who do gain-of-function research on coronaviruses not to sign the letter, in order to obscure the connection.
The letter declared that the scientists had ‘no competing interests’ — but it seems clear that Daszak did, as a lab leak origin would likely derail his entire field, but an animal origin would justify his life’s work.
The next question that needs to be determined is if the plans for the creation of the not-vaccines were completed prior to the release of COVID-19. Regardless, this is already one of the worst US government crimes in history. While China is obviously involved, one should keep in mind that it is possible that the Chinese government was not the primary party responsible, given the amount of US government money that was secretly funneled to Wuhan through the US nonprofit.
– Dr. Li-Meng Ya