The National Review has weighed in with a leading article on the leaked messages revealing a stunning conspiracy behind the Proximal Origin paper on COVID-19. The messages implicate top scientists and authorities in a potential cover-up that misled the world. Here’s an excerpt:
On March 17th, 2020, a group of several eminent virologists published a paper on the “proximal origin” of COVID-19. “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” it trumpeted. The Editor in Chief of Nature Medicine proudly retweeted it: “Let’s put conspiracy theories about the origin of #SARSCoV2 to rest and help to stop spread of misinformation.” The paper went on to say, “We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”
One of the scientists, Kristian Andersen, sent an email to Dr. Anthony Fauci that morning, alerting him to the paper’s publication. Fauci replied to Andersen that very day, “Thanks for your note. Nice job on the paper.” He had praised an early draft of it as “very thoughtful summary and analysis”.
Almost simultaneously, Peter Daszak, the head of EcoHealth Alliance, which was the cutout through which the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded research on coronaviruses in Wuhan, sent an email to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill virologist Ralph Baric informing him that an investigative committee would not be looking into a lab-origins theory.
Now Fauci tells the New York Times that he’s not sure he ever read the paper.
Immediately, the Proximal Origin paper was put to use to shut down debate. ABC: “Sorry, conspiracy theorists. Study concludes COVID-19 is not a laboratory construct.” Vice News: “Once and for all, the new coronavirus was not made in a lab.”
Leaked messages now show that the Proximal Origin paper itself was the product of something like a conspiracy and was intended to mislead the public about the origins of Covid. FOIA requests of their emails and chat messages show that all of the authors of the paper expressed the exact opposite views of the conclusions in the paper. “60-40 lab,” Dr. Edward Holmes said. “I really can’t think of a plausible natural scenario,” wrote Robert Garry.
“In the lab it would be easy,” Garry also surmised in February. “It’s not crackpot to suggest this could have happened given the gain of function research we know is happening.” Andersen: “The lab escape version of this is so friggin’ likely because they were already doing this work.”
After Fauci was informed that his agency had funded coronavirus research, he got word from other scientists that the research was done according to low safety standards – a “Wild West,” according to one scientist. Andersen shared the same assessment of the Wuhan lab in another email: “I’m all for gain of function research, but to do it at BSL [biosafety level] three is nuts.”
One conference-call participant outlined the motive for a cover-up. More talk of the lab-leak theory would “do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.” This reflected concerns voiced by the head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, as early as February. He wanted to convene experts on the question of lab origins, “or the voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony.” …
It’s difficult to overstate the gravity of the fraud at work. The Proximal Origin paper was cited thousands of times and shaped coverage of the pandemic for years. To get just a flavour of it, Andersen brags about manipulating the New York Times coverage by science reporter Donald McNeil Jr., who was open to a lab-leak hypothesis. The Times eventually fired McNeil for unrelated reasons, and the Covid beat passed to a reporter who dismissed the lab leak as nothing more than a racist theory.
Worth reading in full.