A noteworthy development in the Covid-10 “op” concerns the selection of experts to oversee The Lancet’s investigation of the origins of the SARS CoV-2.
In FTR #1156, we looked at the involvement of known U.S. intelligence cut-outs–notably USAID–and their funding of programs ostensibly aimed at preventing epidemics. Those programs involved the “Gain-of-Function” mutation of bat-borne coronaviruses, creating novel “chimeric” viruses that never existed before.
The ostensible purpose was to “prevent” future epidemics. We wondered in FTR #1156 if those ostensible epidemic “prevention” programs may have masked epidemic propagation programs, rather like Unit 731.
Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance was selected to lead the project.
His perspective would, on the surface, appear to be less than objective, in as much as he championed the very type of GOF experiments that are at the center of this inquiry.
Of interest, as well, is the selection of Jeffrey Sachs, an economist, member of the [Bernie] Sanders Institute, economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, economic adviser to AOC and, most importantly, head of the [partly] government financed Harvard Institute of International Development which (as advisers to Boris Yeltsin) drove the Russian economy back to the Stone Age.
Sachs has no medical or scientific credentials.
A consummately important article about Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance provides troubling insights into the uneven professional track record of Daszak and the profound involvement of the organization he heads with the Pentagon and other U.S. national security establishment institutions.
EcoHealth Alliance looks disturbingly like an organization that fronts for elements and individuals involved with biological warfare research.
“Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance, is a top scientific collaborator, grantwriter and spokesperson for virus hunters and gain-of-function/dual-use researchers, in labs both military and civilian.
Daszak works with dozens of high-containment laboratories around the world that collect pathogens and use genetic engineering and synthetic biology to make them more infectious, contagious, lethal or drug-resistant. These include labs controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense, in countries in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
Many of these labs are staffed by former biological weapons scientists. (See Arms Watch’s reports.) Before the Biological Weapons Convention was ratified, this research was called what it is: biological weapons research. Now, it’s euphemistically called gain-of-function or dual-use research.
Gain-of-function research to alter coronaviruses for the infection of humans goes back to 1999 or earlier, years before the first novel coronavirus outbreak. On behalf of the U.S. government, often the military, Daszak scours the globe for animal pathogens and brings them back to the lab to be catalogued, investigated and manipulated. . . .”
Key points of analysis and discussion include:
1.–EcoHealth Alliance contracts with the Pentagon in Tanzania, South Africa, Georgia and Malaysia, as well as the U.S.
2.–” . . . . A recent Wired magazine article quoting Daszak described how a virus collected in 2012 was found to be a 96-percent match to SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 . . . ‘a lack of funding meant they couldn’t further investigate the virus strain now known to be 96 percent genetically similar to the virus that causes Covid-19’ . . . .”
3.–Daszak’s claim that they couldn’t further investigate that virus because of a lack of funding is dubious, in that recent grants to the organization are on top of ” . . . . $100.9 million that EcoHealth Alliance has received in government grants and contracts since 2003. . . .”
4.–Daszak does not explain how that virus (discovered in 2012) turned into SARS-CoV-2. ” . . . . Some scientists say it would take 50 years for RaTG13 [the virus in question–D.E.] to turn into SARS-CoV-2. . . .”
5.–Daszak is heavily networked with the Department of Homeland Security: ” . . . . the Department of Homeland Security’s National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) . . . . gave Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance a $2.2-million contract (2016-2019) to create a ‘Ground Truth Network’ of ‘subject matter experts’ who could provide ‘contextual information pertaining to biological events.’ . . . .”
6.–The intellectual and professional track record of Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance is porous. EcoHealth Alliance floated a canard about Ebola potentially traveling to the U.S. ” . . . . an EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson, spread a false (not to mention racist and xenophobic) narrative, one that subsequently would be thoroughly debunked, that bushmeat smuggled to the U.S. from Africa could transmit Ebola to Americans. . . .”
7.–Daszak missed the boat badly with regard to SARS: ” . . . . It is commonly accepted that the SARS pandemic began in 2002, when humans caught a bat virus from civet cats at a wet market in Guangdong, China. But Daszak and his collaborators admit they have no evidence to explain how the virus leapt from bats to civets to humans. . . .”
8.–” . . . . SARS-CoV was found in civets at the Guangdong wet market, but civets aren’t the natural reservoir of this virus. Bats are. Only the civets at the market—and no farm-raised or wild civets—carried the virus. None of the animal traders handling the civets at the market had SARS. . . .”
9.–” . . . . When Daszak and his collaborators at the WIV searched the cave in Yunnan for strains of coronavirus similar to human versions, no single bat actually had SARS. Genetic pieces of the various strains would have to be recombined to make up the human version. Adding to the confusion, Yunnan is about 1,000 kilometers from Guangdong. . . .”
10.–” . . . . So, how did viruses from bats in Yunnan combine to become deadly to humans, and then travel to civets and people in Guangdong, without causing any illnesses along the way during this 1,000 kilometer trip? . . .”
11.–Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance were deeply involved with a USAID and NIH funded joint WIV/University of North Carolina project we have covered extensively in past programs. ” . . . . The two institutions also worked as collaborators under another $2.6-million grant, ‘Risk of Viral Emergence from Bats,’ and under EcoHealth Alliance’s largest single source of funding, a $44.2 million sub-grant from the University of California at Davis for the PREDICT project (2015-2020). . . .”
12.–” . . . . It’s the $44.2-million PREDICT grant that EcoHealth Alliance used to fund the gain-of-function experiment by WIV scientist Zhengli Shi and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Ralph Baric. Shi and Baric used genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create a ‘new bat SARS-like virus . . . that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans.’ . . .”
13.–” . . . . The work . . . published in Nature in 2015 during the NIH’s moratorium on gain-of-function research, was grandfathered in because it was initiated before the moratorium (officially called the U.S. Government Deliberative Process Research Funding Pause on Selected Gain-of-Function Research Involving Influenza, MERS and SARS Viruses), and because the request by Shi and Baric to continue their research during the moratorium was approved by the NIH. . . .”
14.–” . . . . As a condition of publication, Nature, like most scientific journals, requires authors to submit new DNA and RNA sequences to GenBank, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information Database. Yet the new SARS-like virus Shi and Baric created wasn’t deposited in GenBank until May 2020. . . .”
15.–” . . . . why is the government focusing on just one of EcoHealth Alliance’s projects, when the organization has received $100.9 million in grants, primarily from the Department of Defense, to sample, store and study bat coronaviruses at labs around the world? Coronaviruses, both those that have been collected from animals and those that have been created through genetic engineering and synthetic biology, at all of these labs should be compared with SARS-CoV-2. . . . .”
16.–” . . . . Daszak’s collaborators working under contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aren’t allowed to conduct gain-of-function research unless specifically approved to do so by the Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO) committee. This committee was set up as a condition for lifting the 2014-2017 moratorium on gain-of-function research. The P3CO committee operates in secret. Not even a membership list has been released. . . .”
17.–Exemplifying EcoHealth Alliance’s work is a Pentagon contract with Tanzania, researching CCHF–Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. ” . . . . EcoHealth Alliance has a $5-million Pentagon contract, ‘Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever: Reducing an Emerging Health Threat in Tanzania.’ Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne disease, originally only infecting animals. . . . There was only ever one case of CCHF in Tanzania, and that was in 1986. . . . Gain-of-function research on CCHF is being conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) . . . . (The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility will take over the mission of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and become the lead facility for Foreign Animal Disease research.) . . .”
Program Highlights Include: The prominent role in the Sanders Institute and AOC’s advisory team of Jeffrey Sachs, whose HIID team of advisers (with government funding) sent Russia back to the Stone Age, economically; the “handoff” to Jeffrey Sachs and his HIID of Russia and other former Soviet Republics by the Gehlen/GOP Nazis manifesting through the Free Congress Foundation; review of the operational political continuum stretching from the Third Reich, through the OSS, the CIA and the GOP; review of the roles of Allen Dulles, William Casey, Resorts International and Donald Trump in that continuum.