by Zero Hedge
*Note — This article details current historical research into COVID-19’s origins, as part of the D.R.A.S.T.I.C. team of scientists, journalists & researchers. Recent news: D.R.A.S.T.I.C.’s research forms a large portion of the basis for investigations begun by the US Senate, House & National Institutes of Health. Recent appearances and/or discussion on 60 Minutes, The Joe Rogan Exp., Fox News, JRE [again], Bill Maher, & CNN.
All references for this and other articles are compiled under my research project The Arc of Inquiry Bends Towards Enlightenment. The files include my statistical analysis of the impact of censorship on the search for the origin of SARS-CoV-2.
More than 100K pages of FOIA documents referenced here have been condensed into 173 pages of the most relevant selections in my appendix Prometheus Shrugged. It was here, last February, that the role of Dr. Fauci in ongoing academic censorship of COVID’s origin was first exposed. A chronological narrative of the events described throughout my research will included in a forthcoming volume of DRASTIC’s set of published collections of evidence.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote that truth goes through 3 stages:
1st, it is ridiculed; 2nd, it is violently opposed; and 3rd, it is accepted as being self-evident
Guess what’s next for us?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Who Watches the Watchers?
Six months ago, I began my first article on scientific censorship during COVID-19 by introducing Dr. Fauci as a surprise character that had emerged unexpectedly while digging through what was then 83,000 FOIA emails, published by US Right-to-Know over the course of the last year:
[see files related to Ralph Baric, Linda Saif, Rita Colwell, Colorado State/Rocky Mountain National Laboratory & the NCBI; other FOIA releases from Judicial Watch, Buzzfeed & the Washington Post include NIH funding of the WIV & Dr. Fauci’s emails]
I’ve been trying for quite some time to get people to understand the full scope of the Dr. Fauci ‘situation,’ but it’s clear that segments of our national leadership are preventing an honest and open inquiry into his actions because they fear the backlash/collateral damage that will result from the tarnishing of their sacred cow. It’s time Americans were told the truth – that the grant money sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology [WIV] is merely a footnote in this narrative. After all, Dr. Fauci controls nearly $4 billion of annual grant funding for the NIAID, the institute within the NIH he has directed since 1984; over 37 years, more than 50,000 research projects have been supported with more than $50 billion [conservatively] of taxpayer funds have been doled out to them.
It’s reasonable to hold him accountable for the results of his organization’s efforts, but the direct funding received by the WIV for Gain-of-Function (GOF) research represents only a tiny fraction of Fauci’s involvement in enabling risky research – the 2017 repeal of the GOF ban was decided without the consultation of the Trump administration, even though news coverage during the pandemic blamed him for the decision. Neither Fauci nor his boss Francis Collins [the NIH director] bothered to clarify the record, which looks especially disgusting in the wake of persistent rejections of Senator Rand Paul’s assertions [with accompanying evidence] that the NIH ever financially supported such research:
- Dr. Fauci’s true legacy
- The evidence of his involvement
- The questions Congress [and everyone else] should be asking Dr. Fauci
- The impact of his efforts
First, do no harm … to Fauci’s Legacy
It’s important to plainly state that I’m aware of the intense politicization of virtually every aspect of the pandemic and the pandemic response. Since many readers may not be aware, I’ll point out that my specific motivation for building a COVID-19 website and speaking to a broader audience about the various facets of the pandemic was to offer unfiltered information to counter the disgusting polarization I observed:
I felt obligated to re-iterate my stance, but the nature and importance of the situation can’t be ignored any longer, because Congress is now actively engaged in investigating the pandemic’s origins, and we must confront the truth if we are to gain meaningful insight that can help us prepare for future crises. There is no level of partisanship that justifies ignoring a tragedy of this magnitude.
“Everything rises and falls on leadership” – John Maxwell
It’s hard to place a dollar value on the impact of Fauci’s leadership decisions upon almost all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why it’s not difficult to understand the willingness of some to avoid a legitimate inquiry into the issue altogether. After all, he sits at the nexus of –
A) the NIH’s role in supporting the research & development of mRNA technology and new antiviral drugs like Remdesivir, and the resulting conflicts of interest that the NIH continues to ignore
B) His role in pushing those NIH-sponsored inventions; specifically, advocating for Remdesivir on the basis of weak evidence while rejecting legitimate investigations into generic alternatives with no less statistical support, as well as…
C) …His role in obfuscating concerning data and censoring public debate over the risk/benefit evidence emerging about COVID-19 vaccines. Had Fauci been bluntly honest about the unknowns involving the new technology throughout the pandemic, Americans would still largely have assumed the risk – at least, assuming that antibody dependent enhancement [ADE] was not a likely outcome. Oops.
D) His evolving stances on masking, lockdowns, school closures and other non-pharmaceutical interventions [NPI], largely the result of growing public awareness that those decisions have consistently been based upon reducing the accountability of cowardly officials, not the best interest of their constituents [Note: this is a conclusion from my research focus last year, that I will return to once the origin issue allows me to do so].
E) His refusal to address the blatant censorship of vaccine side-effect data; it takes a disturbing level of cynicism to witness the large-scale skepticism and uncertainty that has resulted from such censorship and then vilify those willing to speak up – and blaming them for any future vaccine breakout when one of the most likely causes would be ADE. ADE with SARS-CoV-2 would most likely result from the specific targeting of the MRNA vaccines, not vaccine hesitancy [in the absence of a simultaneous global administration of the jabs – which was never feasible under the geopolitical and temporal constraints of the pandemic.
Each of those factors has contributed to the fading perception of Fauci as ‘America’s Doctor, but each has also become a divisive litmus test for which the evidence for and against is hotly debated. My purpose here is not to offer judgment on those issues; rather, I want to highlight the fact that Dr. Fauci’s legacy includes elements far beyond the scope of my research – and the context of those debates is directly relevant for the proper framing of the failures illuminated here. The same hubris and gaslighting in defense of ‘Science’ has plagued everything.
My disgust doesn’t stem from casual reflection & an exaggeration of weak assertions to fan partisan flames. It stems from my analysis of 100K pages of FOIA documents, 1,000+ research articles reviewed, and my own published analysis of the the impact of Fauci’s censorship, which was the 1st of its kind:
My approach was external to science – from the perspective of an historian seeking to understand the ‘why’ behind the further collapse of trust in our institutions during the pandemic. My conclusions were formed over six months of investigation, and focused on the realization that one of the worst developments of the pandemic is the evaporation of public trust in scientists [see Edifice Wrecks]. I’ve never sought to inflame conspiracies or ignore evidence in support of zoonosis, but I’ve personally entered into discussions with a half-dozen of the scientists highlighted below, and none of them ever addressed the emerging evidence that, under normal circumstances, would’ve been part of the open debate that Fauci pretends already took place.
Every additional moment spent in denial and suppression just adds fuel to the coming backlash, and thus far discussions have ignored what I believe is the largest and most consequential elephant in the room:
F) Fauci quietly but directly ensured that scientific censorship was implemented, in large measure, to prevent public awareness of the extent of his role in GOF research and the controversies surrounding it. The evidence proves that, at the start of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci and many leading scientists moved to protect themselves – not us, who weren’t yet aware of the potential calamity at our doorstep. Fauci LED the efforts to obstruct research into COVID’s origins, colluding with the President’s Science Advisor Kelvin Dreogemeier and Wellcome Trust head Jeremy Farrar, to proactively undermine consideration of the evidence that directly tied their global research initiatives to the lab at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, all of their efforts have been focused on preventing disclosure of embarrassing connections – not preventing another novel pathogen from sparking a global pandemic; to prevent future scrutiny, not future tragedy.
Scientists, if you’re struggling to understand the distinction between degrees of commitment to truth, I offer the example of Thích Quảng Đức, pictured here protesting the corrupt S. Vietnam regime in a prologue of the Vietnam War:
You see, the message for scientists who believe that a threat is existential is that words gain true meaning when they are supported by the actions & sacrifices of the speaker. What message are we supposed to derive from the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’d recommend pausing for reflection – on the image above, specifically – because what the world is beginning to see is that the scientific establishment made a mockery of the trust it had been given. The world’s leading experts in virology and public health called attention to a threat by setting the world on fire, rather than themselves – and then blaming us for being too simple to believe their noble lie.
The baseline assumption of the public at large has been that Dr. Fauci has earned the benefit of the doubt thanks to his five decades of public service and consistency in defending establishment science – the admiration of which has risen nearly to cult worship in recent decades. The cognitive dissonance between appearance and reality have created a situation where trust in ‘science’ has reached its sacred peak at the exact moment when such trust is least deserved.
At the center of this incestuous arrogance is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the recipient of unquestioned adulation by those in the political sphere who have spent more than a century arguing that a Platonic ‘philosopher-king’ ideal must be forced upon intellectually vacuous masses whom, left to their own devices, would inevitably self-immolate.
Scientists reached new heights in the ivory tower when they warned us that man’s evil nature had left previous generations protected only by the horrific death equation of Mutually Assured Destruction. Setting aside the obvious complicity of scientists in the creation of nuclear weapons, trusting science over many decades has simply led to a new formulation of that Faustian bargain – Mutually Assured Corruption.
A Study in Scarlet
Before heading down the long and winding road, it’s important to explain what zoonosis is and why Fauci’s denial of basic facts simply kicks the accountability can down the road. Should we really be surprised that Dr. Fauci is ‘confused’ by the definition of “Gain if Function?” After all, not that long ago, he also ridiculed the idea that the virus could’ve come from a lab before finally admitting that it was a statistical possibility.
Zoonosis in the context of viral emergence doesn’t mean a virus originally sprung from nature – all viruses do. It means that the jump from animals to humans happened in the wild, as the result of a fortuitous combination of mutations that allow a virus to survive the switch. If human intervention artificially encouraged the process of adaptation by experimentation, or simply by virtue of bringing a virus to a lab and increasing the odds of such exposure, then the origin of a viral pandemic is a lab.
What’s sickening about his tortured twisting of language is that Fauci knows this better than almost anyone; thus his lies aren’t borne of ignorance. What he’s done is use his scientific gravitas to pretend that observers’ understanding of literal definitions is flawed because we are too ignorant to appreciate the complexity of the issues. The truth, however, is that our generation’s most prominent infectious disease expert is gaslighting the citizens of the country he swore an oath to protect [one could also use the term epistemic injustice].
We begin this story on 1/31/2020, on the eve of a 4-day stretch that seemingly made true believers out of serious skeptics:
*[Note – I’ve published this article, but I’m still adding in pictures and links]
The brief exchange above was a precursor to a conference call the next day [2/1/20], organized by Jeremy Farrar & Dr. Fauci for the explicit purpose of addressing the swirling rumors that had emerged following the publication of an Indian pre-print that alleged the discovery of inserts identical to sequence segments within the HIV genome
As far as sparking the intense reaction, the proof is in the pudding – between the various collections of FOIA emails, the Indian paper and Zero Hedge commentary are explicitly mentioned. The purpose of this meeting was to address several aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 genome that pointed towards an artificial origin, by means of generating adaptive changes through passaging and/or direct manipulation of the genome. Immediately afterwards, Baric’s 2015 paper was investigated and shared amongst Fauci, his assistant Hugh Auchincloss, and others.
There’s no reason to discuss the meeting’s purpose as a hypothetical – the Indian paper proposed a possible method of tweaking, and the Sirotkins’ paper & Adrian Bond’s arguments, as later magnified via Zero Hedge, discussed the general outline of how the WIV would’ve approached it, based on published experiments. The assembled experts on the conference call knew this, and they also knew [by 2/1, anyway], that Baric’s chimaera and the methods within that paper needed to be compared and considered to determine what to do next. I took it as quite likely that the reference to ‘backbone’ directly stems from that paper.
In retrospect, it makes sense for there to be questions about the lovechild from that 2015 experiment, because the full sequence wasn’t added to the article’s supplementary files
until May 22, 2020– 3 months after that conference call. Given that the experiments immediately triggered renewed debate about gain-of-function [GOF] research, less than a year after the GOF ban began, pretending that repeated corrections [in this case, relatively minor sequence segments] are acceptable for the world’s leading coronavirologist publishing a landmark paper in the world’s most prestigious journal is stupid.
Also completely obscured is the fact that at least one, and very likely all, of the people on the conference call were aware of the existence of the FCS, since Bill Gallaher had pointed it out on 1/29 and Robert Garry reiterated it [just a day before the conference call]: [Analysis of Wuhan Coronavirus: Deja Vu – SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus / nCoV-2019 Evolutionary History – Virological]. There is some confusion as to whether or not Garry actually made it onto the call, given a comment just prior, but further emails show that Garry’s input nonetheless was received by 2/2.
-2/2 was also the day that Marion Koopmans mentioned a “backbone” and an “insert.”
Thus, just like Zheng-Li Shi, the Proximals [the five editors of The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2, plus their running mates in the virological community] already knew about the existence of the FCS, certainly by the end of the conference call. If not, then they lied later about ‘nothing emerging to change their mind about the possibility of engineering.’ Then, they said nothing for two weeks and let Etienne Decroly & co. break the news. That’s pretty shitty, since the first notions of asymptomatic spread were also arising,
and the implications for many scientific disciplines, diplomatic interactions and public health interventions are profound.
It’s even worse when you consider that 18 months later, they still can’t explain it – the Proximals refuse to respond to the fact that the FCS doesn’t exist within the sarbecovirus sub-genus that SARS-CoV-2 falls under. This is a problem, because members of the sub-genus are too distinct to recombine with the varieties of SARS-like viruses from other branches that do contain the FCS.
In sum, having gone through now 100K pages of FOIA emails and all 600+ articles on my origin-only reference list, I’d be comfortable testifying that:
1) The Proximals were gathered by Farrar & Fauci explicitly to compare emerging arguments with what was known of Baric’s work, the spectrum of experiments conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology [WIV]
2) Whatever specifics they covered that were pulled from the Indian paper & Zero Hedge included elements from Baric’s experiments with SHC014[?]
3) They were nervous about the claims within the Indian paper [even if not tied to HIV per se] even though it had already been pulled – it struck a nerve
4) They were concerned that unrestrained interest would lead back to them directly
5) They were concerned about transgenic mice [header for 1 discussion], the ZH article, the Indian retraction, a backbone, an insert, Baric/Shi’s SHC014 love child, and preventing further inquiries into all of them.
6) They almost certainly also knew about the FCS on 2/1, but Garry might never have made it to the conference call, per the emails, so it’s possible that [if no one saw the virological posting] this news had to wait until 2/3, when the Proximals were summoned again.
7) Based on continuing conversations, the decision to censor might not have been formally made until 2/3.
Public alarm? Lol, that’s not the emotion they’re afraid of.
Why? Because the part that everyone is mostly missing is the far more important aspect of the Baric emails that got lost in their 83K pages. The big news last fall was that Daszak et all conspired to shape the narrative. 3 months later, I found and pointed out that the biggest nugget had been missed. Sadly, It mostly stayed that way even after the Fauci emails, despite my efforts.
The Proximals’ 2/4 collusion efforts were spawned by the 2/3 OSTP meeting, of which the stated purpose was to combat ‘misinformation.’ There were obviously still concerns amongst the 2/4 crowd, but they intentionally suppressed them for the OSTP letter. This wasn’t their own secret plan – Kelvin Droegemeier, the recipient of said letter, was a speaker at the meeting on 2/3, so they weren’t obfuscating for him, or Fauci, or the NASEM presidents in whose name the letter was being written.
That was a quick turnaround – this letter was emailed the morning of 2/3, and the meeting it called for took place that afternoon [I’ve added in pictures of the speakers/participants]:
Note) NIAID Director Dr. Fauci coordinated this meeting with Kelvin Droegemeier, the Presidential Science Advisor, and included WMD/PPP expert Chris Hassell & the National Academies’ policy director Alexander Pope.
The meeting’s purpose:
The outcome: This group slapped the table on what the narrative was going to be – not what the science indicated. They hid their conflicts of interest from the NSTC & the President; most still continue to fight tooth and nail to suppress that information. This esteemed group of virologists expended more effort and publications in advancing their cover-up than leading the charge against the exploding pandemic, until at least the summer of 2020.
The biggest picture-the 2/1 attendees included:
1) The world’s largest public (Fauci) and private (Farrar) grant money distributors, whom organized the call; Farrar is also an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine
2) seemingly no GOF opponents
3) Nearly all of the major scientists with conflicts of interest (COI) related to the WIV who later published zoonosis materials
4) Francis Ross but no other HHS, DHS, Ex. branch officials
5) Ron Fouchier, famous for his Spanish Flu concoction
The 2/3 meeting that decided to censor included:
1) The policy head of the NASEM academies that controlled fellowship conferral & published Science
2) Heads of most of the most prestigious virology labs on the planet
3) The president’s science advisor/OSTP head
4) The HHS science advisor/PPP authority
5) A mandate to control the narrative
Therefore, the signal was sent to all scientists that pursuing the lab origins angle meant career death (no academy membership), no funding (via Fauci or Ross or Farrar), no publication in the big 4 journals during the historic pandemic (NEJM, Science, The Lancet & Nature [by virtue of their publishing of the tone-setting pieces]), no executive patronage for things like generic drugs, etc.
The disparity between peer-reviewed articles and everything else is stark:
If sorted chronologically, the impact from February to May of 2020 is even clearer.
It’s disgusting, and the extension of that censorship to all Americans just ices the cake.
I’ve pondered the contents of the emails that were redacted before release, but I can’t imagine what could possibly be redacted that is worth protecting. The West didn’t make COVID-19, even if they taught the Chinese how to do major aspects of it. But, these people did decide to lie from the start, and then continued to do so after it exploded from 40 deaths to 4 million. It means that they refuse to call a spade a spade even now, and the prospect of China getting off scot-free as a direct result is horrifying. The protection of Fauci is a mid-term election decision only, and that means the goal is to drag this out until the electoral damage can be mitigated. Anything that clarifies this to the public negates being worthy of redaction.
The recent Congressional appearances by Fauci, however, have shown that he is willing to drag this fight out forever in defense of his legacy, and many politicians are sympathetic to his plight. Thus, it’s clear that better questions are needed to build the proper level of awareness amongst the public to the full implications of Fauci’s concerted effort to prevent that same public discourse he claimed to support in 2012. Below are the questions I would lead with, were I appearing at his future hearings.
10 questions for Fauci:
1) Where did the buck stop? In 2014, who served as the final approval authority for Baric’s pending research, which ultimately allowed it to be grandfathered under the impending GOF ban? Why did the experiment not get forwarded to Chris Hassell’s committee for review?
-why did no one notice that the experiment included the use of humanized mice to increase human pathogenicity, which David Relman had asked Ralph Baric about directly in November of 2014, and which Baric denied any current research interest in that area?
-Coincidentally, it was also the research that Zheng-Li Shi was in North Carolina working with Baric on, and then immediately returned to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and continued in 2016?
2) Holding Dr. Fauci to his word – In 2012, Dr. Fauci called for an open, public debate on the GOF issue, saying that scientists should justify their research to the broader public any time the risks of such research carried a non-negligible probability of an accident that could affect them. Why then, in 2017, did the NIH rescind the GOF pause – without first engaging the public or its constitutionally elected president/representatives?
3) Secrecy – What did Peter Daszak tell Erik Stemmy & Alan Embry “off the record” on 1/8/20? When did they pass on the contents of that discussion to Dr. Fauci?
4) Redactions – When did you first learn of the existence of the furin cleavage site within the genome of SARS-CoV-2 -What were the insert/backbone referred to by Marion Koopmans? Was the insert the FCS? Why were emails with the topic heading “humanized mice” redacted?
5) Silence – Why did Victor Dzau and the other two academy presidents of NASEM ultimately remove the forceful pro-zoonotic statements inserted by Daszak et al from the final version of their public letter to the OSTP? What reservations justified that decision, and why did they not speak out when censorship prevented the doubts of others from being published?
6) Selective Inclusion – Why was Robert Kadlec, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response, not included in any correspondence with Jeremy Farrar or your gathered audience of world-renowned virologists? His deputy is the chair of the PPP oversight panel and he is an expert on C-WMD & biological weapons. The existence of any doubt in the possibility of a zoonotic source [doubts which you harbored] should’ve made his inclusion mandatory.
-instead, you shaped the information provided to those outside the scientific community.
7) Why were you and Francis Collins the only US officials involved in the 2/1 conference call?
8) Subversion – Did you, Collins or Droegemeier alert Matt Pottinger, Robert Redfield, President Trump or any member of the National Security Council to the substance of the 2/1 conference call, or the decision-making over the next 3 days that led to an un-announced censorship of non-natural origin hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2? Why not?
9) Diverging Narratives – Jeremy Farrar’s experts decided on natural origins of COVID-19 on 3/17? So, Fauci & the Pres. Sci. Adv. lied to us/Trump in the OSTP letter on 2/7? And in ‘Proximal,’ on 2/16? -written by your future dream team? What was the basis of the 2/4 decision to reject a lab-leak origin and produce “Proximal Origin” – if no additional evidence was added to the 2/16 version prior to its 3/17 online appearance in Nature?
Both Fauci & Farrar explained the general make-up and purpose of a ‘group of experts:’
By this point [2/13] 10 days had passed since the ‘Proximals’ & Fauci had held a second conclave, this time with the OSTP director, that was followed directly by a flurry of peer-reviewed letter, articles and ‘collaboration’ [collusion] to smother the scientific community with pro-zoonotic propaganda.
10) Prove it? Which evidence, specifically, led to the ‘Proximals’ reversal from 2/1 to 2/4? The arguments made in the following weeks were pathetically unsubstantiated. If stronger evidence exists, why wouldn’t it have been shown.
The answer, of course, is that the driving force behind the shift had nothing to do with the quality or quantity of the supporting evidence.
Paved by Good Intentions
The only proper action for Dr. Fauci to take at this point is to resign immediately, and apologizing for prioritizing the suppression of embarrassing & extensive conflicts of interest, double standards and political decisions masked as sound policy. Ideally, such a statement would include a call for the retraction of Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2, the most-read [and potentially most impactful] scientific propaganda published in at least a generation. Each of its 5 authors intentionally framed the COVID origin debate around ‘evidence’ and ‘facts’ that they couldn’t prove, and a finality of their conclusions that the known facts couldn’t justify.
These actions are independent of the ultimate answer to the origin question, because the failures of leadership I’ve described are ethically and morally indefensible, regardless of China’s guilt or innocence in the sparking of the pandemic. Any remaining shreds of credibility left in the public’s perception of scientists must be salvaged by new leaders who are willing to do what needs to be done to clean the Augean Stables.
Sufficient evidence already exists for Congress to do the right thing moving forward. Given the enormity of the failures, and of the efforts to hide, censor and destroy the credibility of anyone who spoke out against lockdowns, vaccines, masks, generic drugs, mRNA efficacy vs. risks, and the curtailment of numerous constitutional/human rights in the last 18 months, it will take historic leadership to honestly converse with a righteously indignant citizenry [in the US and everywhere else]. We must accept that our current representatives have proven manifestly unqualified to assume such leadership – in the last 6 months, censorship has been expanding, not receding.
The COVID-19 pandemic has manifestly proven that there is no lie so ‘noble’ that it overrides the rights and wisdom of a free and informed public. That doesn’t mean that the public will inherently do better.
It’s just acknowledging the inescapable conclusion – that we can’t possibly do worse.
C. H. Rixey
Epilogue: Alan Moore’s prophetic vision, from a generation ago