The Wall Street Journal dropped bombshell news Sunday that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) joined the FBI in saying the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic was most likely leaked from a Wuhan lab, rather than transmitted from animals to humans in nature.
The DOE is reportedly leaning toward the lab leak theory because of “fresh intelligence and analysis,” which remain classified. Still, the DOE’s conclusion has enhanced the credibility of the lab leak theory because “the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research,” according to the WSJ.
Yet since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lab leak theory was dismissed as a right-wing “conspiracy theory” for almost 18 months by Big Tech and left-leaning media, thanks to two people who worked hard to shape the narrative and silence the debate early on: EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
EcoHealth Alliance is a New York-based organization that “conducts research and outreach programs on global health, conservation, and international development.” Between 2014 and early 2020, EcoHealth channeled more than half a million dollars’ worth of U.S. government grants, including those from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with Anthony Fauci’s approval, to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to conduct gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses such as Covid-19. WIV was on track to receive even more funding had the pandemic not occurred in 2020.
Since the WIV is within walking distance of Huanan Seafood Market — where early known Covid-19 cases were reported — many people were naturally suspicious that a leak from the WIV caused the outbreak in December 2019.
Given the close financial ties between EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it’s no wonder that Daszak has been the most vocal defender of the WIV since the beginning of the pandemic, making the corporate media rounds, and dismissing any question of the institute’s role in the pandemic as a politically-motivated conspiracy — essentially repeating the talking points the Chinese government has used to deflect inquiry into the possible role the WIV and Beijing might have played.
Daszak orchestrated a now-infamous open letter, signed by 27 scientists (including himself) and published by the prestigious science journal The Lancet in February 2020, stating, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.” The signatories declared they had no “competing interests.” Later we learned that Daszak intentionally withheld his conflict of interest from The Lancet, fellow scientists, all media that interviewed him, and the general public.
Facebook pointed to the Lancet letter as one of the justifications to silence any discussions on the lab leak theory from its site. The letter also provided ammunition for regime media, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, to denounce Republican Sen. Tom Cotton for spreading a “conspiracy theory that was already debunked” when he publicly discussed the possibility of a lab leak in February 2020.
Daszak became the only American on the World Health Organization (WHO) mission to China in February 2021 to investigate the origins of Covid-19. Not surprisingly, the WHO team delivered the Chinese Communist Party a propaganda victory by dismissing the likelihood that the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab and endorsing the CCP’s conspiracy theory that the coronavirus originated outside of China and came into the country through frozen food products.
Still, Fauci did more to shut down the debate about the lab leak theory than anyone else because of the powerful positions he held — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) from 1984 to 2022, the de facto spokesman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under President Trump, and medical adviser to President Biden until he retired in 2022.
Fauci dismissed the lab leak theory in April 2020 when asked about it during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. He repeated his dismissal in May during an interview with National Geographic, claiming, “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.” It was the same argument Daszak made in his open letter published by The Lancet.
Despite Fauci’s many inconsistencies in policy recommendations about Covid-19, he has been lionized by the left as the embodiment of science, the voice of reason, and the authority of the pandemic. Therefore, Fauci’s dismissal of the lab leak theory shut down the debate for more than a year, as U.S. social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook and left-leaning corporate media censored discussion of the theory and branded anyone who attempted to discuss it publicly as either a “conspiracist” spreading “misinformation,” or an anti-Asian racist. Additionally, Big Tech companies and corporate media did their legwork to help broadcast Fauci’s message that the coronavirus originated from animal transmissions to humans in nature.
Like Daszak, Fauci intentionally withheld information from the media and the American public. He didn’t disclose his close ties with EcoHealth – he approved the grants that EcoHealth funneled to the Wuhan lab, and he had been in contact with Daszak since the early days of the pandemic. Fauci didn’t come clean about his knowledge of the Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function experiment until he was questioned by the U.S. Congress later. Most importantly, Fauci didn’t tell the truth when he claimed overwhelming scientific evidence rejecting the lab leak theory. There was already plenty of evidence pointing the other way.
For instance, as early as Jan. 31, 2020, an American scientist warned Fauci that the Covid-19 virus was “potentially engineered” in a lab. Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute, also argued that Covid-19 could be man-made because it “contains an uncommon genetic sequence that has been used by genetic engineers in the past to insert genes into coronaviruses without leaving a trace.”
A group of two dozen dedicated amateurs who called themselves “DRASTIC” spent more than a year piecing together evidence from publicly available information and open-source material and made a strong case for the lab leak theory. The embarrassed media and Big Tech companies finally dropped their censorship of the lab leak theory in the summer of 2021. Fauci changed his tune and admitted that, as Newsweek put it, he “was not entirely convinced that the virus originated naturally.” But the golden time for investigating the origin of Covid-19, which should have taken place in early 2020, had already passed.
Peter Daszak faced only meager backlash. In June 2021, he was fired from a United Nations commission to look into the origin of the pandemic. A few months later, Lancet repudiated Daszak and the infamous open letter he authored in 2020. Still, Daszak kept his job as the president of EcoHealth and a presumably cushy salary. He has yet to testify at any congressional hearing about his role in financing the Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function research and shutting down debates on the lab leak theory.
Fauci retired honorably in 2022 after being the highest-paid federal employee for years. Before his retirement, Fauci gave his pal Daszak a parting gift – the NIH awarded EcoHealth Alliance a $653,392 grant to analyze “the potential for future bat coronavirus emergence in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.” Neither Fauci nor Daszak has learned anything from the pandemic.
According to the WHO, Covid-19 has infected roughly 760 million people and killed nearly 7 million people globally. Government responses to the pandemic worldwide affected billions of people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. Congress has a moral obligation to investigate the origin of Covid-19 and hold those who intentionally misguided us accountable.