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Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus

 
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:18 am    Post subject: Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus Reply with quote

Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus

Colonel of the GRU: what is hidden behind the coronavirus pandemic?
GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov
SWITCH ON AUTO SUBTITLES INTO ENGLISH
Полковник ГРУ: что скрывают за пандемией коронавируса? /Владимир Квачков
Студия Рубеж

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZJC9JM2u70
1. Evil bioweapon
2. Civil Rights grab from populations
3. Destruction of small medium business by monopolists
4. War on China

Go into YouTube settings - select auto-subtitles in English

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Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SHOCK CLAIM: United States 'is plotting surprise NUCLEAR ATTACK on China AND Russia'
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/761450/united-states-russia-china -nuclear-war-congress-report

THE United States could be planning a surprise nuclear attack on China and Russia, a former US Army major has warned.
By Katie Mansfield
PUBLISHED: 06:18, Wed, Feb 1, 2017 | UPDATED: 09:29, Wed, Feb 1, 2017

US Congress has ordered a study into the “political and military leadership survivability” of China and Russia during wartime.

The report could be interpreted as a signal the US is preparing for a preemptive strike on the two nations, according to military analysts.

US intelligence agencies and Strategic Command, which is in charge of US nuclear forces, will carry out the study, a report says.

The US could be planning an attack on Russia and China, a former US Army major has claimedGETTY
The US could be planning an attack on Russia and China, a former US Army major has claimed
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That’s the reason for this study: to ensure we wipe out their command and control with a first strike

Retired US Army major Todd Pierce

Retired US Army major Todd Pierce told Russian state media Sputnik: “No other nation-state has any intent of attacking us except if they should survive our initial ‘preemptive attack’, they can be expected to retaliate the best they are able.

“That’s the reason for this study: to ensure we wipe out their command and control with a first strike.”

According to a conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act 2017 (NDAA), Congress has ordered a “report on Russian and Chinese political and military leadership survivability, command and control, and continuity of government programs and activities”.

The report called for the Director of National Intelligence to submit the study to congressional committees by January 15, five days before Donald Trump took office.

The NDAA said the report should identify where senior political and military leaders in China and Russia are “expected to operate during crisis and wartime” as well.

It should also assess the location of “above-ground and underground facilities important to the political and military leadership survivability, command and control, and continuity of government programs and activities”.

The report could be interpreted as a signal the US is preparing for a preemptive strikeGETTY STOCK IMAGE
The report could be interpreted as a signal the US is preparing for a preemptive strike

Donald Trump spoke on the phone to Vladimir Putin on SaturdayEPA
Donald Trump spoke on the phone to Vladimir Putin on Saturday

Mr Pierce said the report could be explained by the US wanting to explore the possibility of wiping out Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in a sudden attack.

He insisted the study is not a defensive move but “typical American double talk when we are in the process of planning offensive military operations”.

Former CIA officer Phil Giraldi echoed Mr Pierce’s view that the study is part of a comprehensive assessment routinely made by military intelligence agencies.
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A photographer has captured what he says is an F-16 jet practicing dogfights with a mysterious Russian fighter plane – before returning to Area 51.
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The underside of the Russian Su-27P Flanker-B aircraft
The Russian Su-27P jets past the moon
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Sukhoi Su-27SKM Flanker, similar to Su-27P Flanker-B photographed at Groom Lake
The underside of the Russian Su-27P Flanker-B aircraft
Russian Su-27 Flanker turns towards the camera

Mr Giraldi said: “I think it's routine contingency planning as I see no evidence that it was initiated personally by any of the identifiable hawks.”

He added the US Department of Defense has prepared plans for all contingencies including the most improbable.

Mr Giraldi said: “I'm sure the Pentagon has even worked up a plan and assessment regarding what would happen if we were to invade Canada. Didn't work out too well in 1812.”
Inside China's Military Superpower
Sat, November 11, 2017
An inside view of the Chinese military over 120 years.
Play slideshow
Armed police soldiers lift timbers during a drill on August 24, 2016 in Chongqing, China. As the highest temperatures reached over 40 degree Celsius at 5 districts in Chongqing, officers and soldiers of an armed police crop took outdoor training
VCG via Getty Images
1 of 23

Armed police soldiers lift timbers during a drill on August 24, 2016 in Chongqing, China. As the highest temperatures reached over 40 degree Celsius at 5 districts in Chongqing, officers and soldiers of an armed police crop took outdoor training

Armed police soldiers lift timbers during a drill on August 24, 2016 in Chongqing, China. As the highest temperatures reached over 40 degree Celsius at 5 districts in Chongqing, officers and soldiers of an armed police crop took outdoor training
Armed police officers and soldiers of a frontier inspection station drill in the snow on December 21, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China
Armed police officers and soldiers of a frontier inspection station drill in the snow on December 21, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China
Armed police officers and soldiers of a frontier inspection station drill in the snow on December 21, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China
Armed police officers and soldiers of a frontier inspection station raise tires during a drill in the snow on December 21, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China
Armed police officers and soldiers of a frontier inspection station drill in the snow on December 21, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China
Armed police officers and soldiers of a frontier inspection station drill in the snow on December 21, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China

It comes as the Kremlin said a phone call between Mr Trump and Mr Putin on Saturday went well signalling US-Russia relations could thaw under the new US president.

But Washington has seen tensions with Beijing escalate over disputed islands in the South China Sea.

China said it has "irrefutable" sovereignty over the islands as the White House vowed to defend "international territories" in the strategic waterway.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:49 am    Post subject: Re: Russian Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov on Coronavirus and 911 Reply with quote

Russian Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov on U.S./NATO 2020 Coronavirus and 2001 911 Operations Rough translation:
1. Release of an Evil Bioweapon to Kill Tens of Thousands of Innocent People;
2. Civil Rights Grabbed from Populations;
3. Trillion Pound/Dollar Bailouts from Governments to Organised Financial Criminals, Along With Destruction of Small Medium Business by Big Business Monopolists;
4. Attempting to Ignite WWIII Between NATO and China - for auto-translate English subtitles go into settings on the video and select language

Whitehall_Bin_Men wrote:
Colonel of the GRU: what is hidden behind the coronavirus pandemic?
GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov
SWITCH ON AUTO SUBTITLES INTO ENGLISH
Полковник ГРУ: что скрывают за пандемией коронавируса? /Владимир Квачков
Студия Рубеж

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZJC9JM2u70
1. Evil bioweapon
2. Civil Rights grab from populations
3. Destruction of small medium business by monopolists
4. War on China

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Russian Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov on Coronavirus and 911 Reply with quote

Real name is apparently Col Vladimir Vasilievich
A much better translation
RUSSIAN INTEL OFFICER: Depopulation agenda is real

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2vqjBtnltI

TonyGosling wrote:
Russian Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov on U.S./NATO 2020 Coronavirus and 2001 911 Operations Rough translation:
1. Release of an Evil Bioweapon to Kill Tens of Thousands of Innocent People;
2. Civil Rights Grabbed from Populations;
3. Trillion Pound/Dollar Bailouts from Governments to Organised Financial Criminals, Along With Destruction of Small Medium Business by Big Business Monopolists;
4. Attempting to Ignite WWIII Between NATO and China - for auto-translate English subtitles go into settings on the video and select language

Whitehall_Bin_Men wrote:
Colonel of the GRU: what is hidden behind the coronavirus pandemic?
GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov
SWITCH ON AUTO SUBTITLES INTO ENGLISH
Полковник ГРУ: что скрывают за пандемией коронавируса? /Владимир Квачков
Студия Рубеж

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZJC9JM2u70
1. Evil bioweapon
2. Civil Rights grab from populations
3. Destruction of small medium business by monopolists
4. War on China

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:42 am    Post subject: Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus Reply with quote

Ambassador says coronavirus imported to China, points to genetic sequence as proof
On Wednesday, Fox News reported, citing its sources, that the virus had allegedly spread from a Wuhan laboratory
https://tass.com/world/1146127

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. A gene sequence in the novel coronavirus indicates that the virus was imported to China’s Wuhan, instead of emerging there, China’s Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui told TASS Friday.

"Five reputable scientific organizations, including the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden and the Central Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have collected data on 93 genome specimens of COVID-19, published in a global database covering 12 countries on four continents," the diplomat specified. "The research revealed that the earliest ‘ancestor’ of the virus is mv1, which evolved into haplotypes H13 and H38, and they, in turn, led to emergence of the second-generation haplotype — H3, which evolved into H1."

For clarity, the ambassador used family ties to trace the virus’s development. Thus, the mv1 haplotype is "the grand-grandfather," while H13 and H38 are "the grandma and grandpa," H3 — is "the father" and H1 is "the child."

"The virus that was discovered at Wuhan’s seafood market was of the H1 variety," he continued. "Only the H3 haplotype was discovered in Wuhan earlier, but it had nothing to do with the seafood market."

The previous gene sequences, H13 and H38, were never discovered in Wuhan.

"This suggests that the H1 specimen was brought to the seafood market by some infected person, which sparked the epidemic. The gene sequence cannot lie," Zhang Hanhui asserted.

The ambassador castigated attempts to pin the blame for the pandemic on China as libel, and reiterated that the country had to undertake huge efforts and suffer a lot of casualties in order to beat the disease.

"In doing so, China bought time for other nations — two entire months — in order to allow them to take prevention and control measures," he concluded.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump doubted that China had divulged all information about the virus’s emergence and spread. On Wednesday, Fox News reported, citing its sources, that the virus had allegedly spread from a Wuhan laboratory. Trump promised to look into this version.

Coronavirus source

The initial source of COVID-19’s spread has not been identified yet, but it could be a number of regions, Zhang Hanhui stated.

"Numerous facts indicate that the source of COVID-19 has not been identified yet and point towards various regions. The virus is the common enemy of all of mankind, and the search for ‘patient zero’ is aimed not to nail them to a ‘pillar of shame’ but to better understand this virus, discover its evolutionary path and then defeat it completely," the diplomat explained. "By relying on contemporary science and technologies, we can trace the source of the virus and be sure that, sooner or later, the day will come when everything that’s been concealed will be revealed."

According to the envoy, although the novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, there are no facts determining that the source had originated from there.

He provided an example of a married couple from Japan, who contracted the disease in Hawaii between January 28 and February 7, "without visiting China or contacting any Chinese." Notably, the husband had symptoms by February 3.

Zhang Hanhui pointed to media reports that speculate that the virus had appeared in Italy’s Lombardy as early as January 1.

"Besides, according to some media, a renowned Italian medical specialist Giuseppe Remuzzi opined that the epidemic in Italy had begun spreading before it started in China," he pointed out.

The diplomat also recalled a comment made by Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who speculated that the large number of flu deaths in the US could have in fact been caused by COVID-19, but the US did not test for it at that time.

"Italy hoped to trace the first infection case by conducting an exhumation, but the US vehemently disagreed," the Chinese envoy emphasized.

US allegations

Beijing furnished the United States with coronavirus data on time, Zhang Hanhui told TASS Friday, commenting on Washington’s allegations that Beijing withheld information about the epidemic.

The diplomat recalled that in late December 2019, the Wuhan Center for Disease Prevention and Control (China CDC) discovered the previously unknown pneumonia cases. According to the ambassador, starting January 3, 2020, China "promptly and timely provided the World Health Organization (WHO), the US and nations’ relevant agencies with information on the epidemic."

"On January 4, the head of the Chinese CDC contacted the US CDC Director and briefed him on the epidemiologic situation," the envoy said. "On January 8 and 19, the Chinese and American Centers again directly held contacts on the coronavirus issue."

The diplomat added that China shared the virus’s entire genome sequence with the WHO and the nations of the world, while the National Health Commission published daily bulletins on the epidemic on its official websites and other media platforms.

Zhang Hanhui underscored that the WHO Director-General Thedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked Beijing for its openness and cooperation.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the fight against the coronavirus in the US was complicated by China’s failure to provide Washington with comprehensive information about the disease.

China's international help
READ ALSO
China provides Russia with over 20 tonnes of supplies for combating coronavirus
Up to now, China has assisted 120 nations and four international organizations in battling the coronavirus by shipping medical masks, protective attire and ventilators, Zhang Hanhui told TASS.

According to the ambassador, the People’s Republic has done everything to restore production as soon as the initial coronavirus outbreak was contained, and currently is manufacturing more than a half of world’s stockpile of medical equipment.

"[China] has provided 120 countries and four international organizations with general use medical masks, N95 respirators, protective wear, nucleic acid detection chemicals and ventilators," the envoy said. "Besides, [Beijing] also contributed $20 million to the World Health Organization to support international cooperation in battling COVID-19. Ignoring China’s contribution and sacrifices goes against moral norms and conscience."

The envoy also noted that no one is safe in the face of the pandemic, and therefore all nations "must unite, instead of pinning the blame on one another."

"Racism and a Cold War mindset are not only useless in the fight against the ongoing epidemic, but can even drag our world into the abyss," he underscored. "[The pandemic] knows no borders. Nations of the world are a community bound by a single destiny."

What is needed most of all is an effective joint prevention strategy to fight the coronavirus, Zhang Hanhui believes.

"We must also work together to iron out economic relations, unblock trade channels, overcome possible financial crises, and prevent a global economic downturn," the envoy emphasized. "Only through the unity and joint efforts of all of humanity will we achieve a comprehensive victory in the global fight against the pandemic."

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 147,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 553,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
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www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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Last edited by TonyGosling on Tue May 19, 2020 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Facts about Covid-19
https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

Fully referenced facts about Covid-19, provided by experts in the field, to help our readers make a realistic risk assessment. (Regular updates below)

“The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)

Overview
According to data from the best-studied countries and regions, the lethality of Covid19 is between 0.1% and 0.37%, which is in the range of a severe influenza (flu) and up to thirty times lower than originally assumed by the WHO (see e.g. DE, DK, IS, US1, US2, CN, FR).
Even in the global “hotspots”, the risk of death for the general population of school and working age is typically in the range of a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account.
Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. Over 95% of all persons show mild symptoms at most.
Up to one third of all persons already have a certain background immunity to Covid19 due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. common cold viruses).
The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.
In most countries, 50 to 70% of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid19 or from extreme stress, fear and loneliness.
Up to 50% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.
Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old.
The normal overall mortality per day is about 8000 people in the US, about 2600 in Germany and about 1800 in Italy. Influenza mortality per season is up to 80,000 in the US and up to 25,000 in Germany and Italy. In several countries Covid19 deaths remained below strong flu seasons.
Regional increases in mortality may be influenced by additional risk factors such as high levels of air pollution and microbial contamination, as well as a collapse in the care for the elderly and sick due to infections, mass panic and lockdown. Special regulations for dealing with the deceased sometimes led to additional bottlenecks in funeral or cremation services.
In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. In addition, up to 15% of doctors and health workers were put into quarantine, even if they developed no symptoms.
The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positive rate) remained constant at 5% to 25% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown.
Countries without curfews and contact bans, such as Japan, South Korea or Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries.
The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.
Contrary to original assumptions, various studies have shown that there is no evidence of the virus spreading through aerosols (i.e. particles floating in the air) or through smear infections (e.g. on door handles, smartphones or at the hairdresser).
There is also no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in healthy or asymptomatic individuals. On the contrary, experts warn that such masks interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers”. Leading doctors called them a “media hype” and “ridiculous”.
Many clinics in Europe and the US remained strongly underutilized or almost empty during the Covid19 peak and in some cases had to send staff home. Numerous operations and therapies were cancelled, including some organ transplants and cancer screenings.
Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population.
The virus test kits used internationally are prone to errors and can produce false positive and false negative results. Moreover, the official virus test was not clinically validated due to time pressure and may sometimes react to other coronaviruses.
Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunisation of the general population and protection of risk groups. The risks for children are virtually zero and closing schools was never medically warranted.
Several medical experts described vaccines against coronaviruses as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions.
The number of people suffering from unemployment, psychological problems and domestic violence as a result of the measures has skyrocketed worldwide. Several experts believe that the measures may claim more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN millions of people around the world may fall into absolute poverty and famine.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” will be used for the massive and permanent expansion of global surveillance. The renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt spoke of a “global media terror” and “totalitarian measures“. Leading British virologist professor John Oxford spoke of a “media epidemic”.
More than 500 scientists have warned against an “unprecedented surveillance of society” through problematic apps for “contact tracing”. In some countries, such “contact tracing” is already carried out directly by the secret service. In several parts of the world, the population is already being monitored by drones or facing serious police overreach.
See also:

Open Letter by Professor Sucharit Bhakdi
European Mortality Monitoring (EuroMomo)
On Corona, the Media, and Propaganda
Below you will find regular, but not daily, updates on medical and political developments.

April 25, 2020
Medical updates
Professor Detlef Krüger, the direct predecessor of the well-known German virologist Christian Drosten at the Charité Clinic in Berlin, explains in a recent interview that Covid19 is „in many respects comparable to the flu“ and „no more dangerous than certain variants of the flu virus“. Professor Krüger considers the „mouth and nose protection discovered by politicians“ to be „actionism“ and a potential „germ-slinger“. At the same time he warns of „massive collateral damage“ caused by the measures taken.
The former Swedish and European chief epidemiologist Professor Johan Giesecke gave the Austrian magazine Addendum a candid interview. Professor Giesecke says that 75 to 90% of the epidemic is „invisible“ because that many people develop no or hardly any symptoms. A lockdown would therefore be „pointless“ and harm society. The basis of the Swedish strategy was that „people are not stupid“. Giesecke expects a death rate between 0.1 and 0.2%, similar to that of influenza. Italy and New York had been very poorly prepared for the virus and had not protected their risk groups, Professor Giesecke argues.
The latest figures from Italy show (pp. 12/13) that 60 of almost 17,000 doctors and nurses who tested positive died. This results in a Covid19 lethality rate of less than 0.1% for those under 50, 0.27% for those aged 50 to 60, 1.4% for those aged 60 to 70, and 12.6% for those aged 70 to 80. Even these figures are likely too high, as these are deaths with and not necessarily from corona viruses, and as up to 80% of people remain asymptomatic and some may not have been tested. Overall, however, the values are in line with those from e.g. South Korea and give a lethality rate for the general population in the range of influenza.
The head of the Italian Civil Defence declared in mid-April that more than 1800 people died in nursing homes in Lombardy, and that in many cases the cause of death was not yet clear. It was already known beforehand that the care of the elderly and nursing homes and, as a result, the entire health care system in parts of Lombardy had collapsed, in part due to fear of the virus and the lockdown.
The latest figures from Belgium show that there too, just over 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. In 6% of these deaths Covid19 was „confirmed“, in 94% of the deaths it was „suspected“. About 70% of the test-positive persons (employees and residents) showed no symptoms.
The British Guardian cites new studies according to which air pollution could be a „key factor“ in Covid19 deaths. For example, 80% of deaths in four countries were in the most polluted regions (including Lombardy and Madrid).
The Californian physician Dr. Dan Erickson described his observations regarding Covid19 in a much-noticed press briefing. Hospitals and intensive care units in California and other states have remained largely empty so far. Dr. Erickson reports that doctors from several US states have been „pressured“ to issue death certificates mentioning Covid19, even though they themselves did not agree. Dr. Erickson recommends quarantining only the sick and not the healthy or the whole society, as this could have negative effects on health and psyche. A significant increase in „secondary effects“ such as alcoholism, depression, suicide and abuse of children and spouses has already been observed. Based on figures from various countries, Dr. Erickson estimates the lethality of Covid-19 to be about 0.1% or similar to influenza. According to Dr Erickson, a face mask only makes sense in acute situations such as in hospital, but not in everyday life. (Note: Youtube deleted the press briefing after it had 5 million views.)
The German newspaper DIE ZEIT focuses on the high vacancy rates in German hospitals, which in some departments are as high as 70%. Even cancer examinations and organ transplants that were not acutely necessary for survival had been cancelled to make room for Covid19 patients, but these have so far been largely absent.
A new analysis from the UK concludes that there are currently about 2000 people per week dying at home without Covid19 because they cannot or do not want to use the health care system. These are mainly emergency patients with heart attacks and strokes as well as chronically ill people.
Researchers in Austria concluded that more people died there in March from untreated heart attacks than from Covid19.
In Germany, a mask requirement was introduced in public transport and in retail outlets. The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Montgomery, has criticized this as „wrong“ and the intended use of scarves and drapes as „ridiculous“. In fact, studies show that the use of masks in everyday life does not bring measurable benefits to healthy and asymptomatic people, which is why the Swiss infectiologist Dr. Vernazza spoke of a „media hype“. Other critics speak of a symbol of „forced, publicly visible obedience“.
In 2019, a WHO study found „little to no scientific evidence“ for the effectiveness of measures such as „social distancing“, travel restrictions and lockdowns. (Original study)
A German laboratory stated in early April that according to WHO recommendations, Covid19 virus tests are now considered positive even if the specific target sequence of the Covid19 virus is negative and only the more general corona virus target sequence is positive. However, this can lead to other corona viruses (cold viruses) also trigger a false positive test result. The laboratory also explained that Covid19 antibodies are often only detectable two to three weeks after the onset of symptoms. This must be taken into account so that the actual number of people already immune to Covid19 is not underestimated.
In both Switzerland and Germany, some politicians have called for „compulsory vaccination against corona“. However, the vaccination against the so-called „swine flu“ of 2009/2010, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage, especially in children, and to claims for damages in the millions.
Professor Christopher Kuhbandner: About the lack of scientific justification for the corona measures: „The reported figures on new infections very dramatically overestimate the true spread of the corona virus. The observed rapid increase in new infections is almost exclusively due to the fact that the number of tests has increased rapidly over time (see figure below). So, at least according to the reported figures, there was in reality never an exponential spread of the coronavirus. The reported figures on new infections hide the fact that the number of new infections has been decreasing since about early or mid-March.“

Green: Real increase of infected people; red: increase due to more tests.
Sweden: The media versus reality
Some readers were surprised by the decrease in deaths in Sweden, as most media show a steeply rising curve. What is the reason for this? Most media show cumulative figures by date of reporting, while the Swedish authorities publish the much more meaningful daily figures by date of death.

The Swedish authorities always stress that not all newly reported cases have died within the last 24 hours, but many media ignore this (see graph below). Although the latest Swedish figures may still increase somewhat, as in all countries, this does not change the generally declining trend.

In addition, these figures represent deaths with and not necessarily from coronavirus. The average age of death in Sweden is also over 80 years, about 50% of deaths occurred in vulnerable nursing homes, while the effect on the general population has remained minimal, even though Sweden has one of the lowest intensive care capacities in Europe.

However, the Swedish government has also been given new emergency powers due to „corona“ and could still participate in later contact tracing programmes.


Cumulative deaths by date of reporting vs. daily deaths by date of death. (OWD / FOHM)
The situation in Great Britain
Deaths in the UK have risen sharply in recent weeks, but are still in the range of the strongest flu seasons of the last fifty years (see chart below). In the UK, too, up to 50% of additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown.

Moreover, up to 50% of the additional deaths are said to be non-Covid19 deaths and up to 25% of the additional deaths occur at home. It is therefore not at all clear whether the general lockdown is beneficial or in fact detrimental to society at large.

The editor of the British Spectator has claimed that government agencies expect the lockdown to result in up to 150,000 additional deaths in the longer term, significantly more than what Covid19 is expected to cause. Most recently, the case of a 17-year-old student and singer who took her own life because of the lockdown became known.

It is striking that England, in contrast to most other countries (including Sweden), has a significantly elevated mortality rate even among 15 to 64-year-olds. This could be due to the frequent cardiovascular preconditions, or it might be caused by the effects of the lockdown.

The InProportion project has published numerous new graphs that put current UK mortality in relation to previous flu outbreaks and other causes of death. Other websites that critically review the British situation and measures are Lockdown Skeptics and UK Column.


UK: Weekly all-cause mortality (InProportion)
Switzerland: Excess mortality well below strong flu waves
A first serological study by the University of Geneva concluded that at least six times more people in the canton of Geneva had contact with Covid19 than previously thought. This means that the lethality of Covid19 in Switzerland also falls well below one percent, while official sources still speak of up to 5%.
Even in the most severely affected canton of Ticino, almost half of the additional deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from the general lockdown.
In Switzerland, 1.85 million people or over a third of all employees have already been registered for short-time work. The economic costs are estimated at 32 billion for the period from March to June.
Infosperber: Corona: The parroting of the media. „Major media outlets are hiding the fact that they rely on opaque data for Covid-19 numbers.“
Ktipp: Swiss authorities: Almost all numbers ‚without guarantee‘. „This year fewer under-65s died in the first 14 weeks than in the last five years. Among the over-65s, the number was also relatively low.“
The following graph shows that overall mortality in Switzerland in the first quarter of 2020 was in the normal range and that by mid-April it was still around 2000 people below the flu wave of 2015. 50% of deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from a lockdown.

Overall, around 75% of the additional deaths occurred at home, while hospitals and intensive care units remain heavily underutilized and numerous operations have been cancelled. In Switzerland, too, the very serious question thus arises as to whether the „lockdown“ may have cost more lives than it saved.


Cumulated deaths compared to expected value, 2010 to 2020 (BFS)
Political updates
Video: In the Australian state of Queensland, a police helicopter with night-vision equipment tracked down three young men who were drinking a beer on the roof of a house at night, thus violating „Corona regulations“. The men were informed via a megaphone that the building is „surrounded by police“ and that they must proceed to the exit. The men were fined about $1000 each.
In Israel, the domestic and anti-terrorism intelligence agency Shin Bet, in cooperation with the police, has been tasked to monitor the population’s mobile phones since mid-March in order to track contacts and order house arrest in the context of Covid19. These measures were initially ordered without the consent of Parliament and are due to remain in place until at least the end of April.
OffGuardian: The Seven Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism
UK Column: Who controls the British Government response to Covid-19?
The corona-critical Swiss doctor, who was arrested by a special unit of the Swiss police and sent to a psychiatric clinic (see update of April 15), has meanwhile been released. A report by the magazine Weltwoche revealed that the doctor was arrested on false grounds: there had been no threat to relatives or authorities and there had been no possession of a loaded weapon. Thus, a politically motivated operation seems likely.
A Munich local radio station, which interviewed doctors critical of corona in March, was informed by the responsible media supervisory authority after complaints that „such problematic broadcasts must be stopped in the future“.
The website kollateral.news of a German specialist lawyer is collecting reports on „suffering due to the lockdown“ and on the actual situation in German hospitals.
German general practitioners have published an appeal to politics and science in which they call for „a more responsible handling of the corona crisis“.
Both in Austria and in Hungary, doctors who have criticised the corona measures are threatened with a ban from their profession.
In Nigeria, according to official figures, more people have so far been killed by the police enforcing corona curfews than by the corona virus itself.
April 21, 2020
Medical updates
Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis explains in a new one-hour interview the results of several new studies on Covid19. According to Professor Ioannidis, the lethality of Covid19 is „in the range of seasonal flu“. For people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk even in the global „hotspots“ is comparable to the daily car ride to work, while for healthy people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk is „completely negligible“. Only in New York City was the mortality risk for persons under 65 years of age comparable to a long-distance truck driver.
Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, warns in a new article that the damage caused by the lockdown could be greater than that caused by the virus. The peak of the epidemic had already been reached in most countries before the lockdown, Professor Heneghan argues.
A new serological study in Los Angeles County found that 28 to 55 times more people had Covid19 than previously assumed (without showing significant symptoms), which reduces the danger of the disease accordingly.
In the city of Chelsea near Boston, about one third of 200 blood donors had antibodies against the Covid19 pathogen. Half of them reported having experienced a cold symptom in the last month. In a homeless shelter near Boston, just over a third of the people tested positive, but nobody showed any symptoms.
Scotland reports that half of the (stocked up) intensive care beds have remained empty. According to officials, the admission of new patients is „levelling off“.
The emergency room in Bergamo’s municipal hospital was completely empty at the beginning of this week for the first time in 45 days. In the meantime, more people with other diseases than „Covid19 patients“ are being treated again.
A report in the medical magazine Lancet comes to the conclusion that school closures to contain corona viruses have no or only a minimal effect.
A nine-year-old French child with corona infection had contact with 172 people, but none of them were infected. This confirms earlier results that corona infection (unlike influenza) is not or hardly ever transmitted by children.
The German emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi gave a new one-hour interview on Covid-19. Professor Bhakdi argues that most media have acted „completely irresponsibly“ during the Covid-19 epidemic.
The German Initiative for Care Ethics criticises blanket bans on visits and painful intensive care treatment of nursing patients: „Even before Corona, around 900 old people in need of care died every day in German homes without being taken to hospital. In fact, palliative treatment, if at all, would be more appropriate for these patients. () According to all we know about Corona so far, there is not a single plausible reason to continue to value infection protection higher than the basic rights of citizens. Lift the inhuman visiting bans!“
The oldest woman in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen died last week at the age of 109. She survived the „Spanish flu“ of 1918, was not corona-infected and „for her age she was doing very well“. The „corona isolation“, however, had „very much affected her“: „She faded without the daily visits of her family members.“
The Swiss cardiologist Dr. Nils Kucher reports that in Switzerland currently about 75% of all additional deaths occur not in hospital but at home. This certainly explains the largely empty Swiss hospitals and intensive care units. It is also already known that about 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes. Dr. Kucher suspects that some of these people die of sudden pulmonary embolism. This is conceivable. Nevertheless, the question arises as to what role the „lockdown“ plays in these additional deaths.
The Italian health authority ISS warns that Covid19 patients from the Mediterranean region, who often have a genetic metabolic peculiarity called favism, should not be treated with antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine, as this can lead to death. This is a further indication that the wrong or overly aggressive medication can make the disease even worse.
Rubicon: 120 expert opinions on Corona. Worldwide, high-ranking scientists, doctors, lawyers and other experts criticize the handling of the corona virus. (German)
Classification of the pandemic
In 2007, the US health authorities defined a five-tier classification for pandemic influenza and counter-measures. The five categories are based on the observed lethality (CFR) of the pandemic, from category 1 (<0.1%) to category 5 (>2%). According to this key, the current corona pandemic would probably be classified in category 2 (0.1% to 0.5%). For this category, only the „voluntary isolation of sick persons“ was envisaged as the main measure at the time.

In 2009, however, the WHO deleted severity from its pandemic definition. Since then, in principle, every global wave of influenza can be declared a pandemic, as happened with the very mild „swine flu“ of 2009/2010, for which vaccines worth around 18 billion dollars were sold.

The documentary TrustWHO („Trust who?“), which deals with the dubious role of the WHO in the context of „swine flu“, was recently deleted by VIMEO.

Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza: Simple measures are sufficient
In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the „lockdown“ was even introduced:

„These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened“.


Reproduction rate in Switzerland (ETH/Vernazza)
Switzerland: Cumulative total mortality in the normal range
In Switzerland, cumulative total mortality in the first quarter (until April 5) was at the mean expected value and more than 1500 deaths below the upper expected value. Moreover, by the middle of April the total mortality rate was still more than 2000 deaths below the comparative value from the severe flu season of 2015 (see figure below).


Cumulative mortality compared to medium expected value 2010 to 2020 (BFS)
Sweden: Epidemic ending even without lockdown
The latest figures on patients and deaths show that the epidemic is coming to an end in Sweden. In Sweden, as in most other countries, excess mortality occurred mainly in nursing homes that were not protected well enough, the chief epidemiologist explained.

Compared to other countries, the Swedish population may now benefit from higher immunity to the Covid19 virus, which could better protect them from a possible „second wave“ next winter.

It can be assumed that by the end of 2020, Covid19 will not be visible in the Swedish overall mortality. The Swedish example shows that „lockdowns“ were medically unnecessary or even counterproductive as well as socially and economically devastating.

Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Professor Johan Giesecke


Test-positive deaths in Sweden (FOHM/Wikipedia; values may still change somewhat)
Anecdotes vs. evidence
In the face of a lack of scientific evidence, some media increasingly rely on gruesome anecdotes in order to maintain fear in the population. A typical example are „healthy children“ who allegedly died of Covid19, but who later often turn out not to have died of Covid19, or who were seriously ill.

Austrian media recently reported about some divers who, six weeks after a Covid19 disease with lung involvement, still showed reduced performance and conspicuous imaging. One section speaks of „irreversible damage“, the next explains that this is „unclear and speculative“. It is not mentioned that divers should generally take a 6 to 12 month break after serious pneumonia.

Neurological effects such as the temporary loss of the sense of smell or taste are also often mentioned. Here too, it is usually not explained that this is a well-known effect of cold and flu viruses, and Covid19 is rather mild in this respect.

In other reports, possible effects on various organs such as kidneys, liver or brain are highlighted, without mentioning that many of the patients affected were already very old and had severe chronic pre-existing conditions.

Political updates
WOZ: When fear rules. „With drones, apps and demo bans: In the wake of the Corona crisis, fundamental freedoms are being eroded. If we don’t watch out, they will remain so even after the lockdown – but the extreme situation also offers reason for hope.“ (German)
Multipolar: What is the agenda? „The government praises itself, spreads slogans of perseverance and at the same time slows down the collection of basic data that would allow the reliable measurement of the spread and danger of the virus. In contrast, the authorities are acting quickly and decisively in expanding questionable instruments, such as new „corona apps“ for collective pulse measurement and contact tracing“. (German)
Professor Christian Piska, expert for public law and legal tech in Vienna: „Austria has changed. Very much so, even if most people seem to just accept it. Step by step, whether the economy is booming or not, we are suddenly living with police-state conditions and severe restrictions on our basic and human rights, which would be a perfect match for dictatorial regimes. () This is Pandora’s box, which once opened, may never be closed again.“ (German)
More than 300 scientists from 26 countries warn of „unprecedented surveillance of society“ by corona apps violating data protection. Several scientists and universities have already withdrawn from the European contact tracing project PEPP-PT due to a lack of transparency. Recently it became known that the Swiss company AGT is involved in the project, which had previously set up mass surveillance systems for Arab states.
In Israel, about 5000 people (with a distance of 2m each) demonstrated against the measures of the Netanyahu government: „They talk about an exponential increase of corona cases, but the only thing that increases exponentially are the people who stand up to protect our country and our democracy“.
Madrid-based Irish journalist Jason O’Toole describes the situation in Spain: „With the military visible on the streets of Spain it’s hard not to describe the situation as martial law in all but name. George Orwell’s Big Brother is alive and well here, with the Spanish police monitoring everybody using CCTV or by flying drones overhead. A staggering 650,000 people were fined and 5,568 arrested during the first four weeks alone. () I was shocked when I watched one video clip of a cop using heavy force to arrest a mentally ill young man who was apparently just walking home with bread.“
OffGuardian: The disturbing developments in UK policing.
In a new article, US investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes on „How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision“: „Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the “obstacles” they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis.“
In a previous article, Whitney Webb already dealt with the central role of the „Center for Health Security“ at Johns Hopkins University in the current pandemic management as well as its role in previous pandemic and bioweapons simulations and its close links to the US security apparatus.
The idea of using a pandemic to expand global surveillance and control instruments is not new. As early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a „lock step scenario“ in a working paper on future technological and social developments, in which current developments are anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff).
„The truth about Fauci“: In a new interview, US virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits talks about her experiences with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is currently playing a major role in shaping the US government’s Covid19 measures.
Aid organisations warn that „far more people“ will die from the economic consequences of the measures than from Covid-19 itself. Forecasts now predict that 35 to 65 million people will fall into absolute poverty, and many of them are threatened with starvation.
In Germany, 2.35 million people are predicted to be on short-time working in 2020, more than twice as many as after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.

People on short-time working in Germany (BfA)
April 18, 2020
Medical updates
A new serological study by Stanford University found antibodies in 50 to 85 times more people than previously thought in Santa Clara County, California, resulting in a Covid-19 lethality of 0.12% to 0.2% or even lower (i.e. in the range of severe influenza). Professor John Ioannidis explains the study in a new video.
In a new analysis, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford argues that the lethality of covid19 (IFR) is between 0.1% and 0.36% (i.e. in the range of a severe influenza). In people over 70 years of age with no serious preconditions, the mortality rate is expected to be less than 1%. For people over 80 years of age, the mortality rate is between 3% and 15%, depending on whether deaths so far were mainly with or from by the disease. In contrast to influenza, child mortality is close to zero. With regard to the high mortality rate in Northern Italy, the research group points out that Italy has the highest antibiotic resistance in Europe. In fact, data from the Italian authorities show that around 80% of the deceased were treated with antibiotics, indicating bacterial superinfections.
The Finnish epidemiology professor Mikko Paunio from the University of Helsinki has evaluated several international studies in a working paper and comes to a Covid19 lethality (IFR) of 0.1% or less (i.e. in the area of seasonal influenza). According to Paunio, the impression of a higher lethality was created because the virus spread very quickly, especially in multi-generation households in Italy and Spain, but also in cities like New York. The „lockdown“ measures had come too late and had not been effective.
UK: London’s temporary Nightingale hospital has remained largely empty, with just 19 patients being treated at the facility over the Easter weekend. London’s established hospitals have doubled their ICU capacity, and are so far coping with surge.
In Canada, 31 people died in a nursing home after „almost all nursing staff had left the facility in a hurry for fear of the corona virus spreading. Health authorities found the people in the home in Dorval near Montreal only days later – many of the survivors were dehydrated, malnourished and apathetic.“ Similar tragedies were already reported from northern Italy, where Eastern European nurses left the country in a hurry when panic broke out and lockdown measures were announced.
A Scottish doctor who also looks after nursing homes writes: „What was the government strategy for nursing homes? The actions taken so far have made the situation much, much worse.“
In Switzerland, despite Covid19, total mortality in the first quarter of 2020 (until 5th April) was in the medium normal range. One reason for this could be the mild flu season due to the mild winter, which has now been partially „offset“ by Covid19.
According to a report from April 14, Swiss hospitals and even intensive care units continue to be very under-utilized. This again raises the question of where and how exactly the test-positive deaths (average age 84) in Switzerland actually occur.
The President of the German Hospital Association has sounded the alarm: more than 50 percent of all planned operations throughout Germany have been cancelled, and the „operations backlog“ is running into thousands. In addition, 30 to 40% fewer patients with heart attacks and strokes are treated because they no longer dare to go to the hospitals for fear of corona. There were 150,000 free hospital beds and 10,000 free intensive care beds nationwide. In Berlin, only 68 intensive care beds are occupied by corona patients, the emergency clinic with 1000 beds is currently not in use.
New data of German authorities show that in Germany, too, the reproduction rate of Covid19 had already fallen below the critical value of 1 before the lockdown. General hygiene measures were therefore sufficient to prevent the exponential spread. This had already been shown by the ETH Zurich for Switzerland as well.
On a French aircraft carrier 1081 soldiers tested positive. So far, almost 50% of them remained symptom-free and about 50% showed mild symptoms. 24 soldiers were hospitalized, one of them is in intensive care (previous illnesses unknown).
Leading German virologist Christian Drosten thinks it is possible that some people have already built up an effective so-called background immunity against the new corona virus through contact with normal common cold corona viruses.
Klaus Püschsel, a forensic doctor from Hamburg who has already examined numerous test positive deceased, explains in a new article: „The numbers do not justify the fear of corona“. His findings: „Corona is a relatively harmless viral disease. We have to deal with the fact that Corona is a normal infection and we have to learn to live with it without quarantine“. The fatalities he examined would all have had such serious pre-existing conditions that, „even if that sounds harsh, they would all have died in the course of this year. Püschel adds: „The time of the virologists is over. We should now ask others what is the right thing to do in the corona crisis, for example the intensive care doctors.“
A review on Medscape shows that common cold infections caused by coronaviruses typically decline at the end of April – with or without a lockdown.
Swiss magazine Infosperber writes: „Fewer corona cases? Just test less!“ The daily number of „new cases“ reported says little about the state of the epidemic. It was reckless to trigger fear with the curve of cumulative test-positive deaths, they argue.
OffGuardian: Eight more experts questioning the coronavirus panic.
Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke Swedish epidemiology professor Johan Giesecke speaks of a „tsunami of a mild disease“ and considers lockdowns to be counterproductive. The most important thing, he says, is to provide efficient protection for risk groups, especially nursing homes.

Reproduction number in Germany. Lockdown since March 22. Ban on events with more than 1000 people since March 9 (RKI).
Ventilation with Covid19
Other experts in Europe and the USA have expressed their opinion on the treatment of critical Covid19 patients and strongly advise against invasive ventilation (intubation). Covid19 patients do not suffer from acute respiratory failure (ARDS), but from oxygen deficiency, possibly caused by an oxygen diffusion problem triggered by the virus or the immune response to it.

AP: Some doctors moving away from ventilators for virus patients
Video: Covid-19: Critical Discussion of the Recommendation for Early Intubation
Video: New York intensive care doctor on Covid19 as a possible diffusion hypoxemia
Journal: COVID-19 pneumonia: different respiratory treatments for different phenotypes?
(German) Die WELT: Sterberate bei Beatmungspatienten gibt Rätsel auf
Political updates
Video: Police violence and monitoring during corona lockdowns around the world.
In several US states there have been protests and rallies against the lockdown measures.
German economist Norbert Haering explains in several articles how the „corona crisis“ is being used to introduce worldwide monitoring instruments that have been planned for some time in the areas of travel, payments, contact tracing and biometrics.
Giorgio Agamben, Italian philosopher, on the Corona measures: „A country, indeed a culture is imploding right now, and nobody seems to care. What is going on before our eyes in countries that claim to be civilized?“
Italian lawyers lodged a complaint against corona measures of the government.
The German professor of economics Stefan Homburg in DIE WELT: „Why Germany’s lockdown is wrong – and Sweden is doing much better“: „In summary, countries like Sweden, South Korea or Taiwan have acted wisely by not using lockdowns. The virologists there guided the population and politicians through the crisis with a steady hand, instead of unsettling them by constantly changing course. The coronavirus was successfully contained without harming fundamental rights and jobs. Germany should take this policy as a model for itself.“
A Swiss citizen has sent an urgent application to the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Council to have the lockdown lifted immediately.
Video: „Swiss doctors were muzzled, the Federal Council is divided.“ An interview with Dr. med. Stephan Rietiker, the founder of InsideCorona.ch
Video: „The Swiss government belongs in prison. A polemic.“
April 16, 2020
The London Times reports that up to 50% of current British excess mortality might not be caused by the coronavirus, but by the effects of the lockdown and general panic. This amounts to up to 3000 deaths per week. In fact, this figure could be even higher, as the British Covid19 definition also includes deaths with (rather than from) coronavirus as well as „suspected cases“. In addition, around 50% of „corona deaths“ involve nursing homes, which are not protected any better by a general lockdown.
In Denmark, the lockdown is now regretted: „We should never have pressed the stop button. The Danish health care system had the situation under control. The total lockdown was a step too far,“ argues Professor Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen of Aarhus University Hospital. Denmark is currently ramping up school operations again.
Yale professor David Katz, who warned early on of the negative consequences of a lockdown, gave a detailed one-hour interview on the current situation.
German virologist Hendrik Streeck explains that no „smear infections“ in supermarkets, restaurants or hairdressing salons have been detected so far.
New antibody data from the Italian community of Robbio in Lombardy shows that about ten times more people had the corona virus than originally thought, as they developed no or only mild symptoms. The actual immunization rate is 22%.
New data from the Swiss Canton of Zurich shows that about 50% of all Covid19-related deaths occurred in retirement or nursing homes. Nevertheless, even there about 40% of all test-positive people showed no symptoms. The median age of test-positive deaths in Switzerland is currently about 84 years.
Pietro Vernazza, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, comments on the „live with the virus“ strategy and recommends, among other things, individually optimised protection of persons at risk. The immunity of the general population is also a protection for people at risk, he says.
The new British website Lockdown Skeptics reports critically on Covid19, the measures taken and the general media coverage.
The Austrian civil society „Initiative for evidence-based corona information“ provides an overview of studies and analyses on the new corona virus
Documentary: „The WHO – In the grip of the lobbyists“ (ARTE, 2017, German)
April 15, 2020
Medical updates
In the British Telegraph, Professor Alexander Kekulé, one of Germany’s leading microbiologists and epidemiologists, calls for an end to the lockdown as it causes more damage than the virus itself. In people under 50 years of age, severe disease or death are „very, very unlikely“. The general population should develop rapid immunity, while risk groups should be protected. One cannot wait for a vaccine, which will take at least six to twelve months, but must find a way to live with the virus, Professor Kekulé said.
The German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine reports that the lethality of a severe seasonal influenza (flu) such as 2017/2018 is estimated by the German Robert Koch Institute to be 0.4% to 0.5%, and not only 0.1% as previously assumed. This would mean that the lethality of Covid19 could even be lower than that of a strong seasonal influenza, even though it may spread faster.
The Luxembourger Tageblatt reports that Sweden’s „relaxed strategy on Covid19 seems to work“. Despite minimal measures, the situation seems to be „clearly calming down at the moment“. A huge field hospital that was set up near Stockholm remains closed due to lack of demand. The number of patients in intensive care units remains constant at a low level or is even slightly declining. „There are many vacancies in intensive care units in all Stockholm hospitals. We are approaching the flattening of the illness curve,“ explained a senior physician at the Karolinska Klinik. So far there have been about 900 deaths with Covid19 in Sweden.
A direct comparison between the UK (with lockdown) and Sweden (without lockdown) shows that the two countries are almost identical in terms of case numbers and deaths per population.
A letter to the New England Journal of Medicine reports that in a study of pregnant women, 88% of test-positive women showed no symptoms – a very high figure, but one that is consistent with earlier reports from China and Iceland.
Professor Dan Yamin, director of the Epidemiology Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University, explains in an interview that the new corona virus is „hardly dangerous“ for a large part of the population and that rapid natural immunity must be the goal. The money is better spent on extending a clinic than on paying for damages due to the lockdown, he said.
The president of the Israeli National Research Council, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, argues that according to current findings, the corona epidemic is over in most countries after about 8 weeks, regardless of the measures taken. He therefore recommends to lift the „lockdown“ immediately.
The British statistics professor David Spiegelhalter shows that the risk of death from Covid19 corresponds roughly to normal mortality and is visibly increased only for the age group between approx. 70 and 80 years (see the graph at the end of the linked article).
Professor Karin Moelling, emeritus director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Zurich and an early critic of excessive measures, stresses in a new interview the role of local special factors such as air pollution and population density.
The British Guardian pointed out in 2015 that extreme air pollution in Chinese cities kills 4000 people per day. This is more than China has so far reported in total Covid19 deaths.
The German virologist Hendrik Streeck has defended himself against criticism of his pilot study. Streeck found a lethality (based on cases) of 0.37% and a mortality (based on population) of 0.06%, which corresponds to a strong seasonal flu.
Austrian internal medicine specialists warn of „collateral damage“: Due to the coronavirus, control and operation dates are postponed and fewer patients with heart attack symptoms come to the hospitals.
A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time graphically depicted the rate of positive Covid19 tests in Switzerland since early March. The result shows that the positive rate oscillates between about 10% and 25% and that the „lockdown“ has had no significant influence (see graph below). Interestingly, Swiss authorities and media have never shown this graph.
A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and again comes to a critical assessment: „The situation report is unsuitable for politicians and competent decision making, is highly unspecific, incomplete and lacking in informative value“.
In a new article, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, explains that the alleged lack of immunity formation in Covid19 is a matter of „rare individual cases or even just clues“, which „on closer inspection do not pose a problem“, but which are „exaggerated and hastily dished up as shocking news“ by some media.
In France, there are more and more reports of suicides out of fear of the coronavirus or out of fear of having infected someone with the coronavirus.
The new French site Covid Infos critically examines Covid19 and media reporting.

Swiss positive test rate before and during lockdown (FS)
US and UK
On the US warship Theodore Roosevelt, 600 sailors tested positive for Covid19, and a first sailor has since died from or with Covid19. The warship will be a very important „case study“ for the impact on the healthy general population below 65.
The emeritus British professor of pathology, Dr John Lee, argues that a robust and evidence-based debate is needed to avoid „big mistakes“. Many of the figures used by governments and the media have not been reliable, he says.
In the UK, 40% of hospital beds are currently unoccupied, four times more than usual. The reason for this is the sharp decline in general patient admissions. Intensive care beds, whose capacity has been increased, are on average 78% occupied. In addition, 10% of nurses are in quarantine.
The temporary corona hospitals of the US military near New York are „largely empty“ so far. The hospitalization rate in New York was overestimated by a factor of seven.
A US study comes to the conclusion that the new corona virus has already spread much further than originally assumed, but causes no or only mild symptoms in most people, so that the lethality rate could be as low as 0.1%, which is roughly equivalent to seasonal flu. However, due to the fact that the disease is more easily transmitted, the cases of the disease in New York, for example, occurred in a shorter time than usual.
In a new document on the treatment of Covid19 patients, the chief of pneumology and intensive care at Eastern Virginia Medical School states: „It is important to recognize that COVID-19 does not cause your “typical ARDS” (lung failure) … this disease must be treated differently and it is likely we are exacerbating this situation by causing ventilator induced lung injury.“
In the US, a governor claimed an infant died „of Covid“ as the world’s youngest victim. Family acquaintances, however, stated that the infant had suffocated in a tragic accident at home and subsequently tested positive in hospital. The responsible coroner did not declare a Covid death.
A doctor from the US state of Montana explained in a speech how death certificates for suspected Covid19 cases are being manipulated due to new guidelines.
Nursing homes
An analysis of data from five European countries shows that residents of nursing homes have so far accounted for between 42% and 57% of all „Covid19 deaths“. At the same time, three US studies show that up to 50% of all test positive nursing home residents did not (yet) show symptoms at the time of testing. Two conclusions can be drawn from this: On the one hand, the danger of the new coronavirus – as already suspected – seems to be concentrated on a small, very vulnerable population group that needs even better protection. On the other hand, it is conceivable that some of these people may not die, or not only die from the coronavirus, but also from the extreme stress associated with the current situation. Recent reports from Germany and Italy have already mentioned nursing home residents who died suddenly without symptoms.
A German palliative physician argues in a recent interview that in the treatment of Covid19 patients „very wrong priorities were set and all ethical principles were violated“. There is a „very one-sided orientation towards intensive care“, although „the balance between benefit and harm“ is often not good. A new diagnosis (i.e. Covid19) would turn elderly patients who in the past had mostly been treated palliatively into intensive care patients and subject them to a painful but often hopeless treatment (i.e. artificial respiration). The treatment should always be based on the actual will of the patient, the specialist argued.

Covid19 deaths in nursing homes (LTC Covid)
Political developments
In Germany, a medical lawyer who filed a complaint against the corona measures with the Federal Constitutional Court and called for demonstrations, was arrested and sent to a prison psychiatric ward for two days. The public prosecutor is investigating for „public provocation to commit crimes“. Another lawyer asks in an open letter to the German Federal Chamber of Lawyers: „Lawyers sent to psychiatric hospital for protest? Is it that time again in Germany?“
In Switzerland, a „corona critical“ doctor was arrested by a special police unit for alleged „threats against relatives and authorities“ and sent to a psychiatric clinic. The family has since declared that there were no threats against relatives. The doctor also stated that he was not accused of „threats against authorities“ during the interrogation. The police justified the deployment of the special unit by assuming that the doctor was in possession of a weapon – but this was the usual Swiss medical army pistol without ammunition. The transfer of the doctor to a psychiatric clinic was justified on the grounds of an alleged „incapacity to serve in prison“ (as is the case of nursing patients) – this, too, may be seen as a pretext. Based on the current state of knowledge, it is therefore possible that the measure was indeed politically motivated. Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has already drawn attention to the Swiss case.
Italy is now using European satellite data to monitor the population during lockdown.
The British police smashed in a resident’s door looking for „social gatherings“.
German constitutional law expert Professor Oliver Lepsius: „On the decline of fundamental rights in the corona pandemic“.
April 12, 2020
New studies
Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis concludes in a new study that the risk of death from Covid19 for people under 65 years of age, even in global „hotspots“, is equivalent to the risk of a fatal car accident for daily commuters driving between 9 and 400 miles.
In a serological pilot study, German virologist Hendrick Streeck comes to the interim result that the lethality of Covid19 is at 0.37% and the mortality (based on the total population) at 0.06%. These values are about ten times lower than those of the WHO and about five times lower than those of Johns Hopkins University.
A Danish study with 1500 blood donors found that the lethality of Covid19 is only 1.6 per thousand, i.e. more than 20 times lower than originally assumed by the WHO and thus in the range of a strong (pandemic) influenza. At the same time Denmark has decided to reopen schools and kindergartens next week.
A serological study in the US state of Colorado comes to the preliminary conclusion that the lethality of Covid19 has been overestimated by a factor of 5 to a factor of 20 and is likely to be in the range between normal and pandemic influenza.
A study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna concluded that the age and risk profile of Covid19 deaths is similar to normal mortality.
A study in the Journal of Medical Virology concludes that the internationally used coronavirus test is unreliable: In addition to the already known problem of false positive results, there is also a „potentially high“ rate of false negative results, i.e. the test does not respond even in symptomatic individuals, while in other patients it does respond once and then again not. This makes it more difficult to exclude other flu-like illnesses.
A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time evaluated and graphically displayed the rate of positive tests in the US, France, Germany and Switzerland. The result shows that the positive rate in these countries is increasing rather slowly and not exponentially.
Dr. Daniel Jeanmonod, emeritus Swiss professor of physiology and neurosurgery, recommends in an analysis: „Think deep, do good science, and do not panic!„
US researchers conclude that local air pollution greatly increases the risk of death from Covid19. This confirms earlier studies from Italy and China.
The WHO concluded at the end of March that, contrary to earlier assumptions, Covid19 is not transmitted by aerosols („through the air“). Transmission mainly takes place through direct contact or by droplet infection (coughing, sneezing).
The German-American epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski argues in a new interview that the Covid19 epidemic is already declining or even „already over“ in many countries. The curfews had come too late and had been counterproductive, Wittkowski argues.
European Mortality Monitoring
European mortality monitoring now shows a clear projected excess mortality in the over-65 age group in several European countries. In some countries, however, including Germany and Austria, mortality in this age group is still in the normal range (or even below).

The question remains open as to whether the partially increased mortality is due to the coronavirus alone or also due to the sometimes drastic measures taken (e.g. isolation, stress, cancelled operations, etc.), and whether mortality will still be increased in the annual view.

Among the age groups under 65 years, so far only in England there is a projected increase in mortality beyond earlier waves of influenza. The median age of test-positive deceased is 80 in Italy, 83 in Germany and 84 in Switzerland.

Switzerland
According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years. The number of hospitalised patients remains constant.
A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“. (About the study)
The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: „Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign„. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.
The Swiss consumer protection magazine Ktipp also criticises the information policy and media reporting: „Authorities provide misleading information„.
A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and comes to a very critical conclusion: the report is „scientifically unbalanced, patronising and misleading“. In consideration of the facts, the measures taken by authorities are „irresponsible and inducing fear“.
In an open letter to the Swiss Minister of Health, Swiss doctors speak of a „discrepancy between the threat scenario, which has been fuelled above all by the media, and our reality. The Covid19 cases observed in the general population were few and mostly mild, but „anxiety disorders and panic attacks“ are on the increase in the population and many patients no longer dare to come to important examination appointments. „And this in connection with a virus whose dangerous­ness, according to our perception, exists in Switzerland only in the media and in our heads.“
Due to the very low patient workload, several clinics in Switzerland and Germany have now had to announce short-time work. The decrease in patients is up to 80%.
The Swiss physician Dr. Paul Robert Vogt has written a highly shared article on Covid19. He criticizes a „sensationalistic press“, but also warns that this is not an „ordinary flu“. However, the physician is wrong in some points: lethality rate and median age are very much key variables, differentiation between with/by coronavirus is essential, respiratory masks and respirators are unsuitable in many cases (see below), and curfews are a questionable and possibly counterproductive measure.
Germany and Austria
In a new paper, German health experts criticise the crisis policy of the Federal Government. They speak of long-term damage to the population caused by the partial shutdown. The figures published by the RKI were „only of limited significance“.
In a statement, the Federal Association of German Pathologists demands that there must be autopsies of „corona deaths“ (in order to determine the true cause of death) and thus explicitly contradicts „the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute“, which spoke out against autopsies, allegedly because they were too dangerous.
Dr. Martin Sprenger resigned his position in the Corona Expert Council of the Austrian Ministry of Health in order to „regain his civil and scientific freedom of opinion“. Dr. Sprenger previously criticized, among other things, that the government did not sufficiently differentiate the risk of the virus for different population groups and took too sweeping measures: „We must be careful that the loss of healthy life years due to inadequate care for other acute and chronic diseases is not a factor of 10 times higher than the loss of healthy life years caused by COVID-19“.
In a German nursing home, an 84-year-old man tested positive for Covid19, after which the entire home was quarantined and mass tests were conducted. The initial test result later turned out to be false, however.
Scandinavia
The Norwegian Medical Association writes in an open letter to the Minister of Health that they are concerned that the measures taken could be more dangerous than the virus, as normal patients are no longer being examined and treated.
A Swedish author explains in the British Spectator: „It is not Sweden that is conducting a mass experiment. It is all other countries that are doing it.“
Professor Ansgar Lohse, Director at the Hamburg University Hospital, explains in an interview: „In my opinion, the Swedish measures are the most rational in the world. Of course, the question arises whether this can be kept up psychologically. Initially, the Swedes have to reckon with significantly more deaths, but in the medium to long term these will then be significantly reduced. The bill will be paid in a year – if the Swedes can hold out. Unfortunately, the fear of the virus often forces politicians to take actions that are not necessarily reasonable. Politics is driven also by the images in the media.“
According to Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, Stockholm may now have reached a „plateau“ with regard to Covid infections. (More news about Sweden)
US and Asia
In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as „Covid deaths“. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 patients. (Some humour on this topic).
A Covid19 field hospital near Seattle in Washington State was closed after only three days without admitting any patients. This is reminiscent of the hospitals built at short notice near Wuhan, which were also mostly under-utilized or even empty and were then dismantled after a short time.
Numerous media reported on alleged „corona mass graves“ on Hart Island near New York. These reports are misleading in two respects: firstly, Hart Island has long been one of the best-known „cemeteries of the poor“ in the US, and secondly the mayor of New York declared that no mass graves are planned, but that „unclaimed“ deceased (i.e. without relatives) are to be buried on Hart Island.
One of the leading Indian epidemiologists said that „We cannot run away to the moon„. He recommends the rapid development of a natural immunity in the population.
Northern Italy
Regarding northern Italy, several potential risk factors have recently been discussed.

It is true that two major vaccination campaigns against influenza and meningococcus were carried out in Lombardy in the months immediately preceding the outbreak of Covid19, notably in the later hotspots of Bergamo and Brescia. Although it is

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources
"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," a source said.
By Josh Margolin and James Gordon Meek April 9, 2020, 1:55 AM
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus -crisis-early-november-sources/story

According to an exclusive ABC News investigation the National Center for Medical Intelligence warned the military and White House about the spread of the virus in China as far back as late November.
Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect comment from the Pentagon.

As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.

Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents.

The report was the result of analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images. It raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia -- forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier to prepare for a crisis poised to come home.

"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. "It was then briefed multiple times to" the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House. Wednesday night, the Pentagon issued a statement denying the "product/assessment" existed.

MORE: CDC director downplays coronavirus models, says death toll will be 'much lower' than projected
From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January, the sources said. For something to have appeared in the PDB, it would have had to go through weeks of vetting and analysis, according to people who have worked on presidential briefings in both Republican and Democratic administrations.

"The timeline of the intel side of this may be further back than we’re discussing," the source said of preliminary reports from Wuhan. "But this was definitely being briefed beginning at the end of November as something the military needed to take a posture on."

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.


AFP via Getty Images, FILEAmbulance medical staff arrive at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital with an elderly woman, who recovered from COVID-19, at Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, March 30, 2020.Ambulance medical staff arrive at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital with an elderly woman, who recovered from COVID-19, at Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, March 30, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images, FILE
The NCMI report was made available widely to people authorized to access intelligence community alerts. Following the report’s release, other intelligence community bulletins began circulating through confidential channels across the government around Thanksgiving, the sources said. Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.

"It would be a significant alarm that would have been set off by this," former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Mick Mulroy, now an ABC News contributor, said of the NCMI report. "And it would have been something that would be followed up by literally every intelligence-collection agency."

Mulroy, who previously served as a senior official at the CIA, said NCMI does serious work that senior government leaders do not ignore.

"Medical intelligence takes into account all source information -- imagery intelligence, human intelligence, signals intelligence," said Mulroy, who hasn't seen the reporting. "Then there’s analysis by people who know those specific areas. So for something like this to have come out, it has been reviewed by experts in the field. They’re taking together what those pieces of information mean and then looking at the potential for an international health crisis."

MORE: Trump abruptly removes inspector general named to oversee $2T in stimulus spending
NCMI is a component of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. Together, the agencies’ core responsibilities are to ensure U.S. military forces have the information they need to carry out their missions -- both offensively and defensively. It is a critical priority for the Pentagon to keep American service members healthy on deployments.

Asked about the November warning last Sunday on ABC’s "This Week," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, "I can't recall, George. But we have many people who watch this closely. We have the premier infectious disease research institute in America, within the United States Army. So, our people who work these issues directly watch this all the time."

Pressing the secretary, Stephanopoulos asked, "So, you would have known if there was briefed to the National Security Council in December, wouldn't you?"

Esper said, "Yes. I'm not aware of that."

The Pentagon did not comment Tuesday, but on Wednesday evening following the publication of this report, the Defense Department provided a statement from Col. R. Shane Day, Director of the NCMI.

"As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters. However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists," the statement said.

The White House National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

Critics have charged the Trump administration with being flat-footed and late in its response to a pandemic that, after sweeping through Wuhan and then parts of Europe, has now killed more than 12,000 in the U.S.

For his part, President Donald Trump has alternated between taking credit for early action and claiming that the coronavirus was a surprise to him and everyone else. He has repeatedly touted his Jan. 31 decision to restrict air travel with China, but at the same time, he spent weeks telling the public and top administration officials that there was nothing for Americans to fear.

On Jan. 22, for instance, Trump made his first comments about the virus when asked in a CNBC interview, "Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?" The president responded, "No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine."


Noel Celis/AFP via Getty ImagesPassengers wear facemasks as they form a queue at the Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, early April 8, 2020, as they prepare to leave the city in China's central Hubei province.Passengers wear facemasks as they form a queue at the Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, early April 8, 2020, as they prepare to leave the city in China's central Hubei province.
Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images
As late as Feb. 19, Trump was offering positive reviews for the way China’s leaders had handled the coronavirus.

"I'm confident that they're trying very hard," Trump told an interviewer from Fox 10 in Phoenix. "They're working it -- they built, they built a hospital in seven days, and now they're building another one. I think it's going to work out fine."

It was not until March 13 when Trump declared a national emergency and mobilized the vast resources of the federal government to help public-health agencies deal with the crisis that was poised to crash on to the homeland.

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Disaster in motion: Where flights from coronavirus-ravaged countries landed in US
If it were true that America’s spy agencies were caught that off guard, one intelligence official told ABC News, "that would be a massive intel failure on the order of 9/11. But it wasn’t. They had the intelligence."

ABC News contributor John Cohen, who used to oversee intelligence operations at the Department of Homeland Security, said even the best information would be of no use if officials do not act on it.

"When responding to a public health crisis or any other serious security threat, it is critical that our leaders react quickly and take steps to address the threat identified in the intelligence reporting," said Cohen, the former acting undersecretary of DHS. "It’s not surprising to me that the intelligence community detected the outbreak; what is surprising and disappointing is that the White House ignored the clear warning signs, failed to follow established pandemic response protocols and were slow to put in place a government-wide effort to respond to this crisis."

ABC News' Katherine Faulders, Luis Martinez and Terrance Smith contributed to this report.

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rise in flu deaths and patients admitted to hospital triggers government alert to GPs
There were eight deaths in intensive care units in the week to 8 December where flu was a factor
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/flu-deaths-hospital-ill-pati ent-gps-vaccine-phe-a9244201.html

Shaun Lintern Health Correspondent @ShaunLintern
Thursday 12 December 2019 16:30

A rise in flu cases across England has triggered an alert from the chief medical officer – with increasing numbers of patients admitted to hospital and intensive care.

Public Health England said the number of flu cases confirmed in hospitals in the week to 8 December was 472, up from 330 the week before. There were 124 new admissions to intensive care or high-dependency units for flu, up from 80 the week before.

There were eight deaths in intensive care units in the week to 8 December where flu was a factor – the highest number this season and taking the total death toll for the UK to 15 over a nine-week period.

In an alert to NHS bosses and GPs, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer at the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “Surveillance data indicates an increase in influenza cases in the community. Prescribers may now prescribe and pharmacists may now supply antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza at NHS expense.”

The flu figures come as hospitals across the country have reported record A&E demand with some declaring major incidents as ambulance trusts reported double-digit growth in 999 calls during the past few days.

According to PHE, the hospitalisation rate from flu is at “moderate intensity levels”, with a rate of 5.06 per 100,000 compared with 4.01 the week before.

Read more

Hospitals at ‘breaking point’ as winter NHS crisis deepens

12-year-old girl waits more than 50 hours in A&E for a bed

The photo that Boris Johnson refused to look at… but millions now will
Children aged two and three are eligible for the nasal spray flu vaccine via their GP surgery, but the latest figures show only around 30 per cent of two-year-olds have had the vaccine.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, head of flu at PHE, said: “Flu season has now started and so it’s really important that people get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against this potentially very serious illness.

“The initial evidence suggests the vaccine is a good match for the main strain of flu that is circulating.”

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whitney Webb’s Dark Winter’s tale of smallpox, Amerithrax and Covid-19
By James Boswell
https://wallofcontroversy.wordpress.com/2020/06/18/whitney-webbs-dark- winters-tale-of-smallpox-amerithrax-and-covid-19/

Is the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 a naturally occurring variant or was it deliberately engineered? The question is straightforward and finally there can only be one answer. However, governments in the West and the media seem determined to have it both ways. On the one hand they have repeatedly denounced reports that Covid-19 may be a bioweapon as “fake news”, discrediting sources as “conspiracy theorists”, while on the other hand, they are slowly planting the idea that the virus may indeed have escaped from a top level biosafety (BSL-4) lab in Wuhan.


As far back as April 7th, Sky News Australia was already muddying the waters with a news story entitled “Evidence mounts COVID-19 came from a lab in Wuhan”. The evidence it presents is scant to say the least and the supposed “revelation” that “bat was never a food source in Wuhan” was not a revelation at all, but an established fact. Host of the show, Andrew Bolt, leaps from here, however, to the conclusion that “‘a nearby laboratory just 300 metres from the market’ was more likely responsible for the outbreak.” While “another nearby lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, bragged about discovering and identifying ‘a large number of new bat and rodent viruses’”


Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps… But it’s not only Sky News Australia that can change their tune and legitimise the bioweapon theory of Covid-19, although only ever to point an accusing finger at China. Here is a report from yesterday’s BBC news:


This is disturbing. When two accounts of a single event are mutually contradictory, the alternating dissemination of both involves the audience in an act of doublethink. As Orwell, who coined the term, understood perfectly well: doublethink is a corrosive process of indoctrination that attacks and undermines one’s own memories and sense of reality. In short, it is a powerful method for mind control.

*

Background: foreknowledge and the war of words

In a report from April, investigative journalist Pepe Escobar asks, “what U.S. intel really knew then about what would later be identified as Sars-Cov-2”?

He continues:

The gold standard remains the ABC News report according to which intel collected in November 2019 by the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), a subsidiary of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was already warning about a new virulent contagion getting out of hand in Wuhan, based on “detailed analysis of intercepted communications and satellite imagery”.

An unnamed source told ABC, “analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event”, adding the intel was “briefed multiple times” to the DIA, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and even the White House.

The Pentagon then issued a retraction of sorts which you can read in Escobar’s article and as a footnote below 1. However, the original story is substantiated in another way, as Escobar explains:

[V]alidating the ABC News report, Israel steps in. Israeli intel confirms U.S. intel did in fact warn them in November about a potentially catastrophic pandemic in Wuhan (once again: how could they possibly know that on the second week of November, so early in the game?) And NATO allies were warned – in November – as well. 2

Click here to read Pepe Escobar’s full article entitled “What Did U.S. Intel Really Know About the ‘Chinese’ Virus?”

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Beijing is carefully, incrementally shaping the narrative that, from the beginning of the coronovirus attack, the leadership knew it was under a hybrid war attack. Xi’s terminology is a major clue. He said, on the record, that this was war. And, as a counter-attack, a “people’s war” had to be launched.

Moreover, he described the virus as a demon or devil. Xi is a Confucianist. Unlike some other ancient Chinese thinkers, Confucius was loath to discuss supernatural forces and judgment in the afterlife. However, in a Chinese cultural context, devil means “white devils” or “foreign devils”: guailo in Mandarin, gweilo in Cantonese. This was Xi delivering a powerful statement in code.

When Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, voiced in an incandescent tweet the possibility that “it might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan” – the first blast to this effect to come from a top official – Beijing was sending up a trial balloon signalling that the gloves were finally off. 3

Click here to read more from an earlier piece by Pepe Escobar entitled “China locked in hybrid war with US”

In the same article Escobar goes on the discuss how Chinese media are now openly asking questions about a remarkable chain of coincidences involving the World Military Games attended by 300 US military personnel that took place in late October in Wuhan on the eve of the coronavirus outbreak. This includes “the shutting down in August last year of the ‘unsafe’ military bioweapon lab at Fort Detrick” and the prefigured modelling of a worldwide pandemic that took place the very day of the opening of the Wuhan military games during Event 201 held in New York on October 18th (more below).

On March 26th, ‘Moderate Rebels’, Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton spoke with independent geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar about the new US cold war with China; potential origins of the Covid-19 virus; anti-China corporate media narratives; putting all this in the context of Beijing’s strategy to build a new silk road:


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Engineering Contagion

The leaders of two controversial pandemic simulations that took place just months before the Coronavirus crisis – Event 201 and Crimson Contagion – share a common history, the 2001 biowarfare simulation Dark Winter. Dark Winter not only predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks, but some of its participants had clear foreknowledge of those attacks.

Writes independent journalist Whitney Webb in the lead paragraph of the first of her latest series of investigative reports entitled “Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex”.

Webb continues:

During the presidency of George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, something disturbing unfolded at the U.S.’ top biological warfare research facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Specimens of highly contagious and deadly pathogens – anthrax and ebola among them – had disappeared from the lab, at a time when lab workers and rival scientists had been accused of targeted sexual and ethnic harassment and several disgruntled researchers had left as a result.

In addition to missing samples of anthrax, ebola, hanta virus and a variant of AIDS, two of the missing specimens had been labelled “unknown” – “an Army euphemism for classified research whose subject was secret,” according to reports. The vast majority of the specimens lost were never found and an Army spokesperson would later claim that it was “likely some were simply thrown out with the trash.”

An internal Army inquiry in 1992 would reveal that one employee, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, had been caught on camera secretly entering the lab to conduct “unauthorized research, apparently involving anthrax,” the Hartford Courant would later report. Despite this, Zack would continue to do infectious disease research for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and would collaborate with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) throughout the 1990s.

The Courant had also noted that: “A numerical counter on a piece of lab equipment had been rolled back to hide work done by the mystery researcher [later revealed to be Zack], who left the misspelled label ‘antrax’ in the machine’s electronic memory.” The Courant’s report further detailed the extremely lax security controls and chaotic disorganization that then characterized the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) lab in Fort Detrick.

This same lab would, a decade later, be officially labeled as the source of the anthrax spores responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks, attacks which are also officially said to have been the work of a “deranged” USAMRIID researcher, despite initially having been blamed on Saddam Hussein and Iraq by top government officials and mainstream media. Those attacks killed 5 Americans and sickened 17.

Yet, as the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks unfolded, accusations from major U.S. newspapers soon emerged that the FBI was deliberately sabotaging the probe to protect the Anthrax attacker and that the CIA and U.S. military intelligence had refused to cooperate with the investigation. The FBI did not officially close their investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, nicknamed “Amerithrax,” until 2010 and aspects of that investigation still remain classified.

To learn more about how “the FBI was deliberately sabotaging the probe to protect the Anthrax attacker” you must read Whitney Webb’s articles in full, and I very strongly encourage readers to follow the link to her website Unlimited Hangout. The evidence of a cover up is absolutely compelling and Webb documents all of that evidence meticulously.

My aim here is to provide a summary that helps to usefully condense Webb’s assiduous research in order to get to the heart of what she describes as the “common history” that runs through the three aforementioned simulations: Operation Dark Winter (June 2001); the very recent ‘Event 201’ (mid-Oct 2019) “a high-level pandemic exercise” led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that simulated the worldwide spread of a novel coronavirus; and the lesser known multi-part series of pandemic simulations, called ‘Crimson Contagion’, which ran between January to August 2019 and tested the capacity of the US federal government and 12 states – including New York state – to respond to a severe influenza pandemic originating in China.

Returning to Whitney Webb’s outstanding series of articles (and continuing with Part I):

Upon further investigation, key leaders of both Event 201 and Crimson Contagion, not only have deep and longstanding ties to U.S. Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense, they were all previously involved in that same June 2001 exercise, Dark Winter. Some of these same individuals would also play a role in the FBI’s “sabotaged” investigation into the subsequent Anthrax attacks and are now handling major aspects of the U.S. government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. One of those individuals, Robert Kadlec, was recently put in charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entire Covid-19 response efforts, despite the fact that he was recently and directly responsible for actions that needlessly infected Americans with Covid-19.

I shall return to the career of Robert Kadlec and other notable participants in the Dark Winter exercise in fuller detail in the indicated sections below.

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Operation Dark Winter

Webb launches her own investigation on the basis of events that unfolded shortly after the 9/11 attacks with the targeted release of anthrax spores to Senators Tom Daschle, Russ Feingold and Patrick Leahy:

all of whom were – at the time – preventing the US Patriot Act from quickly passing through the Senate and who were resisting administration attempts to ram the legislation through with little to no debate.

Webb also reminds us:

Several of the letters included the date “9-11-01” and the phrases “Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is great” in neatly-printed block letters.

She continues:

Soon after, a suspicious letter was found in the office of then-Congressman and current Vice President Mike Pence. Media Roots noted the following about Pence’s subsequent press conference in a 2018 podcast that examined the timeline of the 2001 anthrax attacks:

“…Mike Pence, who once hosted an AM talk show describing himself as ‘Rush Limbaugh on decaf,’ conducts a press conference outside the Capitol proclaiming revenge and biblical style justice to whoever conducted the anthrax attacks. His family–with news cameras in tow–gets tested for anthrax at the hospital after it is allegedly found in his office.

No news outlets questioned his grandstanding or odd performance of going to the hospital with his family, and unlike Senators Daschle and Leahy in their press appearances, Mike Pence alluded to the anthrax letters being connected to the larger ‘war on terror.’”

As public panic swelled, more letters continued to be found, not just in the United States but around the world, with anthrax and/or hoax letters being found in Japan, Kenya, Israel, China and Australia, among others. Simultaneously, efforts to link the anthrax attacks to Saddam Hussein and Iraq began to emerge and quickly grew in intensity and number.

The media push to link the attacks to Iraq began first with The Guardian and then was followed by U.S. media outlets like The Wall Street Journal. Those early reports cited unnamed “American investigators” and defense officials and largely centered on the false claim that alleged 9/11 mastermind Mohammad Atta had met with an Iraqi diplomat in Prague in late 2000 as well as similarly false allegations that members of Al Qaeda had recently obtained vials of anthrax in the Czech Republic.

Webb begins her piece, however, outlining the details to a high-level bio-attack simulation known as Operation Dark Winter that took place in June 2001 and foreshadowed the anthrax letters, placing Dark Winter in the context of contemporaneous geopolitical concerns with Pentagon crosshairs already hovering over Iraq. Three months later and in the aftermath of 9/11 and the subsequent ‘Amerithrax’ attacks, many in the cast of the Dark Winter exercise were performing similar parts in real life.

The Dark Winter exercise began with a briefing on the geopolitical context of the exercise, which included intelligence suggesting that China had intentionally introduced Foot and Mouth disease in Taiwan for economic and political advantage; that Al-Qaeda was seeking to purchase biological pathogens once weaponized by the Soviet Union; and that Saddam Hussein of Iraq had recruited former biowarfare specialists from the Soviet Union and was importing materials to create biological weapons. It further notes that a majority of Americans had opposed a planned deployment of U.S. soldiers to the Middle East, which was also opposed by Iraq, China and Russia. The script also asserts that the soldiers were being deployed to counter and potentially engage the Iraqi military. Later, as the exercise unfolds, many of those Americans once skeptical about this troop deployment soon begin calling for “revenge.”

Amid this backdrop, news suddenly breaks that smallpox, a disease long eradicated in the U.S. and globally, appears to have broken out in the state of Oklahoma. The participants in Dark Winter, representing the National Security Council, quickly deduce that smallpox has been deliberately introduced and that this is the result of a “bioterrorist attack on the United States.” The assumption is made that the attack is “related to decisions we may make to deploy troops to the Mid-East.”

Not unlike what is unfolding currently with the Covid-19 crisis, in Dark Winter, there is no means of rapid diagnosis for smallpox, no treatments available and no surge capacity in the healthcare system. The outbreak quickly spreads to numerous other U.S. states and throughout the world. Hospitals in the U.S. soon face “desperate situations” as “tens of thousands of ill or anxious persons seek care.” This is compounded by “grossly inadequate supplies” and “insufficient isolation rooms,” among other complications.

Since this exercise occurred in June 2001, the heavy hinting that Saddam Hussein-led Iraq and Al Qaeda are the main suspects is notable. Indeed, at one point in one of the fictional news reports used in the exercise, the reporter states that “Iraq might have provided the technology behind the attacks to terrorist groups based in Afghanistan.” Such claims that Iraq’s government was linked to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan would re-emerge months later in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and would be heavily promoted by several Dark Winter participants such as former CIA Director James Woolsey, who would later swear under oath that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. It would, of course, later emerge that Iraq’s connections to Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks were nonexistent as well as the fact that Iraq did not possess biological weapons or other “weapons of mass destruction.”

A summary of Operation Dark Winter based around information gathered from current Wikipedia entries including an overview and partial list of participants can be found in Appendix A.

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Anthony Fauci

As a lead member as well as the de facto spokesman of Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr Anthony Fauci has recently become a household name in America. However Fauci first came into the public spotlight during the AIDS crisis as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a post he has held since 1984.

It was also under Fauci’s leadership and in response to the post-9/11 ‘Amerithrax’ attacks, that NIAID “markedly expanded, intensified and accelerated its ongoing research programs in biodefense”. A new initiative that Fauci personally outlined during his address to delegates at the 12th annual Joseph B. Brennan Lecture at Georgetown University in October 2002:

“Events of 2001 have had an impact not only on the nation but on the biomedical field which is now concerned with emerging diseases and defense… Eighteen cases and five deaths associated with anthrax has led to a total transformation in what the biomedical community would have to deal with. The anthrax scare has resulted in a situation unprecedented… and would be a new challenge for American medicine.”

In echoes of the Dark Winter scenario, Fauci also “discussed the possible threat of a resurgence of the smallpox disease” indicating “that smallpox is a possible weapon that could be used against the U. S. in the event of bioterrorism, which means that the vaccine may be needed again.” More controversially, he also “asked how the government would decide to make it mandatory if not enough people decided to get the vaccine voluntarily.” 4

Shortly afterward this address in November, the Canadian Medical Association Journal responded to these plans with a piece entitled “Bioterrorism becoming too dominant on public health agenda?”

The bioterrorism threat has led the US to commit $1.5 billion in new funding for research in this area in 2003. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described the spending as “quite unprecedented,” calling it the “largest single increase of any discipline in any institute in the history of the [National Institutes of Health].” His institute must now decide how to spend US$1.75 billion next year on vaccines and treatments for problems such as smallpox.

The same piece continues:

Several people questioned the size of such budgets, arguing that the medical community is being unduly influenced by fears of terrorism. The remote chance of a bioterrorist attack means that there is little profit motive for private companies to invest in this kind of research. Fauci agreed that this poses a difficult challenge.

The discussion about how to convince companies to invest has already been marred by controversy. The US Department of Health and Human Services was recently criticized for holding closed-door meetings with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Emergency Preparedness Task Force. Sidney Wolfe of US Public Citizen, a legislative watchdog group, said that having pharmaceutical executives at the table was an inherent conflict of interest and that these executives have “powerful economic self-interests in shaping government policy on this topic.” 5

A few months on and Fauci was bolstering the same calls with a piece published in the esteemed journal Nature detailing his proposals for putting “Biodefence on the research agenda”. The levels of funding were already ballooning:

The US government is investing an unprecedented amount of money — $5.9 billion planned for fiscal year 2003 — to counter the threat of bioterrorism. Of that sum, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the lead government agency in biomedical research, will receive nearly $1.75 billion, almost eight times the fiscal year 2002 budget for biodefence research, and the largest single increase in resources for any initiative in the history of the NIH. With this largesse come enormous responsibilities. 6

Of course, words can sometimes be used to disguise the truth, and never more so than in the case of “defence”: the weaponisation of language is part and parcel of its armoury. For “biodefence research” then it is advisable to read instead “bioweapons research”. In short, Fauci was hereby announcing a vast transfer of public money away from healthcare and into the already overflowing coffers of the arms industry. And this was just the start:

The American legal authority who in 1989 drafted the law Congress enacted to comply with the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention says the U.S. today [October 11, 2015] is in flagrant violation of that Convention.

So begins an article based on an interview with Dr Francis Boyle, a human rights lawyer and Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois who drafted the US domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. (A fact that is still listed although tucked away beneath the generic heading “Background and legal work” in the middle of his current Wikipedia entry.)



The same piece continues:

“Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have spent somewhere in the area of $100 billion” on offensive biological warfare, charges Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Champaign.

Boyle said an estimated 13,000 “death scientists” in 400 laboratories in the U.S. and abroad, are employed making new strains of offensive killer germs that will be resistant to vaccines.

For example, Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka’s group at the University of Wisconsin has found a way to increase the toxicity of the flu virus by 200 times! Boyle says Kawaoka is “the same death scientist who resurrected the genocidal Spanish Flu virus for the Pentagon for offensive biowarfare purposes.”

As for fighting flu, the National Institutes of Health in 2006, a typical year, got only $120 million from Congress to fight flu, which kills an estimated 36,000 Americans annually. By contrast, Congress gave NIH $1.76 billion for “biodefense,” even though the anthrax outbreak in 2001 killed just five persons.

“These distorted budgetary allocations,” (spending 15 times as much for germ warfare as for fighting flu) “demonstrate that the priority here is not the promotion of the public health of American citizens but rather to further develop the U.S. offensive biowarfare industry that will someday ‘blowback’ upon the American people with a catastrophic pandemic,” Boyle said. 7

This story becomes more extraordinary, once we learn that some of this public money was “just last year” transferred via NIAID, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, to “fund[ed] scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

The same Newsweek piece I have quoted above continues:

In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.

Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.

The article then details the two phases of the NIH research project, and continues:

The project was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group, under the direction of President Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project just this past Friday, April 24th, Politico reported. Daszak did not immediately respond to Newsweek requests for comment.

The project proposal states: “We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.”

In layman’s terms, “spillover potential” refers to the ability of a virus to jump from animals to humans, which requires that the virus be able to attach to receptors in the cells of humans. SARS-CoV-2, for instance, is adept at binding to the ACE2 receptor in human lungs and other organs.

According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project description refers to experiments that would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. In the wake of the pandemic, that is a noteworthy detail.

Adding:

A decade ago, during a controversy over gain-of-function research on bird-flu viruses, Dr. Fauci played an important role in promoting the work. He argued that the research was worth the risk it entailed because it enables scientists to make preparations, such as investigating possible anti-viral medications, that could be useful if and when a pandemic occurred.

The work in question was a type of gain-of-function research that involved taking wild viruses and passing them through live animals until they mutate into a form that could pose a pandemic threat. Scientists used it to take a virus that was poorly transmitted among humans and make it into one that was highly transmissible—a hallmark of a pandemic virus. This work was done by infecting a series of ferrets, allowing the virus to mutate until a ferret that hadn’t been deliberately infected contracted the disease.

The work entailed risks that worried even seasoned researchers. More than 200 scientists called for the work to be halted. The problem, they said, is that it increased the likelihood that a pandemic would occur through a laboratory accident. 8

Click here to read the full article entitled “Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab with U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research”

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“Anthrax War” (2009) is investigative documentary by filmmaker Roberto Coen and Executive Producer Eric Nadler that examines the 2001 Anthrax Attacks and offers a frightening glimpse into today’s secret and dangerous world of germ weapons. Broadcast internationally, it was nominated for the 2009 Prix Europa for Outstanding Current Affairs Broadcast. DEAD SILENCE is the accompanying book that fills out the story of the global investigation that the documentary could only outline:



Click here to read more background on the official website. *

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Robert Kadlec

“If several kilograms of an agent like anthrax were disseminated in New York City today, conservative estimates put the number [of] deaths occurring in the first few days at 400,000. Thousands of others would be at risk of dying within several days if proper antibiotics and vaccination were not started immediately. Millions of others would be fearful of being exposed and seek or demand medical care as well. Beyond the immediate health implications of such an act, the potential panic and civil unrest would create an equally large response.”

— Robert Kadlec as quoted in a 1998 article from the Vancouver Sun.

The name of Robert Kadlec fails is notable by its absence from the current Wikipedia entry on Operation Dark Winter since as Whitney Webb reveals:

The name for the exercise derives from a statement made by Robert Kadlec, who participated in the script created for the exercise, when he states that the lack of smallpox vaccines for the U.S. populace means that “it could be a very dark winter for America.” Kadlec, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration and a former lobbyist for military intelligence/intelligence contractors, is now leading HHS’ Covid-19 response and led the Trump administration’s 2019 “Crimson Contagion” exercises, which simulated a crippling pandemic influenza outbreak in the U.S. that had first originated in China.

We also learn how Kadlec “who became an adviser on biological warfare to the Rumsfeld-led Pentagon in the days after 9/11” states in his official biography that he “contributed to the FBI investigation of the anthrax letter attacks”, although, as Webb writes:

[I]t’s unclear exactly what those contributions were, beyond having met at least once with scientists at Fort Detrick in November 2001. Whatever his contributions were, Kadlec has long been an emphatic supporter of the official narrative regarding Bruce Ivins, who he has referred to as a “deranged scientist” and the sole culprit behind the attacks. Kadlec has also used the official narrative about Ivins to assert that bioweapons have been “democratized,” which he argues means that weaponized pathogens can be wielded by essentially anyone with “a few thousand dollars” and enough time on their hands.

More recently, Robert Kadlec has been put in charge of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entire Covid-19 response efforts, and he is not alone:

Notably, Kadlec isn’t the only key figure in the current U.S. government response to Covid-19 to have ties to the botched FBI investigation as current HHS Secretary Alex Azar was also involved in the FBI investigation. In addition, Azar stated at a White House press briefing in 2018 that he had been “personally involved in much of managing the response [to the anthrax attacks]” as then-General counsel to HHS.

Yet, given that the FBI investigation into the anthrax attacks and the government response to them were so disastrous and heavily criticized by independent and mainstream media alike, it is surprising that Azar and Kadlec would so proudly tout their involvement in that fiasco, especially considering that the scientific analyses used in that investigation were fatally flawed and, by all indications, led to the death of an innocent man.

[Bruce Ivins “apparently committed suicide just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailings that traumatized the nation in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report.” 9]

In the final instalment of her investigative trilogy “Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex “, Webb returns to “head of the hydra”, Robert Kadlec.

She writes:

Thanks to a long and deliberate process to introduce biodefense policy, driven by Robert Kadlec and his sponsors, $7 billion dollars-worth of federally-owned vaccines, antidotes and medicines – held in strategically arranged repositories across the country in case of a health emergency – are now in the hands of one single individual. Those repositories, which compose the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), are the exclusive domain of HHS’ ASPR, a post created under Kadlec’s watchful eye and tailored over the years to meet his very specific requirements.

From this perch, Robert Kadlec has final say on where the stockpile’s contents are sourced, as well as how, when and where they are deployed. He is the sole source procurer of medical material and pharmaceuticals, making him the best friend of Big Pharma and other healthcare industry giants who have been in his ear every step of the way.

Kadlec assures us, however, that the fact that he now holds the very office he worked so long to create is merely a coincidence. “My participation in the ASPR project began at that time when I was working for the chairman of the Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness…The bill was made law and the ASPR was created. It just was a coincidence that, 12 or 14 years later, I was asked to become the ASPR,” Kadlec stated in 2018.

It was all a random twist of fate, Kadlec asserts, that saw him occupy ASPR at this crucial moment in U.S. history. Indeed, with the country now in the middle of a WHO-declared coronavirus pandemic, Kadlec now has full control over the far-reaching “emergency” powers of that very office, bestowed upon him by the very law that he had written.

Webb also retraces the rise of Kadlec who “describes himself as having been an “accidental tourist” regarding his introduction to biological warfare”, which “began when he was assigned to be a special assistant for Chemical and Biological Warfare to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), advising then-head of Special Operations Command Maj. Gen. Wayne Downing, on the eve of the first Gulf War”:

Kadlec would later state that he had witnessed firsthand how the military, immediately prior to the Gulf War, had “lacked the necessary protective equipment, detectors, and medical countermeasures including vaccines and antibiotics against the immediate threats posed by Iraq,” allegedly prompting him to want to better U.S. biodefense efforts.

While holding this post at JSOC, Kadlec was privy to the advice of William C. Patrick III, a veteran of the U.S.’ bioweapons program who had developed the U.S.’ method for weaponizing anthrax and held no less than five classified patents related to the toxin’s use in warfare. Patrick, who had left government service in 1986 to become a consultant, advised the Pentagon — then headed by Dick Cheney — that the risk of a biological weapons attack by Iraq, particularly anthrax, was high. Patrick’s warning prompted the U.S. military to vaccinate tens of thousands of its troops using the controversial anthrax vaccine “anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA).” Kadlec would personally inject AVA into around 800 members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Note that: anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) is still the only FDA-licensed human anthrax vaccine licensed for use in the United States. Today it is produced under the trade name BioThrax by the Emergent BioDefense Corporation (formerly known as BioPort Corporation) in Lansing, Michigan. I return to BioThrax and BioPort below. †

The award-winning documentary ‘Direct Order’ (2003) is embedded below. Directed by Scott Miller and narrated by Michael Douglas, it tells the story of American military personnel who were ordered sometimes against their will to take the anthrax vaccine and who subsequently developed Gulf War Syndrome:


Webb continues:

Kadlec would later note in Congressional testimony that no definitive proof of an alleged Iraqi biological weapons program was found during the war or afterwards, but nevertheless claimed elsewhere that “the Iraqis later admitted they had procured large quantities of a biological agents-anthrax and botulism toxin,” suggesting that Patrick’s warnings had had some basis in reality.

However, Kadlec failed to point out that these anthrax and botulism samples had been sold, with the U.S. government’s full approval, to Iraq’s Ministry of Education by a U.S. private non-profit called the American Type Culture Collection. Donald Rumsfeld, who was then an envoy for the Reagan administration and running a pharmaceutical company later sold to Monsanto, would also be involved in the shipment of these samples to Iraq.

Following the war, American microbiologist Joshua Lederberg was tasked by the Pentagon to head the investigation into “Gulf War Syndrome,” a phenomenon that studies later linked to the adverse effects of the anthrax vaccine. Lederberg’s task force argued that evidence regarding an association between the symptomology and the anthrax vaccine was insufficient. However, he would later come under fire after it was reported that he sat on the board of the American Type Culture Collection, the very company that had shipped anthrax to Iraq’s government between 1985 and 1989 with the U.S. government’s blessing. Lederberg later admitted that the investigation he led had not spent enough “time and effort digging out the details”. The taskforce’s findings were later harshly criticized by the Government Accountability Office.

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Judith Miller

Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons that, some officials say, tests the limits of the global treaty banning such weapons.

So begins an article co-authored by New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, who, appropriately enough, had performed the part of a reporter working for the NYT in the simulation Dark Winter. The article entitled “U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits” appeared in early September about a week prior to the 9/11 attacks and little more than two months since her role in the June exercise.

A few paragraphs down, she continues:

Earlier this year, administration officials said, the Pentagon drew up plans to engineer genetically a potentially more potent variant of the bacterium that causes anthrax, a deadly disease ideal for germ warfare.

The experiment has been devised to assess whether the vaccine now being given to millions of American soldiers is effective against such a superbug, which was first created by Russian scientists. A Bush administration official said the National Security Council is expected to give the final go-ahead later this month. 10

Webb picks up the story and writes:

The New York Times noted specifically that the genetically-modified anthrax experiments being performed by Battelle’s West Jefferson facility were a “significant reason” behind the Bush administration’s decision to reject the draft agreement and the U.S. government had argued at the time that “unlimited visits to pharmaceutical or defense installations by foreign inspectors could be used to gather strategic or commercial intelligence.” Of course, one of those “pharmaceutical or defense installations” was ultimately the source of the anthrax used in the [post-9/11 ‘Amerithrax’] attacks.

In a tribute (her word) to William C Patrick III, Miller describes her first meeting with “the government’s ‘go-to guy’ on biological weapons”, fondly reminiscing:

Then this seemingly cheerful father of two led us downstairs to his basement office, as he had legions of other students of the black bio-arts, to give us a PowerPoint tutorial on how germ weapons were made, stored, and distributed. He patiently answered our questions about how bacteria, viruses, and other deadly pathogens could be used as weapons of mass destruction. Near the end of our session, he pulled a garden sprayer out of a green duffel bag and vigorously pumped it several times, producing a large cloud of fine particles that hung in the air like fog. If this were anthrax, he told us, we would all soon be dead. Offering me a memento of our class, he put a vial of the simulated anthrax in my purse and scribbled his home number on the stationery of his one-man consulting firm, Biothreats Assessment. It was topped with an image of the Grim Reaper. A skull and crossbones were engraved on the business card he handed me. Call any time, he said merrily.

The year was 1997 and Miller’s momentary shock at being sprayed like a greenfly was really nothing; certainly when compared to the horror she must have felt just a handful of years later upon seeing an unknown white powder spilling from an envelope addressed to her.

Her own account continues:

And call we did. On countless occasions, Bill Patrick was an invaluable source of biological history, analysis, folklore, and wisdom. When I received a letter filled with powder during the anthrax letter attack after 9/11, Bill was on the phone to calm me down, assuring me that the powder that had tumbled out of the envelope onto my clothes and my desk, given my description of it, was most likely a hoax, not some of the real anthrax which wound up killing five and infecting 17. And when the FBI began to suspect him as a potential culprit in its hapless “Amerithrax” investigation of the anthrax attacks—a travesty that the Bureau eventually undid by naming another Fort Detrick veteran, Bruce Ivins, as the likely perpetrator—I tried comforting him as he had me. 11

Judith Miller would go on to ruin her reputation by promoting false intelligence claims about Iraq’s WMD programme both before and after the 2003 invasion. In her own self-defence, she afterwards confessed the unspeakable truth of so much so-called journalism:

“My job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal.” 12

*

Senator Sam Nunn and Margaret Hamburg

Created by media mogul Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn in January 2001, NTI [Nuclear Threat Initiative] aimed not only to “reduce the threat” posed by nuclear weapons, but also chemical and biological weapons.

In announcing NTI’s formation on CNN, the network Turner had founded, Nunn stated that while “nuclear weapons pose the gigantic danger, but biological and chemical weapons are the most likely to be used. And there are thousands of scientists in the former Soviet Union that know how to make these weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear, but don’t know how to feed their families.” Nunn continued, stating that NTI hoped “to begin to help, some hope for gainful employment for people that we don’t want to end up making chemical and biological and nuclear weapons in other parts of the world.” NTI’s mission in this regard likely came as welcome news to Joshua Lederberg, who had long advocated that the U.S. offer employment to bioweapons researchers from the former Soviet Union to prevent their employ by “rogue regimes.”

Alongside Nunn and Turner on NTI’s board was William Perry, a former Secretary of Defense; former Senator Dick Lugar, for whom the alleged U.S. bioweapons lab in Georgia is named; and Margaret Hamburg, who was NTI’s Vice President overseeing its work on biological weapons. Margaret Hamburg’s father, David Hamburg, a long-time president of the Carnegie Corporation, was also an advisor and “distinguished fellow” at NTI. David Hamburg was a longtime close advisor, associate, and friend of Joshua Lederberg.

Both Sam Nunn and Margaret Hamburg of NTI, as well as top officials from ANSER [aka Analytic Services, Inc.], would come together in June 2001 to participate in an exercise simulating a bioweapons attack called “Dark Winter.” Nunn would play the role of president in the exercise and Hamburg played the head of HHS in the fictional scenario. Jerome Hauer, then-managing director of the intelligence-linked outfit Kroll Inc. and a Vice President at the military-intelligence contractor Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), played the head of FEMA.

*

Jerome Hauer

In Part I of her series which is subtitled “All Roads Lead to Dark Winter”; Webb introduces us to Jerome Hauer, another one of the key participants of the Operation Dark Winter.

Webb tells us “[Hauer] had previously served for nearly 8 years at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), which oversees the USAMRIID lab at Fort Detrick.” The same USAMRIID lab in Fort Detrick where the anthrax used in the Amerithrax attacks was allegedly produced and stolen from.

In Part I, we also learn that:

[Jerome] Hauer, on September 11, 2001, was the managing director of Kroll Inc., a private intelligence and security company informally known as the “CIA of Wall Street,” a company that French intelligence had accused of acting as a front for the actual CIA. Kroll Inc., at the time of the attacks was responsible for security at the World Trade Center complex, yet Hauer was conveniently not present at his World Trade Center office on the day of the attacks, instead appearing on cable news.

And there is a great deal more to Hauer’s “curious past”, as Webb reveals in Part II of the series entitled “A Killer Enterprise: How One of Big Pharma’s Most Corrupt Companies Plans to Corner the Covid-19 Cure Market”. Picking up where she left off, she writes:

As BioPort secured its control over the only licensed anthrax vaccine producer in the country in 1998, New York’s emergency crisis manager and bioterrorism expert, Jerome Hauer, was busy working and making doomsday contingency plans from his “bunker” on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7.

Put on the job by then-NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1996, Hauer had previously managed worldwide emergency response for technology giant IBM. He also was an adviser to the Justice Department, had briefed President Clinton on bioterror threats and was known to “consult regularly with Scotland Yard and the Israeli military.” It was reportedly Hauer’s idea to locate the city’s emergency management office at Building 7, even though placing it there was considered controversial at the time due to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, bombings that were later revealed to have disturbing links to the FBI.

In 1999, the New York Times would describe Hauer’s job as “sitting around all day thinking up horrifying ways for things to be destroyed and people to die.” It would also note that Hauer described his expertise regarding specific emergency situations as follows: “helicopter crash, subway fire, water main break, ice storm, heat wave, blackout, building collapse, building collapse, building collapse.” His obsession with building collapses even led him to house “trophies” of the building collapses he had overseen and responded to. How odd then that Hauer’s multi-million dollar “bunker” itself would later fall victim to building collapse, falling into its own footprint in 7 seconds on September 11, 2001.

The back-story to the rescue of biopharmaceutical company BioPort which had depended upon the timely occurrence of the 2001 anthrax attacks is detailed at great length in the article. For the purposes of this synopsis the part that you need to understand is that although Hauer was also a national security adviser to then-head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tommy Thompson, he soon became “one of their biggest proponents of expanding BioPort’s contracts”:

As the anthrax attacks unfolded, Hauer advised Secretary Thompson to establish a new office at HHS, the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP), whose first acting director was Dr. D.A. Henderson, a former official with the World Health Organization and the original founder of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Biodefense, which had sponsored Dark Winter and included Jerome Hauer as well as Dark Winter co-authors Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby. In early 2002, Hauer himself would replace Henderson as head of the newly created OPHP.

In May 2002, Hauer — while leading OPHP — co-authored a report with members of the Johns Hopkins Working Group, including O’Toole and Inglesby. In that paper, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Hauer, O’Toole, Inglesby and their co-authors argued that greater production and purchase of anthrax vaccine was necessary in light of the 2001 anthrax attacks and that government funding was also needed to research a new anthrax vaccine. They also asserted that the vaccine did not cause any significant adverse effects.

Notably, just months prior, O’Toole and Inglesby had come under scrutiny in their attempts to link the anthrax attacks to Al Qaeda, several months after that possibility had been ruled out completely by federal investigators and other independent scientists.

The paper authored by the Johns Hopkins Working Group would also come under scrutiny, particularly their recommendation that the government acquire more BioThrax. This was largely because the evidence from the attacks showed that antibiotics were much more effective and less expensive in responding to anthrax attacks, with subsequent studies claiming that calls for stockpiling more BioThrax “defy medical evidence and expert recommendations” based on lessons learned during the anthrax attacks.

Moreover:

Hauer would, months later, be appointed to a newly created position at HHS, one which oversaw the new biodefense stockpile from which BioPort would be a major beneficiary.

BioPort would be then renamed and repackaged as Emergent Biosolutions in 2004. It would then hire even more well-connected lobbyists and add several big names from government and the private sector to its board. One of these “big names” was none other than Jerome Hauer, who was added to Emergent’s board soon after leaving HHS. Hauer still remains a company director and sits on three of its corporate governance committees.

Returning to the immediate events surrounding the 9/11 attack, we also discover that:

[O]n the day of 9/11, Hauer had told top Bush administration officials to start taking the antibiotic Cipro to prevent infection via anthrax and Hauer would subsequently make public hints via mass media that foreign terrorists were working with Saddam Hussein to unleash an anthrax attack on the American public. All of this took place well before the first anthrax attack victim, photojournalist Robert Stevens, would even show symptoms.

Hauer had prepared for a scenario just like the anthrax attacks as part of the Dark Winter biowarfare simulation, which occurred just months prior and at a time when Hauer was a member of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian BioDefense, part of what is now the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, then led by Dark Winter co-author Tara O’Toole.

Webb adds:

Also of note is the fact that, while working for Kroll Inc. Hauer was also working for the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a defense and intelligence contractor. There he became a co-worker of Stephen Hatfill, who Hauer had actually met years prior. At SAIC, Hatfill worked on developing protocols for handling “anthrax hoax letters,” a phenomenon present in Dark Winter and later during the actual 2001 anthrax attacks. Hatfill would later be accused of having committed those very attacks, but was later cleared of suspicion, winning a hefty multi-million dollar settlement from the government. 13

Click here to read Whitney Webb’s full article.

*

John Rendon (knows too much)

Very few who read this story will know who John Rendon is. Back during the time of Nixon and Watergate, Rendon was one of the people working for George McGovern in his quest for the White House. Later, after cutting his teeth doing PR and propaganda for Washington’s top dogs dethroning enemy despots like Manuel Noreiga, and other CIA targets. In the early 2000s, Rendon would be referred to as “The man who sold the war,” because of a story by investigative journalist James Bamford. His report revealed how the Rendon Group PR firm fed journalists, like disgraced New York Times writer Judith Miller, stories to sell Bush’s “War on Terror” to the public. It was Rendon who was involved with the contrivance where a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl named Nayirah told the world about the babies in incubators Saadam Hussein’s soldiers left to die. America went to war and killed hundreds of thousands, because of such lies.

Today, John Rendon proves how “involved” he is in current affairs. Invisible in the news cycle, Rendon’s activities can only be observed (ironically) by his Twitter feed, and through his Empower Peace platform and organizations like the Women2Women international leadership program. Not unlike billionaire George Soros, who uses the Open Society Foundation to “teach” doctrine and action to the world’s next leaders, Rendon operates at the grassroots level as well as the operations level. Brainwashing is the easy term for what Rendon Group is up to.

The extract above is drawn from a short piece entitled “Manufactured Perception and the COVID-19 Pandora’s Box” published by New Eastern Outlook on June 10th.

Political analyst Phil Butler continues:

Rendon’s talent, if you will, comes from an understanding of how digital/social media works. In the old days of public relations, clients expected PR firms to change the worldview via a series of press releases or televised interviews with American officials. Rendon and operators like him, understand that effective propaganda requires the gradual cultivation and propagation of an alternative worldview, which is the way the CIA practiced during the Cold War.

As intelligent (or lucky), and intuitive as John Rendon is, like most people he slips up in the slipstream of social media. His Twitter feed may not be revealing to the causal “Tweep” but set against a comparative timeline, Rendon just knows too much too soon. The tweet below is part 1 of 5 he shared January 31st, weeks before most people even understood what COVID-19 was.

“What should be known about contagions, is first, the psychological size of the contagion will be at least 5x greater than the contagion itself, thus timely, truthful and transparent reporting is essential-which is a challenge for Boys in #Beijing”


John Rendon
@JohnWRendon
(#Coronavirus 1 of 5) What should be known about contagions, is first, the psychological size of the contagion will be at least 5x greater than the contagion itself, thus timely, truthful and transparent reporting is essential-which is a challenge for Boys in #Beijing;

1
2:00 PM - Jan 31, 2020
Twitter Ads info and privacy
See John Rendon's other Tweets
The second tweet in the series foretold of collapsing medical infrastructure and the need for the military to step in. Third, Rendon uses his crystal ball to predict travel stoppage, infrastructure, and supply chain breakdown. Next, he predicts economic recovery will be 2x to 3x longer than when the contagion danger has passed. Finally, the PR spook nails exactly what has happened in the international response to the pandemic.

In my view, John Rendon is either a direct descendant of the soothsayer “Carnac the Magnificent” made famous by the late Johnny Carson, or he’s some knowledge of pre-planning and contingencies for this pandemic. The news cycle the average American sees contained no such in-depth analysis in the timeframe January 1st through 31st. Put another way, the New York Times was in reaction mode in January, and there was no mention of wide-reaching economic impacts like Rendon prophesied. 14

Phil Butler doesn’t reprint the contents of tweets #2–#5 in detail but they are still available and so I have included them in Appendix B.

Click here to read Phil Butler’s full article.

*

Final thoughts

“Using DNA genetic engineering, U.S. death scientists are concocting new strains of lethal microbes for which there are no cures. Bacteria, for example, can be made resistant to vaccines, made more virulent, easier to spread, and harder to eradicate. Right now U.S. death scientists are scouring the biosphere around the world to locate any bioagent in nature that they can exploit and pervert into offensive biowarfare purposes.”

— Dr Francis Boyle. 15

*

Whitney Webb’s latest investigative trilogy does a great deal to unravel the incestuous ties between US federal agencies, bioweapons establishments such as Fort Detrick, and sectors of the pharmaceutical industry. However, by shining a spotlight directly on the network of authors and participants involved in Operation Dark Winter that foreshadowed the Amerithrax attacks, she also achieves more than this. Webb shows us that careers were advanced and how many of the same actors have profited financially too. Did any of them have insider knowledge of what was about to be unleashed from Fort Detrick? She believes the circumstantial evidence overwhelming, although without a fully independent inquiry, it will always be impossible to divorce conspiracy from coincidence.

Today the world is locked down following the outbreak of a very different type of disease. Unlike Amerithrax, we do not as yet know the origins of Covid-19. The official view is that this new variant of coronavirus is of zoonotic origin: that is, an earlier form was spread from animals; specifically, from horseshoe bats to some as yet unknown intermediary creature, mutating in the process and finally becoming transmissible from human to human. Precisely when and where this happened is uncertain, although the earliest recorded cases in China indicate that patients were first infected in mid to late November.

The Trump administration has since told the world that it believes the virus “escaped a P4 Wuhan virology research center”, and asserts that “China hid its knowledge of a potential escape by using its time before notifying the world of the outbreak to vacuum up medical safety gear from Brazil, and elsewhere.” 16

Having made these accusations, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, afterwards reiterated the claim that the US had evidence, if not certainty, that the virus had emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

“Every one of those statements is entirely consistent,” he said. “We are all trying to figure out the right answer. We are all trying to get the clarity.” 17

Not that Pompeo is isolated in his belief that the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan lab. As Forbes magazine reported in the wake of US government insinuations:

The new SARS mystery is entering its ACT III, and in this act, the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom all lash out at China for its lackluster biosafety features at one of its most secure virology labs. 18

Francis Boyle has made similar claims (see below), although here we must be careful to acknowledge the distinction that Boyle, unlike Pompeo, is in no way attempting to scapegoat the Chinese. For one thing, Boyle understands that the research carried out at the Wuhan lab was very much a joint venture involving the Americans (you can see him discussing this in a video embedded below).

Alarmingly, at the same time, all debate over the possibility that this virus was indeed manufactured in a Wuhan lab – a hypothesis that in fact cannot be ruled out on the basis of current knowledge and one that has been entertained by researchers and experts in the field of biowarfare other than Boyle (see Appendices C and D below) – is immediately discredited on the grounds that it is just another “conspiracy theory”, albeit one that not only the Trump administration, but their Australian and UK counterparts are all engaged in perpetuating. To accept both views absolutely demands doublethink.

However, there is a third possibility too. If the “Wuhan Flu” as Trump likes to call it, was produced in a lab then it might just as easily have been manufactured in America as in China. As Pepe Escobar discusses at the beginning of this piece, whether we like it or not, this would seem to be the prevailing view in China from the street all the way up to the Politburo. Covid-19 therefore represents an act of war, and all the false accusations combined with the ramping up of sanctions are secondary attacks.

If we admit this as a possible scenario then we must wonder why America would unleash an attack that was bound to blowback with devastating consequences for our own economies. As we are seeing, of course, a crisis of this magnitude provides a tremendous opportunity not only for a power grab but for looting – behind the scenes of smashed shop windows and kids running off with a pair of new trainers and a flat-screen TV, there has already been a transfer of trillions of dollars from the public purse into corporate coffers that is scarcely reported on. The same happened during the last financial crash of 2008, and to a lesser extent in the wake of 9/11 and the Amerithrax attacks. Moreover, the financial system was so fragile that the second crash was imminent and unstoppable (read this earlier post).

Which brings us back to Whitney Webb’s research, and the remarkable timing of the recent ‘Event 201’ (mid-Oct 2019) “a high-level pandemic exercise” led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security that simulated the worldwide spread of a novel coronavirus; and the lesser known multi-part series of pandemic simulations, called ‘Crimson Contagion’, which ran between January to August 2019 and tested the capacity of the US federal government and 12 states – including New York state – to respond to a severe influenza pandemic originating in China. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Whitney Webb wisely avoids addressing the question head on. For one thing she lacks having sufficient expertise in the relevant fields of virology, genetics, or epidemiology; as I do. Likewise, I merely present the evidence for others to judge.

*

Additional: on the origins of Covid-19

The following extract is drawn from an earlier post published on March 16th entitled “in search of the truth about this new coronavirus, Covid-19”.

The world has been given to believe that this novel form of coronavirus Covid-19 is an entirely accidental mutation. To begin with, at least in the West, we were also expected to swallow the unsubstantiated but widely publicised assertions that its occurrence was due to the bizarre eating habits of the Chinese and cross-contamination from a wet market. Unsettling images of ghastly bowls of bat soup were featured across the newsstands – pictures almost certainly not taken in China but never mind.

Beneath the frankly xenophobic headlines, there is another side to the story that has received considerably less attention: just how strikingly novel the new virus really is. This is from an article entitled “Why COVID-19 is more insidious than other coronaviruses” published by Salon magazine in late February:

While there are many known viruses in the same class of coronavirus as COVID-19, some of its peculiarities — including its infectivity — are perplexing researchers. Now, a recent research paper viewable on the Chinese research site Chinaxiv.org and previously reported on by the South China Morning Post notes that the new coronavirus has an “HIV-like mutation” that gives it novel properties.

“Because of this mutation, the packing mechanism of the 2019-nCoV may be changed to being more similar to those of MHV, HIV, Ebola virus (EBoV) and some avian influenza viruses,” the English abstract of the paper states.

The same article continues:

Though the paper is yet to be peer-reviewed, the scientists involved hail from Nankai University in Tianjin, one of the top universities in the world’s most populous nation.

The paper adds to the crucial body of research around COVID-19, which still includes more unknowns than knowns. Currently, scientists still do not know COVID-19’s origin, though suspect it is zoonotic, meaning it likely started in an animal before spreading to humans. As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note on their website, COVID-19 is an “emerging disease,” and much of what we do know is “based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.” 19

Keeping this in mind, I recommend listening to a short interview with esteemed human rights lawyer and Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, Francis Boyle.


Boyle is adamant that Covid-19 is a leaked bioweapons agent and given his standing, one might imagine that informed opinion of this kind with the submission of supporting evidence deserves a more public platform. Instead, as he says, no mainstream journalists have come forward to speak with him. I do not, of course, leap to the conclusion that his account is the correct one; only find it curious that most journalists, who for their part invariably have little to no expertise in this field, are so eager to either ignore him altogether or undermine his authority in hit-pieces that consistently dismiss Boyle merely as “a lawyer”.

Furthermore, there is an additional piece of evidence that appears to be in favour of Boyle’s claims. It appeared in an article published by the highly respected scientific journal Nature back in November 2015. Entitled “Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research”, the piece begins:

An experiment that created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus — one related to the virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) — has triggered renewed debate over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks. 20

For the record, the bats in question were Chinese horseshoe bats.

I shall not reproduce a larger extract because there is an ominous ‘rights & permissions’ caution, and so for the purposes of fair use I will also reprint in full the editors’ cautiona

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now China blames SPAIN for coronavirus: Beijing says Covid-19 originated in BARCELONA
CHINA has sensationally pointed the finger at SPAIN for starting the global coronavirus pandemic.
By BILL MCLOUGHLIN - PUBLISHED: 14:57, Sat, Jul 4, 2020
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1305105/China-news-coronavirus-ou tbreak-wuhan-covid-19-death-spain-WHO

China has long been identified as being the epicentre of the deadly virus which has now recorded 529,878 deaths worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will begin a scoping mission in Beijing within days to establish the cause of the outbreak. But ahead of the critical mission, one of China’s top researchers, Wang Guangfa insisted the WHO should also go to Spain.

The senior Chinese official referenced researchers in Barcelona who stated they'd detected COVID-19 in 'wastewater' in March last year.

Chief of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zeng Guang also said: “It does not matter which country the scientific identification work starts with, as long as it involves all related countries and is fairly conducted.”

He added that the presence of Covid-19 in a sample in the Catalan capital, nine months before the disease was first reported in Wuhan, pointed to a different potential origin of the outbreak. So far the hunt for information has centred around the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.

China has long been accused of hiding the true details of the virus - something they have repeatedly denied.

Some Tory MPs such as chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Tom Tugendhat and former Conservative party leader, Sir Iain Duncan-Smith have criticised China’s reaction to the outbreak which hit the city of Wuhan.

Donald Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro also claimed China had deliberately allowed people to enter the country in order to spread the virus worldwide.

He said: “What they deliberately did – and this is beyond reproach in terms of the facts – they deliberately allowed Chinese nationals to come into the US, Italy and everywhere in between, who were infected, while they were locking down their own transportation network.”

Beijing has responded angrily to US claims, in particular, that they allowed coronavirus to spread across the globe.

Scientists have claimed, it is essential to understand how and where the outbreak occurred.

JUST IN: SAGE's David King warns herd immunity still UK coronavirus strategy

By doing this scientists believe can they prepare and stop any future outbreaks.

Director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the WHO said: "Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important.

“We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started.”

Last month, the EU accused China of running disinformation campaigns inside the European Union.

The accusation was the first time the EU Commission has publicly claimed Beijing has been behind any disinformation within the bloc.

The claim was also levelled against Russia.

Vĕra Jourová, a European commission vice-president, told reporters: “I believe if we have evidence we should not shy away from naming and shaming.

Coronavirus: World statistics as of July 3

Coronavirus: World statistics as of July 3 (Image: Express)
“What we also witnessed is a surge in narratives undermining our democracies and in effect our response to the crisis, for example, the claim there are secret US biological laboratories on former Soviet republics has been spread by both pro-Kremlin outlets, as well as Chinese officials and state media.

“I strongly believe that a geopolitically strong EU can only materialise if we are assertive.”

It's the end of the world as we know it, says RICHARD MADELEY

How Prince Harry admitted 'close to total breakdown' in confession
Earlier this year, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hinted the US army could have brought coronavirus to Wuhan.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exposing the occult corona-initiation ritual
https://www.nexusnewsfeed.com/article/home-family-pets/exposing-the-oc cult-corona-initiation-ritual/

The entire world is participating in an occult corona-initiation ritual, although hardly anyone will realize it. The measures and policies which governments have rolled out worldwide ever since Operation Coronavirus began – such as quarantine, lockdown, hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing and more – are in fact aspects of occult initiation ritual. These aspects have been cleverly adapted to the current fake pandemic and disguised as genuine public health strategies. As I covered in previous articles, this pandemic is a 9-11 type event which has been meticulously planned for decades.

The people who run the world, whom I often call the New World Order (NWO) conspirators, leave very little to chance. They are black magicians, and they are running this live exercise in a similar fashion to how they run their secret Satanic rituals. In both cases, the goal is the same: to take initiates out of their normal mode of existence, break them down, engender submission, remold them in the likeness of their leaders, and then finally, return them to a new normal where they cannot return to their old ways and lives.


Corona-Initiation Ritual: Lockdown and Quarantine (Isolation)

Any good ritual requires preparation. The first part of an initiation ritual is isolation. This isolation serves to separate the initiate from the mundane (“of the world”) affairs of his life. It is often done by cutting all ties with the outside world. Sometimes, the initiate may be sent into a dark room or cave; this also suggests a coming re-birth from a dark womb. Nowadays this isolation also requires separation from technology and everything that comes with it (phones, computers, emails, social media, etc.). The sensory deprivation sends the initiate afloat where she is less tethered to beliefs and behaviors.

In Operation Coronavirus, the lockdown and quarantine were the isolation aspect of the ritual. Those aware of the situation noticed that quarantining an entire community of healthy people was a contradiction in terms, because the very word quarantine means “a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed.” Thus by definition one cannot quarantine uninfected, healthy people; one can only quarantine infected, sick people. However the agenda was to isolate people by any means necessary to achieve the first step of initiation.

Corona-Initiation Ritual: Hand-Washing (Rejection)

Another element of the ritual has been the obsessive and compulsive focus on hand washing. While hand washing in general is a good hygienic activity which can help limit spread of disease, Operation Coronavirus has taken it to a completely new level of OCD anxiety (by design, of course). Symbolically, the washing of hands is reminiscent of the story of Pontius Pilate from the bible, who washed his hands of the matter regarding the fate of Jesus of Nazareth, and refused to either punish him or set him free. From this perspective, hand-washing is about rejection. But who or what is being rejected? The ‘old normal’ of freedom?

Corona-Initiation Ritual: Mask-Wearing (Censorship, Submission, Dehumanization, Alternate Persona)

Fourthly, masks are often used by the elite themselves at their parties and rituals. Remember the Satanic sexual orgy scene from Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut? Masks hide identity. They hasten the ‘death’ of the old identity. Masks create an alternate persona. This ties in with the incredibly important theme of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and mind control. In mind control, a ‘handler’ uses torture and abuse to force the victim to dissociate. This is where their minds split off and detach from reality in order to deal with the tremendous pain which is being inflicted upon them. It’s an inbuilt mental defensive strategy. However, in doing so, the victim creates multiple ‘alters’ or personalities which are disconnected from their base personality. These alters do not know about the existence of other alters; thus the victim can be programmed to do things (e.g. become a sex slave or an assassin) and not recall doing them, because an alter can be triggered to come forward and then return to the subconscious after the event. When it comes to mind control, masks are symbolic of the hidden aspects or personas of ourselves which the NWO controllers are deliberately targeting with their subliminal propaganda.

Mask-wearing is a huge topic in many ways. In the article Unmasking the Truth: Studies Show Dehumanizing Masks Weaken You and Don’t Protect You I covered some of the medical reasons why wearing a mask is not only medically useless if you want to protect yourself from COVID, but also potentially harmful to your health. However, there are many layers deeper when it comes to the ritualistic aspects of masks. Firstly, masks connote censorship, the covering of one’s mouth, gagging and the suppression of a free voice. Think how many images depicting censorship show a person with tape over their mouth. Censorship has been a massive part of this agenda, even before it officially happened, with all the Event 201 aficionados practicing their simulation for hours about how they would control the official narrative and censor alternative viewpoints. Secondly, masks symbolize submission, the giving up of unrestricted access to oxygen. This entire agenda is not about the virus; it’s about control. It’s about forcing people to submit to the will of the NWO manipulators, even when it is legally and medically unwarranted. Thirdly, masks are reminiscent of robots. They are dehumanizing. They remove one’s ability to see fully into another person’s face. They create distance and separation in people, make it harder for us to communicate via body language and make it harder for us to have empathy for others, since that empathy is often based on truly seeing another person.

Corona-Initiation Ritual: Social Distancing (The New Normal)

Once the ritual heads towards completion, the initiate comes out into a new mode of thinking and a new manner of behaving. He is remade in the image of his handlers or manipulators who conducted the ritual. In the case of COVID, the end goal is the new normal where everyone is permanently separated and disconnected (as well as tested, tracked, contact traced, monitored, surveilled, medicated and vaccinated). Social distancing is really anti-social distancing; it’s all about removing the human touch from our interactions. That touch is what makes us human.

The Overarching Goal of the Ritual: Destroying the Old and Creating the New

If I were to sum up the entire corona-initiation ritual with one concept, it would be this old, tried and true one. Ordo ab chao. The Hegelian dialectic. Problem-reaction-solution. The phoenix rising out of ashes. All of these phrases point towards the same method: destroying the old to make way for creating the new. This method in and of itself is not bad; it’s all about how it is used. The true purpose of ritual is to alter one’s mind and character, and it can be done consciously or unconsciously, wittingly or unwittingly. Ritual can be used for white magic just as much as black magic, e.g. you can use this technique to conquer destructive habits within yourself and become a better person. It’s just that in the context of the worldwide conspiracy, this method is used by the NWO conspirators to make the world a less free, less peaceful, more controlled and more hierarchical place.

Final Thoughts

Operation Coronavirus is a worldwide ritual, and its many elements are highly symbolic. People are being led along as unwitting participants without a clue as to how they are unconsciously supporting the deeper agenda (e.g. by cooperating with their own enslavement, acquiescing to ridiculous restrictions and even actively policing their fellow citizens). The fact that this fake coronavirus pandemic is a ritual is not surprising, given that the inner core of the NWO are Satanists who practice black magic. As surviving whistleblowers attest, some of their Satanic rituals involve rape, hunting humans like animals, mass orgies, drinking human blood, cannibalism and child sacrifice. We must remain vigilant to the deeper symbolic aspects of this agenda if we are to truly retain our rights and our freedom in the face of this darkness.

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By Makia Freeman / Editor and senior researcher
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.

(Source: wakingtimes.com; July 16, 2020; https://tinyurl.com/yysnempv)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

US diplomats involved in trafficking of human blood and pathogens for secret military program
By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva -June 14, 2019411554
https://armswatch.com/us-diplomats-involved-in-trafficking-of-human-bl ood-and-pathogens-for-secret-military-program/

The US Embassy to Tbilisi transports frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program. Internal documents, implicating US diplomats in the transportation of and experimenting on pathogens under diplomatic cover were leaked to me by Georgian insiders. According to these documents, Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

This military facility is just one of the many Pentagon biolaboratories in 25 countries across the world. They are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program – Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.


Instead of investing in the health of its own citizens the US government has spent $161 million of US taxpayer money on the Lugar Center in Tbilisi for research on deadly diseases and biting insects abroad. (©Al Mayadeen TV)

The secret facility is located just 17 km from the US Vaziani military airbase in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.
The Pentagon biolaboratory is heavily guarded. All passers-by within a radius of 100 m are filmed although the military biolaboratory is located within a residential area.




I am being filmed while talking to local residents on the street near the Pentagon biolaboratory and I want to know why the security guards are filming me. (©Al Mayadeen TV)
The security guards warn me that if I do not comply, show my passport and leave this place, I will be arrested. My official request to the Lugar Center for access to the facility and for interviews has also been rejected.



Secret experiments at night

However, I go back at night when the laboratory is seemingly still working. No matter how far the distance the air is laden with the smell of chemicals. This smell coming from the Lugar Center at night is blown by the wind to the residential area. Local residents from the Alexeevka neighbourhood, where the laboratory is located, complain that dangerous chemicals are being secretly burnt at night and that hazardous waste is being emptied into the nearby river through the laboratory’s pipes.




A diplomatic car with US Embassy registration plates can be seen in the car park of the Lugar Center at night when the laboratory is seemingly still working. (©Al Mayadeen TV)



A few hours later, the diplomatic vehicle is still in the car park of the Lugar Center. There is a strong smell of chemicals in the area. (©Al Mayadeen TV)
Locals complain of constant headaches, nausea, high blood pressure and dizziness when chemicals are being burnt at night in the laboratory which is just a couple of hundred meters from their homes.

“There is a smoke – black, red, green at night or especially early in the morning at around 3, 4 a.m. Even the hens have died. They put a big pipe underground and connected it to the drains. This smell comes from there. It smells like rotten eggs and decaying hay. The smell is so bad and is spread in different directions by the wind”, says Eteri Gogitidze who lives in a block of flats next to the laboratory.


“I have a thyroid disease. There are families of three people in the neighborhood and all three of them have a thyroid disease. They say it is because of the laboratory”, explains Eteri Gogitidze from the Alexeevka Neighbouthood where the laboratory is located. (©Al Mayadeen TV)

Albert Nurbekyan who lives about 300 m from the laboratory shows the four chimneys from the Lugar Center which release smoke at night. (©Al Mayadeen TV)
“Sometimes the wind spreads a smell of rotten eggs. Once I woke up early in the morning and noticed violet smoke coming from the laboratory. At night time they let the smoke out so that people don’t see. Why at night, what are they hiding from us?, he asks and then provides another worrying fact: “There are big blue plastic pipes along this street (from the laboratory) and from where everything goes to the river which is 3-4 km away. Not only do they pollute our air, but they also poison our water.”

Locals: Poisonous gas killed two Filipinos



Neighbours recall a tragic incident involving four Filipinos who worked at the Lugar Center. Two of the foreigners died of an alleged gas poisoning in their rented flat in block 44 of the Alexeevka Settlement.

“The first time when they called the Emergency service we were told that they had food poisoning from fish. But the second time when the ambulance came there was foam coming out of their mouths. They were shouting: “Help, Help!” When they passed away, they took them away and covered it all up. It all happened here”, Albert Nurbekyan shows the sealed off flat where the foreign scientists died.

Another witness, Elvira Ratiani who lived next door witnessed the foreigners die before her eyes. “They were my neighbors, we lived on the same floor, and once they were poisoned, and asked us to call the Emergency service. We phoned and the Emergency service saved them. They said it was probably fish poisoning. The second time, they knocked on the door and again asked for help. There were four Filipinos, two of them were saved, but the other two died”, recalls Elvira Ratiani who lives in the fatal block 44 of the Alexeevka Settlement right next to the laboratory.

Human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo to the US Embassy – leaked documents

Internal documents and correspondence between the Ministry of Health of Georgia and the US Embassy to Tbilisi show what experiments have been conducted at the Lugar Center. Leaked documents reveal that the US Embassy to Tbilisi transports pathogens, as well as frozen human blood, as diplomatic cargo.


The US Embassy to Tbilisi is the address to which pathogens and blood samples are being shipped as diplomatic cargo. The Embassy’s press office declined to comment. (©Al Mayadeen TV)



This letter from the Ministry of Health of Georgia to the US Embassy in Tbilisi exempts the importation from registration as the American diplomats claim the frozen human blood is needed for research purposes in connection with an American program on Hepatitis C in Georgia.
Diplomatic cargo shipments are exempt from inspection and taxes. According to instructions from The Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which oversees and funds the laboratories, biological material for the needs of the program must be shipped as hand-carrying items to the US embassies.



In cases of importing to Russia, this biological material must be carried by diplomats in a diplomatic pouch and sealed as diplomatic cargo.

The Pentagon: Prostitutes strictly prohibited, no sex abroad

Other instructions to US personnel working under the military program prohibit the use of prostitutes, and any interaction with individuals who may reasonably be assumed to be working as prostitutes.



Romantic, intimate or sexual relations with local citizens or among team members are strongly discouraged as “foreign security services are known to use the enticement of such relations to exploit foreign officials”. As such, a relationship with foreign nationals must be reported to DTRA as soon as possible, the document reads.

US scientists test viruses under diplomatic immunity

Tasked with the program at the Lugar Center are biologists from the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G) along with private American contractors and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC). Certain zones of the laboratory are classified zones and are accessible only to American citizens with security clearance. They are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.




The USA-Georgia agreement accords diplomatic status to the US military and civilian personnel (including diplomatic vehicles), working on the Pentagon program in Georgia.
Joshua Bast is the deputy director of the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G). The American military scientist drives a diplomatic car and enjoys diplomatic immunity, without being a diplomat.


Joshua Bast leaves the Lugar Center in a diplomatic car of the US Embassy to Tbilisi. (©Al Mayadeen TV)
He has been deployed to Georgia since 2015 by the Pentagon Walter Reeds Army Institute of Research. His military unit also operates a separate laboratory inside the Lugar Center – the Walter Reeds Army Institute of research laboratory. However, when I confront him at the entrance of the laboratory, he flatly denies that he works at the Lugar Center.



However, leaked e-mails between the Pentagon and the Georgian Ministry of Health (below) proves him wrong. Joshua Bast does work at the Lugar Center.



Joshua Bast is the deputy director of USAMRU-Georgia, according to leaked correspondence between the Pentagon medical research unit in Georgia and the Georgian Health Ministry. The address of USAMRU-Georgia indicated in this official e-mail (above) is the address of the Lugar Center (16 Kakheti Highway, Tbilisi).

Why does a Pentagon employee lie about his workplace? I have not received any answer. Joshua Bast drives off immediately after being challenged. He is not the only US non-diplomat working on the Pentagon program, who has been accorded diplomatic immunity. There are six diplomatic cars in the car park of the laboratory, all of them with registration plates of the US Embassy.




Six diplomatic vehicles of the US Embassy are parked in the car park of the Lugar Center. (©Al Mayadeen TV)



The Lugar Center security guard warns me to stay where I am and not to move. However, I run away. (©Asya Ivanova)
After I refuse to comply the security guards jump into an unmarked car. But I manage to escape.


Security guards are patrolling the area around the laboratory while I am hiding on the nearby bridge. (©Asya Ivanova)


These security guards patrolling the area around the laboratory in an unmarked car are paid for by the Pentagon and not by the government of Georgia, according to information obtained from the US Federal Contract registry. Hence, Georgia has no control over the activities of its foreign sponsor. Furthermore, the Pentagon scientists can work in direct violation of international law.

International law is not applicable

Under a 3 year-long agreement between the Walter Reeds Army Institute and the Georgian National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the Pentagon has been given full access to the local collection of deadly bio agents in order to study them. These are agents which can cause Anthrax, Tularemia, Brucella and plague.




According to the agreement’s provisions, “international law is not applicable to this Agreement, the parties agree that no court, tribunal or international entity has jurisdiction or authority to consider or provide judgement in case of disputes arising between the parties of this agreement”.
Drone for releasing of toxic mosquitoes

The work that US diplomats perform at the Lugar Center has nothing to do with diplomacy and does not fall under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Joshua Bast, for instance, is an entomologist and researches insects, according to a video released by the US Embassy to promote the peaceful purposes of the otherwise military program of the US in Georgia.


A screen grab from a video promoting the peaceful intentions of the Pentagon program. Joshua Bast is presented as entomologist.
Why does an entomologist work for the US Army and why is he accorded diplomatic immunity? Entomological warfare is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to transmit diseases. Georgia borders on the US main rival – Russia. Moscow has repeatedly voiced its concerns about the potential development of biological weapons near the Russian borders, including the spread of diseases through insects.

Such fears are not groundless, considering a recent US patent for a Toxic Mosquito Aerial release system, granted by The United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2014. The invention includes a drone which can release infected mosquitoes.




According to the patent documents, the drone is capable of delivering lethal and non-lethal toxins, including any agent that can be carried and administered by a mosquito.
The inventor of the drone for the releasing of toxic mosquitoes S. Mill Calvert has patented 42 similar military inventions for the US Army and Special forces, including stroke-inducing bullets ,in a span of just two years from 2013 to 2015. A person with such a name however does not exist in the US citizens registry. The US patent Lawyer, Louis Ventre, who filed the application, declined to comment if this name was a pseudonym and who his client actually was (the e-mails below).



Documents show a number of Pentagon projects involving insects as possible vectors of diseases in Georgia. In 2014 The Lugar Center was equipped with an insect facility and launched a project on Sand Flies in Georgia and the Caucasus. In 2014-2015 sand fly species were collected under another project “Surveillance Work on Acute Febrile Illness” and all (female) sand flies were tested to determine their infectivity rate. A third project, also including sand flies collection, studied the characteristics of their salivary glands. Sand flies carry dangerous parasites in their saliva which they can transmit to humans through a bite.


Since the start of the project on flies at the Lugar Center Georgia has been infested with sand flies. Local people complain of being bitten by these newly appeared flies while naked in their bathrooms (a fly in a bathroom on the right)


The Pentagon scientists have also performed experiments involving tropical mosquitos and ticks in Georgia. In 2016, 21 590 ticks were collected for a DNA database for future studies at The Lugar Center under the Pentagon project “Assessing the Seroprevalence and Genetic Diversity of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV) and Hantaviruses in Georgia”. The Pentagon projects involving ticks coincided with an inexplicable outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) which is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus. In 2014 34 people became infected (amongst which a 4-year old child). A total of 60 cases with 9 fatalities have been registered in Georgia since 2009, according to a leaked e-mail sent by the Lugar Center director Amiran Gamkrelidze to the Minister of Health of Georgia David Sergeenko.


34 people became infected with CCHF in Georgia in 2014 alone. (Source: NCDC-Georgia)


White Powder over Chechnya

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which runs the US military program at the Lugar Center in Georgia, is alleged to have already performed field tests with an unknown substance in Chechnya, Russia. In June 2017 local citizens reported on a drone disseminating white powder close to the Russian border with Georgia.



A local resident from a village in Chechnya close to the Russia-Georgia border shows traces of white powder on his car, which he says is regularly spread in the area.

The Pentagon does have drones for powder dissemination of biological agents, according to information obtained from the US Federal contracts registry. Such field tests involving drones for bio-agent dispersion have been performed since 2012 at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The military facility not only produces live bio agents which includes anthrax, botulinum toxin, tularemia, etc. under the pretext of studying them, but also disseminates them though aerosol, powder and explosives, as proven in a 2012 US Army Report.


An offer for commercial work by the US Army – field tests involving bio-agents and drones can be found published on a US federal contracts website.
US Army documents and photos show that the Pentagon has developed various dissemination methods for bioterrorism attacks including by explosives.


Source: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test Center

Dissemination of contaminants for biological/chemical tests (©Dugway Proving Ground)

Dissemination of simulants by explosives. (©Dugway Proving Ground)

Liquid Dissemination (©Dugway Proving Ground)

Powder Dissemination (©Dugway Proving Ground)

Dissemination on the test grid (© Dugway Proving Ground)
Besides having various military capabilities to disperse bio agents, DTRA has also full access to the Russian borders, granted under a military program called Georgia Land Border Security Project. The activities, related to this project have been outsourced to a private American company – Parsons Government Services International. Parsons has been awarded a $17.7 million contract under the Pentagon border security project in Georgia. DTRA has previously contracted Parsons for similar border security projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Syria. Interestingly, a subcontractor working on this border security project – TMC Global Professional Services, also happens to be contracted by DTRA for scientific support at the Lugar Center. The same American company – TMC, which works at the Lugar Center also carries out surveillance for WMD on the Georgian borders. The project coincides with the incident involving powder dissemination which was reported and filmed in neighbouring Chechnya close to the Georgian border.

Private contractors

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has outsourced much of the work under the military program to private companies, which are not accountable to Congress, and which can operate more freely and move around the rule of law.


This e-mail for instance, dated 16 February 2018, was sent by an employee of the private Contractor, TMC Global Professional Services, on behalf of the Pentagon unit at the Lugar Center, to ask for a meeting with the Georgian Minister of Health.
TMC was awarded a $3.8 million contract in 2016 running until 2021 for support services at the Lugar Center. Interestingly, the same year the same private company was awarded another $975 million counter narcoterrorism contract by the Pentagon. Why has a company, which works for the Pentagon on a program to counter narcotics, been concurrently given work at a military laboratory which burns chemicals at night?

Leaked documents reveal another company involved in the program in Georgia – Booz Allen Hamilton.


In June 2013, Edward Snowden — at the time a Booz Allen employee contracted to projects of the National Security Agency (NSA) — publicly disclosed details of the classified mass surveillance and data collection programs of the US around the world.
Snowden’s former employer – Booz Allen Hamilton, has been awarded five lucrative contracts by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) since 2010 running until 2022, totaling at least $ 358 million for intelligence support and chemical weapons agents support services. According to the company’s website it has developed a web-based platform for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the US intelligence community. The system currently holds more than 9 terabytes of intelligence data and grows by about 1.5 million records every week.

The Pentagon has spent at least $161 million on the Lugar Center in Tbilisi under a contract with the private American contractor – CH2M Hill. This is half of the total sum of $ 361.4 million that the company had been awarded to operate Pentagon bio-laboratories in Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan and South East Asia.

According to CH2M Hill, the US company has secured biological agents and employed former bio warfare scientists at The Lugar Center. These are scientists who are working for another American company involved in the military program in Georgia – Battelle Memorial Institute.



Battelle as a $59 million subcontractor at the Lugar Center has extensive experience in research on bio-agents, as the company has already worked on the US Bio-weapons Program under 11 previous contracts with the US Army in the past. Source: US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, vol. II, 1977, p. 82

The same company also worked for the CIA under the Project Clear Vision (1997-200) Its stated goal was to reconstruct a Soviet-era anthrax bomblet in order to test its dissemination characteristics. The clandestine CIA-Battelle operation was omitted from the US Biological Weapons Convention declarations submitted to the UN.


The inauguration of the Lugar Center in Tbilisi in 2011. Andrew C. Weber (on the right) –then US Assistant Secretary of Defense (2009-2014), US DoD Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response (2014-2015), is currently a Metabiota ( the US contractor) employee.
The US Company Metabiota Inc. has been awarded $23.9 million in federal contracts under the Pentagon’s DTRA program in Georgia and Ukraine for scientific and technical consulting services. Metabiota had been contracted to perform work for DTRA befor and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa and was awarded $3.2 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.


Metabiota worked on a Pentagon’s project at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis, where three US biolabs are located.
Journalist expelled from the European Parliament for confronting US official on bioweapons

I asked US Assistant Secretary of Health Robert Kadlec for a comment during a conference on biological weapons at the European Parliament in Brussels and was immediately expelled from the conference.


Ethnic Bioweapons

Documents reveal some of the projects funded by the Pentagon. Among them projects related to Russia. The US Air Force has been specifically collecting Russian RNA and synovial tissue samples raising fears in Moscow of a covert US ethnic bio-weapons program.




Source: fbo.gov
The Pentagon has also studied the Russian Anthrax Strain at the Lugar Center for which Russia has a vaccine, a Russian Yersinia pestis Strain (which causes plague), as well as the Genome sequence of the Russian Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus strain.


According to the genome study, the Russian “DNA is available from Dr. Mikeljon Nikolich”. He is one of the Pentagon scientists at the Lugar Center and is tasked with genome research on strains in pathogen collections from former Soviet Union countries, as a leaked document (below) reveals.



In 2017 Pentagon scientists sequenced the genome of a Russian strain of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).
Leaked e-mails, between the director of the Lugar Center Amiran Gamkrelidze and the Minister of Health of Georgia David Sergeenko, also reveal an ongoing Pentagon project on Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever in the country.



Georgians used as laboratory rabbits

The minister’s e-mails also reveal another American project on Hepatitis C in Georgia including cases of death. The pilot study of the US Center for Disease Control in Georgia is called “Simplified Diagnostics and Monitoring of Hepatitis C Infected Patients in Rural Primary Care Settings Using Newly Approved Pan-Genotypic Antiviral Therapy”. It is designated as confidential information. The Ministry of Health of Georgia has signed an Agreement with the US Center for Disease Control and the private American pharmaceutical company Gilead. According to this agreement, the American side provides free medicines for Hepatitis C treatment. In exchange, the private American company cannot be held accountable for any damage (intentional or not) which may result from the program. The agreement is signed by David Sergeenko from the Georgian side.


Minister of Health of Georgia David Sergeenko in a Gilead drugs advertisement promoting the success of the program. (©Gilead)



Minister David Sergeenko has signed an agreement with Gilead which absolves the private American pharmaceutical company of any investigation – meaning that Gilead cannot be held accountable for any damage (intentional or not) which may result from the program.
From Paris with love

Leaked e-mails between minister Sergeenko and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) which supports the program on Hepatitic C in Georgia reveal private meetings in Paris between the government officials and Gilead.



Confidential reports: At least 100 death cases in Georgia

Leaked confidential documents show at least 100 deaths reported to Gilead, over the last 3 years, of patients under treatment with the Gilead drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni which had been provided to them for free.

Georgians have been used as laboratory rabbits for a new Hepatitis C experimental treatment by the private American company along with the US Center for Disease Control. Moreover, in some of the death cases reports sent to Gilead from the Georgian Ministry of Health the cause of death is indicated as unknown or not related to the treatment. 30 Georgians died during the drug clinical trials in December 2015 alone. Another 30 death cases were reported in April 2016, also in the span of only a month. It is worth noting that the drugs are neither emergency resuscitation drugs for patients in clinical death condition, nor cancer palliative drugs. Most causes of death remain obscure and some diagnoses do not correlate with the International Classification of Diseases by WHO.




A discrepancy in a 2017 death case report from the Georgian Ministry of Health to Gilead raises questions – how can a dead patient continue his treatment after his death?
30 cases of death were reported in April 2016 alone. According to the reports, however, the cause of death was not linked to the treatment or was unknown.


30 cases of death were reported in April 2016 alone. According to the reports, however, the cause of death was not linked to the treatment or was unknown.
To make things worse, the US government agency has launched the ostensibly altruistic project on free medicines for the poor Georgian people in partnership with the private American company Gilead thus being in direct conflict of interest. A financial report for 2017 reveals that the same company Gilead is among the main sponsors of the Center for Disease Control Foundation.

The biggest shareholder in Gilead is the former US Minister of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

On 5 September 2018, the Anticorruption Department of the Georgian National Security Agency announced that it had launched an investigation into the Hepatitis C program.

The US-funded Lugar Center in Tbilisi may have been involved in illegal experiments on Georgian citizens, the country’s former security minister Igor Giorgadze has claimed, citing leaked documents he obtained. He said he managed to acquire over 100,000 pages of documents about the research done at the Richard Lugar Center.

The minister of Health of Georgia David Sergeenko did not respond to my questions. The leaked e-mails though show the minister’s reaction.


The minister has forwarded the e-mail to his press center swearing at me in Georgian: “Who the hell is she and where did she get my e-mail from?”
Coincidentally I was inexplicably locked up in the bedroom of my rented flat in Tbilisi while sleeping and was freed by Emergency services who accessed the locked room through the roof.


The police have no answer as to who had broken into the flat, locked me up and why, given that nothing had been stolen. Probably someone does not want journalists to investigate what chemicals are secretly burnt at night in the Pentagon funded laboratory and why a private contractor on a Pentagon program to counter narcotics also happens to work at the same laboratory.

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Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
http://dilyana.bg/
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is a Bulgarian investigative journalist, Middle East correspondent and Arms Watch founder. Over the last two years she has published a series of revealing reports on weapons supplies to terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Her current work is focused on documenting war crimes and illicit arms exports to war zones around the world.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonathan Latham
Science Writings
A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic
July 16, 2020

https://jonathanlatham.net/a-proposed-origin-for-sars-cov-2-and-the-co vid-19-pandemic/

by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD

In all the discussions of the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, enormous scientific attention has been paid to the molecular character of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including its novel genome sequence in comparison with its near relatives. In stark contrast, virtually no attention has been paid to the physical provenance of those nearest genetic relatives, its presumptive ancestors, which are two viral sequences named BtCoV/4991 and RaTG13.

This neglect is surprising because their provenance is more than interesting. BtCoV/4991 and RaTG13 were collected from a mineshaft in Yunnan province, China, in 2012/2013 by researchers from the lab of Zheng-li Shi at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Very shortly before, in the spring of 2012, six miners working in the mine had contracted a mysterious illness and three of them had died (Wu et al., 2014). The specifics of this mystery disease have been virtually forgotten; however, they are described in a Chinese Master’s thesis written in 2013 by a doctor who supervised their treatment.

We arranged to have this Master’s thesis translated into English. The evidence it contains has led us to reconsider everything we thought we knew about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also led us to theorise a plausible route by which an apparently isolated disease outbreak in a mine in 2012 led to a global pandemic in 2019.

The origin of SARS-CoV-2 that we propose below is based on the case histories of these miners and their hospital treatment. This simple theory accounts for all the key features of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, including ones that have puzzled virologists since the outbreak began.

The theory can account for the origin of the polybasic furin cleavage site, which is a region of the viral spike protein that makes it susceptible to cleavage by the host enzyme furin and which greatly enhances viral spread in the body. This furin site is novel to SARS-CoV-2 compared to its near relatives (Coutard, et al., 2020). The theory also explains the exceptional affinity of the virus spike protein for human receptors, which has also surprised virologists (Letko et al., 2020; Piplani et al, 2020; Wrapp et al., 2020; Walls et al., 2020). The theory further explains why the virus has barely evolved since the pandemic began, which is also a deeply puzzling aspect of a virus supposedly new to humans (Zhan et al., 2020; van Dorp et al., 2020; Chaw et al., 2020). Lastly, the theory neatly explains why SARS-CoV-2 targets the lungs, which is unusual for a coronavirus (Huang et al., 2020).

We do not propose a specifically genetically engineered or biowarfare origin for the virus but the theory does propose an essential causative role in the pandemic for scientific research carried out by the laboratory of Zheng-li Shi at the WIV; thus also explaining Wuhan as the location of the epicentre.

Why has the provenance of RaTG13 and BtCoV/4991 been ignored?
The apparent origin of the COVID-19 pandemic is the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China. Wuhan is also home to the world’s leading research centre for bat coronaviruses. There are two virology labs in the city, both have either collected bat coronaviruses or researched them in the recent past. The Shi lab, which collected BtCoV/4991 and RaTG13, recently received grants to evaluate by experiment the potential for pandemic pathogenicity of the novel bat coronaviruses they collected from the wild.

To add to these suggestive data points, there is a long history of accidents, disease outbreaks, and even pandemics resulting from lab accidents with viruses (Furmanski, 2014; Weiss et al., 2015). For these and other reasons, summarised in our article The Case is Building that COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin, we (a virologist and a geneticist) and others have concluded that a lab outbreak is a credible thesis. Certainly, a lab origin has at least as much circumstantial evidence to support it as does any natural zoonotic origin theory (Piplani et al., 2020; Segreto and Deigin, 2020; Zhan et al., 2020).

The media, normally so enamoured of controversy, has largely declined even to debate the possibility of a laboratory escape. Many news sites have simply labelled it a conspiracy theory.

The principal reason for media dismissals of the lab origin possibility is a review paper in Nature Medicine (Andersen et al., 2020). Although by Jun 29 2020 this review had almost 700 citations it also has major scientific shortcomings. These flaws are worth understanding in their own right but they are also useful background for understanding the implications of the Master’s thesis.

Andersen et al., a critique
The question of the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic is, in outline, simple. There are two incontrovertible facts. One, the disease is caused by a human viral pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, first identified in Wuhan in December 2019 and whose RNA genome sequence is known. Second, all of its nearest known relatives come from bats. Beyond any reasonable doubt SARS-CoV-2 evolved from an ancestral bat virus. The task the Nature Medicine authors set for themselves was to establish the relative merits of each of the various possible routes (lab vs natural) by which a bat coronavirus might have jumped to humans and in the same process have acquired an unusual furin site and a spike protein having very high affinity for the human ACE2 receptor.

When Andersen et al. outline a natural zoonotic pathway they speculate extensively about how the leap might have occurred. In particular they elaborate on a proposed residence in intermediate animals, likely pangolins. For example, “The presence in pangolins of an RBD [Receptor Binding Domain] very similar to that of SARS-CoV-2 means that we can infer that this was probably in the virus that jumped to humans. This leaves the insertion of [a] polybasic cleavage site to occur during human-to-human transmission.” This viral evolution occurred in “Malayan pangolins illegally imported into Guangdong province”. Even with these speculations there are major gaps in this theory. For example, why is the virus so well adapted to humans? Why Wuhan, which is 1,000 Km from Guangdong? (See map).

china province guide
china province guide
The authors provide no such speculations in favour of the lab accident thesis, only speculation against it:

“Finally, the generation of the predicted O-linked glycans is also unlikely to have occurred due to cell-culture passage, as such features suggest the involvement of an immune system.” (italics added).

[Passaging is the deliberate placing of live viruses into cells or organisms to which they are NOT adapted for the purpose of making them adapted, i.e. speeding up their evolution.]

It is also noteworthy that the Andersen authors set a higher hurdle for the lab thesis than the zoonotic thesis. In their account, the lab thesis is required to explain all of the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 from its presumed bat viral ancestor, whereas under their telling of the zoonotic thesis the key step of the addition of the furin site is allowed to happen in humans and is thus effectively unexplained.

A further imbalance is that key information needed to judge the merits of a lab origin theory is missing from their account. As we detailed in our previous article, in their search for SARS-like viruses with zoonotic spillover potential, researchers at the WIV have passaged live bat viruses in monkey and human cells (Wang et al., 2019). They have also performed many recombinant experiments with diverse bat coronaviruses (Ge et al., 2013; Menachery et al., 2015; Hu et al., 2017). Such experiments have generated international concern over the possible creation of potential pandemic viruses (Lipsitch, 2018). As we showed too, the Shi lab had also won a grant to extend that work to whole live animals. They planned “virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice” with recombinant bat coronaviruses. Yet Andersen et al did not discuss this research at all, except to say:

“Basic research involving passage of bat SARS-CoV-like coronaviruses in cell culture and/or animal models has been ongoing for many years in biosafety level 2 laboratories across the world”

This statement is fundamentally misleading about the kind of research performed at the Shi lab.

A further important oversight by the Andersen authors concerns the history of lab outbreaks of viral pathogens. They write: “there are documented instances of laboratory escapes of SARS-CoV”. This is a rather matter-of-fact allusion to the fact that since 2003 there have been six documented outbreaks of SARS from labs, not all in China, with some leading to fatalities (Furmanski, 2014).

Andersen et al might have also have noted that two major human pandemics are widely accepted to have been caused by lab outbreaks of viral pathogens, H1N1 in 1977 and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (summarised in Furmanski, 2014). Andersen could even have noted that literally hundreds of lab accidents with viruses have resulted in near-misses or very localised outbreaks (summarised by Lynn Klotz and Sam Husseini and also Weiss et al., 2015).

Also unmentioned were instances where a lab outbreak of an experimental or engineered virus has been plausibly theorised but remains uninvestigated. For example, the most coherent explanation for the H1N1 variant ‘swine flu’ pandemic of 2009/10 that resulted in a death toll estimated by some as high as 200,000 (Duggal et al., 2016; Simonsen et al. 2013), is that a vaccine was improperly inactivated by its maker (Gibbs et al., 2009). If so, H1N1 emerged from a lab not once but twice.

Given that human and livestock viral outbreaks have frequently come from laboratories and that many scientists have warned of probable lab escapes (Lipsitch and Galvani, 2014), and that the WIV itself has a questionable biosafety record, the Andersen paper is not an even-handed treatment of the possible origins of the COVID-19 virus.

Yet its text expresses some strong opinions: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus….It is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of a related SARS-CoV-like coronavirus…..the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used backbone….the evidence shows that SARS-CoV2 is not a purposefully manipulated virus….we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is possible.” (Andersen et al., 2020).

It is hard not to conclude that what their paper mostly shows is that Drs. Andersen, Rambaut, Lipkin, Holmes and Garry much prefer the natural zoonotic transfer thesis. Their rhetoric is forthright but the evidence does not support that confidence.

Indeed, since the publication of Andersen et al., important new evidence has emerged that undermines their zoonotic origin theory. On May 26th the Chinese CDC ruled out the Huanan “wet” market in Wuhan as the source of the outbreak. Additionally, new research on pangolins, the favoured intermediate mammal host, suggests they are not a natural reservoir of coronaviruses (Lee et al., 2020; Chan and Zhan, 2020). Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 was found not to replicate in bat kidney or lung cells (Rhinolophus sinicus), implying that SARS-CoV-2 is not a recently-adapted spill over Chu et al., 2020).

The Mojiang mine and the Master’s thesis
In our own search to resolve the COVID-19 origin question we chose to focus on the provenance of the coronavirus genome sequences BtCoV/4991 and RaTG13, since these are the most closely related sequences to SARS-CoV-2 (98.7% and 96.2% identical respectively). See FIG 1. (reproduced from P. Zhou et al., 2020).

Similarity of Sars-CoV-2 to RaTG13
Similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to RaTG13 (blue line) and other coronaviruses (red, green, pink) (Image from Zhou et al., 2020). The higher the line the more similar the virus.
For comparison, the next closest virus to SARS-CoV-2 is RmYN02 (not shown in Fig 1.) (H. Zhou et al., 2020). RmYN02 has an overall similarity to SARS-CoV-2 of 93.2%, making its evolutionary distance from SARS-CoV-2 almost twice as great.

BtCoV/4991 was first described in 2016. It is a 370 nucleotide virus fragment collected from the Mojiang mine in 2013 by the lab of Zeng-li Shi at the WIV (Ge et al., 2016). BtCoV/4991 is 100% identical in sequence to one segment of RaTG13. RaTG13 is a complete viral genome sequence (almost 30,000 nucleotides) that was only published in 2020, after the pandemic began (P. Zhou et al., 2020).

Despite the confusion created by their different names, in a letter obtained by us Zheng-li Shi confirmed to a virology database that BtCoV/4991 and RaTG13 are both from the same bat faecal sample and the same mine. They are thus sequences from the same virus. In the discussion below we will refer primarily to RaTG13 and specify BtCoV/4991 only as necessary.

These specifics are important because it is these samples and their provenance that we believe are ultimately key to unravelling the mystery of the origins of COVID-19.

The story begins in April 2012 when six workers in that same Mojiang mine fell ill from a mystery illness while removing bat faeces. Three of the six subsequently died.

In a March 2020 interview with Scientific American Zeng-li Shi dismissed the significance of these deaths, claiming the miners died of fungal infections. Indeed, no miners or deaths are mentioned in the paper published by the Shi lab documenting the collection of RaTG13 (Ge et al., 2016).

But Shi’s assessment does not tally with any other contemporaneous accounts of the miners and their illness (Rahalkar and Bahulikar, 2020). As these authors have pointed out, Science magazine wrote up part of the incident in 2014 as A New Killer Virus in China?. Science was citing a different team of virologists who found a paramyxovirus in rats from the mine. These virologists told Science they found “no direct relationship between human infection” and their virus. This expedition was later published as the discovery of a new virus called MojV after Mojiang, the locality of the mine (Wu et al., 2014).

What this episode suggests though is that these researchers were looking for a potentially lethal virus and not a lethal fungus. Also searching the Mojiang mine for a virus at around the same time was Canping Huang, the author of a PhD thesis carried out under the supervision of George Gao, the head of the Chinese CDC.

All of this begs the question of why the Shi lab, which has no interest in fungi but a great interest in SARS-like bat coronaviruses, also searched the Mojiang mine for bat viruses on four separate occasions between August 2012 and July 2013, even though the mine is a 1,000 Km from Wuhan (Ge et al., 2016). These collecting trips began while some of the miners were still hospitalised.

Fortunately, a detailed account of the miner’s diagnoses and treatments exists. It is found in a Master’s thesis written in Chinese in May 2013. Its suggestive English title is “The Analysis of 6 Patients with Severe Pneumonia Caused by Unknown viruses“.

The original English version of the abstract implicates a SARS-like coronavirus as the probable causative agent and that the mine “had a lot of bats and bats’ feces”.

The findings of the Master’s thesis
To learn more, especially about the reasonableness of this diagnosis, we arranged to have the whole Master’s thesis translated into English and are here making the translation available. To read it in full see the embedded document below.

DOCUMENT
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The six ill miners were admitted to the No. 1. School of Clinical Medicine, Kunming Medical University, in short succession in late April and early May 2012. Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province and 250 Km from Mojiang.

Of the descriptions of the miners and their treatments, which include radiographs and numerous CAT scans, several features stand out:

1) From their admission to the hospital their doctors informed the “medical office” of a potential “outburst of disease” i.e. a potential epidemic outbreak. Thus, the miners were treated for infections and not as if they had inhaled noxious gases or other toxins.

2) The symptoms (on admission) of the six miners were: a) dry cough, b) sputum, c) high fevers, especially shortly before death d) difficulty breathing, e) myalgia (sore limbs). Some patients had hiccoughs and headaches. (See Table 1).

The Syndromes of the six Mojiang Mine patients
The Syndromes of the six Mojiang Mine patients
3) Clinical work established that patients 1-4 had low blood oxygen “for sure it was ARDS” (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and immune damage considered indicative of viral infection. Additionally, a tendency for thrombosis was noted in patients 2 and 4. Symptom severity and mortality were age-related (though from a sample of 6 this must be considered anecdotal).

4) Potential common and rare causes of their symptoms were tested for and mostly eliminated. For patients 3 and 4 these included tests for HIV, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Japanese encephalitis, haemorrhagic fever, Dengue, Hepatitis B, SARS, and influenza. Of these, only patient 2 tested positive for Hepatitis and EBV.

5) Treatment of the six patients included ventilation (patients 2-4), steroids (all patients), antivirals (all except patient 5), and blood thinners (patients 2 and 4). Antibiotics and antifungal medications were administered to counter what were considered secondary (but significant) co-infections.

6) A small number of remote meetings were held with researchers at other universities. One was with Zhong Nanshan at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangdong. Zhong is the Chinese hero of the SARS epidemic, a virologist, and arguably the most famous scientist in China.

7) Samples from the miners were later sent to the WIV in Wuhan and to Zhong Nanshan, further confirming that viral disease was strongly suspected. Some miners did test positive for coronavirus (the thesis is unclear on how many).

Cool The source of infection was concluded to be Rhinolophus sinicus, a horseshoe bat and the ultimate conclusion of the thesis reads “the unknown virus lead to severe pneumonia could be: The SARS-like-CoV from the Chinese rufous horseshoe bat.” Thus the miners had a coronavirus but it apparently was not SARS itself.

The significance of the Master’s thesis
These findings of the thesis are significant in several ways.

First, in the light of the current coronavirus pandemic it is evident the miners’ symptoms very closely resemble those of COVID-19 (Huang et al, 2020; Tay et al., 2020; M. Zhou et al., 2020). Anyone presenting with them today would immediately be assumed to have COVID-19. Likewise, many of the treatments given to the miners have become standard for COVID-19 (Tay et al., 2020).

Second, the remote meeting with Zhong Nanshan is significant. It implies that the illnesses of the six miners were of high concern and, second, that a SARS-like coronavirus was considered a likely cause.

Third, the abstract, the conclusions, and the general inferences to be made from the Master’s thesis contradict Zheng-li Shi’s assertion that the miners died from a fungal infection. Fungal infection as a potential primary cause was raised but largely discarded.

Fourth, if a SARS-like coronavirus was the source of their illness the implication is that it could directly infect human cells. This would be unusual for a bat coronavirus (Ge et al., 2013). People do sometimes get ill from bat faeces but the standard explanation is histoplasmosis, a fungal infection and not a virus (McKinsey and McKinsey, 2011; Pan et al., 2013).

Fifth, the sampling by the Shi lab found that bat coronaviruses were unusually abundant in the mine (Ge at al., 2016). Among their findings were two betacoronaviruses, one of which was RaTG13 (then known as BtCoV/4991). In the coronavirus world betacoronaviruses are special in that both SARS and MERS, the most deadly of all coronaviruses, are both betacoronaviruses. Thus they are considered to have special pandemic potential, as the concluding sentence of the Shi lab publication which found RaTG13 implied: “special attention should particularly be paid to these lineages of coronaviruses” (Ge at al., 2016). In fact, the Shi and other labs have for years been predicting that bat betacoronaviruses like RaTG13 would go pandemic; so to find RaTG13 where the miners fell ill was a scenario in perfect alignment with their expectations.

The Mojiang miners passaging proposal
How does the Master’s thesis inform the search for a plausible origin of the pandemic?

In our previous article we briefly discussed how the pandemic might have been caused either by a virus collection accident, or through viral passaging, or through genetic engineering and a subsequent lab escape. The genetic engineering possibility deserves attention and is extensively assessed in an important preprint (Segreto and Deigin, 2020).

We do not definitively rule out these possibilities. Indeed it now seems that the Shi lab at the WIV did not forget about RaTG13 but were sequencing its genome in 2017 and 2018. However, we believe that the Master’s thesis indicates a much simpler explanation.

We suggest, first, that inside the miners RaTG13 (or a very similar virus) evolved into SARS-CoV-2, an unusually pathogenic coronavirus highly adapted to humans. Second, that the Shi lab used medical samples taken from the miners and sent to them by Kunming University Hospital for their research. It was this human-adapted virus, now known as SARS-CoV-2­, that escaped from the WIV in 2019.

We refer to this COVID-19 origin hypothesis as the Mojiang Miners Passage (MMP) hypothesis.

Passaging is a standard virological technique for adapting viruses to new species, tissues, or cell types. It is normally done by deliberately infecting a new host species or a new host cell type with a high dose of virus. This initial viral infection would ordinarily die out because the host’s immune system vanquishes the ill-adapted virus. But, in passaging, before it does die out a sample is extracted and transferred to a new identical tissue, where viral infection restarts. Done iteratively, this technique (called “serial passaging” or just “passaging”) intensively selects for viruses adapted to the new host or cell type (Herfst et al., 2012).

At first glance RaTG13 is unlikely to have evolved into SARS-CoV-2 since RaTG13 is approximately 1,200 nucleotides (3.8%) different from SARS-CoV-2. Although RaTG13 is the most closely related virus to SARS-CoV-2, this sequence difference still represents a considerable gap. In a media statement evolutionary virologist Edward Holmes has suggested this gap represents 20-50 years of evolution and others have suggested similar figures.

We agree that ordinary rates of evolution would not allow RaTG13 to evolve into SARS-CoV-2 but we also believe that conditions inside the lungs of the miners were far from ordinary. Five major factors specific to the hospitalised miners favoured a very high rate of evolution inside them.

i) When viruses infect new species they typically undergo a period of very rapid evolution because the selection pressure on the invading pathogen is high. The phenomenon of rapid evolution in new hosts is well attested among corona- and other viruses (Makino et al., 1986; Baric et al., 1997; Dudas and Rambaut 2016; Forni et al., 2017).

ii) Judging by their clinical symptoms such as the CT scans, all the miner’s infections were primarily of the lungs. This localisation likely occurred initially because the miners were exerting themselves and therefore inhaling the disturbed bat guano deeply. As miners, they may already have had damaged lung tissues (patient 3 had suspected pneumoconiosis) and/or particulate matter was present that irritated the tissues and may have facilitated initial viral entry.

In contrast, standard coronavirus infections are confined to the throat and upper respiratory tract. They do not normally reach the lungs (Perlman and Netland, 2009). Lungs are far larger tissues by weight (kilos vs grammes) than the upper respiratory tract. There was therefore likely a much larger quantity of virus inside the miners than would be the case in an ordinary coronavirus infection.

Comparing a typical coronavirus respiratory tract infection with the extent of infected lungs in the miners from a purely mathematical point of view indicates the potential scale of this quantitative difference. The human aerodigestive tract is approximately 20cm in length and 5cm in circumference, i.e. approximately 100 cm2 in surface area. The surface area of a human lung ranges from 260,000-680,000 cm2 (Hasleton, 1972). The amount of potentially infected tissue in an average lung is therefore approximately 4500-fold greater than that available to a normal coronavirus infection. The amount of virus present in the infected miners, sufficient to hospitalise all of them and kill half of them, was thus proportionately very large.

Evolutionary change is in large part a function of the population size. The lungs of the miners, we suggest, supported a very high viral load leading to proportionately rapid viral evolution.

Furthermore, according to the Master’s thesis, the immune systems of the miners were compromised and remained so even for those discharged. This weakness on the part of the miners may also have encouraged evolution of the virus.

iii) The length of infection experienced by the miners (especially patients 2, 3 and 4) far exceeded that of an ordinary coronavirus infection. From first becoming too sick to work in the mine, patient 2 survived 57 days until he died. Patient 3 survived 120 days after stopping work. Patient 4 survived 117 days and then was discharged as cured. Each had been exposed in the mine for 14 days prior to the onset of severe symptoms; thus each presumably had nascent infections for some time before calling in sick (See Table 2 of the thesis).

In contrast, in ordinary coronavirus infections the viral infection is cleared within about ten to fourteen days after being acquired (Tay et al., 2020). Thus, unlike most sufferers from coronavirus infection, the hospitalised miners had very long-term bouts of disease characterised by a continuous high load of virus. In the cases of patients 3 and 4 their illnesses lasted over 4 months.

iv) Coronaviruses are well known to recombine at very high rates: 10% of all progeny in a cell can be recombinants (Makino et al., 1986; Banner and Lai, 1991; Dudas and Rambaut, 2016). In normal virus evolution the mutation rate and the selection pressure are the main foci of attention. But in the case of a coronavirus adapting to a new host where many mutations distributed all over the genome are required to fully adapt to the new host, the recombination rate is likely to be highly influential in determining the overall speed of adaptation by the virus population (Baric et al., 1997).

Inside the miners a large tissue was simultaneously infected by a population of poorly-adapted viruses, with each therefore under pressure to adapt. Even if the starting population of virus lacked any diversity, many individual viruses would have acquired mutations independently but only recombination would have allowed these mutations to unite in the same genome. To recombine, viruses must be present in the same cell. In such a situation the particularities of lung tissues become potentially important because the existence of airways (bronchial tubes, etc.) allows partially-adapted viruses from independent viral populations to travel to distal parts of the lung (or even the other lung) and encounter other such partially-adapted viruses and populations. This movement around the lungs would likely have resulted in what amounted to a passaging effect without the need for a researcher to infect new tissues. Indeed, in the Master’s thesis the observation is several times made that areas of the lungs of a specific patient would appear to heal even while other parts of the lungs would become infected.

v) There were also a number of unusual things about the bat coronaviruses in the mine. They were abnormally abundant but also there were many different kinds, often causing co-infections of the bats (Ge et al., 2016). Viral co-infections are often more infectious or more pathogenic (Latham and Wilson, 2007).

As the WIV researchers remarked about the bats in the mine:

“we observed a high rate of co-infection with two coronavirus species and interspecies infection with the same coronavirus species within or across bat families. These phenomena may be owing to the diversity and high density of bat populations in the same cave, facilitating coronavirus intra- and interspecies transmissions, which may result in recombination and acceleration of coronavirus evolution.” (Ge et al., 2016).

The diversity of coronaviruses in the mine suggests that the miners were similarly exposed and that their illness may potentially have begun as co-infections.

Combining these observations, we propose that the miners’ lungs offered an unprecedented opportunity for accelerated evolution of a highly bat-adapted coronavirus into a highly human-adapted coronavirus and that decades of ordinary coronavirus evolution could easily have been condensed into months. However, we acknowledge that these conditions were unique. They and their scale have no exact scientific precedent we can refer to and they would be hard to replicate in a lab; thus it is important to emphasize that our proposal is fully consistent with the underlying principles of viral evolution as understood today.

In support of the MMP theory we also know something about the samples taken from the miners. According to the Master’s thesis, samples were taken from patients for “scientific research” and blood samples (at least) were sent to the WIV.

“In the later stage we worked with Dr. Zhong Nan Shan and did some sampling. The patient* tested positive for serum IgM by the WuHan Institute of Virology. It suggested the existence of virus infection” (p62 in the section “Comprehensive Analysis”.)

(*The original does not specify the number of patients tested.)

The Master’s thesis also states its regret that no samples for research were taken from patients 1 and 2, implying that samples were taken from all the others.

We further know that, on June 27th, 2012, the doctors performed an unexplained thymectomy on patient 4. The thymus is an immune organ that can potentially be removed without greatly harming the patient and it could have contained large quantities of virus. Beyond this the Master’s thesis is unfortunately unclear on the specifics of what sampling was done, for what purpose, and where each particular sample went.

Given the interests of the Shi lab in zoonotic origins of human disease, once such a sample was sent to them, it would have been obvious and straightforward for them to investigate how a virus from bats had managed to infect these miners. Any viruses recoverable from the miners would likely have been viewed by them as a unique natural experiment in human passaging offering unprecedented and otherwise-impossible-to-obtain insights into how bat coronaviruses can adapt to humans.

The logical course of such research would be to sequence viral RNA extracted directly from unfrozen tissue or blood samples and/or to generate live infectious clones for which it would be useful (if not imperative) to amplify the virus by placing it in human cell culture. Either technique could have led to accidental infection of a lab researcher.

Our supposition as to why there was a time lag between sample collection (in 2012/2013) and the COVID-19 outbreak is that the researchers were awaiting BSL-4 lab construction and certification, which was underway in 2013 but delayed until 2018.

We propose that, when frozen samples derived from the miners were eventually opened in the Wuhan lab they were already highly adapted to humans to an extent possibly not anticipated by the researchers. One small mistake or mechanical breakdown could have led directly to the first human infection in late 2019.

Thus, one of the miners, most likely patient 3, or patient 4 (whose thymus was removed), was effectively patient zero of the COVID-19 epidemic. In this scenario, COVID-19 is not an engineered virus; but, equally, if it had not been taken to Wuhan and no further molecular research had been performed or planned for it then the virus would have died out from natural causes, rather than escaped to initiate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evidence in favour of the MMP proposal
Our proposal is consistent with all the principal undisputed facts concerning SARS-CoV-2 and its origin. The MMP proposal has the additional benefit of reconciling many observations concerning SARS-CoV-2 that have proven difficult to reconcile with any natural zoonotic hypothesis.

For instance, using different approaches, numerous researchers have concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a very high affinity for the human ACE2 receptor (Walls et al., 2020; Piplani et al., 2020; Shang and Ye et al., 2020; Wrapp et al., 2020). Such exceptional affinities, ten to twenty times as great as that of the original SARS virus, do not arise at random, making it very hard to explain in any other way than for the virus to have been strongly selected in the presence of a human ACE2 receptor (Piplani et al., 2020).

In addition to this, a recent report found that the spike of RaTG13 binds the human ACE2 receptor (Shang and Ye et al., 2020). We proposed above that the virus in the mine directly infected humans lung cells. The main determinant of cell infection and species specificity of coronaviruses is initial receptor binding (Perlman and Netland, 2009). Thus RaTG13, unlike most bat coronaviruses, probably can enter and infect human cells, providing biological plausibility to the idea that the miners became infected with a coronavirus resembling RaTG13.

Moreover, the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, which is the region of the spike that physically contacts the human ACE2 receptor, has recently been crystallised to reveal its spatial structure (Shang and Ye et al., 2020). These authors found close structural similarities between the spikes of SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 in how they bound the human ACE2 receptor:

“Second, as with SARS-CoV-2, bat RaTG13 RBM [a region of the RBD] contains a similar four-residue motif in the ACE2 binding ridge, supporting the notion that SARS-CoV-2 may have evolved from RaTG13 or a RaTG13-related bat coronavirus (Extended Data Table 3 and Extended Data Fig. 7). Third, the L486F, Y493Q and D501N residue changes from RaTG13 to SARS CoV-2 enhance ACE2 recognition and may have facilitated the bat-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Extended Data Table 3 and Extended Data Fig. 7). A lysine-to-asparagine mutation at the 479 position in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD (corresponding to the 493 position in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD) enabled SARS-CoV to infect humans. Fourth, Leu455 contributes favourably to ACE2 recognition, and it is conserved between RaTG13 and SARS CoV-2; its presence in the SARS CoV-2 RBM may be important for the bat-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2″ (Shang and Ye et al., 2020). (italics added)

The significance of this molecular similarity is very great. Coronaviruses have evolved a diverse set of molecular solutions to solve the problem of binding ACE2 (Perlman and Netland, 2009; Forni et al., 2017). The fact that RaTG13 and SARS CoV-2 share the same solution makes RaTG13 a highly likely direct ancestor of Sars-CoV-2.

A further widely noted feature of SARS-CoV-2 is its furin site (Coutard et al., 2020). This site is absent from RaTG13 and other closely related coronaviruses. The most closely related virus with such a site is the highly lethal MERS (which broke out in 2012). Possession of a furin site enables SARS-CoV-2 (like MERS) to infect lungs and many other body tissues (such as the gastrointestinal tract and neurons), explaining much of its lethality (Hoffman et al., 2020; Lamers et al., 2020). However, no convincing explanation for how SARS-CoV-2 acquired this site has yet been offered. Our suggestion is that it arose due to the high selection pressure which existed in the miner’s lungs and which in general worked to ensure that the virus became highly adapted to the lungs. This explanation, which encompasses how SARS-CoV-2 came to target lung tissues in general, is an important aspect of our proposal.

The implication is therefore that the furin site was not acquired by recombination with another coronavirus and simply represents convergent evolution (as suggested by Andersen et al., 2020).

An intriguing alternative possibility is that SARS-CoV-2 acquired its furin site directly from the miner’s lungs. Humans possess an epithelial sodium channel protein called ENaC-a whose furin cleavage site is identical over eight amino acids to SARS-CoV-2 (Anand et al., 2020). ENaC-a protein is present in the same airway epithelial and lung tissues infected by SARS-CoV-2. It is known from plants that positive-stranded RNA viruses recombine readily with host mRNAs (Greene and Allison, 1994; Greene and Allison, 1996; Lommel and Xiong, 1991; Borja et al., 2007). The same evidence base is not available for positive-stranded animal RNA viruses, (though see Gorbalenya, 1992) but if plant viruses are a guide then acquisition of its furin site via recombination with the mRNA which encodes ENaC-a by SARS-CoV-2 is a strong possibility.

A further feature of SARS-CoV-2 has been the very limited adaptive evolution of its genome since the pandemic began (Zhan et al., 2020; van Dorp et al., 2020; Starr et al., 2020). It is a well-established principle that viruses that jump species undergo accelerated evolutionary change in their new host (e.g. Baric et al., 1997). Thus, SARS and MERS (both coronaviruses) underwent rapid and readily detectable adaptation to their new human hosts (Forni et al., 2017; Dudas and Rambaut, 2016). Such an adaptation period has not been observed for SARS-CoV-2 even though it has now infected many more individuals than SARS or MERS did. This has even led to suggestions that the SARS-CoV-2 virus had a period of cryptic circulation in humans infections that predated the pandemic (Chaw et al., 2020). The sole mutation consistently observed to accumulate across multiple studies is a D614G substitution in the spike protein (e.g. Korber et al., 2020). The numerically largest analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes, however, found no evidence at all for adaptive evolution, even for D614G (van Dorp et al., 2020).

The general observation is therefore that Sars-CoV-2 has remained functionally unchanged or virtually so (except for inconsequential genetic changes) since the pandemic began. This is a very important observation. It implies that SARS-CoV-2 is highly adapted across its whole set of component proteins and not just at the spike (Zhan et al., 2020). That is to say, its evolutionary leap to humans was completed before the 2019 pandemic began.

It is hard to imagine an explanation for this high adaptiveness other than some kind of passaging in a human body (Zhan et al., 2020). Not even passaging in human cells could have achieved such an outcome.

Two examples illustrate this point. In a follow up to Shang and Ye et al., (2020), a similar group of Minnesota researchers identified a distinct strategy by which the spike (S) protein (which contains the receptor bind domain; RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 evades the human immune system (Shang and Wan et al., 2020). This strategy involves more effective hiding of its RBD, but it implies again that the spike and the RBD evolved in tandem and in the presence of the human immune system (i.e. in a human body and not in tissue culture).

The Andersen authors, in their critique of a possible engineered origin for SARS-CoV-2, also stress the need for passaging in whole humans:

“Finally, the generation of the predicted O-linked glycans is also unlikely to have occurred during cell-culture passage, as such features suggest the involvement of an immune system” (Andersen et al., 2020).

The final point that we would like to make is that the principal zoonotic origin thesis is the one proposed by Andersen et al. Apart from being poorly supported this thesis is very complex. It requires two species jumps, at least two recombination events between quite distantly related coronaviruses and the physical transfer of a pangolin (having a coronavirus infection) from outside China (Andersen et al., 2020). Even then it provides no logical explanation of the adaptedness of SARS-CoV-2 across its whole genome or why the virus emerged in Wuhan.

By contrast, our MMP proposal requires only the one species jump, which is documented in the Master’s thesis. Although we do not rule out a possible role for mixed infections in the lungs of the miners, nor the possibility of recombination between closely related variants in those lungs, nor the potential acquisition of the furin site from a host mRNA, only mutation was needed to derive SARS-CoV-2 from RaTG13. Hence our attention earlier to the figure from P. Zhou et al., 2020 showing that RaTG13 is the most closely related virus to SARS-CoV-2 over its entire length. This extended similarity is perfectly consistent with a mutational origin of SARS-CoV-2 from RaTG13.

In short, the MMP theory is a plausible and parsimonious explanation of all the key features of the COVID-19 pandemic and its origin. It accounts for the propensity of SARS-CoV-2 infections to target the lungs; the apparent preadapted nature of the virus; and its transmission from bats in Yunnan to humans in Wuhan.

Further questions
The hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 evolved in the Mojiang miner’s lungs potentially resolves many scientific questions about the origin of the pandemic. But it raises others having to do with why this information has not come to light hitherto. The most obvious of these concern the actions of the Shi lab at the WIV.

Why did the Shi lab not acknowledge the miners’ deaths in any paper describing samples taken from the mine (Ge et al., 2016 and P. Zhou et al., 2020)? Why in the title of the Ge at al. 2016 paper did the Shi lab call it an “abandoned” mine? When they published the sequence of RaTG13 in Feb. 2020, why did the Shi lab provide a new name (RaTG13) for BtCoV/4991 when they had by then cited BtCoV/4991 twice in publications and once in a genome sequence database and when their sequences were from the same sample and 100% identical (P. Zhou et al., 2020)? If it was just a name change, why no acknowledgement of this in their 2020 paper describing RaTG13 (Bengston, 2020)? These strange and unscientific actions have obscured the origins of the closest viral relatives of SARS-CoV-2, viruses that are suspected to have caused a COVID-like illness in 2012 and which may be key to understanding not just the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic but the future behaviour of SARS-CoV-2.

These are not the only questionable actions associated with the provenance of samples from the mine. There were five scientific publications that very early in the pandemic reported whole genome sequences for SARS-CoV-2 (Chan et al., 2020; Chen et al., 2020; Wu et al., 2020; P. Zhou et al., 2020; Zhu et al., 2020). Despite three of them having experienced viral evolutionary biologists as authors (George Gao, Zheng-li Shi and Edward Holmes) only one of these (Chen et al., 2020) succeeded in identifying the most closely related viral sequence by far: BtCoV/4991 a viral sequence in the possession of the Shi lab at the WIV that differed from SARS-CoV-2 by just 5 nucleotides.

As we noted in our earlier article, the most important of the questions surrounding the origins of SARS-CoV-2 could potentially be resolved by a simple examination of the complete lab notebooks and biosafety records of relevant researchers at the WIV. Now that a credible and testable lab escape thesis exists this task becomes potentially much easier. This moment thus represents an opportune one to renew that call for an independent and transparent investigation of the WIV.

In requesting an investigation we are aware that no scientific institution anywhere has made a comparable request. We believe that this failure undermines public trust in a “scientific response” to the pandemic. Instead, the scientific establishment has labeled the lab escape theory a “rumor“, an “unverified theory” and a “conspiracy” when its proper name is a hypothesis. By taking this stance the scientific establishment has given the unambiguous message that scientists who take the possibility of a lab origin seriously are jeopardising their careers. Thus, while countless scientific publications on the pandemic assert in their introductions that a zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2 is a matter of fact or near-certainty (and Andersen et al has 860 citations as of July 14th), there is still not one published scientific paper asserting that a lab escape is even a credible hypothesis that deserves investigation.

Anyone who doubts this pressure should read the interview with Birger Sørensen in Norway’s Minerva magazine in which Sørensen discusses the “reluctance” of journals to publish his assessment that the existence of a virus that is “exceptionally well adjusted to infect humans” is “suspicious” and “cannot have evolved naturally”. The source of this reluctance, says Sørensen, is not rationality or evidence. It results from conflicts of interest. This mirrors our experience. To find genuinely critical analysis of COVID-19 origin theories one has to go to Twitter, blog posts, and preprint servers. The malaise runs deep when even scientists start to complain that they don’t trust science.

We nevertheless hope that journalists will investigate some of the conflicts of interest that are keeping scientists and institutions from properly investigating the lab escape hypothesis.

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«The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin
3 Comments
Michelle
JULY 23, 2020 @ 2:59 AM

Has this article been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal?

REPLY
jrl
JULY 23, 2020 @ 12:28 PM

The answer is no, though we did conduct our own version of peer review. The overall problem of peer review is, as implied at the end of the article, we don’t have confidence that in this case it will be conducted fairly and speedily. Some of the papers we cite have been languishing in peer review (while other papers) seem to get rushed through and the Segreto and Deigin paper, so the authors tell us, has been rejected multiple times. We may try in future.

REPLY
Michelle
JULY 27, 2020 @ 2:32 AM

Thank you for replying to my earlier comment. I understand the reluctance to submit your article but, perhaps, you might try preprints.org in the interim. FYI, Professor Francis Boyle, who apparently wrote the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, has also expressed the belief that COVID-19 has its origins in a Chinese lab.

You write: “The media, normally so enamoured of controversy, has largely declined even to debate the possibility of a laboratory escape. Many news sites have simply labelled it a conspiracy theory.”

The first thing that comes to mind is that the media, with rare exceptions, is disinclined to publish information that could be interpreted as vindicating claims made by President Trump. I’m no fan of Trump and did not vote for him but it seems quite evident that most of the US mainstream media is afflicted with a severe case Trump of Derangement Syndrome to the detriment of us all.

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