Sleuthing true origin/aim of SARS-CoV-2 Covid-19 Coronavirus

most audacious fascist plan to cow humanity yet - with the globalist aim as poisoning billions with unspecified under-skin technology with the help of mass media propaganda, as well as driving all governments and populations toward a world government
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Sleuthing true origin/aim of SARS-CoV-2 Covid-19 Coronavirus

Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus

Colonel of the GRU: what is hidden behind the coronavirus pandemic?
GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov
Полковник ГРУ: что скрывают за пандемией коронавируса? /Владимир Квачков
Студия Рубеж
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 ... RO0X6U.mp4
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by TonyGosling »

SHOCK CLAIM: United States 'is plotting surprise NUCLEAR ATTACK on China AND Russia' ... ess-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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Re: Russian Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov on Coronavirus and 911

Post by TonyGosling »

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
Полковник ГРУ: что скрывают за пандемией коронавируса? /Владимир Квачков
Студия Рубеж
1. Evil bioweapon
2. Civil Rights grab from populations
3. Destruction of small medium business by monopolists
4. War on China
User avatar
Posts: 18454
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:03 pm
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

Re: Russian Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov on Coronavirus and 911

Post by TonyGosling »

Real name is apparently Col Vladimir Vasilievich
A much better translation
RUSSIAN INTEL OFFICER: Depopulation agenda is real
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
Полковник ГРУ: что скрывают за пандемией коронавируса? /Владимир Квачков
Студия Рубеж
1. Evil bioweapon
2. Civil Rights grab from populations
3. Destruction of small medium business by monopolists
4. War on China
User avatar
Posts: 18454
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:03 pm
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus

Post by TonyGosling »

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

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
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.
Last edited by TonyGosling on Wed May 20, 2020 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Facts about 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)

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 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
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.

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.
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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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

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 ... rces/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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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.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

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 ... 44201.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.”
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by TonyGosling »

Whitney Webb’s Dark Winter’s tale of smallpox, Amerithrax and Covid-19
By James Boswell ... -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?”


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:


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.


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.


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.


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”


“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. *


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:

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.


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.


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
(#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;

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 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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Post by TonyGosling »

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 ... -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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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Exposing the occult corona-initiation ritual ... on-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, 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:; July 16, 2020;
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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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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Coronavirus-will-kill ... 0642589808


I am getting censored very badly. Pray that the page doesn't get deleted soon.

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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
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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Post by TonyGosling »

US diplomats involved in trafficking of human blood and pathogens for secret military program
By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva -June 14, 2019411554 ... y-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.

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.
TAGSbiolaboratorybiological weaponsGeorgiaLugar CenterPentagon

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Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
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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Post by TonyGosling »

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


Page 1 of 66

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).

8) 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
JULY 23, 2020 @ 2:59 AM

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

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.

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 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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DARPA’s Man in Wuhan ... -in-wuhan/

Michael Callahan’s career began in USAID and in the bioweapons labs of the former Soviet Union, advancing the agenda of the global bioweapons and pharmaceutical cartels. He would take what he learned there to execute a massive expansion of DARPA’s biodefense portfolio and today finds himself squarely in the center of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

DARPA's Man in Wuhan

Dr. Michael Callahan was given a leave of absence from his senior executive role at United Therapeutics (UTHR) in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China; sent there to assist colleagues handling mass infections of the novel coronavirus under his joint appointment at a Chinese sister hospital of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he has maintained a faculty appointment since 2005.

Soon, Callahan would be pouring through thousands of case studies emerging from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, examining patients in Singapore and briefing U.S. officials on the location of the next likely outbreak, according to NatGeo. The doctor marveled at the “magnificent infectivity” of the disease, which sits “like a little silent smart bomb in your community”.

The doctor’s strange fascination with viral infections and morbid titillation might well be attributed to the fact that he has dedicated his life to studying these microscopic killers. “Triple boarded” in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, Callahan, nevertheless also has a strong entrepreneurial streak, that drove him to launch no less than 11 companies and develop 8 patents.

Callahan’s nose for business came into play early on in the pandemic. After studying data from over 6,000 patient records from Wuhan, he reportedly detected a pattern that could point to a possible treatment using a low-cost and widely available ingredient of an “over-the-counter histamine-2 receptor antagonist called Famotidine”, more commonly known as the brand name Pepcid.

Simultaneously in the U.S., it is claimed, an old colleague of Callahan’s Dr. Robert Malone had been conducting a study with U.S. government-sponsored research teams. Specifically, Malone was working alongside U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) consultants to carry out supercomputer-based analyses to identify existing FDA-approved drugs that may be useful against the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Per their analyses, famotidine turned out to be the “most attractive combination of safety, cost and pharmaceutical characteristics“.

Callahan, who by then had been recruited to be Special Adviser on COVID-19 to the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Robert Kadlec, was presented the joint findings of the U.S. DTRA and Dr. Malone. Both Dr. Callahan and Malone claimed to be unaware of each other’s conclusions regarding the anti-acid, and despite agreeing to collaborate, each claims to have made the initial discovery. Malone offered a February post on LinkedIn as proof, where he asserts that he was “the first to take the drug to treat my own case” upon discovering the proper dose. Callahan, meanwhile, never provided any evidence of his ostensible breakthrough, though he claims to have told Dr. Malone himself about the discovery before the Virginia-based physician began running the sequences through DTRA computers.

Quite a Resume, Mr. Bond
In 1988, Michael Callahan started his first company called Rescue Medicine. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) bio describes the company as a charter organization that provides “emergency air medical evacuation and refugee medical care in austere developing regions”. According to their website, Rescue Medicine supports “federal government and U.S. corporations operating in remote international environments”, becoming a “global leader in disaster medicine research”.

The experience made him a shoe-in as the health director of USAID in Nigeria; a post he held for 4 years, carrying out research on pathogen infections in Africa, prospectively enrolling participants for cutaneous anthrax studies in Nigeria and monkey pox, as well as Ebola and Marburg virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

As was the case for several individuals within a certain, tight-knit group within infectious disease and biological weapons circles, 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks changed the course of Callahan’s career, spurring his meteoric rise in both the public and the private sectors. Robert Danzig, Clinton’s Secretary of the Navy, credited Callahan with being “extremely good at connecting the military environment with mainstream public health“. Touted as one of Callahan’s “first high-level links to the military”, Danzig would only be one of many “high level” people the doctor would add to his rolodex over the next two decades.

His time with USAID would overlap with the start of his faculty appointments at Massachusetts General Hospital – appointments he maintains to this day – and his participation in biological terrorism working groups at the National Academies of Sciences, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security.

A year later, in 2002, Callahan would be tapped by the State Department’s director for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation to serve as “clinical director for Cooperative Threat Reduction [CTR] programs” at six former Soviet Union Biological Weapons facilities as part of the Bioindustry Initiative (BII) program, where he was officially tasked with carrying out the stated goals of the mission, which entailed the “reconfiguration of former biological weapons production facilities” in the former Soviet Union and the acceleration of “drug and vaccine production”. More specifically, however, Callahan would be put in charge of gain-of-function programs for viral agents at these facilities.

The CTR, better known as the Nunn-Lugar Act “to secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in states of the former Soviet Union and beyond” was co-authored and sponsored by Senator Sam Nunn, who was none other than the “president” in the bioterror attack simulation that preceded the 2001 anthrax attacks by a matter of months, Dark Winter, an exercise covered by Whitney Webb and this author in the investigative series, Engineering Contagion. A few months prior to the Dark Winter exercise, Nunn had co-founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) with conservative reactionary media mogul, Ted Turner, serving as its CEO until 2017. The NTI would play a critical role in the repurposing the former Soviet bioweapons labs into “vaccine production facilities”, allocating millions of dollars to this end.

A full year before Callahan’s BII appointment, the Sam Nunn Policy Forum received a proposal from two Russian scientists working at the “Vector Institute” or State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in the Novosibirsk district of Siberia. The former Soviet bioweapons R&D center had been selected to serve as a model for the makeover of other former BW facilities into “open and fully transparent” laboratories after the collapse of the Soviet Union; a process that had been discussed “at length” with the U.S. Vector Evaluation Team that had visited the compound a few years earlier in 1998.

The Russian scientists aimed to create a non-profit organization called the International Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (ICERID). ICERID was intended to perform research in areas related to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics. The project was presented to the Sam Nunn Policy Forum in 2001. While ICERID, itself, fell through, Vector would nonetheless receive a $600,000 grant from Nunn and Turner’s NTI soon thereafter.

Callahan would follow shortly in tow, under the auspices of the U.S. State Department program, leading clinical research teams at Vector and several other important Soviet bioweapons labs to aid in their transformation into profitable ventures. Callahan was also given access to the infamous Institute of Highly Pure Biopreparations (IHPB) where Soviet microbiologist, Vladimir A. Pasechnik had worked before defecting to England in 1989 and kick-starting the dreams of the international bioweapons mafia detailed in the Engineering Contagion series.

Both IHPB and Vector were part of the five principal institutes of the “Biopreparat” – the broader Soviet BW program. The State Research Center for Applied Microbiology (SRCAM), The Kirov Institute, the Research Center of Molecular Diagnostics & Therapy (RCMDT), RIHOP and Berdsk round out the six labs where Callahan was formally leading clinical research teams; though in Congressional testimony, given together with another high profile Russian defector, Callahan claimed to have worked at “14” separate facilities.

The Russian IP Party
Throughout Callahan’s travels in the former Soviet Union, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) was sharing in the research and scientific innovation taking place in the former Soviet labs as part of the consortium of Massachusetts medical research institutions. In 2004, the “number 1 research hospital in the U.S.“, Mass General was taking part in the Bioindustry Initiative (BII) program, making use of the Russian technology their faculty member, Michael Callahan was in the process of discovering.

“We took a Russian delivery system, a rocket as it were, and put an American warhead on it”, said Jeffrey A. Gelfand, a colleague of Callahan’s and international director of MGH’s Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology, referring to a drug delivery system taken from the RCMDT, one of the former Soviet facilities then under the clinical directorship of Callahan.

The RCMDT is described as a “small-molecule research facility that traditionally focused on entities the body generates, such as interferon and cytokines, to turn on or turn down the immune response system”. The former Soviet research center obtained a grant from the National Institutes of Health via BII “for a collaborative project on new approaches to disease research”. Another facility Callahan was working at, Vector, also received funding for a novel HIV vaccine and helped file patents “on the institute’s approach to hepatitis C and influenza”. The same institution obtained grants from BII for RNA-based antiviral research.

The task of transforming these former Soviet bioweapons labs into profitable ventures was hitting some cultural walls, according to the then director of the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chairman of the board of BII precursor ISTC, Ronald F. Lehman II: “They have no experience with a market economy”, he alleged and claimed that they had to “work very hard” to make the Russians understand that intellectual property (IP) was an “economic good”.

Soon enough, the Russian scientists would be ushered into brokered meetings with Eli Lilly and Dow Chemical, among other large Western pharmaceutical companies, to commercialize their discoveries. Much of the groundwork for this had been laid by a sort of precursor of the BII, the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) – a Moscow-based “intergovernmental” organization established in 1992 to serve as “clearinghouse for developing, approving, financing, and monitoring projects aimed at engaging weapons scientists, technicians, and engineers” from the former Soviet Union and other states that were once behind the Iron Curtain.

Lehman conceded that “any kind of economic, political, or social turmoil” would complicate the process or commercializing the scientific work being done in these Eastern bloc labs. But, in the meantime Callahan, along with “BII and its partners” was doing his best “to push as much science as possible from Russian lab benches into production.”

One of the main functions of the BII was “scouting out sites and planning for business development”. At the time of Callahan’s sojourn through Russia, one of the projects that resulted from this activity by the BII and its private NPO partner, the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), had to do with a little-known vaccine plant in the former Soviet state of Georgia.

According to James Wolfram, a senior scientist with the CRDF, the Georgia facility was “antiquated” and housed “dangerous pathogens”. The ostensible goal of converting the vaccine plant into a “feed mill” turned into an agreement between the DoD and the government of the Republic of Georgia officially titled “Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development”. That same year, construction began on the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia. The center was completed in 2011.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $6.5 million contract to a company called EcoHealth Alliance, Inc to carry out research on “the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia”. Journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva uncovered the Pentagon project, which focused on “genetic studies on coronaviruses in 5,000 bats collected in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Jordan”.

Gaytandzhieva also detailed the multiple covert activities being carried out by the USG, such as American diplomats trafficking in blood and pathogens for a secret military program, as well as an instance in which a breakout of hemorrhagic fever in the area immediately surrounding the Center was traced back to experiments being carried out by Pentagon scientists on “tropical mosquitos and ticks“.

Not coincidentally, EcoHealth Alliance had previously received a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2014 to study coronaviruses in bats in Asia. This particular study was carried out in partnership with scientists at none other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Master of the Dark Sciences
After a few years bouncing from one former Soviet lab to another, Michael Callahan would return to the United States with a head full of new ideas and a brand new job at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he could put it all to use as director of the agency’s biodefense therapeutics portfolio.

In the space of just seven years, from 2005 to 2012, Callahan would expand DARPA’s biodefense portfolio from $61 million to $260 million per year and launch eight programs that would generate nine investigational new drugs (INDs) and three new drug applications with products in market, including the injectable fungal treatment, Ambisome (Gilead), which has generated over $6 billion since approval.

Two programs in particular developed by Callahan while at DARPA would later play a critical role in his future involvement in the broader story of the SARS-CoV-2, a.k.a. COVID-19 and the vilification of China, IP and the advancement of a global vaccine regime.

The Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program was created by Michael Callahan in 2006, barely a year after he first came on board as DARPA’s portfolio manager. Its purpose was to find technologies that could “radically accelerate the manufacturing of protein vaccines and protein-based therapeutics”, with the goal of “revolutionizing protein therapeutics and vaccine manufacture” through the private sector.

The program’s mandate dovetailed with concurrent efforts to fundamentally transform the U.S. government’s approach to vaccine manufacture and (Medical Countermeasures) MCMs. Just as Callahan was soliciting proposals and handing millions of DARPA’s money to private companies, the agency was entering into a cooperative agreement (HR0011-07-2-0003) with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to look into the challenges of this endeavor.

The seminal 180-page report that resulted from the 2-year deep dive (2007-2009) into USG procurement and manufacturing methods for MCMs, titled “Ensuring Biologics Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capability for the United States Government: A Summary of Key Findings and Conclusions” was led by Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby, two key individuals in the Dark Winter exercise and perennial participants in the course of the policy and legislative changes, that have led to the establishment of an entrenched biotech mafia in the halls of government.

The central question that this cooperative effort between DARPA and the UPMC wanted to answer was how to incentivize the private sector to manufacture products that only had one buyer, the U.S. government. To this end, the researchers probed different areas such as barriers to entry, cost analysis and several types of manufacturing options. They included one case study to demonstrate what they believed would be the most effective strategy to follow. That case study looked at a company headquartered in Rockville, MD called Novavax, which recently received a $1.6 billion grant (the largest so far) from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine.

The paper lauded the company’s “single-use [bioreactors and bags] equipment bioprocessing facility for the development of their influenza virus-like particle vaccine” and concluded that, although not all biopharma companies would be willing to transition to single-use facilities, it was nonetheless in the government’s best interest to patronize single-use manufacturing processes for MCMs, as these would lower costs and cut down production time by two years.

Several USG incentive programs were cited as successfully removing barriers to entry for private sector participants. Among these were the Orphan Products Program (OPP), tax cuts for Big Pharma, subsidies and, significantly, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) legislation, created by ASPR Robert Kadlec and which established BARDA, clearing the unique “governance” barrier faced by global pharmaceutical firms.

In 2005, just as he was getting ready to decorate his new office at DARPA, Michael Callahan testified before Congress together with Ken Alibek – former deputy director of the Soviet Biopreparat, who defected to the U.S. and became the darling of the bioterror alarmists in and out of government. In his prepared statement, Callahan concluded with a chilling statement that summarizes the general sentiment shared by many in his circle:

“The dark science of biological weapon design and manufacture parallels that of the health sciences and the cross mixed disciplines of modern technology. Potential advances in biological weapon lethality will in part be the byproduct of peaceful scientific progress. So, until the time when there are no more terrorists, the U.S. Government and the American people will depend on the scientific leaders of their field to identify any potential dark side aspect to every achievement…”

Michael Callahan
Callahan would receive DARPA’s highest commendation, the DARPA Achievement Award, for his success with the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program. But, it would be another program of his creation that would prove prophetic.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy
Prophecy was another program created by Callahan at DARPA. It sought to “transform the vaccine and drug development enterprise from observational and reactive to predictive and preemptive” through algorithmic programming techniques. In layman’s terms, the program proposed that “viral mutations and outbreaks” could be predicted in advance to more rapidly counter the unknown disease with preemptive drug and vaccine development.

Among the grantees of Callahan’s program were at least two institutions where he himself held faculty positions. Harvard University, where he holds a clinical appointment, received a $19.6 million contract for a joint project with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Pittsburg and others. Another institution with close ties to Callahan obtaining generous funding through the DARPA Prophecy program was the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, which houses the King Chulalongkorn Medical University where Callahan is a visiting professor.

In 2009, Callahan’s old employer USAID launched PREDICT, an early warning system for new and emerging diseases in 21 countries. Thailand, known for being a “hotbed of undiagnosed illnesses and viruses” among medical experts, was among those 21 nation and a doctor described as a “giant in the field of virus discovery worldwide” was tapped by the CIA cutout to lead the PREDICT program in that country.

Dr. Supaporn “Chu” Wacharapluesadee, from the King Chulalongkorn Memorial and faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University had been conducting research on viruses in bats for years and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on bat pathogens. ” We need more Dr. Supaporns of the world”, exclaimed Callahan in a 2016 interviewwith Vice. The doctor praised his Chulalongkorn University colleague, noting that “Chu” was “at the very top of [his] list” when it came to whom he chose to work with on “virologic expeditions”.

Indeed, Callahan and DARPA had identified Wacharapluesadee as an asset in 2004 when she discovered the Nipah virus in bats, which can affect humans and pigs. Callahan and the Thai doctor worked together on several studies. One of these, funded by the USAID PREDICT project, titled “Diversity of coronavirus in bats from Eastern Thailand” was published in 2015 and carried out between 2008 and 2013, as well as a 2013 study on encephalitis funded by DARPA and the Thai government.

Callahan is not shy about crediting Dr. Wacharapluesadee with allowing the U.S. government to work on “critically important global virology projects”. His compliments could be more than simple admiration, however. It was Dr. Wacharapluesadee, after all, who would find herself at the center of the narrative built around the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China; namely that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) purposely withheld critical genomic information from the world at the outset of the pandemic in January, 2020.

According to a story, on January 8, a Thai woman returning from Wuhan was “pulled aside” at the airport over symptoms of a runny nose, sore throat and high temperature. “Supaporn Wacharapluesadee’s team”, as claimed, discovered that the woman was infected with a “new coronavirus”. Dr. Wacharapluesadee herself had allegedly succeeded in “partially” decoding the genetic sequence of the virus by the following day and reported it to the Thai government.

That same day, a 61-year-old man became the first death in Wuhan after succumbing to a disease with a reportedly similar pathology. However, the Chinese government didn’t report it until two days later on January 11 along with the virus sequences from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its own CDC, sparking accusations against the PRC that it was delaying information about the outbreak. Dr. Wacharapluesadee compared her sequence with the one later published by the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and “found it was a 100% match”, making it the first officially recorded case outside of China and effectively dropping the first domino, which would eventually lead to the WHO declaring a global pandemic two months later.

Callahan, himself, had been stoking the fires about China’s caginess regarding its lack of enthusiasm for scientific collaboration with the West as far back as 2018: “Jeopardizing U.S. access to foreign pathogens and therapies to counter them”, declared Callahan over reports that Chinese officials had “concealed” lab samples of H7N9 (type of bird flu), which he argued “undermines our nation’s ability to protect against infections which can spread globally within days”.

A Close-Knit Cluster of Institutions
Michael Callahan would leave DARPA’s payroll and his official title of Program Manager for Biodefense and Mass-Casualty Care in 2012 and return to Massachusetts General Hospital to run a disease surveillance and antiviral clinical trials program in Africa. But, a man with Callahan’s background never quite leaves government, as he himself admitted in a UAB alumni profile: “I still have federal responsibilities to the White House for pandemic preparedness and exotic disease outbreaks,” said Callahan in 2013, “which will continue for the near future”.

Dennis Carroll, a former USAID director of emerging threats division who had led the U.S.’ response to Avian influenza (H5N1) in 2005, would go on to create PREDICT, which partnered with a non-profit called EcoHealth Alliance to carry out its 9-year effort to catalog hundreds of thousands of biological samples, “including over 10,000 bats“. The aforementioned PREDICT-funded 2015 study on “diversity of coronavirus in bats” by Wacharapluesadee and Callahan also included Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, among its participants.

Daszak, a regular advisor to WHO on pathogen prioritization for R&D, Carroll and Joana Mazet – former global director for USAID’s PREDICT – all joined together in 2016 to form the Global Virome Project; a “10-year collaborative scientific initiative to discover unknown zoonotic viral threats and stop future pandemics”. Mazet was also co-director of UC Davis’ One Health program, which recruited Dr. Wacharapluesadee and her team in Thailand to conduct a multi-year research project on bats. They are joined by Edward Rubin of Metabiota Inc, a recipient of Callahan’s PROPHECY funds at DARPA and, notably, an $18.4 million DTRA contract award for scientific research and consulting work in Ukraine and the Lugar Center in the Republic of Georgia. Metabiota was accused by the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium in 2014 of violating their contract and engaging in dangerous blood culturing work at a lab in Africa, as well as misdiagnosing patients.

EcoHealth’s Executive Vice President, William Karesh, links directly back to the very top of the U.S. biodefense establishment, as a member of ASPR Robert Kadlec’s original Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense along with Hudson Institute senior fellows Tevi Troy, Jonah Alexander and Scooter Libby, whose pivotal roles has been detailed in the Engineering Contagion series. EcoHealth Alliance is listed as a partner of the Wuhan Institute of Virology on archived pages of its website and was mentioned as a one of the institute’s “strategic partners” by the WIV’s Deputy Director General, Prof Yanyi Wang, in remarks during the visit of an official U.S. delegation to the institute in 2018.

The relationship between the WIV and the American Biodefense establishment was advanced by EcoHealth Alliance policy advisor, David R. Franz, former commander at U.S. bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID). Franz was chief inspector on the three UN Special Commission biological warfare inspection tours in Iraq, which included a young Robert Kadlec as a member of the team on the ground, and currently advises Robert Kadlec as a member of HHS’ National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.

Significantly, Franz was also part of the first “U.S.-U.K.” teams that visited the former Soviet Union’s BW facilities in the early 90’s, which led to the creation of the ISCT and subsequent BII program in which Michael Callahan served as clinical director for multiple BW facilities prior to joining DARPA in 2005.

During a visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017 as part of the “Second China-U.S. Workshop on the Challenges of Emerging Infections, Laboratory Safety and Global Health Security“, Franz outlined “possible joint project ideas”, which included carrying out joint “table top exercises” or simulations of outbreaks (e.g. exercises similar to Dark Winter), decision-making surrounding “gain-of-function” research and “overcoming barriers to sharing strain collections and transport of pathogens”. The last point would play a crucial role in the narrative emerging about the ostensible origins of the virus, which has been claimed to be the WIV, itself.

A “renowned” bat coronavirus researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli a.k,a “Batwoman”, was not only the first scientist to associate the novel coronavirus with bats, but is also the original source of the claim that the virus had escaped from the WIV, when she mused in a Scientific American article published in March that the thought had crossed her mind and hadn’t “slept a wink” in days worrying about it until the lab tests results came back showing that “none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves”. Zhengli has been at the center of a whirlwind of rumors, including that she had smuggled “hundreds of confidential documents” out of the country and was seeking asylum with her family in France. These rumors have since been denied by Zhengli herself.

Like Thailand’s Dr. Wacharapluesadee, Dr. Zhengli has also worked with EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak on bat-related studies. As far back as 2005, Daszak and Zhengli were conducting research on SARS-like coronaviruses in bats. Several PREDICT-funded studies on SARS-like coronaviruses and Swine Flu count with both Zhengli’s and Daszak’s contributions. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these is a 2015 PREDICT and NIH-funded study she co-authored entitled: “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence”.

Predictable Outcomes
While Michael Callahan was roaming across Africa for the DoD-funded disease surveillance program at MGH in 2012, United Therapeutics came calling for his services. He joined the publicly-traded company to execute a $45 million NIH contract to develop “next-generation” antivirals and currently holds the position of President of their division of Cellular Therapeutics. True to his word, Callahan didn’t let his day job interfere with any mission the federal government might send him on.

In March 2020, Callahan was on board the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Pike on his way to a cruise ship off the coast of California to separate the sick from the healthy among the 3,500 passengers of the Grand Princess. In a few days, the WHO would officially declare the coronavirus to be a global pandemic and spur the lurch into a “new normal” where quarantines, masks and hand sanitizer would be peddled as unquestionable realities.

Days earlier, NIAID director, Anthony S. Fauci, had come on Face the Nation, in one of his first televised appearances to announce, among other things, the implementation of the 14-day quarantine for all Americans as news of infected U.S. citizens on board cruise ships was making the rounds on all mainstream media outlets. The State Department would issue a travel warning specifically for cruise ship passengers on March 8, barely three days before the WHO’s official pandemic declaration.

Callahan, ever the disaster entrepreneur, had struck while the iron was still hot in February and put on his Rescue Medicine hat – the company he had founded in the 80’s – to assist “Japanese and U.S. health authorities” tend to the sick aboard the Diamond Princess, which was being held in the Japanese port of Yokohama, near Tokyo. “There was no way this wasn’t going to show up on a cruise ship first,” Callahan told the Miami Herald. “Cruise ships are the canary for disease outbreak that reveals these diseases on a grand scale”.

Dr. Wacharapluesadee
But, it appears that Dr. Callahan did not need the cruise ships to alert him about the nature or scale of the problem. Already by January 4, 2020, four days before his esteemed colleague in Thailand, Dr. Wacharapluesadee, had run the genomic data and come up with a “partial” sequence and a full match had been determined after China and the WIV had released their sequences, Callahan had phoned his old friend Dr. Malone in New York with news of a new emerging disease out of Wuhan, China.

In March, ASPR Robert Kadlec, wrote to Northwell’s executive vice president of research encouraging him to draw up a contract proposal and a budget for the “Pepcid trial” with Callahan. The proposal that came back was about $20.75 million-short of what Dr. Malone, whose Alchem Laboratories Corporation would be getting the actual contract, apparently wanted.

“We stepped in to do it on behalf of Northwell (which) knows nothing about federal contracting”, Malone told AP. But, it seems that Callahan’s Pepcid brainstorm ruffled a few feathers at HHS. Former BARDA director, Rick Bright, cited the Pepcid fiasco as the prime example of how Kadlec “was inviting violations of federal procurement law” in his March 5th complaint.

For the moment, the Pepcid trials are on hold as Malone and Callahan work out who gets the credit for the “idea”. Robert Kadlec, meanwhile, remains the ASPR and – as far as we know – Michael Callahan is still advising him on matters pertaining to COVID-19.

Acknowledgements: Whitney Webb contributed with research for this article

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Dr. Callahan had called Dr. Malone on January 4, 2020 to suggest the possible use of Famotidine as a treatment. Dr. Robert Malone clarified to Unlimited Hangout that Callahan had only alerted him about an outbreak of the virus on that date. We have revised this article accordingly and regret the error.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Rockefeller Foundation Paper Published in 2010 Predicted How a Pandemic Can be Used as an Excuse to Establish Global Authoritarian Power
March 16, 2020 F. William Engdahl ... ian-power/

The Rockefeller Foundation published a report in May 2010 in cooperation with the Global Business Network of futurologist Peter Schwartz. It was called Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development. The first scenario, titled, “Lock Step”, describes a world of total government control and authoritarian leadership. It envisions a future where a pandemic would allow national leaders to flex their authority and impose airtight rules and restrictions that would remain after the pandemic faded. The first half of this scenario already has unfolded. Will it continue as predicted? The information on Lock Step begins at about the two-thirds point of the article. The Rockefeller report in its entirety can be downloaded here. [The importance of this document cannot be overstated.] -GEG
Every day world mainstream news reports more people in more countries diagnosed “positive” for the coronavirus illness, now called COVID-19. As the reported numbers grow, so does widespread nervousness, often in the form of panic shopping for masks, disinfections, toilet paper, canned goods. We are told to accept the testing results as science-based. While it is next to impossible to get a full picture of what is taking place in China, the center of the novel virus storm, there is a process, being fed by mainstream media accounts and genuine panic in populations unclear what the real dangers are, that has alarming implications for the post-pandemic future.

During the last week of January the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ordered an unprecedented lock down of an entire city of 11 million, Wuhan, in an attempt to contain a public health situation that had clearly gotten out of control. Never before in the history of modern public health had a government placed an entire city in quarantine by imposing a cordon sanitaire around it. That lock down was quickly extended to other China cities to the extent that, for the past weeks, a major part of the world’s second largest national economy has shut down. That in turn is impacting the global economy.

At this point, as cases and the first deaths are being reported in countries outside of China, especially in South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy, the prime question everyone has is how dangerous this virus is. The fiasco with the US CDC, where the putative tests for the novel virus were shown defective, underscores the fact that the testing for the now-named virus, SARS-CoV-2, said to cause the disease called COVID-19, is anything but 100% reliable. Despite this, influenced by a steady stream of mainstream media images of empty shop shelves in Italy, of police cordons around Washington State nursing homes said to house several presumed Coronavirus patients, of pictures of Iranian hospitals filled with body bags, millions of citizens are understandably becoming alarmed and fearful.

What is being done in city after city and country after country is cancellation of major events where many people come together. This has included the Venice Carnival, major sports events, trade shows in Switzerland and elsewhere being canceled. Major airlines are being financially devastated as people around the world cancel holiday flights, as are cruise ship lines. China orders burning of cash notes claiming they might be contaminated. The French Louvre reopens but does not accept cash, only cards, as paper might be contaminated. WHO warns about paper money contagion risk. Countries are introducing laws such as in the UK allowing legal detention of citizens who might have a virus. Growing media promotion in the West of shop shelves bare of everyday essentials such as rice, pasta, toilet paper is feeding panic buying everywhere.

Questions on Death Rate

It is important to have a perspective on the apparent deaths provably due to COVID-19. Here facts become very imprecise.

As of March 3, 2020 according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, worldwide there were a total of 90,893 cases of COVID-19, with 3,110 resulting in death. He then called this a 3.4% mortality rate, a figure highly disputed by other health experts. Tedros stated, “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.”

The problem is that no one can say precisely what the true death rate is. That’s because globally we have not tested all who might have mild cases of the virus and the accuracy of those tests are anything but 100% certain. But a statement about a death rate more than three times that of seasonal flu is a real panic-maker if true.

The reality is very likely a far lower true mortality according to epidemic experts. “We do not report all the cases,” says Professor John Edmunds of the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “In fact, we only usually report a small proportion of them. If there are many more cases in reality, then the case fatality ratio will be lower.” Edmunds went on to say, “What you can safely say […] is that if you divide the number of reported deaths by the number of reported cases [to get the case fatality ratio], you will almost certainly get the wrong answer.” The WHO under Tedros seems to be erring on the side of spreading panic.

The WHO and the USA CDC some years ago changed the definition of deaths from seasonal flu to “deaths of flu or pneumonia.” The CDC calculates only an approximate flu death count by totaling death certificates processed that list “pneumonia or influenza” as the underlying or contributing cause of death. The CDC estimates 45 Million Flu Cases, and 61,000 what they deftly call “Flu-Associated” Deaths in 2017-2018 US Flu Season. How many were elderly with pneumonia or other lung diseases is unclear. Naturally the numbers help spread fear and sell seasonal flu vaccines whose positive effect is anything but proven. Worldwide, the CDC estimated in a study in 2017 that, “between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year.”

In China alone the estimate for seasonal influenza-associated (including pneumonia) deaths was about 300,000 in 2018. Note that 3,000 corona-attributed deaths, as tragic as it is, is but 1% of the “normal” annual deaths from lung-related illnesses in China, and because of the mixed or changing China accounting, it is not clear how many of the 3,000 China deaths are even from seasonal pneumonia. But owing to dramatic videos, not verifiable, of people allegedly dropping dead on the streets in China, with no proof, or of Wuhan hospitals filled in the corridors with body bags apparently of dead from COVID-19, much of the world is understandably anxious about this strange exogenous invader.

Amid what is clearly confusion among many well-meaning health officials and likely opportunism by Western vaccine makers like GlaxoSmithKline or Gilead and others, with alarming speed our world is being transformed in ways just months ago we could not have imagined.


Whatever has occurred inside China at this point it is almost impossible to say owing to conflicting reactions of the Beijing authorities and several changes in ways of counting COVID-19 cases. The question now is how the relevant authorities in the West will use this crisis. Here it is useful to go back to a highly relevant report published a decade ago by the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s leading backers of eugenics, and creators of GMO among other things.

The report in question has the bland title, “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development.” It was published in May 2010 in cooperation with the Global Business Network of futurologist Peter Schwartz. The report contains various futurist scenarios developed by Schwartz and company. One scenario carries the intriguing title, “LOCK STEP: A world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback.” Here it gets interesting as in what some term predictive programming.

The Schwartz scenario states, “In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit. Unlike 2009’s H1N1, this new influenza strain — originating from wild geese — was extremely virulent and deadly. Even the most pandemic-prepared nations were quickly overwhelmed when the virus streaked around the world, infecting nearly 20 percent of the global population and killing 8 million in just seven months…” He continues, “The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains. Even locally, normally bustling shops and office buildings sat empty for months, devoid of both employees and customers.” This sounds eerily familiar.

Then the scenario gets very interesting: “During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified. In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems — from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crises and rising poverty — leaders around the world took a firmer grip on power.”
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Post by TonyGosling »

Where IS the Wuhan virus researcher who was named as Patient Zero? And why WERE road blocks placed around the lab where she worked last October? Top US body asks explosive questions on the origin of coronavirus
American health body asks if Covid-19 is linked to deaths of miners 8 years ago
The agency also asked if roadblocks were put around the Wuhan lab in October
The National Institutes of Health asked if lab had virus sample pre-outbreak

PUBLISHED: 22:01, 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 22:04, 22 August 2020

The US government’s leading health research body has raised a series of bombshell concerns over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and the activities of a secretive Chinese laboratory that was investigating bat diseases.

The National Institutes of Health has asked if Covid-19 was linked to the deaths of three miners eight years ago and questioned whether the high-security laboratory in Wuhan possessed samples of the virus prior to the pandemic’s outbreak late last year.

The agency also demanded to know more about the ‘apparent disappearance’ of a scientist at the lab rumoured to be Patient Zero, and questioned if roadblocks were placed around the Wuhan Institute of Virology between October 14 and 19 last year.

The National Institutes of Health has asked if Covid-19 was linked to the deaths of three miners eight years ago and questioned whether the high-security laboratory in Wuhan possessed samples of the virus prior to the pandemic’s outbreak late last year. A lab worker is pictured above +2
The National Institutes of Health has asked if Covid-19 was linked to the deaths of three miners eight years ago and questioned whether the high-security laboratory in Wuhan possessed samples of the virus prior to the pandemic’s outbreak late last year. A lab worker is pictured above

The questions will fuel growing suspicions over China’s cover-up.

‘It seems NIH experts are not just discarding lab escape scenarios as conspiratorial theories any more,’ said one US-based biomedical expert.

The NIH is Washington’s key medical research body, headed by Francis Collins, one of the world’s top geneticists.

He was appointed by Barack Obama and reconfirmed in the post by Donald Trump.

NIH raised the concerns in a letter last month to EcoHealth Alliance, a charity trying to get US support restored for research with its long-term collaborators at the Wuhan Institute of Virology into zoonotic diseases that cross from animals such as bats to humans.

A $3.7 million (£2.8 million) grant to the charity – headed by British scientist Peter Daszak – was ended after The Mail on Sunday disclosed that the US was funding the controversial Chinese laboratory at the centre of global scrutiny.

The NIH letter, sent by Michael Lauer, deputy director for extramural research, said there were ‘serious bio-safety concerns’ over research at the Wuhan lab. This confirms a series of MoS revelations about its safety procedures.

Lauer said funding would be restored only if outside experts could probe the Wuhan facilities and records ‘with specific attention to addressing… whether staff had Sars-Cov-2 [the strain of coronavirus that causes disease] in their possession prior to December 2019’.

Mystery: An image believed to be of missing scientist Huang Yanling, top, China’s Patient Zero +2
Mystery: An image believed to be of missing scientist Huang Yanling, top, China’s Patient Zero

He demanded a sample of their virus used to determine the genetic code and requested answers on ‘the apparent disappearance of Huang Yanling, a scientist/researcher who worked in the Wuhan Institute of Virology but whose lab web presence has been deleted’.

The young researcher was identified on social media as Patient Zero soon after the virus erupted in Wuhan. The institute denied she had come to any harm, insisting she had completed her studies and moved to another part of China.

The seven conditions for funding restoration in Lauer’s letter, according to a tweet by Daszak, sought explanations for a series of ‘out- of-ordinary restrictions’ on the lab’s facilities in mid-October that included ‘diminished cell phone traffic’ and roadblocks.

Lauer also said the agency needed to know why the Wuhan Institute ‘failed to note that the RaTG13 virus, the bat-derived coronavirus in its collection with greatest similarity to Sars-Cov-2, was actually isolated from an abandoned mine where three men died in 2012 with an illness remarkably similar to Covid-19’.

This is highly significant. There has been growing focus on six miners who fell ill – three eventually died after spending 14 days removing bat faeces in the Mojiang mine, about 1,000 miles from Wuhan.

A newly discovered master’s thesis from the Chinese doctor who treated them and sent tissue samples to the Wuhan Institute describes his patients as having fevers, dry coughs, sore limbs and headaches.

Shi Zhengli, a renowned Wuhan-based virologist known as Batwoman for her expeditions to gather samples in caves and cutting-edge research, told Scientific American magazine in June that these miners had died from a fungal infection rather than coronavirus.

Prof Shi revealed the existence of RaTG13 – which has 96 per cent genetic similarity to Sars-Cov-2 – in a paper submitted to the journal Nature on the same January day that China belatedly admitted human transmission. She has condemned the NIH’s ‘outrageous’ demands.

Other experts have questioned why more information has not been shared about this strain, which fuels the idea of zoonotic transmission.

It has since emerged that, unusually, its name appears to have been changed from a virus identified in a previous 2016 academic paper, obscuring links to the Mojiang mines.


Thousands of Wuhan drinkers flaunt social distancing rules...

Europe frets over virus spikes as WHO warns against...
‘The fact that Shi keeps trying to divert attention away from these dead miners and their potential link to the RaTG13 discovery and Covid-19 is concerning,’ said one leading Western expert.

Chinese officials originally sought to blame a Wuhan market selling wild animals as the source of the outbreak, but this was challenged by a series of scientific studies before being formally discounted three months ago. George Gao Fu, director of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted no viruses were found in animal samples taken from the premises.

Some scientists have been puzzled by the range of unusual features on the spike protein that drive the high infectiousness of Covid-19 – including ‘insertions’ of a pangolin coronavirus sequence that allows the virus to bind tightly to human cells and a ‘furin cleavage site’ that makes it easier to enter human cells – since these features are not found on the most closely related coronaviruses.

Nikolai Petrovsky, professor of medicine at Flinders University in Adelaide, and head of a team of vaccine researchers, published a paper in May saying the new virus is ‘not typical of a normal zoonotic infection’ since it was ‘uniquely adapted to infect humans’ from the start of the pandemic.

‘We still haven’t been able to satisfactorily explain how the virus came to be so perfectly human adapted’, he said.

Leading the way: Some of the Mail on Sunday stories this year about the lab in the city where the outbreak began
Leading the way: Some of the Mail on Sunday stories this year about the lab in the city where the outbreak began

Yesterday, he praised the NIH for challenging the Wuhan lab. ‘They’re doing the right thing: making reinstatement of funding conditional on assistance in a full investigation. Surely EcoHealth Alliance has nothing to lose and everything to gain by co-operating with this request?’

Previously leaked emails have shown the NIH severed funding to EcoHealth Alliance due to ‘allegations that the current crisis was precipitated by the release from Wuhan Institute of Virology of the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19’.

The decision caused a furore, with 77 US Nobel laureates asking NIH director Dr Collins to review the agency’s termination of funding, claiming it set ‘a dangerous precedent by interfering in the conduct of science’.

Daszak, a former Kingston University parasitologist who earns $402,000 (£307,000) a year running the EcoHealth Alliance charity, condemned NIH over its ‘outrageous’ conditions.

‘It makes a mockery of our basic process of biomedical research funding that conspiracy theories are being rehashed in this way,’ he tweeted.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Channel One Russia looks at porential biowarfare labs
TonyGosling wrote:Pentagon Biological Weapons Program Never Ended: US Bio-labs Around The World ... -The-World

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
South Front
Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:00 UTC
Pentagon bio-weapons

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is a Bulgarian investigative journalist and Middle East Correspondent. Over the last two years she has published a series of reports on weapons smuggling to ISIS in Syria. In the past year she came under pressure from the Bulgarian National Security Agency and was fired from her job in the Bulgarian newspaper Trud Daily, without explanation. Despite this, Dilyana continues her investigations. The following report, first published on South Front, provides an overview of the Pentagon's secretive development of biological weapons in bio-labs around the world.


The US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of Biological Weapons. Hundreds of thousands of unwitting people are systematically exposed to dangerous pathogens and other incurable diseases. Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world. These US bio-laboratories 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.

Pentagon's Biolabs

The Lugar Center, Republic of Georgia

The Lugar Center, Republic of Georgia
Vaziani Air Base

The US Army has been deployed to Vaziani Military Air Base, 17 km away from the Pentagon bio-laboratory at the Lugar Center.
Georgia is a Testing Ground For Bioweapons

The Lugar Center is the Pentagon bio laboratory in Georgia. It is located just 17 km away from the US Vaziani military airbase in the capital Tbilisi. Tasked with the military program are biologists from the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G) along with private contractors. The Bio-safety Level 3 Laboratory is accessible only to US citizens with security clearance. They are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.

DOT requirements
Defense Agreement
The USA-Georgia agreement accords diplomatic status to the US military and civilian personnel (including diplomatic vehicles), working on the Pentagon program in Georgia.

Information obtained from the US federal contracts registry clarifies some of the military activities at the Lugar Center - among them research on bio-agents (anthrax, tularemia) and viral diseases (e.g. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever), and the collection of biological samples for future experiments.

Pentagon Contractors Produce Bio Agents Under Diplomatic Cover

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has outsourced much of the work under the military program to private companies, which are not held accountable to Congress, and which can operate more freely and move around the rule of law. US civilian personnel performing work at the Lugar Center have also been given diplomatic immunity, although they are not diplomats. Hence, private companies can perform work, under diplomatic cover, for the US government without being under the direct control of the host state - in this case the Republic of Georgia. This practice is often used by the CIA to provide cover for its agents.

DTRA contractors
Three private American companies work at the US bio-laboratory in Tbilisi - CH2M Hill, Battelle and Metabiota. In addition to the Pentagon, these private contractors perform biological research for the CIA and various other government agencies.

CH2M Hill has been awarded $341.5 million DTRA contracts under the Pentagon's program for bio-laboratories in Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan, South East Asia. Half of this sum ($161.1 million) is allocated to the Lugar Center under the Georgian contract.

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.

As a $59 million subcontractor at the Lugar Center, Battelle 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 (1952-1966).

Source: US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, vol. II, 1977, p. 82

The private company performs work for the Pentagon's DTRA bio laboratories in Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Battelle conducts research, development, testing, and evaluation using both highly toxic chemicals and highly pathogenic biological agents for a wide range of US government agencies. It has been awarded some $2 billion federal contracts in total, and ranks 23 on the Top 100 US government contractors list.

The CIA-Battelle Project Clear Vision

Project Clear Vision (1997 and 2000), a joint investigation by the CIA and the Battelle Memorial Institute, under a contract awarded by the Agency, reconstructed and tested a Soviet-era anthrax bomblet in order to test its dissemination characteristics. The project's stated goal was to assess bio-agents dissemination characteristics of bomblets. The clandestine CIA-Battelle operation was omitted from the US Biological Weapons Convention declarations submitted to the UN.

Anthrax spores under microscope

Anthrax spores under microscope
Top Secret Experiments

Battelle has operated a Top Secret Bio laboratory (National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center - NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, under a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract for the last decade. The company has been awarded a $344.4 million federal contract (2006 - 2016) and another $17.3 million contract (2015 -2026) by DHS.

NBACC is classified as a US Top Secret facility.
Among the secret experiments performed by Battelle at NBACC, are: Assessment of powder dissemination technology, Assessment of hazard posed by aerosolized toxins, and Assessment of virulence of B. Pseudomallei (Meliodosis) as a function of aerosol particle in non-human primates. Melioidosis has the potential to be developed as a biological weapon, hence it is classed as a category B. Bioterrorism Agent. B. Pseudomallei was studied by the US as a potential bioweapon in the past.

Biowarfare scientists
Besides the military experiments at the Lugar Center in Georgia, Battelle has already produced bioterrorism agents at the Biosafety Level 4 NBACC Top Secret Laboratory at Fort Detrick in the US. An NBACC presentation lists 16 research priorities for the lab, including to characterize classical, emerging and genetically-engineered pathogens for their BTA (biological threat agent) potential; assess the nature of nontraditional, novel and non-endemic induction of disease from potential BTA; and to expand aerosol-challenge testing capacity for non-human primates.

Scientists engineer pathogens at the NBACC lab.
Pentagon Biolabs at The epicenter of The Ebola Crisis

The US Company Metabiota Inc. has been awarded $18.4 million federal contracts under the Pentagon's DTRA program in Georgia and Ukraine for scientific and technical consulting services.

Metabiota services include global field-based biological threat research, pathogen discovery, outbreak response and clinical trials.

Metabiota Inc. had been contracted by the Pentagon to perform work for DTRA before and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and was awarded $3.1 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone - one of the countries at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

Metabiota labs
Metabiota worked on the Pentagon's project at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis, where three US biolabs are situated.

Ebola Crisis
A July 17, 2014 report, drafted by the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, accused Metabiota Inc. of failing to abide by an existing agreement on how to report test results and for bypassing the Sierra Leonean scientists working there. The report also raised the possibility that Metabiota was culturing blood cells at the lab, something the report said was dangerous, as well as misdiagnosing healthy patients. All of those allegations were denied by Metabiota.

Lugar Center

2011, the Lugar Center, Andrew C. Weber (on the right) - US Assistant Secretary of Defense (2009-2014), US DoD Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response (2014-2015), is currently a Metabiota (US contractor) employee.
Military Experiments on Biting Insects

Entomological warfare is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to transmit diseases. The Pentagon has allegedly performed such entomological tests in Georgia and Russia.

Biting Flies in Georgia

In 2014 The Lugar Center was equipped with an insect facility and launched a project titled 'Raising Awareness about Barcoding of Sand Flies in Georgia and Caucasus'. The project covered a larger geographic area outside of Georgia - the Caucasus region. In 2014-2015 Phlebotomine 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.

A biting fly

A biting fly in a bathroom in Tbilisi, Georgia
As a result, Tbilisi has been infested with biting flies since 2015. These biting insects live indoors, in bathrooms, all year long, which was not the typical behavior of these species in Georgia previously (normally the Phlebotomine fly season in Georgia is exceptionally short - from June to September). Local people complain of being bitten by these newly-appeared flies while naked in their bathrooms. They also have a strong resistance to cold and can survive even in sub-zero temperatures in the mountains.

Biting Flies in Dagestan, Russia

Since the start of the Pentagon project in 2014, flies similar to those in Georgia have appeared in neighboring Dagestan (Russia). According to local people, they bite and cause rashes. Their breeding habitats are house drains.

Lugar Center map
biting flies

Flies in Georgia (on the left). The same fly in Dagestan (on the right)
Flies from the Phlebotomine family carry dangerous parasites in their saliva which they transmit through a bite to humans. The disease, which these flies carry, is of high interest to the Pentagon. In 2003 during the US invasion of Iraq, American soldiers were severely bitten by sand flies and contracted Leishmoniasis. The disease is native to Iraq and Afghanistan, and if left untreated the acute form of Leishmoniasis can be fatal.

A 1967 US Army report 'Arthropods of medical importance in Asia and the European USSR' lists all local insects, their distribution and the diseases that they carry. Biting flies, which live in drains, are also listed in the document. Their natural habitat, though, is the Philippines, not Georgia or Russia.

US Army material

'Arthropods of medical importance in Asia and the European USSR', US Army report, 1967
sand flies

Operation Whitecoat: Infected Flies Tested to Bite Humans

In 1970 and 1972, Sand Fly Fever tests were performed on humans according to a declassified US Army report - 'US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, 1977, vol. II, p. 203'. During Operation Whitecoat, volunteers were exposed to bites by infected sand flies. Operation Whitecoat was a bio-defense medical research program carried out by the US Army at Fort Detrick, Maryland, between 1954 and 1973.

Despite the official termination of the US bio-weapons program, in 1982 USAMRIID performed an experiment to see if sand flies and mosquitoes could be vectors of Rift Valley Virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Eastern Equine Encephalitis - viruses which the US Army researched for their potential as bio-weapons.

Killer Insects

A. Aegypti

A. Aegypti
The Pentagon has a long history in using insects as vectors for diseases. According to a partially declassified 1981 US Army report, American bio warfare scientists carried out a number of experiments on insects. These operations were part of US Entomological Warfare under the Program for Biological Weapons of the US.

The Pentagon: How to Kill 625,000 People For Just $0.29 Cost Per Death

A US Army report in 1981 compared two scenarios - 16 simultaneous attacks on a city by A. Aegypti mosquitoes, infected with Yellow Fever, and Tularemia aerosol attack, and assessed their effectiveness in terms of cost and casualties.

Yellow Fever memo
cost for death
Operation Big Itch: Field tests were performed to determine coverage patterns and survivability of the tropical rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis for use as a disease vector in biological warfare.

Operation Big Buzz: 1 million A. Aegypti mosquitoes were produced, 1/3 were placed in munitions and dropped from aircraft, or dispersed on the ground. The mosquitoes survived the airdrop and actively sought out human blood.

history of field testing

Evaluation of Entomological Warfare as a potential Danger to the US and European NATO nations, US Army, March 1981 Report
Operation May Day: Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes were dispersed through ground-based methods in Georgia, USA, during a US Army operation codenamed May Day.

Operation May Day
Parts of the 1981 US Army report such as the "Mass production of Aedes Aegypti" have not been declassified, potentially meaning that the project is still ongoing.

Aedes Aegypti, also known as yellow fever mosquito, have been widely used in US military operations. The same species of mosquitoes are alleged to be the vectors of dengue, chikungunya and the Zika virus, which causes genetic malformations in newborns

Operation Bellweather: The US Army Chemical Research and Development Command, Biological Weapons Branch, studied outdoor mosquito biting activity in a number of field tests at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, in 1960. Virgin female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which had been starved, were tested upon troops out in the open air.

Operation Bellweather
For reference: OutdoorMosquito Biting Activity Studies,Project Bellweather I, 1960, Technical Report, US Army, Dugway Proving Ground

Military Experiments With Tropical Mosquitoes and Ticks in Georgia

Such species of mosquitoes and fleas (studied in the past under the US Entomological Warfare Program) have also been collected in Georgia and tested at the Lugar Center.

Under the DTRA project 'Virus and Other Arboviruses in Georgia' in 2014, the never-before-seen tropical mosquito Aedes albopictus was detected for the first time and after an absence of decades (60 years), the existence of Aedes Aegypti mosquito was confirmed in west Georgia.

Aedes Albopictus

Aedes Albopictus is a vector of many viral pathogens, Yellow fever virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.
These tropical mosquitoes Aedes Albopictus, having never been seen before in Georgia, have also been detected in neighboring Russia (Krasnodar) and Turkey. According to data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, their spread is unusual for this part of the world.

Aedes Albopictus distribution

Click to see the full-size image
Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes have been distributed only in Georgia, southern Russia and northern Turkey. They were detected for the first time in 2014 after the start of the Pentagon program at the Lugar Center.

Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes

Click to see the full-size image
Under another DTRA project, 'Epidemiology and Ecology of Tularemia in Georgia' (2013-2016), 6,148 ground ticks were collected; 5,871 were collected off cattle and 1,310 fleas and 731 ticks were caught. In 2016 a further 21,590 ticks were collected and studied at the Lugar Center.

Anthrax Outbreak in Georgia and NATO Human Trials

In 2007 Georgia ended its policy of having compulsory annual livestock anthrax vaccination. As a result, the morbidity rate of the disease reached its peak in 2013. The same year NATO started human-based anthrax vaccine tests at the Lugar Center in Georgia.

vaccine stats

Click to see the full-size image
In 2007, despite the anthrax outbreak, the Georgian government terminated compulsory vaccination for 7 years. 2013 saw NATO begin human trials on a new anthrax vaccine in Georgia.

anthrax vaccine
Pentagon Research on Russian Anthrax

Anthrax is one of the bio agents weaponized by the US Army in the past. Despite the Pentagon's claims that its program is only defensive, there are facts to the contrary. In 2016 at the Lugar Center American scientists carried out research on the 'Genome Sequence of the Soviet/Russian Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain 55-VNIIVViM', which was funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency's (DTRA) Cooperative Biological Engagement Program in Tbilisi, and administered by Metabiota (the US contractor under the Pentagon program in Georgia).

In 2017 the DTRA funded further research - 'Ten Genome Sequences of Human and Livestock Isolates of Bacillus anthracis from the Country of Georgia' - which was performed by USAMRU-G at the Lugar Center.

34 People Intentionally-Infected With Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Georgia

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus). The disease was first characterized in Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean hemorrhagic fever. It was then later recognized in 1969 as the cause of illness in Congo, thus resulting in the current name of the disease. In 2014 34 people became infected (including a 4-year old child) with CCHF. Three of them died. The same year, Pentagon biologists studied the virus in Georgia under the DTRA project 'Epidemiology of febrile illnesses caused by Dengue viruses and other Arboviruses in Georgia'. The project included tests on patients with fever symptoms and the collection of ticks, as possible vectors of CCHFV for laboratory analysis.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
CCHF Cases in Humans
© NCDC-Georgia
The cause of the CCHF outbreak in Georgia is still unknown. According to the local Veterinary Department report, only one tick from all of the collected species from the infected villages tested positive for the disease. Despite the claims of local authorities that the virus was transmitted to humans from animals, all animal blood samples were negative too. The lack of infected ticks and animals is inexplicable given the sharp increase of CCHF human cases in 2014, meaning that the outbreak was not natural and the virus was spread intentionally.

In 2016 another 21,590 ticks were collected for DNA databases 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'.

Symptoms of CCHF

Symptoms of CCHF
Military Bio-lab Blamed For Deadly CCHF Outbreak in Afghanistan

237 cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) have also been reported across Afghanistan, 41 of which were fatal as of December 2017. According to Afghanistan's Ministry of Health, most of the cases have been registered in the capital Kabul, where 71 cases have been reported with 13 fatalities, and in the province of Herat near the border with Iran (67 cases).

CCHF cases Afghanistan
CCHF outbreak bio-lab
Afghanistan is one of 25 countries across the world with Pentagon bio-laboratories on their territory. The project in Afghanistan is part of the US bio-defense program - Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), which is funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The DTRA contractors, working at the Lugar Center in Georgia, CH2M Hill and Battelle, have also been contracted for the program in Afghanistan. CH2M Hill has been awarded a $10.4 million contract (2013-2017). The Pentagon contractors in Afghanistan and Georgia are the same, and so are the diseases which are spreading among the local population in both countries.

Why The Pentagon Collects And Studies Bats

Bats are allegedly the reservoir hosts to the Ebola Virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and other deadly diseases. However, the precise ways these viruses are transmitted to humans are currently unknown. Numerous studies have been performed under the DTRA Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in a search for deadly pathogens of military importance in bats.

Pentagon bats
221 bats were euthanized at the Lugar Center for research purposes in 2014.

euthanizing bats
Bats have been blamed for the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa (2014-2016). However, no conclusive evidence of exactly how the virus 'jumped' to humans has ever been provided, which raises suspicions of intentional and not natural infection.

Engineering Deadly Viruses is Legal in the US

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) first appeared in 2012 and is thought to have originated in bats and spread directly to humans and/or camels. However, like Ebola, the precise ways the virus spreads are unknown.

1,980 cases with 699 deaths caused by MERS-CoV were reported in 15 countries across the world (as of June 2017).

MERS deaths
3 to 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died.
MERS-CoV is one of the viruses that have been engineered by the US and studied by the Pentagon, as well as influenza and SARS. Confirmation of this practice is Obama's 2014 temporary ban on government funding for such 'dual-use' research. The moratorium was lifted in 2017 and experiments have continued. Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens (PPPs) experiments are legal in the US.

Such experiments aim to increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens.

Tularemia as Bioweapon

Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever, is classified as a bioterrorism agent and was developed as such in the past by the US. However, the Pentagon's research on tularemia continues, as well as on possible vectors of the bacteria such as ticks and rodents, which cause the disease. The DTRA has launched a number of projects on Tularemia along with other especially dangerous pathogens in Georgia.

Especially Dangerous Pathogens (EDPs), or select agents, represent a major concern for public health globally. These highly pathogenic agents have the potential to be weaponized, with proof of their military importance seen through the following Pentagon projects: Epidemiology and Ecology of Tularemia in Georgia (2013-2016) (60,000 vectors were collected for strain isolates and genome research); Epidemiology of Human Tularemia in Georgia; and Human Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance of Especially Dangerous Pathogens in Georgia (study of select agents among patients with undifferentiated fever and hemorrhagic fever/septic shock).

Human Tularemia

F. Tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium and has the potential to be weaponized for use through aerosol attacks.
cost summary 1
cost summary 2

Tularemia is one of the bio-weapons that the US Army developed in the past.
Source: 1981 US Army Report

Pentagon Bio-laboratories Spread Diseases in Ukraine

11 Pentagon Biolabs

11 Pentagon Biolaboratories in Ukraine and around Russia. Click to see full-size image
The DoD Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has funded 11 bio-laboratories in Ukraine, which also borders on Russia:

The US Military Program is Sensitive Information

Ukraine has no control over the military bio-laboratories on its own territory. According to the 2005 Agreement between the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Ukrainian government is prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the US program and Ukraine is obliged to transfer to the US DoD dangerous pathogens for biological research. The Pentagon has been granted access to certain state secrets of Ukraine in connection with the projects under their agreement:

Biowarfare Scientists Under Diplomatic Cover

Among the set of bilateral agreements between the US and Ukraine is the establishment of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) - an international organization funded mainly by the US government which has been accorded diplomatic status. The STCU officially supports projects of scientists previously involved in the Soviet biological weapons program. Over the past 20 years the STCU has invested over $285 million in funding and managing some 1,850 projects of scientists who previously worked on the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Protocol memo
The US personnel in Ukraine work under diplomatic cover.

364 Ukrainians Died From Swine Flu

One of the Pentagon laboratories is located in Kharkiv, where in January 2016 at least 20 Ukrainian soldiers died from a flu-like virus in just two days, with 200 more being hospitalized. The Ukrainian government did not report on the dead Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkiv. As of March 2016, 364 deaths were reported across Ukraine (81.3 % caused by Swine Flu A (H1N1) pdm09 - the same strain which caused the world pandemic in 2009).
Ukraine Swine Flu

Click to see the full-size image
According to Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) intelligence information, the US bio-lab in Kharkiv leaked the deadly virus.

Police Investigate Infection With Incurable Disease

Late last year, a highly suspicious Hepatitis A infection spread rapidly in just few months across South East Ukraine, where most of the Pentagon biolabs are located.

hundreds infected hepatitis A

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37 people have been hospitalized for Hepatitis A in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv as of January 2018. Local police have launched an investigation into "infection with human immunodeficiency virus and other incurable diseases." Three years ago more than 100 people in the same city became infected with Cholera. Both diseases are alleged to have spread through contaminated drinking water.

In the summer of 2017, 60 people with Hepatitis A were admitted to hospital in the city of Zaporizhia. The cause of this outbreak is still unknown.

In the Odessa region, 19 children from an orphanage were hospitalized for hepatitis A in June 2017.

29 cases of Hepatitis A were reported in Kharkiv in November 2017. The virus was isolated in contaminated drinking water. One of the Pentagon bio-labs located in Kharkiv was blamed for the deadly Flu outbreak a year ago that claimed the lives of 364 Ukrainians.

Ukraine And Russia Hit By New Highly Virulent Cholera Infection

In 2011 Ukraine was hit by a cholera outbreak. 33 patients were reportedly hospitalized for severe diarrhea. A second outbreak struck the country in 2014 when more than 800 people all across Ukraine were reported to have contracted the disease. In 2015 at least 100 new cases were registered in the city of Mykolaiv alone.

Mariupol and Mykolaiv

Click to see the full-size image
Vibrio Cholera
A new highly virulent variant of the cholera agent Vibrio cholera, with a high genetic similarity to the strains reported in Ukraine, hit Moscow in 2014. According to a 2014 Russian Research Anti-Plaque Institute genetic study, the cholera strain isolated in Moscow was similar to the bacteria which caused the epidemic in neighboring Ukraine.

Southern Research Institute, one of the US contractors working at the bio-laboratories in Ukraine, has projects on Cholera, as well as on Influenza and Zika - all pathogens of military importance to the Pentagon.

Along with Southern Research Institute, two other private American companies operate military bio-labs in Ukraine - Black & Veatch and Metabiota.

DTRA contractors Ukraine
Black & Veatch Special Project Corp. was awarded $198.7 million in DTRA contracts to build and operate bio-laboratories in Ukraine (under two 5-year contracts in 2008 and 2012 totaling $128.5 million), as well as in Germany, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Thailand, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Armenia.

Metabiota has been awarded a $18.4 million federal contract under the program in Georgia and Ukraine. This US company was also contracted to perform work for the DTRA before and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, including $3.1 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone.

Southern Research Institute has been a prime subcontractor under the DTRA program in Ukraine since 2008. The company was also a prime Pentagon contractor in the past, under the US Biological Weapons Program for research and development of bio-agents, with 16 contracts between 1951 and 1962.

Fort Detrick Contracts
Source: US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, vol. II, 1977, p. 82

Soviet Defector Produced Anthrax For The Pentagon

Anthrax defector

Bacillus anthracis, magnified more than 12,000 times
Southern Research Institute was also a subcontractor on a Pentagon program for anthrax research in 2001. The prime contractor being Advanced Biosystems, whose president at that time was Ken Alibek (a former Soviet microbiologist and biological warfare expert from Kazakhstan who defected to the US in 1992).

Ken Alibek

Ken Alibek
Ken Alibek was the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat, where he oversaw a program for biological weapon facilities and was the Soviet Union's main expert on anthrax. After his defection to the US, he was engaged on Pentagon research projects.

$250,000 For Lobbying Jeff Sessions For "Research For US Intelligence"

Southern Research Institute lobbied the US Congress and US Department of State hard for "issues related to research and development for US intelligence" and "defense related research and development." The lobbying activities coincided with the start of the Pentagon projects on bio-labs in Ukraine and other former Soviet states.

The company paid $250,000 for lobbying then-Senator Jeff Sessions in 2008-2009 (currently the US Attorney General appointed by Donald Trump), when the institute was awarded a number of federal contracts.

Jeff Sessions

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, US Senator for Alabama (1997-2017)
Watson Donald

Watson Donald
For a 10-year period (2006-2016) Southern Research Institute paid $1.28 million for lobbying the US Senate, House of Representatives, the State Department and the Department of Defense (DoD). Senator Jeff Sessions' aide on Capitol Hill, Watson Donald, is now a Senior Director at Southern Research Institute.

Police Investigate Botulism Toxin Poisoning in Ukraine

115 Botulism cases, with 12 deaths, were reported in Ukraine in 2016.

In 2017 the Ukrainian Ministry of Health confirmed a further 90 new cases, with 8 deaths, of botulinum toxin poisoning (one of the most poisonous biological substances known). According to local health authorities, the cause of the outbreak was food poisoning, into which police launched an investigation.

The Ukrainian government stopped supplying antitoxin in 2014 and no botulism vaccines in stock were available during the 2016-2017 outbreak.

Botulism is a rare and extremely dangerous illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

1 gm of The Toxin Can Kill as Many as 1 Million People

botulism scientist
Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bio-weapon threat because of its extreme potency, ease of production and transport. It causes muscles paralyses, respiratory failure and ultimately death if not treated immediately. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled can kill more than one million people. It could be disseminated via aerosol, or by contamination of water and/ or food supplies.

The Pentagon Produces Live Viruses, Bacteria & Toxins

Botulinum Toxin was tested as a bio-weapon by the US Army in the past, as well as Anthrax, Brucella and Tularemia. Although the US bio-weapons program was officially terminated in 1969, documents show that the military experiments never ended. Presently the Pentagon produces and tests live bio-agents at the same military facility as it did in the past - Dugway Proving Ground.

Current Field Tests

capabilities report
Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test Center

Past Field Tests

Biological field testing
Source: 1977 US Army Report, p. 135

Bioweapons Factory in The US

The US Army produces and tests bio-agents at a special military facility located at Dugway Proving Ground (West Desert Test Center, Utah), as proven in a 2012 US Army Report. The facility is overseen by the Army Test and Evaluation Command.

The Life Sciences Division (LSD) at Dugway Proving Ground is tasked with the production of bio-agents. According to the Army report, scientists from this division produce and test aerosolized bio-agents at Lothar Saloman Life Sciences Test Facility (LSTF).

Dugway Proving Ground

Dugway Proving Ground
capabilities report 2012

Biological Agents produced by the US Army at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, USA
Source: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test Center

The Life Sciences Division consists of an Aerosol Technology branch and a Microbiology Branch. The Aerosol Technology Branch aerosolizes biological agents and simulants. The Microbiology branch produces toxins, bacteria, viruses and agent-like organisms which are used in chamber and field testing.

Dugway testing
Dugway testing 2
A large 1500 L fermentator.
© Dugway Proving Ground
A large 1500 L fermentator.
post-production laboratory
© Dugway Proving Ground
A post-production laboratory dries and mills test materials.
After the bio-agents are produced, the scientists challenge them at containment aerosol chambers.

Technicians disseminate live biological agents
© Dugway Proving Ground
Technicians disseminate live biological agents for identification sensitivity tests.
Technicians disseminate live biological agents.
© Dugway Proving Ground
Technicians disseminate
© Dugway Proving Ground
Aerosol Experiments With Botulinum Neurotoxin And Anthrax

Documents prove that the US Army produces, possesses and tests aerosols of the most lethal toxin in the world - Botulinum Neurotoxin. In 2014 the Department of the Army purchased 100 mg of Botulinum Toxin from Metabiologics for tests at Dugway Proving Ground.

The experiments date back to 2007 when an unspecified quantity of the toxin was procured for the Department of the Army by the same company - Metabiologics. According to the 2012 West Desert Test Center Report, the military facility performs tests with Botulinum Neurotoxin Aerosol, as well as with aerosolized Anthrax, Yersinia pestis, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEE).

Containment Aerosol Chamber
Source: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test Center

Outdoor Field Test Programs at Dugway Proving Ground

US Army documents and photos show that the Pentagon has developed various dissemination methods for bioterrorism attacks, including via explosives.

Capapbilities Report
Source: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test Center

Dissemination of contaminants
© Dugway Proving Ground
Dissemination of contaminants for biological/chemical tests.
Dissemination of contaminants 2
© Dugway Proving Ground
Liquid Dissemination.
© Dugway Proving Ground
Liquid Dissemination.
Powder Dissemination.
© Dugway Proving Ground
Powder Dissemination.
Dissemination on the test grid.
© Dugway Proving Ground
Dissemination on the test grid.
The US Army report lists numerous dissemination techniques, including via bio-aerosol sprayers. Such sprayers, called Micronair disseminators, have already been developed by the US Army and tested at Dugway Proving Ground. According to the documents, they can be vehicle-mounted, or worn as a backpack with a pump system, which can be fitted to the unit to increase the accuracy of the release. Micronair sprayers can release 50 to 500 mL of bio-liquid simulant per minute from 12 L tanks.

Aerosol Sprayers.
© Dugway Proving Grounds
Aerosol Sprayers.
The US Stole Bacteria From Saddam Hussein's Bio Weapons Factory

Bacillus thuringiensis is an insect pathogen that is widely used as a bio-pesticide. B. thuringiensis (BT) Al Hakam was collected in Iraq by the UN Special Commission led by the US in 2003. It is named after Al Hakam - Iraq's bio-weapons production facility. Apart from Pentagon field tests, this bacterium is also used in the US for the production of GM corn, which is resistant to pests. Photos posted by the CIA prove that the bacteria was collected by the US in Iraq. According to the CIA, the vials containing bio-pesticide were recovered from an Al Hakam scientist's home.

CIA: A total of 97 vials - including those with labels consistent with the Al Hakam cover stories of single-cell protein and bio-pesticides - as well as strains that could be used to produce BW agents, were recovered from a scientist's residence in Iraq in 2003.

Bacillus thuringiensis

Bacillus thuringiensis
Information from the US federal contracts registry shows that the Pentagon performs tests using the bacteria stolen from Saddam Hussein's bio-weapons factory in Iraq.

DTRA project
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) federal project for laboratory analysis and field tests with bacteria.
The tests are performed on Kirtland Air Force Base (Kirtland is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command's Nuclear Weapons Center). Here weapons are being tested, meaning that the field tests with biological simulants (bacteria) also fall into this group.

The DTRA contractor on this project - Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute (LBERI) - operates an Animal Bio-safety 3 Level (ABSL-3) laboratory, which has Select Agent status. The facility is designed to conduct bioaerosol studies. The company has been awarded a 5-year contract for field tests with biological simulants at Kirtland Air Force Base.

Kirtland Air Force Base.
© Dugway Proving Ground
Kirtland Air Force Base.
Some of the tests are performed in a wind tunnel.
© Dugway Proving Ground
Some of the tests are performed in a wind tunnel.
Field Tests With Biological Simulants (Bacteria)

What the Pentagon is currently doing is exactly what it did in the past, meaning that its bio-weapons program was never terminated. The US Army performed 27 field tests with such biological simulants, involving the public domain from 1949 to 1968, when President Nixon officially announced the end of the program.

hisoty bio weapons
field testing
Source: US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, vol. II, 1977, p. 125-126

Field Tests in 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 the spring of 2017 local citizens reported a drone disseminating white powder close to the Russian border with Georgia. Neither the Georgian border police, nor the US personnel operating on the Georgia-Russia border, commented on this information.

$9.2 Million US Military Project on Russia-Georgia Border

DTRA has full access to the Russia-Georgia border, granted under a military program called 'Georgia Land Border Security Project'. The activities related to the project have been outsourced to a private American company - Parsons Government Services International. DTRA has previously contracted Parsons for similar border security projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Syria. Parsons have been awarded a $9.2 million contract under the Pentagon border security project on the Russia-Georgia border.

Lugar Center Tbilisi

Local citizens in Chechnya noticed a UAV sprayer near the Russian border with Georgia in 2017.
US Defense Agency Tests GM Insects to Transmit GM Viruses

The Pentagon has invested at least $65 million in gene editing. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded 7 research teams to develop tools for genome engineering in insects, rodents and bacteria under DARPA's Safe Gene program, using a novel CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Darpa engineering
insect weapon
Under another military program - Insect Allies - GM insects are engineered to transfer modified genes to plants. The $10.3 million DARPA project includes both gene editing in insects and in the viruses that they transmit. Ecological Niche-preference Engineering is a third ongoing military program for genome engineering in insects. The Pentagon's stated objective is to engineer GM organisms so that they can resist certain temperatures, change their habitat and food sources.

ecological engineering
Genetically Engineered Humans

Besides gene editing in insects and in the viruses they transmit, the Pentagon wants to engineer humans as well.

genome engineering
DARPA Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering Project seeks to create a biological platform inside the human body, using it to deliver new genetic information, and thus altering humans at the DNA level.

DARPA wants to insert an additional 47th artificial chromosome into human cells. This chromosome will deliver new genes that will be used for engineering the human body. SynPloid Biotek LLC has been awarded two contracts under the program totaling $1.1 million (2015-2016 - $100,600 for the first phase of the research; 2015-2017 - $999,300 for work which is not specified in the federal contracts registry). The company has only two employees and no previous record on bio-research.

Top Secret Research on Synthetic Viruses

Between 2008 and 2014, the United States invested approximately $820 million in synthetic biology research, Defense being a major contributor. Much of the military projects on synthetic biology are classified, among them are a number of classified studies by the secretive JASON group of US military advisors - e.g. Emerging Viruses and Genome Editing for the Pentagon, and Synthetic Viruses for the National Counterterrorism Center.

JASON is an independent scientific advisory group that provides consulting services to the U.S. government on matters of defense, science and technology. It was established in 1960 and most of their resulting JASON reports are classified. For administrative purposes, JASON's projects are run by the MITRE Corporation, which has contracts with the Defense Department, CIA and the FBI. Since 2014 MITRE has been awarded some $27.4 million in contracts with the DoD.

Although the JASON Reports are classified, another US Air Force study titled Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens, sheds some light on what the secretive JASON group has researched - 5 groups of genetically engineered pathogens that can be used as bio-weapons. These are binary biological weapons (a lethal combination of two viruses), host swapping diseases (animal viruses that 'jump' to humans, like the Ebola virus), stealth viruses, and designer diseases. Designer diseases can be engineered to target a certain ethnic group, meaning that they can be used as ethnic bio-weapons.

Ethnic Bioweapons

Ethnic biological weapon (biogenetic weapon) is a theoretical weapon that aims to primarily harm people of specific ethnicities, or genotypes.

Although officially the research and development of ethnic bio-weapons have never been publicly confirmed, documents show that the US collects biological material from certain ethnic groups - Russians and Chinese.

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.

Synovial tissue
Apart from Russians, the US has been collecting biological material from both healthy and cancer patients in China. The National Cancer Institute has collected biological samples from 300 subjects from Linxian, Zhengzhou, and Chengdu in China. While another federal project, titled 'Serum Metabolic biomarkers discovery study of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in China', includes analysis of 349 serum samples which have been collected from Chinese patients.

Linxian, Zhengzhou

The US National Cancer Institute has been collecting biological material from patients of the Chinese Cancer Hospital in Beijing.
Chinese biological material has been collected under a series of federal projects, including saliva and cancer tissue. Among them, Genotyping DNA Samples from Lymphoma cases and from controls (healthy patients), breast cancer tissue blocks from breast cancer patients, saliva samples of 50 families who have 3 or more cases of UGI cancer, Genotype 50 SNP'S for DNA samples from the Cancer Hospital, Beijing, Genotypes from 3,000 cases of gastric cancer and 3,000 controls (healthy patients) in Beijing.

How The Pentagon Helped Tobacco Companies to Profit From Ebola

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has invested $100 million in vaccine production from tobacco plants.

The companies involved in the project are owned by the biggest American tobacco companies - Mediacago, Inc. is co-owned by Philip Morris and Kentucky BioProcessing is a subsidiary of Reynolds American, which is owned by British American Tobacco. Currently they are producing Flu and Ebola vaccines from tobacco plants.

The $100 million program Blue Angel was launched as a response to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Medicago was awarded $21 million to produce 10,000 million doses of an influenza vaccine within one month.

Blue Angel program manager Dr. John Julias explains: "Although there are multiple plant species and other organisms being explored as alternative protein production platforms, the US Government has continued to make an investment in tobacco-based manufacturing."

Tobacco plants
The plant-based vaccine production method works by isolating a specific antigen protein that triggers a human immune response from the targeted virus. A gene from the protein is transferred to bacteria, which is used to infect plants. The plants then start producing the protein that will be used for vaccinations.

It is not clear why the Pentagon chooses to invest in vaccines produced from tobacco plants, from among all other plant species they explored. Medicago, co-owned by Philip Morris, paid $495,000 for lobbying the Department of Defense, Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services for "funding to advance technology to support public health preparedness applications." The Pentagon funded tobacco companies to develop new technology and to profit from vaccines.

Biological Experiments Are War Crimes

Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) defines biological experiments as war crimes. The US, however, is not a state party to the international treaty, and cannot be held accountable for its war crimes.

Comment: So much for Nixon ending the US deep state's mad science bio-weapons program in 1969.

Many years ago, we noted that Israel has a similar infatuation with finding something that will decimate Arabs and leave The Chosen Ones sole survivors in the Middle East.

The Pentagon's bio-weapon Frankenstein-research is not only alive and well, like NATO, it has metastasized since the collapse of the USSR, spreading into Africa, the Middle East, and on Russia's doorstep.

President Putin noted the uptick in US bio-research focused on 'Russians/Caucasians' last October and, addressing Russia's Human Rights Council, said:

"[...] do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is - why is it being done? It's being done purposefully and professionally. We are a kind of object of great interest."

Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council's Committee for Defense and Security went on to add this on his Facebook page:

"I'm not saying that it is about preparing a biological war against Russia. But its scenarios, are, no doubt, being worked on. That is to say, in case the need arises."

It may, for now, remain more sci-fi than fact, but the concept of ethnic-specific weapons are clearly uppermost in certain American minds.

What do they think is going to happen if they unleash some kind of bio-weapon pandemic that ostensibly targets 'only Russians'?

It apparently hasn't yet dawned on them that most Caucasians are of mixed descent/genotype.

Any such 'country-specific targeting' would lay waste to the American population too.

(By the way, we have a fair idea why they're interested in tobacco.)

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TonyGosling wrote:Research into deadly viruses and biological weapons at US army lab shut down over fears they could escape ... 42641.html

Fort Detrick researchers banned from working with anthrax, Ebola and smallpox until procedures improved

Tim Wyatt
Tuesday 6 August 2019 13:19

Researchers at Fort Detrick have been barred from working with the most dangerous pathogens after an inspection
Researchers at Fort Detrick have been barred from working with the most dangerous pathogens after an inspection ( Shutterstock )

America’s main biological warfare lab has been ordered to stop all research into the deadliest viruses and pathogens over fears contaminated waste could leak out of the facility.

Fort Detrick, in Maryland, has been the epicentre of the US Army’s bioweapons research since the beginning of the Cold War.

But last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – the government’s public health body – stripped the base of its license to handle highly restricted “select agents”, which includes Ebola, smallpox and anthrax.

The unusual move follows an inspection by the CDC at Fort Detrick which found several problems with new procedures used to decontaminate waste water.

For years the facility used a steam sterilisation plant to treat waste water, but after a storm flooded and ruined that machinery last year, Fort Detrick switched to a new chemical-based decontamination system.
Forgotten Women: Survivors of Ebola
Show all 12

But the CDC inspectors found the new procedures were not sufficient, with both mechanical failures causing leaks and researchers failing to properly follow the rules.

As a result, the organisation sent a “cease and desist” order to Fort Detrick, forcing it to suspend all research on select agents.
Watch more

Student whose family were killed by Ebola takes exam in quarantine

Although the United States officially abandoned its biological weapons programme in 1969, Fort Detrick has continued defensive research into deadly pathogens on the list of “select agents”, including the Ebola virus, the organisms that cause the plague, and the highly toxic poison ricin.

The army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, based at Fort Detrick, says its primary mission today is to “protect the warfighter from biological threats” but its scientists also investigate outbreaks of disease among civilians and other threats to public health.

In recent years it has been involved in testing possible vaccines for Ebola, after several epidemics of the deadly virus in Africa.
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A spokeswoman for the lab, Caree Vander Linden, said despite the CDC suspension order, there had not been any threat to public health or any leaks of hazardous material outside the base.
US military plan to spread viruses using insects could create ‘new class of biological weapon’, scientists warn

The shutdown of research at Fort Detrick is likely to last several months, she also told the New York Times.

This is not the first time the lab has been temporarily shut down due to failures in handling the dangerous pathogens inside.

In 2009, research at Fort Detrick was suspended because it was discovered it was storing pathogens which were not listed on its inventory.

The regulations on keeping close track of hazardous biological material were tightened after the 2001 anthrax attacks, which saw five people die after spores were posted to several media newsrooms and Democratic senators.

The FBI’s chief suspect in the 2001 case, Bruce Ivins, was a senior biological weapons researcher at Fort Detrick. He killed himself in 2008, shortly before the FBI was planning to charge him with the attacks.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

The doctors know!

World Doctors Alliance Online Congress


Streamed live 6 hours ago
Join us for the inaugural World Doctors Alliance Online Congress where a panel of 10+ international experts will explore whether the response to the global crisis is proportionate to the underlying risks.

3 CPD points will be issued to all medical and healthcare professionals in attendance - issued by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by TonyGosling »

We Need to Talk About Proteins — The Ronascam, The Vaccines, and Genetic Patents ... tents.html
SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

By Julie Beal

There’s a lot more to this ronascam than we first thought – I did a little digging, to understand the new vaccines, and it became clear that part of the ‘reset’ the UN and WEF have announced is a future dominated by proteins and genetic hybrids.

There are genetically engineered proteins for vaccines, brewed in bioreactors inside cells from insects or bacteria, and there are bioreactors for ‘food’ products, etc., and a whole range of things, including pharmaceuticals. Proteins are also what the ronavax are all about, with some of them even using ‘fake DNA’ to turn our own bodies into bioreactors, churning out the proteins the genetic code instructs us to. Your body is a protein factory. Why pay for a bioreactor and wait months for them to ‘grow’? Injecting the code straight into us saves time and money.

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The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) vaccines are totally different to any vaccines that have been approved before, and yet they’ve been in development for over twenty years. There have been some genetic treatments made available, so why have no vaccines for humans been licensed?
The investors want results, to bring the products to market, and now a global experiment is being proposed.
The novel ingredients in the ronavax include DNA plasmids, modified mRNA, lipid nanoparticles, and the adenovirus envelope; but none of these have been licensed for humans before either!
The vaccines are plug-and-play ‘therapeutics’, so they are using the same platform each time but with a different genetic insert. They are all much cheaper and quicker to produce than the standard vaccines.
Patents for some of these platforms refer to the inclusion of xeno nucleic acid (XNAs), or unnatural amino acids (for instance, to produce mRNA) – these are synthetic analogues of ‘the real thing’. ‘Xeno’ means ‘not found in nature’ or ‘alien’.
The ronavax may also contain novel molecular adjuvants – that’s because genetic vaccines (let’s call them ‘genvax’) are said to need a lot of adjuvants, to make you have a strong immune response (pah!) – so instead of just the usual toxins being added (such as alum), more genetic code is added, e.g. for cytokines – this is also a very new and worrying gimmick.
The vaccines are part of the field of gene therapy which has managed to bring some treatments to market for serious illnesses such as cancer and diseases caused by missing or defective genes, but not so for the many vaccines, using the same platforms, which have also been designed and tested.
All of the platforms have been tested for over twenty years – there’s been a lot of tweaking of methods with some apparent success, but no profit.
There have been at least two deaths and a lot of illness and adverse events during trials, most of which are said to be under-reported. During the inquiry into Jesse Gelsinger’s death, for instance, “the FDA and NIH revealed that 691 volunteers in gene-therapy experiments had either died or fallen ill in the seven years before Jesse’s death; only 39 of these incidents had been reported promptly as required.”
It’s acknowledged by the experts that there’s a chance of cancer, autoimmune diseases and other problems, but they don’t say what happened to people more than a year or two after clinical trials, because nobody seems to check!
Millions of $ have been poured into genvax and other gene therapies, but still nothing has been brought to market – why?
Perhaps the ronascam is partly about overcoming the problems with getting genvax to market quickly – the laws arising from the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) have blocked many genetic patents from success over the years, but it seems to be giving up its power to the WHO! Bill Gates seems?? to have tried to influence the CBD about gene drives in 2017. The Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol of the CBD are clearly standing in the way of a ‘free and open market’ for genetic products and patents, but the ronascam could enable the WHO to reframe Agenda 21 in favour of biotech.
From now on, no matter what, the answer will be: “Because virus!”
Ultimately, the ronavax could open the door to more and more genetic patents, involving ‘alien’ life forms, etc., which could lead to the loss of biodiversity.

Crikey, this is going to take a lot of explaining … so keep taking a breather! I’ve written a series of articles, packed full of original sources, most of which are academic, peer-reviewed articles, and are freely available online. I’ll begin here with a short overview of my forthcoming articles about the connection between the ronascam, the vaccines, and the control of genetics.

Ronavax Rundown – a quick guide to the ronavax and what is said to be in them.
A Guide to the Ronavax – Understanding the Experimental Coronavirus Vaccines – more detail about the types of ronavax winning the race, who is making them, and how they work.
Gates’ way to genetic control? Here comes the EA Swine Flu! The main selling point of genvax is their super-quick turnaround time – just give the vax makers the genetic sequence, and they can whip up a ‘cure’ in no time. And it could be claimed the vector is the same and has been trialled, so all that’s needed is to SHARE the data globally so they can design some new genetic code for a vaccine, and save the world from the new swine flu.
Ronavax Roulette – Potential problems with the corona-virus vaccines – the potential ill effects of the vaccines, as suggested by the World Health Organization, and by geneticists themselves; a look at previous trials and what went wrong when using much the same platforms, including the deaths of Jesse Gelsinger and Ashanthi DeSilva, and the shocking consequences of the TeGenero incident; molecular adjuvants.
WHO’s in Charge of Biodiversity? Biotech means messing with DNA in so many ways, but has been scuppered thus far by the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols. This includes patents involving genetics. Even countries who are not signatories are restricted by the Protocols when it involves a relationship with a country that is a signatory. The WHO is now claiming a link between health and the environment. And did Bill Gates try to influence the CBD about gene drives in 2017?
Protein shame – the darkest side of biotechnology; the rise of so-called therapeutics and so-called food based on proteins. The future being planned for us involves food replacement (as detailed by Ice Age Farmer) from upcycled chicken and grains to proteins produced in bioreactors, such as Gates’ fake meat and breast milk. Some biotech industries rely on animal cruelty, questionable abortions, and the lust for young blood and tissue in the quest for regeneration.
Ronavax – understanding synthetic biology and XNA – which scientists also call ‘alien DNA’ because it is ‘not of this world’ and the potential reprogramming of our physical reality. Plus a look at the use of XNA in gene therapy; for instance, the mRNA used in the ronavax is almost real, but not quite – it uses nucleotide analogues for parts of the code that’s created. There is also a push to use XNA as a ‘genetic firewall’ against viruses, as it is said this would be safer than using gentech based purely on natural DNA.

Julie Beal is a UK-based independent researcher who has been studying the globalist agenda for more than 20 years, focusing on a wide range of information around Agenda 21, Communitarianism, Ethics, Bioscience, and much more.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Whole genome of novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, sequenced
January 31, 2020 ... 114748.htm

Institut Pasteur
The Institut Pasteur has sequenced the whole genome of the coronavirus known as '2019-nCoV', becoming the first institution in Europe to sequence the virus since the start of the outbreak.

On January 24, 2020, the French Ministry of Health confirmed the first three cases of patients affected by the Wuhan coronavirus. On January 29, 2020, the Institut Pasteur, which is responsible for monitoring respiratory viruses in France, sequenced the whole genome of the coronavirus known as "2019-nCoV," becoming the first institution in Europe to sequence the virus since the start of the outbreak. The virus was sequenced at the Institut Pasteur's Mutualized Platform for Microbiology (P2M), which performs genome sequencing on bacterial, viral, fungal and parasite strains received by National Reference Centers and World Health Organization Collaborating Centers for the purpose of infectious disease surveillance.

In December 2019, an outbreak of apparently viral pneumonia of unknown etiology emerged in the city of Wuhan, in the Chinese province of Hubei.

On January 9, 2020, the Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the discovery of a novel coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, which was confirmed as the agent responsible for the pneumonia cases.

Over the weekend of January 11-12, the Chinese authorities shared the full sequence of the coronavirus genome, as detected in samples taken from the first patients. "Sequencing the genome of pathogens is crucial for the development of specific diagnostic tests and the identification of potential treatment options," explains Sylvie van der Werf, Director of the National Reference Center (CNR) for Respiratory Viruses at the Institut Pasteur.

Friday January 24, 2020. Detection of the virus confirmed in France

On Friday January 24, late in the morning, the Institut Pasteur received samples of three suspected cases (two patients in Paris and one in Bordeaux). "Using the samples taken from these patients, we detected the novel coronavirus," says Sylvie Behillil, Deputy Director of the CNR at the Institut Pasteur.

From Friday January 24, 2020. Viral genome sequenced at the Institut Pasteur

That same Friday evening, scientists launched the process of sequencing the viral genome based on the samples. The CNR prepared the material for sequencing, ready for P2M to begin work immediately the following Monday. The sequencing run was completed by early evening on the Tuesday, and the scientists used data analysis to obtain the sequence of the whole genome in two of the first three confirmed cases in France. "This proves the efficacy of the CNR's process of analysis based on viral sequencing," continues Vincent Enouf.

Thursday January 30, 2020. The Institut Pasteur obtains and shares the whole sequence of the virus

The P2M platform (see below) currently performs at an extremely high level; the average time taken to produce sequences ranges from three days (for emergencies) to a maximum of ten days. In this case, it took just three days for the whole sequence to be determined: "We performed data analysis during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, then corroborated the results on Wednesday with counter analysis," explains Vincent Enouf. "The whole sequence was confirmed in just three days."

What can we learn from it? "The sequences were identical in all our samples. One member of the couple must have contaminated the other, as the virus is the same." The two full sequences of the virus isolated in two of the first French cases were submitted to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) platform, which was initially developed to share sequences and monitor the genetic evolution of influenza viruses, a process that is vital to determine the composition of the influenza vaccine. A special "coronavirus" tab has been created so that the scientific community can work together and advance at a quicker pace.

"Around twenty other sequences of the novel coronavirus genome have been obtained worldwide, and if we compare them with ours, we can see that they are all very close; there is not much diversity in the viruses analyzed, which suggests that coronavirus 2019-nCoV did not need to mutate in order to adapt and spread," continues Vincent Enouf.

The National Reference Center (CNR) for Respiratory Viruses at the Institut Pasteur in Paris is one of WHO's reference laboratories for coronavirus 2019-nCoV.

A total of eight people from the CNR and two from the P2M sequencing platform have been working on the virus this week and will continue to monitor the outbreak in France.

P2M, a state-of-the-art mutualized platform for microbiology also open to external CNRs

P2M is also available to external CNRs for sequencing. In 2019 it worked with four CNRs based outside the Institut Pasteur. The platform sequences bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. Thanks to experience gained over the past five years (since 2015), P2M today offers a highly efficient service, as shown by a first-pass success rate (i.e. a high-quality sequence providing comprehensive information on the entire genome) of more than 95% in 2019. Sequence production takes between three days (for emergencies) and ten days at most.

In 2019, P2M sequenced around 25,000 pathogens. Genome sequencing increases the sensitivity threshold for outbreak detection. Early identification of outbreaks by the Institut Pasteur's scientists (clustered cases in a short space of time caused by the same pathogen) enables epidemiologists to get to work immediately to determine the origins of the outbreak, and the authorities to coordinate the public health response.

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Materials provided by Institut Pasteur. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Institut Pasteur. "Whole genome of novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, sequenced." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2020. <>.
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Post by TonyGosling »

via email wrote:Evidence relating to the COVID-19 plannedemic... ... s-ago.html

In 1995, French Canadian journalist, Serge Monast, published Les Protocoles de Toronto (6.6.6) ( ... p_ebooks_1), wherein he reported that a Masonic group called "6.6.6" had, for twenty years, been gathering the world's powerful to establish the New World Order and control the minds of individuals, based on secret documents that had been sent to him to expose this plan. The evidence below directly connects what was reported in these secret documents ... to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"the end of June 1967 marks the final preparations for the development of the Plan of the "Fall of Nations" by the highest levels of Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry in Toronto (Canada). This secret meeting, highly "Confidential", is organized by the "6.6.6." (so they call themselves), i.e. those who run the 6 largest banks in the world, the 6 largest energy consortia on the planet (including the oil part)..."

The evidence overwhelmingly supports that the mega corporation CGI is orchestrating the COVID-19 plannedemic (for example: , , ... tten-curve , ... nformation , ... re-journey , ... experience , ... ion-online , ... strictions , ... save-lives ).

CGI serves a global network of banks: , , ... 00-million ) and is "a partner to all oil and gas majors, globally": .

"These 6.6.6., being the most senior international financiers, will define, within their meeting, a "Common Strategy" for absolute control over "World Trade"; on the possession of the Energy Weapon (the open gateway of the twenty-first century); and the international control of the food (which also includes, for them, the pharmaceutical companies which include, in turn, the global market for "Vitamins" and "vaccines")."

CGI is involved in setting up the 5G network in Canada: ... ology.html , while Frank Clegg, former president of Microsoft Canada who worked with CGI: ... z-strategy , reported that 5G is an "Energy Weapon":

CGI is partners with the pharmaceutical companies: , and also partners with Bill Gates' Microsoft ( ... -two-weeks ), while Bill Gates is pushing and funding the COVID-19 vaccine and calling for Global Governance ( ). Microsoft is a corporate member of the Council on Foreign Relations funded and controlled by the Rockefellers: Bill Gates is a member of The Good Club, along with David Rockefeller (until his death), and George Soros, etc.: ... vD&index=1 , ... nthropists

"Their plan" boils down to three major themes: The Economic, the Political, and the Social Policy for the 70's and 80's. If successful, it must inevitably lead to the capture of "Global Power" by implementing the "New World Order", the same which U.S President George Bush will do much to promote in the early 90s."

ˇFormer President George W. Bush said that...he has “absolute confidence in the experts who are in charge” of the nation’s coronavirus response...Bush pointed in particular to Debbie Birx and Tony Fauci, two doctors who serve on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force. “Laura and I know Deb Birx and Tony Fauci well... ... s-experts/

George W. Bush Urged Us to Prepare for Future Pandemics in 2005

CGI's Lead Director, Thomas d'Aquino ( ... s-daquino/ ), served as Special Assistant to Prime Minister Pierre Elliott TRUDEAU, was David Rockefeller's right-hand man in Canada for decades ( ... _06_06.pdf , ... erica-145/ ) and was fishing buddies with George H. W. Bush: ... -h-w-bush/

"George Bush Sr. New World Order Speech Sept 11 1991": . In this speech, George H. W. Bush reports that the United Nations will play a key role in establishing the New World Order:


In 2001, CGI began setting up a global e-government in Fredericton, New Brunswick: ... initiative

"To achieve this objective it is imperative to be able to infiltrate the Medias (radio, television, newspapers), settings of "Fashion" and "Culture" (circles of New Music) by which we will influence, for sure all the layers of Western Societies. Thus taking under the control of the "Senses" the youth (tomorrow's adults), we will have consequently the way clear for infiltrating and transform in depth without being disturbed, the Politics, and the Legal System and the Education and thus allowing us to radically change the course, the future direction of Societies covered by our "Plan"."

The evidence proves that CGI secretly took over Canada after 9/11, by way of extremely extensive outsourcing contracts, including our media. For example: Bell owns CTV: ... ell-canada

CGI has taken control of the legal system in North America: ... e-agencies , ... ervice-CPS , ... -year-deal , ... i-contract , and is working to take control of legal systems around the world: ... t-CGI-2016

CGI is also taking control of Education. For example: ... -education , ... gi-openent , ... ion-system , ... e-learning

"For the success of our "World Plan: [ The Red Plan]", it is necessary us to make implant in all the Western Societies of the 70's, "Offices for the Protection of Children" among which the officials (of young intellectuals without experience, freshly out of Universities where are highlighted our internationalist principles), will comply literally, without proper judgment, the "Charter of the Rights of the Child". Who will dare to oppose this without being identified at the same time with the barbarians of the Middle Ages?...Understand this well: "Our goal is not to protect children, or anyone from another, but to cause the collapse and subsequent fall of Nations which are a major obstacle to the implementation of our "New World Order". That is why the "Office of Child Protection" must be invested with absolute legal authority. They must be able, as they see fit, but always under the pretext of protecting the child, to remove them from their original home environments and place them in family backgrounds or foreign government centres..."

CGI controls child welfare services across North America through outsourcing contracts:: ... elfare.pdf

"Child Taken Due to COVID-19": ... -covid-19/

"CGI provides implementation services for the California’s child welfare and electronic women, infants and children (eWIC) projects. "

They took Serge Monast's children away after he wrote this document:: "By 1995 and 1996, Monast said he was being hunted by the police ( ) and authorities for involvement in "networks of prohibited information." He had homeschooled his two children, who were then taken away and made wards of the state in September 1996 so that they would receive a public education. He died of a heart attack in his home in December 1996, at age 51, the day after being arrested and spending a night in jail. His followers claim his death was suspicious, suggesting he was assassinated by "psychotronic weapons" to keep from continuing his investigations, and that Jerry Fletcher, the Mel Gibson character in the 1997 film Conspiracy Theory, was modelled on him"

CGI also unlawfully used their contracts with Alberta Childrens Services to subject me and my two children to a fraudulent child welfare investigation ... to harass me and try and shut me up and discredit me because I have evidence they have committed serious crimes against Canadians.

"...This will then be of a disconcerting ease than to transfer this role of the state in relation to the child to the highest international bodies such as the United Nations ...When Nation states will so be weakened by so much infighting, quite established on the recognition of the "rights of Minorities" in their Independence; that the nationalists divided into various cultural and religious factions will oppose blindly in fights without outcome; that the youth will have totally lost contact with its roots; then we can use the United Nations to begin to impose our New World Order." ... al-compact

United Nations COVID-19 Song - a New World Order Behind Closed Doors:

"Due to our Infiltration Agents and our colossal financial resources, unprecedented progress has now been made in all areas of Science and Technology of which we control the largest corporations financially. Since secret meetings with M. de Rothschild ( ) within the 56 years, which were aimed at finalizing the development and implementation of the World "Computers", it is now possible to foresee the establishment of a kind of "International Highway" where all these machines are interconnected. Because, as you already know the direct control of individual populations of the planet at the very least would be totally impossible without the use of computers, electronic and attaching them to each other in a vast "Global Network". These machines also have the advantage of replacing millions of people. In addition, they have neither conscience nor any moral, which is essential for the success of a project like ours.... These machines without country, without color, without religion, without political affiliation, are the ultimate fulfillment of our tool and the New World Order. They are the "Cornerstone"!...Because inside this "New Global Society", no individual having a potential of "Profitability" for us, cannot escape us. The constant contribution of the "Electronic Technology" will have to assure us all the means to file, identify, and control all the individuals of the populations of the West. For those who do not represent "Exploitable Profitability" by ourselves, we will ensure they are eliminated "

"10- We will find it then possible to make use of the military forces of the Nation States (such as those of the United States) in humanitarian goals. In reality, these "Forces" will be used to submit our control to recalcitrant countries." ... es-Command ... ng-US-Army ... ne-Command

"Trump mobilizing U.S. military to deliver coronavirus vaccine " ... SKBN22Q1Q2

"18 - These social transformations will help us to change in depth the "Police and Military" workforce of the Nation States. Under the pretext of the necessities of the moment, and without arousing of suspicions, we shall get rid once and for all, all the individuals having a "Judeo-Christian Consciousness". This "Restructuring of the Police and Military Bodies" will allow us to dismiss without contesting, the old staff, as well as all the elements not conveying our internationalist principles. These will be replaced by young recruits devoid of "Consciousness and Morality", and already quite entrained, and favorable to the mindless use of our "Technology of Electronic Networks"."

CGI - Tomorrow's Force

Police forces throughout the world have realized that resources are strained as far as they can go, and that only by shifting the emphasis from traditional, reactive policing—solving crimes after they have happened—to a proactive, prevention agenda, can they meet these new challenges head on. ... utien-dune

"22 - The next appearance of this global willpower of a "Multinational Military Force" will keep pace with the establishment inside the Nation States, a "Multi-Jurisdictional Task force". This combination of the "Police and Military Staff", created straight from the pretext of the increase of the growing political and social instability inside these States collapsing under the burden of the economic problems, will allow us to control better the western populations. Here, the excessive use of the identification and the electronic recording information on the individuals will supply us a complete surveillance of all the intended populations."

CGI's contact tracing service, posted on Jan 28, 2019:

"ID2020 and partners launch program to provide digital ID with vaccines " ... h-vaccines

CGI's real-life Big Brother network being set up around the world, that will use 5G:

"24 - During the growth accepted by all of these new necessities, it will be imperative for us to complete as soon as possible the world control of firearms inside the territories of Nation States To do it, we shall accelerate the "ALPHA PLAN" implemented during the 60's by some of our predecessors. This "Plan" originally aimed at two objectives which remained the same even today: by the intervention of "Crazy Shooters", create a climate of insecurity in the populations to bring to a tighter control of firearms. Direct acts of violence so as to make it appear the responsibility of religious extremists, or persons affiliated to religious allegiances of "Traditional" tendency...Today, to accelerate the "Control of Firearms", we can use the "Fall of the Economic Conditions" of the Nation States which will entail with it, a complete Social destabilization; thus increase of the violence. I do not need to remind you, nor to demonstrate to you, Brothers, the foundations of this "Control" of firearms. Without this one, it would become almost impossible for us to put on their knees the populations of the targeted States. Remember yourselves with which success our predecessors were able to control Germany of 1930 with the new "Laws" applied in the time; ; laws moreover on which are based the current Laws of Nation States for the same control."

"Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 types of 'assault-style' firearms — effective immediately - May 01, 2020 ... -1.5552131

"The Canadian Firearms Registry ...There have also been serious questions raised regarding donations made to the CACP by CGI Group, the corporation behind the registry" ... s_Registry

"That sentiment was echoed by many others, including former military colonel Robert Kearney, who oversaw the unit that trained Cirillo.

"He was top-notch, like most Canadians are," said Kearney, who could think of nothing more "perverse" than what unfolded.

"It's sacrilegious to go and attack a soldier up there. What coward comes up and shoots someone like that?" said Kearney. "It's absolutely terrorism."..." ... 7c9ff2bd9e

"Colonel Robert Kearney...serves at CGI Information Systems & Management Consultants Inc. as Director of Business Development, Public Safety Portfolio within the Defence, Public Safety, and Intelligence Division. He holds an active Top Secret security clearance with Special Access Level III (Military and Interagency) and NATO Top Secret Cosmic (granted in 2012)."

CGI Group is launching a Canadian defence, public safety and intelligence unit based on similar efforts in the United States. ... cle596014/

In 2004, CGI merged with American Management Systems (AMS) ( ) founded by five RAND Corporation Department of Defense Whiz Kids ( ... f_Defense) ).

"New World Order: Insider Reveals Diabolical Secrets Of The Rand Corporation...closely allied with the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations. RAND's decision in the 50′s to re-model the globe towards a new world order changed everything...RAND's ultimate goal was to have technocrats running every aspect of society in pursuit of a one world government...Speaking on the topic of false flag attacks, Abella notes that the staged Gulf of Tonkin attack and the planned Operation Northwoods false flag ( ) were both initially proposed in RAND documents, highlighting the total immorality with which RAND war games its scenarios, many of which are ethically repugnant in that they nonchalantly promote the genocide of entire populations with little regard for the consequences.": ... tion/22473 .


...Financial and Legal Advisors

CGI was advised by National Bank Financial Inc. and Credit Suisse First Boston and legal advice was provided by McCarthy Tétrault LLP and Holland & Knight LLP. AMS was advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and legal advice was provided by Arnold & Porter and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. CACI was advised by Banc of America Securities LLC and legal advice was provided by Foley Hoag LLP. ... operations

"Goldman Sachs has done the math and a national mask mandate to halt the spread of coronavirus would have a big impact on the U.S. economy" ... 2020-06-30

Here is the English translation of the full document: ... monast.pdf
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Post by TonyGosling »

According to the Law, China is to implement a state immunization program, and residents living within the territory of China are legally obligated to be vaccinated with immunization program vaccines, which are provided by the government free of charge.

China: Vaccine Law Passed
(Aug. 27, 2019) On June 29, 2019, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) adopted the PRC Law on Vaccine Administration (Vaccine Law). The official Xinhua news agency states that the Law provides for the “strictest” vaccine management with tough penalties in order to ensure the country’s vaccine safety. ... aw-passed/
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Fascism’s Step Ten: “Lockdown” is not a “Quarantine”
Naomi Wolf-New York Times Bestselling Author

admin October 3, 2020 0 Comments Fascism in America 0
As I explained in my previous post on fascism, we are at step ten of the ten steps needed for fascism to take root in America. This long, determined path toward authoritarianism did not start with the current administration as I documented in my best-selling book The End of America, and it likely won’t end with it either. But the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has given those in power the tool needed to finish the job, which is why it’s very important to understand that lockdown is not a quarantine.

For the past month, historic events unfolding in the United States have inspired conversation online and in the press about the current very real threats to democracy in America. The threat is real and was so long before President Donald Trump refused to promise a peacefully transfer power if he lost the upcoming election.

So we are here at step ten. Let’s look now at a massive euphemism that is allowing for the various power grabs we will explore, that the COVID-19 pandemic facilitates.

National leaders are using the term “quarantine” to refer to acts of closing down economic activity in entire states and even nations, and of restricting all citizens’ travel to and from entire states lines or across borders to countries. This “quarantine” has in turn shut down engines of economic activity.

While this drastic set of constraints may indeed be valuable medically, my concern here is at looking at what we risk to lose forever in the heart of our medically valid fears. So I do want to point out that this is a serious historical misuse of the term and by mixing the two we lose sight of the distinctions and most importantly that lockdown is not a quarantine.

Though leaders have rolled out the messaging around restrictions of movement as if this form of immobilizing citizens is a “quarantine” and has precedent, it really can’t be said to. It’s quite novel to lock down the economic engine of a whole society.

For western democracies, it’s a new social experiment on this scale.

Our global and nation by nation “lockdown” really doesn’t look much like any disease-related “quarantines” in history at all. The large-scale forced closure of businesses, and the cordoning off of complete societies, with movements of both healthy and infected citizens restricted by the state, is something other than historical “quarantine” altogether.

A lockdown, not a quarantine, has precedents

The “lockdown” — mislabeled a“quarantine” — as we are experiencing it now, has actually happened before on this planet: just not in open societies or in the contemporary West. Totalitarian and fascist societies have indeed often used mass restrictions of movement, curfews, and other ways of restricting the free association and free movement of citizens.

North Korea and China have indeed utilized the cordoning off of entire regions and putting them under no-movement rules for everyone. The Chinese Communist Party, long before the COVID pandemic, was among few modern societies to restrict citizens’ physical movements nationally and regionally. As dissident escapees from North Korea report, North Korean nationals have also long been unable to move freely around the country without proper documentation, even for family visits.

Europe is not immune to this in the past — it has seen such regional and national “lockdown” too, but that was in countries that suffered from fascist leadership: In 1935-36, the passports of Jews in Germany were restricted. Eventually, restrictions on leaving the country would keep Jewish Germans from escaping altogether.

From 1939 to 1941, laws imposing various increasing restrictions on the movements of Jews put members of the Jewish community into effective “lockdown” as citizens within the larger German society (“infection” was a frequent trope used by anti-Semitic literature about the threat of Jews intermingling with Aryans). These laws prevented Jews from entering certain neighborhoods, and from traveling on buses. Walled Jewish residential areas, called ghettos, were often traditional in European cities; but state-mandated restrictions during the Nazi occupation turned them into residential prisons.

On 16 November 1940, the gates were closed to the Warsaw Ghetto, a community of 400,000, thus making it impossible for the Jewish inhabitants to earn livelihoods; this closure and denial of the power of earning a living was instrumental in the weakening of potential resistance on the parts of victims of this segregation.

But large-scale totalitarian-style restrictions of citizens’ movements by the state are new to the postwar democratic West and unheard-of in actual open societies; even past pandemics past have not been excuses in such societies to venture into this drastic territory.

How is ‘quarantine’ understood correctly?

Not this.

Medical quarantine itself, as the term is properly understood, has a long and often effective history. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “quarantine” as “[a] period (originally of forty days) during which persons who might serve to spread a contagious disease are kept isolated from the rest of the community; especially a period of detention imposed on travelers or voyagers before they are allowed to enter a country or town, and mix with the inhabitants; commonly, the period during which a ship, capable of carrying contagion, is kept isolated on its arrival at a port. Also, a period of seclusion or isolation after exposure to infection from a contagious disease” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2004). Society-wide shut-down and the closing down of all economic activity are definitely not part of this definition of “quarantine”.

Some historians of science refer to quarantine as a primitive “technology”: A A Conti, in Quarantine Through History, notes that “[q]uarantine is overall one of the oldest and most disseminated and, despite its limits, most effective health measures elaborated by mankind.” And in the centuries before germ theory was understood, and before vaccines, quarantine — physical isolation of the infected — was indeed among the few methodologies societies had, to manage terrifying outbreaks of suffering and of death.

“Quarantine” has virtually always meant the restriction of movement for those who are ill or possibly infected. But not of everyone.

The term has often meant isolating travelers until they can be guaranteed to be healthy, and then letting them pass into the larger society to which they wish to travel; it has often meant putting infected people on an island together or outside of camp, or in a “fever hospital”, until they either got better or else died. But “quarantines” in history overwhelmingly describe other kinds of much more specific restrictions than the wholesale restriction of movement and economic activity of healthy and ill, that we are experiencing.

This isolation of the infected members of a community has an ancient history. Ill people are isolated throughout the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Leviticus prescribes how to handle the dreaded contagion of leprosy in a member of the community: “His clothes shall be rent, his head shall be left bare, and he shall cover over his upper lip; and he shall call out, “Unclean, Unclean!” [Leviticus 13:45]. P J Grisar, writing in the Forward, adds the example of Moses telling the Israelites to place outside of the camp, “anyone with an eruption or a discharge.” Indeed, Leviticus 15:19 is remarkably detailed about how to avoid infection:

“When any man has a […] discharge, he is thereby unclean.

Such is his uncleanness from this discharge, whether his body drains freely with the discharge or is blocked up from the discharge. His uncleanness is on him all the days that his body discharges or is blocked up from his discharge; this is his uncleanness.

“Any bed on which the man with the discharge lies is unclean, and any article on which he sits is unclean. Anyone who touches his bed shall wash his garments, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Whoever sits on an article on which the man with the discharge was sitting shall wash his garments, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Whoever touches the body of the man with the discharge shall wash his garments, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening…” [Leviticus 15:19]

(The admonition to “be unclean until evening”, meaning to consider oneself impure and not touch or interact with others, foreshadows guidance we are being given to distance socially and to avoid surfaces that have been recently handled by those who may be infected with COVID.)

It was understood that within the camp of the Israelites, people infected with contagious diseases could “defile” the rest of the community. Some analysts of ancient Jewish “kashrut” practices such as these, with their emphases on cleanliness, and on strict attention to what is “fit” and “unfit” to touch or eat, argue that some rules may have had to do with upholding sanitary practices in a time when infections swept through communities with devastating impunity.

The public nature of infectious illness in the pre-modern-medicine past, assigned people lifelong social roles. It made some people complete outcasts. The parable in the New Testament of the Woman with the Issue of Blood — Matthew 9:20-22 — is profound regarding the public aloneness of people with infectious diseases in the world before antibiotics or vaccines. The woman is described as having “an issue of blood” that had lasted twelve years. In that society, bleeding made one unclean. Thus, the Woman with the Issue of Blood, and everything she touched, were all considered unclean. So in the parable, the woman’s plight, as her contemporaries would have understood, was that she lived in deep and public social isolation as well as in a condition of physical illness. (Jesus’ welcome of her touch of his hem, was part of what made his conduct toward her, and his message about her social value, so very radical.

A lockdown, not a quarantine, is creating medical pariahs

The public nature of the management of COVID infection, and the many apparatuses that are being brought to bear on tracking and managing it, as medically valuable as they may be, once again risk stripping citizens of privacy; they risk creating the pre-modern specter of medical pariahs; that is, people whose antibodies or immunities will or will not eventually allow them to work or to travel.

Illness in the modern, antibiotic-managed present is usually private; until now, in the modern era, we haven’t needed to disclose not-obvious illnesses to our neighbors, let alone to the state. That is one reason we can have the level of privacy that has been ours in the modern period. The commons could no longer kill us. My infection did not kill you; yours did not kill me.

But with COVID, illness can be messaged as a public matter again as in the pre-modern past; and certainly, one that gives the state a central role, and thus a high status and a great deal of authority, in managing our bodies. From temperatures being taken in front of strangers after a flight to announcements of the infections of public figures on social media, COVID’s lethality is being used to explain why, whether we are sick or well, we should all abandon any expectations of privacy and autonomy.

In the past, “quarantines” did indeed strip privacy and autonomy from infected people. But with the articulating of policy around COVID, we are all positioned as hypothetically ill; and continually told that we should act as if we are all “potentially infected.” As medically valuable as that may be, it also means that we are thus all expected, whether sick or perfectly healthy, to release our rights to privacy and autonomy.

The downside of this beyond its potential medical value, is that this can create a public category of second-class citizens whose bodies determines their potential in life; and all of us can be managed by the threat of our losing options due to what we do or don’t have in our bodies, whether it is the infection itself, which can be revealed on any track and trace database, or our antibodies, or the records of our medical treatment.

In several states, such as Massachusetts, elementary school students are being told that they can’t go back to school unless they have a flu vaccine; COVID research is the justification for this brand-new power grab by the state in usurping parents in managing the bodies of children with the rationale of avoiding a minor illness. The details will change; but once the state has succeeded in thus opening and closing opportunity for community – or for work or education — based on the makeup of one’s body, a Black Mirror reality in which one accepts intrusions by the state in order to have community – or to have work or education — is one step away.

Quarantines were in use by various communities in the Middle Ages of course, as the Black (or bubonic) Plague wiped out millions of people in Europe, in the 14th, the 16th and finally at the end of the 19th centuries.

The standardized process of quarantine in the European sense, dates from the 14th century. A A Conti describes how the Rector of Ragusa — today’s Dubrovnik — issued a decree in 1377, formalizing the ‘trentina’, a word derived from the Italian word for “thirty.” Ships had to isolate for 30 days if they came from areas suspected of having plague. Travelers by land had to isolate for forty days — hence “quarantina”. If these travelers fled the isolation before their time was up, they could be fined. Again though, in this accurate definition of “quarantine”, travelers were stopped in their tracks; infection was understood to be caused by contact; but as devastated as the economies of Europe were, they were not intentionally brought to a complete standstill in response to the plague.

The UK Science Museum calls the Black Plague probably the first recorded pandemic; it killed two-thirds of the people of Europe. Most of its victims died within days. ‘Leave quickly, go far and come back slowly’ was the best advice authorities could offer. They provided medical inspections, and if signs of black plague were present, they would isolate the infected patients along with their families. Authorities removed sick people to “plague hospitals,” later called “fever hospitals”: “Hospitals were built throughout Europe and remained as fever hospitals for infectious patients up until the 1900s.”

Some of this isolation took place on islands of the infected. A mass grave on a Venetian island might be the earliest “disease-quarantine colony,” writes Maria Cristina Valsecchi in The National Geographic. The quarantine island was called a “lazaret,” and these islands were part of how Venice was able to recover between waves of plague.

“When plague struck the town, everybody sick or showing any suspect symptom were restricted on the island until they recovered or died,” explains University of Padua anthropologist Luisa Gambaro. At the height of plague outbreaks, five hundred people a day would die on the island. This is a distressing and tragic way of handling a plague; but again, Venice as a whole did not stop its entire economic activity or keep healthy Venetians indoors alongside the ill.

In the 1620s and 1630s, the British Parliament sought to keep ships at harbor long enough to make sure that they were free of infectious diseases, in response to outbreaks of plague in Italy. This too was accurately called “quarantine.” But once again: 17th century Britain did not bring its marketplaces to a standstill or keep healthy people inside with those who were sick. [Hickey, Talei ML, “Arrival From Abroad: Plague, Quarantine, and Concepts of Contagion in Eighteenth-Century England” (2014]

Plague was severe in Britain several times in the 17th century: in A Journal of the Plague Year, which is an account of the “Great Visitation” of plague to London in 1665, journalist and trader Daniel Defoe describes London slowly realizing that “plague” or “distemper” was stalking the city. At first the authorities closed off neighborhoods when rumors of plague circulated; there was a mad rush of wealthy people to the provinces – folks who chose to “shut up” their “house[s] and flee,” as he put it (foreshadowing today’s flights of the wealthy to the Hamptons, the Cotswolds, and other elite rural enclaves). Defoe reported the progression of the plague as starting at one end of town at first, then spreading with the hot weather.

Defoe described the “bills” of deaths, much like our own COVID bulletins, showing escalating numbers, as “really frightful.” And he described checkpoints much like today’s, recently mandated by Gov Cuomo in New York State: “it was rumored that an order of the Government was to be issued out to place turnpikes and barriers on the road to prevent people traveling, and that the towns on the road would not suffer [allow] people from London to pass for fear of bringing the infection along with them.”

Defoe depicts the downtown of the city as a ghost town, the Inns of Court shut down, and the face of London altered by this mass flight. The Justices of the Peace began to shut up the parishes where there were infected citizens; “the power of shutting people up in their own houses was granted by an Act of Parliament”; the houses in question were shut down in 1665 and sick people transported away from town: “some people being removed to the pest-house beyond Bunhill Fields.”

Orders of sequestration were sent out: if a person was found to be sick, his house would be shut up for a month. None was allowed to move out of a shut-up house or to enter into it. Even bedding and furniture were forbidden to be taken out of an infected house or sold. Some understanding of pathogens seems to have informed the orders of the London leadership: as with the instructions in Leviticus, one was to leave surfaces an infected person had touched, alone for a while: hackney coaches that transported the sick to “pest-houses” were to be well aired and left uninhabited for five or six days. Group gatherings were understood to communicate the plague: plays, “feasting” and taverns were all limited. But the engine of London’s economy, again, did not shut down. The whole city, healthy inhabitants and ill, did not shut down.

Quarantine practices arrived in America in the same form they had taken in Europe: isolation of the sick, not “lockdown” of everyone. Thousands of people died of waves of yellow fever in the United States in 1793 and 1798; in response, Philadelphia’s town fathers create what they called, from the Italian, a “lazeretto”: a hospital where the infected were taken to isolate together. Though the cause of yellow fever — mosquitoes — was not yet understood, the hospital with its seclusion of the infectious from everyone else, was effective. Ships too were isolated further away from the city. But in this example of “quarantine,” all of Philadelphia’s economic activity was not shut down and the movements of all citizens, healthy along with infected, were not restricted.

Quarantine and public health in 19th century England

The nineteenth century was the breakthrough century for managing infectious diseases. The cholera and typhus epidemics of London in the 1830s and 1840s — which Londoners attributed to “miasmas” or “bad air” — felled thousands, who died in swift, grotesque ways. Physician John Snow was able to prove in 1854 that cholera was spread by infected water. This led to a major municipal effort: the building of an underground network of sewers, a huge public health triumph. But this innovation, when the state stepped in to manage infectious material (in this case human waste and infected water) and to regulate the commons, is influential to this day in ways both good and bad.

In Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love, I trace how this formative public health victory left us with assumptions about the power and scope of the modern state. We assume from this history, I argue, that the modern state has the primary role of managing and “cleansing” the commons, the networks and thoroughfares that connect us. And we still think of the ways in which we are connected in terms of vulnerability to infectious diseases: ideas and influences can “infect” the young or vulnerable. With this public health triumph, it became common to legislate based on the metaphor of “infection” of the community by way of people and even of words and ideas.

Sex and love between men could “infect” the minds of the young, for instance; pornography was “filth” that had to be “cleaned” from public access; and so on. The fear of AIDS united with homophobia in the 1980s to whip up anti-gay hysteria and support for legislation in both the US and the UK that would keep positive images of same-sex relationships form “infecting” readers and students. The history of infectious diseases gave demagogues a potent scare vocabulary.

By the late 19th century, wealthy people with tuberculosis regularly exiled themselves to luxurious sanatoria or “rest homes.” Poet and critic John Addington Symonds, tubercular his whole adult life (he died of the illness at 53), made his home in Davos for just that reason; it was becoming a destination for well-to-do tubercular expatriates due for the good air and treatments in isolation. The Magic Mountain, of course, published by Thomas Mann in 1924, describes Hans Castorp’s visit to a cousin at a similar luxurious sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in Davos.

The need to isolate sick people for treatment and recovery, to keep them from infecting everyone else, and to give them the chance to recover, was so obvious by the end of the 19th century, state-funded “rest homes” and sanatoria were established for middle-class, working-class and poor tuberculosis patients alike. Both D H Laurence and George Orwell self-isolated in such sanatoria. In 1947 a badly tubercular Orwell was advised to enter a sanatorium for four months, for “vitamins, fresh air and being confined to bed.”

We no longer have “rest homes” or “sanatoria.” These were closed after the age of antibiotics began.

Real (if benevolent) “quarantine” in “rest homes” is probably an idea that should be revived. In the United States, infections are rocketing skyward because there is nowhere to “rest” for many infected people. Lacking savings or health insurance, many infected people need to work among the general population in order to survive; if they get sick, they must be tended by family members, which spreads infection to them, or else they end up in actual hospitals, with those entities’ existing burdens.

But where will such sufferers now “rest”? Who will take care of them? A network of positive, state-funded “rest homes” where those who are ill can receive nutritious food, medical treatment, good ventilation, rest, and isolation from infecting others, is surely preferable to the unprecedented situation we have in which many sick people have nowhere to be taken care of that they can afford except to be home infecting families, and healthy people, in turn, can’t afford to avoid the sick; and in which all are forced to stay home together or go to work as essential workers together, in something that is not at all a “quarantine.”

What’s next for the quarantine?

But whatever national policies our leaders create in this pandemic, it’s important that we not be misled. Staying home, sick with well; and state-wide or nationally restricted movement; is not a time-honored medical practice, but a drastic social experiment which has been tried at scale only in closed societies.

Will it solve the problem of COVID infections? It doubtless – -medically – helps to contain the pandemic. But absolute medical safety is sometimes in a paradoxical relationship to the basic demands of a free society. We really should not be afraid to ask: how long, with what severity, based on what data, tolerating what intrusions and trackings of the body, and at what other set of costs?

As others have pointed out, there seems to be no exit strategy from this crisis, to regain the public spaces and processes in which real democracy takes place.

When will it be safe enough? What is that benchmark? Given how great COVID policies are for those who hate democracy and profit from its demise, I am warning that at this point it is unlikely ever to be deemed by our leaders safe enough to resume a full democracy, medical reality, and even a potential full recovery of our collective health from this pandemic, notwithstanding; not unless we do some hard independent thinking about how we make decisions as a community.

Surely we must start to discuss COVID-related policies in a free society that are predicated on prioritizing public health and respect for one another — but that do not subject citizens in unprecedented ways to violations of basic human rights of movement and association and privacy; policies that resemble decent policies used to manage other deadly epidemics in free societies in living memory, as we shall see.

Nationwide restrictions of all citizens, healthy and ill; restrictions of citizens’ movements; and suppression of all economic activity, have indeed been used in the past.

But these edicts on this scale have not been used in the past to solve the problem of infectious diseases.

Rather, they have been used in the past to solve the problem of democracy itself.
authoritarianism, civil liberties, Covid-19, Dr. Naomi Wolf, Fascism in America, lockdown, Outrages, quarantine

September 28, 2020
Censorship, today's 'cancel culture,' never works
October 5, 2020
An All-Too Real Pandemic Spurs Political, Business Power Grab
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UK Royals Check Over WMD Infrastructure Before The Storm

Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Prince of Wales visits Harrogate's RAF Menwith Hill to celebrate 60 years of operations ... ns-3001461

The Prince of Wales has toured the newly dedicated Serenity Park at RAF Menwith Hill in Darley.
By Damian Shepherd
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 10:38 am
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 10:44 am
Harrogate district placed under Tier 1 of new local lockdown system - here's what it means

During a visit which lasted an hour and a half yesterday, Monday, His Royal Highness viewed the park built to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of operations at the site.

The park also celebrates the base’s close relationship with the local community, providing a space for people to find quiet and calm.

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visited RAF Menwith Hill on Monday.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visited RAF Menwith Hill on Monday.
The area is set to form a focal point of community events and celebrations in the years to come, as well as a spot for families to gather.

His Royal Highness, who was hosted by the RAF Cdr, Sqn Ldr Geoff Dickson, and the U.S Site Director, also visited the operations centre where he learned about the station’s history, mission and organisational partnerships, before addressing the workforce.

He met members of the Ministry of Defence and staff who work at the base to thank them and acknowledge the important work that they undertake.

Following the visits, Sqn Ldr Geoff Dickson said: “The delight on the faces of our employees reflects the honour we all feel in seeing His Royal Highness come to RAF Menwith Hill to see firsthand the work that we do, particularly in the year in which we are commemorating 60 years of operations.”

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales outside the Operations Building with Sqn Ldr Geoff Dickson, RAF Cdr, RAF Menwith Hill.
RAF Menwith Hill is a joint UK and U.S. defence communications establishment, providing intelligence support for UK, U.S. and allied interests.

The Prince of Wales maintains a close interest in the work of the Intelligence Agencies.

In 2011 he became the first Royal Patron of the MI5, SIS and GCHQ, and has regular meetings with senior representatives from each agency.

Risk levels for Yorkshire revealed after Prime Minister sets out new system for coronavirus restrictions

His Royal Highness also presents the ‘The Prince of Wales’s Intelligence Community Awards’, to honour those whose vital work could never be celebrated publicly.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

The Queen and Prince William visit Porton Down
By Megan Hinton
Last updated: 15th October ... it-porton/

The 94-year-old Queen and the Duke of Cambridge were being introduced to scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory providing vital support in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
They were also meeting staff involved in the rapid response to the Novichok poisoning attack in Salisbury in 2018.
During the visit to @dstlmod The Queen and The Duke of Cambridge met scientists providing vital support to the UK response of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in analytic research areas and deploying microbiologists to NHS hospitals to increase testing capacities.

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 15, 2020
Andover Advertiser: Image: @RoyalFamily
Image: @RoyalFamily
The Queen and The Duke of Cambridge met members of the military who were directly involved in the Novichok incident. In recognition of their work The Duke presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to representatives of 102 Logistic Brigade.


The Duke of Cambridge have watched a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and met staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security.

The Queen and The Duke of Cambridge view a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and meet staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security @dstlmod.

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 15, 2020

The Duke of Cambridge have watched a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and met staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security.

The Queen and The Duke of Cambridge view a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and meet staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security @dstlmod.

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 15, 2020
The Queen arriving this morning carrying out her first public engagement outside a royal residence in seven months.

Andover Advertiser: PA Media
PA Media
The royal party at Porton Down today.

— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) October 15, 2020
Neither the monarch nor William was wearing a face covering when they arrived.

The Queen was dressed in pink coat and matching hat, wearing black gloves and carrying her trademark black Launer handbag.

The royals walked two metres apart as they were greeted by staff from the Dstl.

The Queen arrived by helicopter and William by car.

They last saw each other face to face when they met privately at Balmoral during the summer.

William last accompanied his grandmother on an external public engagement in July 2017, when they met members of the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Queen arrived separately from William.

Heightened safety precautions were taken ahead of the visit to protect the Queen against coronavirus.

All 48 people who were due to come into close contact with the monarch and the duke were tested for Covid-19 by the Dstl.

Small groups of those taking part in the royal visit were arranged two metres apart to ensure social distancing.

The 94-year-old Queen and the Duke of Cambridge will be introduced to scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory providing vital support in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

They will also meet staff involved in the rapid response to the Novichok poisoning attack in Salisbury in 2018.

A bit about Porton Down

It is home to two British government facilities: a site of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – known for over 100 years as one of the UK's most secretive and controversial military research facilities, occupying 7,000 acres – and a site of Public Health England.

It is also home to other private and commercial science organisations, and is expanding to attract other companies.

Good morning and welcome to our live blog!

We have some exciting news this morning. The Queen and Prince William will be visiting Porton Down.

The science park employs thousands of staff, many of whom live and work in Andover and surrounding villages.

We will be updating this blog with updates.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by TonyGosling »

By Anonymous Email
A note on the provenance of this supposed document.
There is overwhelming evidence of deliberate censorship of investigative journalists (take my own weekly radio show and BBC World Update for example) and of expert doctors and epidemiologists over the past seven months to suggest an enormous 'news management' operation is ongoing. This 'Pirbright 21' document certainly suggests that may be part of a diabolical attack on the public mind...
I am not verifying or endorsing, simply publishing and passing this on for discussion, debate if people feel it's useful in understanding today's Covid hysteria.
by email wrote:Pirbright 21: mass psychosis Covid-19 op - bring free world to heel

1. False-flag chemical weapons attacks in Syria have failed and the Anglo-Zionist empire has been blocked militarily by Russia. Brexit was also a hammer blow to the empire’s plans for a United States of Europe to domestic populations must be reined in.

2. Power grab using mass media to control bounds of ‘public debate’ and bury all expert criticism for deep state and intelligence services Corporatocracy – now firmly in charge of government institutions and progress of all policy initiatives - gaining more traction over decisions about their own budgets

3. Psychological warfare training and operations persuading masses of populations to set off on a path of increasing slavery, to give up their liberties without a fight – staggering ‘big lie’, barely comprehensible audacity with prime objective ‘ divide and rule. Plucky fight-back leaders branded ‘outcasts’

4. Discrediting of elected governments through infiltration and sabotage – impoverishment and destruction of SMEs – giant wealth boost for tech giants

5. Enormous changes in behaviour – an exercise in what the public will accept and a way to identify businesses and individuals who may lead resistance to corporate change so they can be attacked through the legal system etc and otherwise disabled from action, impoverished at a later date

6. Use of WHO public relations term ‘Build Back Better’ by Biden, Boris and other world leaders, they follow a WHO strategy, not their own

7. Tens of millions driven into debt and therefore not having the confidence through lowered morale or the financial confidence and resources to fight back against forces which undermine their livelihood and that of family/loved ones

8. Convenient political cover to bail out failed banks, even more so than 2008, saddled with a further wave of unpayable debt which, by laws of the ‘free market’, should be allowed to go bankrupt

9. Excuse to reinstitute policies of austerity which Boris promised to reverse

10. Attack on the close-knit communities in urban centres of Northern England

11. Economic consequences cause financial crash which enables financiers and treasury to up interest rates and plunge millions of home owners into negative equity – dis-empowering and demoralising them so they are less likely to fight back or donate to popular social movements

12. Manufactured crisis is cover for opening of new front against Russia in Azerbaijan very close in the Caucasus to divide Russia and Iran and add to headaches west created for Moscow in Belarus, Donbass, Afghanistan, Syria etc. Russian foreign minister Lavrov is the world’s greatest chess player, constantly blocking NATO moves in the Middle East and elsewhere.

13. Creating massive desperate demand for tests, PPE and medical equipment for ICUs etc which can be supplied at enormous profit margins by favoured clique insider individuals primed to do so and given loans to prepare mid/late 2019 early 2020
Purbright 21 Covid PsyOp.txt
Pirbright 21: mass psychosis Covid-19 op - bring free world to heel
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Post by TonyGosling »

Chinese Ambassador Claims Western Leaders Are Pursuing A ‘Genocide Policy’ Against Their Own Population
HAFHAFOctober 21, 2020 ... ation.html

In response to accusations that the Communist state is “committing genocide” against its Uyghur population, China’s Ambassador to Grenada has accused western leaders of pursuing a “genocide policy” by citing declining birth rates.

The claim was made in response to U.S. national security advisor Robert O’Brien’s assertion at an Aspen Institute event that, “If not a genocide, something close to it going on in Xinjiang.”

O’Brien cited seizures by U.S. customs of “massive numbers” of hair products made with human hair from the region.

Chinese Ambassador Claims Western Leaders Are Pursuing A 'genocide Policy'
“The Chinese are literally shaving the heads of Uighur women and making hair products and sending them to the United States,” he said.

Ambassador Dr Zhao Yongchen shot back on Twitter by claiming that western leaders were overseeing an indirect policy of genocide against their own population.

“In Europe and America, the birth rate of whites has fallen very seriously. Is this the result of the genocide policy pursued by their leaders?” asked Yongchen.

“The Uyghur population in Xinjiang has exploded, but the Chinese govt has been accused of committing genocide by conspirators. Nosense!” he added.

Read also: Ex-Russian Intel Officer Says COVID-19 Is Part Of The Depopulation Agenda

While the declining birth rate of whites in western countries is an accepted fact, the media has framed beliefs that this is a deliberate policy as a dangerous conspiracy theory.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau earlier this year found that whites under the age of 16 are now a minority in America for the first time since records began.

“We are browning from bottom up in our age structure,” William Frey, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, told the Associated Press.

“This is going to be a diversified century for the United States, and it’s beginning with this youngest generation.”

As Chris Menahan notes, presidential candidate Joe Biden has previously welcomed the demographic decline of whites.

“It’s not going to stop,” Biden told a White House summit in 2015.

“Nor should we want it to stop. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things I think we can be most proud of.”
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the prepandemic period in Italy ... 1620974755

Giovanni Apolone*, Emanuele Montomoli*, Alessandro Manenti, ...
First Published November 11, 2020 Research Article
Article Information Open epub for Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the prepandemic period in Italy
Free Access
There are no robust data on the real onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and spread in the prepandemic period worldwide. We investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD)–specific antibodies in blood samples of 959 asymptomatic individuals enrolled in a prospective lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020 to track the date of onset, frequency, and temporal and geographic variations across the Italian regions. SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibodies were detected in 111 of 959 (11.6%) individuals, starting from September 2019 (14%), with a cluster of positive cases (>30%) in the second week of February 2020 and the highest number (53.2%) in Lombardy. This study shows an unexpected very early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Italy several months before the first patient was identified, and clarifies the onset and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Finding SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in asymptomatic people before the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy may reshape the history of pandemic.

Keywords Screening, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
At the end of December 2019, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing serious pneumonia was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.1 The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) viral disease rapidly spread worldwide, and the World Health Organization declared pandemic status in March 2020 (

Italy’s first two cases of COVID-19 disease were recorded on January 30, 2020, when two tourists from China tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Rome. The first laboratory-confirmed Italian COVID-19 case was identified in Lombardy on February 20, 2020, in a 38-year-old man who had no history of possible contacts with positive cases in Italy or abroad. Within a few days, additional cases of COVID-19 and critically ill patients were recorded in the surrounding area. Soon several cases were identified in other Italian regions, mostly in the northern area. Lockdowns were first applied in 2 critical areas of Lombardy and Veneto and were rapidly enforced regionally and nationwide starting on March 8.

On the basis of the first case identification, it was hypothesized that the virus had been circulating in Italy since January 2020. However, the rapid spread, the large number of patients requiring hospital admission and treatment in intensive care units, as well as the duration of the pandemic suggest that the arrival of the virus and its circulation in Italy in a less symptomatic form could be anticipated by several months.

Serologic assays can be used to investigate antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and assess its real prevalence.2 Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response analyses in patients with COVID-19 showed that within 13 days after symptom onset, seroconversion of antiviral immunoglobulin G (IgG) or immunoglobulin M (IgM) was present in almost 100% of patients.3

To test the hypothesis of early circulation of the virus in Italy, we investigated the frequency, timing, and geographic distribution of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in a series of 959 asymptomatic individuals, using proprietary SARS-CoV-2 binding and neutralizing antibodies on the plasma samples repository. The population was enrolled from September 2019 to March 2020 through the SMILE trial (Screening and Multiple Intervention on Lung Epidemics; Identifier: NCT03654105), a prospective lung cancer screening study using low-dose computed tomography and blood biomarkers, with the approval of our institutional review board and ethics committee. All eligible participants provided written informed consent.

A receptor-binding domain (RBD)–specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test was performed and qualified as reported by Mazzini and colleagues.4 A qualitative microneutralization assay was performed as previously reported.5 Details can be found in the Supplementary Material.

SMILE cohort characteristics are shown in the Supplementary Table S1. In summary, 397 patients (41.4%) were women, 63.2% were 55–65 years old, 76.8% were current smokers, and 92.9% had smoked ⩾30 pack-years. Overall, 111 of 959 (11.6%) plasma samples showed SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibodies (IgM, IgG, or both). In particular, IgM antibodies were detected in 97 (10.1%) patients; IgG antibodies were found in 16 (1.7%). All the patients were asymptomatic at the time of blood sample collection.

Table 1 reports anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibody detection according to the time of sample collection in Italy. In the first 2 months, September–October 2019, 23/162 (14.2%) patients in September and 27/166 (16.3%) in October displayed IgG or IgM antibodies, or both. The first positive sample (IgM-positive) was recorded on September 3 in the Veneto region, followed by a case in Emilia Romagna (September 4), a case in Liguria (September 5), two cases in Lombardy (Milano Province; September 9), and one in Lazio (Roma; September 11). By the end of September, 13 of the 23 (56.5%) positive samples were recorded in Lombardy, three in Veneto, two in Piedmont, and one each in Emilia Romagna, Liguria, Lazio, Campania, and Friuli. A similar time distribution was observed when considering Lombardy alone (Supplementary Table S2).

Table 1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor-binding domain antibodies detection according to time of sample collection in all regions.

Table 1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor-binding domain antibodies detection according to time of sample collection in all regions.

View larger version
The diagram in Figure 1 illustrates the temporal variation in positive samples from September 2019 to February 2020. Notably, two peaks of positivity for anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies were visible: the first one started at the end of September, reaching 18% and 17% of IgM-positive cases in the second and third weeks of October, respectively. A second one occurred in February 2020, with a peak of over 30% of IgM-positive cases in the second week. Out of this cluster of 16 positive samples, 11 (68.7%) originated in Lombardy.


Figure 1. Frequency of immunoglobulin M (red columns) and immunoglobulin G (blue columns) receptor-binding domain (RBD)–positive cases in respect to the total number of screening participants (green columns) throughout the 24 weeks from September 2019 to February 2020.

The national distribution of the 959 recruited patients and of the 111 who tested positive for RBD-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in comparison with the allocation of the patients with COVID-19 identified in Italy up to March 10 (last SMILE study recruitment date) is shown in Figure 2(A) and Supplementary Table S3. The 959 recruited patients came from all Italian regions, and at least one SARS-CoV-2–positive patient was detected in 13 regions. According to data collected from the website of the Italian Ministry of Health (, Lombardy was the region most affected by the pandemic, with 5791/10,141 (57.1%) patients with COVID-19, and showed the highest number of recruited patients at 491/959 (51.2%). Considering the 111 positive cases, 59 (53.2%) were in residents of Lombardy, followed by Piedmont and Lazio (10 cases each, 9%); Emilia Romagna (7 cases, 6.3%); Tuscany and Veneto (6 cases each, 5.4%); Liguria (4 cases, 3.6%); Campania, Friuli, and Puglia (2 cases each, 1.8%); and Sicily, Valle d’ Aosta, and Sardinia (1 case each, 0.9%).


Figure 2. Comparison of the distribution of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) identified up to March 10, 2020, according to data of the Italian Ministry of Health (, with the distribution of recruited screening subjects (blue dots) and SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD)–positive screening subjects (red dots) of the SMILE trial (Screening and Multiple Intervention on Lung Epidemics). The national distribution includes 10,149 patients with COVID-19, the 959 recruited screening subjects, and the 111 SARS-CoV-2 RBD-positive screening subjects across the 20 Italian regions (A). The regional distribution includes 5791 patients with COVID-19, the 491 recruited screening subjects, and the 59 SARS-CoV-2 RBD-positive screening subjects across the 12 provinces of Lombardy (B).

Figure 2B and Supplementary Table S4 show distribution across the 12 Lombardy provinces of the 491 recruited patients and of the 59 patients testing positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies in comparison with the allocation of the 5791 patients with COVID-19 identified up to March 10 in the same region ( Overall, 30 positive patients were detected in Milan Province and 29 in the other provinces analyzed (Monza: 6, Como: 5, Bergamo: 4, Brescia: 3, Varese: 3, Lecco: 2, Pavia: 2, Mantova: 1, Lodi: 1, Cremona: 1, and Sondrio: 1). Therefore the geographic distribution and timing of the SARS-CoV-2–positive individuals identified in our study closely mirrors the incidence of COVID-19 officially registered in Italy.

Evaluation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 functional neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) was performed for all 111 SARS-CoV-2 RBD-positive samples using a cytopathic effect (CPE)–based live virus microneutralization assay in a high-containment biosafety level 2 laboratory. Six of the 111 SARS-CoV-2 RBD-positive patients were positive in the qualitative CPE-based microneutralization test. Of these, four samples were collected in October (two on the 7th, one each on the 8th and the 21st), one in November, and one in February. Three of the positive NAb samples were from Lombardy, one from Lazio, one from Tuscany, and one from Valle d’Aosta. The presence of functional anti-SARS-CoV-2 NAbs at the beginning of October 2019 further supports the early unnoticed circulation of the virus in Italy, particularly in Lombardy.

At the end of December 2019, COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan City, China. As of September 12, 2020, 37,584,742 COVID-19 cases were confirmed worldwide, with more than 1 million deaths ( In Italy, the first case was identified in Lombardy on February 20, and the first death attributed to COVID-19 occurred in a 77-year-old retiree living in a small town in the Veneto region. In mid-September 2020, the number of official cases in Italy reached approximately 300,000, with over 35,000 deaths (, but it is likely that these numbers do not reflect the actual onset and epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Italy.

Two phenomena need to be highlighted and discussed. The first concerns the underestimation of the prevalence of cases. Regional and national health authorities, after an attempt to identify cases and suspects early and trace all the potential contacts, soon abandoned this strategy as unsustainable and concentrated on the identification strategy, with swabs and serology, on symptomatic cases only. As a consequence, an underestimation of overall COVID-19 cases was created, and a selection bias was introduced, with an overestimation of the mortality rate. Well-designed serosurveys in selected subpopulations with specific risk groups have provided valuable epidemiologic information. The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was tested in 8285 health care workers of the main hospitals of the Veneto Region between February 22 and May 29, 2020. By measuring specific antibodies, an overall prevalence of 4.6% was observed. Although detectable antibodies were found in all workers who developed severe COVID-19 infection (100%), lower seropositivity was found in those with mild disease (83%), and the lowest prevalence (58%) was observed in asymptomatic individuals.6 Between May 25 and July 15, the Italian Ministry of Health accomplished a large SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study in a representative sample of 64,660 individuals. A global prevalence rate of 2.5% was reported, with a peak in the Lombardy region (7.5%) and in particular in Bergamo Province (24%) ( As a consequence, the true number of Italians who had been in contact with the virus would be approximately 1.5 million, many of whom were asymptomatic, an estimate almost 5 times higher than the official figures reported.

The second concern regards the onset of the epidemic, which is likely to have preceded the identification of the first case, probably in the last part of 2019. Since November–December 2019, many general practitioners began reporting the appearance of severe respiratory symptoms in elderly and frail people with atypical bilateral bronchitis, which was attributed, in the absence of news about the new virus, to aggressive forms of seasonal influenza. One investigation on SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in healthy blood donors has been performed in one of the two initial lockdown areas in northern Italy.7 In a group of 300 stored plasma samples, 5 samples collected between the 12th and 17th of February exhibited evidence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 NAbs. Moreover, a phylogenetic analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 genomes isolated from 3 Lombardy patients involved in the first COVID-19 outbreak suggests that the common origin of the strains dates back several weeks before the first cases of COVID-19 pneumonia reported in China.8 Based on these findings, a prior unnoticed circulation of the virus among the Italian population could be hypothesized.

Given the rapid increase in symptomatic cases worldwide, a better understanding of the initial history and epidemiology of COVID-19 could improve the screening strategy and contain the effects of a possible second wave. Evidence from environmental monitoring showed that SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating in northern Italy at the end of 2019.9 Molecular analysis with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays of 40 composite influent wastewater samples collected between October 2019 and February 2020 in three cities and regions in northern Italy (Milan/Lombardy, Turin/Piedmont, and Bologna/Emilia Romagna) showed the presence of viral RNA first occurring in sewage samples collected on December 18 in Milan and Turin. This study also indicates that SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in different geographic regions simultaneously, which agrees with our serologic findings.

At the international level, concordant evidence comes from two additional studies. A first article reported a case of a patient hospitalized for hemoptysis with no etiologic diagnosis in an intensive care unit in Paris, France, in December 2019.10 Retrospective molecular analysis on the stored nasopharyngeal swab confirmed the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A second study by Harvard University showed a relevant increase of hospital traffic in the Wuhan region, evaluated by satellite imagery, and COVID-19 symptoms–related queries in search engines, since autumn 2019.11 These findings suggest that the virus may have already been circulating at the time of the outbreak in several countries.

To our knowledge, there are no published data on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in the prepandemic period in any countries in the world. Our study was carried out in a sample of asymptomatic individuals originating from all Italian regions. At least one SARS-CoV-2–positive individual was detected in 13 regions, and Lombardy had the highest number, mirroring the data from the national survey.

The first surge of positive cases was identified in September–October 2019. Evaluation of anti–SARS-CoV-2 functional NAbs identified positive samples in CPE-based microneutralization tests already collected in October 2019. Given the temporal delay between infection and antibody synthesis, these results indicate that the virus circulated in Italy well before the detection of the declared index patient in February 2020. In addition, most of the first antibody-positive individuals lived in regions where the pandemic started.

The serologic assay used in this study is an in-house designed RBD-based ELISA, namely, VM-IgG-RBD and VM-IgM-RBD, and is a proprietary assay developed by using spike glycoprotein (S-protein), which mediates binding to target cells through the interaction between the RBD and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. The S-protein has been found to be highly immunogenic, and the RBD is considered the main SARS-CoV-2–specific target in the effort to elicit potent NAbs.12 In our preliminary study, an excellent correlation between the neutralization titer and the IgG, IgM, and immunoglobulin A ELISA response against the RBD of the S-protein was observed,4 confirming that the RBD-based ELISA can be used as a valid surrogate for neutralization. Therefore, the specificity of the assays used in the present study strongly supports our seroprevalence findings in a relevant number of asymptomatic individuals well before the overt pandemic period, with positive patients in September–October 2019.

Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 circulated in Italy earlier than the first official COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Lombardy, even long before the first official reports from the Chinese authorities, casting new light on the onset and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author contributions
Study design: G. Apolone, E. Montomoli, G. Sozzi, and U. Pastorino. Data acquisition: E. Montomoli, A. Manenti, I. Hyseni, L. Mazzini, D. Martinuzzi, L. Cantone, G. Milanese, S. Sestini, P. Suatoni, A. Marchianò, and V. Bollati. Data analysis: M. Boeri, F. Sabia, G. Sozzi, and U. Pastorino. Data interpretation: G. Apolone, E. Montomoli, A. Manenti, M. Boeri, F. Sabia, G. Sozzi, and U. Pastorino. Figures and Tables: M. Boeri and F. Sabia. G. Apolone, E. Montomoli, G. Sozzi, and U. Pastorino have verified the underlying data. All the authors participated in drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Declaration of conflicting interests
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Scientific Direction Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC 5x1000 cod.12162, extension 2017-2020), Ricerca Corrente of the Italian Ministry of Health.

Mattia Boeri

Data and materials availability
All data are available upon request to the corresponding author (

Supplemental material
Supplemental material for this article is available online.

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View Abstract
Also from SAGE Publishing
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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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Post by TonyGosling »


The coronavirus has showcased China's cyber-powered social
control capabilities, with implications for human rights worldwide.

Lydia Khalil
The COVID-19 pandemic has emboldened Beijing to expand its use of digital technologies in the name of public health and safety. From mass surveillance, tracking intelligence, and internet censorship to the use of social credit systems, augmented data-collection capabilities, and big data, China’s new normal exposes and expands encroachments on civil liberties.
The pandemic has provided a ‘proof of concept’, but China’s actions in the new digital landscape extend beyond managing its own pandemic response and controlling its own citizens. China is aggressively pursuing global technological dominance by investing in its indigenous tech sector and exporting technological surveillance tools.
The reach of Chinese-engineered and monitored social control systems has wide-ranging implications, with current pandemic conditions serving as the justification for a significant increase in state surveillance, the adoption of digital authoritarian tools, and the deterioration of privacy and civil liberties.
The combination of retreating US leadership and the COVID-19 pandemic has emboldened China to expand and promote its tech-enabled authoritarianism as world’s best practice. The pandemic has provided a proof of concept, demonstrating to the CCP that its technology with ‘Chinese characteristics’ works, and that surveillance on this scale and in an emergency is feasible and effective. With the CCP’s digital authoritarianism flourishing at home, Chinese-engineered digital surveillance and tracking systems are now being exported around the globe in line with China’s Cyber Superpower Strategy. China is attempting to set new norms in digital rights, privacy, and data collection, simultaneously suppressing dissent at home and promoting the CCP’s geostrategic goals. The danger for other countries importing Chinese technological solutions is that it will result in a growing acceptance of mass surveillance, habituation to restrictions on liberties, and fewer checks on the collection and use of personal data by the state, even after the public health crisis subsides.[1] Democratic governments need to be vigilant in setting standards and preserving citizens’ rights and liberties.

In April 2020 Dr Ai Fen, head of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, gave an interview to Chinese magazine Renwu.[2] She described in great detail how, late in December 2019, she had begun receiving numerous patients into the emergency room with flu-like symptoms that were resistant to the usual treatments. She recounted how she “broke out in a cold sweat” when the first virus report of one of those patients came back. She hastily circled the words “SARS coronavirus”, screen-shot the report, and sent it to colleagues. Very quickly, her report circulated around Wuhan medical circles. But instead of mobilising the hospital and authorities, Dr Ai’s actions saw her reprimanded by the hospital disciplinary committee for “spreading rumours” and “harming stability”.[3] Rather than warning staff and the public, hospital authorities told staff not to wear personal protective equipment and relayed instructions from the local health protection committee that, to avoid causing panic, doctors were prohibited from sharing messages and reports related to the virus.[4]

Dr Li Wenliang, whose private post regarding coronavirus went viral on social media, was forced to sign a letter
of admonition issued by Wuhan police in which he admitted to severely disturbing "social order".
Dr Li later died of COVID-19. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
But Dr Ai's report was shared in a private post by another doctor, Li Wenliang, that later went viral on Chinese social media. As a result, Dr Li was temporarily detained by China’s “internet police”, which form part of the formal Chinese cybersecurity defence apparatus, and forced to sign a police document admitting that he had “severely disturbed the social order”.[5] He later died of COVID-19 after treating numerous patients in Wuhan.[6]

Dr Li’s death sparked outrage in China and was accompanied by calls for greater freedom of expression, government accountability, and opposition to online censorship.
Dr Li’s death sparked outrage in China and was accompanied by calls for greater freedom of expression, government accountability, and opposition to online censorship. Thousands of posts on messaging app WeChat and micro-blogging platform Weibo mourning the death and criticising authorities were not immediately suppressed by internet censors, echoing brief windows of openness that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allowed during previous times of crisis.[7] The storm over Dr Li’s death also prompted China’s National Supervisory Commission to conduct an inquiry into the handling of early reports of the virus and Dr Li’s treatment. The official investigation report exonerated Dr Li, apologised to his family, and concluded that the police handling of his reprimand was inappropriate.[8] Wuhan province-level officials were also removed from their posts.

But the same official investigation warned that “hostile forces with ulterior motives, who tried to stir up trouble, delude people, and instigate public emotions, are doomed to fail”.[9] Censors began to remove internet posts and block trending hashtags #WeWantFreedomOfSpeech and #Wuhan Government Owes Dr Li Wenliang An Apology.[10] With the help of artificial intelligence-powered search engine tools, the same internet police that silenced Dr Li were efficiently dispatched to pursue netizens who had written critically about the Chinese government’s handling of the outbreak and Dr Li’s treatment.[11]

Meanwhile, another doctor from Wuhan Central Hospital, Dr Hu Weifeng, died.[12] And Dr Ai, who originally alerted colleagues to the human transfer, had gone missing after her interview with Renwu magazine.[13] Although Dr Ai confirmed in a later interview with Radio Free Asia on 14 April that she was safe, rights groups remain concerned that these reassurances were made under pressure from Chinese authorities.[14] Dr Ai’s interview also disappeared from the Chinese internet, preserved only in alternative language blog posts.[15]

Globally, China has been heavily criticised for suppressing early information on COVID-19's emergence, a decision that almost certainly exacerbated the human and economic costs of the global pandemic.[16] According to one study, the CCP could have prevented a significant proportion of COVID-19 cases had they acted on the first warnings and enacted non-pharmaceutical measures (such as quarantines) weeks earlier than was the case.[17]

Dr Ai Fen, Director of Emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, went missing after an
interview with Renwu magazine in which she discussed a spate of patients presenting with
a new strain of SARS/coronavirus. Image: Renwu/handout (marked free to share).
The CCP has reacted to this criticism with further censorship and propaganda both within China and through external diplomatic efforts. For example, within China, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has forbidden the online circulation of videos or posts criticising police enforcement of quarantine restrictions.[18] Social media posts critical of the CCP’s handling of the pandemic are routinely blocked or removed, as are critics’ calls for transparency and greater accountability.

This online information suppression increasingly bleeds over into the real world. There are indications that the CCP has escalated its punishment and detention of those who post critically or unfavourably on the government’s COVID-19 response or call for greater internet freedoms. The Freedom House China media bulletins have tracked numerous cases of ongoing detention of critics and online censorship since the onset of the pandemic.[19]

But the COVID-19 crisis has done more than generate CCP censorship, information suppression, and manipulation at home. Disinformation campaigns originally aimed at a domestic audience, such as the narrative that the virus originated in the United States rather than China, leaked out internationally and became part of the CCP’s global propaganda. The pandemic has prompted China to commence what American analyst Laura Rosenberger has dubbed an “information offensive” — a mix of overt and covert operations designed to seed disinformation, discredit other governments’ pandemic responses, and praise China’s domestic response and ‘mask diplomacy’ abroad.[20]

In part, this is an attempt to quell the global backlash against China’s early mishandling of the outbreak. But the pandemic has also provided an opening for China to ‘sell’ its model of governance and emergency management abroad. China is touting its draconian public health response, including the rapid shutdown of affected provinces, widespread digitised contact tracing, and quarantine enforcement, as a ‘best practice’ model of authoritarian governance. This model was executed via both old-fashioned human-propelled grid management, and through digital technologies, including cutting-edge experimentation with data analytics, digital tracing, and other artificial intelligence (AI) tools.[21]

The pandemic has also provided an opening for China to ‘sell’ its model of governance and emergency management abroad.
This Lowy Institute Analysis explores the ways in which China has used the COVID-19 pandemic to expand its model of digital authoritarianism at home, and the degree to which this expansion has helped to export, promote, and normalise the tools of tech-enabled authoritarianism abroad. This is especially important at a time when China is actively pursuing its ambitions for technological dominance, and when a range of governments are curtailing liberties and freedoms and using data collection and surveillance technology in their public health responses to stop the spread of coronavirus. China’s use and export of digital authoritarianism during the COVID-19 era warrants careful analysis, given its far-reaching implications for the rest of the world.[22]

In essence, digital authoritarianism — also known as tech-enabled authoritarianism — is the use of technology by authoritarian governments not only to control, but to shape, the behaviour of its citizens via surveillance, repression, manipulation, censorship, and the provision of services in order to retain and expand political control. Numerous illiberal or authoritarian governments in East and Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America are using aspects of technology to control their citizens and shore up their regimes. But China and Russia are the main practitioners, and China in particular is spreading its digital authoritarianism model and mechanisms through a combination of technology exports, domestic example-setting, and international engagement.[23]

Identifying, monitoring, and censoring individuals online is the most obvious form of digital authoritarianism. But this is the tip of the iceberg. Digital authoritarianism involves much more than censorship in the online space. It includes individual and mass surveillance through the use of cameras, facial recognition, drones, GPS tracking, and other digital technologies in support of authoritarian governance. It normalises constant surveillance and extinguishes expectations of privacy.

Digital authoritarianism also includes state disinformation campaigns aimed at manipulating citizens, while at the same time punishing and censoring dissenting speech on internet platforms and elsewhere under ‘fake news’ laws.

In addition to central control over internet governance and infrastructure, digital authoritarians support and co-opt their domestic technology industry to service their efforts to maintain social control and to build state capacity to bolster their legitimacy. Digital authoritarianism incorporates tech-enabled incentive and punishment systems, such as China’s social credit system, which institutionalise data transfer between private technology companies and government agencies so as to allow only compliant citizens to participate fully in society and the economy.

While digital authoritarianism enables efficient state control and coercion of citizens, it also reduces the necessity to resort to coercion at all.
Digital authoritarians often adopt the principle of cyber sovereignty — control over the internet within a nation’s own borders. This runs counter to the founding principles of the internet, which are net neutrality and the unfettered flow of information. Cyber sovereignty empowers a government to better control the information environment of its citizens, pre-empting the need to censor them.

While digital authoritarianism enables efficient state control and coercion of citizens, it also reduces the necessity to resort to coercion at all. The technology allows for less visible, more automated mechanisms of control and more subtle means of increasing self-censorship, social supervision, and reporting of fellow citizens’ behaviour through digital apps. Control of the technology sector also allows for the collection and exploitation of big data, which is fed into algorithms that are developed and used to shape economic and social interactions in ways that advance the values and norms of the governing regimes.[24]

The digital authoritarian technology ecosystem generates massive amounts of data, which the state can then access and analyse in order to shape and control society via surveillance, propaganda, and social credit systems.[25] An adjunct function of the big data gathered by authoritarian regimes is its integration with algorithms to develop AI, not only to monitor individuals’ whereabouts and online behaviour, but to map their relationships through link analysis, to discern their intentions or emotions using sentiment analysis, and to infer their past or future locations and actions for the purpose of regime maintenance.[26]

According to the 2019 Freedom House annual “Freedom on the Net” report, there has been a sharp global increase in the abuse of civil liberties and human rights due to the growth of digital authoritarianism.[27] This growth may be driven by China and Russia, but it is also exacerbated by the failure of democratic governments to regulate social media, rein in domestic anti-democratic forces, and take the lead in advocacy for international internet norms and technological standards that promote democratic values.[28] This growing digital authoritarianism not only impairs individual rights and liberties, but also threatens to reshape the power balance between democracies and autocracies globally.[29]

China is the clear leader in tech-enabled autocracy and its model of digital authoritarianism involves the practice of many of the elements described above. The CCP uses technology to achieve social control in ways that are coercive, but also in ways that involve more subtle co-option of individuals and society. The CCP, now under the tightening control of President Xi Jinping, does this without any substantial checks and balances on its power or a civil society free to criticise or hold the government to account.[30]

The CCP uses technology to achieve social control in ways that are coercive, but also in ways that involve more subtle co-option of individuals and society.
The CCP’s coercive use of technologies, such as online censorship and mass surveillance, are widely reported. In a recent article in The Atlantic, Ross Andersen warned of President Xi’s vision to develop China’s AI sector in order to create a “digital panopticon” — an “all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog [future vision] algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time”.[31]

China’s model of digital authoritarianism deploys its technology to suppress dissent and manufacture support. But systems and mechanisms for regime maintenance and control that are enabled via technology often piggyback onto otherwise useful tools and services.[32] China also harnesses technology to bring about efficient outcomes for its citizens and to exhibit the superiority of its system, which helps the regime to stave off dissent and bolster patriotic support.[33]

Big Tech
China has invested substantially in building an indigenous technology sector, with accompanying industrial policies, such as the National IT Development Strategy, Made in China 2025, and China Standards 2035. These have furthered the country’s goal of becoming a global leader in digital technology and AI, and in the process, positioned China to define global technological standards and to use its tech sector to reinforce regime durability and project the CCP’s geostrategic goals.[34]

While China’s tech sector is anchored by the big three — Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu — its start-up culture is ferocious and globally competitive.
While China’s tech sector is anchored by the big three — Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu — its start-up culture is ferocious and globally competitive. Even with a dip in venture capital investment in 2019, Chinese technology companies are among the world’s largest, most valuable, and most innovative.[35] They are also leaders in research and development, with an ever-expanding global reach and influence.[36] The information transfer between these private companies and government authorities is comprehensive and systematic, and the close links between them leaves companies vulnerable to intense pressure to release data, potentially conferring on the government swift and unfettered access to personal data of increasing intimacy and breadth. Many major tech companies in China have been publicly resistant to releasing such data, but like any company operating in China they can be legally compelled to provide a backdoor for authorities to access any encrypted data.[37] When the CCP can access such information on a broad scale, its big data analytics efforts become more robust and its AI more accurate, with limited protections for privacy or other rights.

Co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma (right), at the IMF/World Bank Group
Annual Meeting seminar: Disrupting Development, on 12 October 2018 in Bali, Indonesia. Ma's new Ant Group
is set for a record US$34 billion launch on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. Image: Brandon Payne/World Bank.
As Samantha Hoffman, an expert on China’s digital authoritarianism, describes it, “The CCP [has used] technology to make its Gordian knot of political control inseparable from China’s social and economic development.”[38] China imposes the same obligations on technology companies as it does on other large businesses in the country to host party committees and government officials assigned to their operations.[39] Chinese tech companies are also required by law to cooperate in matters of national security and intelligence by way of aiding surveillance and making available their expertise, products, and data for CCP objectives. Although these companies operate on the open market, the CCP has the potential to control “any company at any time”.[40]

Information Control and Censorship
China is known for its ‘Great Firewall’, in place since the early 2000s. This has allowed China to seal off the Chinese internet from the rest of the world and is a key element of its vision of cyber sovereignty.[41] The Great Firewall’s foundation is an interconnected system of laws and regulations that determines acceptable and prohibited content. Bodies such as the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) control the internet’s infrastructure and content within Chinese borders. The ‘bricks’ of the Great Firewall include mechanisms such as IP blocking (to bar access to certain content and websites), deep packet inspection (used to examine network traffic), keyword filtering, and banning the use of VPNs (used to gain private access to sites and avoid censorship blocks).[42] Human and artificial censors also filter and remove prohibited content.

Chinese tech companies are leading developers of various monitoring tools to aid in censorship and surveillance. Via popular apps, the government uses these technologies to monitor individuals and block access to services and communication.[43] Unlike Western technology companies, Chinese internet platforms are monitored and controlled by the CAC, which issues licences to internet companies and oversees all internet content. Companies are expected to invest in their own technology and personnel to censor content according to CAC regulations, or face hefty fines or loss of their licences.[44] As a result of vaguely defined guidelines, these platforms have erred on the side of extensive censorship.[45]

Surveillance, Facial Recognition, and Big Data Collection
The mass data the CCP collects on Chinese residents includes online communication, travel logs, records on education and health, facial scans, and bio data. The data is then aggregated and synthesised by AI algorithms to keep ‘sharp eyes’ on citizens, not only to monitor, but to flag or predict problematic behaviour.

China boasts the world’s largest surveillance networks. These are made up of multiple local networks of more than 200 million closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in public spaces across the country, outfitted by various companies which provide the data to authorities through programs such as SkyNet, a big-data police video monitoring system.[46] SkyNet collects images at intersections, gathering places, and checkpoints, and maps them using geographic information system (GIS) mapping to improve real-time monitoring.[47] The program is promoted by the government as a ‘smart city’ initiative and crime-control mechanism. But it is a constant surveillance presence coupled with facial recognition, crowd analysis, and other AI technology that can be used to monitor citizens and exert all manner of state control.[48]

The success of SkyNet has prompted an even broader surveillance initiative, Sharp Eyes, which aims to link cameras in the ‘internet of things’ — such as in smartphones, vehicles, televisions, and appliances — with public surveillance cameras. It augments public security infrastructure by encouraging the public to be part of the surveillance system. Implemented initially in rural areas where the CCP’s coverage is thinner, Sharp Eyes makes surveillance monitoring even more extensive and precise.[49] The CCP also has plans to use this technology for enhanced logistics and predictive policing applications to aid in state security, anti-terrorism, and criminal activity suppression.[50]

China has made it a national priority to become a global leader in facial recognition and other AI applications.
China has made it a national priority to become a global leader in facial recognition and other AI applications. Chinese tech companies such as Megvii, Yitu, SenseTime, and others are innovators in facial recognition technology, which the CCP leverages to survey its population and project an aura of state omnipotence. Uighurs interned in Xinjiang province have been the first to feel the full weight of the CCP’s mass surveillance capabilities, aided by technology provided by companies that specialise in facial recognition and crowd analysis. But the surveillance ambitions extend beyond Xinjiang.[51]

Social Credit Systems
The CCP has placed a high priority on developing and operationalising a national, unified social credit system to build “a Socialist harmonious society”.[52] In 2014, the Chinese government issued its Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014–2020), which laid out a comprehensive national system by establishing a credit record infrastructure network. The stated goal of the system is to promote integrity in individual and social dealings, incentivising ‘trustworthy’ behaviour and disincentivising behaviour that ‘breaks trust’.[53] The system is not fully centralised, and citizens in China do not yet have a national assigned score, as has been frequently reported. Rather, there is a patchwork of individual systems, some run by local governments and others via private company initiatives,[54] particularly in the financial sector, which has its own social credit systems operating alongside those employed by the central government and agencies.

The CCP has placed a high priority on developing and operationalising a national, unified social credit system to build “a Socialist harmonious society”.
The data collected on China’s residents is fed into these systems, some of which have been in place since 2009. The systems rate, reward, or punish citizens, businesses, and government agencies based on their behaviour, and provide a purportedly objective measure of ‘trustworthiness’. Points are gained or lost based on behaviour, and the resulting social credit score determines the person’s level of access to resources and privileges. Violators are publicly named and shamed. People or companies can be blacklisted for noncompliant behaviour, limiting their access to services and resources for periods of up to three years.[55] Conversely, those with a good score or file are offered preferential treatment in education, travel, housing, employment, medical care, and even access to the internet.

While the ultimate goal of a unified national system has not yet been reached, every citizen in China does have a national credit file, and there are local level social credit systems that do assign scores. But even without a centralised individual number ranking, the national social credit system can still meet its objectives of social control. The National Credit Information Sharing Platform (NCISP), a master database controlled by the central government, is a repository of all social credit systems’ data.

Tech companies are being enlisted to develop the NCISP and various social credit scoring systems, as well as dole out rewards and punishments. Many of these companies have signed data-sharing memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the central government. One of these is Alibaba, which has committed to sharing data and using its platform to issue penalties and rewards.[56] Much of the data used to assess scores of individuals and companies is accessed via these companies’ technology, which tracks individuals’ actions, interactions, and movements.

Chinese technology companies have also implemented their own social credit systems. Sesame Credit is a private social credit system developed by Ant Financial, an Alibaba subsidiary, which accesses extensive user data from its parent company to help assess scores. To do this, Sesame Credit uses concrete data such as credit history, as well as more abstract measures such as personal characteristics, personal preferences, and interpersonal relationships.[57] The implication is that a credit score can be influenced by the behaviour and score of an individual’s personal connections, thus incentivising group- and self-censorship and monitoring. For example, authorities in the Chaoyang District have an arrangement with the makers of the Qihoo 360 app so that users receive notifications when they call or are called by someone on a court blacklist.[58] These private social credit systems are not yet officially part of the government systems, but there are pilot programs in some cities where Alibaba and Tencent are sharing this user data with the expectation that it will be available to the government at some point in the future.[59]

While not yet fully integrated, these databases still serve their purpose. And because court judgments are difficult to enforce in China and there have been high profile cases of corruption, parts of the social credit schemes are broadly popular. Yet much of what accounts for trust and integrity, and good and bad behaviour, are defined by the CCP, and there is a high degree of risk that social credit systems can be used not only to sanction illegal conduct, but wielded as an instrument of social control.

Once the centralised national ranking system envisaged in the 2014 Plan is fully realised, the nationwide social credit system will hand the CCP a powerful tool for social management and ‘stability’ maintenance.[60]

The CCP’s emergency management response to the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed China to expand the use of its digital authoritarian mechanisms at home. Increased tech surveillance and other data collection efforts feed more data into its predictive technologies and AI algorithms, allowing them to develop faster and work better. Surveillance technology in limited use prior to the pandemic was revealed and augmented as part of the CCP’s crisis mobilisation.[61] COVID-19 also provided an opportunity for the CCP to showcase the effectiveness of its tech-enabled authoritarian approach abroad, to counter negative perceptions of its inadequate handling of the initial outbreak. With democratic and authoritarian countries alike under unprecedented restrictions and surveillance, the stigma usually associated with such authoritarian measures has been reduced. China has exploited the unusual circumstances to promote its norms and approaches to digital rights, privacy, and data collection, as well as the development and use of AI.

The CCP’s emergency management response to the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed China to expand the use of its digital authoritarian mechanisms at home.
For decades, China has suppressed dissent within its borders. The coronavirus pandemic has escalated this behaviour in two ways. First, it has given China ‘cover’ for expanding its already pervasive cyber policing and invasive online surveillance. Second, it has silenced critics and quelled discussion of COVID-19 in the name of virus control, which has also had the added effect of enabling China to more easily exercise ‘discourse power’.

According to the database of the Chinese Human Rights Defenders coalition, 897 netizens have been detained, reprimanded, or punished for “spreading rumours”, “fabricating false information”, “causing panic”, “disrupting public/social order”, or “leaking privacy” in their online speech related to the COVID-19 outbreak.[62] Those detained included citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, Fang Bin, and Li Zehua, legal advocate Xu Zhiyong, and businessman Ren Zhiqiang. Some, such as former prisoner of conscience Guo Quan and activist Xu Zhiyong, have been detained more than once. In some cases, the detentions were carried out under the guise of mandatory quarantine.[63] Such is the case with legal scholar Xu Zhangrun, who published a critique of the Chinese government’s pandemic response and authoritarianism under President Xi.[64] Other intellectuals have been harassed and targeted online for their criticism of the CCP in relation to the pandemic.[65] Still more are held under residential surveillance for their work storing and preserving online content critical of China’s handling of the pandemic that had been deleted or blocked by government censors.[66]

Censorship and Propaganda
The punishments and penalties imposed by Chinese authorities on regime critics have been targeted and draconian, such as on those who criticised the government’s treatment of Dr Li, described earlier. But the CCP’s online censorship has reached far more widely across society. Chinese internet companies are deleting or blocking posts from people who write about family members getting sick, ask for donations or assistance online, or give eyewitness accounts of overwhelming conditions at hospitals.[67] A censorship testing experiment by The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto found that WeChat and popular livestreaming app YY deleted or blocked posts relating to the virus — not just those critical of the CCP, but also more neutral messages expressing support for medical workers or sympathy for those affected by the pandemic.[68]

This is not the first time the CCP has imposed censorship obligations on Chinese tech companies. But the pandemic context is unique. The early outpouring of grief and anger against Chinese authorities after the initial mishandling and death of Dr Li was widespread. Even prominent party members, academics and business leaders, usually loath to publicly criticise the CCP, speculated about how China's authoritarianism and information suppression had created the conditions for a global pandemic.[69]

Censorship has been even more heavy-handed than usual during the pandemic. In February 2020, the CAC announced that it would punish social media and online platforms for allowing users to publish “harmful” content or for “spreading panic” related to COVID-19. The CAC targeted internet giants Sina Weibo, Tencent, and ByteDance for “special supervision” and management. As a result, other platforms such as WeChat and YY have censored COVID-related posts pre-emptively, interpreting the directive broadly and erasing almost every mention of the virus.

State-run media has trumpeted the government's pandemic response, calling it a model for the rest of the world.
The CCP’s thorough censorship efforts have been complemented by its vigorous propaganda. The central authorities proactively combated criticism of the CCP and its virus response through online disinformation and influence campaigns aimed at its own citizens. State-run media has trumpeted the government's pandemic response, calling it a model for the rest of the world. Memes circulated on the Chinese internet featuring praise for the country from the World Health Organization (WHO). Journalists have been dispatched by authorities to highlight the work of medical staff, all in an effort to vindicate the CCP’s pandemic governance model.[70] This combination of censorship and propaganda by state-run media has created an information bubble that serves to insulate Chinese netizens from the outside world. It has prioritised the CCP’s narrative within China and left many unaware of growing international criticism of the CCP.[71]

Surveillance, AI, and the Contribution of Chinese Companies
Under pandemic conditions, China’s omnipresent digital surveillance system is on full display. Its capacity for surveillance combined with big data analytics has allowed it to automate contact tracing, which makes it effective from a public health perspective. It combines facial recognition technology, security cameras in both public and closed spaces, social media monitoring, telecommunications tracing, and the tracking of digital passenger information. Chinese technology companies are contributing to the data collection via GPS tracking, facial recognition software, and public temperature detection tools. The government couples this with a robust human surveillance network via its grid management system to keep tabs on its citizens, supplementing the human network of local officials with a network of residents to report those suspected of breaching quarantine rules.[72]

China's existing digital surveillance programs have been deployed in force to combat the pandemic, and in a manner that has felt more intrusive.[73] While surveillance cameras were already ubiquitous in the public square, the health crisis has given Chinese authorities an additional excuse to install cameras outside citizens’ front doors or even inside their residences. This is purportedly to enforce quarantines, a move formerly reserved for those who had previously been detained or lived within the Xinjiang region.[74] While not a stated CCP policy, there have been a number of reports of local epidemic control command centres adopting such behaviour.[75] The surveillance camera footage is then linked to police smart phones, flagging quarantine breaches and allowing police to continually monitor living quarters in an increasing invasion of citizens’ privacy. One Chinese worker, who like many others must now scan a QR code to enter their own apartment complex and workplace, said, “monitoring is already everywhere. The epidemic has just made that monitoring, which we don’t normally see during ordinary times, more obvious”.[76]

A worker adjusts a surveillance camera outside the home of a journalist placed under quarantine in
Beijing after he had visited Wuhan, 3 May 2020. Image: Leo Ramirez/AFP via Getty Images.
China has also expanded its surveillance capabilities in other ways. It has deployed thermal temperature scanners and facial recognition technology at transport stations and other public places, using technology and AI from companies such as SenseTime, which claims it is able to identify individuals even when faces are partially obscured with masks.

In response to calls by central authorities for more effective tools for combatting coronavirus outbreaks, other Chinese companies such as Megvii are using AI to integrate body detection, facial recognition, and body temperature.[77] Wearable technology company KC Wearable has developed ‘smart helmets’ that it claims are able to detect individual temperatures of passers-by, scan QR codes for personal data, and recognise licence plates, as well as identify people using facial recognition software.[78] Through efforts like these, Chinese authorities are able to collect extensive information via the government’s 'real name' system that requires government-issued ID to access smartphone SIM cards, sign up for social media accounts, and travel on public transport. Using location tracking and tracing through more than 200 million cameras that employ AI for facial recognition, authorities can now integrate this data with information on personal biometrics.

A number of health code apps have also been developed by tech companies at the behest of provincial government officials. These apps prompt citizens to input their personal information, answer questions related to their exposure to infected people or high-risk areas, and provide travel logs and health status details. They are then assigned a QR code — green/orange/red — based on their calculated infection risk. Anyone without a green code is forbidden from entering stores, stations, or offices that have the system installed. Authorities say the health code apps have helped them ease lockdown restrictions, but provide little transparency on how a colour code is assigned. Some of the tracking apps have reportedly sent data to police. There is no information on how they use that information, nor how or whether the data is stored for future use.[79]

Contact tracing apps and other tracing technology are not problematic per se. Other countries such as Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan have introduced them.[80] But unlike democracies, when an authoritarian government such as China’s uses them on such a broad scale, they are unconstrained by privacy laws, obligations of transparency, public debate, or the ability to hold government to account for any excesses. There is very little publicly available information on the Chinese apps, but they employ an invasive degree of data-mining to extract identities, locations, and even payment histories.[81]

The pandemic, and the imperative to control it, has stalled an emerging public debate on personal data protection.
The pandemic, and the imperative to control it, has stalled an emerging public debate on personal data protection.[82] However, the Chinese technology companies that collect the data and provide it to government authorities have amassed huge amounts of their customers’ personal information — operating like real-time, privately run digital intelligence gathering agencies. There have been leaks of personal information and reports of surveillance overreach, notwithstanding directives from the CAC on data privacy protection.[83] Despite resistance from the major Chinese tech companies to providing local authorities with consumer data from the multitude of contact tracing apps, the CCP's pressure on those companies has meant that any gains in consumer privacy made over the past couple of years are most probably now lost.[84]

The concern is that the CCP will continue to use these invasive digital technologies after the emergency is over in the name of ‘stability’ management, much as China continued to expand and consolidate its public CCTV surveillance efforts in the name of security after the Beijing Olympics.[85] As one activist put it:

This type of governance and thinking for dealing with the epidemic can also be used for other issues — like the media, citizen journalists or ethnic conflicts. Because this method has been used before, citizens will accept it. It becomes normal.[86]

Essentially, the pandemic has provided a ‘proof of concept’. It has demonstrated to the CCP and local authorities that the technology works, and that surveillance on this scale and in an emergency is feasible and effective, thus giving the CCP the confidence in its future use. It also reveals to citizens, in China and elsewhere, what is possible, perpetuating self-censorship, normalising tech-enabled monitoring and control, and inducing individuals to embrace, or at least resign themselves to, the overwhelming power of the state.

Expansion of the Social Credit System
The pandemic has also provided ideal conditions for exploiting and adapting the social credit system. Officials who pioneered the health code app are now exploring its other applications, such as ranking citizens with a ‘personal health index’ composed of scores based on sleep, exercise, and smoking and drinking habits.[87] Such a ranking could be integrated into the social credit system to assess suitability for services and jobs, or for monitoring gatherings. This presents a host of opportunities for behaviour management and discrimination. Different local authorities are beginning to adapt the app, linking it to health records, access to other services, and even coupons at local stores, expanding its use for digitised social control.[88]

While local authorities have relaxed some controls during the COVID-19 crisis, such as suspending penalties for late repayment of loans due to financial difficulties, they have incorporated new obligations and created new point scoring incentives. Companies or citizens who make a contribution to the coronavirus effort — such as working in a medical profession or manufacturing medical supplies — are granted points on their social credit score and potentially funnelled into the ‘green channel’, leading to easier administrative access and processing of administrative issues.[89] Conversely, firms engaging in price gouging or selling counterfeit medical products are deducted points, as are individuals who hide their travel or medical information on health apps, refuse medical checks, hoard products, or participate in prohibited large gatherings.[90]

Through these mechanisms, the pandemic has provided an opportunity for Chinese tech companies to harvest and amass significant data with no set limits on how it can be used or how long it can be stored.[91]

There is even talk now in China of establishing a SkyNet-like structure for pre-emptive virus tracking, which would create “an automatic epidemic monitoring and reporting system without any blind spots” using a ”combination of new pathogen detection technology and 5G communication, big data and artificial intelligence technology”. [92] Prominent biomedical researcher and famed ‘virus hunter', Cheng Jing, proposed a system that would change the model of virus tracing from ’passive’ reporting to ’active’, with automatic and networked tracking via integrated technologies.[93] It is being framed as a means to avoid heavy-handed future lockdown measures such as those imposed in Wuhan after the virus spread.[94] But this would replace stringent physical lockdowns with near constant and ubiquitous surveillance in the name of preventative pandemic measures.

Dahua Technology’s “Thermal Temperature Monitoring Solution” is capable of identifying individuals
with an elevated temperature from a distance of three metres. Image: Dahua Technology handout, Lewis
Just as the COVID-19 pandemic enabled China to expand surveillance and solidify its digital authoritarian regime at home, it has also provided it with opportunities to export its methods abroad — and criticise and discredit the response of democratic governments, particularly the United States, in the process. The CCP has seized on the current global disarray wrought by the pandemic, the absence of US leadership, and the Trump administration’s disorderly pandemic response, as an opportunity to strut on the world stage. Its so-called ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’ escalated during the pandemic, and it has used vigorous disinformation campaigns to deflect criticism from abroad and tout China as a leader in pandemic response and a global force for good.[95] Early evidence suggests that these techniques may have backfired in many Western democracies, with Pew surveys conducted in mid-2020 showing sharp rises in unfavourable attitudes towards China and President Xi.[96] However, in other countries, including non-democracies that were more favourably disposed to China prior to the pandemic,[97] China’s ‘mask diplomacy’, technology exports, and other overtures may further entrench its strong position, or at least mitigate other negative effects of China’s pandemic tactics. As Natasha Kassam noted in China File several months into the crisis, “Cambodia, Pakistan, Hungary, and Serbia are praising China’s decisive response and expressing gratitude for medical supplies. And while some mask diplomacy has failed due to a lack of quality controls, the real benefits derived in developing countries from receiving teams of medical professionals and webinars in local language shouldn’t be underestimated.”[98]

Controlling the Narrative — Wolf Warrior Diplomacy and Disinformation Campaigns
China’s wolf warrior diplomacy has produced vehement, undiplomatic, and sometimes fantastical attempts to shape its pandemic narrative.[99] The CCP has wielded its English language tabloid, the Global Times, forcefully. For example, a recent opinion piece attempted to deflect criticism of China’s pandemic human rights violations claiming that the criticism was:

… immoral and distorts the truth. Essentially, public health issues are not an issue of human rights. There must be efficient prevention and control … When facing the challenge of survival, the rights of individuals must be subordinated to the needs of the majority. This is the same in both Eastern and Western ethics. When it comes to life and death, we must first solve the problem of survival before considering how to live more comfortably.[100]

Chinese diplomats, including Chinese deputy head of mission to Australia, Wang Xining, have not only vigorously defended China’s handling of the virus, but chastised countries such as Australia for calling for an international investigation into the origins of COVID-19, claiming it “hurt the feelings” of China. Wang was even equivocal in acknowledging that the virus started in Wuhan.[101] This has become a standard talking point of Chinese officials around the world. Other Chinese diplomats have attempted to offer alternative narratives on the origins of the virus, such as foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who tweeted conspiracy theories and suggested that US soldiers had brought the virus to Wuhan.[102]

Twitter announced its new public "safety" policy, targeting state-linked disinformation campaigns,
on 12 June 2020. Twitter has removed more than 150 000 accounts it believes to be spreading
Chinese disinformation. Image: Twitter screenshot.
China’s disinformation campaigns aimed at international audiences appear to have been highly coordinated. In June, Twitter removed 23 750 undeveloped accounts it assessed were part of an organised effort to praise China’s virus response and another 150 000 accounts boosting apparent Chinese disinformation.[103] The European Commission has also accused China of running online disinformation campaigns disparaging Europe’s COVID-19 response with the aim of undermining Western democracies.[104]

Technology Exports and the Belt and Road Initiative
Aside from shaping the information environment and attempting to control the narrative on its pandemic response via social media, China is using both passive and active measures to export its tech-enabled surveillance response. Measures once considered extreme among non-authoritarian governments and societies have become more normalised as the pandemic sweeps across the globe. Through state emergency powers, rights of association and movement have been severely curtailed to curb the virus' spread in democracies and autocracies alike. Pop-up police spy stations track people breaking lockdowns, and students are observed remotely using exam monitoring software.[105] Citizens in democracies have waved away privacy concerns in the interests of public safety, and routinely disclose location, health, and other personal data.

China is not alone in using surveillance and other technology to track and monitor citizens in an effort to contain virus outbreaks.
China is not alone in using surveillance and other technology to track and monitor citizens in an effort to contain virus outbreaks. Israel, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Poland, Australia, and other countries have rolled out COVID-19 tracing or protection apps, and used drones, mobile phone location and financial transaction data to monitor quarantine compliance and track the virus’ spread.[106] The virus tracing apps have varying degrees of privacy protections and were rolled out quickly with little testing of their efficacy. The adoption and acceptance of immature technologies such as contact tracing apps and thermal temperature detection cameras by both governments and private companies has been swift. MIT Technology Review has compiled an active database of COVID-19 tracing apps from around the world. Of the 47 apps on the list, only 12 countries have introduced systems that meet the full five-star criteria, in that they are voluntary, have limits on how the data is used, require that data is not retained, minimise data collection, and are transparent in design and use.[107]

The pandemic has for most citizens normalised high levels of restriction and surveillance with no indication of when those might abate.[108] Human rights and privacy advocacy organisations have warned that these intrusions into personal liberties and rights may endure, with governments resisting political and social opposition to them even after the public health crisis subsides.[109] At the same time, the public may become inured to more intrusive use of technology, as the world becomes increasingly digitised and automated. There is already a growing acceptance of the narrative promoted by China that privacy and human rights considerations inhibit effective public health responses.[110]

The WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has come under scrutiny for stating that “China’s speed, China’s scale and China’s efficiency … is the advantage of China’s system”, without acknowledging the damage caused by China's initial suppression and censorship of information about the virus.[111] Nor does this praise account for the hardships imposed by the severe lockdown measures. Similarly, China’s use of “big data and information technology” has been lauded in articles published by bodies such as the World Economic Forum, with little critical evaluation of its effect.[112]

Ya-Qin Zhang, President of tech giant, at the Big Tech, Big Impact
session of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, 25 January 2018.
Image: Sikarin Thanachaiary/World Economic Forum.
Adding to this passive creep of invasive governance, China is using the pandemic to accelerate its export of domestic digital technology, build its dominance in AI and big data, and further the goals defined in the CCP's 2017 Cyber Superpower Strategy. This was first set out in a CCP journal article that outlined the party’s strategy for control of China’s domestic internet. Apart from encouraging tech-sector investment in AI and other technology breakthroughs, and ensuring the global influence of Chinese tech companies, it sought to promote “China’s proposition of internet governance toward becoming an international consensus”.[113] President Xi articulated the strategy during the 19th Party Congress in 2017, which included plans to match the United States in AI innovation, quantum computing, and nanotechnology by 2025, and to lead it by 2030.

Even before the 2017 Cyber Superpower Strategy, growth of technology start-ups and AI adoption in China was remarkable. In 2015, the CCP launched Made in China 2025, an industrial policy aimed at expanding China's tech sector and advanced manufacturing capabilities through state subsidies, intellectual property acquisition, and foreign joint ventures.[114] The ultimate goal was to reduce China’s dependence on foreign technology and promote Chinese tech manufacturing globally.[115] In the handful of years since the Made in China 2025 and Cyber Superpower Strategy announcements, China has produced dozens of tech unicorns (privately owned start-up companies valued under US$1 billion). It continues its attempts to exert influence over the United Nations International Telecommunication Union regarding surveillance and facial recognition.[116] And this year, it plans to announce its China Standards 2035 blueprint — a vision for influencing future international technology standards and interoperability.[117]

These strategic documents demonstrate that the CCP’s investment in its technology sector is not simply about its own economic development or trade policy.[118] Chinese tech companies and the Chinese tech sector are not acting on market imperatives alone. Despite their protestations, those tech companies are not wholly independent from the Chinese government, as discussed above and as the controversies about Huawei attest.[119] The heavily state-sponsored tech sector serves China's foreign policy and national security strategies. And many of the tech companies are intimately linked to China’s intelligence and national security apparatus, while others implicitly understand their acquiescence to the CCP and reliance on heavy subsidies.[120]

In some respects, pandemic and geopolitical considerations such as the ongoing US–China tensions have had a negative impact on the Made in China 2025 strategy. They have reduced the appetites of foreign companies for engaging with China and increased their wariness about forced transfer agreements and other joint venture rules.[121] Yet the pandemic has also allowed the CCP to expand its domestic digital surveillance and AI development and to export this technology as well. In turn, this has promoted Chinese digital authoritarian norms, technology, and AI methods, as tools of political and social control.[122] In other words, technology with ‘Chinese characteristics’.

While China has recorded its first economic contraction in decades, its Cyber Superpower Strategy remains on track. The CCP is still investing heavily in 5G technology, surveillance infrastructure, AI, and its tech sector through China's New Infrastructure Investments Fund as part of its post-COVID economic recovery. Through the pandemic, China has positioned itself as a world leader in tech, meeting the technological and security needs of other developing countries.[123] For example, the KC Wearable ‘smart helmets’ — already in use in parts of China and Dubai — have been sent to police in Italy and the Netherlands for testing.[124]

Police officers wearing smart helmets stand guard at Chunxi Road on 7 March 2020 in Chengdu,
Sichuan Province of China. The smart helmet with an infrared camera can detect body temperature and the result
can be displayed in real-time on its screen. Image: Zhang Lang/China News Service via Getty Images.
China is driving global uptake of AI surveillance technology through programs subsidised via the Digital Silk Road (DSR) — the technology component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This has generated US$17 billion in loans and investments in telecom networks, mobile payment systems, and projects such as smart cities, e-government, smart education, digital health, and other big data initiatives throughout the developing world.[125]

At least 80 countries from Latin America, Africa, and Asia have adopted Huawei’s Safe City solutions or other Chinese surveillance and security technology platforms.[126] This excludes other imports and adoptions of other AI technology. Some of the companies importing their technologies are directly state owned (such as China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation, CEIEC). Some have been implicated in human rights violations in Xinjiang, such as Hikvision.[127]

China is supporting its export of technology infrastructure and equipment by offering training on its use and on cyberspace management, and allegedly even assisting other governments to spy on political opponents.[128] In this way, China promotes its digital technology blueprint on AI, surveillance, privacy, rights, and technology’s use for ‘social stability’ abroad.[129] Many of the importing countries operate under authoritarian governments, which use surveillance technology for political suppression.[130] But it is not just authoritarian states that are importing Chinese tech or conducting ‘smart city’ exchanges. In 2019, for example, the city of Darwin adopted the ‘smart city’ platform and Australian officials travelled to China to be trained on its use.[131]

A further risk is that through the technology infrastructure they are exporting, Chinese technology companies may be compelled by the Chinese government to allow access to their data via backdoors into their systems, and to feed that data back to Chinese central authorities.[132]

Chinese technology companies may be compelled by the Chinese government to allow access to their data via backdoors into their systems.
While the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn have slowed the progress on the physical infrastructure project components of the BRI, China has continued to emphasise the Health Silk Road and Digital Silk Road components of the Initiative.[133] Recognising the accelerating migration of consumption, retail, services, and social activities in the era of physical distancing, Chinese companies will look for opportunities in the BRI, including those in medtech (medical technologies ranging from capital equipment to biomaterials and implant innovations), as well as in AI surveillance for virus tracking.

In the countries participating in the digital BRI, China is expanding more than its market share through exports of its technology, tech infrastructure, and norms. It is also broadening and deepening its ‘technospheres’ — geographic areas where China has political, economic, and data- and intelligence-gathering advantages due to its export of technology and information management control mechanisms within the BRI.[134] These technospheres also directly provide China with that most valuable commodity — 'the new oil' — data. Through Digital Silk Road agreements backed by the Chinese government, Chinese companies secure legal rights to data collected via Chinese tech embedded in infrastructure projects.[135]

The expansion and entrenchment of the digital authoritarianism model through the pandemic has significant implications for the health of democracy worldwide. Technology-receiving countries, especially those persuaded of the efficacy of surveillance security models, look to digital technology leaders such as China for inspiration, and for systems to adopt in their own countries. This may predispose them to support China in its efforts to secure global influence in international bodies that will shape the future norms of cyberspace, AI, and digital technologies.

For more established democracies, the creeping acceptance of digital authoritarianism risks a lapse in the regulation of technology and checks on the collection and use of personal data, and the acceptance of mass surveillance. For example, the United States, the origin of immense digital innovation, has tolerated and so far failed to regulate ‘surveillance capitalism’ — the market-driven sale of personal data.[136] This failure to regulate has allowed major technology companies to amass huge amounts of information that can be deployed to condition and modify individual behaviour for profit. Democracies’ permissiveness has allowed the digital communications sector to develop in a way that has exacerbated polarisation, seeded disinformation, and compromised the value of objective facts.[137]

Mass surveillance and the use of facial recognition technology has increasingly become a feature of democratic societies as well — often with little public consultation or awareness. Biometric data is used for identification purposes, CCTV cameras are in place in the public square, and drones are deployed for surveillance. During the pandemic, these technologies have also been used to monitor social distancing, and to detect breaches of health safety directives.[138]

Cheng Hui, head of JDX R&D Center,, speaks during the session Unleashing the Drone Economy
at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2019. Image: Greg Beadle/World Economic Forum.
The COVID-19 crisis — in which democracies have come under their first extended states of emergency since the wartime era — illustrates how democratic societies can tolerate the expansion of executive power and become habituated to restrictions on liberties and increased monitoring — particularly if they are managed via inconspicuous or convenient digital technology. Many democracies have accepted new infringements on privacy, bypassing the usual legislative processes of scrutiny and consideration in the interests of pandemic mitigation.[139]

Cyber surveillance and data collection are being conducted to aid public health measures before adequate safeguards have been proven or guaranteed. It will be left to the vigilance of citizens, legislatures, and courts to reassert rights once the emergency is over. In an era of ‘global democratic recession’, even established democracies cannot be sanguine about maintaining civil liberties and constitutional safeguards.[140]

China’s pandemic response, underwritten by an expansion of its digital authoritarianism, is a critical part of its efforts to boost its footing on the world stage.[141] With US global leadership on the retreat, but pressure on the CCP mounting, China has found an opening: highlighting the country’s success in supressing the pandemic and encouraging other countries to deploy Beijing’s pandemic playbook.[142] While President Trump abdicates global leadership and the United States flails in its pandemic response, China has not wavered on its strategic ambitions, nor on the future technology through which it aspires to transform the strategic stage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already shaped the future.[143] Among its many legacies are the normalisation of technological surveillance, the notion of the surveillance state, and China's opportunistic advancement of its technology agenda. The onus is on democracies to do more to counter the harmful aspects of China’s global technology agenda, and to find ways to harness technology, including AI, for the global public good while preserving hard-won democratic rights and liberties.

Banner image: “Beijing Obscura” by Zach Stern/Flickr.

[1] Human Rights Watch, Joint Civil Society Statement: States Use of Digital Surveillance Technologies to Fight Pandemic Must Respect Human Rights, 2 April 2020, https://www. hrw. org/news/2020/04/02/joint-civil-society-statement-states-use-digital-surveillance-technologies-fight.

[2] China’s People magazine.

[3] Lily Kuo, “Coronavirus: Wuhan Doctor Speaks Out Against Authorities”, The Guardian, 11 March 2020, ... uthorities.

[4] “Dr Ai Fen, the Wuhan Whistle”, translated in Science Integrity Digest, 11 March 2020, https://scienceintegritydigest. com/2020/03/11/dr-ai-fen-the-wuhan-whistle/.

[5] Laney Zhang, “FALQs: Spreading Rumors and Police Reprimand under Chinese Law”, Library of Congress, Law Library Blogs, 2 March 2020, ... inese-law/. See also, Laura Rosenberger, “China’s Coronavirus Information Offensive”, Foreign Affairs, 22 April 202
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