Sadly today, we are all still as much in the dark as to the origins of COVID-19 as we were 10 months ago, despite numerous scientific studies and research conducted around the world since then. (DRASTIC petition)
When cries came out from different quarters that the Chinese and intentionally created and then released the SARS-CoV-2 virus as a biological weapon, people were told they were being paranoids, that they were prone to conspiracy theories promulgated by right-wing fringe elements of American society.
And, when Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, called the coronavirus “the Wuhan Virus,” liberals piled on. As reported by the N.Y. Post, “ Rep Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) slammed the Republican lawmaker’s reference to the Wuhan virus as “an example of the myopia that allowed it to spread in the US. The virus is not constrained by country or race. ”Never mind Gosar’s remarks were simply about the geographical origin of SARS-CoV-2 and not a reference to its proclivity for exclusively Chinese people.
Now, new evidence is emerging that Gosar and others were likely correct about the dubious origins of the virus that has wreaked havoc on a global level. Only, there is a wrinkle, because it appears the U.S. government was involved as well in this scheme. As The Telegraph reports, “Wuhan and US scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronavirus particles into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show.”
Much of the controversy swirls around the concept of “gain of function.” Gain of function occurs when organisms, such as viruses, develop new abilities, such as the ability to be more transmissible or to target specific body systems, like the respiratory system. This process leads to multiple new cell lines with specifically engineer permutations. The leaked papers, confirmed as genuine by a former member of the Trump administration, apparently show just that.
According to The Telegraph, “researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing ‘novel chimeric spike proteins’ of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China” adding, “They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.”
All of this, at least on the surface, appears to be efforts at “gain of function.” In fact, other scientists have stated that “gain of function” activities were underway at the Wuhan lab in question. Professor Angus Dalgleish, a cancer expert at St Georges Hospital Medical School London, believes the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been carrying out “gain of function’ work for years before the Covid outbreak, arguing, “This is clearly a gain of function, engineering the cleavage site and polishing the new viruses to enhance human cell infectibility in more than one cell line.”
And though DARPA may sound like a futuristic organization in a science fiction movie, they are very real indeed. DARPA is “an advanced-technology branch of the U.S. Department of Defense created “to try out new technologies and make them operationally ready, if possible, and to reach beyond current military technology to do something new,” according to space.com. DARPA’s official website lists its purpose as “transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities” while creating “new strategic opportunities and novel tactical options.” It’s not a huge stretch of the imagination or an enormous leap of faith to see viral engineering schemes as “new strategic opportunities and novel tactical options.”
The documents were uncovered by the organization DRASTIC (Decentralized, Radical Autonomous, Search Team Investigating COVIID-19), “a group of activists who say they are working towards solving the ‘riddle’ of the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is behind the COVID pandemic,” according to Newsweek. Specifically, DRASTIC claims “they were given documents by an anonymous source which detail something called “Project DEFUSE.” Newsweek also states that “[A]ccording to what appear to be funding proposal excerpts published by DRASTIC, Project DEFUSE aimed to reduce the threat of bat-borne coronaviruses through research and was headed by Peter Daszak, president of the U.S.-based research organization EcoHealth Alliance (EHA). It would have run between 2018 and 2022.”
This is in line with a technical paper released by DRASTIC in May of 2021, titled, SARS-CoV-2′s claimed natural origin is undermined by issues with genome sequences of its relative strains. In the paper, the authors examine the existing information about the genetic sequences of SARS-CoV-2. The authors contend that despite claims that the sequences prove the natural origins of SARS-CoV-2, there was a lack of evidence and clarity. Specifically, DRASTIC argues, “These sequences have been widely used to support a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 but after a close examination, all of them exhibit issues which should be specifically addressed and clarified.”
For their part, DARPA has denied these accusations, stating “In accordance with U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulations, we are not at liberty to divulge who may have or may not have not submitted a proposal in response to any of the agency’s solicitations. Further, information contained within bids is considered proprietary and can only be released by the bidder. That being said, DARPA has never funded directly, nor indirectly as a subcontractor, any activity or researcher associated with the EcoHealth Alliance or Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
These accusations, if found to be true, undercut the claim that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigation into the origins of the virus was thorough and impartial. Lead investigator Peter Daszak stated, “When it came to the lab leak hypothesis, we just didn’t see significant information that suggests that that happened. I mean as a scientist you can only deal with the evidence you see in front of your eyes and if it’s not there then you can only come to the conclusion that it’s extremely unlikely.”
That’s the same Peter Daszak that is the president of EHA, the organization implicated by DRASTIC. Moreover, The New York Post reports that Daszak “received more than $410,000 in annual compensation from EcoHealth and ‘related organizations’ during the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019, according to an IRS filing posted online by the ProPublica news organization.” He is also, according to DRASTIC, the main person identified by the controversial leaked grant papers.
And not to get all conspiratorial, but the integrity of the team of scientists that wrote the letter which was published in Lancet dismissing any accusations of man-made viruses has now been called into question. Of the 27 scientists involved in the investigation led by Daszak, “Only one – Dr Ronald Corley, a microbiology expert from Boston University – has been found to have no links back to funders or researchers at the Wuhan institute” according to The Sun.
Meanwhile, DRASTIC is not backing down on its claims. Instead, they issued the following statement: “Given that we find in this proposal a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, a review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted.”
Let’s hope for the sake of our collective futures that DRASTIC’s recommendations are not taken with a grain of salt.
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