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Cover-up, deception and our chief Covid advisers

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MORE evidence of a damaging cover-up by top British and American scientists of the laboratory origin of the Covid-19 virus has emerged in emails released in the US under Freedom of Information laws. 

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser, and Sir Jeremy Farrar, a former senior member of the advisory body Sage and boss of the powerful Wellcome Trust research fund, are among those mentioned. 

The emails show that as far back as February 2, 2020, Farrar knew the SARS-CoV-2 virus was unlikely to have arisen naturally. He suggested to Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s ‘Covid czar’, that it may have evolved ‘accidentally’ from a SARS-like virus in human tissue in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. 

But he was told by Dr Francis Collins, then director of the US National Institutes of Health: ‘I share your view that a swift convening of experts in a confidence-inspiring framework is needed or the voicers of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony.’ Dutch virologist Dr Ron Fouchier (who has subsequently claimed that the Covid pandemic proves the necessity for animal research) wrote that ‘further debate would do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular’.    

The following month Farrar was among 27 scientists who signed a letter published by the Lancet dismissing as ‘conspiracy theories’ claims that Covid-19 had a laboratory origin. The signatories included two other Wellcome scientists.

Farrar has subsequently continued to claim that ‘the best scientific evidence available’ is that the virus crossed from animals to humans. 

The Lancet letter set back by more than a year official discussion around the lab origin of the pandemic – vital information for governments globally in deciding how best to respond. 

Farrar was also involved in initiating a World Health Organisation inquiry, subsequently dismissed as a ‘whitewash’, which cleared the Wuhan lab of involvement. He wrote to Collins and Fauci on February 5, 2020:

Francis and Tony

Couple of things

*I spoke again with WHO this morning. I believe they have listened and acted. Let me know if you agree.

At the WHO meeting next week they will set up the Group who will ‘look at the origins and evolution of 2019n-Cov’

They have asked for names to sit on that Group – please do send any names

We can have a call this week with a core group of that to frame the work of the Group including – if you could join?

I think this puts it under the umbrella of WHO, with action this week and into next

With names to be put forward into the Group from us and pressure on this group from you and our teams next week.

*The team will update the draft today and I will forward immediately – they will add further comments on the glycans

Does that sound reasonable to you?

Jeremy 

(‘Glycans’ is a reference to glycosylation, a key feature of the genetic modification that made a bat virus capable of infecting human cells.)  

The email followed an urgent February 1 teleconference, involving both Vallance and Farrar, called to discuss how to respond after WHO declared Covid a global health emergency on the previous day.

Farrar issued a note warning that ‘information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on next steps’. It went to Fauci and Vallance, copied to six others including Paul Schreier, chief operating officer at Wellcome.

The call centred on a document entitled ‘Coronavirus sequence comparison’ and was triggered by a note from immunologist Kristian Anderson of the Scripps Research Institute in California saying that the virus had features which might make it look as if it had been genetically engineered. 

In addition, Fauci drew attention to a November 2015 article written by Ralph Baric, an immunologist based in the US and long-term recipient of funds from Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The paper was described in the email as ‘Baric, Shi et al – Nature Medicine – SARS gain of function’. Shi Zhengli is the scientist who became known as ‘batwoman’ through her research into bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

‘Gain of function’ is the term used to describe laboratory modification of viruses to alter their transmissibility and infectivity.  The US government banned such research in 2014 because of concerns about the dangers it could present to human health, such as we have seen with SARS-CoV-2. 

Fauci is alleged to have circumvented the ban by paying for work initiated in America to continue at the Wuhan institute. 

The case against him was further strengthened this week by the release of documents showing that in 2018 a US Defense Department agency refused to fund the same research on safety grounds. The documents also reveal concern over the suppression of potential treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, and about the mRNA vaccines.

The revelations of cover-up and deception at the highest level call into question whether the UK Government should continue to take advice from Farrar and Vallance over the handling of the pandemic response. 

If it had been known that research by US and Chinese scientists gave rise to the pandemic, would governments worldwide have put their trust in the lockdown and mass vaccination policies that have proved so damaging? Especially when promoted by scientists such as Fauci who were among those funding the research.

Farrar, who was a member of Sage from the start of the pandemic, left the advisory body in October, saying he wanted to devote more time to the Wellcome Trust. 

As Paula Jardine has described in TCW Defending Freedom, even as the Wuhan lockdown was being imposed by the Chinese government as far back as January 23, 2020, Farrar appeared at a press conference convened at the World Economic Forum in Davos by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), promoting the idea that dramatic interventions of social control might be the only way to control a pandemic pending the development of a vaccine.

Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser since March 2018, is former president of research and development at the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmith Kline (GSK). It was announced last June that he is to oversee the new National Science and Technology Council ‘to put science and technology right at the heart of policymaking and strengthen the way we work across government to reinforce the position of the UK as a science superpower’.

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Neville Hodgkinson
Neville Hodgkinson
Neville Hodgkinson is a former medical and science correspondent at the Sunday Times and the author of AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science, published in 1996 by Fourth Estate.

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