An investigation by The Daily Telegraph reveals that all but one scientist who wrote a letter in The Lancet medical journal dismissing even the slightest possibility COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, have ties to Chinese researchers. This stunning revelation suggests that 26 of the 27 scientists listed in the letter might of had a conflict of interest.
The letter, published in March of last year, sought to quash any debate among the scientific community or the media over the origins of the virus – until international intelligence findings in 2021 brought the matter back to the spotlight.
The man who orchestrated the article is Dr. Peter Daszak, CEO of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit which was armed with millions in NIH funding to work with Wuhan scientists to experiment with coronaviruses and ‘gain of function‘ research. Last week, a FOIA email release by The Intercept revealed that EcoHealth Alliance was absolutely engaged in gain-of-function research to make chimeric SARS-based coronaviruses, which they confirmed could infect human cells.
Daszak – a noted friend and colleague of Fauci – was also tapped to head up The Lancet’s UN backed commission to investigate the origins of the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic, according to Summit News.
The British scientist was picked despite the fact that he was intimately associated with the Wuhan lab, had repeatedly dismissed the lab leak hypothesis a ‘dangerous conspiracy theory’, and created a pressure campaign via a letter published by The Lancet to force the scientific community into avoiding looking into the lab as a potential source of the outbreak.
Besides Daszak, 25 other scientists listed in the letter have connections with either the lab or Chinese researchers. Below, the Daily Mail takes The Telegraph’s investigation and dives deeper into those who wrote the letter. A few examples (truncated, emphasis ours):
Dr Jeremy Farrar
Tropical medicine expert and SAGE adviser & The Wellcome Trust, London
The newspaper also found that three of the signatories were from Britain’s Wellcome Trust, which has also previously funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Signatory Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the UK’s Sage and the director of the Trust, has in the past published work with George Gao, the head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, whom he has described as ‘an old friend’.
Dr Gao, who studied at Oxford University, is a former research assistant at the Wellcome Trust. Mr Daszak has claimed Dr Gao supported his nomination to the National Academy of Sciences, according to The Telegraph.
The Chinese scientist also has connections to Shi Zhengli, the scientist who has become known as ‘batwoman‘ on account of her research into bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. Her team discovered a virus in 2013 which is the closest ever previously found to Sars-Cov-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.
Two other signatories – Dr Josie Golding and Professor Mike Turner – are known to have current or past connections with the Wellcome Trust.
Professor Linda Saif
Microbiology expert, The Ohio State University
Microbiology expert Professor Linda Saif, another signatory, spoke at a workshop in Wuhan in May 2017 along with Dr Shi and Dr Gao. The workshop was partly organised by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The level of security in Chinese labs was among the topics discussed at the workshop, while Professor Saif’s talk covered animal coronaviruses.
The Global Virome Project
Two more signatories on The Lancet letter are in the leadership team of the Global Virome Project – an organisations whose goal is to detect and identify 99 percent or more of potential zoonotic viral threats.
Mr Daszak is the treasurer of the Global Virome Project, while Dr Gao helped launch it, with EcoHealth Alliance as one of its partners.
The Global Virome Project took over from the Predict project, which discovered more than 1,000 unique viruses in animals and humans.
But according to The Telegraph, the Predict project was also found to have part-funded contentious work by Wuhan researchers on bat coronaviruses, which were altered to see if they could infect humans.
The funds for the research were provided by the EcoHealth Alliance.
Professor John Mackenzie
Tropical infectious diseases expert, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Tropical infectious disease expert Professor John Mackenzie who works out of Curtin University in Perth, Australia, was another of the signatories.
The investigation has found that he did not disclose that he was still listed as a committee member of the the Scientific Advisory Committee of Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan institute.
Professor Kanta Subbarao
Virology expert, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Professor Kanta Subbarao, another signatory from the University of Melbourne, spoke at a conference on emerging diseases in Wuhan in 2016 which was part-organised by the the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Prof. Subbarao was still chief of the US-based National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section.
Five more of the letter’s signatories have all been found by the investigation to have published articles with Professor Ralph Baric.
Professor Prof Ralph Baric
While Prof Baric was omitted from the list of signatories, he was collaborating with Shi Zhengli and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, researching genetically manipulated coronaviruses to see if they could be made to infect humans.
Earlier this year, Republicans in the US argued that the virus was possibly genetically modified, and cite an interview with Baric in which he said it was possible to engineer a virus, ‘without leaving a trace.’
Baric was initially asked to add his name to the letter by Mr Daszak, with emails between the pair recently coming to light ahead of The Lancet letter’s publication, showing that the pair decided to mask their association with the Wuhan institute to avoid looking ‘self-serving’.
Mr Daszak told Prof Baric that he would publish the letter in such a way that it doesn’t ‘link it back to our collaboration so we maximise an independent voice’.
Professor Peter Palese
Microbiology expert, Icahn School of Medicine, New York
A number of those who signed the letter have since changed their stance with some calling for a full inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.
Speaking to the MailOnline in June, Professor Peter Palese – a microbiology expert from Icahn School of Medicine, New York, said: ‘I believe a thorough investigation about the origin of the Covid-19 virus is needed.
‘A lot of disturbing information has surfaced since the Lancet letter I signed, so I want to see answers covering all questions.’
Asked how he was originally approached to sign the letter and what new information had come to light specifically, Professor Palese declined to comment.
Angus Dalgleish, professor of oncology at St Georges, University of London, and Norwegian scientist Birger Sorensen, who worked hard to publish work showing a strong link between the lab and virus outbreak, said this new revelation proves there was an “extreme cover-up.”
Dalgleish and Sorensen said The Telegraph’s investigation “is the first to show beyond reasonable doubt that our entire area of virus research has been contaminated politically. We bear the scars to show it.”
Molecular biologist Prof Richard Ebright, of Rutgers University, another scientist who attempted to uncover the truth behind the origins of the pandemic, said:
“For the June addendum, the Lancet invited the 27 authors of the letter to re-evaluate their competing interests.
“Incredibly, only Daszak appears to have done so. Conflicts of interest were not reported for any of the other 26 signers of the letter – not even those with obviously material undisclosed conflicts such as EcoHealth employees and Predict contractors.
“The standard remedy for fraudulent statements in scientific publications is retraction. It is unclear why retraction was not pursued.”
To sum up, the letter identified anyone as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for even mentioning the possibility the virus originated from a lab that was penned by scientists who had some sort of conflict of interest with Chinese researchers and or the lab. Could this be evidence of an extensive cover-up by the scientific community of an accidental release of the virus from a lab?
Even America’s top virologist, Anthony Fauci, has had to admit the virus might have come from a lab.