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lab leak

The Lab Leak and the Counter Measures: What Really Happened


Now that some US government officials and agencies are coming out and partially or possibly admitting that SARS-CoV-2 might perhaps have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, where the US could have maybe been funding gain-of-function research, a new question arises: So what?

You may think, at this point in the Covid saga, this is just a diversion to distract attention from the vaccine disaster, not to mention wars, banks collapsing, and other emergencies arising daily.

It may seem like a side story, but I believe the lab leak is, in fact, the key to understanding how the entire Covid catastrophe happened. It also clarifies how the idea of “conspiracy” fits into the international Covid pandemic response.

Lab leak cover-up was first and determining factor in Covid conspiracy

Cover-ups are by definition conspiratorial. Somebody does something bad and, in order to make sure it doesn’t get found out, that person and whoever else knows about it have to conspire to keep it quiet. The conspiracy is based on mutual culpability: if one party tries to blame the other, everyone’s guilt will be revealed.

In the case of the escape of an engineered potential bioweapon from a lab in Wuhan, China, there would be several very specific and identifiable implicated parties: 

  • the Chinese scientists whose lab had lax security and the Chinese leadership (CCP) who probably covered up the leak until it was too late to contain 
  • the international group of researchers working on gain-of-function (GoF) research in said and affiliated labs, and their governmental and NGO funders
  • the intelligence and military operatives who were surveilling/involved in the bioweapons research

If there was a lab leak, there would have to be a conspiracy of these implicated parties. They would have to engage in a lot of propaganda to spin an alternative narrative, while at the same time knowing the virus was a potential bioweapon – which would require, according to their understanding, a special kind of response: The kind of biodefense response the people, organizations, and governments doing the GoF research had been working on for decades.

Compelling motives for cover-up: personal and global culpability and huge potential profits

The implicated parties in the lab-leak cover-up would have three intersecting motivations for the conspiracy:

  • panic about the magnitude of disease and death that could be caused by a potential bioweapon and for which they would be blamed
  • panic about international repercussions of creating and allowing such a potential bioweapon to escape, for which they would be blamed
  • desire to seize the opportunity and roll out all the fancy biodefense and antiterrorism tools – including digital surveillance, psyops and vaccine platforms – that they were itching to try out on a large population (whole-world response, anyone?), not to mention the stratospheric profits that could be realized through global medical countermeasure development and deployment

Covid response was led by lab-leak co-conspirators

Now let’s look at who were the dominant parties in the global Covid pandemic response:

  • the Chinese Community Party (CCP), whose unprecedented draconian lockdowns and Zero Covid became the world’s go-to models
  • the researchers, government agencies and organizations involved in GoF research and biodefense planning, plus pharmaceutical companies involved in “public-private partnerships” that had invested billions over decades in medical countermeasure development and stood to gain billions back from finally administering the countermeasures to the entire world

The overlap between those who would have to conspire to cover up a lab leak and those who, in fact, led the biodefense pandemic response is nearly perfect. Could it be a coincidence? I would argue it’s highly unlikely. And all the more so because in every previous pandemic, and according to all previous pandemic planning documents up to and including the Pan-CAP-A dated March 13, 2020, the public health departments and institutions were in charge of pandemic response policy and implementation of that policy.

Why would the military, intelligence, and national security departments – secretly and unexpectedly – take over pandemic planning and response, inexplicably displacing the public health agencies, only in the case of SARS-CoV-2? It only makes sense if they were involved in starting the pandemic in the first place.

Covid response policy was dominated by panic and biodefense paradigm

We do not know for sure if there was indeed a conspiracy to cover up a lab leak of a potential bioweapon. That’s because the nature of cover-ups is that all the implicated parties have very compelling reasons to keep their mouths shut.

But we do know what the motivations of such a conspiracy would be, if there was one (see above). 

And we know that the response to the Covid pandemic was dominated by exactly those motivating forces: panic and a biodefense quarantine-until-vaccine paradigm, necessitating massive propaganda and surveillance to ensure compliance, ending in a global vaccination campaign.

We also know that this response was the opposite of every previous pandemic response and that it was the antithesis of what a public health response to a pandemic would have looked like. 

To understand what a by-the-book epidemiologically guided pandemic response, without any of the conspiracy motivations of panic, counterterrorism or profits would be, see: Sweden

Clearly, Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist during the pandemic, who was just following normal pandemic public health protocols and who declared repeatedly about the Covid panic that “the world has gone mad!” [ref] was not in on a conspiracy, if there was one.

GoF research and medical countermeasures are complementary aspects of biodefense/biowarfare planning

The most important point to understand is this: 

In biodefense/biowarfare planning, gain-of-function is an important part of the research involved in developing medical countermeasures (vaccines). The point of this research is to engineer viruses that could be potential bioweapons and then develop vaccines/medicines to protect your military and civilian populations from attacks with those bioweapons.

This means that the beginning of the Covid saga – lab leak, and its end – a global medical countermeasure (MCM) campaign, are not just related but mutually dependent. A series of biodefense equations applied to the Covid pandemic would look like this:

Biodefense research strategy = GoF + MCM 

GoF + MCM = SARS-CoV-2 + mRNA shots

SARS-CoV-2 + mRNA shots = Covid response

In complete sentences, this means the people in the governments, organizations and companies working on biodefense were involved in interrelated gain-of-function and medical countermeasure research. It follows that those who knew about the SARS-CoV-2 lab leak and initiated the cover-up were part of the network that dictated the entire Covid response. 

There are a number of prominent individuals who provide excellent case studies for the interconnectedness of GoF research and MCM development, engagement in a lab-leak cover-up, and the resulting biodefensive Covid response.

I will review one here – Dr. Peter Daszak, who is mostly known for his involvement in GoF research in Wuhan and suppression of lab-leak “conspiracies,” but whose activities in the overall biodefense/medical countermeasure network might not be as obvious. 

A close look at the entire range of Dr. Daszak’s activities, including not just GoF research and cover-up but also MCM advocacy and Covid panic response, perfectly illustrates my thesis: there would not have been a biodefensive quarantine-until-vaccine Covid response without the panic and profit motives arising from the lab leak and its cover-up.

Case study: Peter Daszak

Before February 27, 2020 nobody had ever heard of Dr. Peter Daszak. He was, and still is, the President of EcoHealth Alliance, which according to its website is “a US-based organization that conducts research and outreach programs on global health, conservation and international development.” 

How is this related to Covid? “Dr. Daszak’s research has been instrumental in identifying and predicting the origins and impact of emerging diseases across the globe. This includes identifying the bat origin of SARS…”

Daszak and GoF research

So Daszak did research on emerging viruses, like SARS. Was he directly involved in engineering SARS-CoV-2 and possibly covering up a lab leak? We don’t know for sure. EcoHealth Alliance whistleblower Dr. Andrew Huff is convinced he was. But even if you do not believe Dr. Huff’s compelling testimony, and other mountains of evidence, there’s much more to consider:

On February 27, 2020, CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf reported about the novel coronavirus outbreak that “Health officials aren’t even calling this outbreak a pandemic yet.” 

The Washington Post reported that, according to experts, “in other parts of the world at least, most cases of the virus are mild. … The United States has seen 60 cases, none fatal.”

In other words, experts were following the outbreak as they would any other: by counting how many people got sick and how many died. And it seemed like most people had mild disease.

On that very same day, however, the New York Times published a terrifying opinion piece by none other than Dr. Daszak, entitled: We Knew that Disease X Was Coming. It’s Here Now.

[Interestingly, you can only find this opinion piece now if you directly search for it, as I did here: If you look closely, it’s the only article listed that does not have an associated archived print edition. In fact, if you look at the archived February 27, 2020 edition, Daszak’s piece is nowhere to be found. You have to know it was there to dig it up! Could the NYT be involved in a cover-up?]

But back to the article itself: Here Peter Daszak, presumably in his capacity as studier of emerging viruses, tells us that the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, which has yet to be called a pandemic and which has killed zero people in the United States, is the terrifying “Disease X.” 

Here’s how Daszak recalls coining a new term: “In early 2018, during a meeting at the World Health Organization in Geneva, a group of experts I belong to (the R&D Blueprint) coined the term “Disease X.”

Indeed, The WHO R&D Blueprint: 2018 review of emerging infectious diseases requiring urgent research and development efforts reports that:

Disease X represents the awareness that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently not recognized to cause human disease. Disease X may also be a known pathogen that has changed its epidemiological characteristics, for example by increasing its transmissibility or severity. 

So, according to the 2018 report, Disease X was a kind of placeholder for a pandemic-causing pathogen we did not know about yet. The scariness of Disease X, according to this report, is that it is unknown. There is no way of knowing what the characteristics of such a virus would be. It could be a pathogen that has never infected humans before. Or it could be a known pathogen that becomes more transmissible or that causes more severe disease.

Yet in his February 27, 2020 opinion piece, Daszak claims he and his colleagues knew Disease X would be exactly like SARS-CoV-2:

Disease X, we said back then, would likely result from a virus originating in animals and would emerge somewhere on the planet where economic development drives people and wildlife together. Disease X would probably be confused with other diseases early in the outbreak and would spread quickly and silently; exploiting networks of human travel and trade, it would reach multiple countries and thwart containment. Disease X would have a mortality rate higher than a seasonal flu but would spread as easily as the flu.

I could not find any article or information from the WHO R&D Blueprint with this type of detail about Disease X. 

What Daszak seems to be saying is that, somehow, he knew in 2018 that a virus would jump from animals to humans with exactly the characteristics that were the identifiers of the “novel coronavirus” and that were trumpeted by the biodefense planners and implementers of Covid response as making it particularly scary:

it would spread quickly and silently

Remember Deborah Birx’s The Silent Spread? This was the number one reason she, and all the Covid fear-mongers, used to claim we had to test everyone all the time and measure the severity of the virus by counting positive test results instead of cases of severe illness and death – all contrary to any previous management of a respiratory viral outbreak.

Also, no other zoonotic virus in recent memory (SARS-CoV-1, MERS, Ebola, Zika) behaved this way, so there was no reason to suspect Disease X would do so. Unless you knew that it was not zoonotic and had engineered characteristics that made it especially transmissible among humans.

– it would be deadlier than the flu but spread just as easily

Again, why would Daszak describe an unknown virus this way? All the other recent zoonotic viruses may have been deadlier than the flu but they spread much more slowly and were more easily containable. Unless he thought he knew something about the particular Disease X he was describing – because it had been engineered to easily spread among humans.

Disease X links right to… genetic vaccine platforms

It gets better. In the link Daszak provides from “Disease X” we find a 2018 CNN article quoting a prominent expert who is mostly interested not in defining Disease X, but rather in explaining why we need to develop countermeasures to combat it. The expert? Dr. Anthony Fauci. The countermeasures he’s advocating? Flexible platforms using customizable genetic information:

When confronted with the unknown, the WHO recognizes that it must “nimbly move” and that this involves creating platform technologies, explained Fauci.

Essentially, scientists develop customizable recipes for creating vaccines. Then, when an outbreak happens, they can sequence the unique genetics of the virus causing the disease and plug the correct sequence into the already-developed platform to create a new vaccine.

But wait, there’s more. The CNN story is about Fauci’s interest in gene vaccines. What about Daszak?

In February 2016, Daszak participated in a working group on Rapid Medical Countermeasure Response to Infectious Diseases: Enabling Sustainable Capabilities Through Ongoing Public- and Private-Sector Partnerships. 

The summary of the workshop bemoans the difficulty of developing countermeasures when nobody is that interested in them until a pandemic strikes, at which point it’s too late. And who is doing the bemoaning? You guessed it:

Daszak reiterated that, until an infectious disease crisis is very real, present, and at an emergency threshold, it is often largely ignored. To sustain the funding base beyond the crisis, he said, we need to increase public understanding of the need for MCMs such as a pan-influenza or pan-coronavirus vaccine. A key driver is the media, and the economics follow the hype. We need to use that hype to our advantage to get to the real issues. Investors will respond if they see profit at the end of process, Daszak stated.

To summarize:

Dr. Peter Daszak, a scientist who studied SARS viruses, warned the world that SARS-CoV-2 was “Disease X” – an unknown pathogen which he miraculously knew two years prior would behave exactly like SARS-CoV-2, although no other recent viral outbreaks behaved this way. 

He linked his inexplicably dire warning to a statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci about why it’s important to develop genetically-based vaccine platforms to combat Disease X. And several years earlier, Daszak himself described exactly what it would take to bridge the interest and funding gap between Disease X and the vaccine platform: media hype and profit for investors.

Thus is the entire Covid catastrophe encapsulated in a single case study: 

  • Scientists who worked on GoF pathogens and genetic platform MCM hid the fact that they knew SARS-CoV-2 was an engineered potential bioweapon
  • They warned the world that this was a zoonotic virus of terrifying deadliness and transmissibility, creating the hype and panic necessary to shut the world down in anticipation of a gene vaccine 
  • The gene vaccine was developed through “ongoing public- and private-sector partnerships” generating astronomical profits for all involved

The lab leak provided the impetus, the opportunity – and the initial cover-up

Some have argued that it was the powerful forces backing the vaccines, without reference to or need for a lab leak, that set the whole Covid disaster in motion. There is also some resistance to the idea that the entire Covid disaster was – and still is – a conspiracy of the international biodefense network.

I would contend that the only explanation for the cascade of Covid events is that it began with a lab leak that required a cover-up, and that those involved in the cover-up were those who dictated and benefited from the response.

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Debbie Lerman

    Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA.

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