Lancet report continues the China, COVID coverup
It’s a huge disappointment as it dances around the key question of origins: “More than 2 years into the pandemic, the search for the origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains incomplete and inconclusive.”
Its weak-sauce conclusion — maybe it came from a lab, maybe it came from nature — has given an opening to a China-led disinformation campaign that claims against all evidence the virus was actually created in a US lab.
Indeed, the report itself has greatly aided this interpretation by somehow managing to blame America: “Independent researchers have not yet investigated the US laboratories engaged in the laboratory manipulation of SARS-CoV-like viruses, nor have they investigated the details of the laboratory research that had been underway in Wuhan.” It adds that the US National Institutes of Health “has resisted disclosing details of the research on SARS-CoV-related viruses that it had been supporting, providing extensively redacted information only as required by Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.”
This is worse than moral equivalence. The report, from a leading medical journal, condemns the United States for not allowing investigations of its labs and engaging in a coverup. Then it trails off into vagueness when discussing China and cannot even bring itself to mention the Wuhan Institute of Virology by name.
A number of newspapers, including the United Kingdom’s Express, have actually run with these Chinese talking points. Whether this is out of conviction or just for clicks and giggles is hard to say.
Now, I’m not surprised the commission pretends not to know that the China virus likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. After all, two commission members, Chen Wang and Lan Xue, are from the People’s Republic of China and would have been under orders to make strenuous objections to including any statements critical of China. If the report had deviated from the Communist Party line — that the virus either came from a bat or a US bioweapons lab — they would have been held personally responsible.
They should never have been on the commission in the first place; they’re not independent actors. Should Nazi camp doctors have been invited to Nuremberg to sit in judgment of Dr. Josef Mengele?
But why would the commission allow them to insert propaganda into the report?
Perhaps because it was headed by Jeffrey Sachs, a well-known China apologist. Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University chemistry and chemical biology professor who’s long advocated a truly independent inquiry into COVID’s origins, dismisses this effort as “a cartoonish caricature of a commission.” He points out Sachs has co-authored other puff pieces on China, including one entitled “The Xinjiang Genocide Allegations Are Unjustified.”
How else could ludicrous claims like China only had “ten new cases per day by late April, 2020” find its way into the report? Or its celebration of Beijing’s brutal “zero-COVID” policy, which arguably kills more people through starvation and suicide than it saves from COVID?
It may have been partly in deference to Sachs and his Chinese colleagues — or out of a misguided desire to protect the latter — that the other members went along with their demands. After all, the really important thing is international scientific harmony.
This excuse to stifle the origins debate has been around since the pandemic’s very beginning, thanks to former National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins. Further discussion of the Wuhan lab, warned Collins in early 2020, would allow “the voices of conspiracy to quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and to international harmony.”
At that time, we didn’t yet know the NIH was funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab. In attempting to shut down debate, Collins may have had other worries on his mind.
Hidden under such high-minded concerns were more practical considerations. Collins and Anthony Fauci knew that further scrutiny of the Wuhan lab would lead back to them. That’s why NIH is still redacting emails and gain-of-function research grants.
So — for all the conspiracy theorists and CCP propagandists out there — the United States did not create the coronavirus, allow it out of the lab and spread it around the world. That is almost certainly on China.
But by naïvely funding the Wuhan lab and training the scientists who ran it, US bureaucrats with too much money and no moral compass did enable it.
The coverup that followed COVID’s release was worse than the crime. Lives were lost as they spent critical weeks trying to cover their backsides.
And with the Lancet Commission report, the coverup continues.
Steven W. Mosher is president of the Population Research Institute and author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics.”