Latest US Intel Report Helps China Hinder Probe Into COVID-19 Origin

No mention of US-funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
September 1, 2021 Updated: September 1, 2021

Commentary

The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) “remains divided on the most likely origin of COVID-19,” according to an unclassified report released on Aug. 27. “Two hypotheses are plausible,” the report explains, “natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.”

In May, when President Joe Biden urged the agencies to “redouble” their efforts to find the origin of the virus, the IC had “coalesced around two likely scenarios but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” he said in a statement. To reach essentially the same conclusion now, the IC must have ignored major revelations, and there’s more to the story.

For Angelo Codevilla, a former staffer with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Biden’s call to redouble efforts was “a comical attempt to avoid being discredited by the unraveling narrative that China’s role in the pandemic is another manifestation of racism.” In addition, “U.S. intelligence does not possess hard facts to prove exactly what happened in that lab, nor does U.S. intelligence have sources in China, human or technical, placed and uncompromised, capable of yielding such information.”

Codevilla, a former professor of international relations at Boston University, predicted that “the report will stop short of a full-on indictment of China, instead urging increased transparency through ‘cooperation.’ The chances of this report mentioning U.S. funding for ‘gain of function’ research are zero.”

True to form, the Aug. 27 report contends that “China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19.” Gain-of-function research is not mentioned, an unforgivable oversight.

Gain-of-function research manipulates viruses to make them more lethal and transmissible. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to conduct gain-of-function research, once banned in the United States.

Money is fungible and the WIV is not accountable to American taxpayers. Fauci initially opposed President Trump’s ban on travel from China and maintained the theory that the virus that causes COVID-19 developed naturally in the wild. When scientists found evidence that the virus had been engineered, the NIAID boss pressured them to change their view.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), believed “the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan was from a laboratory. You know, escaped.” For holding that view, Redfield began to receive death threats. As he told reporters in March of 2020, “I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis.” Embattled Americans might expect the vaunted intelligence community to take notice of such threats, along with other developments now a matter of record.

Chinese national Dr. Xiangguo Qiu transferred a cargo of deadly pathogens from Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) to the WIV. One of the pathogens was the Henipah virus, and samples from early Wuhan COVID-19 patients show the presence of genetically modified Henipah virus, according to The Epoch Times.

Epoch Times Photo
The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada, on May 19, 2009. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

The genetic manipulation was the finding of Dr. Steven Quay, a Seattle-based physician, scientist, and former faculty member at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In COVID-19 samples uploaded by scientists at the WIV shortly after China informed the World Health Organization about the outbreak, Quay found “genetic manipulation of the Nipah virus [a type of Henipah virus], which is more lethal than Ebola,” he told The Epoch Times.

Quay also co-authored an opinion piece, titled, “The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak,” noting that the COVID-19 pathogen has a genetic footprint never observed in a natural coronavirus. “In gain-of-function research, a microbiologist can increase the lethality of a coronavirus enormously by splicing a special sequence into its genome at a prime location.” The result of similar experiments “has always been supercharged viruses.”

Quay is also the author of the manuscript, “A Bayesian analysis concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 is not a natural zoonosis but instead is laboratory derived.”

Embattled Americans might expect their intelligence community to take notice of major scientific developments like that. Americans might also wonder what the nation’s “medical CIA” might know.

The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), a division of the CDC, is tasked to prevent dangerous viruses from arriving on American soil. Despite boots on the ground in China, the EIS failed to prevent the virus from arriving stateside. What the medical CIA knows about the origin of the virus would be of great interest, but nobody from the EIS has testified to Congress under oath.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier began her career with the EIS and in early 2020, as director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), she briefed reporters on a “novel” coronavirus from China. When asked about travelers from Wuhan to the United States, Messonnier told reporters that was “not something that I’m at liberty to talk about today.” Americans might expect their intelligence agencies to identify the official or politician who slapped that gag order on the CDC official, and explain what it was intended to hide.

Messonnier suddenly resigned from the CDC in May and has yet to testify. Another missing witness is Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance. A recent report by the House Foreign Affairs Committee found “strong evidence that Daszak is the public face of a CCP [Chinese Communist Party] disinformation campaign designed to suppress discussion about a possible lab leak.”

The Aug. 27 report claims the intelligence community examined “all available intelligence reporting and other information.” That is clearly a stretch, and embattled Americans could be forgiven for regarding it as a coverup, or worse.

According to the Aug. 27 report, “the virus was not developed as a biological weapon.” In addition, “the IC assesses China’s officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of COVID-19 emerged.” That ignores the experience of Qiu, who worked closely with four facilities believed to be involved in China’s biological weapons development, including the WIV, where she transferred the cargo of deadly pathogens.

Most agencies involved with the report believe “SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered.” That ignores the published work of Quay, who found “genetic manipulation” of the Nipah virus, and showed how gain-of-function research makes viruses “supercharged.”

Had the intelligence agencies investigated the latest scientific evidence, the death threats to Redfield, the resignation of Messonnier, and the mysterious Epidemic Intelligence Service, they might not remain divided on the origin of COVID-19.

As it stands, a dubious and evasive report will help China hinder investigation of the pandemic that has harmed millions of Americans and people around the world.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of “Yes I Con: United Fakes of America,” “Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation,” “Hollywood Party,” and other books. His articles have appeared in many publications, including Frontpage Magazine, City Journal, the Wall Street Journal, and American Greatness. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.