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Natalie Winters: Texas Lab Agreed to Destroy Records If Asked by Wuhan Institute of Virology

“I had never seen a clause like this, and it basically stipulated that the Wuhan Institute of Virology could demand that the Galveston National Laboratory—again, a taxpayer-funded U.S.-based lab—would have to delete files, pathogens, materials.”

We sit down with National Pulse investigative reporter Natalie Winters to discuss the Galveston National Laboratory’s memorandum of understanding with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And we also discuss her extensive research into Chinese Communist Party influence in America, from TikTok to compromised “fact-checkers” to serious conflicts of interest among the individuals that shaped America’s COVID-19 policy.

“Even since COVID-19, millions of dollars have continued to pour out of this country, taxpayer funds, to Chinese Communist Party-run labs and to fund research in China—when we know there’s no transparency.”

Editor’s Note: Our team reached out to Galveston National Laboratory for comment, and we have since received the following email statement from a spokesperson from the University of Texas Medical Branch, which runs Galveston National Laboratory: “The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) takes responsibility for the oversight in allowing memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to include a provision in conflict with applicable laws that guide UTMB’s operations … Although MOUs are nonbinding and do not serve in any way as contractual agreements, upon learning of the error, the University of Texas System immediately directed UTMB to terminate any MOU that contained language that conflicts with law and policy. The University of Texas System recently launched a review of processes and practices at UTMB and is putting into place new levels of oversight for procedures. UTMB confirms no documents or confidential information has been destroyed, nor have requests been received to do so.”


Mr. Jekielek: Natalie Winters, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Ms. Winters: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so happy to be here.

Mr. Jekielek: Actually, it’s high time to have you on. Of course, I’ve been following your work for some time. First of all, congratulations on doing really good research. There’s one piece that came to my attention. Your headline is: Revealed: Fauci’s Texas Lab Signed a Confidential Deal with Wuhan Colleagues, Enabling, ‘Destroying Secret Files and Materials.’

This is a story that was actually done by a different organization than yours. It’s based on relationships that you uncovered a while back. Please tell me about this.

Ms. Winters: Sure. Thank you so much for having me. There’s really so much to uncover when it comes to the relationships between the United States and our agencies like the National Institutes of Health, and these Chinese Communist Party-run scientific organizations. At face value, it sounds a little scary that U.S. taxpayer dollars would be sent overseas to fund research in countries very far away, with little oversight on what exactly they’re doing. But when you really get your hands on the documents that detail the type of research going on, the confidentiality arrangements and agreements, it’s more baffling in terms of how we got here. This story you just mentioned is really a perfect example of that.

About a year ago, at The National Pulse, we first reported that the Galveston National Laboratory, which is a project that’s entirely funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the agency led by Anthony Fauci, since at least 2017, was engaged in a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation, whether it be on research and pathogens, or even personnel exchange with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

So flash forward about a year after breaking that story, another organization actually obtained a hard copy of that contract all the way back from 2017, specifically detailing the confidentiality aspects of that arrangement. What was so enraging—for someone who has seen a lot of interesting arrangements when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party and American scientific organizations—I had never seen a clause like this. It basically stipulated that the Wuhan Institute of Virology could demand that the Galveston National Laboratory, a taxpayer-funded U.S. based lab, would have to delete files, pathogens, and materials. These are some direct quotes from the actual contract at the request of Wuhan. They were not allowed to make any backups of any of the data contained and they would have to comply. This is a perfect example of a lack of understanding coming from the National Institutes of Health, who are signing and entering into these agreements with Chinese Communist Party-linked scientific organizations, essentially giving them a free-for-all and allowing them to dictate what’s going on at American laboratories.

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s backtrack a bit. Let’s talk about the general things that you’ve uncovered over the last couple of years around the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Why are these relationships as problematic as you’re describing here?

Ms. Winters: Sure. When people hear Wuhan Institute of Virology, their initial knee-jerk reaction is to think of COVID-19, maybe the Bat Woman, Shi Zhengli and the coronavirus research that was going on there. But that’s really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This lab has direct ties to the People’s Liberation Army, not just through its leadership, but even through rank-and-file researchers. What’s so interesting is that with a lot of the researchers that they used to list on their website, both the Chinese-language version and the English-language version, you could see the research institutions they were affiliated with. Nine times out of 10, you could see it was a military-linked entity. Oftentimes, military was in the institution’s name. Flash forward to after COVID-19 and after scrutiny was increased in terms of looking at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, they started deleting these researchers’ names from their websites. Also in terms of the research that they were doing, specifically when it came to the bat coronavirus research and manipulating certain strains of coronaviruses, they also deleted those webpages.

A lot of times you can see the crime, or at least what went wrong with the cover-up, in the webpages that they are choosing to delete. What a lot of Americans fail to understand about the Wuhan Institute of Virology is that this is not just a scientific lab, a scientific organization that’s based in China. This is a lab run and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. We have unearthed documents, web pages, and press releases from the lab itself, documenting how they basically have Chinese Communist Party devotion sessions on lab grounds.

They have pledged to implement the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda and goals “without compromise.” That’s a direct quote from a press release, not too long ago. You see them taking researchers on field trips to sites that are dedicated to Mao Zedong. It is really hard for Americans to understand how much the Wuhan Institute of Virology is under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party.

This lab has a communist youth league affiliated with it. A lot of its researchers have received awards from the Chinese Communist Party. So it’s easy to just focus on the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the potential source of COVID-19, or to focus on its links to bat coronavirus research.

However, it’s indicative of a larger problem in terms of the science, or the China-based science that the United States decides to fund. There is really no distinction between civilian-use science and science for the sake of learning and understanding the world, and military technology, whether that’s bioweapons or any scientific advancement that at the end of the day works to further the aims and objectives of the People’s Liberation Army.

Mr. Jekielek: Why don’t I ask this, natural origin or lab leak, where do you stand? Of course, I know where you stand, but let’s use that as a starting point.

Ms. Winters: Sure. I’m definitely a supporter of the lab leak theory. It’s hard to support, because a lot of the evidence has been destroyed. Obviously there’s been a massive campaign from mainstream media outlets, in tandem with the Chinese Communist Party, to quash any discussion or debate about this.

Some of the strongest evidence that I’ve seen is the web pages that the Wuhan Institute of Virology were deleting, specifically when it came to their bat coronavirus research. One story in particular mentions the National Institutes of Health as a partner in this type of research. They talked about how they were manipulating bat coronavirus strains they had found in the wild. They were playing with the lethality, the virulence of the pathogens and the viruses to reach “Epidemic strains.”

Now, that’s certainly an interesting word when you look at the world we are living in today. The cover-up that you’ve seen from the Chinese Communist Party, whether it’s deleting certain sequences of genomes and viruses, or how intensely they quash any discussion or debate about the true origins of COVID-19—that to me is the tale.

I wish I could say, “In my opinion, sequence XYZ is the progenitor to COVID-19.”  Unfortunately, a lot of that evidence has been erased and destroyed. We’re left trying to put the pieces together. Unfortunately, the organizations that we should have been able to entrust with getting to the bottom of COVID-19—the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, and researchers who had been on the receiving end of a lot of taxpayer grants—have not done their job. These were some of the leading voices that were just taking the Chinese Communist party’s line uncritically on where COVID-19 came from. They went to the lab and just asked some researchers, “So did it come from your lab?” When they said, “No,” they were totally okay with taking them at their word, which is absolute absurdity. It has dumbfounded me, in terms of the hunt for the true origins of COVID-19.

With some of the Big Tech social media platforms and the fact checking outlets they were using to censor stories critical of the Chinese Communist Party, the voices they were citing were actually researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I am someone who has watched a lot of media hoaxes. I have seen fake news being perpetrated on the American people, and on the entire world.

COVID-19 bears a lot of these hallmark signs of disinformation and misinformation. Behind it, there is a calculated effort to suppress and obscure the true origins of COVID-19. It goes back to the outlook that people once had when it comes to the censorship of certain ideas. If these ideas had no merit, if they were so bogus and ridiculous, why would you have to work so hard to suppress them?

Mr. Jekielek: To your point, in the documentary that we did back in April 2020 about the virus origin, we didn’t say this is what happened. Like you, we said, “The evidence suggests that a lab leak is a very real possibility.” The documentary received a hundred million views across all these different platforms on Facebook. A fact check popped up, and Sheryl Attkisson discovered the person doing the fact check was actually someone affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This was comically preposterous, but also terrible, because this was suppression of very important information. A year later this theory turned out to be much more plausible than originally suggested.

Ms. Winters: Social media fact checkers are really the next front in the information warfare going on right now in this country, and frankly, the entire world. Obviously, social media transcends borders. Basically, everyone is on some form of social media. But a lot of these fact checkers have conflicts of interest too. There is one in particular, a group called Lead Stories. You can see on their website that one of their financial backers is TikTok.

That is really interesting. TikTok, of course, is a Chinese Communist Party-linked company, because of the founder and where it receives its funding. Sometimes it’s hard to articulate, because it’s an ineffable, interwoven conflict of interest of so many moving parts—certain entities running cover for foreign governments who support these companies. 

It’s a very underreported story, how a lot of these voices are pretending to be neutral arbiters of fact. This goes all the way up to the World Health Organization and some of their COVID-19 investigators who pretend to be unbiased, which is a common phenomenon.

Anyone who watches mainstream media knows that people pretend to not have any biases against a certain party or position, when in reality, we know they do. Fact checkers are probably the most nefarious aspect of that, because people assume they are fact checkers. They should know what they’re doing. “Oh, no, they took down my sharing of this story. They flagged it as disinformation and misinformation, and my account got suspended.” But when you really dig into a lot of these groups, you see heavy, heavy partisanship.

And like I said, this applies to the funding from TikTok. No company that is receiving funding from TikTok could be a neutral arbiter in terms of the origins of COVID-19. An American-based company who is receiving funds from TikTok knows if they come out in support of the lab leak theory, most likely, their TikTok funding check is probably not going to clear. People really need to understand that these fact checkers are not fact checkers.

That’s not even a euphemism. They are the antithesis of fact checkers. They are narrative enforcers. The prime example of that was anything about the origins of COVID-19 and the sort of evidence they were using to suppress these stories. To go back to your question, “Am I a lab leak person, or do I think it developed naturally?” The fact that they’re not just censoring people who are saying, “I believe it’s a lab leak,” but also people who are saying, “What if it were a lab leak, let’s just get to the bottom of it.” That shows you how intense the campaign was to really quell any appetite for getting to the bottom of COVID-19.

And again, that shows you the narrative enforcement that was part of this push to really obscure any actual investigation into the origins of COVID-19. This is still a very valid and relevant question, given the damage that the virus and the pandemic has caused, and continues to cause.

Mr. Jekielek: With the lab leak theory, there is an element of basic logic. Here we have an institute doing the exact type of research by the world’s foremost expert, that would create this specific type of virus. You can even take this argument further. We are often asked to ignore basic knowledge and facts, but basic logic is actually important in trying to figure these things out. I get this sense from your work that you use this type of skill to figure out where to put your focus and reach your targets.

Ms. Winters: Yes. When you don’t have a conflict of interest, when you’re not funded by TikTok, any Chinese Communist Party identity, or foreign country, it allows you to independently look at a situation, see reality for what it is, and base the reporting off of that, as opposed to some misconstrued version of reality and taking the Chinese Communist Party’s line on where COVID-19 came from, then trying to run with that and find facts that fit the case. Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Bat Lady, was not just doing a lot of research on bat coronaviruses, it was more than that. It was specifically about bat coronaviruses and their ability to infect humans, and she was toying around with that. 

And that was the variable—how it would infect humans, how many people it could kill, and how easily it could spread. The variable wasn’t what type of virus it was. It was specifically this type of gain-of-function-inspired research. Some might say it was gain-of-function, and some might say otherwise. Gain-of-function is the manipulation of pathogens to make them more deadly to humans. We had uncovered old annual reports from the Wuhan Institute of Virology documenting Shi Zhengli’s work all the way back to 2012. She was trying to find bat coronavirus strains that were capable of, “direct human infection.” Taking the politics out of it, it makes you sit back and take away the fact that it’s a Chinese Communist Party controlled lab, and take away the fact that the Chinese Communist Party has always strategically used science as a tool, as an arrow in their quiver to take over the West.

Even if you disregard all of that, you see someone who’s been working on bat coronaviruses to infect humans, to maximum capability. Then all of a sudden, there is a wet market less than a mile down the road from that lab whose deputy director has said, “We don’t have good biosafety regulations here.” It makes you wonder. It’s probably more likely that a pathogen escaped either intentionally or by accident from this lab, rather than from a wet market where they weren’t even selling these alleged pangolins or bats or whatever animal that the Chinese Communist Party wants us to believe it was.

Mr. Jekielek: I was joking the other day with someone about a recent paper, I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It was bout the fact that the virus was likely passed on by tree shrews. And so my joke was that they’re going to discover that, of course, there were tree shrews in the wet market, when it’s actually just a very common lab animal.

Ms. Winters: Exactly. This wet market theory is, again, another perfect example of disinformation. It’s really important to not be up in arms. “Oh, this wet market theory, it’s so preposterous,” but to understand how the laundering of information works, like the Chinese Communist Party coming up with this theory of the wet market. I first saw this coming out of a lot of these Chinese state-run media outlets, and then they were citing different studies to back it up.

But again, a study from a Chinese Communist Party-run scientific organization to support the Chinese Communist Party’s official line on an issue, there’s not really much evidence going on there, it’s more just finding facts to support a faulty narrative. But then the mainstream media in the West totally picked up that narrative and shared it.

I remember, it was CBS that was praising China’s response to COVID-19 in the early days, and uncritically stating that COVID-19 came from a wet market. Even if 10 years from now we find out that’s the case, and I am highly suspect that would be the case, the fact that mainstream media just ran with the line of the Chinese Communist Party, unwaveringly at that, and actually dismissed people who were criticizing them for doing so as conspiracy theorists, should really make us wonder where exactly do the allegiances of the mainstream media lie, because it doesn’t seem to be with truth or reality. It seems to be with whatever the narrative the Chinese Communist Party is supporting at that time, on whatever the most relevant issue is.

Mr. Jekielek: This specific issue of Western corporate media unquestionably following Chinese Communist Party narratives, that’s actually not a new thing. That’s actually one of the reasons I started working for The Epoch Times about 17 years ago, precisely this issue. And it was always just stunning to me. I want to take a little detour. You mentioned TikTok, and I don’t talk about TikTok enough. I’m always shocked at how popular TikTok is. It’s one of the most downloaded apps. It has a profound ability, based on research I’ve seen from people like Dr. Robert Epstein, to influence Americans and everyone using it. Please tell me what you know about TikTok, and why you see it being such an obvious concern.

Ms. Winters: Sure. There are two aspects or two takes on TikTok. The more mainstream one is that it is a Chinese Communist Party-owned platform for the purposes of data harvesting such as biometric data. They just announced in a recent app update they would be scanning users’ faces and seeing how they react, and taking their thumbprints. There are, of course, obvious concerns about it being a back door for ByteDance, the parent company, to get into the rest of people’s phones and steal other data. Some independent research has confirmed those concerns, so that’s obviously one part of it. That is a problem that goes all the way to the top of the company. In 2018, its former CEO had actually written an apology letter.

One of his apps had been taken off the Chinese app store because regulators and authorities thought it was allowing, for lack of a better term, too much free speech and too much criticism of the Chinese Communist Party. So, they deleted the app. In response, fearing that he would maybe face a fate similar to Jack Ma and some of these other types who’ve been basically unpersoned by the Chinese Communist Party, he issued an apology. He said that going forward, in all of his endeavors, he would support the Chinese Communist Party and use his platforms and his companies to,  “Promote socialist core values.” That was before TikTok was even created, or at least the American version of TikTok. Therefore, it would fall under this kind of restriction, in terms of what he was doing with a lot of the platforms that he created.

When you understand TikTok through that lens, and you see it as a tool to expand socialist influence, specifically Chinese Communist Party influence, a lot of the technological concerns that I was just speaking about corroborate those fears. One way you see that manifest is the censorship that goes on the app in terms of stories and videos that are critical of the Chinese Communist Party, like videos about the Tiananmen Square student protests. There was a story about videos like that being taken off the platform. What is more interesting and not talked about enough when it comes to TikTok is an issue where there isn’t necessarily enough hard data evidence to support it. This is just my personal take on it.

The issue with TikTok, beyond it being a massive kind of time suck and waste of time and life and energy for a lot of these young children, is the nature of the content. There are accounts like Libs of TikTok, that have exposed it recently. I remember reading a report from Teen Vogue talking about kids writing articles like, “TikTok turned me gay, TikTok turned me bisexual.” TikTok exposed them to all these untraditional lifestyles.” The more concerning aspect of TikTok is how it undermines and plays with American domestic politics, even when you take China out of the equation. There are also a lot of reports and I saw the videos for myself, not as an app user but secondhand, talking about how people were using TikTok to help illegal immigrants cross the southern border at Mexico illegally, and how to circumvent border patrol agents.

And there were even people purporting to be lawyers giving legal advice on how to avoid deportation if you were undocumented and didn’t have your papers. So, obviously, Chinese Communist Party political warfare in the United States transcends trying to dictate narratives about China in the West. It’s trying to dictate narratives about every issue. TikTok is one of those platforms that is used to play with the cultural and social issues going on in this country. It has totally reshaped the economy and the way the world works. All these companies are pouring billions of dollars into marketing on TikTok. It has totally reshaped the world. It’s unfortunate that we have given this platform, designed by the Chinese Communist Party, such influence in this country and abroad.

Unfortunately, they have a very well-staffed lobbying team here in Washington, DC. Former staffers of very high level officials all the way up to the speaker of the house are now working on behalf of TikTok as lobbyists. When looking at the policy and the output that comes out of Washington, DC, you’re left scratching your head. It’s similar to the issue of taxpayer dollars being sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The policies that we see coming out are not meant to actually protect Americans, whether it’s young, impressionable children on an app, or even Americans who don’t want to be exposed to COVID-19, or that pandemic, or that virus which should have never been created in the first place.

Unfortunately, when you get lobbyists in the mix, conflicts of interest that are decades long, and campaigns by the Chinese Communist Party to influence United States politics, both domestically and internally, you will end up with crazy policies like allowing TikTok to exist in the United States, and sending taxpayer dollars to fund research over in Wuhan and making sure you have contract clauses that allow you to delete pathogens without any backups.

Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned something I want to touch on. You said the TikTok app was designed by the Chinese Communist Party. A lot of people would say, “This is a separate company, though. Maybe the CCP can have some influence, but why would you say that?” This is also a broader kind of question about how large Chinese companies operate within China.

Ms. Winters: I have always viewed any Chinese company, even if it’s not necessarily a state-owned enterprise, as basically a dormant state-owned enterprise. In Chinese law, article seven of their National Intelligence Law, allows any company that’s based in China to effectively be requisitioned by the state to serve the intelligence purposes and the safety of the country, and allowing any of the data they’ve collected, and any of the work they’re doing to be used for the ends of the Chinese Communist Party.

This fantasy that Chinese companies can exist and not be under the control of the Chinese Communist Party is just that—a fantasy. For instance, like in the case of Jack Ma, a lot of these people who run these companies based in China, they know that they need to fall in line.

They need to not speak out against the Chinese Communist Party, and not be too critical, or it’s not going to end well for them. We’ve seen a lot of regulation of Big Tech companies over there, at least the ones listed on the stock market. This is something too that a lot of Americans don’t understand, “It’s a Chinese company. It’s just based in China. It’s not necessarily part of the Chinese Communist Party.” While that might be true temporarily, all it takes is one second for the switch to be flipped on this company that was just “based in China,” to now effectively be a defacto state-owned enterprise. And I don’t think many people understand that.

When you understand the way the Chinese Communist Party operates, they use everything at their disposal. If they see a company like TikTok that has the reach that it does into kids as young as nine and 10, who really shouldn’t even be on the platform, they’re going to use that to their advantage. If the Chinese Communist Party is toying around with bat coronaviruses to make them more deadly, I’m pretty sure if they see an app like TikTok, just waiting to be requisitioned by them to fill the heads of everyone across the world, especially young impressionable minds in America with a curated version of China or a certain take on an issue, they’re definitely going to weaponize it.

Mr. Jekielek: I want remind viewers that the People’s Liberation Army, which is connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is actually the army of the Communist Party, and not of of China. That’s an interesting distinction, and I’m sure you’re aware of it.

Ms. Winters: Yes. That distinction is always important to make. The mainstream media and certain voices love to call criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese system racist, “You’re attacking the Chinese people.” But nothing could be further from the truth. The people who suffer the most at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party are the Chinese people. That distinction is always, very, very, very important to make. It’s very interesting that mainstream media never really pays attention to that nuance. The way they describe China is basically the Chinese Communist Party, that’s the only group that they ever engage with. For instance, with what’s going on in Shanghai right now, there’s not a lot of reporting on that.

There is no truthful reporting from the mainstream media in terms of the chaos that’s going on there, and what people are being forced to endure. It’s interesting, because you see the mainstream media rushing so quickly to take the Chinese Communist Party’s side on most issues, especially the origins of COVID-19. Yet, the Chinese people themselves lack a free and fair press. China Daily and China Global Television Network are probably never going to report truthfully on any of these issues.

The Western media has a very, very special role to play in terms of helping the Chinese people  overtake the Chinese Communist Party and actually get the truth out, because China lacks an  free press. On an emotional level, it’s just so disheartening what has become of mainstream media outlets, because the Chinese people really need them. They need the truth, they need actual information, and they need people to be sharing the horror stories of what’s going on in Shanghai right now and across the entire country.

But the mainstream media seems to be okay with it. They will take the Chinese Communist Party line. They’ll ignore the Chinese people, yet accuse people like me who say “Wuhan coronavirus,” or link COVID-19 to the Chinese Communist Party, of being racist, which in my mind is just really crazy. We have seen a lot of discourse be degraded into ad hominem attacks, racist, sexist, homophobic, or whatever. You see the mainstream media taking that basic, simple line of attack on people who actually want to get to the bottom of what the Chinese Communist Party is doing. They just dismiss those people as racist or some other silly word that obviously has no merit.

Mr. Jekielek: To your point, you’ve done a whole bunch of work around looking at connections between the CCP and different media. You had a headline about a lot of high profile CNN people going to work for CGTN. I don’t want to necessarily dig into that, but on another note, you have Google funding EcoHealth at some levels, and also a recent headline about Google funding a leading lab-leak denier, to go back to our initial topic here. Please tell me about this.

Ms. Winters: Sure. This is another perfect example of conflict of interest. An individual named Charles Calisher was actually the first signatory on the letter from the Lancet medical journal back in February 2020. This was a two page statement, basically saying if you even dared to say the word lab-leak, you were a conspiracy theorist.

Mr. Jekielek: I want to jump in here, has this letter ever been retracted? I haven’t followed this, but I remember when I first saw it, having a background in evolutionary biology and genetics, I thought this was just a preposterous thing. How could Lancet have possibly published something like this? Because the suggestion was, “There’s no way that this isn’t natural.”  This was a preposterous thing to say with the evidence that was available at the time. At least you need to look at it, right?

Ms. Winters: Yes, so much for the scientific method. They threw that out the window and wrote this paper basically saying anyone who even dares to utter the words lab-leak is a conspiracy theorists. They even used the word “conclude,” which is a pretty strong word, saying that COVID-19 developed naturally. The issue about this statement was that a lot of the authors, around three dozen scientists, all said, unanimously, “We have no conflicts of interest.” Freedom of information act requests had actually shown that Peter Daszak, one of the other leading signatories, was the leading orchestrator of this statement, while at the same time being a longtime collaborator—that’s a direct quote from Shi Zhengli—of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Shi Zhengli : “Finally, I would like to thank all the collaborators, particularly my long term collaborators, Linfa Wang, Peter Daszak and Ralph Baric.”

Ms. Winters: This is someone who has worked with Wuhan for a very long time. We found  clips of him speaking in Washington, DC, back in 2016, talking about how he was working on killer viruses with his colleagues in Wuhan. This is someone who is knee-deep in Wuhan Institute of Virology compromise. Yet, he said, “I have no conflicts of interest,” which was an absolutely preposterous statement to make. We had been reporting on this for a while, Peter Daszak’s ties to Wuhan and more broadly, his ties to the Chinese Communist Party. A little over a year after the statement’s publication they did issue what was basically a retraction, although technically and legally it wasn’t. What they did put out there was an admission of conflict of interest for Peter Daszak.

Subsequently, Peter Daszak was actually removed from the Lancet COVID-19 origins investigative committee. The Lancet had several branches that were doing different aspects of COVID 19 work, but Peter was leading the origins team. So, he was removed from that group. I think it was a resignation in infamy. But it wasn’t just Peter Daszak who had a conflict of interest. Charles Calisher, the first individual listed on this statement, had actually been taking money from Google who was funding his research. Let me tie it all together, because there are a lot of moving parts here. This Lancet paper was an influential statement coming from a Western scientific organization that was used as evidence, actually falsified evidence, used as a dossier-type thing by mainstream media outlets and Big Tech to criticize and silence the voices of people wanting to get to the bottom of the lab leak theory and the origins of COVID-19.

From day one, I said that mainstream media would take the side of the Chinese Communist Party on the origins of COVID-19. Look at all the money they have taken from the CCP to put advertisements in their newspapers. In general, just look at where their affinity lies. They have always uncritically taken the line of the Chinese Communist Party. A lot of times they look for these fake “appeal to authority” documents, i.e, such as one coming from the prestigious Lancet medical journal. A statement that should have been, in a perfect world, written by experts and actually containing true fact-based, evidence based information. But instead it was a premature judgment, and a premature dismissal of the lab leak theory. But every major mainstream media outlet used this document, they predicated their coverage of COVID-19 on this document.

They used it as an excuse to censor people who supported the COVID-19 lab leak theory. It’s really interesting when you see Big Tech having ties to the people who had signed that statement, and also the Chinese Communist Party having ties to people who had signed that statement.

And those ties go all the way to the top. The chairman of all the Lancet COVID-19 committees is an individual by the name of Jeffrey Sachs. This is someone who routinely writes op-eds that are shared by Chinese state media and Chinese Communist Party officials on Twitter. This is someone who has even been involved with CEFC China Energy. This is a perfect example of how the Chinese Communist Party, either directly or indirectly, dictates what information is getting out there, and what the statements are saying.

Another perfect example of that, going all the way to the top, is the World Health Organization. There was a recent Vanity Fair article about a staffer at EcoHealth Alliance suggesting that it was the Chinese Communist Party who selected Peter Daszak to serve in his role as a COVID-19 investigator. Remember, Peter Daszak was the only American serving on that team. Even when you take a step back, it’s easy to get mind-boggled by all this data. When you see the WHO’s COVID-19 investigative team trying to get to the bottom of COVID-19 and you see the one American voice on there, the only person who could speak for all of the Americans who’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19, all of the Americans who’ve lost their businesses and lost their jobs from this virus, the one person who was supposed to represent us and try to get to the bottom of this thing, was totally compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.

That is metaphorically apt for what the situation is here in the United States. When push comes to shove, when the time is of the essence, when it’s really important to get to the bottom of this virus, which would have helped with finding a cure, and helped people survive and make it past COVID-19, the best we can do is put up someone who received money to work with the same lab that is believed to have created the virus in the first place. That is the perfect example of how deep Chinese Communist Party corruption goes in this country.

Mr. Jekielek: This is the perfect time to discuss some research that you did mid-2021, basically looking at how the NIH was collaborating with another group, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the NSFC. This is obviously a Chinese Communist Party organization, and it’s amazing that such collaborations exist. Please tell me about that.

Ms. Winters: The National Natural Science Foundation of China is one of these stories that shows you the fusion of military and civilian science in China, and why it’s so concerning to be funding any form of research over there. Frankly, 10 times out of 10, those funds are going to support military-linked research. I found this story and it was all the way back in 2010, when the first agreement was signed between the National Institutes of Health and their Chinese counterpart. They agreed to work on research, in a similar arrangement that you saw with the Galveston National Laboratory—first trying to open channels of communication, then even more dangerously, open channels for sharing pathogens and viruses with these Chinese-based labs, which of course are all controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Five years after that initial agreement, Anthony Fauci’s deputy director actually went back to China and broadened the agreement to make sure that this collaboration would continue and be even deeper. We did a lot of independent reporting and research into what exactly this foundation is. A lot of the groups that they are funding are branches of the People’s Liberation Army. I’m not saying military-linked entities, I’m saying explicitly military entities.

So with these sort of agreements, is it ignorance? Is there a fundamental miscalculation of what the Chinese Communist Party is at the National Institutes of Health, or is there something more dangerous going on? Are we now getting into the territory of compromise and collusion and foreign influence groups coming out of China targeting some of the most powerful voices in the United States? Are they going after the National Institutes of Health too?

One anecdote to lend credence and at least corroborate the idea that there is something more nefarious going on here, and it’s not ignorance, is the case of Francis Collins. Francis Collins used to be the director of the NIH. He resigned recently, but he used to be on the advisory board of a conference called the International Genomics Conference. This was a conference based in China that was put on by BGI Genomics. People may know that BGI Genomics and their partner China GeneBank have been flagged by those three letter agencies that should be briefing the NIH, as trying to steal Americans’ genetic information and harvest their DNA in order to embed themselves within the United States and get personal information.

They were even using pregnancy tests and COVID-19 tests to get this personal information, this genetic information. It is really concerning for this information to be in the hands of these Chinese Communist Party-run labs. But again, this company that was flagged by the FBI, and whose COVID-19 tests were banned by our state governments, has the NIH director serving on their advisory board. That leaves you scratching your head saying, “Where is the disconnect there? How is this allowed to continue?” Beyond that, and more to the heart of the issue, what does the NIH think of the Chinese Communist Party? There is also evidence in the grant records of the NIH data registry about where they’re sending their money. And even since COVID-19, millions of dollars of taxpayer funds have continued to pour out of this country to Chinese Communist Party-run labs and to fund research in China, when we know there is no transparency going on there. . And when a crisis hits, when you have another COVID-19 situation, no transparency is going to magically happen overnight.

It’s really curious that you still see these voices championing for increased research with the Chinese Communist Party. Another individual who worked at the National Institutes of Health, believe it or not, starred in China Global Television Network’s documentary about the origins of COVID-19. Think about the fact that you have a CGTN film crew sitting in the National Institutes of Health, interviewing an NIH official on the origins of COVID-19, and they think what he’s saying works in their documentary with their preformed narrative and conclusion that, coronavirus or COVID-19 either came from America or at least, the wet market. 

That shows you how deep the rot goes. Something is very rotten at the NIH with their okay-ness of sending taxpayer funds to fund Chinese Communist Party research. Part of the problem is a personnel problem, and Francis Collins is an example of that. The problem is also a policy problem, in terms of those memorandums of understanding that we were talking about, those agreements. It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone being responsible at the NIH. Look at how the Galveston contract got through with that confidentiality clause in there. There was not a single person in that entire agency who raised any red flags about that. Maybe there was, and maybe they were quashed. Then you would say, “Who’s the person who’s trying to put clauses and contracts that are beneficial to the Chinese Communist Party?” It just makes you wonder if it’s both a personnel problem and a policy problem

Mr. Jekielek: It’s beneficial to the Chinese Communist Party and obviously against science, basically destroying data at the convenience of the CCP. Natalie, we could keep talking about this for many, many hours. You’ve done some really remarkable research over the last few years. My question is, as we finish up, how did you possibly get into this? Let me put it this way, there aren’t a lot of folks doing this finely-tuned discovery of facts, especially at this level of sensitivity.

Ms. Winters: People always say, you must have some amazing source. You must speak fluent Chinese, you must have something. I always say, “I wish I had a James Bond-style story to tell people about how I got involved in this and how I do my research.” I’ve always been fortunate in the way I grew up to see that so many of the people in America’s ruling class, these elite types, not just politicians, but big business leaders, people who wield influence in this country really have sold out to the Chinese Communist Party. I know that’s a cliche, but the reporting that we’ve done allows me to say that. Unfortunately, the selling out of so much of America to the Chinese Communist Party, compounded by the fact that the media class is also complicit,  means that no one is ever going to be reporting on what’s going on with these elites, the deals they’re striking, and how they’ve really been bought off by the Chinese Communist Party.

As a person, I hate seeing people get away with bad things. That probably oversimplifies the issue, but there’s such a lack of accountability today, at least in the media. The people that the media choose to turn a blind eye to, they need scrutiny as well. That’s how I got interested in all of this. I saw these people getting off scot-free for selling out to America’s most existential threat and mortal enemy, the Chinese Communist Party. And nothing was happening to them. They were just signing their checks, and getting whatever money they were getting, and it was totally okay with everyone. I was also fortunate to be working with some of the most brilliant minds in the field.

And I was fortunate too, even though I’m from California, that the media I grew up reading was truth-based, fact-based, evidence-based, including The Epoch Times. Given my age, I’ve always had computers in the classroom since I was really young. I’m really good at doing online research, and I call it opposition research. So I’ve been able to footnote a lot of the statements that some of the older China commentators and political commentators make. They’ve seen the world, and they have their wisdom. However, they sell themselves short when they just say, “Oh, so and so is compromised by the Chinese Communist Party, or so and so has sold out,” because that oversimplifies the issue, I can read you chapter and verse, and give you the receipts that document how this compromise actually happens.

There’s such an appetite for that, because so much of what the media has fallen into is opinion commentary, and just noise in the wind. The timing was right and I was lucky. There’s an appetite for real journalism—real journalism into the people that have been deemed the untouchable caste. Someone needs to hold them accountable. So if it’s us, it’s us.

Mr. Jekielek: Natalie Winters, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.

Ms. Winters: Thank you so much for having me.

Mr. Jekielek: Thank you all for joining Natalie Winters and I for this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host Jan Jekielek. If you haven’t subscribed already, you can now try a 14-day free trial and get access to all of our deep dive interviews, documentaries and exclusive content on Epoch TV from American thought leaders to the Larry Elder Show. Just go to

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