- Although it has been suggested since the start of the pandemic in early 2020 that SARS-CoV-2, the new mutated coronavirus virus that causes COVID-19 disease, may have originated in a research laboratory, the narrative adopted globally by public health officials has marginalized that hypothesis and forwarded the idea that the virus had a natural origin and spread to humans via a bat or other animal host from a wet food market in China.
- Following recent public statements by former Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, MD that he believes the most likely origin of the virus was an accidental release from a Chinese research lab, award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson independently examined the evidence surrounding speculation about the origins of SARS-CoV-2.
- Attkisson’s research unearthed evidence not only of U.S. involvement in labs conducting potentially risky coronavirus research, but also in funding the research and manipulating information released shortly after the start of the pandemic.
Independent and widely respected journalist and author Sharyl Attkisson, who has won five Emmy’s and an Edward R. Murrow award for her investigative reporting, recently published a report arguing that, contrary to the theory that COVID-19 has a natural origin, there is considerable evidence indicating the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 disease likely originated in a research laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.1
From the very beginning of the pandemic, there was considerable speculation about China’s WIV being the source of SARS-CoV-2,2 but this increasingly became viewed as a bogus theory and public health authorities in the United States and other countries instead insisted that the new mutated coronavirus originated with a naturally occurring jump from a mammal—either a bat or a pangolin—into humans. A letter signed by a group of public health officials and scientists that was published in the respected medical journal The Lancet in March of 2020 reads in part, “Scientists from multiple countries have published and analyzed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”3
Not All Public Officials Agree SARS-CoV-2 Did Not Originate In a Lab
When former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, MD told CNN that he believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus most likely escaped from a research laboratory in Wuhan, China,4 the World Health Organization (WHO) immediately responded, calling that scenario extremely unlikely and reiterating their position that the new coronavirus most likely originated with a bat, either alone or passing through an intermediary animal.5
Other scientists have openly disagreed with the popular narrative that the virus jumped from an animal into humans,6 essentially agreeing with virologist Robert Garry, PhD of Tulane University, who said, “That’s the way it would be in a movie or some sort of a thriller or a comic book.”7
Natural Origins of COVID-19 Increasingly Questioned
In her May 2, 2021 podcast, “Sharyl Attkisson Investigates Covid-19 Origins (PODCAST)”, Atkisson discusses “what we know, and can prove, about the origins of COVID-19.” The information in this article is a brief summary of the topics Ms. Attkisson discusses in depth in her documented report and podcast:
- Numerous scientific insiders are signing onto the “lab origin” theory for COVID-19 and a link to controversial scientific research funded by U.S. tax dollars;
- High profile health figures who have worked to “debunk” lab origin questions are linked to funding and vaccine research partnerships with China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology;
- The U.S.- Chinese research involved genetically engineering a bat coronavirus to make it infect human airway cells in mice, in order to create vaccines and other therapeutics.
- U.S. taxpayer money supported the controversial vaccine research with Chinese scientists through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Some support came from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD.8
Evidence of Chinese Laboratory and U.S. Involvement
Speaking to Attkisson, Jamie Metzl, PhD of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Advisory Committee on Human Genome Editing, said:
There are scientists all around the world who have told me that they believe the most likely origin of COVID-19, of the pandemic, is an accidental lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.9
Dr. Metzel added that many scientists are afraid to voice their belief that the virus escaped from a lab, calling it potentially “career suicide.”
Looking at genome sequencing, French virologist and Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier, MD postulated early in 2020 that COVID-19’s genetics had been manipulated, saying, “Someone added sequences… It’s the work of professionals, of molecular biologists… a very meticulous work.”
Virus Gain of Function Research Considered Very Risky
Fearing repercussions, many of her sources for information remain unnamed, but the scientists willing to speak with Attkisson were critical of U.S. researchers joining up with the Wuhan lab on experiments to increase the infectiousness of bat coronavirus in efforts to create a vaccine. As a general rule, this type of gain of function research theoretically “could create a lethal virus that escapes and causes a pandemic” and was considered so risky that the U.S. temporarily stopped such studies in 2014. According to Attkisson, they made an exception in the case of coronavirus research: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) not only approved the study but also paid for it with six grants of tax dollars, including money from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Dr. Fauci.
Other funding was provided through EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit headed up by virologist Peter Daszak, PhD, who studies viruses that can be transmitted to humans by animals. Working with Dr. Daszak was Ralph Baric, PhD from the University of North Carolina, who works with genetic modification of the coronavirus, one purpose of which is to increase the ability to quickly develop vaccines. Teaming up with Chinese virologist Shi Zhingli, PhD at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the researchers engineered “genetic hybrids of bat coronaviruses, successfully getting them to infect human airway cells grafted in mice.” Dr. Daszak said, “You can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily…”10
Many have objected to this type of scientific research with China, pointing out, for example, that a novel coronavirus which is fully capable of reproducing in human cells presents a danger to the public health because “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory.”
State Department Visited Wuhan Lab in 2019
A year before the start of the pandemic, diplomats from the U.S. State Department visited the Wuhan laboratory. They conceded that the work being done was important but also expressed concerns over the safety of the lab and warned of a risk for “a new SARS-like pandemic.”
Despite his involvement in the research being conducted at the Wuhan lab, Dr. Daszak was included in the team investigating the origins of COVID-19.The report from that team concluded that it was extremely unlikely that the virus came from a lab.
When Attkisson asked Dr. Metzl about who was behind the controversy over questioning the possible lab origins of the virus responsible for COVID-19, he pointed to Dr. Daszak. Dr. Metzl indicated that Dr. Daszak and his EcoHealth Alliance had driven the efforts to discredit any possible suggestion of lab origins of the virus and also noted that Daszak was the instigator of the letter published in The Lancet 11 labeling the lab origin questions as “conspiracy theories,” without disclosing their own ties to the Wuhan research lab.
According to Dr. Metzl:
This letter was considered at the time, very credible. There were a number of Nobel laureates who signed it. And only later did it come out through a Freedom of Information request that the entire process had been managed and manipulated, and it really took the better part of a year.12
The transcript of Attkisson’s podcast, as well as a link to the video and copies of documents can be accessed here.
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1 Attkisson S. Sharyl Attkisson Investigates Covid-19 Origins. SharylAttkisson.com May 2, 2021.
2 Baier B, Re G. Sources Believe Coronavirus Outbreak Originated In Wuhan Lab As Part Of China’s Efforts To Compete With US. Fox News April 15, 2020.
3 Calisher C, Carroll D, Colwell R, et al. Statement in Support of the Scientists, Public Health Professionals, and Medical Professionals of China Combatting COVID-19. The Lancet Feb. 19, 2020.
4 Sullivan P. Redfield Tells CNN He Believes Origin Of The Coronavirus Pandemic Is A Lab In China. The Hill Mar. 26, 2021.
5 Litv.inova D, Keaten J. 1 Report, 4 Theories: Scientists Mull Clues On Virus’ Origin. AP News Mar. 25, 2021.
6 Fox M. Lab Leak Covid-19 Theory Is Like Something Out Of A Comic Book, Virologist Says. CNN Mar. 31, 2021.
7 Wolf ZB. Spies Vs. Scientists On The Origin Of Covid. CNN Apr. 16, 2021.
8 Attkisson S. Sharyl Attkisson Investigates Covid-19 Origins. SharylAttkisson.com May 2, 2021.
9 Atkisson S. (VIDEO) Exclusive Investigation: Separating rumor from fact on Covid-19’s origin. SharylAttkisson.com May 2, 2021.
10 Attkisson S. Sharyl Attkisson Investigates Covid-19 Origins. SharylAttkisson.com May 2, 2021.
11 Calisher C, Carroll D, Colwell R, et al. Statement in Support of the Scientists, Public Health Professionals, and Medical Professionals of China Combatting COVID-19. The Lancet Feb. 19, 2020.
12 Attkisson S. Sharyl Attkisson Investigates Covid-19 Origins. SharylAttkisson.com May 2, 2021.