Investigators have alleged that Dr Anthony Fauci has silenced any discussion about COVID being caused by a laboratory leak – and not through animal-to-human transmission.
The investigation as published by Daily Mail also revealed that Fauci did help a controversial scientist get millions in federal funding to study bats, Vanity Fair researchers who analyzed more than 100,000 documents claim.
According to them, NIH funds may have contributed to the development of COVID-19 if it was indeed created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
The investigators also claim Daszak and researchers in Wuhan tried to hide evidence about the pandemic’s early spread.
The VF report accuses Daszak of ‘presenting the lab-leak hypothesis as a groundless and destructive conspiracy theory’
The reports also say Fauci contributed to that narrative, citing an instance in 2020 when he reaffirmed a theory of the natural spread from animals to humans
Although the report is not conclusive in how COVID originated, it does provide evidence that Daszak’s research was ‘risky’ and possibly connected
America’s coronavirus tsar, Dr Anthony Fauci, silenced any discussion about COVID being caused by a lab leak – and not through animal-to-human transmission – after helping a controversial scientist get millions in federal funding to study bats, a Vanity Fair investigation has revealed.
Analyzing more than 100,000 leaked documents, the magazine claimed that Fauci’s approval of Peter Daszak helped his nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance, an organization dedicated to shielding society from emerging infectious diseases, to develop the COVID-19 virus in a laboratory in China.
While the report is not conclusive in how the pandemic was started, the magazine provides evidence that Daszak was aware the gain-of-function research his organization conducted was ‘risky’ and that he neglected to provide transparency about his projects to the U.S. government, as promised.
Investigators allege U.S. government grants helped EcoHealth Alliance, an organization dedicated to shielding society from emerging infectious diseases, develop the COVID-19 virus in a laboratory in China
More than two years into the global pandemic, investigators are still trying to trace the origin of the COVID-19 virus which has killed more than 22 million people worldwide.
Some allege that Fauci, whose agency in 2014 issued a $3.7million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, directly contributed to the pandemic spread by providing funds that were used to support gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
EcoHealth issued WIV nearly $600,000 in sub-awards before the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suspended the grant in July 2020 due to its controversial work, Vanity Fair reported.
The magazine – which reviewed more than 100,000 internal EcoHealth documents predating the pandemic, interviewed five former staff members and spoke to 33 other sources – claims that while the organization’s paper trail doesn’t specifically state where COVID came from, it shows how the nonprofit operated under ‘murky grant agreements, flimsy oversight, and the pursuit of government funds for scientific advancement, in part by pitching research of steeply escalating risk.’
There are multiple theories surrounding the berth of COVID with natural-origin proponents arguing the virus jumped from a bat host to an intermediate species and then infected humans.
Others suspected a lab-related incident from the ‘inadvertent exposure of a scientist during field research to the accidental release of a natural or manipulated strain during laboratory work,’ the magazine claimed.
There is reportedly a ‘lack of concrete evidence to support either theory, prompting journalists, scientists and other sleuths to place scrutiny on Daszak, EcoHealth, and WIV researchers for the work in the lab, as well as Fauci for indirectly supplying U.S. government funds to the facility.
In June 2021, biologist Jesse D. Bloom – whom colleagues allege wanted to ‘dig deep and discover the truth’ about how COVID evolved – confronted Fauci by providing him with a preprint of a paper he was seeking to have peer-reviewed and published.
Bloom’s paper, which was obtained by Vanity Fair, detailing how an early genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had ‘somehow vanished without a trace.
The biologist claims the genomic sequences were initially published in a Chinese paper but had since been deleted from NIH databases at the ‘request of researchers in Wuhan’.
Bloom, alleging the deleted genomic sequences could be ‘key to tracking when the virus emerged and how it might have evolved,’ believed the disappearance of the sequences ‘raised the possibility that the Chinese government was trying to cover up evidence about the early spread of COVID.
After receiving the preprint of Bloom’s paper, Fauci and his boss, NIH director Francis Collins, allegedly organized a Zoom meeting with the biologist to discuss his findings.
Four additional scientists, biologist Kristian Andersen and virologist Robert Garry, who was invited by the NIH, and biologists Sergei Pond and Rasmus Nielsen, who was invited by Bloom, attended the call.
After he presented his research, Bloom claims Andersen interjected, claiming his preprint was ‘deeply troubling.’
Andersen reportedly told the researcher that NIH policy entitled the Chinese scientists to delete their sequences from the database if they wanted to do so and that it was ‘was unethical for Bloom to analyze them further.
He also allegedly claimed ‘there was nothing unusual about the early genomic sequences in Wuhan,’ prompting a heated argument between Andersen and Nielsen.
‘Fauci then weighed in, objecting to the preprint’s description of Chinese scientists “surreptitiously” deleting the sequences,’ Vanity Fair stated, claiming the immunologist said: ‘The word was loaded and the reason they’d asked for the deletions was unknown.’
In June 2021, biologist Jesse D. Bloom (pictured) – whom colleagues allege wanted to ‘dig deep and discover the truth’ about how COVID evolved – confronted Fauci about deleted genomic sequences that could be ‘key to tracking when the virus emerged and how it might have evolved’. Bloom believed the disappearance of the sequences ‘raised the possibility that the Chinese government was trying to cover up evidence about the early spread of COVID
Fauci and his boss, NIH director Francis Collins (pictured in May 2021) met with Bloom in an apparent effort to shut down the researcher’s investigation
As more scientists called for transparency about the origin of the virus, Daszak sought to ‘present the lab-leak hypothesis as a groundless and destructive conspiracy theory’.
Similarly, Fauci, Andersen, Garry and a small group of scientists reportedly held confidential discussions, dating back to February 2020, working to ‘enshrine the natural-origin theory’ despite the fact that ‘several of them privately expressed that they felt a lab-related incident was likelier.’
Around that time, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr Robert Redfield allegedly urged Fauci to ‘vigorously investigate’ both hypotheses.
‘We had to take the lab-leak hypothesis with extreme seriousness,’ he told the magazine, adding: ‘I personally felt it wasn’t biologically plausible that [SARS CoV-2] went from bats to humans through an [intermediate] animal and became one of the most infectious viruses to humans.’
Redfield claims that after suggesting support for research into both theories he was then excluded from further discussions about the virus’ origin.
‘Their goal was to have a single narrative,’ he said of Fauci and his team.
Other researchers claim Daszak attempted to bury information about COVID’s genesis, arguing he ‘flatly refused to share progress reports from his contested research grant’.
The EcoHealth president was even dismissed from a task force investigating the berth of the virus because of failure to disclose his knowledge on the subject.
‘[Daszak] and NIH have acted badly,’ Columbia University economist Dr Jeffrey Sachs, who dismissed Daszak from the task force, told Vanity Fair. ‘There has been a lack of transparency…and there is a lot more to know and that can be known.’
Sachs argued the NIH should support an ‘independent scientific investigation’ to examine the ‘possible role’ the NIH, EcoHealth, WIV and a partner laboratory at the University of North Carolina had in the pandemic.
‘Both hypotheses are still very much with us [and] need to be investigated seriously and scientifically,’ he stated.
As more scientists called for transparency about the origin of the virus, Daszak sought to ‘present the lab-leak hypothesis as a groundless and destructive conspiracy theory’
Daszak has also been accused of being relentless in his pursuit of obtaining NIH grant money from Fauci for EcoHealth’s research.
He would invite Fauci to EcoHealth events that were described on invitations as ‘educational’ despite the fact that nonprofit officials referred to them as ‘cultivation events’ in which they should network with ‘prospective federal funders’.
The group would spend approximately $8,000 on each ‘cultivation’ event.
‘These kinds of events are common among many nongovernmental organizations and nonprofits, which depend upon both public and private donors for support,’ Daszak told the magazine, defending the parties.
Daszak also repeatedly lauded Fauci, requesting he serves as a ‘panel speaker’ at select EcoHealth events.
In September 2013, Daszak reportedly emailed David Morens, Fauci’s senior adviser, seeking his participation on a panel.
According to Vanity Fair, Morens replied: ‘Write to Tony directly, thanking him for meeting with you all recently and then inviting him to be a member of this Cosmos Club discussion. That way, it is personal and doesn’t look “cooked” by us.’
Although Fauci declined that invitation, along with several others, Daszak remained firm in his pursuit of the health leader and his federal funding.
Morens, seemingly trying to help Daszak in his mission, told the EcoHealth leader in February 2016: ‘Fauci “normally says no to almost everything like this. Unless ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox are all there with cameras running. If he were asked to give THE main talk or the only talk that might increase the chances.”’
Per Morens’ tip, Daszak invited Fauci to give a presentation on the Zika virus in March 2016, which he accepted, securing RSVPs among guests from an ‘array of deep-pocketed federal agencies’.
Similarly, Fauci, Andersen, Garry and a small group of scientists reportedly held confidential discussions, dating back to February 2020, working to ‘enshrine the natural-origin theory’ despite the fact that ‘several of them privately expressed that they felt a lab-related incident was likelier’
However, Daszak’s persistence in bringing Fauci to his table is not the only act to raise concern among scientific sleuths.
His $3.7million grant was first met with alarms in May 2016, as it entered its third year. He had reportedly failed to provide the NIH with his year two annual progress report, as required by the organization.
When the report finally arrived, it indicated scientists wanted to ‘create an infectious clone of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)’ despite the ‘Obama administration imposed a moratorium on new federal funding for research that could make influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses more virulent or transmissible.
Daszak’s researchers alleged the ‘SARS-like chimeras’ from their gain-of-function experiment ‘were exempt from the moratorium because the strains used had not previously been known to infect humans.
However, some researchers argued Daszak’s experiment was still too risky, prompting him to offer the NIH a compromise.
‘If any of the recombined strains showed 10 times greater growth than a natural virus, “we will immediately: i) stop all experiments with the mutant, ii) inform our NIAID Program Officer and the UNC [Institutional Biosafety Committee] of these results and iii) participate in decision making trees to decide appropriate paths forward,”‘ he reportedly said,
The mention of UNC ‘brought a puzzled response’ from the NIH who cited that Daszak’s proposal indicated the research would be conducted at WIV in China.
‘Can you clarify where the work with the chimeric viruses will actually be performed?’ and NIH program officer reportedly wrote to Daszak.
Nearly two weeks later, after a second request for clarification, Daszak responded: ‘You are correct to identify a mistake in our letter. UNC has no oversight of the chimera work, all of which will be conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology….
‘We will clarify tonight with Prof. Zhengli Shi exactly who will be notified if we see enhanced replication…my understanding is that I will be notified straight away, as [principal investigator], and that I can then notify you at NIAID. Apologies for the error!’
In July the NIH accepted Daszak’s terms under the agreement of ‘mutual transparency’ in which both parties would disclose ‘concerning developments involving the lab-constructed viruses’.
‘This is terrific! We are very happy to hear that our Gain of Function research funding pause has been lifted,’ he replied to the NIH officer upon receipt of approval.
In April 2020, when a reporter asked if the Chinese lab could be responsible for the pandemic, Fauci (pictured in January 2021) reportedly claimed a ‘group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists’ determined the virus was ‘totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human’
Daszak was under scrutiny again in April 2020 when theories about the origin of COVID surfaced.
A reporter asked then-President Donald Trump during a COVID press briefing why the U.S. government would support a $3.7million grant to a Chinese lab.
‘We will end that grant very quickly,’ Trump replied, prompting a follow-up question, from another reporter, directed at Fauci about whether a lab could be responsibly for COVID.
Fauci, answered, alleging a ‘group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists’ determined the virus was ‘totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.’
The next day, Daszak reportedly emailed Fauci to thank him for ‘publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology’. Fauci reportedly thanked the scientist back.