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Russia, China express ‘strong dissatisfaction’ with G7 communique

Press TV – May 20, 2023

Russia and China have expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the final statement issued at the end of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, a city that was destroyed by the US atomic bombing in 1945.

In a joint statement on Friday, which was revised on Saturday, the G7 — consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy — targeted both Russia and China with threats and disparaging remarks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that decisions taken at the G7 summit were aimed at the “double containment” of Russia and China.

Lavrov, in a televised conference, reiterated Moscow’s viewpoint that the West is using Ukraine as a tool to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.

“The task was set loudly and openly – to defeat Russia on the battlefield, but not to stop there, but to eliminate it as a geopolitical competitor,” Lavrov noted.

“Look at the decisions that are being discussed and adopted today in Hiroshima at G7 summit of the Seven, and which are aimed at the double containment of Russia and China,” Russia’s top diplomat stated.

Lavrov said Moscow enjoyed the support of its many allies and Russia will weather the hardships despite the West’s efforts to put pressure on countries to cut trade and economic ties with the Russian nation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the West was trying to break Russia up into dozens of different states.

The US-led West is driving a wedge between different ethnic and national groups in Russia and breaking the country up into dozens of different states, Putin warned.

Beijing, in a similar approach, showed its strong disapproval of the G7 for smearing and attacking the Chinese nation.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that it has lodged stern representations to the G7 summit’s host, Japan, and other relevant parties after the group criticized Chinese policies in regard to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

The group advocates “promoting a peaceful, stable and prosperous world,” but what it does is hinder international peace, undermine regional stability and curb other countries’ development, the statement said, adding that it simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement pointed out that Taiwan is China’s Taiwan and resolving the question is a matter for the Chinese. It reiterated that the one-China principle is the solid anchor for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Despite emphasizing on cross-Strait peace, G7 said nothing about the need to oppose “Taiwan independence,” which in effect constitutes connivance and support for “Taiwan independence” forces, and will only result in a serious impact on cross-Straits peace and stability, according to the statement.

The Chinese statement said no one should underestimate the determination, resolve and capability of the Chinese people in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs and China firmly opposes interference by any external force in those affairs under the pretext of human rights, the statement noted.

It urged the G7 to stop pointing fingers at China on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet and take a hard look at their own history and human rights record.

The statement reminded the G7 nations that the East China Sea and the South China Sea have remained overall stable, and it called for other countries to respect the regional countries’ efforts to uphold peace and stability and stop using maritime issues to drive a wedge between regional countries and incite bloc confrontation.

The statement also noted that the massive unilateral sanctions slapped by the United States and acts of decoupling and disrupting industrial and supply chains make the US the real coercer that politicizes and weaponizes economic and trade relations. It urged the G7 not to become an accomplice in the Americans’ economic coercion.

China is the only nation among the five nuclear weapon states that pledged “no first use” of nuclear weapons and always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security, the statement noted, adding that China’s position on the matter should not be distorted or denigrated.

As a responsible major country, China firmly upholds the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms governing international relations built around the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, it said, adding that the Chinese nation will never give in to the so-called rules imposed by the few.

“The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values, still less will it succumb to the rules of exclusive small blocs designed to serve ‘America-first’ and the vested interests of the few,” the statement said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged the G7 to stop engaging in closed and exclusive “small circles,” stop containing and suppressing other countries, stop creating and provoking confrontation and return to the right path of dialogue and cooperation.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Sad Day for Babies and Mums’: FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer’s RSV Vaccine for Pregnant Women

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | May 19, 2023

Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday recommended, by a vote of 10 to 4, that the agency approve Pfizer’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for pregnant women, despite questions about the vaccine’s safety.

During Thursday’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting, committee members and medical experts raised concerns about premature births identified during Pfizer’s clinical trials.

The FDA is expected to issue a final decision on the vaccine in August. If approved, it would become the first RSV vaccine authorized for pregnant women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must “sign off” on Pfizer’s vaccine for pregnant women prior to it becoming available to the public.

According to Axios, the CDC’s immunization advisory committee is likely to discuss FDA-approved RSV vaccines during its June meeting.

Dr. Meryl Nass, an internist, biological warfare epidemiologist and member of the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) scientific advisory committee, told The Defender that while the FDA is not obliged to follow the recommendations of its advisory committees, “it almost always does so.”

The appeal of a maternal vaccine like Pfizer’s is “the way it would create neutralizing antibodies in pregnant women that can be transferred to infants in the womb,” Axios reported.

However, “there are health risks, including preterm births,” Axios added, noting that GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ (GSK) recently halted its trial of a similar RSV vaccine for infants. According to NBC News, the GSK vaccine “showed a higher preterm birth rate among some vaccine recipients.”

Commenting on the FDA’s recommendation of Pfizer’s RSV vaccine, Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, told The Defender :

“This product represents an unprecedented attempt to vaccinate mothers for no benefit to them and only theoretical efficacy in babies. In the trial, less than 2% of infants at any time point contracted RSV, which is easily treatable with nebulizers.

“Pregnancies should not be threatened with novel vaccines for uncommon and low-risk infantile illnesses.

“Widespread use of this reactogenic vaccine can be expected to cause fetal loss in some unfortunate women. A single case of pregnancy termination would not be worth the population being vaccinated.”

The positive recommendation from the VRBPAC comes two weeks after the FDA approved Arexvy, the first vaccine authorized for RSV. That vaccine, produced by GSK, is intended for adults 60 years of age and older.

It also comes as Pfizer is expecting an FDA decision later this month for its RSV vaccine for adults 60 and over, with the same formulation as the one for pregnant women. The VRBPAC recommended the vaccine for this age group in February.

Pfizer is also “evaluating how its shot performs in other age groups,” Axios reported.

‘A sad day for babies and mums’

According to CNBC, Pfizer’s RSV vaccine, marketed as Abrysvo, will be administered as a single dose to pregnant women in their second or third trimester.

NBC News reported that the shot would be given to pregnant women at 24 to 36 weeks gestation and that the “protective antibodies transfer to infants through the placenta.”

The FDA advisory panel found that data from Abrysvo’s clinical trial “supports the safety of the vaccine” for pregnant women, while the same panel voted unanimously “that available data supported the vaccine’s efficacy for giving the shot to women in their second or third trimesters of pregnancy.”

An FDA briefing document said safety data from Abrysvo clinical trials was “generally favorable.”

According to the trial data, Abrysvo “had an 81.7% efficacy at protecting newborns in the first three months of life against severe illness and a 69.4% efficacy through the first six months,” Axios reported.

The trial consisted of nearly 7,400 participants, according to NBC News, adding that Abrysvo “also lowered the risk of developing respiratory disease from RSV that required doctors’ visits by 51% within about six months.”

“After that, however, the vaccine didn’t appear to make a big difference,” according to the NBC News report, which also reported that “a slightly higher rate of preterm births — defined as before 37 weeks’ gestation — among people who received the vaccine (5.7%) versus those who got a placebo (4.7%)” was identified.

“The difference wasn’t statistically significant, however, so it’s unclear whether it was vaccine-related,” NBC News added. CNBC reported that both percentages were below the overall percentage for preterm births in the general population (10%).

According to CNBC, the clinical trial for Abrysvo “reported 18 peripartum fetal deaths.”

However, the FDA said these deaths were “unlikely” to be related to the shot. According to Axios, “The fetal deaths present in the vaccine group (0.3%) were not related to Pfizer’s vaccine … Similarly, 4 out of 5 infant deaths were considered unrelated to the shot, with one being possibly connected to the shot, although that remains unclear.”

Data reported by Pfizer to the CDC indicated that 14% of pregnant women who participated in Pfizer’s trial sustained an adverse event, with 4.2% sustaining a “serious” adverse event, 1.7% experiencing a “severe” adverse event and 0.5% suffering a “life-threatening” adverse event.

Similarly, the same data showed that 37.1% of infants whose mothers received the experimental Pfizer vaccine experienced adverse events within one month of birth — with 15.5% classified as “serious,” 4.5% as “severe” and 1% as “life-threatening,” while efficacy waned within months of vaccination.

According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), “The RSV clinical trial data also included the death of one pregnant woman, 18 stillbirths (10 in vaccinated pregnant women and eight in unvaccinated pregnant women), and 17 infant deaths (five from the vaccinated pregnancy group and 12 in unvaccinated pregnancy group).”

Attorney, journalist and podcaster Daniel Horowitz, in an article published Monday in the Conservative Review, quoted Phase 2 trial data for Abrysvo. He wrote: “Pfizer reported 3 out of 116 (2.6%) premature births in the placebo group and 6 out of 114 (5.3%) in the group that received the vaccine that was chosen as Pfizer’s final product,” adding that Pfizer “was studying preterm birth as an ‘adverse event of special interest.’”

According to NBC News, “The most common side effects of the shot reported among pregnant women were fatigue, headache, muscle pain and injection site pain.”

Nass told The Defender there were essentially three problems with the Abrysvo clinical trial data, “two of which were identified by Pfizer and the FDA.” She said:

“There were about 20% more preterm babies and low birth weight babies in the group, whose mothers had been vaccinated versus the group whose mothers had received a placebo. This was very concerning but was disregarded by most of the committee.

“It was unclear to me whether Pfizer had collected enough information on the health of the pregnant women after vaccination. It is hard to tell when you were studying, newborns and babies, whether they have had a side effect from their mothers’ vaccination. The children weren’t studied for long enough to compare their intellectual ability or other parameters.”

The third problem reflected concerns arising from the problems GSK’s candidate vaccine for pregnant women encountered, Nass said. However, “the FDA claimed the GSK clinical trial data were proprietary, and they were unable to provide them,” even though it was pointed out that these findings had been published and were in the public domain.”

“No one questioned the veracity of the data Pfizer presented, despite the fact that Pfizer repeatedly presented data on its COVID vaccine efficacy to this committee that made the vaccines appear much more efficacious than they turned out to be,” Nass said.

McCullough, writing on his Substack, also questioned the Abrysvo clinical trial data. “Pfizer has aggressively advanced RCTs [randomized controlled trials] into the pregnant population with no assurances on long term outcomes. There is no direct benefit to the mothers.”

“Furthermore, the sponsors moved the goal posts to make it easier to have a successful trial. We should demand long-term safety, high efficacy … and at least one year of durability, for such a rare and easy-to-treat condition in babies,” he added.

Calls for ‘tougher scrutiny’ of the RSV vaccine ignored

Some health experts called for “tougher scrutiny” of Abrysvo leading up to Thursday’s VRBPAC meeting, Axios reported, “after trials for GlaxoSmithKline halted trial for a similar shot over increased risks of preterm births and neonatal deaths.”

“Pfizer has not reported similar safety concerns, but some health experts told the British Medical Journal [BMJ] that they hope FDA staff will take the GlaxoSmithKline results into consideration when reviewing the vaccine,” according to Axios.

“Results have raised concerns about a possible increase in preterm births, and experts are calling for further analyses of the data and for post-approval monitoring of the vaccine, should the FDA approve it,” The BMJ analysis stated.

Horowitz said the “formulations of most of these shots are likely very similar, so red flags from one cohort of the study should inform us on the problems with the other.”

According to Nass, who live-blogged the meeting, one VRBPAC member, Dr. Henry H. Bernstein, a professor of pediatrics at Hofstra University, said during the meeting “he does not want another rotavirus vaccine repeat, in which the signal was known when licensed, but was not statistically significant.”

The rotavirus vaccine was pulled within one year because of intussusception, she said. Intussusception is a life-threatening illness that occurs when a portion of the intestine folds like a telescope, with one segment slipping inside another segment. This causes an obstruction, preventing the passage of food that is being digested through the intestine.

Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and VRBPAC panelist, was quoted by CNBC as saying that the problems with GSK’s trial are “hanging over” Pfizer’s RSV shot for pregnant women and infants.

“If GSK truly abandons a program on a similar, almost identical vaccine, that is going to hang over [Pfizer’s] program. I think it needs to be addressed,” Offit added.

Offit separately told Reuters “I worry that if preterm births are in any way a consequence of this vaccine that would be tragic in many ways.”

Science magazine quoted FDA medical officer Dr. Yugenia Hong-Nguyen, who said the rate of premature births was “not statistically significant and lower than background incidence rates in the general population.”

Other VRBPAC members were less concerned. Dr. Daniel Feikin, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist and “temporary voting member”, said, “I’m not convinced that there’s a clear causal relationship between this vaccine and preterm birth,” Reuters reported.

Another VRBPAC panelist, Dr. Jay Portnoy, a pediatrics professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said, “If the vaccine actually lives up to the data that we’ve seen today, I can guarantee that many infants and their parents will breathe easier in the coming years.”

Pfizer representatives also sought to downplay concerns with Abrysvo. According to CNBCDr. William Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of vaccine clinical research and development, said, “Certainly in our eyes, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that there is a risk of prematurity.”

“So, the question is, do you hold hostage the potential benefits of the vaccine for something which you have no statistical significance at this point?”

Dr. Anthony Fauci also raised concerns about vaccines for respiratory illnesses, Horowitz wrote in a May 4 article. A paper co-authored by Fauci and published in January in Cell Host & Microbe stated that the challenges for RSV and flu vaccines were “many and complex” and that RSV vaccines were not good at providing immunity.

In a November 2022 episode of “RFK Jr. The Defender podcast, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., then-chairman and chief litigation counsel for CHD (now chairman on leave), described RSV as “a vehicle for re-implementing the COVID-19 playbook all over the country and responding with vaccines.”

Nass characterized Thursday’s VRBPAC approval of Abrysvo as “a sad day for babies and mums,” adding, “Is there a reason to trust Pfizer’s data on its RSV vaccine, when we could not trust its COVID vaccines?”

“Currently, pregnant women are advised (not by me!) to get the flu, TdaP [tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis] and COVID vaccines during pregnancy. This would be a fourth pregnancy vaccine,” Nass wrote.

Nass said Thursday’s VRBPAC meeting was held with four temporary members.

“Did FDA stuff the meeting with four new temporary members in order to get the majority yes votes it wanted?” Nass asked.

Horowitz noted in his article published Monday that Pfizer vaccines have previously been approved despite concerns about their impact on pregnant women, citing trial data from the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer seeks to ‘offset declining revenue from its COVID-19 products’

According to Reuters, “Pfizer is counting on new medicines and vaccines to help offset declining revenue from its COVID-19 products,” noting that the market for RSV vaccines is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2030 and that Pfizer is “ready to launch” its RSV vaccines for both pregnant women and older adults “later this year.”

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he expects increased revenue for the company in the coming years from the company’s RSV and flu shots.

On her Substack, Nass noted:

“As a consequence of the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, all vaccines recommended by CDC for pregnant women have all manufacturer liability waived, and are placed in the national vaccine injury compensation program. This improves profitability and may result in mandates.”

Several other Big Pharma drugmakers are now clamoring to enter the potentially lucrative RSV vaccine market, after decades of failed attempts to develop a vaccine.

Moderna is developing an mRNA RSV vaccine for older adults. According to Axios, it “was found to be 83.7% effective in preventing RSV with one or two more symptoms” and “The company plans to apply for FDA approval this quarter.”

According to Horowitz, Moderna’s candidate vaccine “openly shows 200 adverse events and 10 serious ones per mild case [of RSV] avoided.”

Bavarian Nordic, known for its development of a vaccine in response to last year’s monkeypox outbreak, is also developing an RSV vaccine for adults 60 and over,” expecting to release Phase 3 clinical trial data by midyear.

AstraZeneca and Sanofi also are seeking FDA approval for a monoclonal antibody treatment for RSV that would be administered to infants and toddlers up to age 2. Sanofi says the antibody, nirsevimab, was found to be 83.2% effective in reducing RSV-related hospitalizations.

However, the NVIC reported that the effectiveness of nirsevimab “is not known beyond 150 days” and it is unclear if the drug prevents ICU stays or deaths.

In all, “Eleven RSV vaccines (including GSK’s approved shot) are being actively studied in U.S. trials,” NBC News reported. “Six are for older adults, and five are designed to protect infants or children.”

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., based in Athens, Greece, is a senior reporter for The Defender and part of the rotation of hosts for CHD.TV’s “Good Morning CHD.”

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

The Truth about Randi Weingarten and the School Closures

By Jennifer Sey | Brownstone Institute | May 19, 2023

There are many reasons why so many US public schools remained persistently closed for well over a year, but at the top of the list is Randi Weingarten. She is the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and served as the self-appointed and media-anointed spokesperson for teachers’ unions throughout the pandemic.

Weingarten appeared regularly across national media outlets for well over two years, relentlessly touting the dangers of public schools and the risk to teachers from in-person instruction. She also painted anyone who advocated for schools to open as heartless and cruel. Now that it’s become clear what a disaster closed schools were, Weingarten is attempting to rewrite history. She is pretending that she had nothing to do with the school closures at all, and she seems to expect us all to accept this blatant lie.

The catastrophic harms done are clear – two decades of educational progress erased, high rates of chronic absenteeism, violence in the schools, severe teen mental health impacts, and declining public school enrollment. So, now Weingarten wants to distance herself from having had any part of it. More egregiously, she is trying to position herself as the hero fighting for public school openings the entire time.

Weingarten has expressed no remorse. She has offered no apology, only more lies. And it’s a real slap in the face for those who did fight and put everything on the line to do so.

I know what really happened. Since March 2020, I have challenged school closures as harmful to a generation of children. Because I fought for schools to open, I lost my job as the Brand President at Levi’s in January 2022, after close to 23 years of service to the company.

In June 2021, more than a year into my advocacy, I was told I needed to do an “apology tour” at the company. Apologize for what, you might ask? Well, in a pre-meeting prep email, I was given a lengthy list and one of the things I was told that I needed to apologize for was being “anti-union.”

Because, if you dared to challenge prolonged school closures throughout covid, you were smeared as being both anti-union and anti-public education.

In fact, I’ve been a lifelong supporter of public schools. My two oldest children graduated from the San Francisco Unified School District, and my two younger children are currently enrolled in the Denver public school system. I appreciate and respect public school teachers. But the teachers’ unions have proven over the last few years that they will fight for their own interests at the expense of our children. And now, after the last three years, I am indeed officially anti-teachers’ union.

My executive peers at Levi’s who claimed to support the unions and public schools send their own kids to $60K a year private schools. These institutions opened for in-person instruction in the Fall of 2020. One of the reasons these schools were able to open was that they employ non-union educators and staff.

Despite the evident hypocrisy, my peers had no qualms about telling me I couldn’t advocate for public school openings. Weingarten had effectively painted people like me as villains, and the world piled on.

Not only was I called anti-union by employees at Levi’s, but I was also called “racist.” The company leadership has since claimed that my activism amounted to unacceptable criticism of public health guidelines and undermined the company’s health and safety policies.

I’m still unclear how low-income kids going to school would put the health and safety of employees working on Zoom at risk. But Weingarten instigated and fueled this false narrative.

You can imagine my dismay to hear Weingarten’s Congressional testimony two weeks ago where she said that “spent every day from February on trying to get schools open. We knew that remote education was not a substitute for opening schools.” If she was for openings, why was I maligned as anti-union for wanting schools to open? If she was for it, weren’t we on the same side?

No, we weren’t on the same side. In fact, in June of 2020, Weingarten called plans to open schools “reckless, callous and cruel.”

In the summer of 2020, Weingarten constantly issued statements such as: “We are deeply concerned that rushing to reopen school buildings without proper safeguards in place will endanger students, educators and their families.”

In reality, Weingarten did everything in her power to keep schools shuttered; she just pretended that she wanted them open. She had a direct line to Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC, and interjected impossible-to-meet guidelines about what was necessary to re-open schools “safely.”

Emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act in May 2021 revealed that the AFT lobbied the CDC and suggested language for the agency’s federal reopening guidance. Language “suggestions” put forward by the AFT were adopted in at least two instances.

In February 2021, the CDC was prepared to write in their guidance that schools could open for in-person instruction regardless of community spread of the virus. The AFT insisted that that was unacceptable and argued for guidelines based on levels of community transmission. The AFT’s suggested language appeared word-for-word in the final direction.

Furthermore, the AFT demanded remote work accommodations for teachers with high-risk conditions as well as staff with household members with similar conditions. This provision also made it into the final document.

Schools that adhered to this CDC guidance were not able to open. In fact, one year after schools closed in March 2020, approximately 50 percent of public schools were not yet fully opened in the United States. Nearly 25 million students experienced disrupted schooling for a full year and a half. Most of them lived in blue cities and states.

Upon release of the guidance, the AFT issued praise in a press release on February 12, 2021: “Today, the CDC met fear of the pandemic with facts and evidence.”

In fact, the CDC and the AFT did the exact opposite. They chose to further fear with lies about schools being dangerous disease accelerators, and about children being super-spreaders.

Weingarten and the CDC ignored all actual evidence that open schools did not increase risk and spread in communities, regardless of community spread levels. Evidence in red states, in Sweden, in Denmark and all across Europe abounded, as early as spring and summer 2020. Often schools served as brakes on transmission, and were the safest places for teachers and kids to be.

Yet Weingarten persisted in vilifying children. So, while bars and strip clubs opened, schools remained closed.

The fact is, no one fought harder to keep kids out of the classroom than teachers’ unions. Florida teachers’ unions sued Governor Ron DeSantis so they wouldn’t have to go back to work in fall 2020. They failed in their attempt and Florida schools re-opened.

The unions became so intransigent that even Democratic mayors went to war with them. San Francisco Mayor London Breed went so far as to sue the San Francisco school district to reopen schools. Breed was unsuccessful and San Francisco schools didn’t open until September 2021.

Recently, outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized Weingarten for delaying school reopenings. On CNN This Morning, Lightfoot said: “Obviously, every union should advocate for its members, but it’s gotta be in the context of an organization . . .the union needed to work with us and they never did that.”

Lightfoot went on to say: “Schools are about our children.”

But Weingarten didn’t care. She made it all about her. And she’s doing it again now in her attempt to rewrite history. She wants to be remembered as a hero in the open schools debate, not the villain responsible for generational harm.

But we remember the truth. We will not allow history to be rewritten.

Jennifer Sey is filmmaker, former corporate executive, and author of Levi’s Unbuttoned.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Plan to Build NIH-Funded Bat Research Lab in Colorado Sparks Fears of Lab Leak

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | May 18, 2023

Colorado State University (CSU) is proceeding with controversial plans to construct a new research facility to study bat diseases with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Construction is slated to be completed sometime in 2024 or 2025.

University officials and proponents of the new facility argue the laboratory is necessary to enhance research capabilities looking into emerging diseases and viruses resulting from zoonotic — animal-to-human — transfer.

While CSU denies that gain-of-function research will occur at the laboratory, some researchers connected with the new facility previously were associated with actors involved with such research, including experiments conducted in Wuhan, China.

Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., a bioweapons expert and professor of international law at the University of Illinois, is concerned about the facility.

Boyle told The Defender :

“It is well known that Colorado State University has a long and ongoing history of specialization in weaponizing insects with biowarfare agents for delivery to human beings.

“This new lab will magnitudinally increase CSU’s offensive biowarfare capabilities, in gross violation of the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and my Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that provides for life in prison.”

Area residents, including a local grassroots group, and bioweapons experts, also have raised concerns over the potentially risky research, involving deadly viruses, that will be conducted at the facility and the risk of a lab leak akin to that which may have occurred at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, and may have led to escape of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Christine Bowman leads a group of local citizens who formed the Covid Bat Research Moratorium of Colorado (CBRMC), a grassroots initiative opposing the new facility. The group has launched efforts such as a yard sign campaign to raise local awareness.

In an interview with The Defender, Bowman described being “stonewalled” by state and local officials and by CSU.

“We need answers as to how COVID-19 was modified to transfer from human to human before I will be satisfied that it’s okay to raise diseased bats to study in my neighborhood,” Bowman said.

“Now that we know that the COVID pandemic likely started from a lab leak in Wuhan, China, we are questioning the safety of continuing such research,” she added.

CSU receives ‘tens of millions of dollars’ in NIH research grants annually

According to The Colorodoan, the Chiropteran Research Facility, as it will be known, “would serve as a breeding facility to raise and care for bats of various species that can be used as research models in studies on a wide range of human viruses that are believed to have originated with bats.”

The laboratory will be constructed on the south end of CSU’s Foothills Campus near Fort Collins, at 3105 Rampart Road, within the Justin Harper Research Complex and adjacent to the university’s existing Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (CVID). It will consist of a 14,000-square-foot stand-alone bat vivarium.

According to CSU, the university “is a world leader in research on zoonotic infections. The University’s scientists have been studying bats and other vectors that transmit dengue fever, Zika and West Nile viruses for more than 30 years.”

Construction is scheduled to begin by this summer. The Colorodoan reported the facility is expected to open in fall 2024, while CSU said it will be completed by 2025.

CVID, formerly known as the Arthropod-born and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, was founded in 1984. According to The Colorodoan, it “currently houses the only captive breeding colonies of two species of bats used in its research.”

CVID’s website describes the facility as “a longstanding multi-disciplinary research and training center” whose researchers “have been successful in defining mechanisms of pathogen persistence and transmission, and developing new surveillance, control, and prevention strategies for vector-borne and emerging zoonotic diseases.”

“World-class facilities, including BSL-3 [biosafety level 3] laboratories and large insectary complexes, provide an outstanding scientific environment for researchers inside and outside CSU wanting to manipulate pathogens in vertebrate hosts and arthropod vectors,” the CVID website states.

The BSL3 laboratory in question is CSU’s Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, which operates with the support of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and is part of the university’s 120,000-square-foot Infectious Disease Research Center. It houses bats and samples of numerous deadly bacteria and viruses.

In October 2021, the NIH awarded a $6.7 million grant to CSU’s microbiology, immunology and pathology department at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to construct the new bat vivarium.

Alan Rudolph, CSU’s vice president for research, told The Coloradoan the university will provide the remaining funds for the facility’s construction, the cost of which is expected to range between $8-9 million.

Rudolph said CSU receives “tens of millions of dollars” in NIH research grants annually.

‘Highly pathogenic’ agents will be housed at new facility

The CVID already conducts research involving viruses related to “chikungunyadengue, malaria, Rift Valley feverZika virus, COVID-19, MERS, influenza [and] hantavirus disease.” The new facility will expand those capabilities.

According to the minutes of the Feb. 3, 2022, meeting of CSU’s Board of Governors, the new facility is justified due to the capacity it will have to study “emerging zoonotic viruses that originate in bats and cause high mortality in humans: SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, Ebola virusMarburg virusNipah virus and Hendra virus.”

It is unclear under what biosafety level the new facility will operate, but Bowman told The Defender :

“From what I understand, this facility is slated to be a BSL2. But what’s to keep that from increasing in the future without approval or informing the general public? What guarantee do the residents of Fort Collins have that the lab won’t increase from a BSL2 to BSL4, where even more dangerous viruses will be studied?”

CSU claims it “has no plans to conduct gain-of-function research of concern” there.

“Who decides what criteria we use for ‘concern’?” Bowman asked.

Rebecca Moritz, CSU’s biosafety director, said, “This will be the only facility like it in the United States,” and it will give students “the opportunity to learn directly from the researchers conducting this research in their classes.”

She added:

“CSU researchers have safely studied and worked with bats and other vectors for over 30 years. … Due to global warming and population growth, humans and animals are coming into contact more frequently and in ways not previously seen. This could result in an increased number of outbreaks and possibly pandemics.

“The main purpose of this facility will be to house bat breeding colonies for CSU researchers and researchers around the United States and the world. This facility will allow an expansion of CSU’s current work, including projects focusing on the role that bats play in disease transmission and the development of vaccines and therapeutics.”

“Personnel who will work in this facility will be highly trained and be required [to] adhere to strict biosafety and biosecurity practices,” Moritz claimed.

Moritz has spoken publicly about her involvement with gain-of-function research, including at the 2014 Gain of Function Symposium. At the time, Moritz was part of the Biosecurity Task Force at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bowman said gain-of-function experiments are already being conducted at CSU and that the university is open about it.

“We are only aware that CSU is conducting gain-of-function on plants and mosquitoes because it is mentioned in the link they send to anyone who emails them or questions their research.”

Rudolph told The Colorodoan, “Bat research is not new to our campus; bat-research facilities are not new to our campus. It’s an expansion of existing work in existing facilities that have already made great impacts.”

Such research “helped us to develop vaccines, helped us to develop diagnostics to better determine who’s getting sick, why are they getting sick, when are they getting sick, and vaccines that help treat those people when they do get sick,” he added.

Some of the viruses for which research will be conducted at the new facility, including Hendra and Nipah, are considered “highly pathogenic BSL-4 agents,” classified “in the same biosecurity category as Ebola.”

The Nipah virus, for instance, has a high human mortality rate ranging between 40 and 75%. It “causes a rapidly progressive disease, which includes acute respiratory infection and encephalitis that can lead to coma or death.”

Earlier this month, the NIH reinstated a controversial federal grant, originally issued in 2014 under Dr. Anthony Fauci, then-director of NIAID, which operates under the NIH, to EcoHealth Alliance to study the risk of bat coronavirus spillover.

This involved gain-of-function research for the genetic manipulation of coronaviruses to make them more infectious to humans. Some of the NIH funds went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which collaborated with EcoHealth Alliance on this research.

EcoHealth is a New York-based nonprofit that says its mission is to develop “science-based solutions to prevent pandemics and promote conservation.”

Documents revealed by U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) indicate that some CSU researchers have previously collaborated with the EcoHealth Alliance.

Local activists ‘stonewalled’ by university, state, local officials

According to The Colorodoan, CSU’s campus planner, Gargi Duttgupta, told local authorities that the new facility would be approximately 316 feet north of the fence that marks the campus’ boundary with adjacent residential communities.

This may be too close for comfort for some area residents, who have attempted to engage with CSU and with local planning authorities to express opposition to the new facility and to obtain further information about its construction.

Their opposition led to the establishment of CBRMC, “a nonpartisan grassroots organization run on a budget of $0 by a group of concerned citizens from across the political spectrum.”

CBRMC says its mission is to put a moratorium on the construction of the new facility “until we first know what happened with the possible COVID bat lab leak and gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China.”

Some CBRMC members spoke at a Dec. 21, 2022, meeting of the Larimer County Planning Commission, expressing fears of a potential leak from the new facility, drawing comparisons with the suspected Wuhan lab leak.

But the planning commission unanimously approved the project. Lesli Ellis, Larimer County’s community development director, told The Colorodoan that no further approvals are needed before construction can commence.

According to The Colorodoan, “CSU officials insist that the new facility is merely an extension of work that has been done on its Foothills Campus for more than 30 years by the university and others, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

The CSU Foothills Campus houses labs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center and the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center — described as the “second-largest CDC lab outside of Atlanta.”

“Strict safety protocols will be in place to prevent the escape of a virus or infected bat,” The Colorodoan also reported.

Rudolph told The Colorodoan the facility will need only dozens to hundreds — not thousands — of bats, which will be acquired by the U.S. government, “quarantined well outside the United States and deemed safe and not sick before they come to us.”

CSU does ‘not have a good track record’ on safety

A Jan. 11 CSU “Q&A on why CSU labs are safe” denies that illegal bioweapons research will take place at the institution and quotes Moritz, who said, “We do everything possible to decrease the risks of our research.” However, she acknowledged “there is no such thing as zero risk in research.”

Bowman said CSU alone will oversee safety at the new facility, and she questioned the lab’s safety record.

Bowman told The Defender :

“After letting chronic wasting disease [CWD] leak from their labs at CSU, hundreds of thousands of the deer population were killed from the disease. They do not have a good track record of ensuring the safety or containment of diseases.

“I personally do not have the data for this claim, but I have heard many people cite this as fact and no one at CSU is refuting the claim.”

CWD, “a contagious neurological disease that affects members of the deer family, causing erratic behavior and weight loss that eventually results in death,” was identified in 1967. It is described as “a mysterious malady intricately tied to Fort Collins.” The federal government declared a CWD state of emergency in 2001.

The Colorodoan reported that CWD “was related to scrapie in sheep and goats, mad cow disease in cattle and the fatal variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.”

As reported by Northern Colorado NPR affiliate KUNC, “Chronic wasting disease is not your garden variety infectious disease. It’s not bacterial, viral or even fungal. It’s caused by something we all have inside our bodies — something called prions.”

CSU is home to the Prion Research Center, which “studies the biochemistry, genetics, and pathogenesis of prions, the causative agent of incurable and often fatal diseases in humans and animals,” including bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, CWD and scrapie.

According to the Prion Research Center, “Growing evidence also links the prion mechanism to proteins involved in the pathogenesis of other common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and forms an emerging area of the center’s studies.”

And in 2019, CSU reported that Prion Research Center scientists “have developed a new gene-targeted approach” to study CWS in mice. Described as a “real breakthrough,” the scientists “replaced the gene that encodes the prion protein in the mouse and replaced it with an exact replica of the code from either deer or elk.”

Researchers who spoke to The Colorodoan said that while it’s unclear if CWD originated in Fort Collins, it is hypothesized that it crossed species and spread there.

U.S. Geological Survey map shows a significant cluster of CWD near Fort Collins and that cases identified elsewhere have been connected to the region.

A 2021 paper, “Text mining to identify the origin of chronic wasting disease,” published in the Issues in Information Systems journal, states:

“For the 16 [CWD] clusters in the first 40 years, the text mining process generated evidence supporting the trace back to Fort Collins for the first six clusters, five more clusters could be traced back to infected area linked to Fort Collins, and in 5 clusters the evidence supported an explanation for tracing the disease back to an area linked to Fort Collins.

“The evidence does not definitively exclude other theories for the disease origin. At minimum, Fort Collins was a primary catalyst in the widespread distribution of the disease.”

The paper noted, “As with COVID-19, government agencies can be reluctant to acknowledge potential culpability for releasing a devastating disease,” adding that “Ignoring the likely origin of this disease discounts the lax management of captive animals that has been the driving force for this biological disaster.”

Locals getting mixed messages from CSU officials

Local activists are concerned about a lack of communication between CSU officials, local authorities and the community, and contradictory statements they have received from CSU.

According to the CBRMC, CSU “gave citizens short notice on Nov. 30, 2022” about the public hearing, which was “held on the inconvenient date of Dec. 21, 2022 — snuck into holiday break.”

Since then, CSU has “not conducted any informational meetings with the public regarding their proposed research lab,” the CBRMC says on its website.

Bowman said a fact sheet about the facility was distributed at the meeting, stating that “SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, Ebola virus, Marburg, Nipah virus and Hedra virus” would be studied at the lab, confirming information included in the February 2022 CSU Board of Governors report.

However, according to Bowman, Moritz said at the public hearing, “At this facility, we will not be able to study MERS, SARS-CoV-2 [or] Ebola viruses.”

“So, which is it, are they proposing to study these diseases in our backyard or not?” Bowman asked.

Bowman noted that the same fact sheet contains “a photo displayed prominently on the front with a person’s gloveless hand holding a bat.” She remarked:

“When you are touting the strength of your ability to do dangerous bat research with safety first and foremost, maybe you shouldn’t incorporate a photo of an irresponsible way to handle a bat.

“Couldn’t this be one way bat diseases transmit to humans and is proving our point that bats and humans shouldn’t mix, especially in a lab setting?”

An April 5 email from Greg Harrison, CSU associate vice president of Strategic Communications, to Bowman, said, “We do not have any public meeting about the facility scheduled at this time.”

This was despite a Jan. 24 email from Moritz to Bowman saying CSU was “working on a process to engage the public this spring to discuss the project and lab safety and security, as well as our commitment to the wellbeing of people in Colorado and around the world.”

Both emails are posted in CBRMC’s Facebook group. In the same group, Bowman referenced a March 15 Town Hall meeting with Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) where the issue was to be raised. According to Bowman, “Sen. Hickenlooper chose not to answer any [questions] re: concern over CSU’s COVID bat lab.”

Bowman said this was not the only instance where elected officials ignored the concerns of local residents. She told The Defender :

“The community has been sending this information to our elected officials, who have also stonewalled us. I got no response from Sen. Hickenlooper.

“The response I got from Sen. Michael Bennet [D-Colo.] spoke about diversity, equity and inclusion and did not address the subject of bat research at all. The mayor of Fort Collins [Jeni Arndt] says that it is not in her jurisdiction and was uninterested.”

Bowman said that local residents deserve answers. She told The Defender :

“I believe that the residents of this county, state, and this country deserve answers to our questions regarding any potential danger to the public from this type of research considering the mayhem and destruction that the COVID virus unleashed on mankind.

“We do not want a repeat, and I think we should be allowed to have some say in what happens in our backyard. The fact that CSU is stonewalling their neighbors speaks volumes.”

Collaboration between CSU scientists, NIH, EcoHealth Alliance on bat viruses

Documents obtained by USRTK following several Freedom of Information Act requests indicate that plans for the new facility date back prior to receipt of the NIH grant in 2021, while key figures involved with the laboratory are connected to the EcoHealth Alliance and prior research involving SARS-CoV-2.

According to USRTK, the documents reveal that in February 2017, personnel of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program “announced a new global bat alliance,” which would “build and leverage country and regional capabilities to generate an enhanced understanding of bats and their ecology within the context of pathogens of security concern.”

This new alliance was a collaboration between CSU, EcoHealth Alliance and the NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories with the goal of building a bat research facility at CSU.

USRTK’s documents reveal that this original alliance grew into a group which became known as Bat One Health Research Network, whose scientists, including CSU and Rocky Mountain Laboratories researchers, were developing “scalable vectored” and “self-disseminating” vaccines to spread contagiously between bats.

These vaccines are purportedly aimed at preventing “emergence and spillover” of potential pandemic viruses from bats to humans. However, at least as far back as 2020, concerns were raised about the unintended consequences of releasing genetically engineered self-spreading “vaccines” into the wild.

Bat One Health also harkens to the “One Health” concept, which purports to serve as “an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems,” but which some experts have argued lowers human health to the level of animals and aims to surveil and control all life on Earth.

Notably, the term “One Health” is said to have first been coined by the EcoHealth Alliance, which today is a strong proponent of this concept.

A March 30, 2020, email obtained by USRTK, from Tony Schountz, Ph.D., associate professor in CSU’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, to Jonathan Epstein, vice president for Science and Outreach at EcoHealth Alliance, discusses the importation of bats and rats infected with dangerous pathogens such as the Lassa virus.

In another set of emails from 2018, Schountz communicated with scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In an Oct. 30, 2018, email, Schountz proposed a “loose association” between CSU and the Wuhan lab, involving “collaboration on relevant projects” involving bat-borne viruses and arboviruses.

Indicating the connection between the research planned to take place at the new facility, and COVID-19, Rebekah Kading, Ph.D., assistant professor in CSU’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, said, “This facility is especially timely considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, since some groups of bats have an evolutionary association with coronaviruses.”

According to CSU, the university has a partnership with Zoetis, which it describes as “the world’s leading animal health company,” “for the construction in 2020 of an incubator research lab in the Research Innovation Center on the Foothills campus.”

Zoetis was previously Pfizer Animal Health, before separating from Pfizer in June 2013.

Big Pharma, NIH interested in developing vaccines related to viruses to be researched at new CSU facility

Big Pharma has shown interest in developing mRNA vaccines targeting many of the same deadly pathogens that will be researched at CSU’s new facility.

For instance, in July 2022, Moderna announced the launch of its Phase 1 clinical trial of the mRNA-1215 vaccine candidate, “designed to fight the Nipah virus.” The vaccine was developed in collaboration with NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center.

In an NIH statement, Fauci said “Nipah virus poses a considerable pandemic threat because it mutates relatively easily, causes disease in a wide range of mammals, can transmit from person-to-person, and kills a large percentage of the people it infects,” adding that “The need for a preventive Nipah virus vaccine is significant.”

Efforts to develop a Nipah virus vaccine date back to at least January 2017, when CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) issued a call for proposals for the development of vaccines for the Nipah and Lassa viruses and MERS, soon after its official launch at that year’s meeting of the World Economic Forum.

EcoHealth Alliance researchers have long shown interest in viruses such as Nipah. A 2006 article in the Current Infectious Disease Reports journal titled “Nipah virus: impact, origins, and causes of emergence” was co-authored by Epstein, for instance.

At the time, Epstein was affiliated with the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, which later merged with the Wildlife Trust to become the EcoHealth Alliance.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., based in Athens, Greece, is a senior reporter for The Defender and part of the rotation of hosts for CHD.TV’s “Good Morning CHD.”

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Fauci, scientists with ties to Wuhan lab persuaded the intelligence community COVID had a natural origin

By Emily Kopp | U.S. Right to Know | May 16, 2023

Scientists with connections to the Wuhan Institute of Virology — including Anthony Fauci — steered the U.S. national security state away from hypotheses about the origins of COVID-19 that could implicate their research, emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show.

Their sphere of influence spanned the intelligence community and the White House.

On February 3, 2020, scientists tied to high risk coronavirus research in Wuhan joined a call with national security officials about how to uncover how an exceptionally infectious virus had emerged from that city.

The call included officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, an email obtained by U.S. Right to Know shows.

The intelligence community’s premature assessment that COVID-19 was a natural virus has in turn been wielded by Fauci and by other virologists to minimize the lab leak theory.

The call shows the apparent power of a small clique of scientists to cloud the public’s understanding of the pandemic.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology’s two closest collaborators, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak and University of North Carolina virologist Ralph Baric, were on the call.

Daszak runs the intermediary organization that shepherded funds from the National Institutes of Health to the Wuhan lab complex.

Baric is a coronavirologist who innovated engineering techniques and applied them to viruses prospected in the wild by the Wuhan lab. Baric — despite developing undetectable genetic engineering methods nicknamed “no see ‘um” after the barely perceptible flies found in the Southeast — apparently helped persuade the intelligence community that the novel virus betrayed no signs of engineering.

Facilitated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the purpose of the Feb. 3 call was to respond to “misinformation.”

“Thank you for participating in today’s meeting of experts to discuss and identify what data, information and samples are needed to understand the evolutionary origins of 2019-nCoV and more effectively respond to the outbreak and resulting misinformation,” wrote Andrew Pope, director of the board on health sciences policy for the National Academies.

Fauci briefed the group on “NIAID’s perspective,” the agenda shows. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, had underwritten Daszak and Baric’s work.

The agenda shows that the Feb. 3 call was prompted in part by a flawed and ultimately withdrawn preprint alleging similarities between the genome of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV, which had set off alarm bells in the infectious diseases community.

It’s also clear that rumors about the Wuhan Institute of Virology had already begun swirling on Chinese social media.

The discussion was co-led by Fauci, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy Kelvin Droegemeier, and Chris Hassell, who in addition to serving as senior science advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services also serves as the chair of the secret committee that oversees gain-of-function research with pandemic potential.

Contemporaneous emails show that Fauci was discussing the apparent connections between NIAID and gain-of-function research in Wuhan with his boss, NIH Director Francis Collins. Fauci was routinely meeting with top national security officials at that time, including in the White House Situation Room, his schedule shows.

Two days prior, Fauci and Collins had discussed the matter with a small group of virologists in a confidential call. Those virologists went on to write a highly influential letter which prompted news organizations around the world to prematurely dismiss the lab leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory.

One of those virologists, Kristian Andersen with Scripps Research Institute, also participated in the Feb. 3 call.

Emails previously reported by U.S. Right to Know show that Andersen dismissed the idea of an engineered virus to the National Academies group as “crackpot.” Yet days later he insisted in a separate email that the scientific evidence was not conclusive enough to have high confidence in either the natural or lab hypotheses.

Congress is investigating the matter.

Despite the complexity of the question at hand, the National Academies group had wrapped up its work within a few days.

The letter that resulted from the Feb. 3 call from the National Academies to the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy assumed a natural origin.

The possibility of the virus emanating from research — which scientific organizations and U.S. intelligence elements now believe to be possible — was subsequently dismissed, according to Daszak.

Daszak seemed to think that this National Academies letter – together with the letter coauthored by Andersen – were enough to dissuade the White House from exploring a possible lab origin.

“I don’t think this [National Academies] committee will be getting into the lab release or bioengineering hypothesis again any time soon — White House seems to be satisfied with the earlier meeting, paper in Nature and general comments within [the] scientific community,” Daszak told Baric.

State Department intelligence unit

A few weeks later, Baric may have briefed the State Department’s analysts, another email shows.

Baric’s gain-of-function research was at the center of speculation about a possible lab origin.

Baric’s research had privately alarmed Fauci and Andersen. Fauci met with Baric nine days after the Feb. 3 call, Fauci’s schedule shows. They discussed “chimeras,” or engineered viruses, according to virologists close to Baric.

Yet emails obtained from the State Department appear to show that Baric was asked to brief the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research about the pandemic’s possible origins.

The briefing coincided with the premature letter “debunking” the idea that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered coauthored by Andersen, which published on March 17.

Baric apparently received several emails inviting him to participate in an “analytic exchange” between March 23 and March 25.

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research briefing occurred on March 26.

“U.S. scientists say available genomic evidence shows that the SARS-CoV-2 virus probably emerged naturally in an animal before crossing to humans and was not engineered in a lab,” the write-up of the briefing read.

Baric’s apparent inclusion on the call is remarkable because he innovated viral engineering techniques that do not reveal any scars or signs of engineering.

David Feith, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in sworn testimony to Congress last month that concerns about conflicts of interest skewing the briefing were valid, but that he was precluded from naming which virologists participated.

Feith said that the experts on the call stressed the “good quality” and “robust biosafety and biosecurity programs” of China’s virology labs.

Baric would later express concerns about coronavirus gain-of-function research occurring in BSL-2 conditions at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, lower than the BSL-4 conditions required for the most dangerous pathogens.

Feith described the State Department call as “diversionary” in his Congressional testimony.

“Officials and experts who could have helped equip their colleagues (and the public) with the appropriate background to understand a novel and grave situation and weigh probabilities accordingly instead overwhelmingly deflected and denied,” Feith said.

Red Dawn

Baric prematurely assured leading infectious diseases experts that COVID could not have been engineered through more informal channels as well.

The “Red Dawn” email chain in early 2020 consisted of speculation about the unfolding pandemic and included active and former officials from across several departments and agencies, including HHS, CDC, the Department of Homeland Security, the Veterans Affairs Department and the Pentagon.

Someone on the email chain asked whether restriction sites along the viral genome suggested the pathogen was artificial.

“There is absolutely no evidence that this virus is bioengineered,” Baric responded.

IC assessment

In late April 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unusual statement that the intelligence community concurred with the “wide scientific consensus” that the virus was not engineered, a statement that appeared to echo the conclusions of the Feb. 3 and March 26 briefings.

“A majority of the views now is that it was natural, it was organic,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

In fact, a scientific consensus on this matter did not exist then and does not exist now.

Even so, the idea that SARS-CoV-2 could not be engineered also found its way into the 90-day review that the intelligence community concluded in August 2021.

“Most agencies also assess with low confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered; however, two agencies believe there was not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way,” the declassified assessment reads.

U.S. Right to Know obtained documents reported in this article through Freedom of Information Act requests to the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department. All of the documents obtained in the course of our investigation into the origins of Covid-19 can be reviewed here.

With reporting by Hana Mensendiek

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The great ADHD swindle

By Daniel Ken | TCW Defending Freedom | May 20, 2023

Over more than two decades in the classroom I’ve taught thousands of children and teenagers: some were lovely and lots were hard-working. On the other hand, quite a number were disruptive and argumentative, and a number were violently opposed to learning. But I don’t think I’ve taught more than a handful of kids who could be properly described as having the symptoms of ADHD. And that handful could just as easily have had something else wrong with them. Because here’s the thing: despite the fact that the best part of a million children are medicated for the condition, ADHD doesn’t exist.

There’s no definitive medical test for it, experts can’t agree on what it actually means, and most of the symptoms disappear if the child in question has lots of exercise, good diet and, crucially, a set of clear behavioural boundaries, preferably set early in childhood and, for the boys at least, enforced by a stable adult male living at home.

They do say that boys suffer from ADHD more than girls. Well, boys need about six hours exercise a day just to feel normal. And I’m not talking about staying up ’til four playing Zombie Nazi II on their PlayStation. How many of the ADHD sufferers in your child’s class are getting hours and hours of running about every day? How many of them eat real food every day? How many get enough sleep every night? What they do get is state-sanctioned approval to ruin your child’s education.

Boys need to be taught how to behave – if you don’t show them how, they will misbehave as though that is normal, because for them it is. Boys don’t know how to socialise themselves, which is why, left to their own devices in a rule-free, judgement-lite, female-run environment, a lot of boys turn to each other to form their own versions of a hierarchical and often very violent society. Lord of the Flies, coming to a classroom near you.

Actually, it’s already here.

Despite not being a real condition, ADHD has become something for which a parent can claim extra benefits. There are other rewards for the ADHD-enabled. They get one-to-one attention from kind, educated middle-class ladies who are very tolerant of their behaviour, and talk to them in a nice way. They get rewards for behaving normally – a big bar of chocolate, or a ‘free’ session on the computer, or they get to run odd jobs for the Deputy Head instead of having to sit in class having to pay attention and learn. It’s a very Pavlovian cycle of misbehaviour.

Having been labelled as ADHD, or ODD or whatever (I can talk to you about ODD another time), is the equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card. We are required to cut them a lot of extra slack. They’ve got legal protection. Of course, your child, behaving normally and working hard, doesn’t get any slack at all. In fact, if there’s an ADHD kid in class, your child won’t get much attention at all.

So get this straight: ADHD does not exist. It’s a con. It’s a career, for feckless parents and otherwise-unemployable do-gooders, and it’s a cash cow for Big Pharma. It may be genetic, but only in the sense that if mum is unable to exert control on her children at the age of two, then young Carl or Jack or Oscar will likely be completely out of control at 14. If from the age of two they learned to not listen, learned not to do what they’re told, learned that kicking off gets them their own way, then that’s how they will behave when they get to secondary school.

If you add in energy drinks, a crap diet, no physical exercise, 3am game-playing hyper-stimulation, the after-burner effects of hormones and a whole set of do-gooders telling them: ‘It’s not your fault’, then . . . voila!


May 20, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Foreign interference in Arab world must come to an end: Arab leaders

The Cradle | May 20, 2023

At the conclusion of the 32nd annual Arab League summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on 19 May, the regional bloc issued a joint declaration calling for an end to foreign interference in the region and reaffirming their support for Palestinian liberation.

“We call for stopping foreign interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries and categorically reject all support for the formation of armed groups and militias outside the scope of state institutions,” the joint statement reads.

It also stressed that the Israeli occupation of Palestine remains “one of the key factors of stability in the region” and condemns “in the strongest terms the practices and violations targeting Palestinians in their lives, property and existence” while calling for the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state “on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The statement goes on to hail the decision made by regional leaders to welcome Syria back into the Arab League.

“We stress the importance of continuing to intensify pan-Arab efforts aimed at helping Syria overcome its crisis in line with the joint Arab efforts and brotherly relations that connect all Arab peoples,” the statement reads.

During his closing remarks at the end of Friday’s summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) stressed that the region must not turn into a conflict zone and reassured attendants that “world peace” was near.

He also hoped Syria’s “return to the Arab League leads to the end of its crisis.”

Earlier in the day, MbS warmly welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the summit’s venue, officially marking the end of Syria’s isolation within West Asia after 12 years of a US-backed war.

“I would like to loudly welcome Syria back to its seat among its brothers,” Algerian Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane said in the opening speech of the summit.

“Today we are facing an opportunity to change the international situation that appears in the form of a unipolar world, a result of the dominance of the west, who lack all ethics and principles,” the Syrian president said during his speech.

“We stand together against the movement of darkness,” Assad added, referring to extremist armed groups that dominate the Syrian opposition, many of which have had the support of Arab League member states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

An unexpected guest at Friday’s summit was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who arrived at the last minute in a French government jet to address those present in what regional observers called “an entertainment break.”

During his speech, the Ukrainian leader invoked the Arab world’s history of invasion and occupation by claiming his country “will never submit to any foreigners or colonizers.”

“Unfortunately, there are some in the world and here among you who turn a blind eye to those [prisoner of war] cages and illegal annexations,” Zelensky, an ally of the Israeli government, told the gathering of Arab leaders.

“I’m here so that everyone can take an honest look, no matter how hard the Russians try to influence, there must still be independence,” he added before departing for Japan to plead with G7 leaders for further military and financial assistance.

After meeting with Zelensky earlier on Friday, MbS spoke about “the kingdom’s readiness to continue mediating efforts between Russia and Ukraine,” adding he would “support all international efforts aimed at resolving the crisis politically in a way that contributes to achieving security.”

According to reports in Russian media, Zelensky was set to meet with a delegation from Moscow during his brief stay in Jeddah.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Lawyers: Nouri’s solitary confinement ‘world record’, jail treatment ‘heinous’

Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official, at an appeals court hearing in Sweden. (File photo by Mizan)
Press TV – May 20, 2023

Lawyers of Iranian national Hamid Nouri, who has been illegally detained in Sweden for more than three years, have criticized his trial process and the way he is being treated in jail, saying the 62-year-old’s solitary confinement is too long and regarded as a “world record.”

Mizan news agency, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary, cited Nouri’s lawyer Hanna Larsson as saying at the tenth session of an appeals court hearing that her client has now spent 3.5 years in solitary confinement in Swedish detention centers, describing the long period as a “record” in the world and the way he is treated by jailers as “very heinous.”

Larsson said Nouri’s family members have been prevented from visiting him, blaming the Swedish prison authorities for refusing to arrange meetings despite having “enough time to do so.”

“He is entitled to have in-person and virtual meetings, but no meeting is held,” she said, adding that the prison authorities have also deprived Nouri of having access to his laptop and iPad over the past weeks.

Larsson also rebuked the Swedish authorities for preventing Nouri’s access to crucial documents required for defending him at the court, dismissing as “not true” the prosecutor’s claim that the documents had been handed over to her client.

“These documents were of great value to our client and now we cannot defend him as we should and be ready for defense,” Nouri’s lawyer underlined.

Larsson also brought up the issue of Nouri’s failing eyesight, saying her client had for several times called for arranging an appointment with an ophthalmologist but the prison authorities turned down the plea.

Thomas Bodström, another Nouri’s lawyer, confirmed Larsson’s remarks and voiced his criticism of his client’s trial process.

Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official, was arrested upon arrival in Sweden at Stockholm Airport in November 2019 and was immediately imprisoned. He was put on trial on unfounded allegations made by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group.

The terrorist group alleges Nouri was involved in the execution and torture of MKO members in 1988, but he has vehemently rejected the allegation.

Back in July last year, a Swedish court sentenced Nouri to life imprisonment. The court, which was described by Iran as illegal in the first place, convicted Nouri of war crimes and crimes against humanity based on the MKO allegations.

The 62-year-old has been put in solitary confinement since his illegal arrest. His next appeals court hearing is scheduled to be held on May 29.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , | 4 Comments

‘Patriot Act on Steroids’: Bill to Ban TikTok Could Lead to ‘Sweeping Surveillance and Censorship’ in U.S., Critics Say

By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D. | The Defender | May 19, 2023

U.S. lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant the U.S. government vast new powers to surveil and censor U.S. citizens.

The RESTRICT Act — the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act, or Senate Bill 686 — would give the federal government new powers ostensibly to mitigate national security threats posed by technology products from countries that the U.S. deems adversarial.

The bill would grant the U.S. secretary of commerce the authority to “identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate” national security risks associated with technology linked to a foreign adversary.

There are only six countries on the foreign adversary list — China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia and Cuba — but the bill allows the secretary and Congress to add any other country “if it became necessary.”

The bill does not stipulate the criteria for adding a country.

Additionally, the bill would give the commerce secretary the power to negotiate, enter into, impose and enforce “any mitigation measure” in response to national security risks.

The bill’s “broad” and “vague” language puts a great deal of power into the hands of the executive branch, according to critics, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a “leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.”

The EFF called the bill a “dangerous substitute for comprehensive data privacy legislation.”

Meanwhile, the White House “applauded” the bill, stating that it would “empower the United States government to prevent certain foreign governments from exploiting technology services operating in the United States in a way that poses risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our national security.”

The bill — which has yet to be scheduled for a vote — would create a legal framework through which the U.S. government could ban TikTok.

TikTok is regarded as a national security risk by some U.S. lawmakers who fear that its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, might share sensitive information from the more than 150 million U.S. TikTok users with the Chinese Communist Party.

U.S. Big Tech companies including Facebook’s parent company, Meta, and Google’s parent, Alphabet, are expected to benefit from an expanded market share if the U.S. government bans the Chinese-owned TikTok. 

‘Mechanism for a massive, sweeping surveillance and censorship overhaul’

However, according to investigative reporter Jordan Schachtel, “This bill is no mere ‘TikTok ban,’ it is a mechanism for a massive, sweeping surveillance and censorship overhaul.”

Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., author of “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” agreed. He told The Defender :

“The RESTRICT Act is not only aimed at the activities and expression of companies and individuals from nations deemed inimical to U.S. interests; it is a backdoor means through which the federal government can oversee the opinions and activities of all U.S. citizens, increasing the state’s powers of surveillance and abrogating citizen’s first amendment rights.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also had harsh words for the proposed legislation:

Many on both the Left and Right have criticized the bill, calling it the “Patriot Act on steroids” or the “Patriot Act 2.0.”

Weeks after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. government passed the USA PATRIOT Act, which the American Civil Liberties Union said was “an overnight revision of the nation’s surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court.”

Critics fear the RESTRICT Act would expand those powers even further.

EFF condemned the bill’s potential threats to free speech, noting that the bill doesn’t require the executive branch to justify its restrictions on expressive technologies like TikTok and that it limits lawsuit challenges to the restrictions it sets.

“Due to undefined mitigation measures coupled with a vague enforcement provision, the bill could also criminalize common practices like using a VPN or side-loading to install a prohibited app,” EFF said. “There are legitimate data privacy concerns about social media platforms, but this bill is a distraction from real progress on privacy.”

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who co-sponsored the bill, said in remarks on the Senate floor that the bill would not allow the government to “surveil Americans’ online content” or “access any American’s personal communications device.”

However, the RESTRICT Act’s broad language could potentially be interpreted to address satellite and mobile networks, cloud services and storage, internet infrastructure providers, home internet gear, commercial and personal drones, video games and payment apps, CNN said.

“Instead of passing this broad and overreaching bill, Congress should limit the opportunities for any company to collect massive amounts of our detailed personal data, which is then made available to data brokers, U.S. government agencies, and even foreign adversaries, China included,” EFF concluded.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter and researcher for The Defender based in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2021), and a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University (2015). Her scholarship has been published in Health Communication. She has taught at various academic institutions in the United States and is fluent in Spanish.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

To Do List: Re-read George Orwell’s 1984 and take detailed notes

Thoughtcrime will NOT be tolerated

Health Advisory & Recovery Team | May 19, 2023

Using particular labels has become the unbeatable weapon du jour of online warfare. If you successfully brand someone a racist, a conspiracy theorist, an anti-vaxxer, alt-right or an antisemite (ideally several of these at once), you neutralise everything-they-ever-said-ever. Boom. Done. You’re finished. Next.

A significant majority of the UK population still consumes and trusts mainstream media. No matter how dissonant to real life this version becomes, legacy media outlets continue to behave like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth and are largely getting away with it. Modus operandi: memory-hole inconvenient truths, destroy dissenters and refuse to cover any events that threaten Le Narrative™. Business as usual.

A picture paints a thousand words, as the saying goes, so let’s examine a paradigm example from George Monbiot in the Guardian, way back in 2021:

This delightful piece is replete with a Nazi salute, the use of ‘anti-vaxxer’ and conspiracy theorist slurs, a masked madman, a ‘convid hoax’ poster topped off with a title suggesting that you must be far right if you even dare to entertain any associated wrongthink. The Guardian has managed, in one fell swoop, to totally delegitimize anyone asking any questions about the covid narrative. After all, who wants to risk being lumped in with this masked nutjob? Keep your head down, your thoughts to yourself and ideally stop thinking them altogether. The parapet does not require your presence, move along please.

As with so much propaganda nowadays, this headline weaponises the threat of ostracism. Kipling Williams, a Professor of Psychology at Purdue University is a leading expert on this topic and notes the following:

“The fear of social exclusion is so salient, most bystanders will adopt the behaviour of the aggressor, ensuring their “in-group” membership, as opposed to risking possible retaliation for questioning group norms.”

Social conformity and fear of ostracism have the power to heavily influence our opinions, even if we have done no personal research on a given topic. Why bother researching when these clever, trusted, virtuous kind people who use big words have done it for us? Very early in life, children detect that certain things are not socially acceptable and are going to land them in the holy hell of social isolation. These thoughts and actions will be deftly avoided at all costs, with no need for further inquiry. It is a coping mechanism that is learned extremely young and persists into adulthood.

The more years spent in institutions of learning, the more exposure to this thought taming a person will be subjected to. In the extremely unnatural, highly age-stratified environment of the education system where thought crimes could mean instant and permanent group exclusion, it doesn’t seem worth the risk, does it? Arguably this might be even more powerful in a 24/7 environment such as boarding school. Self-censorship in full force all day, every day.

Is it a coincidence that people from such institutions are overrepresented in government? The parallels between Westminster and a boys’ public school aren’t exactly cryptic; keeping everyone in a carefully constructed hierarchy, using similar bullying techniques as those seen in a school playground if anyone steps out of line (see recent treatment of Andrew Bridgen for details). Isolate, humiliate, smear, evict. Rinse and repeat. The message is loud and clear: if you deviate from the Party Line you will be severely punished.

Institutionalised groupthink has the potential to be very dangerous and with bizarre and rapid shifts in what constitutes age-appropriate education, many parents have legitimate concerns about exactly what and how children are now being taught to think. A former OFSTED Inspector, Teacher and Teacher Educator of 40 years had the following comment:

“An examination of the National Curriculum (for England and Wales) will reveal that critical thinking and critical reading skill development have been incrementally edited out in subsequent drafts since its inception.”

If children aren’t encouraged to critique material put before them, then they won’t be asking questions of it or forming their own opinion of it. They become passive consumers of the text. Why would this be the evolving trend in education? Who does this serve? It would be interesting to know whether this is a factor in the huge increase in parents choosing to homeschool here in the UK.

The amount of money being spent by governments and institutions worldwide on ‘nudge’ units in various guises indicates that those wishing to shape the prevailing narrative fully understand the primordial fear of ostracism and are more than happy to weaponise it. Who wants to be called a racist? Absolutely no one ever. Guilt and shame are unbelievably powerful tools which can be used to moderate behaviour very effectively. But can one be ‘innoculated’ against these underhand psy-op tactics? The first step towards Thought Recovery appears to be awareness. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it, and there is certainly no going back. The culture of memes that sprang up in recent years beautifully satirises the point. In what was primarily a psychological war, memes played an important role in boosting the morale of those swimming against the tide of public opinion. The Chad vs NPC series were particularly powerful in highlighting the obvious inconsistencies in The Science™.

Most people do not like to feel as though they have been played any more than they like the idea of social isolation. At a certain point, if one believes that those doing the manipulating may have nefarious intentions, one may be persuaded to not just ‘go along to get along’, even at risk of being labelled a racist, climate denying, anti vax, alt right conspiracy theorist. Many people who supported Brexit will be familiar with this concept, as they were relentlessly called racists by the media machine and in turn by many of their friends and family. They learned to keep it to themselves but in the end, voted leave anyway. If we want to preserve truth as a valuable commodity in society, we must teach young people to critically think and to speak up when they believe something is ethically and morally wrong. If they are no longer being taught these basics in school, it falls to parents to ensure this education is completed at home. The total outsourcing of teaching is no longer a safe option for society.

For those who read George Orwell’s 1984 at school but can only vaguely remember the contents, we highly recommend refreshing your memory. It is utterly chilling in the context of what is going on in the real world. Perhaps it would make a good Christmas or birthday present for anyone stating that everything is hunky dory, we’re back to normal and there’s really nothing to worry about. Here is one of many prescient excerpts:

“The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

And in case you’re still not convinced, how about this one:

“There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.”

It seems Those In Charge have taken 1984 as a detailed instruction manual rather than a fictional novel. Let’s not let the end play out as written!

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Book Review, Full Spectrum Dominance | 1 Comment


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | May 18, 2023

Less than a year after successfully winning the fight to force Pfizer to release their COVID-19 vaccine trial data that the FDA was attempting to block for 75 years, ICAN’s Lead Counsel, Aaron Siri, Esq., joins Del with a new, updated ruling, and great news about what this ruling means for Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID vaccine trial data.


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | May 18, 2023

Biden’s new pick for Head of the NIH, Monica Bertagnolli, received more than 290 million in grants from Pfizer. This appointment comes more than a year after former director, Francis Collins, left the beleaguered agency. With deep ties to Pfizer and the cancer industry, she joins a roster of agency heads with questionable conflicts of interest, contributing to a growing distrust of our health agencies now seemingly beyond repair.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Video | , , , | Leave a comment