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COVID-19

Fear, faith, hope and love…

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6 minute read

What is more powerful, love or fear?

Or are they two sides of the same coin?

In truth, biblically speaking, the opposite of love is fear, as it is written in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.”

This year, like in any other civilization, in any country, in any regime, when a great and dangerous threat has reared its ugly head, fear leads the charge and love, faith and hope are often left aside and discarded. In our media obsessed world, faith, hope and love do not make good headlines, but words like Panic, Death, Pestilence and Fear have always spread faster than good news.

Even in biblical times, the phrase, “wars and rumors of wars,” is used to warn of the end of the age. Today, we are slightly more sophisticated, and use Pandemic…Escalation…Terrorist and other charged words rife with dramatic imagery we easily imagine.

Panic and a lack of balance in our media creates lies that are more powerful than the truth.

With the Covid 19 crisis, the spread of the latest respiratory ailment that seems to either be a fast-moving natural virus OR a well planned conspiratory illness designed to spread through the world for an un-defined purpose. Yet missing in the complete domination of our news cycle of the effect of Covid 19 on professional sports, conventions, shopping and employment is the subtle thread that speaks of patience, personal cleanliness and real facts that tell an important part of the story.

For instance, Covid 19 had been less dangerous than the influenza, smoking, cancer and abortion death rates. Where is the ban on cigarette and vape sales? With the millions of unborn children stilled, where is the outrage? Where is the absolute hysteria over ONE child that will never utter its first cry to waiting parents? Where is the statistical breakdown by age of deaths and infections of this life- threatening virus?

Why is this particular virus so special?

What is the role of pharmaceutical companies business model in prevention and treatment? Is profit driving response models?

What are the true facts about this hybrid virus that seems to possess symptoms influenza and a common cold share? In our world of genetically modified foods and cloning, it is not unreasonable to imagine a circumstance where it may indeed have been created in a laboratory, almost like gene editing.

While the illness can be deadly to those who already possess possible morbidities, those who are healthy will most likely wait out the two week period and move on with their lives, a little more cautious and perhaps with a longer term stressed immune system.

Culturally speaking, we have seen incredible repercussions such as stock market collapses, cancelation of sports leagues, school shut downs, travel bans, large group event bans, medical equipment and supply shortages, runs on toilet paper, near paranoia over simple coughs, self isolation of government leaders, tourists and amidst this rampant over-reaction, the economic implication of a fuel war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Toss in the environmental extremism of Extinction Rebellion and there is no place to go where there is faith, hope and love to lean on!

However, that is indeed the subterfuge behind the headlines.

It is only in calm, confidence that truth is presented and listened to. Amidst the noise of the cacophonous crowds crying Wolf, the loudest of the loud are heard and responded to.

Until the dreaded Covid 19 fades away, just like SARS, the Swine Flu and other health scourges, we will be subject to over-reaction from the left and abuse being heaped on those who try to see down the middle with calmness.

Rush, Canada’s legendary rock band, penned a trilogy of songs that include the lyric, “And the things that we fear, are a weapon to be used against us,” a tactic that is seemingly on our doorsteps and computer screens.

In fact, a cursory survey of international headlines quickly validates the biological weaponization of Covid 19 with the near complete paralysation of the world.

The real casualty of Covid 19 is not the comparatively small fatality rate, but rather our society that has just now crawled down into a media driven hole fraught with false narratives, laser focused headline driven content that presents extremism as representative of society as a whole.

Just as I started this peace, the real victims just may be those who cling to faith, hope and love despite a world around them that is clinging to wars and rumors of wars, death and desperation so tightly that as their lifeboat bobbles in the Atlantic, they miss the fact that the son will indeed rise in the morning and it will be a grand new day.

Faith, Hope and Love to all of you.

Tim Lasiuta

Lost in the Pandemic

 

Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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COVID-19

NIH Quietly Altered Definition For Gain-Of-Function Research On Its Website, Former Fauci Aide Confirms

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JASON COHEN

 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak confirmed on Thursday that his agency’s communications department altered NIH’s definition for gain-of-function research, with the change being “vetted” by “experts.”

The NIH until Oct. 20, 2021 defined this research as “modif[ying] a biological agent so that it confers new or enhanced activity to that agent,” while “some scientists use the term broadly to refer to any such modification,” according to the House Oversight Committee. Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York questioned Tabak, a former aide to Dr. Anthony Fauci, about the agency changing its definition of the research on its website, asking him who authorized the alteration.

WATCH:

The current website does not define gain-of-function research, but asserts this research is usually uninvolved with enhanced potential pandemic pathogens.

“The change was made by our communications department because of the confusion that people have about the generic term of gain-of-function and the specific term gain-of-function,” Tabak testified.

Malliotakis responded by suggesting the communications department would not be qualified to make a change like this and must have had other input.

“The content was vetted,” Tabak testified. “By individuals who are subject-matter experts.”

Fauci firmly denied that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funded gain-of-function research on bat-based coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) before the COVID-19 pandemic during a Senate hearing in May 2021.

“The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Fauci said.

Tabak testified on Thursday that the NIH did fund this research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but it “depends on [the] definition.”

The NIAID, which Fauci previously led, funded the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance to study bat-based coronaviruses in China that consisted of the transfer of $600,000 to the WIV, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

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COVID-19

COVID Lab Leak: Over four later, EcoHealth Alliance funding is finally suspended

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From Heartland Daily News

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Federal Funding Stripped From Nonprofit at Center of COVID Lab Leak Controversy

Today, the Biden administration suspended federal funding to the scientific nonprofit whose research is at the center of credible theories that the COVID-19 pandemic was started via a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was immediately suspending three grants provided to the New York-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) as it starts the process of debarring the organization from receiving any federal funds.

“The immediate suspension of [EcoHealth Alliance] is necessary to protect the public interest and due to a cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects EHA’s present responsibility,” wrote HHS Deputy Secretary for Acquisitions Henrietta Brisbon in a memorandum signed this morning.

For years now, EcoHealth has generated immense controversy for its use of federal grant money to support gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab.

In a memo justifying its funding suspension, HHS said that EcoHealth had failed to properly monitor the work it was supporting at Wuhan. It also failed to properly report on the results of experiments showing that the hybrid viruses it was creating there had an improved ability to infect human cells.

Congressional Republicans leading an investigation into EcoHealth’s research in Wuhan, and the role it may have played in starting the pandemic via a lab leak, cheered HHS’s decision.

“EcoHealth facilitated gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China without proper oversight, willingly violated multiple requirements of its multimillion-dollar National Institutes of Health [NIH] grant, and apparently made false statements to the NIH,” said Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R–Ohio), chair of the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in a statement. “These actions are wholly abhorrent, indefensible, and must be addressed with swift action.”

Beginning in 2014, EcoHealth received a grant from NIH’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study bat coronavirus in China. Its initial scope of work involved collecting and cataloging viruses in the wild and studying them in the lab to spot which ones might be primed to “spillover” into humans and cause a pandemic.

Soon enough, EcoHealth used some of the viruses they’d collected to create “chimeric” or hybrid viruses that might be better able to infect human lung cells in genetically engineered (humanized) mice.

This so-called “gain-of-function” research has long been controversial for its potential to create deadly pandemic pathogens. In 2014, the Obama administration paused federal funding of gain-of-function research that might turn SARS, MERS, or flu viruses into more transmissible respiratory diseases in mammals.

In 2016, NIH flagged EcoHealth’s work as likely violating the 2014 pause.

EcoHealth President Peter Daszak argued to NIH at the time that the viruses his outfit was creating had not been proven to infect human cells and were genetically different enough from past pandemic viruses that they didn’t fall under the Obama administration pause.

Wuhan Institute of Virology and Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance

NIH accepted this argument under the condition that EcoHealth immediately stop its work and notify the agency if any of its hybrid viruses did show increased viral growth in humanized mice.

But when these hybrid viruses did show increased viral growth in mice, EcoHealth did not immediately stop work or notify NIH. It instead waited until it submitted an annual progress report in 2018 to disclose the results of its experiments.

A second progress report that EcoHealth submitted in 2021, two years after its due date, also showed its hybrid viruses were demonstrating increased viral growth and enhanced lethality in humanized mice.

In testimony to the House’s coronavirus subcommittee earlier this month, Daszak claimed that EcoHealth attempted to report the results of its gain-of-function experiments on time in 2019, but was frozen out of NIH’s reporting system.

The HHS memo released today says a forensic investigation found no evidence that EcoHealth was locked out of NIH’s reporting system. The department also said that EcoHealth had failed to produce requested lab notes and other materials from the Wuhan lab detailing the work being done there and the lab’s biosafety conditions.

These all amount to violations of EcoHealth’s grant agreement and NIH grant policy, thus warranting debarment from future federal funds, reads the HHS memo.

That EcoHealth would be stripped of its federal funding shouldn’t come as too great a shock to anyone who watched Daszak’s congressional testimony from earlier this month. Even Democrats on the committee openly accused Daszak of being misleading about EcoHealth’s work and manipulating facts.

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D–Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House’s coronavirus subcommittee, welcomed EcoHealth’s suspension, saying in a press release that the nonprofit failed its “obligation to meet the utmost standards of transparency and accountability to the American public.”

An HHS Office of the Inspector General report from last year had already found that EcoHealth had failed to submit progress reports on time or effectively monitor its subgrantee, the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

When grilling Daszak, Democrats on the Coronavirus Subcommittee went to great lengths to not criticize NIH’s oversight of EcoHealth’s work. The HHS debarment memo likewise focuses only on EcoHealth’s failures to abide by NIH policy and its grant conditions.

Nevertheless, it seems pretty obvious that NIH was failing to abide by the 2014 pause on gain-of-function funding when it allowed EcoHealth to go ahead with creating hybrid coronaviruses under the condition that they stop if the viruses did prove more virulent.

NIH compounded that oversight failure by not stopping EcoHealth’s funding when the nonprofit did, in fact, create more virulent viruses, and not following up on a never-submitted progress report detailing more gain-of-function research until two years later.

The House Subcommittee’s investigation into NIH’s role in gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab is ongoing. Tomorrow it will interview NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawerence Tabak. In June, it will interview former NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.

Originally published by Reason Foundation. Republished with permission.

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