Let’s put an end to this pandemic: Why my child will not be getting a covid vaccine and what citizens and local politicians need to do
First I just want to say I respect you and your opinions and the decisions you make within your family. Sure I’d love to convince you, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last two years it’s this: Decisions people are making around covid are not necessarily about covid. My beliefs and yours are more likely tied to an overall world view.
To let you know about my world view, I’ve been associated with media my entire adult life. I’ve always loved it even though I can pinpoint the very day I realized journalism and truth were not the same thing. I spent New Years Eve 1999-2000 in a fully staffed news room because of the Y2K panic. That multi-billion dollar boondoggle turned out to be an incredible farce. In short, rather than investigate the truth thoroughly, the media as a whole convinced itself of an oncoming tragedy. In the end nearly every business in the western world spent time and money trying to fix something that was, as it turned out, absolutely nothing. When it was over the media simply didn’t talk about it. No one was at fault. No one paid a price. There was certainly a financial crime in the needless spending of billions of dollars, but there was no follow up. No one was ever charged. Who would you charge anyway? It was like a rumour no one knows who started.
Missing the big party at the turn of the century taught this young reporter a valuable lesson. Even if the vast majority of people are ‘certain’ about something that has turned into a narrative, it’s OK to question it. In fact, it’s important to question well established narratives. Basic journalism really.
Enter covid. In the winter of 2020 we all locked down for two weeks to flatten the curve. When the curve didn’t flatten we agreed to do everything we could to continue to battle the virus we were told might kill 3 or 4 percent of us. How innocent we were. I was an early proponent of masks. This was back when our government said we should NOT wear masks. I was looking at articles from Asia at the time, which made sense to me because that was where most of the covid was. I saw people in Hong Kong and South Korea going to school and shopping in their masks and I thought they must be on to something. Then for the first, and not the last time in covid, our leaders lied to us. Not just our health leaders, but our provincial Premiers and the people running our public health agencies. “Sorry. We needed all the PPE we could get for people working in health care. It was important for us to lie to you, to save them.”
Hhhhhm. No! That was a mistake or something worse. Canadians would have been happy to breathe through an old sweaty shirt if they would have told us the truth. Heck you know Canadians. Half of us would have delivered masks along with Tim Hortons to our nearest hospitals within hours. Healthcare workers would have been wading in masks, drowning in coffee and choking on timbits. That’s how Canadians would have acted. We never got the chance. Because they lied. Public health care officials and politicians decided as a group that the public was not to be dealt with squarely, but we should be handled. That makes them liars. They have not changed that position. I can’t explain why people continue to believe everything they say.
Somehow the VAST majority of media failed to take our officials to task for lying to us. It broke our trust. Like so many I have not accepted anything media or government and public health officials have said since, without checking on it first. What kind of a reporter would I be if I did? The officials we elected to serve us could have apologized and stuck to the truth and earned our trust back. Instead they double down every chance they get. Politicians are caught breaking the rules they’re setting for us constantly. They allow the large multinational store to operate, but they shut down the neighbourhood pub. They allow thousands to attend some events, but punish preachers for opening their doors to a few hundred. They greet each other with drinks and hugs, then put on their masks and step away from each other for the official photographs. Now they’re allowing only the double-vaxed to travel while restricting people who have actually tested negative. Comically absurd. All this under the eyes of the media who lift not one finger to complain on our behalf.
So here we are. People have fallen into their camps and very few are switching sides. On one side, are the Pro Mandaters. They continue to invest their trust in the institutions we grew up with. The politicians and the health officials, and the people on TV and in the newspapers have always told the truth right? OK maybe they don’t ‘always’ tell the truth, but our health is their top priority right? You’d certainly hope so, but there’s a simple fact that proves differently. TREATMENT. Despite the fact politicians and some leading health officials declare ignorance, they know millions of people are being treated. They know India and Japan have had miraculous results after offering treatment.
They know doctors in the United States and Canada have used over 20 different treatments with results ranging from interesting, to incredible. They don’t care. It’s not that they just insist vaccine mandates are the best way forward. Those in charge go as far as to ban treatment for desperate, dying people. Then they punish anyone who dares to try to save lives through safe, trusted, well known and widely used treatments. Let me repeat that… they ban treatment for desperate, dying people. Take a second to let that sink in.
When I was younger, a veteran reporter once told me how things really work. At a city council meeting I came to him perplexed at a seemingly stupid decision. He told me that whenever things don’t make sense it always has something to do with money. “Stop trying to make sense of it, and start looking for who is making money from that decision.” Probably the best advice I ever got until this next piece about politicians. I’m paraphrasing: “When you phone a politician and ask for a call back, you’d better keep this in mind. Politicians don’t care about you. They don’t care about your tv station. They care about being reelected. If they think talking to you about something voters care about will get them reelected, they’ll call you back right away. If not, they’ll avoid you like the plague. You need to make them understand this question will influence the next election. You’ll get a call every time.”
While it’s difficult to believe politicians could deny treatment to dying people, it’s nearly impossible to think public health officials would be so cruel. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting my head around that. These are good people. They are in public health care after all. This is a good time to think of that advice about things that don’t make sense. So, forget about trying to make sense of it and ask “who is making money from this decision?”. Well in this case it’s the pharmaceuticals. These are some of the biggest businesses in the world. They have been the most heavily fined businesses in the world. Pre-covid, they were viewed as among the most untrustworthy businesses in the world. Then their public face turned from lawyers and multi-millionaire executives, to public health officials and we forgave (or forgot). In his new book Robert F. Kennedy Jr. examines the relationship between pharmaceuticals and the world’s most influential (dare I say powerful) health official, Anthony Fauci. Kennedy outlines how over the many decades of Fauci’s leadership, the US has turned into an incredibly unhealthy nation with an insatiable thirst for pharmaceuticals. Instead of promoting healthy lifestyles, public health officials have become intertwined with the pharmaceutical industry. Now it starts to make sense.
Then there’s the other side, widely known as the Anti Vaxers even though this is the only vaccine most of them haven’t taken. The Pro Mandaters may not know it, but the other side are not against vaccines, they’re against MANDATING THIS PARTICULAR vaccine. They know the risk for a severe outcome for people below 70 with no comorbidities is extremely low. They’re OK with that risk. They’re not OK with being ordered to take part in a medical trial. A lot of them, tens of thousands in fact, have had covid already. Even the NIH admits readily that covid survivors have lasting strong immunity. Can’t catch it. Can’t pass it on. Unlike vaccinated people who still get sick and pass covid on to someone else. There’s only one way to protect yourself from catching covid with statistical success. That’s to have had covid already. Why these people are being asked to also get vaccinated is something future medical students will shake their heads at.
Many of us know someone, or know of someone who has died of covid. Other people we know of have been saved by a treatment we’re not supposed to even talk about. Those who have died are poorly mourned at small funerals. Those who were saved are buried in a different way. We’re not to talk about them. Incredibly as doctors in other parts of the world are treating, and studying, and creating data, our front line health care practitioners are relegated to the sidelines, waiting to see what their public health officials will allow. Some step up at great risk. They diagnose and prescribe treatments their training and experience tells them will work. I’ve met two people who felt they were close to death when a very brave doctor swept in with treatment cocktails. Neither of the people I talked to knew each other. Their experiences happened months, and miles apart. Both swear they turned around dramatically within hours of their first dose. You’d think they’d stand on the roof and yell out their truth. But they’re scared. Who can blame them? Both doctors who treated them have been disciplined. If lives are not as important as the narrative, how could mere careers have a chance?
I’m not personally against the vaccine. I am very much against mandating it, and I am very much against giving it to children. We are here to protect our children, not to ask them to protect us. Knowing that young people are statistically at a greater risk of a serious reaction from the vaccine than they are from covid, I will keep my child away from this particular vaccine. Knowing that children are at less risk from covid than they are from the yearly flu virus I will act accordingly. Children have a statistical 0 % chance of dying from covid and they are not good at spreading it to adults. They don’t need to take the risk, as tiny as it is, of suffering from a vaccine reaction.
My final argument is the simple fact that our government’s Zero Covid Approach is obviously failing. Show a single country in the world which is both highly vaccinated, and has wiped out covid. There’s not a single example. Meanwhile, two prominent countries with good record keeping and advanced health care systems have had remarkable success against covid. Japan has a vaccination rate well above 70%. India is struggling to get to 20%. The two countries have completely different levels of vaccinated citizens, but they share one thing in common. Facing brutal waves of covid earlier this year, in desperation both Japan and India allowed medical treatments.
Less than 20 percent of India’s population is vaccinated. Japan’s rate is in the 70’s. Clearly something other than vaccinations is in play. Treatment.
So how do we get out of this mess here in Alberta, Canada? I’m certainly open to ideas. Personally I only see one way out and one path to get there. It starts at home and leads directly to our local politicians. We need to face our fear of speaking the truth within our families and among our loved ones. We need to resist the name calling and the emotion (speaking to myself here), and stick to reciting boring facts and data. Then a very critical step. We need to talk to our school board members, and our city councillors. They are not affiliated with a political party and don’t have to worry about being punished by political bosses. We need to insist they take the measures they can to set us on a new path. The approach of mandating vaccines on employees and restricting citizens while banning medical treatments is a colossal misstep, a divider of families and community, and a devastation on local business. Most importantly it steals the lives of desperate, dying citizens. We need to beg, plead and demand our local politicians stand up against vaccine mandates and restrictions against their citizens in private and public buildings. We need to respect the legal choices of individuals. Together we need to demand doctors be allowed to treat patients the way they always have. With treatment, the need for the restrictions and mandates will vanish. This is the only way to get our communities and our families back, if it’s not too late already.
As for the politicians who are in a position to make changes quickly. Remember the advice from my friend and veteran reporter. We need to stop waisting our time with common sense arguments and start appealing to them about the next election. They’re reading the polls and those polls tell them most of the voters are afraid. It’s a tragedy that leaders with courage are so few and far between, but this is the world we live in and this is the fault of the courageous for avoiding politics. The good news is if we start to demand treatment and this movement grows it’s only a matter of time! The very second those same poll-reading politicians see enough people are demanding treatment, they’ll suddenly rise above their role of vaccine sales person and switch over to medical treatment advocates. It will happen in the blink of an eye. If you want treatment there when you’re the one who gets sick, start advocating now. The best thing about it is everyone wins, because medication is a both – and solution. Medications don’t need vaccines to go away, they just make them a voluntary extra precaution.
Premiers tremble at the very thought of contradicting the public health officials they used to hire and fire as they saw fit. The cowardice is embarrassing. Worse. Their cowardice stops so many thousands from encountering a doctor who wants to treat them with available drugs. For the rest of us, their cowardice means we’ll continue indefinitely to live in a suspended existence, restricted from going where we want to, when we want to, to do what we want. In fear, we willingly surrendered our freedoms and assaulted our small businesses and our community life. Those freedoms and those communities will not come back until effective medical treatments for covid are no longer banned.
Even though I’m vaccinated to protect my mother my child will not be vaccinated. My older children have made their decisions. My youngest is too young to make that decision. I’ll take the lesser of the two risks, and the one that will protect him the most going forward. Most importantly I know there are treatments available and I know who to talk to if someone close to me gets sick.
Here’s the Guide to Home Based Treatment for Covid from the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, and here’s the Guide to Covid Early Treatment from a group of US doctors on their website TruthForHealth.
Eye Protection Wasn’t Misdirection
From the Brownstone Institute
“If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it.” ~ Anthony Fauci, July 30th, 2020
We had heard enough from Fauci by the time this comment was made in mid-2020 to begin automatically tuning out his frequently contradictory advice. What if we had given weight to this comment and explored why he began recommending goggles (yet never donned them himself)?
While I’m not surprised that the inner anatomy of the face including ocular ducts and connectivity within structures aren’t common knowledge, I expected more of a reaction from the medical community regarding Fauci’s push for eye protection. Not only do medical professionals take extensive coursework on human anatomy — they are required to meet annually with an Industrial Hygienist for fit tested, hazard-specific kit for each exposure setting , including ocular protection. This testing process requires going into detail about each exposure setting and required donning and donning practices within the scope of their professional duties.
Instead of elaborating on his recommendation, Fauci just publicly hushed on the issue and folks carried on, obediently masked up yet entirely neglectful of their nasolacrimal ducts. Shame, shame.
These are the structures of the lacrimal apparatus connecting ocular and nasal pathways. Basically, the eye drains into the nasal cavity. None of the talking heads of the medical community ever seem to bring up that these parts of the body connect with one another, and while we hear about masks ad nauseam three entire years after the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, no one is arguing with strangers on the internet about goggles.
Bernie Sanders was recently praised for being the only person at the February, 2023 State of the Union donning a (sub-grade, non-mitigating) respirator, but eye spy something fishy. It was noted that he kept removing his glasses, as they were fogging up.
Those who have donned respirators have experienced that exhale emissions are generally redirected out of the nose bridge (or out of side gaps if improperly sealed). This is the exhale emission plume create by a fitted, unvalved N95 respirator:
This plume of warm, moist respiratory emissions is what causes glasses to fog. This is precisely why I continue to argue that masks are NOT source control for respiratory aerosols, because these apparatuses are not designed nor intended to protect others from your emissions, but solely for protection of the wearer. The ASTM agrees with me on this matter:
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings F3502-21 Note 2 states, “There are currently no established methods for measuring outward leakage from a barrier face covering, medical mask, or respirator. Nothing in this standard addresses or implies a quantitative assessment of outward leakage and no claims can be made about the degree to which a barrier face covering reduces emission of human-generated particles.”
Additionally, Note 5 states, “There are currently no specific accepted techniques that are available to measure outward leakage from a barrier face covering or other products. Thus, no claims may be made with respect to the degree of source control offered by the barrier face covering based on the leakage assessment.”
So does it matter if your neighbor’s exhale emissions are directed in your face for the duration of your 6-hour flight?
Absolutely. Imagine sitting between these two fine fellas with your eyes exposed, and their emission plumes directed right in your face.
In mitigation of aerosol hazards, eye protection is a standard part of required kit, because those from the correct domain of expertise, Industrial Hygiene, know enough about human anatomy to remember the interconnectivity of facial structures.
Ocular transmission of SARS-CoV-2
There has been a great deal of focus on respiratory protection since the start of the pandemic, but ocular transmission was already established for SARS-CoV-1.
“SARS-CoV-1 has been shown to be transmitted through direct contact or with droplet or aerosolized particle contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth. Indeed, during the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 outbreak in Toronto, health care workers who failed to wear eye protection in caring for patients infected with SARS-CoV-1 had a higher rate of seroconversion.”
We are beginning to see mounting research on ocular transmission for SARS-CoV-2 emerge, as well, traveling through the nasolacrimal duct from the eye, draining into the sinus cavity.
“There is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 may either directly infect cells on the ocular surface, or virus can be carried by tears through the nasolacrimal duct to infect the nasal or gastrointestinal epithelium.”
“The nasolacrimal system provides an anatomic connection between the ocular surface and the upper respiratory tract. When a drop is instilled into the eye, even though some of it is absorbed by the cornea and the conjunctiva, most of it is drained into the nasal cavity through the nasolacrimal canal and is subsequently transferred to the upper respiratory or the gastrointestinal tract.”
“SARS-CoV-2 on the ocular surface can be transferred to different systems along with tears through the nasolacrimal route.”
Seldom did ocular exposure result in eye infection, while systemic infections occurred regularly. Ocular exposure cannot always be determined as the point of contact for this reason, as an eye infection does not always coincide with systemic infection.
The nasolacrimal duct is often discussed in ocular transmission research, but this is not the sole ocular transmission pathway discussed.
“There are two pathways by which ocular exposure could lead to systemic transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (1) Direct infection of ocular tissues including cornea, conjunctiva, lacrimal gland, meibomian glands from virus exposure and (2) virus in the tears, which then goes through the nasolacrimal duct to infect the nasal or gastrointestinal epithelium.”
Additionally, research is being conducted on the usage of ocular secretions in transmitting SARS-CoV-2.
“Then here comes the question, whether SARS-CoV-2 detected in conjunctival secretions and tears is an infectious virus? Colavita et al inoculated Vero E6 cells with the first RNA positive ocular sample obtained from a COVID-19 patient. Cytopathic effect was observed 5 days post-inoculation, and viral replication was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR in spent cell medium. Hui et al also isolated SARS-CoV-2 virus from a nasopharyngeal aspirate specimen and a throat swab of a COVID-19 patient. The isolated virus not only infected human conjunctival explants but also infected more extensively and reached higher infectious viral titers than SARS-CoV.”
According to this study, ocular secretions were highly infectious.
“The ocular surface can serve as a reservoir and source of contagion for SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted to the ocular surface through hand-eye contact and aerosols, and then transfer to other systems through nasolacrimal route and hematogenous metastasis. The possibility of ocular transmission of SARS-CoV-2 cannot be ignored.”
This paper also has a focus on aerosols coming into contact with ocular mucosa.
“Once aerosols form, SARS-CoV-2 can bind to the ACE2 on the exposed ocular mucosa to cause infection. In order to prevent aerosols from contacting the eye surface, eye protection cannot be ignored.”
An additional area explored in this analysis discusses rhesus macaques wherein solely those inoculated through the ocular route became infected.
“If the ocular surface is the portal for SARS-CoV-2 to enter, where does the virus transfer after entering? An animal experiment reveals the possible nasolacrimal routes of SARS-CoV-2 transfer from the ocular surface. Five rhesus macaques were inoculated with 1×106 50% tissue-culture infectious doses of SARS-CoV-2. Only in the conjunctival swabs of rhesus macaques inoculated via conjunctival route could the SARS-CoV-2 be detected. Conjunctival swabs of the rhesus macaques that were inoculated via intragastric or intratracheal route were negative. Three days post conjunctival inoculation, rhesus macaques presented mild interstitial pneumonia. Autopsies showed that SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in the nasolacrimal system tissues, including the lacrimal gland, conjunctiva, nasal cavity, and throat, which connected the eyes and respiratory tract on anatomy.”
An additional macaque study had similar findings.
“Deng et al. showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection could be induced by ocular surface inoculation in an experimental animal model using macaques. Although the researchers detected the virus in conjunctival swabs only on the first day after inoculation, they continued to detect it in nasal and throat swabs 1-7 days after the inoculation. Their findings demonstrated that the viral load in the airway mucosa was much higher than that in the ocular surface. They euthanized and necropsied one of the conjunctival inoculated-animals and found that the virus had spread to the nasolacrimal system and ocular tissue, nasal cavity, pharynx, trachea, tissues in the oral cavity, tissues in the lower-left lobe of the lung, inguinal and perirectal lymph node, stomach, duode-num, cecum, and ileum. They also found a specific IgG antibody, indicating that the animal was infected with SARS-CoV-2 via the ocular surface route.”
While the nasolacrimal route is the primary focus in most current research, the blood-retinal barrier (BRB) is also discussed as a possible pathway.
“Once it reaches the ocular surface, SARS-CoV-2 could invade the conjunctiva and iris under the mediation of ACE2 and CD147, another possible receptor for SARS-CoV-2 on host cells. De Figueiredo et al described the following possible pathways. After reaching blood capillaries and then choroid plexus, the virus reaches the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), which expresses both ACE2 and CD147 in retinal pigment epithelial cells and blood vessel endothelial cells. Since CD147 mediates the breakdown of neurovascular blood barriers, the virus can cross the BRB and enter into blood.”
There has been a push recently to bring back masks for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), especially in schools, as this pathogen largely impacts youth populations, yet ocular transmission is a proven method of infectivity for RSV.
In this paper, intranasal dosing of the given pathogen resulted in onset of illness for nearly all respiratory pathogens studied. It reviews transmission routes and minimum infective dose for Influenza, Rhinovirus, Coxsackievirus, Adenovirus, RSV, Enteric Viruses, Rotavirus, Norovirus, and Echovirus, including ocular transmission.
“The infective doses of rhinoviruses in the nose and eyes are thought to be comparable because the virus does not infect the eyes but appears to travel from the eyes to the nasal mucosa via the tear duct.”
“Hall et al. (1981) investigated the infectivity of RSV A2 strain administered by nose, eye, and mouth in adult volunteers. They reported that the virus may infect by eye or nose and both routes appear to be equally sensitive. A dose of 1.6 × 105 TCID50 infected three of the four volunteers given either into the eyes or nose while only one out of the eight were infected via mouth inoculation, and this was thought to be due to secondary spread of the virus.”
“RSV A2 had poor infectivity when administered via the mouth but was shown to infect by eye and nose and both routes appear to be equally sensitive to the virus.”
“Bynoe et al. (1961) found that colds could be produced almost as readily by applying virus by nasal and conjunctival swabs as by giving nasal drops to volunteers.”
Would masks save schools from RSV circulation? Most kids have robust immune systems, with a very, very small percentage of the youth population undergoing chemotherapy or taking immunosuppressives, who usually are not on campus for in-person learning. But for those seeming protection and in-person instruction, we must not set them up for immune bombardment by offering a false sense of security while feigning ignorance of other viable transmission routes. Masks are not the answer.
Ocular transmission of respiratory pathogens hasn’t been a focal point of study, but with other pathogens and mounting research on SARS-CoV-2 showing such ease of systemic onset for this transmission route, more attention should be given to this area of research.
Consider all of the people you’ve seen donning masks or respirators over these past three years, assured in the merit of their virtue. How many still got sick? Did you ever once see someone donning goggles? Are we ever going to get around to discussing exhaustion of the hierarchy of controls, or are actual mitigating measures too taboo, too fringe?
TLDR: Ocular transmission is a viable method of transmission for SARS-CoV-2. Masks are not source control. Even N95s aren’t going to fix this. And all child masks are unregulated, untested, unethical, and unsafe, with zero efficacy, fit, term of wear, or medical clearance standards, and with ocular transmission being a proven route of transmission for RSV, masks aren’t going to fix that issue, either.
Curious: Angela Merkel’s September 2019 Visit to Wuhan
From the Brownstone Institute
In a much-tweeted soundbite from the recent Congressional hearing on the origins of Covid-19, former CDC director Robert Redfield noted that three unusual events occurred in Wuhan in September 2019 suggesting a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
But another, in retrospect, highly curious event also occurred in Wuhan in September 2019: namely, none other than then German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to the city and, more specifically, to the Tongji Hospital on the left bank of the Yangtze River. The hospital is also known as the German-Chinese Friendship Hospital.
The below photo from Germany’s Deutsche Presse Agentur shows Chancellor Merkel being greeted by nurses at the hospital reception on September 7, 2019. (Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung.)
A 2021 House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Report, referring in greater detail to the same events as Redfield, concludes that a lab leak took place at the WIV sometime prior to September 12, when, notably, the WIV’s virus and sample database was mysteriously taken offline in the middle of the night (p. 5 and passim).
What an incredible coincidence that the German Chancellor was visiting Wuhan’s Tongji Hospital at almost precisely the time when, according to Redfield’s speculations, a potentially catastrophic event was taking place across the river at the Wuhan Institute of Virology! This was, moreover, merely three months before the first officially acknowledged cases of Covid-19 began to turn up in the city.
But the coincidence is in fact even more incredible. For when those first cases did begin to turn up in Wuhan in early December 2019, they did not in fact turn up in the vicinity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology on the right bank of the Yangtze, but rather in the direct vicinity of Tongji Hospital on the left bank!
The below mapping of the initial cluster of cases from Science magazine makes this clear. The black dot is the epicenter of the cluster. Cross #5 marks the location of Tongji Hospital.
And that is not all. As discussed in my earlier article on “The Other Lab in Wuhan,”although the WIV was relatively far removed from the outbreak – say around 10 kilometers from the epicenter as the crow flies — there is in fact another virus research lab in Wuhan that is located right in the area of the initial cluster.
The lab in question is the German-Chinese Joint Laboratory of Infection and Immunity – or, as its German co-director Ulf Dittmer has also called it, the “Essen-Wuhan Laboratory for Virus Research” – and the Chinese host institution of the German-Chinese Joint Lab is none other than the Tongji-Hospital-affiliated Tongji Medical College.
Per Google maps, Tongji Medical College is located around one kilometer due north of the hospital. Have another look at the above map keeping in mind the indicated scale. This would put it nearly right at the epicenter of the outbreak!
According to German and Chinese sources, however, the lab is in fact located at another hospital affiliated with Tongji Medical College: Wuhan Union Hospital. The location of Union Hospital is marked by cross #6 on the Science map: still in the cluster, but a bit further away from the epicenter.
A press release on the website of the University of Duisburg-Essen, the German co-sponsor of the lab, notes that:
The Joint Lab is fully equipped for virus research. It is a BSL2 safety laboratory with access to BSL3 conditions. German and Chinese members of the lab have access to a large sample collection form [sic.] patients of the Department of Infectious Diseases for their research.
BSL stands for “biosafety level.”
The below photo from a German article on the Essen-Wuhan collaboration shows the virologist Xin Zheng of Union Hospital, Tongji Medical School, at work in the joint lab. Per the cited source, Xin did her doctorate at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Could SARS-CoV-2 have leaked from the joint lab?
And, while we’re at it, was gain-of-function research being conducted at the lab? We do not know, but we do know that the German members of the lab will, at any rate, have been in contact with a nearby lab where it was being conducted. For the Wuhan Institute of Virology lists the University of Duisburg-Essen as one of its partner institutions.
Furthermore, in addition to its own partnership with the University of Duisburg-Essen, Tongji Medical College also has a longstanding academic exchange program with the Charité research and teaching hospital in Berlin of none other than Christian Drosten: the German virologist whose controversial and ultrasensitive PCR protocol, in effect, guaranteed that the Covid-19 outbreak would acquire the status of a “pandemic.”
As discussed in “The Other Lab in Wuhan,” Drosten appears as one of the scientists participating in the so-called “Fauci emails,” and of all the participants, he is the most vehement denier of the possibility of a lab leak.
In remarks in the German press, Drosten has admitted that he began working on his Covid-19 testing protocol before any Covid-19 cases had even officially been reported to the WHO! He says he did so based on information he had from unnamed virologist colleagues working in Wuhan. (Source: Die Berliner Zeitung.)
Speaking of which, Drosten can be seen below in the company of none other than Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the scientist whose research on bat coronaviruses is suspected of being at the origin of a Covid-19 lab leak.
The picture comes from a “Sino-German Symposium on Infectious Diseases” that took place in Berlin in 2015 and that was organized by Ulf Dittmer of the University of Duisburg-Essen. Dittmer, as noted above, is the co-director of the Essen-Wuhan lab, which would be founded two years later. The symposium was funded by the German Ministry of Health.
Dittmer is the bald man with the striped shirt in the full group picture of symposium participants below. (Source: University of Duisburg-Essen.) The jovial bearded man with the bowtie in the next row is none other than Thomas Mertens, the current chair of the “Standing Committee on Vaccination” of the German health authority, the Robert Koch Institute.
The Berlin symposium was held one year after the US government declared a moratorium on gain-of-function research.
As it so happens, Drosten himself has been involved in gain-of-function research, as the below screen shot from the webpage of the German RAPID project makes clear.
RAPID stands for “Risk Assessment in Prepandemic Respiratory Infectious Diseases.” Further information from the German Ministry of Education and Research expressly states that Drosten’s Charité hospital does not merely oversee, but is directly involved (beteiligt) in RAPID sub-project 2: i.e. “identification of host factors by loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments.”
Imagine for a moment that then President Donald Trump paid a visit to Wuhan in September 2019, at the very time that a lab leak is suspected to have occurred in the city.
And imagine that, while there, he made a stop at a hospital that is affiliated with a medical school located in the very epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak that would officially occur three months later.
Imagine that this medical school, furthermore, runs a joint, BSL-3 capable, virus research lab with an American university – let’s say, for example, Ralph Baric’s University of North Carolina – and that Baric and his colleagues were themselves conducting research right in Wuhan!
And imagine that the American university in question is also a partner institution of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Baric’s University of North Carolina is not in fact) and that the local Wuhan medical school also has a partnership with, say, the NIH.
And imagine that there is even a photo of none other than Anthony Fauci of the NIH with none other than Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology at a joint “Sino-American Symposium on Infectious Diseases” in Washington that was organized by Baric and funded by the US Department of Health four years before the Covid-19 outbreak. And imagine, for good measure, that, say, Rochelle Walensky was also present at the event.
Imagine, finally, that Fauci had not just (allegedly) provided funding for gain-of-function research, but was himself directly involved in it.
The above concatenation of circumstances would undoubtedly be regarded as what some members of the US intelligence community might call “slam-dunk” proof of US complicity in any lab leak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that may have occurred in Wuhan.
Why does the ample evidence of manifold German connections to and indeed involvement in virus research in Wuhan not merit at least the same degree of scrutiny, if not to say of certainty?
Curious: Angela Merkel’s September 2019 Visit to Wuhan
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