The Vaccine Narrative Is as Leaky as the Vaccines
Let’s start with two simple questions. If regulators had the information available to them of the leakage between Covid-19 efficacy rates in controlled trials and their effectiveness in the real world, would they still grant emergency use authorization? Would their legal framework permit them to do so?
Remember, all laws serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, they are permissive and enabling, granting powers to do certain things. On the other, they are limiting and restrictive, ring-fencing what may lawfully be done even by the state.
Second, is Denmark being ruled by an anti-vaxxer government and health authority? From July 1 Denmark, which has an excellent health infrastructure including data collection, banned under-18s from being vaccinated and in mid-September the ban was extended to boosters for under-50s, other than in exceptional circumstances for immunocompromised and high-risk individuals in both cases.
The explanation offered by the health authorities is interesting both for what they said and what they did not say. They anticipate a rise in Covid-19 infections over autumn and winter and “aim to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and death.” This risk applies to 50-year olds and above and not those younger. Because the vaccines are not meant to prevent infection, they will no longer be offered to the under-50s.
However, governments don’t ban products merely because they are not beneficial. Bans apply only to products that inflict harms. So the unstated reality is the benefit: harm ratio is no longer favorable. The really interesting question therefore is: why don’t they say so? The empirical data from around the world demonstrates negligible to negative vaccine effectiveness for healthy under-50s and greater risk of serious adverse events. Denmark’s decision marks official if implicit acknowledgment that harms are greater than benefits.
Baffling Origins of Lockdown
The lockdowns across the Western world remain, to me, inexplicable and baffling. The abandonment of a century’s worth of cumulative scientific knowledge and global and national pandemic preparedness plans were based neither on new science nor emerging data.
Rather, they were based firstly on apocalyptic modelling using flawed assumptions and secondly on dubious data from China whose authoritarian policies played to innate instincts in our own health bureaucrats and politicians, cheered on by the mainstream media. In a further nod to anti-scientific groupthink conformism, critical and contrarian voices within the health and political establishments were silenced and exorcised. Outside government, they were vilified and expelled from the public square in active collusion with the social media tech giants.
In February 2020, when the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama with 3,711 people on board, Kentaro Iwata, an infectious diseases expert at Kobe University, described it as a “Covid-19 mill.” Outbreaks seed easily on cruise ships because of the high numbers of susceptible elderly passengers living and socializing in confined quarters.
Even under these worst possible conditions, under one-fifth of the captive population was infected, a small number of the infected died and 98.2% recovered. Using age-adjusted data, Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine estimated the infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.5% and a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.1% on the Diamond Princess and, as of March 26, 2020, a global IFR of approximately 0.20% (compared to the seasonal flu’s 0.1% and the Spanish flu’s >2.5% which killed mostly people in the 20–40 age bracket). Reassuringly, even for the over-70s without comorbidities, the IFR was below 1%.
All this ‘bullet proof’ data was thrown out in favor of completely unreliable data and fake videos from China that were then fed into mathematical modelling to produce apocalyptic scenarios that in turn were treated as forecasts by the media and governments. Madness.
India’s Experience: Vaccines Are Not Necessary for Beating Back Covid
India’s experience in mid-2021 proved that vaccines are not necessary for rapid mass recovery from a virulent Covid wave. Anyone who has followed the Covid narrative will remember the horrific pictures in spring-summer 2021 with bodies floating ashore on riverbanks and piling up in cremation grounds. The gradient was broadly similar during the curve’s ascent and descent, with the death rate reaching 1.06 per million people on April 20, peaking at 2.98 on May 21 and 23 and falling back to 1.00 on June 24 (Figure 1). On those three dates India’s full vaccination coverage was 1.26%, 2.96% and 3.53% of the population, respectively.
People questioned the reliability of the data, openly asserting a vast undercount in order to cushion the political embarrassment. Knowing something of India, I disagree and noted more than a hint of racism in the coverage. No matter. Even if the authorities deliberately suppressed the rising numbers of dead, it would be absurd to suggest they did the same with the downward numbers. The symmetrical rise and fall is consistent with the experience of most countries with successive waves of the virus. Whatever else might explain the fall, it certainly wasn’t high vaccination coverage. Herd immunity to the then-dominant Delta variant through a mix of uncontrolled infections and modest vaccination, possibly.
Another contender for the explanation is the widespread use of ivermectin. Mid-crisis in May last year, the state government of Uttar Pradesh (India’s most populous state with 200 million people!), boasted it had been the first to authorize large-scale prophylactic and therapeutic use of ivermectin against Covid-19 in May–June 2020. Studies were confirming that “the drug helped the state to maintain a lower fatality and positivity rate as compared to other states.”
A meta-analysis by Andrew Bryant and Tess Lawrie in the American Journal of Therapeutics of 24 randomized control trials (RCTs) in 15 countries (one of which was subsequently pulled as possibly fraudulent) concluded that ivermectin significantly helps to prevent and treat Covid-19 and, with a 62% mortality reduction, can potentially save millions of lives. They published a follow-up analysis in the same journal that removed the suspect study and the results still showed robust ivermectin efficacy.
An analysis of seven RCTs, covering 1,327 patients, by Swedish physician Sebastian Rushworth found “a 62% reduction in the relative risk of dying among Covid patients treated with ivermectin.” A recent large-scale study from Brazil published on August 31 found that, compared to regular users, non-use of ivermectin increased the risk of Covid-related mortality by 12.5 times and dying from Covid by seven times.
Yet for some strange reason, Western health bureaucracies would neither recommend ivermectin – a low cost, off patent and no profit drug for Big Pharma – nor fund a rigorous but fair (that is, not designed to fail) clinical assessment of its efficacy against Covid. It had morphed into Voldermectin: the drug that must not be named.
Global Experience: Vaccines Are Not Sufficient to Beat Back Covid
My earlier articles show why Australia’s Covid numbers this year demonstrate that vaccines are not sufficient to prevent mass infections, hospitalization and deaths either. Steve Kirsch alerted his Substack subscribers on September 17 to an internal report for the governing Liberal Party of Canada back in June. It makes for depressing reading that will come as no surprise to all of us who have grown increasingly cynical about public health authorities and governing elites. The report draws on official Ontario data, is informed by wide international scholarship and emphasizes that the empirical results are in line with trends in other Canadian provinces and countries.
The fully vaccinated show rise in hospital admissions within 5-6 months; the boosted, within two weeks and rising thereafter for several months. Immunity through natural infection can last up to 20 months. Vaccination shows considerable benefits to over-70s and some benefit to over-60s but virtually no benefit to under-60s with respect to hospitalization and mortality rates. By contrast, adverse events are concentrated in the 18–69 age groups, and especially, in order of most to least, in the 40–49, 50–59 and 30–39 age groups.
Because the “abundance of data” demonstrates that vaccines do not prevent infection, transmission, hospitalization and deaths for the under-60s, “public health policy tools such as, mass vaccination campaigns, mandates, passports and travel restrictions need to be re-evaluated for relevance.” Factoring in also “known adverse events and unknown long-term effects,” the “empirical evidence investigated in this report … does not support continuing mass vaccination programs, mandates, passports and travel bans for all age groups.” The government has sat on this report since June – what a surprise.
Meanwhile there continues to be very little evidence in the real world that countries with high rates of multiple vaccine doses suffer correspondingly lower rates of Covid-19 mortality (Figures 2 and 3). In the two charts, Chile has both the highest booster rollout and the highest Covid-related death rate per capita, while India has the lowest booster coverage yet the second lowest mortality rate.
Some experts point to a worrying trend of rising excess mortality among under-14s in 28 European countries. An article in Vaccine – downloaded more than 110,000 times in preprint – seems to suggest, albeit tentatively, that added risks of serious adverse events are 2.4 and 4.4 times higher than the reduced risk of hospitalization for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, respectively. Cautioning that the harm-benefit ratio will vary with populations at different Covid risk profiles and in different time periods from the Moderna and Pfizer studies they analyzed, the authors conclude with the need for large, randomized trials to come to robust conclusions. It would help if Moderna and Pfizer would release the granular, individual level data in their possession.
In a follow-up note on Substack, two of the study’s authors note that the normal rate of adverse events for other vaccines is 1-2 per million. The swine flu vaccine (1976) was pulled after it was associated with Guillain-Barre Syndrome at a 1 in 100,000 rate. By comparison, the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials show 125 adverse events per 100,000 vaccinated people, while preventing between 22-63 hospitalizations.
Another new study of almost 900,000 5-11-year-old children in North Carolina, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, adds to concerns that vaccines don’t just lose their effectiveness in just a few months; they also destroy natural immunity against reinfection severe enough to put them in hospital.
Panels C and D (the study’s authors use “Panel” rather than “Chart”) clearly show that among people infected by the Delta variant, protection against reinfection of the unvaccinated lasts longer than of the vaccinated. The former’s effectiveness was still above 50% eight months later in May 2022 while the latter’s had fallen to zero (Figure 4). But with the Omicron variant, the previously infected are slightly better off vaccinated than unvaccinated after two months (94.3:90.7%) and much better off after four months (73.8:62.9%). The likely, albeit not definitive, explanation is that the vaccines themselves are destroying the protection provided by natural immunity.
Three comments about Panels E and F (Figure 5). First, while the x axis for Panel E is in weeks, Panel F’s is in months. So the first visual impression is misleading. Second, the maximum effectiveness of a vaccine against a reinfection severe enough to require hospital admission is around 88%, reached approximately four weeks after the first dose is administered. By contrast, the initial effectiveness of a previous infection is 100% and remains above 95% (remember the vaccine’s much-touted 95% efficacy rate?) until seven months later.
Third, the effectiveness of a previous infection against reinfection requiring hospitalisation does not decline to the same level as the vaccine’s peak effectiveness until nine months after infection. This is the reality that the CDC denied until recently and used as the justification for discriminating between the vaccinated and unvaccinated for access to public spaces.
Three conclusions follow:
- The risk of severe outcomes for children from infection by current Covid variants is low;
- The risk of severe adverse reactions from vaccines is higher, meaning vaccination is a net harm for young children – exactly why Denmark has banned them for children;
- Exposing healthy children to the risk of infection may be better for both individual and herd immunity than mass vaccinating them.
The FDA is not likely to restore its credibility as the US regulator with the widely ridiculed revelation that the new bivalent boosters were authorized on the basis of trial results from eight mice. Professor Marty Makary from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health tweeted his concerns about this and also about the announcement of an annual Covid vaccine that is not data-driven and ignores natural immunity as well as the risks of immune imprinting (where the immune system remembers its initial response to infection or vaccination in a way that usually, but not always, weakens the response to future variants of the same pathogen) from a multi-dose vaccination strategy.
From mRNA Vaccine Hesitant to Anti Vaxxer
The Financial Times – as mainstream establishment as they come – recently warned that the US decision to roll out new booster shots without clinical testing on humans – already dubbed the mouse vaccine by some – risks undermining public trust and deepening vaccine hesitancy. “We already have a trust problem in this country and we don’t need to make it worse,” Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, said. Yet, even while bemoaning the loss of public trust in health experts and institutions, Topol just couldn’t help himself and smeared the Covid vaccine hesitants and sceptics as “anti-vaxxers, anti-science” people.
He thereby demonstrates precisely the pathology so beautifully described by Julie Sladden in an article in Spectator Australia on September 8. The Tasmanian doctor, “Having probably received more vaccines than most, given I am both a doctor and fairly well travelled,” used to begin her apology for refusing the Covid jab with “‘I’m no anti-vaxxer!’” However, after two years of “government-endorsed segregation and dehumanisation of those who exercised their right to refuse the jab,” she has changed her mind.
If an “anti-vaxxer” is someone who cannot give informed consent to a “vaccine” that fails to prevent infection or transmission, has alarming safety signals, must be taken to earn back the right to live and work in society, for a disease that has a greater-than 99 per cent survivability rate, then “yes,” I’m an anti-vaxxer… My government made it so.
To this we should add the very high likelihood of crossover vaccine hesitancy to other vaccines. In my own case before the pandemic I have dutifully gone in for the annual flu shot strongly recommended for my age demographic. Not any more. The Covid experience killed my trust in the medical and public health establishment and, having done my own research, I now politely decline the annual pre-winter flu shot.
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?
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