EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the seventh article in our ‘Gain-of-Function Hall of Shame’ series profiling key players in gain-of-function research.
There are two leading scientists who claim to have physical evidence that the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, originated in bats and was transmitted directly, or through an intermediate host, to humans: Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance and his collaborator Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
They found a bat coronavirus in their collection, which they named RaTG13, that is 96.2 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2, making it the pandemic virus’s closest known relative.
But, the problem with their natural-origin theory is that they have no explanation for how the pandemic emerged in Wuhan, when they say they found RaTG13 seven years ago in Tongguan, a town in Mojiang County, Yunnan Province, 1,000 miles away from Wuhan.
The latest news is that Shi and Daszak have released new information about RaTG13: The cave where they found it in 2013 is where six men got pneumonia in 2012.
The significance of this cannot be overstated. Shi and Daszak had previously tried to bury the link between RaTG13 and the sick men, because it is powerful circumstantial evidence that SARS-CoV-2 emerged not from a natural spillover event but from a lab accident (or, in the worst-case scenario, an intentional release) at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In 2013, Shi and Daszak collected nine betacoronaviruses associated with a SARS-like outbreak in 2012, including RaTG13, took these viruses back to the lab and shared them with colleagues like Ralph Baric, who conducted gain-of-function experiments on the viruses to see how dangerous they could be made. Then, seven years later and 1,000 miles away from their labs in Wuhan, a closely-related virus, possibly one that had been altered through genetic engineering and synthetic biology, escaped or was released, and spread quickly among the people of Wuhan and to the rest of the world.
It is this risky research—and not a chance spillover event—that most likely caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
That is the most plausible inference to make from the available facts. (For more information, please consult the reading list compiled by U.S. Right to Know, “What are the origins of SARS-CoV-2? What are the risks of gain-of-function research?”)
What these facts don’t explain is why.
Why was (and is) this work funded by the U.S. government through Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency? Why was it allowed by President Trump’s regulators at the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec and his assistant Christian Hassell, when the previous administration under President Obama had placed a moratorium on the funding of this research?
In his Plandemic series, filmmaker Mikki Willis has tried to answer these questions by following the money to see who stood to benefit from the reckless (or intentional) release of a pandemic virus.
Bill Gates tops the list.
In the first six months of the pandemic shutdown, as Americans struggled to feed their families and keep roofs over their heads, Bill Gates’ wealth surged by 20.4 percent and $20 billion to $118 billion.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought Bill Gates closer than ever to his goal of vaccinating the world and will guarantee that his long-standing investments in vaccine companies like Pfizer, BioNTech, CureVac and Vir Biotechnology will keep his wealth growing.
The pandemic also increases the viability of Gates’ more controversial investments in “digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.”
In 2019, Gates-funded quantum-dot tattoos were promoted as a “novel way to record a patient’s vaccination history: storing the data in a pattern of dye, invisible to the naked eye, that is delivered under the skin at the same time as the vaccine.”
Also in 2019, Gates’ ID2020 launched a “program to leverage immunization as an opportunity to establish digital identity.” According to a news report, “Digital identity is a computerized record of who a person is, stored in a registry. It is used, in this case, to keep track of who has received vaccination.”
ID2020 is being deployed in Austin with people who are homeless (MyPass) and with refugees in seven countries in Southeast Asia and Africa (iRespond):
“The iRespond digital identity solution primarily relies on iris biometrics, the best modality after DNA for accuracy and reliability. Other modalities, such as finger or face can be used instead, or in combination with iris.”
iRespond is being used in Sierra Leone in a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination program:
“Since the HPV vaccine comes in a series of critically-timed injections, it is important to track patients who have not completed their vaccination series. iRespond's technology connected four major hospitals, enabling them to share anonymous vaccination data across a centralised digital health network. Before iRespond, healthcare providers had to rely on the patient to learn where they were in the series of shots. The lack of good data led to many young women not completing the full series, resulting in incomplete protection from HPV—a cause of infertility, pain and sometimes cancer.”
As the book, “The HPV Vaccine On Trial: Seeking Justice For A Generation Betrayed,” documents, HPV is one of the most controversial vaccines.
Science Magazine reported in 2013 that a 2009 Gates-funded HPV trial involving 24,777 adolescent girls in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat states was “excoriated” by the Indian Parliament for:
“...failing to have conducted postmortem examinations of the girls who died during the trial” and for being a “tool of foreign drug companies hoping to convince the Indian government to include the HPV vaccine in its universal vaccine program, a roster of mandatory immunizations that the government is required to pay for.”
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, when Bill Gates’ call for “digital certificates” to track vaccination should be most popular, opposition has been widespread and has come from some unlikely sources.
Elizabeth M. Renieris, a Harvard lawyer on the ID2020 technical advisory committee, resigned from the ID2020 Alliance over concerns that the organization would get involved in COVID-19 immunity passports. In a must-read Medium post, “The Dangers of Blockchain-Enabled ‘Immunity Passports’ for COVID-19,” she wrote:
“The prospect of severely curtailing the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals through ill-thought-out plans for ‘immunity passports’ or similar certificates, particularly ones that would leverage premature standards and a highly experimental and potentially rights-infringing technology like blockchain, is beyond dystopian.”
Taking risks with others’ lives?
Gates threatens our individual liberty, but he also threatens our lives.
He is so hell-bent on vaccines and immunity passports that he is literally willing to let people die.
He would rather see access to hydroxychloroquine blocked than see this life-saving antiviral treatment become the COVID-19 treatment that makes vaccines unnecessary.
Hydroxychloroquine is a cheap, off-patent drug that no one stands to make much money from—and it has worked well where it has been used appropriately.
As Dr. Meryl Nass reports, it is easy to overdose on hydroxychloroquine and the window for its effective use is early on, before the disease requires hospitalization.
That’s why she was shocked that the World Health Organization, funded by the Gates Foundation and heavily influenced by its employees, had created a protocol for researching hydroxychloroquine in its Solidarity clinical trials that didn’t set clear limits on dosage and only included hospitalized patients.
“The Solidarity trials are not, in fact, testing the benefits of HCQ on Covid-19,” Dr. Nass wrote, “but rather are testing whether patients survive toxic, non-therapeutic doses.”
Bill Gates needed a global calamity like COVID-19 to push his controversial agenda. As an investor, he’s been banking on the inevitability of a catastrophe of this scale.
But, now that his predictions have proved correct, he’s in an awkward position.
As the Los Angeles Times reported, Bill Gates “had an I-told-you-so moment … on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ reflecting on a harrowing prediction he made during a 2015 TED Talk titled ‘The next outbreak? We’re not ready.’”
When asked, “Do you feel like you prepared for this?” he hedged, saying: “We had epidemics like the Ebola epidemic in Africa that should have gotten us ready. Then we had Zika. But a respiratory pandemic that’s very widespread, really, we haven’t seen anything like this for 100 years.”
This is disingenuous. SARS-CoV-2 is the third coronavirus to cause a respiratory pandemic, following SARS-CoV (2003) and MERS-CoV (2012).
But the main reason to doubt Gates’ claim that he couldn’t have been prepared for COVID-19 is because the Gates Foundation actually prepared for it in a 2019 coronavirus pandemic simulation called Event 201 that accurately predicted just about every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
Were Bill Gates’ predictions a form of wish fulfillment? Was he simply prescient or did he have a hand in shaping the conditions that made the pandemic inevitable? Most importantly, how much did Gates know about the U.S. government’s investments in the collection and manipulation of deadly viruses?
A lot. Maybe more than anyone outside the government.
How? The Gates Foundation’s director of “surveillance and epidemiology” is Dr. Scott F. Dowell. Prior to joining the foundation, where he now leads its coronavirus response, he was at the Centers for Disease Control for 21 years.
Dr. Dowell knows all about the U.S. government’s investments in the collection and manipulation of deadly viruses, because he was a CDC virus hunter himself.
In our next installment of the Gain-of-Function Hall of Shame, we’ll tell you all about Dowell and how his experience helped Gates predict the pandemic.
Read more from our Gain of Function Hall of Shame.