The Gain-of-Function Hall of Shame series chronicles the biological weapons industrial complex, the bureaucrats who fund it, the corporations that shape it and the existential risk that genetic engineering and synthetic biology pose to us all.
We began this series as part of our search for the origins of COVID-19, something OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins wrote about in his best-selling 2021 book co-authored with Dr. Joseph Mercola, The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing The Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal.
We hope that reading this series will inspire you to join the movement to ban gain-of-function research on potential pandemic pathogens, along with emerging biotechnologies like gene editing that could also be used as biological weapons.
The Gain-of-Function Hall of Shame:
The COVID-19 Origin Story:
On January 5, 2020, the World Health Organization reported that, on the last day of 2019, it had been informed of “cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology” in the city of Wuhan in central China.
Almost immediately, a rumor began to circulate that they were caused by a genetically engineered virus that came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s only biosafety level 4 laboratory.
The source of this rumor was the U.S. government.
Specifically, a January 9, 2020, Radio Free Asia report, “Experts Cast Doubts on Chinese Official Claims Around 'New' Wuhan Coronavirus,” published the same day China announced that the cause of the mysterious pneumonia outbreak was a new SARS-like coronavirus. (For that and more hot-takes from the first month of the pandemic, read Whitney Webb’s January 30, 2020 article for The Last American Vagabond, “Bats, Gene Editing And Bioweapons: Recent DARPA Experiments Raise Concerns Amid Coronavirus Outbreak.”)
On January 23, 2020, in “Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin,” the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s top coronavirus scientist Shi Zhengli announced that she had found a close relative of the new coronavirus in her collection of bat viruses. At the whole genome level, RaTG13 is 96% identical to SARS-CoV-2 and remains its closest known relative.
Read more: “Shi Zhengli: Weaponizing Coronaviruses, with Pentagon Funding, at a Chinese Military Lab,” published September 24, 2020.
The rumor that the new coronavirus was a genetically engineered product of the Wuhan Institute of Virology was given additional details in “Logistical and technical analysis of the origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV),” published January 31, 2020, by another U.S. government source, “a retired government scientist with 30 years of experience in genomic sequencing and analysis who helped design several ubiquitous bioinformatic software tools, and a retired NSA counterterrorism analyst.”
This was the first report to mention Shi Zhengli’s collaboration with American scientist Ralph Baric. They caused a stir in 2015, when they successfully created a chimeric, SARS-like virus “by altering the viral gene of a Chinese bat coronavirus that codes for the spikes on the surface of viruses which allow them to enter into hosts, making the bio-engineered virus incredibly contagious.”
On March 30, 2020, the editors of Nature Medicine placed a note on the 2015 Baric-Shi paper "A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence”:
We are aware that this article is being used as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered. There is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.
It would have been truly damning if the virus they created in 2015, SHC014-MA15, was even more similar to SARS-CoV-2 than RaTG13.
We’ll have to take Baric and Shi’s word for it that it isn’t. They didn’t deposit the genetic sequence of SHC015-MA15 in GenBank until May 2020!
Read more: “Dr. ‘Coronavirus Hunter’ Ralph Baric: Preparing Us for a Pandemic? Or Putting Us in Peril of One?” published August 26, 2020.
The January 31, 2020 post “Logistical and technical analysis of the origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV),” also introduced Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance, by linking to a 2015 article, “Lab-Made Coronavirus Triggers Debate,” where he was quoted saying that Baric and Shi’s gain-of-function coronavirus research “move[d] this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger.”
Daszak should know. He funded it.
Baric and Shi’s 2015 paper, "A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence,” named EcoHealth Alliance as a funding source via a USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT grant.
Read more: “Peter ‘Show Me the Money’ Daszak Pulls in Big Bucks, through EcoHealth Alliance, for Risky Virus Research,” published September 3, 2020.
Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance has an unexpected advisor for a public health non-profit: David R. Franz, former commander of Fort Detrick, the largest domestic U.S. military biological weapons research laboratory. (Hat-tip to Sam Husseini, who first called attention to this at Independent Science News on May 5, 2020.)
Upon retiring from the military, Franz received contracts for three years, between 1999 and 2001, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce microencapsulated anthrax. David Franz worked on the project with Ken Alibek and Charles Bailey, a former Russian biological weapons scientist and a fellow former Fort Detrick commander. Alibek and Bailey’s firm Advanced Biosystems was the prime contractor for the DARPA project, while Franz’s Southern Research Institute was a subcontractor. Bailey and Alibek filed a patent on the silicon microencapsulation technology in 2001.
In their 2012 article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense, “Evidence for the Source of the 2001 Attack Anthrax,” Martin E. Hugh-Jones, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg and Stuart Jacobsen linked the forensic evidence from the 2001 attack anthrax to the silicon coated anthrax developed by Franz, Alibek and Bailey.
Read more: “David R. Franz: EcoHealth Alliance's Anthrax-Era Biological Weapons Scientist,” published January 14, 2021.
David Franz isn’t the only link between COVID-19 and the 2001 anthrax attacks, as Unlimited Hangout’s Whitney Webb chronicled in her Engineering Contagion series, published beginning April 1, 2020.
Franz, Alibek and Bailey may have produced the attack anthrax for DARPA, but it is unlikely that they were the ones who sent the anthrax-filled letters through the mail to journalists and Congresspeople. These acts were ultimately blamed on Fort Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins. As Nicholson Baker wrote in his January 4, 2021, article, “The Lab Leak Hypothesis,” the motive that was pinned on Ivins after he had conveniently “committed suicide” was vaccine profits:
Bruce Ivins, an eccentric, suicidal laboratory scientist from Ohio who worked in vaccine development at Fort Detrick, allegedly wanted to boost the fear level so as to persuade the government to buy more of the patented, genetically engineered anthrax VaxGen vaccine, of which he was a co-inventor. (See David Willman’s fascinating biography of Ivins, Mirage Man.) Fauci’s staff at NIH funded Ivins’s vaccine laboratory and gave $100 million to VaxGen to accelerate vaccine production. (The NIH’s $878 million contract with VaxGen, however, was quietly canceled in 2006; Ivins, who was never charged, killed himself in 2008.)
If vaccine profits could motivate a false-flag biological weapons attack, that motive best fits the Trump Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Robert Kadlec. In “Head of the Hydra: The Rise of Robert Kadlec,” Webb provides evidence that, in both the 2001 anthrax attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic, Robert Kadlec pre-positioned BioPort, now Emergent Biosolutions, to snatch lucrative vaccine contracts from the government.
Read more: "Dr. Robert Kadlec: How the Czar of Biowarfare Funnels Billions to Friends in Vaccine Industry," published August 13, 2020.
Kadlec left with Trump in January 2021, but his deputy, Dr. David Christian “Chris” Hassell (yes, he’s used a few different first names in his federal government career), remains in the Biden Administration.
Like Franz and Kadlec, Hassell is a link between the 2001 anthrax attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hassell’s primary role in the 2001 anthrax attacks was in the cover-up. He was the Director of the FBI Laboratory in 2008, the year Bruce Ivins “committed suicide,” the FBI concluded he was the lone perpetrator, and the FBI officially closed its investigation.
Alongside Kadlec, Hassell exploited the pandemic as an excuse to dole out government money to contractors he said himself were "in trouble for shady dealings, illegal accounting and lack of accountability.”
Hassell’s primary role in COVID-19 is to institutionalize the government oversight “failures” that preceded the pandemic. He chairs the secret “Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care & Oversight Committee.” Known as P3CO, since 2017, this committee has been charged with screening federally funded gain-of-function science experiments for dual use dangers and the risk of causing catastrophic accidents.
But, with Hassell in charge of the secret P3CO committee, even after the pandemic broke and concerns of a lab origin were raised, U.S.-funded gain-of-function research just got crazier, as Dr. Jonathan Latham of the Bioscience Resource Project reported in his August 13, 2020 article, “Engineered COVID-19-Infected Mouse Bites Researcher Amid ‘Explosion’ Of Risky Coronavirus Research.”
Read more: “Christian ‘Risks-Be-Damned’ Hassell: Pushing Dangerous, Taxpayer-Funded Genetic Engineering and Gain-of-Function Research,” published August 6, 2020.
Another thing that links the 2001 anthrax attacks with COVID-19 is the truism that government funding is a hallmark of an inside job.
On April 11, 2020, the Daily Mail was the first to report on a White Coat Waste Project investigation exposing U.S. funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The news implicated White House Coronavirus Taskforce Member Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The WIV had received funding from NIAID through a grant to EcoHealth Alliance, Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.
On May 4, 2020, the documentary “Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind Covid-19” added to the controversy with a clip of a 2017 speech where Anthony Fauci, addressing the topic of pandemic preparedness, said “There is no question that there will be a surprise outbreak… The thing that we are extraordinarily confident about is that we are going to see this in the next few years.”
Read more: “Anthony Fauci: Eerily Predicted the COVID-19 Pandemic While Funding the Experiments that Likely Caused It,” published November 10, 2020.
On August 18, 2020, a sequel was released, “Plandemic II: Indoctornation,” that added to the evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic had been anticipated and planned for in predictive simulations like Event 201.
Plandemic II continued to follow the money to see who stood to benefit from the reckless (or intentional) release of a pandemic virus.
Bill Gates topped 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 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.
Read more: “Bill Gates: The Billionaire Who Puts Vaccine Profiteering Above Human Life,” published December 1, 2020.
Like Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates was able to make eerily accurate predictions of COVID-19 because he had a hand in shaping the conditions that made the pandemic inevitable.
Gates funded the collection and manipulation of deadly viruses. Virus hunting is one of his passions and gain-of-function research on potential pandemic pathogens is one of his funding priorities.
Gates employs one of the U.S.’s top virus hunters, Dr. Scott F. Dowell.
When Anthony Fauci commissioned two gain-of-function research teams to make H5N1 bird flu more likely to start a pandemic by giving it the capacity to transmit person-to-person, Gates chipped in with grants from his foundation.
Read more: “Scott Dowell, Bill Gates’ Virus Hunter,” published December 14, 2020.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates isn’t the only tech billionaire who’s been investing in gain-of-function research on potential pandemic pathogens.
Google’s Eric Schmidt has too, and he actually played a much bigger role in COVID’s origin than Gates.
Eric Schmidt is connected to the origins of COVID-19 through Google’s investments in and business relationships with Metabiota, which was at the scene of the crime in 2012, in Yunnan, China, hunting for bat viruses with its fellow USAID PREDICT Consortium members, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance, when six men exposed to bat guano ended up in a Kunming hospital with a SARS-like illness that killed three of them.
All of the most famous bat viruses, including the viruses used in Ralph Baric’s infamous gain-of-function experiments, the first bat virus known to target the human ACE2 receptor, and the bat virus that is the closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2, were found during the 2012 USAID PREDICT expeditions.
What is the significance of the 2012 Kunming SARS-like outbreak and its relationship to the origin of COVID-19?
Is it a comedy of errors where scientists, who tell funders they're predicting the next pandemic, are so inept that they accidentally cause it, making prophets of all the lab safety advocates who warned about the dangers of gain-of-function research?
Or, has the origin of COVID-19 been grafted onto this spillover event to give an intentionally released genetically engineered virus the semblance of a natural origin?
To answer these questions, we need an impartial investigation, but Eric Schmidt’s foundation is funding a COVID-origins cover-up and Google is censoring evidence of a lab release of SARS-CoV-2.
To stop the next pandemic, we need a ban on virus hunting and gain-of-function research on potential pandemic pathogens, but Eric Schmidt wants even more government money spent on even more frightening technologies and experiments.
Eric Schmidt has a very powerful friend in the Biden Administration to help him accomplish this: Eric Lander, Biden’s Science Secretary.
Eric Lander is the director of the Broad Institute. In January 2020, a team of scientists at the Broad were asked by the Director of National Intelligence to figure out if SARS-CoV-2 was a naturally occurring pathogen or one that had been engineered in a lab.
Evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is genetically engineered is written all over its genome. Every scientist who looked at it in January 2020 saw the tell-tale signs, even scientists who would later publish papers claiming it wasn’t (we know this thanks to emails revealed through U.S. Right to Know’s Freedom of Information Act requests).
So, what’s up with Eric Lander’s Broad Institute claiming that it isn’t genetically engineered?
Were they trying to hide bioengineering rather than reveal it?
“If you know how to detect bioengineering, you theoretically understand how to hide your own,” observed one commentator.