Bioweapons research was responsible for global devastation on the scale of a world war. This is an important and delightfully readable new book. I’m going to argue that it is actually understated.
Seeded by imported Nazi scientists after WW2, the US military has conducted extensive research into bioweapons research, which mushroomed as it went underground after 2001. The “research” has always been illegal, and now it has led to a disastrous pandemic, which has cost the world many trillions of dollars and many millions of deaths. Isn’t it time that we stood up and demanded an end to the bioweapon abomination?
This is the thesis of RFK’s new book. All the rest is footnotes — 3,500 of them. And — oh yes — it is beautifully written. I don’t just mean that it is well organized, easy to follow, clear and engaging for the reader. Every page has interesting turns of phrase. You can’t hire ghost writers for such creative word artistry.
Some lines that brought a smile to my face:
- [Daszak of EcoHealthAlliance and Shi Zhengli of Wuhan Institute of Virology get another grant from Dr Fauci] “enabling the dynamic duo to double down on their dangerous dabbling.”
- [Dr Fauci managed this board carefully.] “His captive panel was informally called the ‘ferret’s committee’. Perhaps he was thinking of weasels?”
- “Shaken by publications describing Lili Kuo’s NIAID gain-of-function experiments, the National Academies of Science rushed to rein in Dr Fauci before one of his pestilential steeds escaped the barn.
This last quote, alluding to the Four Horses of the Apocalypse, refers to the euphemism adopted for bioweapons research. “Gain of function” means that animal viruses are engineered to infect humans, or to be more lethal, or to be more easily transmitted, or all of the above. Such experiments have evaded both Congressional and international bans on bioweapon research with the ruse that making more lethal viruses provides essential target practice for researchers who develop new vaccines for the monsters that they have created. Thus they are supposed to be well-prepared to develop a vaccine quickly and efficiently when, “inevitably” a pandemic “happens” and we need them desperately.
Perhaps this argument is ludicrous on its face. In case you are asking for reasons, here are three:
- The kinds of viruses they are developing are utterly unlike anything that is likely to evolve naturally. “Fitness” for a viruses involves ease of spread, not ability to destroy the host.
- The reason it takes time to develop a new vaccine is that it can’t be done theoretically. It’s a process of trial and error, in which each candidate is given to many people and safety tested to catalog its long-term effects.
(The idea of a generic template that can be made into a turnkey vaccine on a moment’s notice — “just add mRNA” — was eloquently exploded by Brett Weinstein and earlier by the inventor of this technology, Robert Malone.)
- Any putative benefit from a learning curve in this research must be offset against the teeny-tiny possibility that one fine day in one of the dozens of “gain-of-function” laboratories in the US and scattered across Europe and Asia there is an equipment malfunction or a software bug or a human error and a lethal, fast-spreading Frankenvirus is out of the lab and into the Global Village.
The metaphor of the horse escaping from the barn is Kennedy’s overall theme, hammered home with detail after shocking detail. This kind of “research” is reckless on its face, and sharing bioweapons information with China, where safety standards are looser and architectural safeguards less reliable, was madness heaped upon madness. (Dr Fauci felt he had no choice but to move bioweapons “research” overseas in 2014 because he needed a way to get around the Obama Administration’s temporary moratorium on funding “gain-of-function”.) But is a Chinese facility really more hazard-prone than its American counterpart? Small breaches in containment are an almost daily occurrence at America’s “highest-security” BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs — 200 of them. And larger safety lapses at American labs led to the Lyme epidemic, probably RSV and Ebola, and possibly AIDS.
As for the footnotes, Kennedy needs them because he is going against established, well-heeled interests — the same ones, in fact, that murdered his father and uncle more than half a century ago. I know some of the fact-checkers who sifted through every claim in this book for anything that could be disputed; and I myself have had the pleasure of being called to task for every factual claim when writing for CHD. No other publisher has ever held me to this standard.
I hope I’ve made it clear that I think this is an important book, extensively documented, and (bonus!) a page-turner. But I have a gripe: I think that Kennedy’s thesis is a limited hang-out.
Like a prosecuting attorney making a case before a jury, Kennedy organizes the book around demonstration that the COVID-19 virus escaped accidentally from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I have no doubt that the virus is man-made. I was convinced of this when I wrote about it in April 2020. But what the public needs, and we are not getting, is an investigation into the question whether the pandemic was created deliberately, perhaps as an American bio-attack on China, or a Chinese bio-attack on America.
For two years, you could be censored by any of the social media platforms for “disinformation” if you allowed the possibility that COVID might not have arisen naturally. Then, thanks largely to Jon Stewart, Nicholas Wade, and then Jeffrey Sachs, the “lab leak hypothesis” became respectable.
There is a strain of thought within the US government that the 21st century belongs to us, and that God has given to the US the right to rule the world. People who think this way might be upset by the fact that the Chinese economy has achieved parity with the US, and that China’s global influence is expanding as US prestige is waning. You might remember that the SARS “epidemic” of 2003 killed only a few people, but panic caused a substantial economic setback for China.
Say you were planning a bioweapon attack on China to rein in their galloping economic growth and warn them not even to think about creating a digital yuan that might compete with the almighty dollar for world reserve currency status…
You might hide as well as you can behind the fiction that the virus jumped through natural evolution from a bat. But you would anticipate that the genetic evidence might eventually come to light that this virus was produced in a lab. If you were as smart as Tony Fauci or Bill Gates, you would plan a fallback position, just in case the “natural” explanation didn’t fly. You would release the virus in the city where China’s only high-security bioweapons laboratory was located. Another layer of plausible deniability, just in case.
I don’t contend that this hypothesis is proven; only that it warrants open debate.
Ron Unz has written a series of articles (compiled into an ebook) in which he proffers evidence that COVID arose from an American attack on China, which China deftly deflected by locking down the city of Wuhan and not letting anyone leave for months — except if they were flying internationally to the US or Europe. Points that Unz makes:
- Almost immediately after Wuhan, COVID’s next epicenter was 4,500 miles away in Tehran, where it killed 12 top government leaders before infecting anyone in the general population. For decades, the American Deep State has been eager to attack Iran, but hasn’t dared to do so directly because Iran is a more formidable adversary than other Middle Eastern targets like Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
- There were previous American bioweapon attacks (denied) by America, including against North Korea, against Cuba, and a mysterious epidemic that thinned China’s hog population in 2018.
- A series of American “pandemic preparedness exercises” in the decade before COVID predicted with uncanny accuracy how the pandemic would play out. The last of these occurred in NYC the same week that the pandemic was beginning silently in Wuhan, and its premise was that a coronavirus would jump from bats to humans. As Kennedy teaches us, coronaviruses are a unlikely candidates for a pandemic, since they are ubiquitous and, if not engineered, cause symptoms of the common cold.
- A short segment of the COVID virus genome appear in a patent filed by Moderna in 2016, suggesting that Moderna was preparing to profit from a future pandemic.
- There is some evidence that COVID or something like it was circulating in Maryland nursing homes in the summer of 2019, and that COVID was in the American blood supply before the end of 2019.
- The international military games in Wuhan in mid-October, 2019, coincided temporally with the first cases of COVID in Wuhan. US participation would have provided cover for sending people to Wuhan to seed an epidemic.
- According to an ABC News report, US intelligence services seemed to know already in November, 2019 that big trouble was brewing in Wuhan, before even the Chinese had identified a threat.
Adding to Unz’s arguments are recent genome studies of the Omicron variants, purporting to show that each of them was a separate lab creation, not evolved naturally in the field from the original Wuhan strain. If, as claimed, each of the Omicron substrains was a separate lab release, it adds weight to the possibility that the original Wuhan strain was a lab release and not a lab leak.
I don’t want to minimize the copious circumstantial evidence that Kennedy proffers for the hypothesis that COVID leaked from the Wuhan Institute.
- The technology that stitched together the COVID spike protein erased the genetic markers used as guideposts for chromosome insertion, but left behind tell-tale synonymous substitutions that identify COVID as a lab creation. The precise technology for doing this “no-see-em” insertion was developed by Ralph Baric at UNC and shared with Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute, but was unavailable anywhere else in the world.
- The WIV was “closed for security breaches” in mid October, 2019.
- During the Wuhan Military games in October, 2019, several American servicemen/athletes were sent home with a disease we now recognize as COVID. Presumably the US would have sought to infect Chinese and not Americans.
- There is some evidence that people of Chinese descent are less susceptible to the engineered COVID virus than are white Europeans or black Africans. It would be to China’s military advantage, not America’s, to engineer a virus in this way.
- In 2019, Peter Daszak of Eco-Health Alliance applied for a grant to add a furin cleavage site to a bat coronavirus — exactly the genetic feature that made COVID so rapidly transmissible. Daszak was the prime conduit for Fauci funneling money to the Wuhan Institute.
- The Chinese and Americans seemed equally committed to the fiction that COVID originated in a Wuhan open-air market. Why wouldn’t China accuse America of biowarfare if, indeed it were true?
Several chapters in the middle of the book are devoted to excoriating the US for sharing bioweapons research with China. In my opinion, no one should be doing this research. The problem is not sharing the technology with China, but developing the technology in the first place. In places, Kennedy’s criticism of sharing bioweapons with China spills over into criticism of the sharing of civilian technologies. In my value system, the world benefits when all nations share science openly, and when secrecy surrounding intellectual property is overridden by the benefits of global cooperation in pursuit of science.
Disclosure: I’m a Sinophile. I have close ties to friends and researchers in China. I have two Chinese daughters. I can’t be objective on this subject. You may keep this in mind when I tell you that I cringe in reading some of Kennedy’s anti-China rhetoric.
The most important thing
…is that we must put an end to bioweapons research and bioweapons development. This is tricky because it’s already illegal, and because most of the research is being done on black budgets and via purloined funds intended for vaccine development. We can’t just urge Congress to pass a law — and that would be difficult enough. What is needed is a global movement with articles and letter-writing campaigns and sit-ins and dinner-table discussions and visits to Congressional offices. There is a precedent for this kind of global people’s movement. In the 1980s, the world came together to protest the nuclear arms race between the US and the USSR. The movement was so widely popular that even Ronald Reagan had to climb onboard.
We will need every hand on deck. Kennedy’s book is a great start.