Although much of my research and writing over the last three years has been devoted to the global Covid epidemic, I’ve paradoxically paid very little attention to most of the various Covid-oriented websites.
That’s because I have narrowly concentrated on the origins of the epidemic while they have focused almost entirely upon the details of the disease and the controversial public health measures adopted to control it. I’ve had only slight interest in those latter topics, and partly for that reason most of my views have been vaguely mainstream, not too different from what I have regularly read in the pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the Economist.
However, the daily lives of billions of individuals around the world have been tremendously disrupted by these government-imposed policies, which included lockdowns, masking, and social distancing, mandates that were often tremendously unpopular and had enormous social and economic consequences. Moreover, faced with a life-and-death situation, substantial portions of the public together with some medical professionals claimed that various treatments for Covid such as the use of HCQ and IVM were safe and effective but wrongly suppressed, a position loudly attacked and denounced by the outraged medical and media establishments. These battles grew even fiercer once a massive Covid vaccination drive began at the end of 2020, with critics noting that the mRNA vaccines being employed were based upon an entirely new biotechnology and had required the use of emergency waivers to circumvent what would have otherwise been a long and cautious clinical trial process.
During this entire period, the establishment media provided nearly lockstep support to the governmental positions on all of these hugely controversial issues, and this naturally fostered the growth of what might be called the alt-Covid community, a network of websites, bloggers, and podcasters who argued that many of these official policies were completely incorrect, often based more upon propaganda than science.
One of the more prominent nodes in this dissenting ecosystem was founded in April 2020 by Toby Young, a longtime British journalist and public intellectual, conservative-leaning but generally well-regarded. He launched Lockdown Sceptics, an Internet newsletter critiquing what he considered an ill-conceived public health measure as well as other Covid-related issues. Over time, he gradually expanded and extended its coverage, also taking on board Will Jones and Noah Carl, a couple of younger Ph.D.’s, with the former eventually serving as editor. By the time the British lockdowns finally ended in July 2021, his readership and impact had expanded to the point that he decided to rechristen his publication the Daily Sceptic and keep it in operation, providing careful analysis of other public policy issues, especially those avoided or mishandled by the mainstream media, though still with a strong emphasis on Covid-related matters.
Although I might not necessarily agree with all of his webzine’s conclusions, the articles that they run seem very sober and carefully reasoned, often based upon published scientific papers or quantitative analysis, a welcome change from the wild speculation and fear-mongering found on these subjects across much of the Internet. My impression is that the website has become quite influential within alt-Covid circles, while also being taken seriously by many mainstream journalists and scientists. According to SimilarWeb, its traffic has been growing rapidly, recently reaching over 7 million pageviews and 200,000 hours of readership per month, totals that are several times larger than those of Quillette, where Young had once served as Associate Editor, and substantially greater than our own.
Despite its growing visibility, the website’s subject matter and British focus meant that I’d been only slightly aware it until a few weeks ago when someone brought to my attention one of its articles that had been republished on Alex Jones’ conspiratorial InfoWars website, hugely popular but hardly reliable.
To my considerable surprise, the very solidly argued 3,200 word piece by Daily Sceptic Editor Will Jones directly addressed one of the absolutely critical questions that had been scrupulously avoided for nearly three years by our entire mainstream media, an issue that podcaster Kevin Barrett had appropriately dubbed the “Smoking Gun” of the Covid epidemic.
The opening paragraph asked an obvious question.
Here’s something that’s been bugging me. How did U.S. intelligence analysts pick up on what they deemed a dangerous novel virus in China at a time when there’s no good evidence China had picked up on it or was concerned? How did they spot the signal in all the noise of a normal Chinese flu season?
After carefully analyzing all of the fragmentary and somewhat contradictory evidence, the piece closed by very courageously presenting an explosive possible answer, highlighted with a telling quote from Dr. Robert Kadlec, a senior Trump Administration official and longstanding biowarfare advocate.
There is, it should be noted, one straightforward way to explain all of this, but it’s implications are disturbing to say the least. It is that the virus was deliberately released in China by some group or groups within the U.S. intelligence and security services. The purpose of such a release would be partly to disrupt China and partly as a live exercise for pandemic preparedness – which is, as we know, how the pandemic was in practice treated by those in the U.S. biodefence network. While shocking, this is not outside the bounds of possibility. Consider what Robert Kadlec wrote in a Pentagon strategy paper in 1998.
Using biological weapons under the cover of an endemic or natural disease occurrence provides an attacker the potential for plausible denial. Biological warfare’s potential to create significant economic loss and subsequent political instability, coupled with plausible denial, exceeds the possibilities of any other human weapon.
If this were the case, it may be that the addition of the furin cleavage site to the virus would be to enhance its infectiousness in order to increase the chance of a pandemic occurring (perhaps they’d tried before with a less infectious virus and it hadn’t worked so well). The virus would be deliberately relatively mild so it didn’t do too much harm, but severe enough to have the desired impact – at least when assisted with psyops and propaganda. Very few individuals would likely know the origin – most would be part of the live exercise.
Such a scenario would neatly explain how U.S. intelligence personnel were closely ‘following the spread’ in November despite China being oblivious. It would also explain why U.S. biodefence people were far more alarmist than the Chinese authorities from the get-go; why they have denied the virus could be engineered and squashed all efforts to investigate origins (and clung to discredited theories); and why they have followed through on the whole lockdown-and-wait-for-a-vaccine biodefence plan despite the virus plainly not warranting it (and the measures not working), and generally treated the whole thing like a live exercise. It’s uncontentious to point out that the pandemic was a golden opportunity to put their long-prepared plans into practice. But what if it was an opportunity they didn’t leave to chance?
None of us wants to draw this conclusion, of course. To disprove it, at least as far as this argument is concerned, we would need to see considerably more detail about what U.S. intelligence analysts were seeing and saying in November 2019, which would explain how they knew what China did not and why they were so concerned when China was not.
Short of this, it’s hard not to wonder: what if releasing the virus in China to disrupt the country and see how the world responds could have been some hare-brained scheme cooked up in the deeper recesses of the U.S. biosecurity state?
- How Did U.S. Intelligence Spot the Virus in Wuhan Weeks Before China?
Will Jones • The Daily Sceptic • December 12, 2022 • 3,200 Words
I passed this important article along to a few friends of mine, noting that it had been Tweeted out by Young to his 240,000 followers. As it happens, one of them knew Young and introduced me, so I was soon directly in touch with the author and we began a fruitful correspondence. Not long afterwards, he published a strong follow-up piece, which concluded by noting the extremely implausible aspects of the claims made by the analysts at America’s Defense Intelligence Agency.
Thus this Harvard report, intended to show how U.S. intelligence analysts spotted the virus in November 2019 in China even though China itself had not noticed it yet, has ended up inadvertently revealing there was no signal of a respiratory viral outbreak in Wuhan at that time and thus no way that U.S. intelligence analysts could have spotted one.
Naturally, this does nothing to diminish the growing suspicions about how U.S. intelligence came to be following the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, and only Wuhan, at a time when no one else, including the Chinese, were even aware of its existence.
- U.S. Accidentally Proves It Could Not Have Spotted the Virus in China in November 2019
Will Jones • The Daily Sceptic • January 1, 2023 • 1,000 Words
America’s Brownstone Institute is another leading alt-Covid website, and it regularly cross-publishes articles with Britain’s Daily Sceptic. Perhaps prompted by the suspicions raised in one of those pieces, Editor Jeffrey A. Tucker soon produced an article on America’s Crimson Contagion exercise, run by Kadlec and held just prior to the sudden appearance of the Covid virus in Wuhan. He presented all the details and closed by noting the extremely suspicious timing.
What does it all mean? Perhaps it is all just a series of coincidental data points, that what is called the worst pandemic in 100 years came only a few months after an elaborate multi-agency trial run of the same in which former high officials of the Trump administration participated. And perhaps the best person to run the Covid response also happened to be the very person who organized and managed the trial run in the previous season.
Many people will surely say there is nothing to see here. There is so much not to see these days.
- What Is Crimson Contagion?
Jeffrey A. Tucker • The Brownstone Institute • December 22, 2022 • 1,300 Words
Tweeting out the article to his 137,000 followers, Tucker described it as “the most intriguing element” he’d found in three years of writing about the Covid issue:
In three years of writing on this topic, this article covers the most intriguing element I've yet found. https://t.co/nVn3eiAaZD
— Jeffrey A Tucker (@jeffreyatucker) December 22, 2022
Since the early days of the outbreak, a topic of very heated debate had been the source of the virus, with most of the scientific and media establishment claiming it was natural, but a strong and vocal minority arguing that it had been bioengineered, presumably leaking from the Chinese virus research lab located in Wuhan.
For most of the first year, the dissenting perspective had been harshly repressed in scientific publications and social media, even being banned from Facebook, but then in May 2021 a seminal article by former New York Times Science Editor Nicholas Wade revived it. More recently, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, chairman of the Lancet‘s Covid Commission, has strongly argued that the virus seemed artificial and denounced what he described as a governmental cover-up aimed at suppressing that reality.
This ongoing debate took an important turn last week as Jones published another excellent article analyzing that issue, a piece that was soon republished by the Brownstone Institute and excerpted by LewRockwell. But unlike nearly all the previous writers on that subject, he focused not on the evidence for or against a lab-leak itself but instead on the crucial implications of a related matter. His analysis is sufficiently important that I will excerpt it at considerable length.
Where did the lab leak theory come from? Who first promoted the idea and why? The answer to this question is surprising – and may be the key to unlocking the mystery of the origin of COVID-19.
The first known mention of the idea that the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese lab appeared on January 9th 2020 in a report by Radio Free Asia (RFA). This was just days after the virus had first entered public consciousness, and at the time, no deaths had yet been reported and few people were worrying about the virus – including, it seems, the Chinese, who were claiming it wasn’t even clear whether it was spreading between humans.
Seemingly unhappy about the lack of alarm, RFA ran a comment from Ren Ruihong, former head of the medical assistance department at the Chinese Red Cross, who said she was confident it was spreading between humans. She also asserted it was a “new type of mutant coronavirus”, and immediately, without pausing for breath, raised the possibility it was a result of a Chinese biological attack on Hong Kong using a virus developed in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Bear in mind this was before a single person had been reported as dying from the virus, and no solid evidence was presented for the claim. It is the first time the WIV and the idea of a lab origin of the virus are mentioned in the media. The report then implies the WIV is hiding its involvement – though the basis for this insinuation is tenuous, to say the least.
Over the following two weeks RFA pushed hard on the idea of a Chinese biowarfare lab origin, and its reporting was picked up by the Washington Times on January 24th, which quoted Dany Shoham, an “Israeli biological warfare expert”.
The deadly animal virus epidemic spreading globally may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory linked to China’s covert biological weapons programme, according to an Israeli biological warfare expert.
Radio Free Asia this week rebroadcast a local Wuhan television report from 2015 showing China’s most advanced virus research laboratory known [as] the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Radio Free Asia reported.
The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses.
Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biowarfare, said the institute is linked to Beijing’s covert biological weapons programme.
“Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese [biological weapons] alignment,” Mr. Shoham told the Washington Times.
Why did Radio Free Asia and the Washington Times introduce and promote the idea of Covid as a Chinese bioweapon? RFA appears to have done so in order to counter the Chinese lack of concern about the virus, hence the heading: “Experts Cast Doubts on Chinese Official Claims Around ‘New’ Wuhan Coronavirus.” The Washington Times report indicates at one point it is in response to rumours “circulating on the Chinese Internet claiming the virus is part of a U.S. conspiracy to spread germ weapons”, citing an unnamed “U.S. official”.
One ominous sign, said a U.S. official, is that false rumours since the outbreak began several weeks ago have begun circulating on the Chinese Internet claiming the virus is part of a U.S. conspiracy to spread germ weapons.
That could indicate China is preparing propaganda outlets to counter future charges the new virus escaped from one of Wuhan’s civilian or defence research laboratories.
Why is the report anticipating “future charges” of a lab leak – particularly when it is in the process of making such charges?
The words of the anonymous U.S. official appear to state the Chinese rumours began “several weeks ago”, right back at the beginning of January or end of December; however, oddly, the article was soon updated to delete the words “since the outbreak began several weeks ago”, for reasons that are unclear.
In any case, the really strange thing about these “rumours circulating on the Chinese Internet” is that no evidence of them has ever been produced or found. Indeed, all the places you might expect to mention them do not. For instance, in February 2021 the DFRLab of the Atlantic Council published a lengthy document in conjunction with the Associated Press summarising all the “false rumours” and “hoaxes” regarding the origins of Covid. Its large research team scoured the internet for all rumours connected with Covid origins – yet the section on China doesn’t mention anything about these alleged January rumours of U.S bioweapons.
Another example is Larry Romanoff, an activist who writes on various ‘conspiracy theories’ and who has lived in China for many years. His columns in early 2020 on the Global Research website attacking the American position were tweeted out by senior Chinese figures, but he never mentions anything about these alleged early rumours on the “Chinese Internet”, which he surely would have done.
In addition, the rumours claim has never been repeated by any intelligence sources; this was the only time it was made.
Why then did RFA introduce the lab-engineered virus narrative, even before the first death? Why was it trying to ratchet up alarm? And why did the unnamed U.S. official claim to be responding to Chinese rumours that turned out not to exist?
The plot thickens when you realise that Radio Free Asia is a U.S.-Government-funded media outlet that is essentially a CIA front, once named by the New York Times as a key part in the agency’s “worldwide propaganda network”. As Whitney Webb pointed out right back in January 2020, though RFA is no longer run directly by the CIA, it is managed by the Government-funded Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which answers directly to the Secretary of State – who, at the outset of the pandemic was Mike Pompeo, whose previous job was as CIA Director.
This means we can see that the Covid lab origin narrative originated with the U.S. Government’s security services, and did so very early, prior to the first death, as part of a deliberate effort to increase alarm in China and elsewhere. It was also designed to counter the anticipated claims, which had not yet been made (though the anonymous U.S. official falsely claimed they had been), that the virus was a U.S. biological attack.
That the U.S. Government would be the source of the lab origin theory is no doubt surprising to many people, given that within weeks the same theory would be dismissed by Government officials as a ‘conspiracy theory’ and forcibly suppressed. In its place, official U.S. channels would endorse the wet market natural origin theory and seek to close down further debate and investigation. So what’s going on?
Here’s one possible explanation, which makes sense of all the known facts – though is admittedly highly disturbing. It may not be correct, but I confess I cannot currently think of a better one. Perhaps someone else can.
The explanation is that the Chinese lab origin narrative was put out by U.S. intelligence in early January as a cover story. A cover story for what? For a U.S. biological attack on China. As a cover story for an attack, it serves four key purposes. First, it preempts allegations of a U.S. attack (and indeed the anonymous U.S. official falsely claimed these had already been made). Second, it anticipates the need to explain the non-natural origin of the virus, which would be expected to be discovered, as a natural origin manifests differently to a non-natural origin – a natural origin should have animal reservoirs, early genetic diversity and evidence of adaptation to humans, which are lacking for SARS-CoV-2. Third, it spreads alarm in China – one of the purposes of the attack. And fourth, it justifies the U.S. and other countries activating biodefence protocols to defend themselves from any blowback – which we know is exactly what they did, treating it as a matter of national security, not public health.
The idea that the U.S. might deliberately release a virus in China might seem far-fetched to some. However, it’s well known that the Pentagon intensified its research into bat-borne viruses in the years approaching the pandemic. Though it said this was solely for defensive purposes given the supposed risk of bats being used as “bioweapons”, scientists have previously warned, in the journal Science, that another supposedly defensive Pentagon programme, DARPA’s “Insect Allies” programme, appeared really to be aimed at creating and delivering a “new class of biological weapon” and that it revealed “an intention to develop a means of delivery of HEGAAs for offensive purposes”. In addition, the Iranian Government was so convinced that its early COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020, which killed a significant number of its senior leaders, was due to a U.S. biological attack that it lodged a formal complaint with the UN. Such allegations don’t prove anything of course. But together these concerns do suggest that such an attack is not outside the realm of possibility and should at least be considered as an explanation for the origin of the virus.
But if the lab leak was the intended cover story, why was it shortly afterwards suppressed as a ‘conspiracy theory’? It is a matter of public record that this occurred largely due to the efforts of Anthony Fauci, Jeremy Farrar and other Western scientists, who organised a scientific cover-up of evidence that might implicate their complicity in the gain-of-function research that they suspected may have created the virus. Did they know about the attack? There’s no evidence they did. Which means they would also have been in the dark about the intended cover story. Indeed, one of the conspirators, Christian Drosten, in one of the disclosed emails directly asks the group where the “conspiracy theory” of a lab origin has come from. Farrar and Fauci, for their part, appear to be genuinely exploring the origin questions in their emails (while clearly aiming for a particular answer).
The fears of this group of scientists about being implicated in the creation of the virus led them to organise a highly effective effort to dismiss and suppress the lab origin theory. This intervention greatly complexified the cover story, with the result that the output from the U.S. intelligence community (IC) became confused and inconsistent.
The official endorsement by the intelligence community in late April and early May 2020 of the wet market theory (4) would then have occurred because of a switch amongst most of the intelligence community to the narrative created and endorsed by Anthony Fauci, Jeremy Farrar etc. Those in the IC not involved in the attack (likely the vast majority) had probably figured out what was going on, i.e., the lab leak theory was a cover story put out by reckless colleagues, and would be very aware of the terrible fallout should the truth become known. Hence also the suppression around this time within the U.S. Government of all Covid origins investigations, which a senior Government official said would only “open a can of worms“.
This tension between IC elements then continued with the 2021 declassified intelligence report (5), with most of the IC claiming not to know anything, but the NCMI still believing the lab leak was the best cover story and wanting it back in play.
By the time of the October 2022 Senate report (6) the natural origin theory was clearly collapsing. This report then represents an effort by some within the intelligence community to bring back the lab leak as the cover story, while directing all attention to China and the WIV and away from the U.S.
How plausible is all this? It certainly fits the evidence, though perhaps there is another, more innocent way of explaining it all.
However, those who would like to exclude the possibility of a U.S. biological attack – and indeed, I would like to exclude this – need to answer at least two key questions:
1. Why was the U.S. concerned about and following an outbreak in Wuhan in November 2019 which all the available evidence shows was not detectable at the time? Why did the U.S. falsely claim there was a signal of a large, worrying outbreak and brief allies about it?
2. Why did U.S. security services begin spreading rumours about the virus being engineered in China at the beginning of January, even before the first death had been reported, when they had no evidence of this (at least, they have never explained how they knew it) and no one else was worried about it, and based on the false claim that rumours were already being spread in China about a U.S. bioweapon?
Let’s be honest: it’s not looking good.
- U.S. Government Identified as Original Source of Lab Leak Theory. What’s Really Going On?
Will Jones • The Daily Sceptic • January 10, 2023 • 2,800 Words
Millions or tens of millions of people worldwide ultimately draw their Covid information from the alt-Covid community, in which both the Daily Sceptic and the Brownstone Institute are major publications, whose contents may be widely circulated.
Dr. Robert W. Malone is a towering figure in those circles and he seemed to judge this Covid origins analysis as important as I did, tweeting out the article to his 900,000 followers and getting nearly 1,400 retweets.
If the USG was the first running with this story on Jan 09 2020 (5 days after I got the call from Dr. Callahan), then we have to start asking more probing questions about what the USG knew and when.https://t.co/Gi3jus5XMR
— Robert W Malone, MD (@RWMaloneMD) January 10, 2023
If the tens of millions of individuals who have been concentrating their attention on the consequences of the Covid outbreak now also begin to consider its likely origins, I believe that the existing cover-up may collapse, with potentially enormous political ramifications.
Well over a million Americans died in the epidemic and if this tragedy came to be seen as the blowback from a botched American biowarfare attack, the impact might be staggering. Such a catastrophe would be a thousand times greater than the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that helped bring down Soviet regime that ruled the USSR.
Meanwhile, I’d also recommend my own long series of articles on the subject and several of them in particular:
- Covid/Biowarfare Series
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • April 2020-December 2021 • 60,000 Words
- American Pravda: Covid Epidemic as Lab-Leak or Biowarfare?
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • July 12, 2021 • 13,100 Words
- American Pravda: Waging Biological Warfare
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • August 9, 2021 • 7,500 Words
- American Pravda: Confronting Covid Crimestop
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • December 13, 2021 • 6,400 Words
But for those who prefer to receive the same information presented in a different format, three of my podcast video interviews from last February have been doing very well on Rumble, picking up a total of nearly 300,000 additional views during just the last couple of weeks.
Kevin Barrett, FFWN • February 16, 2022 • 15m
Geopolitics & Empire • February 1, 2022 • 75m
Red Ice TV • February 3, 2022 • 130m