With well over a billion monthly views, Britain’s populist and pugnacious Daily Mail is one of the world’s most widely-read newspapers on the Internet, having twice the traffic of the Washington Post and five times that of the Wall Street Journal, even sometimes approaching the readership of the New York Times. The publication has stayed true to its original tabloid roots and its success comes from its willingness to wholeheartedly jump on those controversial stories that other outlets avoid.
Meanwhile, the British Lancet is located at the opposite end of the spectrum of respectability, being one of the world’s most prestigious and authoritative medical journals, as sober and responsible as any publication in existence.
So very early last Thursday morning the world witnessed a bizarre “Clash of the Titans” style controversy as an explosive headline in the Daily Mail denounced the Lancet for supposedly indulging in sensationalism.
- Fury as The Lancet sensationally claims Covid may have leaked from an AMERICAN lab – echoing anti-western claims peddled by Beijing
A UK medical journal has suggested the US could have created the Covid virus
John Ely • The Daily Mail • September 15, 2022 • 1,100 Words
Surely many millions saw that headline and reacted with shock—at least that fraction of the typical Daily Mail readership that had ever heard of the Lancet.
More than two years ago the Lancet had established the Covid Commission, tasked with investigating all aspects of the worldwide disease outbreak that was already beginning to claim millions of lives. As might be expected, the panel was heavily stocked with the “Great and the Good” of global public health policy, as reflected in its chairman Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, a pillar of the academic establishment who had twice been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Then last week the Covid Commission report was finally released, prompting that immediate, ferocious attack by the Daily Mail, with the first two paragraphs of the article describing the controversy:
The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, has sensationally claimed Covid may have leaked out of a US lab.
Unveiling the results of a two-year investigation into the origins of the pandemic, the magazine’s team tasked with uncovering the truth stated it was ‘plausible’ the virus could have emerged in America.
Since April 2020 I’ve stood almost alone in publicly arguing that Covid was probably an American virus, with the global outbreak being blowback from a disastrously reckless biowarfare attack against China (and Iran). So I was obviously gratified to discover that somewhat parallel accusations were now apparently being made by so august and respectable a publication as the Lancet and the group of international experts it had convened.
Thus prompted by the Daily Mail story, I eagerly obtained a copy of that lengthy report and began carefully reading it. The complete text ran almost 50,000 words including 499 footnotes, and constituted an extremely sober, cautious, and meticulous analysis of the global health crisis that had already claimed 18 million lives. The crucial information and the copious references were very helpful, and I’m sure I’ll draw upon them in the future.
- The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF)
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs et. al. • The Lancet Covid Commission • September 14, 2022 • 48,000 Words
However, I was puzzled to find almost no traces of the lurid accusations that had so enraged the Daily Mail. At most there were a couple of paragraphs noting that the origin of the Covid virus was still uncertain, with both nature and a human laboratory being possible sources. If the latter case were correct, the particular lab responsible remained unknown, and a few sentences mentioned that both Chinese and American researchers had been conducting viral bioengineering work of a closely related nature. The report reasonably criticized both countries for not being more forthcoming in opening the doors of their research facilities to a proper investigation.
So instead of the bold, headline-grabbing accusations I had expected to encounter, there was almost nothing controversial. Indeed, if not for the brutal media assault, I doubt that almost anyone would have even noticed those few sentences of mild suspicion and disapproval buried in a book-length tome that was otherwise so totally innocuous.
For those unwilling to read the enormous block of text, the Lancet‘s Covid Commission also released a video presentation in which several of the leading participants summarized the major elements of their findings, with the discussion presided over by Prof. Sachs and also including the participation of Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. Once again, their statements provided no hint of any of the outrageous claims so harshly vilified by the Daily Mail.
The puzzle deepens when we consider that the Daily Mail was hardly alone in making such wild, unsubstantiated charges against the Lancet report and its ultra-respectable authors, with almost simultaneous and equally harsh attacks also unleashed in Britain’s Daily Telegraph and our own Foreign Policy. Indeed, the latter even went so far as to denounce the report and its authors as promoting “conspiracy theories,” surely an unusual criticism of individuals possessing the greatest international respectability and reputation.
- Major Covid report suggests virus could have leaked from a US lab
The Lancet’s paper said it is ‘feasible’ that Sars-Cov-2 emerged from a natural spillover or a lab incident, but elements provoke backlash
Sarah Newey • The Daily Telegraph • September 14, 2022 • 1,000 Words
- Conspiracy Theories About COVID-19 Help Nobody
The continued pushing of a “lab-leak” theory is unsupported and dangerous.
Angela Rasmussen and Michael Worobey • Foreign Policy • September 15, 2022 • 1,600 Words
So how can we explain this total divergence between the actual contents of an extremely stolid, uncontroversial report and the near-hysterical attacks leveled against it in the media, attacks that were almost entirely false or misleading?
According to a Lancet Tweet, the report was released on the evening of the 14th, while the Daily Mail article was first published 6am Eastern Time on the 15th. So it seems quite unlikely that the tabloid’s staff had had the time to properly read and digest so lengthy and detailed a document before unleashing their fierce denunciation, and this easily explains why the Lancet Commission was viciously attacked for things it never said. Clearly something unusual was happening behind the journalistic scenes.
I think this mystery dissipates once we consider the events of the previous few months, particularly the public statements of Prof. Sachs, chairman of the commission and the primary target of all those bitter media denunciations. Back in May, he had co-authored an article in the prestigious PNAS journal, arguing the that Covid virus had clearly been bioengineered and calling for an independent investigation into its true origins.
- A call for an independent inquiry into the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
Neil L. Harrison and Jeffrey D. Sachs • PNAS • May 19, 2022 • 2,800 Words
A few weeks later, a video clip of his public remarks on that same question went super-viral, retweeted more than 11,000 times with over a million views:
Wow😯Prof. Jeffrey Sachs:
"I chaired the commission for the Lancet for 2 years on Covid. I'm pretty convinced it came out of a US lab of biotechnology […] We don't know for sure but there is enough evidence. [However] it's not being investigated, not in the US, not anywhere." pic.twitter.com/IYvSJnlv1q
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) July 2, 2022
In the aftermath of that explosive clip, the Daily Mail had been almost the only publication willing to break the media wall of silence and report his claims, using a striking headline that they later recycled for last week’s story.
- Covid leaked from an AMERICAN lab and not the notorious Chinese facility at centre of pandemic cover-up, claims top US professor described as ‘Xi propagandist’
Connor Boyd • Daily Mail • July 4, 2022 • 1,500 Words
But Prof. Sachs refused to back down, and soon gave a couple of major interviews in which he reiterated his conviction that the virus was artificial and that numerous scientists in thrall to American government funding were trying to cover up the true facts of its origin, also even suggesting a possible connection to America’s large and longstanding biowarfare program.
- Why the Chair of the Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission Thinks The US Government Is Preventing a Real Investigation Into the Pandemic
Jeffrey Sachs • Current Affairs • August 2, 2022 • 4,300 Words
- Origins of the Covid Virus with Jeffrey Sachs
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. • The Defender • August 20, 2022 • 54 minutes
Although Prof. Sachs’ recent public statements had gone entirely unreported by nearly every mainstream and alternative media outlet, they would surely would have raised huge concerns in certain quarters, especially those associated with America’s biowarfare and intelligence apparatus. The Covid Commission report was about to be released, and with Sachs serving as chairman, there must have been widespread fears that its findings would include those same explosive accusations, but this time presented in a formal document that Western media outlets could not easily ignore.
In the political world, the earliest spin on a major story often sets the tone, so ferocious attacks may have been prepared in advance for immediate use once the report appeared, attacks aimed at what people feared the report might say. However, since the report actually excluded those claims, this strategy proved highly counter-productive, probably leading millions of individuals around the world to mistakenly believe that the Covid Commission had accused America of having created the deadly virus.
Consider the analogy of a nervous criminal with an extremely guilty conscience being asked an innocuous question on some matter and immediately responding with a long list of fierce denials about his hidden crimes, thereby attracting huge suspicion to his activities. An appropriate Biblical phrase comes to mind: “The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth.”
Most importantly, we should recognize that the attacks made in those media stories were almost nonsensical. When carefully considered, the supposed Covid origins theory denounced by those publications seems extremely implausible, indeed almost self-evidently false. According to the spurious headline of the Daily Mail, “The Lancet sensationally claims that Covid may have leaked from an AMERICAN lab.” The Daily Telegraph story described the theory in similar terms, as had the Daily Mail‘s previous July piece.
But such a scenario is a total absurdity. If Covid had “leaked from an American lab” why did the two earliest major outbreaks take place in Wuhan, China and Qom, Iran? Do we expect to find American biolabs—leaky or otherwise—located in the major cities of our country’s leading international adversaries?
Instead it’s quite obvious that an “American lab-leak hypothesis” is merely a euphemistic means of describing an “American biowarfare attack hypothesis.” But that latter notion is so extraordinarily controversial that it must remain strictly excluded and unmentioned in any Western publication, whether mainstream or alternative, far too controversial to even be attacked or denounced.
Indeed, the moment that the Western public begins considering an American origin of the virus, the likely circumstances of our gigantic calamity would become easily apparent, perhaps with dramatic political consequences. This explains why such strident efforts have been made in the media to exclude that possibility from any public discussion.
For those interested in reading the details of the scenario that the media feared too much to even denounce, I would recommend the series of articles I have published since April 2020, which explore most aspects of what probably happened.
- Covid/Biowarfare Series
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • April 2020-December 2021 • 60,000 Words
In June I gathered together these articles and published them as a print collection on Amazon, a volume short enough to easily read within a day or two, but possessing the greater credibility of something that can be held in one’s hand.
Amazon allows authors to order copies of their books at the cost of printing, so for \$3 each (plus shipping) I recently had 535 copies sent to the DC offices of every Congressman and Senator, with the books fortuitously arriving just as the Covid Commission report was being released. Obviously, almost none of these copies will reach those elected representatives themselves, but I’d hope that a substantial fraction are examined by staffers or interns instead of being immediately tossed into the trash, thereby allowing those controversial ideas to begin circulating in DC policy and political circles.
For those who prefer to absorb that same information in a different format, I provided my analysis in several interviews earlier this year, and these have already established themselves as among the most popular videos on Rumble. The first presentation has now been viewed over 450,000 times, and the three together, well over a million.
Kevin Barrett, FFWN • February 16, 2022 • 15m
Geopolitics & Empire • February 1, 2022 • 75m
Red Ice TV • February 3, 2022 • 130m
- Covid and the Political Bankruptcy of the Alternative Media
- Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on the Covid Origins Cover-Up
- Challenging America’s Lords of Illusion
- American Pravda: Alex Jones, Cass Sunstein, and “Cognitive Infiltration”
- A Thousand Times Greater Than the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
- An Independent Inquiry Into the American Origins of Covid?