‘The whole thing was fraud’: Tucker Carlson rips U.S. government officials who ‘helped China cover up COVID origins’ after bombshell Vanity Fair report – while blasting 2020 letter in The Lancet that stifled investigations into Wuhan lab leak theory

  • At the start of the segment, Carlson noted Chinese scientists concluded 15 months ago ‘that the novel coronavirus probably escaped’ 
  • Since then, the ‘plausible’ theory has faced mostly silence while some branded it a ‘racist’ and a ‘conspiracy theory,’ Carlson said
  • He criticized ‘ the smirking morons’ who have recently changed their views on the theory
  • Carlson continued to recount revelations from the bombshell report in Vanity Fair that detailed how the investigation into the virus’ origins have been impeded

Tucker Carlson has slammed U.S. government officials who he claims helped China cover up the origins of COVID-19, after a bombshell Vanity Fair report detailing the early days of the outbreak.

Carlson, speaking on his Fox News program on Thursday, also blasted a 2020 letter in the esteemed scientific publication The Lancet that is believed to have first stifled investigations into Wuhan lab leak theory. 

Carlson claimed that Chinese scientists concluded 15 months ago ‘that the novel coronavirus probably escaped’ from a government lab in Wuhan ‘in the clearest possible terms.’

Since then, the ‘plausible’ theory has faced mostly silence while some branded it a ‘racist’ and a ‘conspiracy theory,’ Carlson said, as he criticized ‘the smirking morons’ who have recently changed their views on the theory.

‘Of course, COVID escaped from a Chinese virology lab. Duh. Did you really think it came from the wet market? Come on,’ Carlson said.

On his show, Carlson commented on the bombshell Vanity Fair report that detailed how the investigation into the origins of the coronavirus have been impeded

Carlson pointed to a ‘an avalanche of evidence’ from top national publications like the Washington Post and Buzzfeed, which have each obtained troves of illuminating emails between Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top officials.

Carlson also pointed to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, which he said ‘confirmed that the first COVID victims seem to have been researchers working with bat viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’

That article cited a U.S. intelligence report which detailed how three Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers became sick in November 2019 ‘with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illness’ and sought hospital care.

‘The lab leak theory, it turns out, was never crazy. It was always likely true,’ Carlson said.

‘So why did they lie to us about it for so long? A shocking new piece in, of all places, the celebrity suck-up magazine Vanity Fair, answers that question in great detail. You should read it.’

He added: ‘In short, many research scientists are addicted to tax dollars. If the public understood just how recklessly they’ve behaved — endangering the entire world with their weird little experiments in poorly relegated labs in China — the money might dry up.’ 

He also reacted to the recent troves of emails between Dr. Anthony Fauci, pictured, and other top officials

Recently revealed evidence has given credibility to the theory that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, pictured

Carlson then cited a quote included in the Vanity Fair article from Jamie Metzl, a former National Security Council official.

Metzl had written a blog post on the origin of SARS-CoV-2, in which he wrote: ‘If the pandemic started as part of a lab leak, it had the potential to do to virology what Three Mile Island and Chernobyl did to nuclear science.’

Carlson commented: ‘Can’t have that. Got to keep the money flowing. So they lied about it. And then they intimidated anyone who told the truth.’

He noted that those who faced criticism for supporting the lab leak theory included Robert Redfield, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Redfield had said in a March interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that his opinion was that the coronavirus had spread from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and that it had been spreading in China for months before it was detected.

‘I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan was from a laboratory. Escaped. Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out,’ Redfield said.

Carlson commented: ‘That’s not some guy on Twitter. It’s the former director of the CDC, so you’d think the world would stop and ask follow-up questions like ‘why do you think that?’ and ‘Where’s the evidence?’ But that’s not what happened.’

Redfield spoke to Vanity Fair detailing why he believed the virus had leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, telling the outlet that he had received a call from his counterpart at China’s CDC on January 3 of last year.

In a subsequent call, Gao revealed to Redfield that the virus appeared to be jumping from person to person’ leading him to ‘immediately’ suspect the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to Vanity Fair. 

‘Redfield, a virologist by training, was suspicious of the WIV in part because he’d been steeped in the yearslong battle over gain-of-function research,’ Vanity Fair reported.

However, Redfield told Vanity Fair that he ‘was threatened and ostracized’ by politicians and other scientists alike just because he ‘proposed another hypothesis.’

‘Redfield had dared to buck the orthodoxy that had imposed by the global scientific establishment. It began on February 19, 2020, just as the virus was getting to this country and scaring the hell out of all of us,’ Carlson commented.

Carlson, as well as Vanity Fair, noted that the suppression of the Wuhan lab-leak theory appears to have started with the article in The Lancet.

Last February, during the emergence of the pandemic, The Lancet published a letter from a group of 27 prominent public health scientists that pushed back on suggestions that the virus had come from the Wuhan lab.

‘The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,’ that letter reads.

Carlson noted that The Lancet letter was organized by Peter Daszcak, a zoologist whose organization EcoHealth Alliance provided grant money from the United States to the Wuhan Institute of Virology – the same funds that reportedly paid for research into bat coronavirus at the lab.

Daszcak thanked Fauci for pushing back on the theory in an April 2020 email published as part of a trove of emails obtained by Buzzfeed through a Freedom of Information Act request.

British-born Peter Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit that funneled US grant money to gain-of-function research at WIV and elsewhere. He is seen above participating in the World Health Organization’s investigation in Wuhan

Carlson described Daszcak as ‘a man with everything to gain by pretending COVID came from a wet market’ and said he was involved in gain-of-function research at the institute. 

‘Emails show that Daszcak carefully selected other signatories to The Lancet letter so that this obviously disqualifying conflict of interest would remain secret,’ Carlson said.

Carlson noted that, at one point, Daszcak wrote to another scientist named Ralph Baric and told him not to sign The Lancet letter.

‘We’ll put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our collaboration, so we maximize an independent voice,’ Daszcak wrote, according to emails obtained by Buzzfeed.

Carlson commented: ‘The whole thing was a fraud, and yet it worked. It was in The Lancet, everyone trusts The Lancet. In fact, Tony Fauci himself cited Daszcak’s letter as proof the virus wasn’t caused by research he was funding.’

The Fox News host then pointed to Fauci’s own comments in an interview with National Geographic, in which he said the virus ‘could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.’

‘So really, this is a story about the self-licking ice cream cone that is the federal bureaucracy. No matter how badly they screw up, it’s never their fault. “Oh, we didn’t imagine WMD in Iraq” etc. Pick your screw-up. But it’s your fault, racist,’ Carlson said. 

Vanity Fair noted that a group that identifies itself as DRASTIC discovered that Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan Institute of Virology ‘Bat Woman’, had collected samples of a bat coronavirus that were similar to COVID-19 from a cave in the Yunnan province in China where several miners had died in 2012.  

Daszcak later published a paper with Shi categorizing hundreds of various coronavirus strains they’d encountered ‘but somehow they omitted the deadly viruses found in the Yunnan mine,’ Carlson said. 

‘Bat lady’ Shi Zhengli works with other researchers in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in a file photo. She has published research on gain-of-function experiments

Were those viruses significant? The government of China seems to think so. Late last year, journalists with the BBC tried to visit the mine to get some answers,’ Carlson said.

He noted that when the BBC journalists arrived, they were followed by plainclothes police officers and found the road to the mine was blocked ‘by a well-placed broken-down truck.

‘So, the Chinese government covered this up,’ Carlson said. ‘Here’s the worst and most shocking part if you’re an American: Some within the U.S. government helped them cover it up. They knew all of this was going on. But they buried the truth too. Because their interests were aligned with the interest of the Chinese government.’  

REVEALED: State Department staff warned officials NOT to investigate Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function research because it would ‘open a can of worms’ and expose US funding

Former State Department official Thomas DiNanno says he was warned off the lab leak theory by nervous colleagues

Career staffers at the State Department ‘warned’ officials not to investigate the possibility that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, fearing it would expose U.S. funding for gain-of-function research there, according to a new report.

Thomas DiNanno, former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance raised the concern in a memo reported by Vanity Fair on Thursday. 

DiNanno wrote that staff from two bureaus, his own and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, ‘warned’ leaders ‘not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19’ because it would ‘open a can of worms’ if it continued. 

In one State Department meeting, officials say colleagues explicitly told them not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) gain-of-function research, because it would bring unwelcome attention to the U.S. taxpayer funds that were supporting the work.

Gain-of-function research is a controversial field that involves collecting dangerous viruses and genetically modifying them to be more deadly, in order to study the risks of future outbreaks.

Richard H. Ebright, a professor at Rutgers, has compared the field of gain-of-function research to ‘looking for a gas leak with a lighted match.’

State Department officials say they were warned not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (above) gain-of-function research, because it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of it

The new report examining the behind-the-scenes battle over COVID’s origins follows new evidence to support the theory that the coronavirus pandemic may have leaked from WIV — raising questions about why the possibility wasn’t investigated more thoroughly from the outset. 

‘The story of why parts of the U.S. government were not as curious as many of us think they should have been is a hugely important one,’ David Feith, former deputy assistant secretary of state in the East Asia bureau, told Vanity Fair.

In an interview with the outlet, DiNanno describes how his probe into the lab leak theory was thwarted at every turn, with hostile and antagonistic technical staff warning him not to open ‘Pandora’s box.’

Things came to a head at a meeting on December 9, when State Department staff met to discuss what the department could or should say publicly about the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

According to people at the meeting, Christopher Park, the director of the State Department’s Biological Policy Staff in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, not to say anything that would point to the U.S. government’s own role in gain-of-function research.

Park, a Trump appointee like DiNanno, had been involved in lifting a U.S. government moratorium on funding for gain-of-function research in 2017. 

Park was reportedly not the only one who raised concerns about the investigation ultimately raising questions about U.S. funding. 

As the group probed the lab-leak scenario and other possibilities, its members were repeatedly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ four former State Department officials told the magazine.

The admonitions ‘smelled like a cover-up,’ said DiNanno, ‘and I wasn’t going to be part of it.’

Park told Vanity Fair: ‘I am skeptical that people genuinely felt they were being discouraged from presenting facts.’ 

He insisted that he had just been making the case that it ‘is making an enormous and unjustifiable leap…to suggest that research of that kind [meant] that something untoward is going on.’

It’s unclear exactly much U.S. government funding was going to the WIV, but at least some of it was being routed through a nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance.

By 2018, EcoHealth Alliance was pulling in up to $15 million a year in grant money from an array of federal agencies, including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to tax filings.

EcoHealth Alliance and its founder Peter Daszak have been working with Shi Zhengli, the WIV virologist known as the ‘bat lady’, for more than 15 years. 

British-born Peter Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit that funneled US grant money to gain-of-function research at WIV and elsewhere. He is seen above participating in the World Health Organization’s investigation in Wuhan

British-born Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance — and in the early days of the pandemic, he was key in establishing the veneer of a ‘scientific consensus’ that the lab-leak origin was impossible.

Daszak not only signed but spearheaded a letter signed by 27 scientists rejecting the lab leak hypothesis, which was published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet.

Leaked emails later revealed that he encouraged colleagues who do gain-of-function research on coronaviruses not to sign the letter, in order to obscure the connection.

The letter declared that the scientists had ‘no competing interests’ — but it seems clear that Daszak did, as a lab leak origin would likely derail his entire field, but an animal origin would justify his life’s work.  

Top WIV scientist Yuan Zhiming described widespread deficiencies in biosafety training in China’s biosafety-level 3 labs in a 2019 article pleading for more funding

The Vanity Fair article also noted serious concerns about safety and upkeep at the WIV facilities that handle hundreds of strains of bat coronaviruses.

In 2019, in an article pleading for more funding, top WIV scientist Yuan Zhiming describes widespread deficiencies in biosafety training in China’s biosafety-level 3 labs.

China has dozens of BSL-3 labs, but only one BSL-4, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, though it plans to build half a dozen more. 

Yuan noted that ‘most laboratories lack specialized biosafety managers and engineers.’ 

He also wrote: ‘Maintenance cost is generally neglected; several high-level [BSL-3 labs] have insufficient operating funds for routine, yet vital processes… some BSL-3 laboratories run on extremely minimal operational costs or in some cases none at all.’

Last July, Yuan claimed on Chinese state television that safety protocols are so tight at WIV that ‘not a mosquito can fly into the building without authorization’. 

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