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Cash, COVID, and cover-up, part 1: ​The questions we should have asked of Fauci about the origins of COVID-19


Reported by LEON WOLF and CHRIS PANDOLFO | August 31, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/cash-covid-and-coverup-part-1-the-questions-we-should-have-asked-of-fauci-about-the-origins-of-covid-19/

Less than two years ago, an outbreak of a new, flu-like virus that would eventually be known as COVID-19 began in Wuhan, China. Today, almost 5 million people globally have died from this pandemic, and we are no closer to understanding how it began.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We are closer, but only by virtue of being allowed to ask in public a rather inconvenient question: Was a foreign lab that received U.S. taxpayer funding for years responsible for the start of the spread of this pandemic?

For months, this question was considered publicly taboo, prohibited from discussion (except as a topic of derision as a wild-eyed conspiracy theory) by a group of scientists who were, incredibly, some of the same people who should have been under the most intense scrutiny. The bizarre tableau would not have played out in any other walk of life. If ExxonMobil had conducted drilling operations that resulted in a massive oil leak, the media would not have refused to investigate the cause of the leak because respected scientists who happened to be employed by ExxonMobil insisted that it was not ExxonMobil’s fault.

And yet, incredibly, that appears to be exactly what happened to the most significant question that has faced our generation. The very people who stood to lose the most were allowed to hastily exonerate themselves, and for months — when important information should have been uncovered — social media companies and the media actually covered for them and are still covering for them today.

The decision to rule this topic out of bounds was made in late January 2020, just a few days after the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Washington state. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has perhaps done more to shape coronavirus response policy than any other person in America, was a central figure in those discussions.

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It is difficult, after all that has happened over the last two years, to remember a time when Dr. Fauci was not famous, but it is important to remember that when the discussions that would shape the investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic began, the men and women who conferred with him were not conferring with the celebrity who would soon come to dominate American media coverage. They were, rather, conferring with a bureaucrat — one whom a vast, overwhelming majority of Americans could not have picked out of a lineup when he was announced as a member of then-Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force on Jan. 29, 2020.

But just because he wasn’t famous doesn’t mean he wasn’t powerful. Not only is he literally the highest-paid employee of the entire federal government, but Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides billions of dollars for research projects in the United States and around the world. NIAID was responsible for doling out nearly $3 billion annually in federal taxpayer dollars to research scientists between fiscal years 2017 and 2019. In FY 2021, NIAID received an annual budget of $6,067,071,000. The agency plans to fund another $3.8 billion in research grants this year, 62% of its budget.

The director of NIAID wields enormous power and influence over which research projects receive that funding, which scientists will be paid to continue their work, and which therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies get developed in the competitive field of infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. And Fauci is the longest-serving head of NIAID, having been appointed director in 1984 and supervising research both within and without the agency from that position for nearly four decades since.

So, while the average American might never have heard of Dr. Anthony Fauci prior to sometime in February or March 2020, the people who study viruses for a living certainly had. Not only had they heard of him, but they were also acutely aware that he was in charge of the funding upon which a significant portion of their livelihood depends. Risking the disfavor of Fauci was not a move many in the field of infectious disease research would make.

Another important individual in that field was Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the megacharity known as the Wellcome Trust. With an annual total disbursement budget of over $11 billion — a significant portion of which is spent on infectious disease research — Farrar also represented an enormously important gatekeeper of medical research funding. The Wellcome Trust had a financial endowment of £29.1 billion, or just over $40 billion, in 2020, making it the fourth wealthiest charitable foundation in the world.

Both Fauci and Farrar would play key roles in shaping the public response to questions about the origins of COVID-19. And they would serve — whether willfully or not — to stamp out questions that would have tended to implicate recipients of their funding largesse — and thus ultimately themselves. Somehow, very few people in the media found this worthy of curiosity, much less rigorous investigation.

Indeed, when Fauci finally faced aggressive questioning on the subject, from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, CNN’s Jake Tapper exemplified the approach of most of the media by treating Paul’s questions as scandalous in and of themselves and not worthy of even being repeated on air. Thus has our watchdog media completely failed to fulfill its responsibility to hold powerful bureaucrats in government accountable.

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Although the particulars of the lab-leak theory, as it would come to be called, would not be fleshed out for several months after the pandemic began, when COVID-19 introduced itself to the world in late 2019, it did not take long for a couple of salient facts to begin circulating on the internet. The first was that Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID outbreak, was home to a virology lab that had been the subject of a scathing State Department report that blasted the lab for inadequate security procedures, saying the Wuhan Institute “has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”

The second was that one of the lab’s top scientists, Shi Zhengli, had for years led a team of researchers into the field to collect dozens of coronavirus samples in the wild. Her virus-hunting expeditions took her deep into bat caves, earning her the nickname “bat woman,” a fact that was of particular interest in early 2020 because Chinese scientists had published a paper showing the SARS-CoV-2 virus was 96% identical to a previously discovered bat coronavirus.

A video released by Chinese state media just weeks before the first official reports of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan also gained attention. The video showed Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention staff (not to be confused with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a separate lab) collecting virus samples from horseshoe and pipistrelle bats in caves found in China’s Hubei province. The video demonstrated that Chinese scientists had been handling bats and collecting virus samples similar to SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 pandemic was linked to Wuhan, and right there next to the city were a laboratory and a health institute that studied coronaviruses.

Given that the early scientific evidence strongly pointed to bats as the original host animal of what would become COVID-19, this led many to naturally wonder, “Could this lab have been the source of the pandemic?”

Topping it all off, the lab in question, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was funded by taxpayer dollars that were funneled to it via the nonprofit organization EcoHealth Alliance, whose president, Peter Daszak, is one of the leading scientific voices discrediting the possibility that the virus came from the lab. Daszak’s nonprofit received at least $15.2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health since 2005, according to the NIH’s RePORTER website. Between 2014 and 2019, EcoHealth Alliance directed at least $600,000 in NIH sub-grants from Fauci’s NIAID to study bat coronaviruses in collaboration with the Wuhan lab, a fact confirmed by Fauci himself in testimony given to Congress.

In June, Daszak recused himself from a U.N.-partnered commission investigating the origins of COVID-19 because of his apparent conflict of interest. Meanwhile, Fauci served as a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force all through 2020, is now the top White House adviser on the coronavirus response, and continues to be sought after by the media as an expert authority on all things related to a pandemic that possibly has origins tied to research his agency funded.

It is almost unimaginable that the above series of facts alone did not lead to months of endless public interrogation of Fauci. Every media organization and governmental watchdog in the country should have immediately been calling for nonstop investigations — especially given the eagerness of the press to tar anyone connected with the Trump administration. The national media spent endless hours speculating, without any factual basis, about the contacts with Russia of every obscure member of Trump’s team. Surely they would have interest in whether the man who was fast becoming the face of the Trump response to coronavirus was complicit, even indirectly, with the release of the virus into the world?

It turned out they would not. Somewhere along the line, Fauci became synonymous with “science” for many liberals and other opponents of President Trump. Perhaps nothing shielded Fauci from criticism or even investigation more effectively than the fact that, while he was nominally a member of the Trump administration, he was erected in the minds of liberals as the COVID foil to Trump.

Fauci himself encouraged this deification, telling MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, “So if you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science. And anybody that looks at what is going on clearly sees that, you have to be asleep not to see that.” Fauci became the scaffolding upon which the entire edifice of COVID-fighting measures favored by Democrats was built, and to attack him was seen as an indication that you probably sided with the “anti-science” crazies who think the virus is fake.

And the story of how this prevented the press from questioning Fauci or anyone else associated with him about how this pandemic began is one of the most regrettable failures of investigative journalism in all of history. But even more bizarre, as evidence has begun to mount that the very people who set forth to immediately stamp out all discussion of the lab-leak theory were a) the very people who would be implicated if the lab-leak theory proved true and b) were beholden to Fauci, the press seems curiously uninterested.

Only recently have cracks begun to appear in the façade, such as last week’s surprising Washington Post article that finally began asking government officials in various health agencies some difficult questions about exactly what level of oversight was exercised over the increasingly risky research being funded by taxpayer dollars. A shocking number of government officials absolutely stonewalled even the Post’s inquiries.

This series is not intended to prove that the lab-leak theory is true. That can probably never be known with any certainty at this point, thanks largely to the intentional destruction of evidence by the Chinese government. But it is intended to ask questions that every person in the entire world should be interested in — and it seeks to encourage the public and the politicians who are theoretically accountable to them to demand answers that should have been demanded long ago.

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Over the next days and weeks, this series will investigate what we know, what we don’t know, and what we may never know about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part 2 will examine the “gain of function” controversy and what we know about the research that was done on coronaviruses by Shi Zhengli, Ralph Baric, and others and the evidence regarding the structure of the virus that has led many to wonder if COVID-19 was, in fact, engineered in some way.

Part 3 will examine the early response to the pandemic by the group of scientists who would be responsible for shutting down any discussion of the lab-leak theory and the decision to control the message.

Part 4 will examine the scientific arguments put forth by opponents of the theory and the issues they have either glossed over or failed to examine.

Part 5 will track the effort that was made by social media companies to silence any questions about the theory as conspiracy theories.

Finally, part 6 will discuss the current state of knowledge and suggest a path forward for the debate.

The trail of suffering left across the globe by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant measures that have been undertaken to attempt to slow its spread are almost incalculable. Millions have died, millions more have suffered severe diseases, and almost everyone has been severely economically and emotionally impacted. Perhaps most devastatingly, so many of those who died during the pandemic had to die alone, isolated from friends and loved ones by fear of the contagion. The full downstream effects of this catastrophe cannot even be guessed at, and the possibility remains that the mutations of the virus may make it virtually undefeatable by vaccines in the long term.

In the face of all this human suffering, humanity deserves answers. We must do everything in our power to determine why this happened, so that we can do everything in our power to prevent it from happening again. The search for answers must be inexhaustible, and any person who might possibly be involved in any way should be an appropriate subject of aggressive investigation. After all that COVID-19 has done, humanity deserves no less. And it certainly deserves more than legacy media and social media companies have given it thus far. We will attempt to find those answers.

Finally: The Cuomo Scandal Explodes


Reported by Guy Benson Guy Benson | @guypbenson | Posted: Feb 12, 2021

Finally: The Cuomo Scandal Explodes

Source: AP Photo/John Minchillo

As you’ve been reading last night and today, the dam has finally broken on Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home cover-up.  On one hand, it’s extremely frustrating because large media organizations that have acted as shameless boosters of the guy for the better part of a year are only now getting around to acknowledging long-available truths — now that election season is over, that is.  Despite an ongoing scandal, about which we we’ve been shouting for months, Joe Biden hailed Cuomo’s leadership as a “model” for the nation during the Democratic National Convention.  Many in the press played along as Cuomo went on his morally-warped book tour, helping him sell his ludicrous declaration of victory, even if some privately winced.  Now that Democrats are safely in charge, with Biden settling into the presidency, the sordid reality of Cuomo’s failures can finally become ‘a thing.’  That’s very much what the timing suggests.

Nevertheless, it’s very gratifying.  Cuomo is a bully who has been willing himself and those around him to embrace the insulting hype he’s generated for himself.  His goons have pilloried critics, including grieving family members.  Complaints about the obvious corruption on nursing home death counts were largely relegated to the conservative press ghetto, where they could be safely ignored.  Even an Associated Press bombshell was generally overlooked.  There were elections to be won, and many journalists probably have misgivings of hurting their team during a high-stakes campaign season.  But Cuomo now feels more expendable.  And the damage is coming from inside his own partisan house.  We told you about his own Attorney General’s report that found a massive undercount of COVID deaths in New York long term care facilities like nursing homes.  And in case you missed it, it now appears as though a Democrat leaked a shocking confession to the New York Post:

The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting…In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.” “And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers on the call. “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.” DeRosa added: “That played a very large role into this.”

Their timeline is still incorrect, but here’s your loose translation: Cuomo didn’t want to give any ammunition to the critics who were accurately attacking him for his terrible decision to force thousands of COVID-positive people into nursing homes, thus creating death traps for vulnerable seniors (more on that in a moment). Cuomo wanted to deny Trump the ability to score those points, and didn’t want federal investigators to have ugly statistics to look into, so the real data was suppressed. The governor publicly touted the faked “good” numbers, pretending that New York was outperforming nearby states. New York was doing no such thing; the books were cooked, for reasons of political advantage and corruption. And the only apparent contrition is, appropriately enough, partisan in nature:

After dropping the bombshell, DeRosa asked for “a little bit of appreciation of the context” and offered what appears to be the Cuomo administration’s first apology for its handling of nursing homes amid the pandemic. But instead of a mea culpa to the grieving family members of more than 13,000 dead seniors or the critics who say the Health Department spread COVID-19 in the care facilities with a March 25 state Health Department directive that nursing homes admit infected patients, DeRosa tried to make amends with the fellow Democrats for the political inconvenience it caused them. “So we do apologize,” she said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.” Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) immediately rejected DeRosa’s expression of remorse, according to the recording. “I don’t have enough time today to explain all the reasons why I don’t give that any credit at all,” said Gottfried, one of the lawmakers who demanded the death-toll data in August.

It’s pure politics, all the way down. And they’re so blind, they don’t realize how sociopathic this sounds — even to their fellow partisans, several of whom are quoted as blasting the “apology.” One lawmaker said it sounded like “they admitted that they were trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence that might put the administration or the [Health Department] in further trouble with the Department of Justice.”  That’s exactly right.  Cuomo’s aide said so.  Meanwhile, the Associated Press is out with another story quadruple-confirming the cover-up that right-leaning media outlets have been flagging for months.  I guess now the important people can finally decide to pay attention and profess their outrage:

The flurry of new disclosures began last month after state Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Democrat, issued a blistering report accusing the administration of underreporting its long-term care deaths by more than 50%. That was consistent with an AP report from August that focused on the fact that New York is one of the only states that counts just those who died on nursing home property and not those who died after being transported to hospitalsUnder heavy pressure to change its methodology, New York began issuing reports in recent weeks that added thousands more to its long-term care death toll since March. The new data also confirmed that COVID-19 deaths at some nursing homes are double or more what had been previously reported.

Will there be any actual accountability here? Angry quotes from some elected Democrats suggest that fissures in their coalition are opening up, as they recognize that this scandal can no longer be contained by duct tape and spin. It’s bad, and they know it. And while the Janice Dean’s of the world are at least feeling some true vindication, will there be widespread introspection within the media class for obsequious coverage like this?

And what about this?  Washington Republicans were often ridiculed in the press for averting their eyes from Trump tweets and declining to comment.  Any thoughts on the giant COVID-death-cover-up situation in one of America’s biggest blue states, Chuck and Nancy?  Still excited about the New York “model,” Joe?

Or is Biden now part of the cover-up?

Editor’s Note: We’ve been telling the truth about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous and deadly nursing home scandal since day one.

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