When the Covid scare first became a reality my first focus was on the possibility that it was a product of a Chinese bioweapon research program. That was natural, given that the last 12 years of my career had been spent working PRC CI matters. This focus was also a factor in leading me to accept--with less than the amount of knowledge and skepticism than I should have had--the official narratives. I spent a bit--but just a bit--of time this morning trying to figure out when I got away from official narrative. As nearly as I can figure, nothing really rigorous, it must have been in the late Spring or early Summer, because in Informed Opinion On Covid? (dated June 27, 2020) I began the post with these two paragraphs:
My wife and I were lamenting yesterday the glaring lack of transparency regarding SARS CoV-2 (i.e., Covid). I've long since come to the view that this lack of transparency on the part of most of our State and local governments and the public health authorities can only be explained by political motives. There's no health related reason why, at this point, we should not have access to the data that they have. Not to put too fine a point on it, Lib Prog fear mongering must be behind the lack of transparency. The fact of the matter is, you know and I know that--after months of the pandemic--there is no lack of relevant data out there, collected by government health officials. Yet somehow that relevant data is, for the most part, not being pushed out to the people (you and me) who need it to respond rationally. It's as if there are people or 'folks' who don't want us to know, who don't want us to be part of the decision making process.
Amid the talk of a new surge of "cases", I want to know what a "case" is, how that relates to hospitalizations and deaths, and who these people who have become "cases" actually are. More, I'd like to know how they became "cases."
For the past several weeks, at least, there's been a steady stream of information coming out, all of which tends to confirm what was apparent at an early date--that the outbreak of the new version of the SARS virus that we refer to (in shorthand) as "Covid" originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Today Just The News has a piece that repeats this conclusion but adds some authority to the report by quoting a prominent investigator in the field of detecting weapons programs:
Former State Dept. investigator believes COVID-19 virus escaped from Wuhan lab, possibly a bioweapon
"The Wuhan Institute of Virology is not the National Institute of Health," said David Asher
Since the piece at JOM is mostly a string of quotes from open sources, I'll cite it at some length here:
The former lead investigator at the State Department who oversaw the Task Force into the origin of the COVID-19 virus told Fox News that he believes the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, and that it may have been the result of research that the Chinese military was doing on a bioweapon.
"The Wuhan Institute of Virology is not the National Institute of Health," said David Asher, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. "It was operating a secret, classified program. In my view, and I'm just one person, my view is it was a biological weapons program."
Asher previously led the team that uncovered Pakistan's nuclear program, headed up by AQ Khan. He told Fox that he believes the Chinese Communist Party has engaged in a massive cover-up during the past 14 months.
"And if you believe, as I do, that this might have been a weapons vector gone awry, not deliberately released, but in development and then somehow leaked, this has turned out to be the greatest weapon in history," Asher said at a Hudson Institute event called "The Origins of the COVID-10: Policy Implications and Lessons for the Future."
"You've taken out 15 to 20 percent of global GDP. You've killed millions of people. The Chinese population has been barely affected. Their economies roared back to being number one in the entire G20."
"Motive, cover-up, conspiracy, all the hallmarks of guilt are associated with this. And the fact that the initial cluster of victims surrounded the very institute that was doing the highly dangerous, if not dubious research is significant," said Asher.
Asher dealt with the Chinese government as the State Department's lead representative during the 2003 SARS outbreak.
The first point to be made is that Asher is referring to what's known as Gain Of Function (GOF) research on viruses. This type of research involves endowing a virus with extra or enhanced functionality, which could result in the virus becoming more virulent (contagious) or more deadly. The use of GOF research for the design and production of bioweapons is obvious. However, some scientists have claimed that GOF research may have benefits for vaccine research. This last has been a highly controversial issue. Anthony Fauci has been a major proponent of GOF research, which was conducted in the US--with the participation of Chinese scientists who have also been associated with the WIV--until it was banned during the second Obama term. Shortly after Trump took office, however, Fauci approved funding of GOF research at the WIV.
The problem here is the usual one: lack of transparency and control. There was simply no way that we could be sure that the GOF research we were funding was not being used in the secret programs at the WIV. That problem was compounded by the known woeful safety record of the Chinese bio labs--there have been numerous viral outbreaks from their labs over the years, including outbreaks of SARS viruses. The evidence that this is what led to the Covid "pandemic" is overwhelming, in my opinion.
Now, Asher leaves open the issue of whether this outbreak could have been deliberate--an act of the Chinese government that was intended to create a health crisis around the world. There's no possible way for me to offer an informed opinion on that issue, so I won't. However, there's a related issue that is worth considering.
In my earlier post--quoted above--I referred to the politically motivated fear mongering surrounding the Covid outbreak. This fear mongering, as I noted at that time, was greatly enhanced by several factors:
1. The propagation of exaggerated claims regarding the supposed deadliness of Covid;
2. The deliberate lack of transparency--the withholding of vital information that was available and could have led to informed public debate on appropriate public health measures; one must assume that informed public debate was and remains the last thing that government as a whole wants on this topic--thus the wild swings of disinformation regarding masking, distancing, surface contagion, vulnerable demographic groups, and so much else;
3. Particularly disturbing was the deliberate and scientifically unfounded inflation of "case" and mortality figures.
What is most significant for the health of our body politic, however, is the willingness of vast swaths of the population to conform unquestioningly for over a year to measures of social control that are patently unreasonable from any scientifically based standard of public health. Christopher Lasch, in his books of socio-political analysis, places considerable emphasis on what he terms the narcissistic character that American life has taken on. He repeatedly draws attention to the obsession with health, the search for the perfect diet, the perfect exercise regime, the lifestyle that will lead to the longest life. All of that is reasonable--within the limits of scientific knowledge and practicality. But those limits are, in fact, very real and have been manipulated by politicians repeatedly. The Low Fat craze--fueled by the vast federal bureaucracy--is probably the most obvious example, but there are many others.
All that would be understandable within limits. There have been great advances in medicine and science, and it would be foolish to fail to incorporate those advances into our public health policies--as has been done and as has led to great improvements in human life both individually and in society generally. What Lasch is pointing at, however, is the cultic quality that this obsession has taken on in popular American life. You can see this in the wholehearted embrace of utterly unscientific and widely debunked "safety" measures by so much of the general public, and the snarling reaction to anyone who would violate these cultic safeguards even in passing. There's far more going on here than any reasonable concern for public health, and it undoubtedly explains the elevation of "vaccines" to a sort of Holy Grail for all human ills and the widespread acceptance of this scientifically unfounded view. Coupled with that is the hyperbolic labeling by the MSM of skeptics as virtual enemies of the human race.
Lasch attempts to explain this phenomenon in psychological terms, as "narcissism," as a phenomenon that arises from the conditions of modern life. At the same time, however, he does acknowledge the importance of Western society's loss of contact with its past, including the loss of what could be termed a connection to "traditional" religious experience that emphasizes objective human nature and objective knowledge of reality. Certainly we see the Leftist denigration of objective knowledge even in areas such as mathematics. A specialist doctor of mine, back in November, was reduced to shaking his head sadly over the state of American during the pandemic panic: "Centuries of medical progress--out the window! What will future generations think of us?"
My belief is that this loss of faith has led to society wide susceptibility to Neo-gnostic cults and ideologies that promise deliverance from the normal vicissitudes of our necessarily imperfect human lives--both on the physical and moral levels. We see that type of transference in the "social justice" movement, and the PC demands that all "hurt" and apprehension ("safe spaces") be banished from human life, that all disagreement be "canceled." Beyond that, the widespread resort to obvious hoaxes in our public life as well as the shaping of political narratives that are clearly divorced from any realistic appraisal of human nature and a willingness to trash our constitutional order on the spur of the moment also testifies to deeper problems than mere psychological glitches. All that seems to me to be symptomatic of a real crisis. Only a widespread loss of true religious faith (i.e., founded in reasonable belief) can explain what Eric Voegelin terms the "pneumopathological" state into which so much of the modern West has descended. Or, in the words of Jack McDermott says in The Dream Team, "It's a sickness of the soul."
This is why I repeatedly argue for our own personal conversion and reeducation the principles of the perennial philosophy. Call it "reality therapy".
You delve into several issues here, all of them important. Here's what has puzzled me most about this CCP virus over the past many months.
The easy explanation of origination is, of course, the Wuhan lab. Cases popping up all around that lab, perhaps traceable to a bat that lives 600 miles away, make it difficult, without proof to the contrary, to attribute it to any place else. The much harder question is whether it was deliberately released, either as a bio-weapon or for some other reason, or whether it accidentally escaped. It's easy to believe release was the result of an accident because the alternative has many extremely disturbing implications.
For example, it could have been released as a bio-weapon with the intent of killing a lot of people and, consequently, disrupting all kinds of activities that would give China a leg up. But its lethality wasn't much worse than a robust flu year.
But if it was intended to make quite a few people sick, scaring nations all over the world into lockdowns and fake fatality counts, practically shutting down the world's economy (except theirs), and giving them great economic advantage, then it worked wonderfully. But how could they have known that, for the first time in history, the world's leading nations would willingly, even eagerly, destroy their own economies? How could they have known that nations around the world would inflate fatality counts and case counts, and use those inflated numbers as an excuse to deeply wound themselves? How could they have known so many people all over the world would go along with loss of liberty, loss of livelihood, inflicting great harm on their youth, and accept the unconscionable emotional trauma of so many dying alone (not of the virus, but all cases) without family or friends?
On 9/11/01, after watching several replays of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, one of my reactions was “That took a LOT of planning.”
If the Wuhan virus was a bio-weapon deliberately released, either the CCP is the luckiest entity in the history of the universe or the required level of planning would be comparable to our first moon shot, plus tons of money for corrupt politicians and deep-staters all over the world.
An accident is much easier to accept.
On the other hand, our betters and their supporters and enablers are so corrupt, I guess anything's possible.
If you hand a loaded gun to somebody, how do you know they'll hold it to their head and pull the trigger? Perhaps through psychological profiling?Delete
In this case, I don't think this actually happened, for the reason that it did take some time for the Left to get fully on board with the indefinite lockdown program. Has the PRC been very lucky in their enemies? Absolutely.
Before eliminating the possibility of intentional release, we should consider thatDelete
1) China has a deep plan to supplant the United States without direct confrontation
2) China has invested HEAVILY in nearly every American institution to ensure that they will not be held accountable in the realm of public opinion for their actions
3) China has permitted a degree of American access to their economy, also ensuring silence from major institutions and influencers
4) China is aided and abetted in their aspirations by a host of other entities who seek to take down the U.S. - they may not be friendly to China's long-term aspirations, but for now they are all pulling in the same direction
5) the election of Donald Trump. This was not in China's plans, and if he had a second term he could have set them back a couple decades.
I think China's plan was not yet fully ripe, but they were forced to accelerate it due to Trump. The virus may have been just one of several possibilities, but it was the only one that was ready.
That it succeeded far beyond their wildest dreams does not discredit the theory that they released it intentionally. Sort of like Russia spending $100k on a social discord campaign and getting the Russia hoax as return on their investment. The Dems are always ready to empower our enemies.
I'm actually interested to learn whether Fauci funded WIV with the hope of it being used to take down Trump, or if he's really just that much of a fool.
I’ve had similar thoughts. A few things that stand out to me are the things that might tilt the luck factor a bit.Delete
1. The virus kills the elderly and those who are severely compromised in some way at a much higher rate than the overall population so countries like Italy who have a large population of elderly folks living in densely populated cities and who often have bad smoking and dietary habits will be impacted greatly. This means large spikes in deaths that are scary largely because they happen over a short period of time.
2. The early, and now mostly debunked belief that the virus spreads asymptotically helped the model makers create models that turned out to be wildly inaccurate. If you want to create a panic, you do not have to spend much time analyzing societies, you simply need to have experience with global warming crazies. The fact is, scientific and mathematical illiteracy is rampant and even the modelers suck at what they do. This is widely known and easy to exploit because every government and large organization on the planet does it to great effect. I think if they unleashed a much deadlier virus, one capable of killing in the tens or hundreds of millions, they know there would be some kind of violent response or other severe repercussions. They avoid looking too bad and yet get to harvest our economic fallout without threatening their own population.
3. The information the CCP did allow out was let out for a purpose. The image of people in hazmat suits rolling a giant disinfectant fogger down an empty city street sends a signal. This bug is deadly. Also, because China enacted a severe lockdown, and broadcast that concept almost hourly from the beginning of the year, other governments took their lead because well, their stupid and think any solution from China and affirmed in glowing rhetoric by the WHO, who is in bed with China, has got to be a good and effective solution. In short, it is not hard to scare people with images, it happens in the movies all the time, and China is very much aware of our fondness for technocrats running everything. These well known features of western civilization are all too easy to exploit.
4. Testing suffered from our general scientific and mathematical idiocy. Why have we been pushing the cycles up? Why would we ignore the basic standards that we presumably follow for other similar tests? Add to that, the panic driven by aforementioned things above, and you get people who test themselves even if they are feeling healthy.
5. Safetyism and radical risk aversion has been a staple of western society for decades now and has metastasized very recently. It is no longer just a few annoying inconveniences, it has become anti-human. At this point, all other humans around you are a danger to you, but you can’t say that, so you replace yourself with a random elderly person instead, so as to prevent the accused murderer of rightly calling you a narcissist.
It probably isn’t that hard to release a virus. Luck is needed, but not much luck given the above factors.
It's unnecessary to parse whether the CCP intentionally released the virus from the lab. We know for a fact that China intentionally sent millions of infected people from Wuhan on international flights FOR WEEKS after the CCP shut down donestic travel. That is all the culpability we need to exact whatever retribution a just nation can and should.
I remember reading quite a few months ago several articles that laid out a large amount of evidence that showed Chinese sources on social media posting about lockdowns and how that was the way to go.Delete
Obviously the intent was to push the idea into the public consciousness, and lead people (especially leaders) into thinking it was the right methodology to combat the virus.
Dems caught on quickly and used it to great effect.
There are some excellent comments on this piece. So, just a bit of expansion on my earlier comment:Delete
As 0311 noted, it very well could have been “an intentional shot across our bow to see how we would respond to an 'accidental' release of a virus(bio-weapon).” That would have made it one massive research project. If their initial objective was simply to see how we would respond, they got lucky beyond their wildest dreams. Now they know:
1. How to rapidly propagate their bio-weapon world-wide;
2. How leftist governments and their agents are likely to react;
3. How to maximize self-inflicted economic damage in the West;
4. Where our weaknesses are WRT medical supplies, including drugs needed for treatment;
5. How to discredit otherwise effective treatments;
6. How to destroy public confidence (where any still exists) in public institutions; and,
7. How to manipulate social media to aggravate public panic regarding the bio-weapon.
All that data is out there, and I'd wager already scarfed up by the CCP.
Fantastic post. Object to a lack of objectivism.ReplyDelete
We're in a time where the official narrative should always be suspect. I disbelieved this since Day 1 but also kept in mind that I could be wrong. I wasn't. I'm tired of being lied to.ReplyDelete
Terrific essay Mr Wauck! You touch on a plethora here, but this sentence really jumps out:ReplyDelete
“My belief is that this loss of faith has led to society wide susceptibility to Neo-gnostic cults and ideologies that promise deliverance from the normal vicissitudes of our necessarily imperfect human lives--both on the physical and moral levels.”
That’s it - encapsulated in its entirety. We - the U.S. & Europe - are suffering badly in our current civilization unraveling BC of six simple words: we are in rebellion against God. We have been since the early ‘60’s (Madeline Murray O’Hare). Sin, wickedness, materialism, idolatry, self-reverence are not only the norm but celebrated in today’s world. Think I mentioned in an earlier comment I’m currently reading The Bible. The books of the Old Testament are rife with warnings from God to Israel to tow the line & stay away from sin & within Scriptural parameters. Often Israel - as a whole - didn’t listen & suffered the consequences. We are now suffering similar consequences & therein may lie the reason no one seems to be able to identify the United States in The Book of Revelation. We’re doing such a good job destroying ourselves, Hitler, Stalin, & Chairman Mao could only be envious.
As for the scamdemic, Just speculation on my part but I wouldn’t put it past the CCP to do this intentionally if for no other reason to get rid of DJT. He was costing them & they wanted things back to “normal”.
FTR - I don’t believe the “official” line on anything anymore but especially on 9/11; call me tinfoil hat if you want to but there’s just too much chicanery/convenience factor to take it prima facia. And - as we’ve seen the past four years - there appears to be no floor to the depravity the Federal Govt will go to to get its way/protect/insulate itself from exterior challenges to its power. The media goes right along towing the party line. The Feds have been playing fast & loose with the facts for a long time, possibly going back as far as World War I.
Ladies & Gentlemen, please turn toward & accept Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior. It’s later than you think & time is quickly running out.
@Boarwild - we're nowhere close to destroying ourselves on the world stage, just internally. America can very well follow the examples of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao - we're witnessing in real time just how easy and fast the transformation can occur.Delete
I'm currently exploring whether or not America might be Mystery Babylon.
I have always ignored such speculation since it's so often so wrong, but there are some interesting parallels in Rev 17-18.
"My belief is that this loss of faith has led to society wide susceptibility to Neo-gnostic cults and ideologies that promise deliverance from the normal vicissitudes of our necessarily imperfect human lives--both on the physical and moral levels."ReplyDelete
It is paganism...Gaia worship which is manifested in "Global Warming". I remember in 1973 Winter Quarter at Ohio State attending a free seminar about the coming Ice Age and we need a massive government intervention in our lives to prepare for it. Look at the science fiction stories at that time. Well that didn't work out too well.
Then Carl Sabin's famous "nuclear winter" and our need to surrender all our freedoms to save Mother Earth.....never mind.
Finally they fixated on Global Warming and "Earth in the Balance". We had 10 years to save the planet since 1998. Now they call it Climate Change because well even the high priests couldn't keep the story straight any longer.
When they say the words "scientific consensus I tell them that in the 1880's through 1920's the science community believed that blacks were a lower intelligence than Aryans. Women were hysterical and couldn't handle the burden of governance. Since it is the scientific consensus and consensus can never change then that is what rich white progressives advocate. I used that on several people. They quickly left the conversation.
All because they were told that there is no external source of goodness and righteousness. It is a sickness of the soul.
Note this interview of Dr. Richard Fleming, which adds some meat to the above discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFUDJ9k3hfIReplyDelete
To be clear, to the commenters who have spent considerable thought and time putting their comments together, I don't doubt the willingness of the CCP to engage in this type of asymmetric warfare. I do wonder whether they ever dreamed in their wildest imagination that they would be able to evoke such a self destructive response. For the rest, thanks for your thoughts.ReplyDelete
I believe that it was not a bioweapon. One of the stated goals of China is to be the leader in bio-engineering. They were researching "gain of function" to deliver drugs and gene therapies to target cells. All funded by the good Saint Fauci (may his name be eternally damned).ReplyDelete
It was an accidental release and once the Chinese government realized the harm it would do to it's economy decided to export it to the world. Remember that they banned all domestic travel out of Wuhan but not international.
Then the big propaganda push with horror stories of people dying in the streets with videos and so forth. The Italian experience didn't help. Funny after the world started the lockdown then the videos kind of disappeared.
I also remember a Zero Hedge article that mysteriously disappeared in February right after the genetic sequence was released that an Indian University saw HIV protein sequences in the virus. I have to learn to print off and save such articles in the future.
I believe it was an accidental release. The response shows s that our current elite leadership in all facets of out society is about as weak and febrile as the European elites before the French Revolution and WWI.
Regarding compliance, how would you expect folks to react? I am a southern gentleman. I am gracious and deferential by nature. That is not to say weak in any sense, but I strive not to offend unnecessarily. For example: wearing a mask is a hassle and has limited benefits as I understand the science; however, it makes many folks in my neighborhood feel better. If it helps people feel better, I'll wear a mask. Locking down schools, well, I have a daughter who is a high school senior and a son who is a seventh-grader still at home. I might think about private school for our son, but our daughter is knee-deep in AP classes and social circles in her high school. What am I going to do?ReplyDelete
Church, our session (Presbyterian) had long debates before we opened back to in-person worship in June. I led the charge to open the doors and let people decide the risk level they were comfortable with.
All of the above, coupled with the militancy of social justice, woke progressives among us who view this whole thing with religious zeal how would we respond differently?
One thing is for certain, we will never know the actual truth about covid, or many other things where Governments are involved.ReplyDelete
It's unacceptable, except to the majority... THAT is the puzzling part.
I'm in the "intentional release" camp, myself.ReplyDelete
1. The WHO guy got that job because he's been a CCP flack all his life;
2. Fauci has been a Democrat flack his entire life and has been oing business with the CCP at Wuhan since 2008;
3. Remember how dependent the media corporations are on the Chinese market? That makes them CCP stooges in my book - willing to spread the CCP narative;
4. Remember how beholden the universities are on CCP funds?
5. How many Democrat members of Congress are in bed, either literally or figuratively, with the CCP?
6. Note the congruence of interests in the above folks with the CCP in defeating Trump...
I'm leaning that direction as well. I believe it was an intentional shot across our bow to see how we would respond to an "accidental" release of a virus(bio-weapon). Our response exceeded all of the CCP expectations. Shutting down complete societies with a virus with such a low death rate most likely came as a complete surprise. What would happen if it had had a 25% DR? Western civilization would have collapsed overnight.
Fauci is culpable in this, facilitating the research in Wuhan....he should hang, by the neck, forthwith.
I would not put it past them to be intentional, sacrificing some of their own.ReplyDelete
As a the CEO of Inbev Asia, Miguel Patricio, put it in 2011 in this Chinese propaganda piece from
“ The Chinese Communist Party is a ruthlessly efficient corporation.”
Miguel Patricio previously worked at Coca-Cola and Johnson and Johnson. He is now CEO of Kraft-Heinz.
You know what’s ironic is that I am further siding with Democrats of yesteryear.