My wife is recuperating nicely, and I'm ready to get out of my Devil's Advocate role regarding the Roberts Strategy. So ...
A quick Fauci update.
The latest story making the rounds concerns Fauci's 2012 advocacy for gain of function research on viral diseases. In the writings that have been unearthed he avoids that term, but it's clear that that's what he's talking about. He also disguises the scope of the research he was advocating for. For example, in a Washington Post article--A flu virus risk worth taking--he claims the big concern is new influenza pandemic, whereas in fact coronaviruses were very much part of the program. The significance of that is this. It's known that flu viruses do move from animal species to humans. However, to my knowledge that doesn't appear to be the case with coronaviruses--except for SARS Classic and Covid-19, both of which are now suspected to have been engineered in Chinese labs that also do bioweapon research.
Fauci's claim is that the risk of a natural pandemic is far greater than the risk arising from experimentation gone awry:
BOMBSHELL! Dr Fauci in 2012 wrote that “gain of function” research to juice up bat viruses was worth risking a pandemic: “the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks. It is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature” @SharriMarkson scoop https://t.co/S7ILuzgnNw pic.twitter.com/iwyPCPctId— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) May 28, 2021
Note, however, that Fauci doesn't attempt to quantify the relative risks--he just tosses that speculative statement out there.
In the WaPo article, too, a careful reading between the lines shows that Fauci is engaged in scientific puffery--he paints an alarming picture of the risk of "unprecedented" death tolls from a new naturally occurring pandemic, while slyly admitting that no one has any inkling when, if ever, that might occur:
In other words, he seeks to propagate a scare, and then uses that to advocate for highly risky experimentation programs that, just two years later, were banned in the US at the urging of many prominent scientists in the field. He portrays the gain of function research as taking place in "isolated biocontainment laboratories"--whereas we now know that he funded such research in Chinese labs with an alarming record of dangerous accidental releases of viruses. Also, please note--Tony Fauci is NOT a scientist in the field. He's simply an internist and bureaucrat, with no actual scientific credentials. The suspicion that there was a largely, perhaps eugenic, agenda is unavoidable, given what we now know about the ambitions of the people behind this research.
Two items at Zerohedge also cover this development. In
toward the end of the lengthy post, there is an interesting quote from The Australian, which has been leading the charge on this issue (if keeping your reporting largely behind a paywall can be called leading the charge). Please note in the second half of the quote the concerns expressed by scientists at the time:
Via The Australian:
Multiple Trump administration officials told The Weekend Australian Dr Fauci had not raised the issue of restarting the research funding with senior figures in the White House.
“It kind of just got rammed through,” one official said.
“I think there’s truth in the narrative that the (National Security Council) staff, the president, the White House chief-of-staff, those people were in the dark that he was switching back on the research.”
The Weekend Australian has also confirmed that neither Mike Pompeo, the then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, nor National Security Council member Matthew Pottinger, was briefed.
The experiments are also opposed by prominent scientists, including the Cambridge Working Group of 200 researchers which issued a public warning in 2014.
“Accident risks with newly created “potential pandemic pathogens” raise grave new concerns,” the group’s letter read. “Laboratory creation of highly transmissible, novel strains of dangerous viruses, especially but not limited to influenza, poses substantially increased risks.
“An accidental infection in such a setting could trigger outbreaks that would be difficult or impossible to control. Historically, new strains of influenza, once they establish transmission in the human population, have infected a quarter or more of the world’s population within two years.”
And Steven Salzberg, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in 2015 said the benefits of gain-of-function research were “minimal at best” and they could “far more safely be obtained through other avenues of research”.
“I am very concerned that the continuing gain-of-function research on influenza viruses, and more recently on other viruses, presents extremely serious risks to the public health,” he wrote.
Worth the risk, Fauci says?
In a second post, an author raises the alarm concerning what I have called "vaccine absolutism". By that I refer to the notion that our goal should be a total elimination of influenza and coronaviruses, rather than a containment policy. The authors point is that the eliminationist goal inexorably leads to devastation of normal human life and a permanent threat to our cherished freedoms:
Many industries were throttled, bludgeoned, beaten, and even destroyed during the lockdowns of 2020. It will be years before the damage is repaired, and some of it is irreparable.
Make no mistake: the idea of virus elimination via government is a fundamental threat to all Enlightenment values. It is not scientific at all: serious scholars in this field have observed that virus suppression through force is impossible and foolish. If temporarily successful, it merely results in a population with a naive immune system that is more susceptible to a more serious disease later.
Eliminationism merely uses the veneer of science to enthrone a scientific elite to rule the world regardless of democracy, traditions, rights, or any other old-fashioned idea along those lines. It is a fundamental regime change, one tested (and failed) in 2020 but now proposed as the general practice forever, regardless of evidence.
There is a deeper problem here. Covid seems mostly gone and the lockdowns are slated to go away. But the political outlook that gave rise to them – the belief that government has the ability, the power, and the obligation to manage, control, and finally suppress a germ – is still with us and largely unchallenged in the media and academic realms.
All the intellectual conditions that led to the catastrophe of 2020 are still with us. No one is safe until that presumption of control is smashed.
It's a thoughtful article.