As scrutiny increases on the NIH spending millions of dollars for dangerous virus research, Buzzfeed’s Peter Aldhous shifts attention and spotlights a tiny animal rights group. No, seriously.
In April of 2020, I noticed on twitter that a professor of biology at the University of California at Berkeley was tweeting about the relationship of the coronavirus outbreak with Wuhan in China. They mentioned that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which does coronavirus research, was also located in Wuhan. I thought it was really strange that we were not hearing more about this in the news.
I work in electronics and have a master's degree in electrical engineering. In 2017, I had completed a two year period in my career where I worked at the defense research agency DARPA in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington DC. Although my focus as a contractor at DARPA had been in electronics, I happened to know that DARPA also funds some research in biology. Because of my work at DARPA, I knew how to research federal contracts.
Based on the comments of the Berkeley professor, I did some google searches to see if the Wuhan institute of Virology had ever been funded by any US Agency. I stumbled on some contracts with the EcoHealth Alliance. Peter Daszak's name came up.
I saw that Jonathan Cohen and Peter Aldhous had been tweeting about Wuhan and virology. I noticed that they were not mentioning that the EcoHealth Alliance had had a relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They did not mention that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had worked on gain of function experiments. Yet, the information was there in publicly available federal contract information.
In April or May, I tweeted to Jonathan Cohen that there had been a series of federal contracts with the EcoHealth Alliance that included the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a collaborator. He responded to me on twitter in a very hostile manner.
I also attempted several twitter communications with Peter Aldhous about the EcoHealth Alliance federal contracts. He similarly refused to even consider the potential implications of the EcoHealth Alliance contracts.
At about that time, I noticed that my twitter account went very quiet. I also noticed that when I attempted to tweet with people on twitter, they assumed I was Trump supporter (I am not. Actually, the reason I left DARPA as a contractor is because I did not like the transformation that happened there after Trump was elected.) It was pretty shocking to see so many supposedly smart people refuse to even look at the EcoHealth Alliance contracts and consider their potential implications.
In October, realizing that my twitter account had probably been shadow banned and had become essentially useless, I decided to abandon Twitter.
Meredith Wadman at Science Magazine went to my high school in Vancouver, British Columbia. She graduated one year ahead of me. Meredith is not blameless in this tale, and has unwaveringly supported Jonathan Cohen's denial about the US funding and relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology gain of function experiments.
Peter Aldhous lives in Bernal Heights in San Francisco where I also live. I can tell by the perspective of the photos he often posts on twitter. I don't know Jonathan Cohen, but I do often read Science Magazine articles. My aunt and uncle in Alberta, Canada, were a polio survivors, so I've always been interested vaccines.
Anyway, all of this is to say that Peter Aldhous' and Jonathan Cohen's actions are not without harm. They have harmed people who tried to raise clear evidence of a connection between US federally funded programs and gain of function experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Since this experience, I have down rated my former opinion of these Science Magazine and Buzzfeed journalists.
Academics like Aldhous are simply today's equivalent of the arse-kissing lower echelons of Medieval royal courts, or the functionaries and assistants to the Holy Inquisition launched by Holy Mother Church to crush all thought that fell outside the parameters decided upon by the power structures of the day. He's just one more petty vacuous amoral career shill for power. The kind of person that leaves one thinking: "how does he live with himself?"
Here is a little more information about what happened in the spring of 2020.
I mentioned that I had googled in April or May to see if US federal agencies had ever funded anything at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The exact thing that prompted me to do this was when the professor of biology at Berkeley started tweeting about the comments of Luc Montagnier, the French Nobel Prize winner.
At the time, I was highly skeptical that the coronavirus had been engineered, but as it turns out, I speak French. So rather than read all the secondhand mistranslated news reports, I listened to Montagnier's comments directly on youtube. What he was saying sounded at least worth looking into.
So . . . the Google search. What I found on Google were older federal contracts with EcoHealth from 2014 or 2015. I could not see the 2018 proposal to DARPA. But as soon as I found the name of EcoHealth, I went straight to the EcoHealth website. I think a lot of this information has been taken down now, but I could see from the EcoHealth website that they had a connection with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and with UC Davis. The UC Davis connection really caught my eye.
I have a cat, who in 2019, developed a very serious illness called FIP. It's a type of coronavirus. FIP is very hard to diagnose, but after many veterinary visits in 2019, a lab test at VCA veterinary hospital in San Francisco determined that our cat did in fact have FIP. FIP is a death sentence. I looked on the internet to see if there was anything we could do for our cat. It turned out that Niels C Pedersen, a renowned veterinarian at UC Davis, had been working for decades to treat FIP. He had been involved in a clinical trial with Gilead to test a drug closely related to remdesivir to treat FIP in cats:
I had lived in Davis many years before and knew that a top veterinarian at UC Davis was probably highly credible. The drug he had run through trial had never been FDA approved for cats, so it was not possible to get it through official sources. I went online to see if I could order it. It seemed very sketchy order this non-FDA approved drug, but my cat was going to die anyway. So I ordered it. I learned how to give injections. A few days after starting the injections, my cat dramatically improved. This drug is called GS-441524. It is very closely related to remdesivir which at time I knew UCSF was using in a clinical trial to see if it would work against COVID.
Given that I knew that UC Davis was involved in cutting edge drug trials against various coronaviruses, the EcoHealth Alliance website information showing a relationship with UC Davis really caught my eye.
Again, I had worked at DARPA and had left in 2017. I knew that DARPA BTO was interested in biological threats including things like SARS, but I did not know much beyond that. I did not see the 2018 EcoHealth DARPA proposal. What I had found online in April and May 2020 were older EcoHealth grants from other federal agencies. I could see that prior to the federal ban, Ecohealth had been working on gain of function virology.
I haven't thought about any of this for two years until I saw some tweets and this article yesterday. I am not part of any conspiracy or attempt to take down journalists. I'm just writing down the facts of my very limited attempts to raise awareness about the EcoHealth Alliance.
Even if Jonathan Cohen and Peter Aldhous don't remember me tweeting them about EcoHealth, it has to be asked, particularly of Jonathan Cohen, the poster boy for Science Magazine virology, why he at least didn't entertain the readily available information about something not being quite right with the EcoHealth Alliance.
Freedom of Information documents on origins of Covid-19, gain-of-function research and biolabs
Mazet (One Health Institute) at UC Davis has been awarded under the DARPA PREEMPT program and the USAID PREDICT Program.
She has worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That is by no means her only international collaboration. She's done a lot of important work with viruses in Africa as well as in Asia. It appears that she also has a relationship with the EcoHealth Alliance.
Still, her comments in the IBTimes article sound a little bit unaware about the complexities of international collaborations.
Scicomm is exactly like Techcomm: cheerleading and shamelessly promoting crap hardware and software that slowly imprisons us the way a python slowly wraps around and then squeezes the life out of prey.
Being fanboys of tech sociopaths like Musk, Jobs, Thiel, Omidyar, and the rest of the billionaire sociopaths is their total reason for being alive. SAD!