Disinformation Chronicle | 28 Sep 2021
Why do science writers keep aligning with sources caught lying to them and the American public about the COVID19 pandemic?
Newly leaked Defense Department documents made public by the research group DRASTIC further erode the vanishing credibility of the National Institute of Health’s Anthony Fauci and pandemic researcher Peter Daszak regarding their claims about gain-of-function studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Released last week, the documents show that Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance nonprofit submitted a research proposal in 2018 to the U.S. military research agency DARPA to collect bat viruses and then create and study chimeric versions—making the viruses more transmissible or virulent.
Describing the viruses he was collecting from bat caves, Daszak wrote in the proposal, “These viruses are a clear and present danger to our military and to global health security because of their circulation and evolution in bats and periodic spillover into humans.”
But a DARPA official rejected the proposal and added that the EcoHealth Alliance would need a gain-of-function “risk mitigation plan” if DARPA later funded part of the research that involved making chimeric viruses. Despite this protest from DARPA, Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance was already creating gain-of-function chimeric viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without a risk mitigation plan, through a grant funded by Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Details of the EcoHealth Alliance’s NIH grant were made public earlier this month, following a freedom of information lawsuit filed by The Intercept.
In testimony earlier this year before Congress, Fauci denied funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), while Daszak has called attempts to make his grants public the work of “conspiracy-theory outlets and politically motivated organizations.”