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The Treasoners Club: The Democrat Party All But Admits It Has Absorbed the Government Into It And Is Using It to Destroy Their Political Foes | Main | Down With The Restrict Act, a Patriot Act for Americans' Speech
March 31, 2023

Rand Paul: Anthony Fauci Lied About Retiring. He's Still Working for the Government, For Protection Against an Indictment.

Claiming to be retired also means he can legally fight congressional subpoenas. If he admits he's a government employee, he has to testify -- he has no choice.

But a private citizen can fight a subpeona.

Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has taken another swipe at his arch nemesis, Anthony Fauci, claiming that the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not really retired and is still working for the government. The senator appeared on Fox News on Wednesday and spoke to host Sean Hannity about what he says he found.

"There is a massive coverup going on and the lead in all of the coverup has been Fauci," the senator said. "We now have information that he is still working for the government even though he says he is retired. It is my belief that he is worried about being indicted and so he continues to work so he will get legal protection under the federal government."

Video at the link. Rand Paul also says Fauci weaponized the government to destroy his critics, using taxpayer monies as a bribery slush-fund.

"This guy weaponized the NIAD. He weaponized it to get his supporters," the senator said. "At first, they said, 'My goodness. It came from a lab.' And then, all of a sudden, they changed their mind. They got more money. They got more grants."

"He used that grant-making authority -- who gets it -- and he weaponized government to get what he wanted," he said, "and that was the cover-up."

Even the New York Times now admits that Anthony Fauci is a corrupt liar, in an opinion piece written by a New York Times op-ed contributor.

Even the literally-Fauci-worshipping NYT is starting to doubt their midget god.

She begins by recalling an interview of Anthony Fauci in 2021 by... Newt Gingrich. Gingrich praised Fauci for being such a wise and learned man.

But then he asked about this conspiracy theory being spread by conservatives -- or "urban legend," as Gingrich called it -- that covid-19 had been created in the Wuhan Respiratory Virus Laboratory, specifically in their bat-virus-research lab.



"There's a sort of urban legend," Mr. Gingrich prodded Dr. Fauci, "that there's a biological warfare center in Wuhan and that the coronavirus escaped from that."

"I've heard these conspiracy theories," Dr. Fauci replied. "And like all conspiracy theories, Newt, they're just conspiracy theories." He added that while he could not say that scenario was impossible, "the things you're hearing are still in the realm of conspiracy theories without any scientific basis."

Dr. Daszak agreed that "all the evidence says" the virus crossed from animal to human either in a Wuhan market or in rural China, probably after originating in wild bats.

The two men could have told Mr. Gingrich a lot more.

They could have said that laboratories in Wuhan had indeed been studying bat viruses, including coronaviruses. Live bats were kept in the laboratories, and scientists occasionally carried out controversial forms of research in which viral strains are manipulated in ways that can make them more dangerous to humans. Both men worked for organizations that had a hand in moving U.S. taxpayer funds to the scientists in Wuhan -- Dr. Daszak had been involved with Wuhan bat research for years; Dr. Fauci's emails show his staff had recently reminded him of N.I.H. funding for the coronavirus work Dr. Daszak's organization supported.

They could have acknowledged that while they believed the virus had reached humans as a zoonotic spillover from animals, accidental leaks are a known lab hazard and couldn't yet be ruled out (even if the notion of using coronaviruses as a biological weapon was laughably improbable).

Why? It f&cking shut the world down, did you not catch that? If you did have a working vaccine in advance, you could release such a weapon while your own population remained infection-free.

They always have to signal their adherence to the True Progressive Faith, even when they're confessing that their Progressive Popes are corrupt liars.

Instead they dissembled.

Ah, "dissembled." The cowardly courtier's way of saying "My dear sweet glorious prince appears to have inadvertently lied, perhaps due to be overserved by a commoner."


The near-certainty with which Dr. Fauci spoke publicly of zoonotic crossover is somewhat incongruous with his private communications from that time. He knew there was real debate -- he was in the thick of it. In public, he leaned hard into animal crossover; behind the scenes, he wrote that "I do not know how this evolved" but warned that he was concerned about "distortions on social media" of Covid's origins.

The pandemic grievously eroded public faith in health authorities as well as news media, a sort of national unmooring often attributed to former President Donald Trump and others on the right who touted questionable treatments and pushed back against vaccine mandates, masks and closures.

But the full story of Covid information manipulation is much broader...

And so we are left to wonder how a straightforward hypothesis got labeled first as a conspiracy and later as a reflection of racism. Retracing coverage and public comments, I found a cautionary tale: Those who seek to suppress disinformation may be destined, themselves, to sow it.


***

A familiar Chinese tendency to stonewall and evade foreign inquiries was on full display in Beijing and Wuhan as the world demanded answers about Covid's origin. A similar impulse to shut down discussion, however, is suggested by the early public remarks of Drs. Fauci and Daszak, who found themselves thrust into fame overnight as journalists eagerly sought their insights.

By the time Dr. Fauci recorded the Gingrich podcast, he was involved in a private debate among some of the world's most renowned biologists and virologists over how the virus had come to infect humans. Dr. Fauci recently acknowledged that half the participants in a now-notorious conference call to discuss Covid's origin "felt it might be from a lab" -- but at the time he gave little public hint of the seriousness of this debate.

I asked Dr. Fauci in a telephone interview about the largely one-sided nature of his public remarks. He'd always, at least, acknowledged the possibility of a lab leak, he said, but he couldn't pretend to think both theories were equally probable. His entire career, he reminded me, centered for years on a virus -- H.I.V. -- that jumped into humanity from a chimpanzee. He then listed all the other outbreaks that he'd seen traced to animal origin: swine flu, MERS, even SARS-CoV-1.

"I can't dissociate that in my mind, I can't say, just, 'I don't know,' the way you can," he said. "I can't, as a scientist, ignore the historical perspective that I've been deeply involved with my entire career."

Fauci here "forgets" that many diseases have escaped from research labs.

Including the H1N1 swine flu putbreak of 1977.

The danger of a manmade pandemic sparked by a laboratory escape is not hypothetical: One occurred in 1977, and it occurred because of concern that a natural pandemic was imminent. Many other laboratory escapes of high-consequence pathogens have occurred, resulting in transmission beyond laboratory personnel. Ironically, these laboratories were working with pathogens to prevent the very outbreaks they ultimately caused. For that reason, the tragic consequences have been called "self-fulfilling prophecies."

Modern genetic analysis allows pathogens to be precisely identified, and because all circulating pathogens show genetic changes over time, the year that a particular example of a pathogen emerged can generally be determined, given a sufficient database of samples. If a pathogen appears in nature after not circulating for years or decades, it may be assumed to have escaped from a laboratory where it had been stored inert for many years, accumulating no genetic changes--that is, its natural evolution had been frozen.


The swine flu scare of 1976 and the H1N1 human influenza pandemic of 1977.


Human H1N1 influenza virus appeared with the 1918 global pandemic and persisted, slowly accumulating small genetic changes, until 1957, when it appeared to go extinct after the H2N2 pandemic virus appeared. In 1976, H1N1 swine influenza virus struck Fort Dix, N.J., causing 13 hospitalizations and one death. The specter of a reprise of the deadly 1918 pandemic triggered an unprecedented effort to immunize all Americans. No swine H1N1 pandemic materialized, however, and complications of immunization truncated the program after 48 million immunizations, which eventually caused 25 deaths.

Human H1N1 virus reappeared in 1977, in the Soviet Union and China. Virologists, using serologic and early genetic tests, soon began to suggest the cause of the reappearance was a laboratory escape of a 1949-50 virus, and as genomic techniques advanced, it became clear that this was true. By 2010, researchers published it as fact: "The most famous case of a released laboratory strain is the re-emergent H1N1 influenza-A virus which was first observed in China in May of 1977 and in Russia shortly thereafter." The virus may have escaped from a lab attempting to prepare an attenuated H1N1 vaccine in response to the U.S. swine flu pandemic alert.

The 1977 pandemic spread rapidly worldwide but was limited to those under 20 years of age: Older persons were immune from exposures before 1957. Its attack rate was high (20 to 70 percent) in schools and military camps, but mercifully it caused mild disease, and fatalities were few.

Is that not scary enough?

How about the repeated release of deadly smallpox from British labs?

Smallpox releases in Great Britain. Eradication of natural smallpox transmission made the prospect of reintroduction of the virus intolerable. This risk was clearly demonstrated in the United Kingdom. From 1963-78 the U.K. saw only four cases of smallpox (with no deaths) occurred that were imported by travelers from areas where smallpox was endemic. During this same period at least 80 cases and three deaths resulted from three separate escapes from two different accredited smallpox laboratories.

Fauci is claiming he didn't lie when he ruled out a lab outbreak. He will confess only to a Modified Limited Hang-Out: Maybe he had a congnitive bias in favor of natural zoonotic evolution, but that's only because he's such an experienced virus-fighter that he remembers all the cases of "natural spillover."

But he has also been the head of the NIAID during the period when scientists confirmed that the swine flu of 1977 was due to a lab outbreak.

As well as all the other outbreaks.

So no, his Modified Limited Hang-Out that he didn't lie but only maybe had a cognitive bias holds no water: yes, there are, of course, natural hops of viruses from animals and birds to humans. But there are also ample instances of labs leaking out the very viruses they were supposed to be protecting us against.

Did Fauci just completely forget about all those cases? Apparently that's his story and he'll be sticking to it in later perjury trials.

Emails released in a congressional inquiry indicate that Dr. Fauci was among the senior scientists who encouraged his colleagues to write a paper asserting that the new coronavirus had a natural origin. "The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2," published by Nature Medicine in March 2020, concluded "we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is possible."

"Our main work over the last couple weeks has been focused on trying to disprove any type of lab theory," one of the authors, a researcher named Kristian Andersen, wrote in an email the day before the podcast dropped.

Then, in April 2020, Dr. Fauci pointed White House reporters to the publication, presenting it as compelling evidence of zoonotic crossover -- without revealing that he had been involved with its creation and had even, according to the emails, given it his approval. (Dr. Fauci told me that he's not sure he ever got around to reading the paper.)

"He's not sure he ever got around to reading the paper." Notice how noncommittal he is about this lie. He wants to chalk it up to a lapse in memory in case proof emerges that he gave it a final edit.

He's doing a lot of perjury-trial preparation here.

With Mr. Trump sneering about "kung flu" and "China virus," it was easy to write off a lab-leak hypothesis as a right-wing fantasy.

Boy, they sure do give themselves every possible latitude for being wrong about everything.

Trump is always Forcing Them to Be Wrong.

Just as conservatives sometimes force trans lunatics to kill Christian children.

Has it ever occurred to you that if the extent of your "thinking" is just automatically taking the position opposite of Trump's, you're a childish, mentally-ill non-thinker?

Did Trump force you to be a childish, mentally-ill nonthinker? Is that also one of his crimes?

The MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace called it "one of Trumpworld's most favorite conspiracy theories." Twitter added warning labels to posts that argued for lab leak; Facebook banned such posts altogether for several months in 2021 before reversing the decision. NPR called it a "baseless conspiracy theory" in a tweet, and the foreign affairs expert Fareed Zakaria wrote (and repeated on CNN): "The far right has now found its own virus conspiracy theory."

And not just a loopy, harmless conspiracy theory, either, but a toxic idea often blamed for rising hate crimes against Asian Americans. Last year, even the White House press secretary at the time, Jen Psaki, attributed attacks on Asian Americans to "hate-filled rhetoric and language around the origins of the pandemic."

This is a good point coming up, which many of you have pointed out:

Fauci both claimed that the lab leak theory was racist... while claiming the virus really emerged due to Chinese people's disgusting practices in dirty "wet markets:"

But was that really about the lab? As I recall, people harped about bats, made cruel comments about Chinese food and stigmatized Chinese markets like this:


"The wet markets that have exotic animals in them -- you're not talking about a big chicken farm. You're not talking about raising pigs. You're talking about getting exotic animals from the wild ... the fact is, the customs and the traditions and the things people have done for centuries are so ingrained in the population that the Chinese authorities and the Chinese people have found it very difficult to make those kinds of changes." That's Dr. Fauci in conversation with Mr. Gingrich, dwelling on the "ingrained" tendency of people in China to create disease-breeding environments.

But to say that Chinese scientists made this bat virus in a laboratory dedicated to creating new variations of bat viruses, using money from Peter Daszak and Antony Fauci, would be "racist."



As for Dr. Daszak, he'd soon pop up in China as a member of the World Health Organization team dispatched to investigate the origins of the virus. He was hardly a disinterested observer: Dr. Daszak had been collaborating for more than a decade with Chinese virologists studying bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and directed National Institutes of Health money toward the research through his nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance.

That initial W.H.O. investigation was famously stymied by Chinese intransigence, but the panel nevertheless ruled out the possibility of lab origin -- only for the organization's director general to admit several months later that this decision had been premature.

Fresh off the W.H.O. investigation, Dr. Daszak made the rounds of U.S. media to disparage lab leak as a conspiracy theory -- frequently without disclosing his own professional stake in the laboratory. In perhaps the most mind-bending of these appearances, Dr. Daszak, was quoted on NPR's "All Things Considered," vouching for the independence of the W.H.O. investigation.

"If there was political interference with what we're trying to say," Dr. Daszak assured the listeners, " ... we would push back."

***

From the beginning, it struck me -- and many others -- as outstandingly odd that the virus had erupted in a city where Chinese scientists ran experiments on bat viruses. It seemed even stranger when it emerged that one of the labs, the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was next to the market still believed to be the epicenter of the outbreak. Sure, it could be a coincidence. But what a coincidence!

She notes that even when it became clear that the lab leak theory was a very viable theory which had been prematurely dismissed by people like Daszak and Fauci due to their own involvement in the Wuhan Bat Virus lab, her media friends on the left found ways to continue insinuating it was all a Trumpist Conspiracy Theory:

Even when news fell in its favor -- a World Health Organization report that left open the possibility of a lab leak, for example -- the developments tended to be described gingerly and layered with caveats. CNN, for example, qualified the W.H.O. news by adding, "experts have roundly condemned the theory of a laboratory origin" and "there's no proof of such origins or of a leak."

In fact, there is no conclusive proof to rule out either theory. Mentions of lab leak were frequently followed by warnings that "many" or "most" researchers didn't think it had happened, but I never found any basis for this sweeping assertion: Did somebody poll all the scientists?

Dr. Fauci has, in recent weeks, seemed to conflate the two theories or muddy the distinction between them.

"A lab leak could be that someone was out in the wild, maybe looking for different types of viruses in bats, got infected, went into a lab and was being studied in the lab and then came out of the lab," Dr. Fauci told Jim Acosta this month on CNN. "But if that's the definition of a lab leak, Jim, then that still is a natural occurrence."

That's my favorite: Even if it leaked from a lab, it's still a natural outbreak.

I mean, obviously he's a Real Scientist who has an open mind and just goes where the evidence takes him, right? He's definitely not a zealot who will twist the facts violently to support the One Truth he knows in his heart must be right.

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posted by Ace at 01:00 PM

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