Peter Daszak dismissed from U.N.-backed COVID-origin probe

By Art Moore

Peter Daszak and Dr. Anthony Fauci (via EcoHealth Alliance Twitter account)

Some critics likened zoologist Peter Daszak’s position on a U.N.-backed panel investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to a suspect in a murder serving as the chief detective in the case.

Daszak, after all, was the head of a nonprofit that directed some $825,000 from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to research bat coronaviruses.

And as evidence grew that the novel coronavirus leaked from that lab and that Daszak had a conflict of interest, the U.N.-backed The Lancet COVID-19 Commission dismissed him from its probe of the pandemic’s origin, reported.

Earlier this year, Daszak was the sole U.S. representative on a World Health Organization fact-finding mission to Wuhan that concluded the virus likely emerged from animals. But the researchers didn’t examine the lab, accepting the communist government’s word that there was nothing to see. And even WHO’s director general criticized the probe.

The investigative commission organized by The Lancet – the prestigious British medical journal – added to Daszak’s bio on its page of commissioners a sentence in brackets saying he has been “recused from Commission work on the origins of the pandemic.”

Peter Daszak delivering remarks at a National Academy of Sciences event (Video screenshot)

Last month, former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade reported Daszak organized a statement published in February 2020 by The Lancet that condemned lab-leak “conspiracy theories.”

Daszak had solicited the signatures of 27 scientists who joined him in declaring “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China” who insist the pandemic had a natural origin.

“Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus,” the statement said.

But the statement falsely claimed the signatories had “no competing interests.”

Daszak to Fauci: Thanks for your ‘brave’ dismissal of lab-leak theory

On Tuesday, The Lancet COVID-19 Commission issued a statement on the homepage of its website saying it had invited all 27 signatories to “re-evaluate their competing interests.” The statement included an updated disclosure from Daszak stating that EcoHealth’s work at the Wuhan lab was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health – the umbrella over Fauci’s NIAID – and the U.S. Agency for International Development, known as USAID.

Two months after Daszak’s original February 2020 statement was published, the British-born zoologist emailed Fauci to thank him for “publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

“From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins,” Daszak wrote April 18, 2020.

Fauci, according to emails obtained recently through a Freedom of Information Act request, had been told by a top virologist in late January that the novel coronavirus may have been “engineered.”

But he replied to Daszak’s April email with, “Many thanks for your kind note.”

After reporting by alternative media over the past year, the lab-leak theory gained traction in early May when Wade, the former New York Times science writer, published an nearly 11,000-word analysis concluding the circumstantial evidence clearly points to a lab leak.

The Wall Street Journal later reported three researchers at the Wuhan lab were hospitalized with possible COVID symptoms in November 2019, when the outbreak in the city of 11 million began.

A Rasmussen survey earlier this month found 66% of U.S. voters believe it’s likely that the coronavirus was created in the Wuhan lab. The results broke down to 86% of Republicans believing the lab origin, 57% of independents and 51% of Democrats.

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