January 12, 2022, “Rising” cohost Ryan Grim reviewed the content of the National Institutes of Health emails released by the House Oversight Committee Republicans. According to Grim, the emails:
“… paint a damning picture of U.S. government officials wrestling with whether the novel coronavirus may have leaked out of a lab they were funding, deciding that it may very well have, and then actively suppressing those questions.”
What this latest cache of emails reveal is that February 1, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), his boss, then-NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and at least 11 other scientists joined a conference call, during which they were told the SARS-CoV-2 virus might have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, and that it might have been genetically engineered.
What Was Said During the Secret Conference Call?
The next day, Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, circulated a set of notes, summarizing the discussion. Mike Farzan, the scientist who discovered the SARS receptor, had reportedly stated that while the receptor binding domain (RBD) did not look engineered to him, he was bothered by the furin site.
According to Farrar’s note, Farzan “has a hard time explaining that as an event outside the lab.” Farrar’s summary goes on to state that:
“… the likely explanation could be something as simple as passage SARS-live CoVs in tissue culture on human cell lines (under BSL-2) for an extended period of time, accidentally creating a virus that would be primed for rapid transmission between humans via gain of furin site (from tissue culture) and adoption to human ACE2 receptor via repeated passage …
So, I think it becomes a question of how do you put all this together, whether you believe in this series of coincidences, what you know of the lab in Wuhan, how much could be in nature — accidental release or natural event? I am 70:30 or 60:40.”
A note from professor and microbiologist Robert (Bob) Garry, Ph.D.,1 reads:
“Before I left the office for the ball, I aligned the nCoV with the 96% bat CoV sequenced at WIV. Except for the RBD the S proteins are essential identical at the amino acid level — well all but the perfect insertion of 12 nucleotides that adds [sic] the furin site.
S2 is over its whole length essentially identical. I really can’t think of a plausible natural scenario where you get from the bat virus or one very similar to it to nCoV where you insert exactly 4 amino acids 12 nucleotide [sic] that all have to be added at the exact same time to gain this function — that and you don’t change any other amino acids in S2?
I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature. Do the alignment of the spikes at the amino acid level — its [sic] stunning. Of course, in the lab it would be easy to generate the perfect 12 base insert that you wanted.
Another scenario is that the progenitor of nCoV was a bat virus with the perfect furin cleavage site generated over evolutionary times. In this scenario RaTG13 the WIV virus was generated by a perfect deletion of 12 nucleotides while essentially not changing any other S2 amino acid [sic]. Even more implausible IMO. That is the big if.”
Politics Overrode Scientific Consensus
So, in the earliest days of February 2020, the general consensus was that a WIV lab leak was a plausible scenario, and perhaps the most likely. However, politics rapidly entered the scene.
In a February 2, 2020, email, Collins stated that he was “coming around to the view that a natural origin is more likely,” and warned that “voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate” lest they convene a panel of experts to address the matter, and that such conspiracies could do “great potential harm to science and international harmony.”
Two days later, Fauci and Collins received a draft of the article, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,” later published in Nature Medicine.2 As noted by Grim, the actual draft is secret. All we have is an email reply from Fauci, in which he appears to flag or object to the inclusion of serial passage through humanized mice. Serial passaging is only briefly touched upon in the published article, which states:
“Furthermore, a hypothetical generation of SARS-CoV-2 by cell culture or animal passage would have required prior isolation of a progenitor virus with very high genetic similarity, which has not been described.
Subsequent generation of a polybasic cleavage site would have then required repeated passage in cell culture or animals with ACE2 receptors similar to those of humans, but such work has also not previously been described.”
If Fauci and Collins edited this article, “this is where they put the pressure of their pen the heaviest,” Grim says. Essentially, the issue of animal passage is raised, but then immediately dismissed.
Overall, the Nature Medicine article roundly dismissed the idea that the virus originated in a lab, proposing instead that, despite a dearth of evidence, it must have evolved naturally. The article didn’t stem the flow of questions, though. In a mid-April 2020 email to Fauci, Collins decried the continuation of the lab leak theory:
“Wondering if there is something NIH can do to help put down this very destructive conspiracy, with what seems to be growing momentum … I hoped the Nature Medicine article on the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 would settle this. But probably didn’t get much visibility. Anything more we can do? Ask the National Academy to weigh in?”
Fauci replied, “I would not do anything about this right now. It is a shiny object that will go away in times [sic].” He was wrong, of course, and the reason questions didn’t go away was because emerging evidence kept strengthening the lab leak theory, while there is nothing with which to support natural evolution.
The COVID Propaganda Wars
The Nature Medicine article is a glaring example of propaganda being promoted as science, and of science in turn being used for political aims. There’s really nothing scientific about dismissing a valid origin hypothesis in order to maintain “international harmony.”
Of course, the entire COVID pandemic has been plagued by propaganda. Behavioural scientist Simon Ruda, cofounder of the British Behavioural Insights Team, unofficially known as the “Nudge Unit,” confirms that the British government has been using propaganda tactics to scare the public into complying with COVID rules.
According to Ruda, fear tactics such as an overemphasis on flawed models were initially deployed to secure compliance during the first lockdown. However, it then never ended. “That fear seems to have subsequently driven policy decisions in a worrying feed-back loop,” he wrote in a January 13, 2022, Unherd article.3 He goes on to state:
“I remain a supporter of the use of behavioural science in public policy, and of the Behavioural Insights Team, more commonly known as the Nudge Unit. However, witnessing how the UK and other governments have responded to the pandemic, I can now appreciate the vulnerabilities of well-intentioned, democratic regimes, and the potential for behavioural science to be used inappropriately …
In 2010, the Nudge Unit was the first and only government unit dedicated to behavioural science in public policy. By 2021, there were over 400 globally …
We advocated two new dimensions to policy making: behaviour-focused models describing what drives human decision making; and the priority of empirical research over all other sources of information.
I believe this contribution has — and can — continue to serve governments well. But it must be used appropriately. For me, it means seeing the bigger picture: recognizing what you can and can’t measure, and seeing the potential for unintended consequences …
Invoking different emotions to convince people to stay at home during the pandemic4 is less appropriate. It could have negative consequences that are missed in the typical RCT evaluation.
This is because metrics will focus on proxies for behaviour, but they probably can’t capture the potential longer-term effects of these campaigns beyond what is immediately measurable — such as worse inter-societal relations and reduced trust in institutions, the consequences of which could be significant …
In my mind, the most egregious and far-reaching mistake made in responding to the pandemic has been the level of fear willingly conveyed on the public …
Though I don’t think it’s fair to blame behavioural scientists for propagating fear (I suspect that this was more to do with Government communicators and the incentives of news broadcasters), it may be worth reflecting on where we need to draw the line between the choice-maximizing nudges of libertarian paternalism, and the creeping acceptance among policy makers that the state should use its heft to influence our lives without the accountability of legislative and parliamentary scrutiny.
Nudging made subtle state influence palatable, but mixed with a state of emergency, have we inadvertently sanctioned state propaganda?”
As noted by Ruda, it’s become quite clear over the past two years that we cannot rely on science or data alone in a pandemic. We also need “reflection, reason and debate … multidisciplinary teams” and “a strong culture of intellectual humility and designed-in cognitive diversity.”
Behavioural Science Has No Place in a Democracy
In his piece, Ruda acknowledges some of the criticism the Nudge Unit has received since its inception in 2010. But while Ruda still believes there’s a place for behavioural science in government, others say no way. In a January 14, 2022, Spiked article,5 Professor Emeritus of sociology Frank Furedi insists that “government’s use of behavioural science violates our freedom to judge and act for ourselves.”
“Ruda’s admission is … striking,” Furedi writes, adding that Ruda “even expressed concern about the state’s willingness ‘to use its heft to influence our lives without the accountability of legislative and parliamentary scrutiny.’”
Furedi goes on to cite a March 2020 paper by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Behaviour Advisory Committee, written on behalf of the U.K. government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), in which they stated that the people were “too relaxed about the pandemic.” Furedi writes:6
“‘A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened,’ it stated, adding that too many ‘are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group.’
It then urged the government to increase ‘the perceived level of personal threat… among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.’ Some members of SAGE have since reported feeling ’embarrassed’ by the nature of SPI-B’s advice. As one regular SAGE attendee put it last year:
‘The British people have been subjected to an unevaluated psychological experiment without being told that is what’s happening.’
It is to be welcomed that at least some behavioural scientists are now questioning the political use of their discipline. But the problem goes deeper than fear-mongering during the pandemic. We need to address the corrosive influence of behavioural science on public life in general.”
Furedi stresses that the principal problem with “nudging” is that this kind of behavioural science is “fundamentally anti-democratic.” It’s based on the assumption that people “cannot be trusted to make rational choices,” and therefore must be subject to management by bureaucrats.
“They treat people’s emotional lives, lifestyles and relationships as legitimate objects of policymaking and professional intervention,” Furedi writes, adding that “This politics of behaviour has given rise to a new form of technocratic governance.”
Indeed, over the past two years, subliminal psychological manipulation has near-universally replaced debate and discussion. The problem is that you cannot have a democracy without open debate. What we have now is, in fact, a technocratic form of governance, whether people realize it or not, and unless we pull the plug, there soon won’t be such a thing as democracy anywhere in the world.
‘Nudging’ Is Fundamentally Anti-Democratic
“When Britain’s then deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, casually remarked in 2010 that the Nudge Unit could change the way citizens think, he spoke like a totalitarian ruler. Since when was it within a democratic government’s mandate to try to manipulate and change its citizens’ thoughts?” Furedi asks.
He points to a report called “Mindspace: Influencing Behaviour Through Public Policy,”7 written by the U.K. Cabinet Office and the Institute for Government and published in 2010, in which they reveal and basically admit that the use of behavioural psychology in policymaking “deprives people of the power to democratically determine their future,” Furedi says.
The report actually presents this kind of government activity as a form of “surrogate willpower,” which on its face shows that individual freedom is not honoured or even taken seriously. Instead, government is actively trying to make our decisions for us, in large part by indoctrinating us with certain “values” and ideas that we might not naturally share or agree with.
At the end of the day, whether behavioural psychologists get things “right” or “wrong,” they are violating people’s freedom to make their own decisions all the same, and as noted by Furedi:8
“This threatens the very pre-condition for a flourishing, democratic public life — namely, the existence of morally autonomous individuals. After all, it is only through the making of choices that people develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and for others in society.
As our experience of the pandemic shows, we need to respect the common sense of citizens and allow them to make choices in line with their circumstances … Our minds must be a no-go area for these self-appointed high priests of the soul.”
Weaponizing Behavioural Science
The danger of behavioural science is also in full display when we look at how it’s being weaponized against the very public it claims to serve. It started with people who refused to buy into the propaganda being labelled as “anti-science conspiracy theorists” and “anti-vaxxers.” Now, those same people are being labelled as terrorists and targeted by national security agencies.
“Concern for U.K. Security as Anti-Vaxxer Groups Evolve Toward U.S.-Style Militias,” a headline in The Guardian9 declared in mid-January 2022. “Counter-terrorism officials are monitoring movement amid military-style training and lurch towards violent extremism.” According to this report, such individuals might “undermine national health security.”
In other words, “health” itself has now been weaponized. The national vaccination program equates to “national security,” and sharing information that might cause vaccine hesitancy equates to an act of domestic terrorism. It’s ridiculous, of course, but that doesn’t make it any less serious.
The Davos Agenda
Between January 17 and 21, 2022, the World Economic Forum hosted its annual meeting in Davos, where the top technocrats in the world meet to hatch and share the next steps in the technocratic takeover of the world.
WEF founder Klaus Schwab opened the Forum’s virtual Davos agenda by introducing Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party since 2012 and president of the People’s Republic of China since 2013.
Schwab’s short introduction makes it clear that this dictatorship is being looked to for inspiration and leadership as The Great Reset moves forward. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that Fauci and Collins were more concerned about “international harmony” than getting to the bottom of where SARS-CoV-2 came from.
Using the Chinese model of behaviour modification and social engineering through technological surveillance and coercion, the WEF and its global allies aim to:
- Continue the building of a global biosecurity state in the name of fighting the COVID pandemic
- “Revitalize the global economy and accelerate its transition to net zero”
- “Preserve biodiversity by deploying nature-based solutions”
- “Narrow the gap between the rich and the poor to achieve more sustainable global development”
Anyone familiar with technocracy will recognize what a pile of manure this is. Without understanding what these goals entail, they might sound good, but in reality, this agenda is a call to war against humanity as we know it.
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