I don’t use social media much myself, but I try to monitor the activity on my own articles. About ten days ago, my most recent Covid piece suddenly caught fire on Twitter, with many dozens of Tweets that day, almost all of them from Chinese people. Most of these Tweeters had relatively few Followers, suggesting that they were far more active on Weibo than any of our own social networks and therefore probably lived in China rather than were immigrants to the West.
Entitled American Pravda: George Orwell’s Virus Lab-Leak, this article had been published more than a month earlier and had gotten the usual handful of Tweets plus some Retweets of its release announcement, with the activity soon tailing off to almost nothing. But the new wave of Tweeters came in a flood and continued for many days, soon totaling around 200, many times more than any of my other recent pieces. Something was obviously stirring up the Chinese Internet.
American Pravda: George Orwell’s Virus Lab-Leak
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • May 31, 2021 • 5,200 Words
The article itself might certainly interest the Chinese. It came as the latest installment in my fourteen month series strongly arguing that the worldwide Covid epidemic had been the unintended blowback of an American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran). With the mainstream American media these days so heavily vilifying China for the alleged Wuhan lab-leak that unleashed a virus killing millions, my own writings stood virtually alone in making the contrary case. My evidence seemed strong even overwhelming, but how had those Chinese citizens discovered my work?
I soon learned that China’s second largest official news agency had run a brief summary of my controversial views on its English-language website:
The outbreak of COVID-19 is less likely to be the result of a lab leak than a biowarfare attack, a U.S. publisher has said in a recent article.
Existential evidence suggested the possibility of a coronavirus biowarfare attack launched by Washington more than the lab-leak theory, said Ron Unz in a review article published on the Unz Review website in late May.
China had been hit by various viruses right when the country was locked in a growing conflict with America for years, noted Unz, the website’s editor-in-chief and publisher.
Additionally, the outbreak of COVID-19 “appeared at the worst time and place for China,” referring to the Lunar New Year holiday with a travel rush, and the major transit hub of Wuhan in central China with a huge volume of passengers, said Unz, who believes the timing of the emergence of COVID-19 is “suspicious.”
“300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the Military World Games, providing a perfect opportunity for releasing a viral weapon,” he noted, calling the scenario “a strange coincidence.”
“The characteristics of COVID-19, including high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal in an anti-economy bioweapon,” Unz said, adding it’s odd to speculate that a Chinese lab would release a virus perfectly designed to damage the Chinese economy.
Although just a small first step, this development might eventually have major consequences. My original April 2020 article making the case for an American biowarfare attack had quickly provoked an unprecendented amount of interest and engagement on Facebook, but this immediately came to a halt when that social media giant summarily banned our entire website one week later. That purge was soon followed by a complete deranking of all our web pages by Google.
With those two primary gatekeepers to the Western Internet having slammed shut their doors and all our material already totally boycotted by the mainstream media, getting others to take notice of subsequent analysis had become quite challenging. But if the Chinese began discussing it, Western journalists might be forced to do so as well, and they would soon discover astonishing information, facts that had been entirely ignored by our mainstream media but in most cases were very well documented.
Much of this remarkable material is summarized in my most recent Covid article, released just a few days after that flood of Chinese Tweets began and at 13,000 words by far the longest piece in the series. The article was intended to tie up many of the loose ends that had already been generated during this past year of heated debate, involving 7,500 comments totaling more than a million words.
American Pravda: the Covid Epidemic as Lab-Leak or Biowarfare?
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • July 12, 2021 • 13,100 Words
As early as April 2020, I had noted the very strange fact that after the Covid outbreak in Wuhan came to world attention, the deadly disease next suddenly appeared in Iran’s Holy City of Qom, more than 3,000 miles away, a very unexpected development given the near-total absence of any significant local Chinese population which might have served as plausible vectors for the virus.
As the coronavirus gradually began to spread beyond China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians dying of the disease, including some who were quite senior. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began gleefully noting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.
Let us consider the implications of these facts. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been those of Iran, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iranian ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?
My critics had regularly complained that if there had been any serious suspicions that Covid was an American bioweapon, the countries attacked would surely have denounced what had happened to the world or complained to international organizations, even if they had no actual proof. But I recently discovered that Iran’s top military and political leadership had done exactly that at the time, condemning what they strongly suspected was an American biowarfare attack, with those charges being widely made by Iranian television, radio, and news agencies. Iran’s former president had even sent a formal letter of protest to the United Nations.
However, none of these facts were reported in the American media, so almost no Americans ever became aware of them. Moreover, not long before the Covid outbreak, Iran’s global and UK PressTV video channels had suddenly been removed from YouTube, greatly complicating that country’s efforts to make its accusations known to the English-speaking public.
During the late 1960s American critics of the Vietnam War frequently repeated the saying “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” But today the more worrisome question is “What if biological warfare broke out but the media failed to report it?”
Another interesting fact discussed in my new article was the professional background and activities of a certain Robert P. Kadlec. From the late 1990s onward, Kadlec had become one of America’s leading military experts on biological warfare, with his major writings promoting biowarfare as a powerful technique for severely damaging the economy of a geopolitical adversary, but doing so while retaining “plausible deniability” since the diseases could not easily be proven as man-made rather than natural in origin.
After serving as a top biowarfare expert in the Bush Administration, he had more recently been brought back into government as an Assistant Secretary under Trump in 2017. The following year, the Chinese economy began suffering sudden viral epidemics, which severely damaged its important poultry and pork industries, and the Covid virus that mysteriously appeared in Wuhan in late 2019 shared similar characteristics:
[D]uring the previous two years, the Chinese economy had already suffered serious blows from other mysterious new diseases, although these had targeted farm animals rather than people. During 2018 a new Avian Flu virus had swept the country, eliminating large portions of China’s poultry industry, and during 2019 the Swine Flu viral epidemic had devastated China’s pig farms, destroying 40% of the nation’s primary domestic source of meat, with widespread claims that the latter disease was being spread by mysterious small drones…So for three years in a row, China had been severely impacted by strange new viral diseases, though only the most recent had been deadly to humans. This evidence was merely circumstantial, but the pattern seemed highly suspicious.
Furthermore, the particular features of Covid itself seem to fall into this same category. Early last year, we published the perspective of a retired forty-year veteran of American biodefense, who focused on the unusual epidemiological characteristics of the virus, which was extremely contagious but had a low fatality rate of 1% or less. As I summarized his analysis:
One important point he made was that high lethality was often counter-productive in a bioweapon since debilitating or hospitalizing large numbers of individuals may impose far greater economic costs on a country than a biological agent which simply inflicts an equal number of deaths. In his words “a high communicability, low lethality disease is perfect for ruining an economy,” suggesting that the apparent characteristics of the coronavirus were close to optimal in this regard.
According to a long article in the New York Times, from January to August 2019 Kadlec had run an important American simulation-exercise called “Crimson Contagion,” in which a large group of federal and state officials dealt with the consequences of the sudden appearance of a deadly respiratory viral epidemic in China, seeking to protect America from any spread into our own society. And two months after one of America’s leading biowarfare experts had wrapped up that national practice drill, a viral disease of exactly those characteristics suddenly and mysteriously appeared in the city of Wuhan, surely a coincidence that many might find quite troubling.
If a business enterprise in serious financial difficulty suddenly doubles its fire insurance and a couple of months later its main factory burns to the ground, the insurance adjusters would naturally turn a suspicious eye to the circumstances.
We should also hardly be surprised that the Wikipedia page for Kadlec heavily whitewashes his background, making absolutely no mention of his extensive writings on the effectiveness and strategy of offensive biowarfare.
Over the last couple of months, our elite media has undergone a truly Orwellian shift on the origins of Covid, now mostly accepting that it probably came from a lab after having spent the last year denouncing as a “conspiracy theorist” anyone making that same suggestion. But one of the most extreme swings has received almost no attention.
Since at least late 2020 noted Rutgers molecular biologist Richard H. Ebright has probably ranked as the loudest and most vocal scientific advocate of the lab-leak theory, and in interviews he has claimed that he had such suspicions within “a nanosecond or a picosecond” after he first heard of the Wuhan outbreak. Yet oddly enough, during the early months of the epidemic he had actually been the most prominent scientific voice on the opposite side, loudly proclaiming that Covid was an entirely natural virus with absolutely no signs of any lab origin.
His radical reversal has been completely ignored by the media, and I proposed a plausible explanation of why it might have occurred.
Finally, there is what I and others have sometimes characterized as the “smoking gun” evidence of American complicity in the Covid outbreak, which can easily be summarized in a few paragraphs:
But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, elements within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report warning that an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television mentioned that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC News story and its several government sources.
It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.
According to these multiply-sourced mainstream media accounts, by “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak taking place in Wuhan. Yet at that point, probably no more than a couple of dozen individuals had been infected in that city of 11 million, with few of those yet having any serious symptoms. The implications are rather obvious.
In my latest article I noted that the Israeli confirmation of the existence of that officially-denied secret DIA report was apparently considered so potentially damaging that within days a Harvard Medical School professor with close ties to ABC News urgently began a research project aimed at explaining away that report. Completed in record time—a single month—his analysis immediately received massive publicity, being Tweeted out by Donald J. Trump, Jr. and other high-profile individuals. Yet the methods and conclusions were so obviously fallacious that the study seems to have been uniformly rejected by every journal and still remains unpublished today.
My latest article runs over 13,000 words and summarizes all of this material, plus a great deal more besides. Together with four of my previous Covid articles, the material has been conveniently collected together in the latest edition of my Covid eBook. This collection now runs over 40,000 words, providing a unique perspective on what is probably the most important global event since the end of World War II. The eBook is available in both epub and mobi formats, and is freely available for downloading and redistribution elsewhere. Those who already have previous versions should consider replacing them with this updated edition, which now incorporates all my latest articles.
By most estimates, Covid has already killed between 600,000 and a million Americans, while enormously disrupting the daily lives of the remainder of our population. So one would might hope that our leading journalists and public intellectuals would begin to show a little more interest—and courage—in exploring the likely cause of this great national tragedy.
Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.
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