NVIC’s 2020 Annual Report on US State Vaccine Legislation

Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in vaccine related legislation that impacts every person.

More vaccines have been mandated for children in school and daycare and adults in the workplace, vaccine exemption rights have been restricted or removed, emergency powers have been expanded, vaccine tracking and enforcement and vaccine exemption rate disclosure programs threaten choices and health outcomes, and parental and informed consent rights have been weakened or removed all together.

This has all happened under the backdrop of unprecedented censorship of information questioning the safety, efficacy or necessity of the dozens of vaccines being mandated for use and the hundreds of vaccines in development.

Public shaming, marginalization and the bullying of those who don’t agree with accepting every single dose of every federally recommended and state mandated vaccine has become not only commonplace but socially sanctioned by those promoting “no exceptions” vaccine policies and laws.

In addition, with the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, plans to roll out a national vaccination program loom on the horizon. If the COVID-19 vaccine becomes state mandated, it has the potential to alter life in America in ways we never thought could be possible.

Citizen involvement in the legislative process to protect the human right to exercise informed consent to vaccination increased to unprecedented levels in 2020. In many cases, it matched and overcame the relentless attack by mandatory vaccination proponents on the ability of individuals to decline vaccination.

Highest Number of Vaccine-Related Bills in NVIC’s History

In this 2020 Annual Report on U.S. State Vaccine Legislation, the non-profit educational charity National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reports that during the 2020 legislative session, NVIC analyzed, tracked and issued positions on an unrivaled 232 vaccine related bills in 39 states and the District of Columbia through the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

This was the highest number of bills in the history of NVIC’s advocacy program, despite many shortened state legislative sessions due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

vaccine bills 2020

Working to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education since 1982, NVIC is the largest and oldest U.S. consumer-led non-profit organization disseminating information about diseases, vaccines and informed consent to vaccination.

NVIC provides well-referenced, accurate information to the public about vaccine science, policy and law but does not make vaccine use recommendations. In 2010, NVIC launched the NVIC Advocacy Portal (NVICAP), a free online vaccine choice advocacy network, for the purpose of securing and defending informed consent protections in vaccine policies and laws.

Over the last decade, the NVIC Advocacy Program has analyzed, tracked and issued positions on well over 1000 vaccine related bills and has worked alongside and shares legislative information with many health freedom groups that support NVIC’s almost four-decade call for the protection of vaccine informed consent rights in America.

The NVIC Advocacy Portal team, including key NVIC Advocacy directors in many states, works with families and enlightened health care professionals to educate legislators and protect vaccine informed consent rights. NVIC issues action alerts and sends them through email, posts them online and shares them through social media and our text alert program.

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At the time this report was prepared, vaccine-related bills are still pending in California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Action to support the good vaccine-related bills and oppose bad bills is still needed. Bills referenced in this report are published on the NVIC Advocacy Portal and registered users can obtain a more detailed bill analysis, including current status, NVIC’s position on the bill, and recommended action.

Highlights From 2020

There were significant positive take away points from the outcome of the 2020 legislative session:

13 bills in 10 states [CT, FL, IA, IL, MA, NJ, PA, VT, WA, WI] were filed to eliminate vaccine exemptions. None passed.

Out of 10 bills filed across eight states [CO, FL, MA, NJ, NY, OK, PA, VT] to restrict vaccine exemptions, only one passed. Colorado SB 163 requires a vaccine provider signature or the completion of an online re-education module for religious or conscientious exemptions.

Out of the 123 vaccine-related bills that NVIC opposed, only eight bad bills passed!

The 2020 legislative session featured 99 bills worthy of NVIC’s support, which is more than any legislative session since the launching of NVIC’s Advocacy Portal in 2010. This is up from only 18 good bills NVIC supported in 2016. The ratio of the total bills supported compared to total bills opposed has gotten better and better. Two of these positive bills passed.

Proposed administrative rules to either add vaccine mandates or restrict exemptions in four state that NVIC opposed were withdrawn or amended to take out the offending sections.

There were only three states with more than 10 vaccine related bills filed in the 2020 session. Iowa led states in most positive bills introduced with 16 bills worthy of support and only three that required opposition. New Jersey had four bills worthy of support and 13 deserving opposition. The informed consent rights of New Yorkers were attacked by more bills than any other state with 27 bills needing opposition and only eight that deserved support.

supported legislation 2020

The remaining vaccine-related bills for the 2020 session are broken out and described below by category.

2020 Bill Analysis by Category

The four main areas that NVIC focuses on when tracking proposed bills are:

  1. Vaccine exemptions and informed consent rights
  2. Vaccine mandates
  3. Vaccine tracking and reporting
  4. Vaccines in general

Some bills may be included in multiple categories. For example, a proposed bill attempting to mandate a vaccine may also have a requirement for vaccine tracking so it would be counted in both categories but only counted once in the total bill count.

The NVIC Advocacy team provides referenced, accurate vaccine information and talking points for NVICAP users to background legislators. Some of the position statements NVIC posted on the Advocacy Portal in 2020 were listed as bills to “watch.”

This is done because our analysis indicated that either the bill was well intentioned but contained some problems needing amending before we could support it or the bill contained sections that were highly vulnerable to amendments that could conflict with NVIC’s mission.

The breakout and analysis of bills in these different categories identifies trends across the states and serves as a guide if you want to become active by joining the NVIC Advocacy Portal and educating your state legislators and community in 2021 about why it is so important to protect vaccine informed consent rights.

Vaccine Exemptions and Informed Consent (138 Bills)

In a positive turnaround from previous sessions, out of the 138 vaccine-related bills filed in state legislatures in 2020 having components affecting vaccine exemptions and informed consent rights, NVIC opposed 56 of the proposed bills, but supported 78 and “watched” four. This is the first session where NVIC has supported more exemption and informed consent bills than opposed.

The mainstream media tended to hype the bills attacking exemptions so much that it may come as a surprise that there were more bills to expand exemptions and informed consent rights than there were to eliminate or restrict those rights.

This can be directly credited to positive action taken by forward thinking state legislators, who were given fact-based information about vaccines, exemptions, and diseases by concerned citizens who took the time to make one-on-one personal contact with their elected representatives.

Eliminating or Restricting Vaccine Exemptions

There was a noticeable drop in bills filed in 2020 to either remove or restrict exemptions: 23 in 2020 versus 40 in 2019. There were 13 bills in 10 states (Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin) that were filed to eliminate vaccine exemptions. None passed.

Notable in these defeats was Connecticut HB 5044 attempting to remove the religious exemption, which broke all records for online testimony that gripped the country overnight and lasted over 21 hours into the next morning. This bill did not pass.

Florida SB 64 to remove the religious exemption was filed by Senator Lauren Book in 2019 before the 2020 legislative session even started. This prompted families around the state to fight back by attending local pre-session delegation meetings asking for the bill’s defeat.

Health Freedom Florida hosted a rally featuring presentations by NVIC and Children’s Health Defense the first week of session to educate citizens about the bill. This proactive strategy was effective. SB 64 failed to pass and did not even get a hearing.

New Jersey’s religious exemption removal bills (A969/S902) drew more in person protests than any vaccine bill had done before with many thousands showing up to oppose the exemption removal. Legislators inside the capitol building could hear protesting parents chanting for hours outside. This bill came the closest to passing of all the exemption removal bills. The strong showing by New Jersey families helped provide support to the brave legislators opposing this bill.

Out of 10 bills filed across eight states (Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Vermont) to restrict vaccine exemptions, only one passed. Colorado SB 163 requires a vaccine provider signature or the completion of an online re-education module for religious or conscientious exemptions.

Bills pending to remove or restrict vaccine exemptions that deserve continued strong opposition are still active in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. These bills need to continue to be opposed.

It is critical that vaccine choice advocates in every state register for and regularly check in to the NVIC Advocacy Portal. The most important thing you can do if you care about this issue is to establish relationships with and educate your legislators now and into next year so you can be ready to counter bills that will restrict or eliminate exemptions and get good bills filed to protect and expand vaccine exemptions.

There is nothing more important that you can do to protect or expand your right to delay or decline vaccines without penalty or harassment than talking to your legislators in person and establishing a positive, respectful relationship with them.

Exemption Disclosure and School Shaming

The trend to publicly disclose vaccine exemptions to shame schools with higher exemption rates has continued in 2020 where nine bills were filed in seven states. This year none of these bills passed.

Promoted by those who seek to ultimately eliminate vaccine exemptions, these public disclosure bills threaten and place pressure on students with vaccine exemptions by requiring schools to publish vaccination and/or vaccine exemption rates online.

These bills are promoted under the false pretense of transparency, but they are really about government-sponsored shaming of schools with students who have vaccine exemptions.

The real goal of school shaming bills is to create centralized repositories of specific community level vaccine usage data that the media and public health employees use to identify and locate those who decline to receive every vaccine recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Media will use these reports in a biased manner to reflect negatively on schools with more exemptions in an attempt to solicit support for further restricting or eliminating vaccine exemptions.1

Setting up schools to be designated “winners” and “losers” in the myopic quest for a 100 percent vaccination rate with all federally recommended vaccines, these types of bills add more layers of pressure and coercion with every single dose of every single vaccine and create an environment that pits parents, children, schools and districts against each other.

Arizona has had a bill filed every year since 2015 to post vaccine exemption rates. Fortunately, they have all failed to pass thanks to proactive citizen advocacy and brave legislators, who have held back these bills from moving forward.

Even though these bills don’t authorize the release of individually identifiable information, the numbers of children utilizing vaccine exemptions are so small that bills like these puts the exposure of children’s identity at risk and sets them up for harassment, discrimination, and bullying. These bills need to continue to be opposed.

Children Vaccinating Themselves?

A very troubling area of proposed legislative changes are bills that allow minor children to be vaccinated without the knowledge or informed consent of their parents. A child is less likely than an adult parent to understand their personal and family medical history, including a history of vaccine reactions, allergies and autoimmune or neurological disorders.

Minor children do not have the same kind of critical thinking skills or emotional maturity required to make a vaccine benefit-risk decision compared to an adult. In addition, if a child receives a vaccination without a parent’s knowledge or informed consent and then experiences a vaccine reaction, a parent might not recognize the potential cause of their child’s sudden decline in health.

This lack of knowledge by parents could be life threatening for the child. None of the 21 bills introduced in eleven states (Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia), which attempted to grant minor children the ability to consent to vaccines on their own without parental knowledge or consent, passed.

In 2019, Congress held two vaccine hearings, one on February 27th2 and another on March 5th3 and one focus of the hearing pitting children against their parents.

Veteran vaccine safety and informed consent advocates with nearly four decades of experience, including time spent serving on federal advisory committees, were denied the ability to testify, but a teenager with no experience other than recently opposing his mother on social media4 for not vaccinating him was invited to testify.5

The ill-conceived concept of minor children consenting to vaccination without their parents’ consent appeared in media6 stories more frequently following the congressional hearing and used the teen’s testimony to advocate for this policy change.

Medical trade groups also advanced the concept. Doctors, who are frustrated with having to spend time talking with educated parents during routine “well child” visits to answer questions and concerns about vaccines, have identified minor consent as a way to coerce children into consenting to vaccines on their own.

Adolescents are vulnerable to peer and authority-figure persuasion. An opinion piece was published in The New England Journal of Medicine7 and the American Medical Association passed a resolution8 supporting state laws to allow minors to consent to vaccination.

This coordinated effort resulted in 13 bills introduced in 2019 and a big jump to 21 bills introduced in 2020. Fortunately, legislators listened to parents and rejected all 34 minor consent bills filed in 2019 and 2020. Federal legislative history provides evidence that Congress never intended for a minor child to make decisions to get a vaccine without parental knowledge or consent.

When the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act9 of 1986 was passed, the Act clearly stated that before the administration of certain vaccines,10 a health care provider shall give a copy of the CDC’s vaccine information materials to either the, “the parent or legal representative of any child to whom the provider intends to administer such vaccine …”

The CDC asserts the requirement that the VIS sheet is provided to the parent/legal guardian prior to vaccination of a minor child on their Q&A page on VIS sheets:11 Under the question “Is there a requirement to verify that parents/legal representatives have actually received and reviewed the VIS,” the answer is a clear and undebatable “YES.”

There is no justification for the state to override a parent’s legal right to make an informed benefit and risk decision about vaccination on behalf of their minor children and hand that legal right to doctors and medical workers, who have no liability or accountability for what happens to the child after vaccination.

These types of bills are a violation of parents’ constitutional right to raise their children without undue interference from the state, and each one of these bills that surfaces in state legislatures should be strongly opposed.

Expanding Vaccine Exemptions and Informed Consent

Hard working vaccine and health freedom advocates and open-minded legislators came together in 2020 to advocate for 78 bills in the following 25 states to expand vaccine exemptions and enhance informed consent rights:

Arizona

California

Colorado

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Iowa

Louisiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Vermont

Washington

West Virginia

This is a big jump from the 58 bills of this kind filed in 2019. In response to expanding vaccination schedules and overzealous forced vaccination polices implemented by day care and schools, legislators filed 20 bills in the following 12 states to expand vaccine exemptions:

Delaware

Iowa

Louisiana

Minnesota

Missouri

Mississippi

New York

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Washington

West Virginia

Most of the bills filed added religious or conscientious exemptions. While no bills adding vaccine exemptions for children to attend daycare and school were passed, Delaware passed a bill (HB 214) to allow veterinarians to exempt animals from rabies vaccines if the veterinarian concludes the vaccine would endanger the animal’s health.

Gaps in Informed Consent on Legislators’ Radar to Fix

Legislators are increasingly recognizing problems created because parents are not provided enough information about potential vaccine risks and contraindications.

In response, 30 bills were filed in 16 states tackling the issue of improving vaccine informed consent rights. California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia all had bills filed to require additional information to be provided prior to vaccination.

Nine states had legislators wanting to get better information about the increased prevalence of vaccine reactions. 11 bills were filed to require vaccine reactions to be reported to the legislature directly or through a state agency. Iowa, New Hampshire and Missouri each had a bill introduced to require death certificates to include information about vaccines administered.

Also addressing gaps in informed consent, 9 bills were filed in the 7 states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania that would require parents to be informed of the availability of vaccine exemptions. Often, parents do not know they have the legal right to take a vaccine exemption.

Some schools don’t readily share this information and parents may be incorrectly told there is a “no shots, no school” policy that prevents unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children from enrolling in school. This can result in a child, who may be at high risk for suffering a vaccine reaction, getting vaccinated under false pressure that can lead to the child suffering a serious reaction.

Other bills filed required the disclosure of certain vaccine ingredients and risks, and several bills added steps like requiring specific written permission before any vaccine could be administered. One broad groundbreaking bill in Florida entitled the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act,” would have provided civil remedies for those whose religious or political speech was censored by a social media website.

While none of these bills passed, over 1,000 state legislators were educated about the failures in the informed consent process to vaccination. This education can serve as a deterrent to passing other bad bills that remove or restrict informed consent rights from being introduced in the future.

Decreasing Discrimination

An encouraging new trend is that more legislators are recognizing the significant problems caused by discrimination against those who choose to delay or decline vaccination and are willing to support legislation to stop this discrimination and bias.

A total of 32 bills tackling different aspects of discrimination head on were filed. The majority of bills filed were trying to protect adult employees from any kind of penalties for refusing vaccines. This category of bills will be extremely important in 2021 as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out and potential legislation is introduced to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.

It is critical to protect people from sanctions by employers, insurance companies, medical providers, retail establishments, and interstate travel opportunities for refusing to take a vaccine. It is not too early to talk to legislators about prefiling bills to prevent this type of discrimination ahead of the 2021 legislative session.

Six bills were introduced this session to specifically prohibit insurance companies from penalizing doctors or patients when the patient did not take a recommended vaccine, while one bill in Wyoming prohibited doctors from expelling patients for vaccine refusal, and another Wyoming bill prohibited hospitals from refusing to treat individuals based solely on their vaccination status.

Iowa and Michigan filed bills that would prohibit denying a foster care license based on the vaccination status of the family. Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon also tried to join the ranks of Texas with bills that prohibit either abuse claims or custody restrictions based on vaccine refusal, and Colorado’s efforts were rewarded with the passage and governor’s signature on HB 1297.

This clarified that delaying or declining a vaccine by itself is not child abuse or neglect. This bill enjoyed notable bipartisan support. Colorado demonstrated that it is important not to prejudge legislators based on party affiliation for their support or opposition to a bill and it is important to sincerely educate and treat all legislators respectfully.

Expanding Vaccine Mandates

In 2020, only three of the 42 bills filed to add vaccine mandates passed. Two bills were in New Jersey. Annual flu vaccines are now required for health care facility employees in New Jersey and meningococcal vaccines are now mandated for residential students at four-year colleges in New Jersey.

The third and worst vaccine mandate bill to pass in 2020 was Virginia HB 1090. It gave the Governor-appointed Board of Health the authority to add federally recommended vaccines to the schedule required for school attendance (with the exception of requiring annual influenza vaccinations) without a public hearing or vote by the legislature.

It also expanded the current list of required vaccines to add HPV vaccines for boys to the existing requirement for girls and added rotavirus, hepatitis A, and meningococcal conjugate vaccine requirements in conformance with recommendations of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

This puts Virginia school children at risk of being required to receive a mandated COVID-19 vaccine once it is licensed by the FDA and recommended by ACIP for children. The Health Commissioner of Virginia has already stated that he intends to mandate12 that all Virginians get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available.

Mississippi had a failed attempt to pass a bill to mandate annual flu vaccines for school employees with no religious exemption, and New York still has two pending bills attempting to mandate flu vaccines for children in school and daycare, A2316 and S2776, that need to be watched and opposed.

Five states — Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia — had bills filed to specifically mandate HPV vaccines for students that have not passed. New Jersey, New York, and Ohio attempted to add other adult vaccine mandates. NVIC opposes all adult mandates as a condition for employment. Vaccines are already available to those who want them.

New York attempted a bill to mandate vaccines for children’s camps with no religious exemptions allowed, but it has not passed.

Restricting Vaccine Mandates

NVIC supported 20 bills in 13 states that would have restricted vaccine mandates. While none of these bills passed, many legislators were educated about the harm vaccine mandates can cause, and this education helped hold back the passage of dozens of bills enacting more forceful mandates.

Eight bills were filed in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio to protect employees who want to refuse vaccination requirements. These types of bills need to be filed and passed in every state.

Michigan had two bills, HB 5135 and HB 5136, that would have prohibited new vaccine mandates to be issued by agency rule making. Oklahoma passed a bill in the House, but not the Senate, to require legislative approval when new vaccine mandates are added for school by the department of health.

Given the threat posed by unelected and unaccountable state employees having the power to expand vaccine mandates, lawmakers in state legislatures, who have punted the responsibility of setting the vaccine schedule to health agency employees, need to take their legislative authority back so the people these mandates affect have a voice and can participate in the democratic process.

Iowa and Michigan set their sights on prohibiting a requirement that foster care families vaccinate their families. While the Iowa bill died, the Michigan bill is still pending, and support could help tip this good bill over the edge to pass.

Two exciting bills were introduced in Arizona (HB 2050) and South Dakota (HB 1235) to eliminate vaccine mandates, and people should consider talking to their legislators about filing this kind of bill in their own states.

Brave legislators in these states recognized that vaccines are pharmaceutical products that can cause injury or death, and families should be allowed to make voluntary decisions about their use without being coerced and forced by law to vaccinate. These bills were filed as a direct result of people talking to their legislators about the harm that vaccine mandates have caused their families.

Vaccine Tracking and Reporting (37 Bills)

Forced inclusion, forced reporting, and opt-out electronic vaccine tracking registries and enforcement systems continue to threaten the medical privacy of citizens and their legal right to refuse federally recommended vaccines without being subjected to harassment or punishment.

On the positive side, legislators are also becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of reporting and tracking of serious vaccine reactions and are trying to take steps to put this information in front of more government officials.

The 2020 legislative session included 37 bills in the category of vaccine tracking and reporting that NVICAP analyzed, posted and monitored.

Expanding Vaccine Tracking

Eighteen bills tried to expand vaccine tracking in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. Three of these bad bills passed. This is a big improvement from 2019 where nine bills expanding vaccine tracking passed.

Colorado passed SB 163 which, in addition to restricting vaccine exemptions, adds a hefty dose of increased vaccine tracking and electronic surveillance. Health care providers are required to submit all vaccines administered and also all vaccine exemption information to the state operated electronic vaccine tracking system, CIIS.

Now, there is no way for public and private school students and children attending daycare to not be tracked by the health department in Colorado. Indiana passed HB 1210, which expands the current vaccine tracking system in Indiana to include additional personal health information, including newborn screening and blood lead screening.

Nebraska passed LB 1183, which enacted government vaccine tracking through the Population Health Information Act. The bill was initially introduced to deal with prescription drug monitoring, but it was amended to include vaccine tracking in this new state electronic database.

There is no requirement for opt-in informed consent to participate in this registry and the bill provides for any health care entity to access this information. Alabama, New Jersey and West Virginia had four additional bills that would have required vaccine providers to report to the registry, but fortunately they did not pass.

All 50 states now have vaccine tracking systems13 for children and many states have expanded their systems to include adults. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created a new term for vaccine tracking, surveillance, and enforcement registries so people don’t focus on and become concerned about how they are actually being used.

Threats Posed by Immunization Information Systems

The CDC now calls them Immunization Information Systems (IIS),14 which makes them seem to be more passive and less threatening. In reality, IIS represent one of the largest threats to being free to refuse any vaccination, including upcoming vaccines for COVID-19.

Federal agencies are working with public health trade groups to link the registries all together15 to be able to create and access a complete personalized vaccine profile on every U.S. citizen. The Network for Public Health Law16 recently held two webinars about data sharing to support each “jurisdiction’s role in mass vaccination for COVID-19” using the Immunization (IZ) Gateway.17

The IZ Gateway is sponsored by the CDC Immunization Information Systems Support Branch and led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

Its purpose is to facilitate the sharing of everyone’s immunization status through multiple private and government entities in real time to create a virtual national immunization registry so that wherever you are, government and health care providers will know your vaccination status.

This presents a huge problem for people who don’t want to have their vaccination status tracked by government or anyone else. Many states have mandatory tracking where consent is unfortunately assumed and there is no way to get out.

This is sometimes initiated with the state sharing birth records to the immunization registry without a parent’s knowledge or consent for the purpose of initiating a registry file on every newborn. Some states automatically put everyone in the system but claim someone can either opt-out, or opt-out of data sharing.

This is problematic for two reasons. First, because of data interoperability, every system that has access to each state registry can pull an individual’s vaccination status, store it, and release it even further before someone may have a chance to opt-out. Even if someone opts-out, the data is already out there and can’t be taken back.

Second, opting-out of data sharing does nothing to protect your vaccination status from the health department who operates the registry itself. It only prevents other entities like insurance companies, health care providers or schools from accessing the information. This does little to reassure people who are concerned the information will be used to force vaccination.

Many people are more concerned about what public health officials will do with this information now and in the future as the vaccine records in most IIS can never be removed. The only way to guarantee your vaccination status won’t get tracked in existing vaccine tracking registries by your state and used to penalize you or enforce vaccination is for your state to legislate explicit opt-in consent for inclusion into the registry and for the release of data out of the registry.

Also, the option for complete personal vaccine data purging from the registry and all other health department files should be enacted for those who want their personal information removed from the registry after it has been included.

Texas and Montana are the only states that require opt-in informed consent.18 If you do not live in either of these states, laws need to be changed to prohibit any collection or sharing of your medical/vaccine records without your expressed written informed consent. With impending controversial COVID-19 mass vaccination programs, limiting personal health information that is collected and shared with IIS is critical.

Strong opposition to mandatory inclusion, assumed consent, and opt-out vaccine tracking systems is needed. Reaching a 100% vaccine compliance rate by all children and adults is the goal of these electronic vaccine tracking systems.

Expanding Vaccine Reaction Reporting and Tracking

On the other side in a positive new trend, there were 14 bills requiring the reporting or recording of vaccine reactions. California, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington had 11 bills requiring that reports of vaccine reactions be sent to the legislature or the state.

Iowa, New Hampshire and Missouri took on the heart wrenching topic of infant deaths following vaccination and had three bills requiring vaccine information to be recorded on death certificates or to be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

While none of these bills passed, legislators were educated about the lack of public transparency about real vaccine reactions and deaths and these bills were a great first step at trying to change that.

Emergency Powers

Arizona and Pennsylvania had two bills that attempted to expand emergency powers by the state but they did not pass. In 2021, we can expect many more bills trying to expand emergency powers, as well as curtail abuses of emergency powers, in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. These bills will need to be watched carefully.

Most states lack sufficient vaccine exemptions to protect citizens from forced vaccination in times of declared public health emergencies. Now would be a good time for people to review their state emergency powers laws to look for problems and talk to their legislators about filing bills before the 2021 legislative sessions to expand vaccine exemptions for all state residents during a declared public health emergency.

This is especially important for those who have concerns about potential mandates for COVID-19 or influenza vaccines.

Authorizing More Professions to Administer More Vaccines

One of the most successful areas where we worked with families in the states was in the area of bills that proposed to expand the authority to pharmacists and others to administer vaccines to children.

There were 22 bills filed in 14 states (Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin) to allow pharmacists and other types of medical professions to administer vaccines to young children.

Four of the 22 bills attempted to expand vaccine administrators to other professions outside of pharmacists. Ohio had a bill trying to allow podiatrists to give flu vaccines to anyone 7 years old and up, Oklahoma tried to get paramedics to give vaccines, and Wisconsin tried to give authority to dentists to administer vaccines.

Fortunately, none of these bills passed but it is easy to see how other professions want a piece of the almost $18 billion U.S. vaccine market in 2020,19 and how that could lead to more “gatekeepers” instituting policies that refuse services to the unvaccinated.

In terms of expanding a pharmacist’s ability to give vaccines, both New Hampshire and New York passed controversial futuristic bills allowing pharmacists to vaccinate for COVID-19 once a vaccine becomes available.

Other than the two COVID-19 expansions bills, the only other bill of this type that passed was in Florida, but the offending language allowing pharmacists to vaccinate children was completely removed from the bill thanks to strong opposition.

Unfortunately, the federal government stepped in and overrode the states on the issue of pharmacists being given the authority to vaccinate young children. State legislatures were completely circumvented by an action taken by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar.20

On August 24, 2020, the Federal Register published Mr. Azar’s amendments21 to the declared emergency for COVID-19 issued under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19.

Countermeasures include vaccines for ACIP-recommended vaccines and this amendment now allows pharmacists to administer every ACIP-recommended vaccine to all children 3 years old or older, regardless of what each state law limits. This is a significant abuse of federal power.

Pharmacists Are Not Doctors

States have been deliberately cautious about limiting the types of vaccines and ages of children which pharmacists are allowed to vaccinate. The actions of Mr. Azar, who is a former CEO of the U.S. pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, and a former pharmaceutical lobbyist,22 illustrate the problems created by the revolving door between the pharmaceutical industry and government agencies.

Pharmacists administering vaccines in the corner drug store or grocery store pharmacy to minor children and toddlers trivializes very real vaccine risks and the potential for serious reactions.

Pharmacists are not doctors and 20 hours of required training23 for pharmacists to be able to administer all childhood vaccines cannot substitute for the knowledge and practical experience that doctors and nurses have administering vaccines. Pharmacists are not as knowledgeable about diagnosing the difference between cardiac arrest, anaphylaxis and fainting and most pharmacies don’t have lifesaving defibrillators.

The limited training pharmacists get in vaccines will not be able to cover all the contraindications for the 57 different unique vaccines available24 now in the U.S. or the nearly 260 vaccines in development.25

Ensuring informed consent and accurate screening to consider family and individual medical histories will be challenging in the back of a pharmacy or a grocery store. Certain allergies, fevers, weakened immune systems, seizures, pregnancy, Guillan-Barre Syndrome and other reactions post vaccination are all reasons listed on the CDC’s Vaccine Information Statements indicating a possible reason to not vaccinate.

It is also a stretch to think pharmacists are going to report reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)26 or warn parents about the statute of limitations and instructions for filing a claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program,27 which has paid out over $4.4 billion28 to vaccine victims.

Rules Carry the Same Effect as Law

Administrative rules, while not law, carry the same effect as law. State legislatures delegate rule-making authority to the state agencies, boards of health, or health commissioners tasked with implementing state law, however, they are not supposed to change or add to what is in statute.

As more concerned citizens have made significant impact in stopping bad vaccine bills, some state health departments have turned to the rule process to add more mandates or restrict vaccine exemptions.

Additionally, there has been a trend in recent years for some state legislators who are influenced by the medical trade lobby to move the task of setting vaccine mandates or setting the criteria for vaccine exemptions completely out of the legislature and into the hands of state employees.

It is a widespread problem that many state agencies abuse their power and write rules that go beyond the scope of the state statute they are implementing. Many state’s administrative procedures acts do not give the average citizen sufficient opportunities to give feedback that will be sincerely considered.

Because state employees are not elected, state residents don’t have any recourse to remove them from their jobs as they are able to do with elected legislators who restrict or eliminate rights.

In the 2020 legislative session, NVIC Advocacy tracked and issued action alerts on proposed administrative rule changes in four states, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. NVIC Advocacy team members and like-minded groups worked together in these states to stop these four rule changes.

The Oklahoma rule change would have restricted vaccine exemptions by requiring the completion of a mandatory health department educational presentation in order to obtain a religious or personal belief exemption. Strong opposition to this attempted restriction to exemptions helped ensure that the rule was amended to remove this burden on exemptions in Oklahoma.

Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming proposed new vaccine mandates through rule. Local vaccine informed consent and health freedom groups came through in large numbers attending public comment sessions and submitting comments, engaging more families concerned about expanding vaccine schedules and communicating with legislators to ask them to oppose the rule changes as well.

This resulted in all of these proposed rule changes for new vaccine mandates being withdrawn. Proposed rule changes are typically published in state registers. It is important to watch the state health and education agency registers for proposed rules regarding vaccine requirements and exemptions.

Links to these state registers are available on the NVIC law pages. Sometimes contacting your legislators about proposed rules that force more vaccines or restrict vaccine exemptions can be helpful if the legislator contacts the agency and ask them to back off.

Legislators, especially those who sit on powerful appropriation committees setting state budgets, can have more of an influence than the average citizen. NVIC is opposed to unelected unaccountable state employees setting required vaccine schedules.

A good bill to file in states where the legislature has abdicated its power to control what vaccines are mandated on its citizens would be to repeal these laws and return control back to legislators who must face voters at the ballot box.

Comparing Recent Sessions to 2020

232 bills represent the most proposed vaccine-related bills NVIC has recorded in the history of the NVIC Advocacy Portal, surpassing the previous all-time high of 221 bills introduced in 2019. It is important to note that four states (Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas) meet biennially to consider new bills and do not hold a legislative session in even years.

It is remarkable that this record number of vaccine-related bills were proposed with these four states not participating in the 2020 legislative session. The number of states proposing bills in 2020 that affected NVIC’s mission remained similar to last year: 39 and the District of Columbia compared to 40 and the District of Columbia in 2019.

There were fewer bills that NVIC opposed in 2020 compared to last year (123 versus 137). There were more bills filed that NVIC supported in 2020 than in any other session. NVIC supported 99 bills this session, which is 22 more positive bills than the previous record-breaking number of 77 bills NVIC supported in 2019.

Enlightened legislators are not only listening to concerned constituents in greater numbers, many more are continuing or beginning to resist aggressive lobbying efforts by the vaccine industry, medical trade and other groups, whose positions and profits benefit from laws that force children and adults to use every vaccine sold by pharmaceutical companies and recommended by public health officials.

Only eight bad vaccine bills passed out of the 123 that NVIC opposed in the 2020 legislative session, which was 10 less than the 18 bad vaccine bills that passed last year. Individual citizen involvement in the legislative process, through personal communications and education of legislators, continues to make a significant impact year after year on the outcomes of vaccine related bills in state legislatures.

NVIC predicts that the continued attack on vaccine exemptions and bills to expand emergency powers and mandate fast tracked COVID-19 vaccines after they are licensed and recommended by the federal government will drive even more Americans in every state to get more involved in the legislative process at every level in the years to come.

legislation trends 2020

What Can You Do?

NVIC expects that the vaccine industry and their medical trade association partners will step up lobbying efforts to restrict or remove vaccine exemptions in 2021 since so many of their bills failed in 2020.

Please become a registered user of the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal and check in often to learn about ways to personally educate your legislators when vaccine bills that affect your rights are moving in your state. Please encourage your family and all of your friends to do the same.

Clearly your efforts are making a much more significant difference than the mainstream media and those pushing “no exceptions” forced vaccination policies and laws are willing to admit, and your active participation is vital to protecting informed consent rights and vaccine choices in America. If you see inaccurate information in the media, please take the time to respond by making a constructive comment online.

You can also email the journalist or call the media outlet and provide accurate, well referenced Diseases and Vaccines information and accurate state vaccine law information, which you can find on our website NVIC.org. NVIC’s illustrated and fully referenced Guide to Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law is another good vaccine education tool for legislators and friends and family, too.

The same holds true if you are censored online for providing accurate information about vaccination, infectious diseases and health. Contest it and educate those doing the censoring. The information seeds you plant today can make a difference tomorrow and into the future.

Yes, the challenges are great but so are the opportunities to educate and empower legislators and residents of every state to defend vaccine freedom of choice. NVIC is committed to continuing to make that happen and we look forward to working with you through the NVIC Advocacy Portal to help you protect vaccine informed consent rights in your state in 2021 and beyond.

EcoHealth Alliance Gets Big Bucks for Risky Virus Research

Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance, is a top scientific collaborator, grant writer and spokesperson for virus hunters and gain-of-function/dual-use researchers, in labs both military and civilian.

Daszak works with dozens of high-containment laboratories around the world that collect pathogens and use genetic engineering and synthetic biology to make them more infectious, contagious, lethal or drug-resistant. These include labs controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense, in countries in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

Many of these labs are staffed by former biological weapons scientists. (See Arms Watch’s reports.1) Before the Biological Weapons Convention was ratified, this research was called what it is: biological weapons research. Now, it’s euphemistically called gain-of-function or dual-use research.

Gain-of-function research to alter coronaviruses for the infection of humans2 goes back to 1999 or earlier,3 years before the first novel coronavirus outbreak. On behalf of the U.S. government, often the military, Daszak scours the globe for animal pathogens and brings them back to the lab to be catalogued, investigated and manipulated.

Daszak and others justify their research this way: If/When an outbreak of a new virus occurs, they can compare it to the ones in their labs, and maybe glean how the novel virus emerged. A recent Wired magazine article4 quoting Daszak described how a virus collected in 2012 was found to be a 96% match to SARS-CoV-2 in 2020:

“The search for the source of SARS – which killed more than 770 people two decades ago – has given us a headstart for the current hunt.

Wearing hazmat suits and equipped with mist nets, a team from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, together with the ecologist and president of EcoHealth Alliance Peter Daszak, ventured into limestone caves to collect faeces and blood samples from thousands of roosting bats before testing them for novel coronaviruses in the lab.

‘At the time, we were looking for SARS-related viruses, and this one was 20 percent different,’ says Daszak. ‘We thought it’s interesting, but not high-risk. So we didn’t do anything about it and put it in the freezer.’

The group has found around 500 bat-borne viruses in China over the last 16 years, but only flagged those that most resembled SARS to the authorities – a lack of funding meant they couldn’t further investigate the virus strain now known to be 96 percent genetically similar to the virus that causes Covid-19.”

Interesting though that story is, it fails to explain how SARS-CoV-2 evolved. Some scientists say it would take 50 years5 for RaTG13 to turn into SARS-CoV-2. Others propose theories6 on how the virus might have evolved so quickly, yet still suspect that it escaped from the Wuhan lab.

Certainly, to learn that the closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 has been in the care of the gain-of-function researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for seven years does nothing to allay suspicions that the virus infected humans only after being tinkered with in a lab.7

Still, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is going all-in on virus hunting. The institute just announced a five-year, $82-million8 investment in a new global network of Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases, including gain-of-function experiments to “determine what genetic or other changes make [animal] pathogens capable of infecting humans.”

Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance will receive $7.5 million9 from this grant. This is on top of $100.9 million10 that EcoHealth Alliance has received in government grants and contracts since 2003. (What was that Daszak said about how “a lack of funding meant they couldn’t further investigate the virus strain now known to be 96-percent genetically similar to the virus that causes Covid-19”11)?

Critics12 of virus hunting say scientists like Daszak could make a greater contribution to human health by going after the viruses that commonly infect humans, not the ones that never have. According to a 2018 Smithsonian Magazine report:13

“Not everyone thinks that discovering viruses and their hotspots is the best way to prevent pandemics. Dr. Robert B. Tesh, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, says we don’t understand enough about zoonotic viruses to create predictive models. ‘A lot of the stuff they produce is hype. … It’s more PR than science.'”

Daszak’s research might be more hype14 and public relations than science, but the Department of Homeland Security’s National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) has chosen to rely on it. NBIC gave Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance a $2.2-million15 contract (2016-2019) to create a “Ground Truth Network”16 of “subject matter experts” who could provide “contextual information pertaining to biological events.”

The context17 Daszak invariably provides is a compelling one. Destruction of forests and other encroachments on wildlife habitats, especially the hunting of wild animals and the sale of live animals in wet markets, is forcing humans and animals into uncomfortable proximity. This is bad for vulnerable and endangered species, as well as for humans who are at increasing risk for contracting novel zoonotic diseases.

Who isn’t shocked and appalled to learn that people eat bats, or that marvelously strange and adorable animals you’ve never heard of ? pangolins, civet cats ? have had their habitats destroyed and are now being sold for meat at live animal markets? Daszak’s framing of the issue ? what has come to be known as the One Health approach ? has been heartily embraced by the U.S. military.

But what if the stories being spun by Daszak and his fellow government-supported subject matter experts aren’t supported by the evidence? Let’s look at EcoHealth Alliance’s story about Ebola and bushmeat.

False Narrative, Tragic Outcomes

From 2011 to 2014, Ecohealth Alliance had a $164,480 purchase order contract from the Centers for Disease Control in Pittsburgh for “Bushmeat.” No more information than that is available on that contract (HHSD2002011M41641P18), but the money likely funded a paper Daszak and his colleagues published in 2012.

The 2012 paper,19 “Zoonotic Viruses Associated with Illegally Imported Wildlife Products,” was used in August 2014, at the height of the West African Ebola pandemic, as the basis for a Newsweek article titled, “Smuggled Bushmeat Is Ebola’s Back Door to America.”20

The article, which quoted an EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson, spread a false (not to mention racist and xenophobic) narrative, one that subsequently would be thoroughly debunked,21 that bushmeat smuggled to the U.S. from Africa could transmit Ebola to Americans.

In January 2015, a meeting of the UK Bushmeat Working Group convened. The group countered Daszak’s misinformation with the facts, in an article titled, “Ebola and Bushmeat: Myth and Reality.”22 The article stated:

“As the Ebola virus can remain viable in untreated carcasses for up to 3-4 days, there is a risk of transporting it to bushmeat markets (although there is no evidence of this to date).

However, the risk of transmitting Ebola in bushmeat overseas to Europe or the USA is extremely low, given the total travel time and the fact that these carcasses are usually smoked (which probably inactivates the virus). The risk of spread to new areas lies with the movement of infected people, not infected meat.”

Tragically, the misinformation about bushmeat as a primary cause of Ebola transmission had already been communicated to West Africans in the midst of the crisis, through international health organizations, including Daszak’s funder,23 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Daszak’s misinformation campaign overshadowed the truth — that the only way Ebola was actually being transmitted during the pandemic was via contact with the bodily fluids of people sick with Ebola, or with their corpses.

Perpetuating Mythical Theories

The SARS pandemic is another instance where Daszak’s theories didn’t pan out. It is commonly accepted that the SARS pandemic began in 2002,24 when humans caught a bat virus from civet cats at a wet market in Guangdong, China. But Daszak and his collaborators admit they have no evidence to explain how the virus leapt from bats to civets to humans.

SARS-CoV was found in civets at the Guangdong wet market, but civets aren’t the natural reservoir of this virus. Bats are. Only the civets at the market — and no farm-raised or wild civets — carried the virus. None of the animal traders handling the civets at the market had SARS.

When Daszak and his collaborators at the WIV25 searched the cave in Yunnan for strains of coronavirus similar to human versions, no single bat actually had SARS. Genetic pieces of the various strains would have to be recombined to make up the human version. Adding to the confusion, Yunnan is about 1,000 kilometers from Guangdong.

So, how did viruses from bats in Yunnan combine to become deadly to humans, and then travel to civets and people in Guangdong, without causing any illnesses along the way during this 1,000 kilometer trip? No one knows. Just like no one knows how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, leapt from bats to pangolins to humans.

(The most recent study, “Broad host range of SARS-CoV-2 predicted by comparative and structural analysis of ACE2 in vertebrates”26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,27 showed that the SARS-CoV-2, which infects human cells through binding of the viral Spike protein to ACE2, has a “very high” binding affinity to ACE2 in “Old World” monkeys apes, and humans.

But in bats, the binding affinity is “low” and in pangolins it is “very low.” The authors also noted that “neither experimental infection nor in vitro infection with SARS-CoV-2 has been reported for pangolins.”)

Daszak continues to tell his bat-origin story,28 but the science doesn’t back it up. That ? along with the fact that dozens of labs conduct “gain-of-function”29 research on bat coronaviruses and there are troubling safety issues30 at these labs ? is why the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is investigating the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a lab.

Inquiring Minds at the NIH Want to Know

On July 8, the NIH sent a letter31 to Daszak asking EcoHealth Alliance to arrange for an inspection of the WIV by an outside team that would examine the facility’s lab and records “with specific attention to addressing the question of whether WIV staff had SARS-CoV-2 in their possession prior to December 2019.”

The WIV and the Wuhan University School of Public Health are listed as subcontractors for EcoHealth Alliance under a $3.7-million NIH grant32 titled, “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”

The two institutions also worked as collaborators under another $2.6-million grant,33 “Risk of Viral Emergence from Bats,” and under EcoHealth Alliance’s largest single source of funding, a $44.2 million sub-grant34 from the University of California at Davis for the PREDICT project (2015-2020).

It’s the $44.2-million PREDICT grant that EcoHealth Alliance used to fund35 the gain-of-function experiment by WIV scientist Zhengli Shi and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Ralph Baric.36

Shi and Baric used genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create a “new bat SARS-like virus … that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans.” Daszak described the work being done by Shi and Baric in a 2019 interview:37

“You can manipulate them [coronaviruses] in the lab pretty easily. Spike protein drives a lot of what happens with the coronavirus, zoonotic risk. So, you can get the sequence, you can build the protein, and we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this. Insert it into a backbone of another virus, and do some work in the lab.”

The work, “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence,”38 published in Nature in 2015 during the NIH’s moratorium39 on gain-of-function research, was grandfathered in because it was initiated before the moratorium (officially called the U.S. Government Deliberative Process Research Funding Pause on Selected Gain-of-Function Research Involving Influenza, MERS and SARS Viruses), and because the request by Shi and Baric to continue their research during the moratorium was approved by the NIH.

As a condition of publication, Nature, like most scientific journals, requires40 authors to submit new DNA and RNA sequences to GenBank, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information Database. Yet the new SARS-like virus Shi and Baric created wasn’t deposited41 in GenBank until May 2020.

Why Stop With Wuhan?

NIH is right to require that the WIV’s lab and records be opened to outside inspectors. But why is the government focusing on just one of EcoHealth Alliance’s projects, when the organization has received $100.9 million42 in grants, primarily from the Department of Defense, to sample, store and study bat coronaviruses at labs around the world?

Coronaviruses, both those that have been collected from animals and those that have been created through genetic engineering and synthetic biology, at all of these labs should be compared with SARS-CoV-2.

Daszak’s collaborators working under contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aren’t allowed to conduct gain-of-function research unless specifically approved to do so by the Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO) committee. This committee was set up as a condition for lifting43 the 2014-2017 moratorium on gain-of-function research.

The P3CO committee operates in secret. Not even a membership list has been released. The only information provided to the public is that Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec44 appointed HHS Senior Science Advisor Christian Hassell45 as its chair.

It’s time to open the records of the PC3O committee’s deliberations and decisions to examine all gain-of-function research on coronaviruses. And every lab manipulating these viruses should have their coronaviruses compared to SARS-CoV-2.

The Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for its Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (now called the Biological Threat Reduction Program) isn’t supposed to fund gain-of-function (what they call “dual-use”46) research at all.

It’s time to determine whether this prohibition on “dual-use” funding has been adhered to, especially in light of the investments the Pentagon is making across the globe in the construction of new laboratories for the “consolidation and securing of pathogens.” DTRA’s mission was to dismantle the biological weapons programs of hostile or destabilized countries.

Instead it is being used to develop new biological weapons programs in dozens of countries around the world.

Even if these programs are purely defensive, they proliferate, around the globe, pathogens with pandemic potential, even though it’s been difficult to keep these dangerous germs under control here in the U.S. (See “The Global Proliferation of High-Containment Biological Laboratories: Understanding the Phenomenon and Its Implications,”47 and the Government Accountability Office’s reports, “Biological Select Agents and Toxins: Actions Needed to Improve Management of DOD’s Biosafety and Biosecurity Program,”48 and “High-containment Laboratories: Comprehensive and Up-to-Date Policies and Stronger Oversight Mechanisms Needed to Improve Safety”49).

EcoHealth’s Tentacles Reach Far and Wide

EcoHealth Alliance is very much involved in the Pentagon’s proliferation of high-containment biological laboratories. It is conducting DTRA-funded work in the following countries, which are all participants in the Pentagon’s Biological Threat Reduction Program.50

Tanzania — In Tanzania, a country that is considered only “partly free,”51 which has a history of foreign medical experimentation52 and which didn’t ratify the Biological Weapons Convention53 until 2019, EcoHealth Alliance has a $5-million Pentagon contract,54 “Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever: Reducing an Emerging Health Threat in Tanzania.”

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)55 is a tick-borne disease, originally only infecting animals, that was discovered by Ottis and Calista Causey while working for the Rockefeller Foundation in Nigeria. There was only ever one case56 of CCHF in Tanzania, and that was in 1986.

Gain-of-function research57 on CCHF is being conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) to determine the “mechanisms of CCHF transmission including development of CCHF tick and animal infection methods and CCHF tick-animal transmission models.” (The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility will take over the mission of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and become the lead facility for Foreign Animal Disease research.)

The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Disease team’s CCHF Virus Surveillance Project58 is investigating “the interface between tick vectors, livestock and pastoralist and resource-poor farming communities in Tanzania” as well as the disease’s “molecular pathogenesis.”

Tanzania is the origin of chikungunya,59 a mosquito-borne virus that the U.S. has long cultivated60 as a potential biological weapon. according to a patent61 held by the University of Texas for a “chimeric” chikungunya virus created through genetic engineering and synthetic biology:

“The 39 documented laboratory infections reported by HHS in 1981 strongly suggest that Chikungunya virus is infectious via aerosol route. Chikungunya virus was being weaponized by the U.S. Army army when the offensive program was terminated.”

Tanzania is one62 of the countries where bat coronaviruses were collected for the PREDICT63 project. Tanzania has one Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) laboratory, the privately owned Ifakara Health Institute,64 which is partnering with PREDICT65 to launch “concurrent surveillance of wildlife and people in at-risk areas for viral spillover and spread.”

South Africa — In South Africa, which had a notorious apartheid-era biological weapons program,66 EcoHealth Alliance has a $5-million Pentagon contract67 (2019-2024), “Reducing the Threat of Rift Valley Fever Through Ecology, Epidemiology and Socio-economics.” This is on top of a $4.9-million grant68 (2014-2019), “Understanding Rift Valley Fever in the Republic of South Africa.”

The last human outbreak69 of Rift Valley Fever in South Africa occurred in 2010, when the government reported 237 confirmed cases, including 26 deaths from nine provinces. But there were also a few cases70 in 2018 among farmworkers who slaughtered infected animals during an outbreak in livestock. The fever can spread from animals to humans if they come into contact with the blood and other body fluids of an infected animal.

The U.S. military has conducted offensive biological weapons research71 on Rift Valley Fever. South Africa’s biological weapons program72 included the weaponization of Rift Valley Fever virus obtained from the U.S. government.

Known as Project Coast, South Africa’s biological weapons program murdered anti-apartheid activists with narcotics and poisons, and attempted a genocide of the black majority by spreading AIDS73 and by developing pathogens and vaccines74 that would selectively attack black people with illness, death and infertility.

Dr. Wouter Basson,75 the project’s top scientist, told Pretoria High Court in South Africa that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency threatened him with death, presumably to prevent him from revealing the deep connections between Project Coast and the U.S., which had forced President F. W. de Klerk to shut down the project and destroy its records.

Basson named the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as his source of eight shipments76 of Ebola, Marburg and Rift Valley viruses, but claimed that he had obtained the viruses by posing as a medical researcher and hiding his affiliation with the South African Defense Forces.

Surveys of bats in South Africa found no evidence77 of bats being natural carriers of Rift Valley Fever virus, but experiments have shown that bats can be infected78 with it in a laboratory setting.

A bat coronavirus collected79 in South Africa in 2011 was thought to be the closest known relative of the MERS-CoV virus that emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012, until a 100-percent match for MERS-CoV was detected by Daszak and his colleagues in viral RNA fragments from an Egyptian tomb bat80 found near the home of one of the first MERS victims in Saudi Arabia.

Liberia — In Liberia, which didn’t ratify the Biological Weapons Convention until 2016,81 EcoHealth Alliance has a $4.91-million82 Pentagon contract,83 “Reducing the Threat from High-risk Pathogens Causing Febrile Illness in Liberia.” Febrile illnesses include Ebola, which has been the subject of some of the most controversial dual-use research.84

While the U.S. has a sordid history of biological weapons experimentation on its own people — with conscientious objectors,85 military “volunteers,”86 and the general public87 as frequent subjects — there were some biological weapons tests88 the Department of Defense considered too unethical to perform within the continental U.S. Those tests were conducted in other countries, including Liberia.89

Likewise, mirroring medical experimentation90 on African Americans, there is a history of colonial medical experimentation in Liberia going back to 1926 when the Firestone91 tire company financed surveys of local diseases they feared could curtail the profitability of their rubber plantations.

More recently, a failed Pentagon-funded Ebola drug trial92 caused many Liberians to suspect that the subsequent Ebola outbreak was the fault of Tekmira, the pharmaceutical company that created TKM-100802. Doubt surrounded the official story, promoted93 by Daszak, that the West African Ebola outbreak happened because bats flew in with the Ebola Zaire virus from 2,500 miles away.

In January 2014, the Phase I trial94 for TKM-100802 was launched, but put on clinical hold by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration due to high cytokine release in participants. In a dose-escalation, healthy volunteer study, one (of two) participants dosed at the highest level of 0·5 mg/kg experienced cytokine release syndrome.95

Cytokine release syndrome96 is a pro-inflammatory reaction that occurs when activated lymphocytes and/or myeloid cells release soluble immune mediators following administration of certain therapeutic agents, especially monoclonal antibodies. Onset can be rapid (within hours of administration) and can be life-threatening.

Ultimately, TKM-100802 proved useless97 for Ebola patients, but the Pentagon’s $140-million98 investment, and the boost99 Tekmira’s stock experienced on speculation that Ebola would soon spawn the next $1-billion drug,100 made many investors rich.

Suspicions were raised because the TKM-100802 Phase I trial on healthy volunteers began in January 2014, before101 the first cases of the Ebola outbreak in March 2014.

Later, the World Health Organization’s Pierre Formenty traced the first case102 back to late December 2013, in Meliandou, Guinea. There, 50 meters from the home of patient zero, another researcher, Fabian Leendertz,103 found DNA fragments that matched the Angolan free-tailed bat, a species known to survive experimental infections with Ebola.

Then, Daszak’s EcoHealth team found viral RNA fragments104 of Ebola Zaire in a greater long-fingered bat, captured in 2016 in Liberia’s Sanniquellie-Mahn District, which borders Guinea. There was a 1982 article105 in Annals of Virology in which a trio of Germans reported finding Ebola antibodies in 26 of 433 Liberians (6%). Bats aren’t the only place to look for Ebola.

There’s a BSL-4 lab that was handling Zaire Ebola before the pandemic in Kenema, Sierra Leone. This is where international law attorney Francis Boyle,106 a drafter of the U.S. Biological Weapons and Anti-Terrorism Act passed into law in 1981, believes the pandemic originated.

There’s also Liberia’s Monkey Island. As the Washington Post reported,107 that’s where 66 chimpanzees have been since 2004, when they were abandoned by the American scientists at the Liberian labs of the New York Blood Center. From 1974 to 2004, the New York Blood Center captured wild chimps, engaged them in medical experimentation and then released them back into the jungle in a project known as Vilab II108 (Virology Lab II), which maintained a colony of 200 chimps.

Vilab II was built from the remnants of the Liberian Institute of Tropical Medicine. Built by Firestone in 1946, the Liberian Institute of Tropical Medicine had once employed 60 scientists, but by 1974, medical doctor Earl Reber109 was there alone with eight chimps. The roots of the Liberian Institute of Tropical Medicine go back to the research begun in 1926 by Harvard Department of Tropical Medicine chief Richard Pearson Strong.

Virus hunters like Daszak should have a keen interest in a population of chimpanzees that, for nearly 100 years, has been caught, injected with viruses and then released back into the wild, especially considering the work of the researchers who handled the chimps.

The New York Blood Center is at the center of a theory110 on the origin of HIV/AIDS, that it came from a contaminated Hepatitis B vaccine the center distributed to gay men from 1978-1981. The New York Blood Center also tested111 its vaccine on Liberians.

Richard Pearson Strong112 is infamous for killing 13 men when he infected a group of 24 inmates of Manila’s Bilibid Prison with plague through a contaminated cholera vaccine. That was prior to his work113 in Liberia, which is only now being explored, and also involved experiments with humans as well as chimpanzees.

Georgia — EcoHealth Alliance has a $6.5-million Pentagon grant114 for “Understanding the Risk of Bat-borne Zoonotic Disease Emergence In Western Asia” (2017-2022).

Arms Watch115 reports that this grant involves genetic studies on coronaviruses in 5,000 bats collected in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Jordan. The studies were conducted at the Lugar Center, a $161-million Pentagon-funded biolaboratory in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. Russia claims116 the Georgia lab is the site of a U.S. biological weapons program.

According to USASpending.gov,117 EcoHealth Alliance has received $2.88 million in grants for work in Georgia. The Lugar Center is one of the labs that hosts EcoHealth Alliance’s Western Asia Bat Research Network.118

Malaysia — In Malaysia, which is only now in the process of creating a legislative framework119 for enforcing the Biological Weapons Convention, EcoHealth Alliance had a $1.6-million Pentagon grant120 (2017-2019) for “Serological Biosurveillance for Spillover of Henipaviruses and Filoviruses at Agricultural and Hunting Human Animal Interfaces in Peninsular Malaysia.”

There are no known cases of filovirus infections in humans in Malaysia. But Malaysia is the origin of the Nipah virus,121 first recognized in 1999, during an outbreak among farmers and farmworkers in factory farms and slaughterhouses producing pork.

The virus spread to Singapore. In all, there were 265 cases of acute encephalitis with 105 deaths, and the billion-dollar pig-farming industry nearly collapsed. No new outbreaks have been reported in Malaysia since 1999.

Nipah virus, a zoonotic pathogen for which no treatments exist, is the inspiration for the film “Contagion.”122 The virus can only be experimented on in BSL-4 laboratories. The National Bio and Agro-Defence Facility in Kansas will be the first biocontainment facility123 in the U.S. where research on Nipah and Ebola (a filovirus) can be conducted on livestock.

In 2019, Nipah Malaysia was among the deadly virus strains shipped124 from Canada’s National Microbiology Lab to the WIV. Henipaviruses,125 in the paramyxovirus family, were the first emerging diseases linked to bats.

In June 2012, in the same Chinese cave126 (actually an old copper mine where workers doing cleanup had become sick and died) in which Daszak’s WIV colleagues found SARS-CoV-2’s most closely related coronavirus, another frequent collaborator of Daszak’s, Zhiqiang Wu of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, found a new henipavirus-like pathogen in a rat, naming it the “Mojiang paramyxovirus,”127 after the county in Yunnan province where it was found.

Malaysia was the planned site of a BSL-4 laboratory run by the pharmaceutical company Emergent Biosolutions128 for the production of a halal version of the BioThrax vaccine. But that project failed.129

In addition to the Pentagon funding, Dazsak obtained $1.7 million in grants130 (2002-2005) from NIH’s Fogarty International Center for “Anthropogenic Change & Emerging Zoonotic Paramyxoviruses.” In 2012-2014, Daszak had a $569,700 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Service for “Development of a Great Ape Health Unit in Sabah, Malaysia.”

Daszak has a new National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases grant,131 “Understanding Risk of Zoonotic Virus Emergence in EID Hotspots of Southeast Asia,” for $1.5 million (2020). The grant is for an “Emerging Infectious Diseases – South East Asia Research Collaboration Hub (EID-SEARCH)” that “brings leaders in emerging disease research from the U.S., Thailand, Singapore and the three major Malaysian administrative regions together to build an early warning system to safeguard against pandemic disease threats. This team will identify novel viruses from Southeast Asian wildlife [and] characterize their capacity to infect and cause illness in people …”

Other Pentagon Contracts

EcoHealth Alliance had a $1-million Pentagon contract132 (2017-2019) for an Inbound Bio-event Information System (IBIS), “a web-based application and early warning system for global infectious disease bio-events that threaten the U.S. via international transportation networks.”

EcoHealth Alliance also had another $4.5-million Pentagon contract (HDTRA115C0041133) for 2015-2017. No other information is available on this contract other than that it is for “Applied Research/Exploratory Development” in the “Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology).”

Department of Homeland Security Contracts — EcoHealth Alliance has a $566,300 contract (2019-2021) with the Department of Homeland Security for the Rapid Evaluation of Pathogens to Prevent Epidemics in Livestock (REPEL) project134 “to apply biological-based, pathogen agnostic medical countermeasure vaccine and diagnostic platforms to develop foreign animal and emerging zoonotic livestock disease vaccines.”

Department of Health and Human Services Funding — Daszak obtained a $300,000-grant135 in 2012 from NIH’s Fogarty International Center for research on “Comparative Spillover Dynamics of Avian Influenza In Endemic Countries.” While most of the research listed in the “results” section of the grant are flu-related, it also includes the WIV’s paper,136 “Isolation and Characterization of a Bat SARS-like Coronavirus that Uses the ACE2 Receptor.”137

Daszak was given $3.7 million in grants138 (2002-2012) from NIH’s Fogarty International Center for “The Ecology, Emergence And Pandemic Potential of Nipah Virus in Bangladesh.”

The grants Daszak used to support the work of the WIV were a $3.7-million grant139 (2014-2020) “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,” and a $2.6-million grant140 (2008-2012) “Risk of Viral Emergence From Bats,” each from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Funding

In Thailand, EcoHealth Alliance has a $647,200-grant141 for “One Health Workforce – Next Generation” (2019-2020).

Alexis Baden-Mayer is political director for the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). www.organicconsumers.org To keep up with OCA’s news and alerts, sign up here.

‘Gain-of-Function’ Experiments Lie at Root of the Pandemic

“Gain-of-function” studies are, according to the U.S. Department Health and Human Services,1 research that involves increasing the capacity of a pathogen to cause illness. The method is controversial because it can also risk new viruses leaking out of laboratories and into the population.

In the period 2014 to 2018, this type of research was prohibited in the U.S., but in December 2017, American authorities announced that these kinds of studies would again be allowed.2,3

Despite an ongoing cover-up by government authorities, the biotech industry, the military industrial complex and the mass media, there is growing scientific consensus4 that the COVID-19 virus was created and (most likely accidentally) leaked from a dual-use military/civilian lab5 in Wuhan, China.

The ensuing pandemic (currently with 14 million infected and 585,000 dead,6 which has precipitated a global economic meltdown) is the predictable, yet preventable, collateral damage of a reckless, decades-long and accident-prone biodefense/biowarfare program carried out by the U.S., China, Russia and other highly industrialized and militarized nations.

Scientists Are Weaponizing Viruses

Unbeknownst to the public, a shadowy international network of thousands of virologists, gene engineers, military scientists and biotech entrepreneurs are weaponizing viruses and microorganisms in civilian and military labs under the euphemism of gain-of-function research. They hide behind the guise of “biodefense” and “biomedicine.”

But as investigative reporter and bioweapons expert Sam Husseini writes,7 gain-of-function/biowarfare scientists in labs such as Wuhan, China or Fort Detrick, Maryland, are deliberately and recklessly evading international law:

“Governments that participate in such biological weapon research generally distinguish between ‘biowarfare’ and ‘biodefense,’ as if to paint such ‘defense’ programs as necessary. But this is rhetorical sleight-of-hand; the two concepts are largely indistinguishable.

‘Biodefense’ implies tacit biowarfare, breeding more dangerous pathogens for the alleged purpose of finding a way to fight them. While this work appears to have succeeded in creating deadly and infectious agents, including deadlier flu strains, such ‘defense’ research is impotent in its ability to defend us from this pandemic.”

A growing arsenal of Frankenstein viruses and microorganisms have been created, despite U.S. and international laws supposedly banning biowarfare weapons and experimentation.8 A disturbing number of these so-called “dual-use” biowarfare/biodefense labs have experienced leaks,9 accidents, thefts and even deliberate releases like the 2001 anthrax attacks over the past three decades.

The creation of COVID-19, engineered by repeatedly “passaging” a bat virus through animal and human cells and/or genetic engineering or splicing specific genetic sequences into the virus, violated a ban on gain-of-function experiments10 called for by many of the world’s top scientists.11

These experiments also violated the precautionary principle of a Global Biowarfare Convention,12 designed to prevent the accidental or deliberate release of biological weapons of mass destruction.

Was COVID-19 Caused by a Lab Leak?

Despite the 24/7 story — that the virus jumped accidentally from bats into humans — relentlessly peddled by the Chinese government, the World Health Organization (which was supposedly monitoring the Wuhan Lab), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided funding for the Wuhan gain-of-function experiments, global military and intelligence agencies, government- and corporate-funded entities such as the EcoHealth Alliance and the mass media, there is mounting evidence that COVID-19 was caused not by an accident in nature but by a lab escape or leak.

Fortunately, some media outlets aren’t afraid to question this carefully orchestrated narrative. Here are a few examples:

GM Watch, “Lab Escape Theory of SARS-CoV-2 Origin Gaining Scientific Support,” May 28, 202013

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, “Did the SARS-CoV-2 Virus Arise from a Bat Coronavirus Research Program in a Chinese Laboratory? Very Possibly,” June 4, 202014

The Times (UK), “Revealed: Seven-Year Coronavirus Trail from Mine Deaths to a Wuhan Lab,” July 4, 202015

Newsweek, “Scientists Shouldn’t Rule Out Lab As Source of Coronavirus, New Study Says,” May 17, 202016

Independent Science News, “The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin,” June 2, 202017

Taiwan News, “Norwegian virologist claims coronavirus is ‘chimera’ Made in Chinese Lab,” June 10, 202018

Scientists Manipulate Bat Coronavirus to Infect Human Cells

Gain-of-function experiments on bat viruses aren’t new. Going back decades, these types of experiments have been publicly documented in a series of peer-reviewed scientific papers co-authored by the director of the Wuhan lab, Dr. Zhengli Shi, popularly known as the “Bat Woman.”

Published papers reveal that researchers have been collecting samples and carrying out experiments to manipulate the bat coronavirus so that it can readily infect human cells.

For example, in a 2008 article in the Journal of Virology,19 Zi Sheng Li and other scientists report on how Chinese and U.S. scientists have genetically engineered SARS-like viruses from horseshoe bats, to enable the viruses to gain entry into human cells.

These highly controversial gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab were funded in large part by the NIH, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, under the direction20 of Dr. Anthony Fauci) and the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, led by Peter Daszak, who’s become a ubiquitous spokesperson for the “it evolved in nature and jumped to humans” story.21

Fauci, who since 1984 has held government positions under six presidents, both Republican and Democrat, has been a strong advocate for U.S. government funding of gain-of-function experimentation.

Fauci claims, with little or no justification, that risky gain-of-function research can help develop new vaccines for pandemics, despite the fact that 30 years of these dangerous experiments have not delivered any tangible benefits, such as cures or safe vaccines.

In 2014, following a series of lab accidents, and responding to a petition22 signed by more than 300 global scientists, a temporary, albeit partial “pause” on funding gain-of-function experiments was declared in the U.S.23 Exemptions to this “pause,” eventually reviewed by a secret government panel, were nonetheless allowed to go forward.

The ban was lifted in 2017. Yet between 2014 and 2016, the NIH and Fauci-led NIAID continued funding gain-of-function research overseas at the Wuhan lab, via Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.

Not surprisingly both Fauchi and Daszak have been staunch defenders of the official Chinese government story that the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) “naturally” evolved from bats and/or other host species to infect humans.

Gain-of-Function Research Could Seed a Pandemic

In 2017, the “funding pause” on risky gain-of-function projects was officially reversed.24 A government panel was instituted to review each research project. Only those lab experiments that were supposedly 1) scientifically sound; 2) conducted in a high-security lab; 3) intended to produce knowledge that benefits humans; and 4) without a safer alternative, would be funded.

As the New York Times reported,25 many scientists protested the decision, correctly pointing out that gain-of-function researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.

Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University, told the Times that he applauded the requirement for review panels.26 However, he said the NIH should have created clearer minimum safety standards and a mandate that the benefits “outweigh” the risks instead of merely “justifying” them.

Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health, told the Times that recent disease-enhancing experiments “have given us some modest scientific knowledge and done almost nothing to improve our preparedness for pandemics, and yet risked creating an accidental pandemic.”27 Lipsitch said hoped the panels would turn down such work.

Though the ban was overturned in December 2017, it wasn’t until February 2019 — when news of the first approved studies was leaked to Science Magazine28 — that the public learned that the reviews of grant proposals involving gain-of-function research — funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars — were to be conducted in secret.

Names of the expert-panel members have been kept secret, along with the panel’s reviews of gain-of-function and other virus and pathogen experiment proposals.

US Government Funds Risky, Secret Experiments

The idea of the U.S. government, under any administration, funding dangerous experiments29 it doesn’t want you to know about became a literal public relations time bomb in January 2020, when the emergence of a new, highly contagious virus in China hit the news.

For damage control, the White House and the NIH convened a meeting of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB),30 the panel that had previously written the rules for reviewing gain-of-function research, with the intent of getting the NSABB on board with keeping everything secret.

At that meeting, the man who chairs the committee that decides which gain-of-function research can be funded by the government revealed himself.

Christian Hassell, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense, Senior Science Adviser to the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response — and chair of the secret NSABB gain-of-function risk review committee — acted as a government spokesperson.

Hassell cautioned that disclosing the names of the government (likely including military) scientists who sat on his committee could “chill” people from serving. He claimed that the administration was “committed to enhancing transparency,” but warned that this would probably require new action by Congress.

Time for a Permanent Ban on Lab Creation of Deadly Viruses

It’s time for a permanent ban on the lab creation of deadly viruses. Newsweek recently reported some of the details31 relating to the funding for scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses:

“In 2019, with the backing of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.”

In April 2020, NIH aid to Wuhan for gain-of-function research was cut off32 as COVID-19 ravaged the globe. EcoHealth Alliance President Daszak said that he and his team were merely studying how coronaviruses spread from bats to humans and claimed not to understand the rationale behind the decision to yank his grant.

But Daszak and his collaborators at the Wuhan Institute of Virology33 weren’t just studying how coronavirus spread from bats to humans, they were actually making coronavirus capable of spreading from bats to humans. They were the first to create34 a bat coronavirus capable of directly infecting humans (rather than first needing to evolve in an intermediate animal host).

EcoHealth Alliance has since funded additional gain-of-function research that Daszak has championed — without acknowledging his connection. Gain-of-function research funded by EcoHealth Alliance included the 2015 coronavirus-SARS chimaera, created by a team that included the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This research has been widely criticized35 by fellow scientists.

In 2015, a team of researchers, including scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus36 from a virus called SHC014, which is found in horseshoe bats in China, and a virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

Their chimaera infected human airway cells, proving that the surface protein of SHC014 had the necessary structure to bind to a key receptor on the cells and to infect them.

Concerned Scientists Sounded the Alarms

In 2015, Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, told Nature magazine37 that researchers had created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory.” Wain-Hobson disapproved of the study because it provided little benefit and revealed little about the risk that the wild SHC014 virus in bats posed to humans.

Richard Ebright, a biodefense expert from Rutgers University, spoke out about the same research, saying, “The only impact of this work is the creation, in a lab, of a new, non-natural risk.” But Daszak spoke out in favor of the research, saying the study’s findings “move this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger.”

Daszak’s statement is odd, as it seems obvious that it was the research itself that made the virus a clear and present danger, and that couldn’t be what he meant. Nature failed to mention that EcoHealth Alliance had funded the research with a U.S. grant.38

Even the creators of the coronavirus-SARS chimaera questioned the wisdom of tinkering with viruses to make them more dangerous to humans. As Nature reported, in their paper the study authors conceded that funders may think twice about allowing such experiments in the future.

“Scientific review panels may deem similar studies building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains too risky to pursue,” they write, adding that discussion is needed as to “whether these types of chimeric virus studies warrant further investigation versus the inherent risks involved.”

It’s time for the U.S. government, and all the governments of the world, to demonstrate their compliance with a global ban on chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, dropping the dangerous pretense that lab-created viruses and microorganisms constitute valid biomedical and biodefense research.

We need a total U.S. and global ban on dangerous gain-of-function experimentation, and we need it now, before the next pandemic escapes or is deliberately released. Please join thousands of other concerned citizens and sign our petition here.

Ronnie Cummins is co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Regeneration International, and the author of “Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Food, Farming, Climate and a Green New Deal.” Alexis Baden-Mayer is OCA’s political director. To keep up with OCA’s news and alerts, sign up here.

The End of Fluoridation Is in Sight

Water fluoridation is one of the biggest public health failures of the 20th century. Despite solid scientific evidence of harm, politics and public relations have kept the practice alive.

Proponents, including the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Oral Health Division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have spent millions of dollars on promotion and public relations to sell fluoridation using half-truths, convincing talking points, and diversions. 

But fluoridation is also one of the most widely rejected health interventions on Earth, with 95% of the world’s population consuming water from systems that are not fluoridated. 

For the past decade, the trend has moved in the direction of communities ending the practice, not starting it. And now, due to an abundance of new research, a landmark lawsuit and the sustained advocacy and education efforts of the Fluoride Action Network and its supporters like you, the practice could be on the brink of extinction.

The Evidence of Harm Is Too Great To Be Ignored

All tissues are important, but the most important organ to protect during fetal and infant development is the brain. Damage occurring to this organ during these early stages of life is permanent and cannot be undone later in life. 

The evidence of neurotoxic harm from water fluoridation has been mounting at an unprecedented rate in recent years, and has quickly become the most urgent reason to end the practice as soon as possible. A cavity can easily be filled, but damage to a child’s brain is permanent.

A large body of government-funded research now indicates that fluoride is neurotoxic and is associated with lowered IQ in children and a significant increase in ADHD diagnosis and related behaviors in children at doses experienced in fluoridated communities. Experts in the field have likened the size of the effect to that from lead.

This includes over 200 animal studies showing that prolonged exposure to varying levels of fluoride can damage the brain, 65 human studies linking moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence, three human studies linking fluoride exposure with impaired fetal brain development, and seven Mother-Offspring studies linking fluoride exposure during pregnancy to reduced IQ in offspring. 

Over the past year, we’ve also seen unprecedented new science from Canada and the USA showing fluoride harms the developing brain from exposures due primarily to artificial water fluoridation at the “optimal level.” Several of these high-quality studies were funded by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (formerly the National Institutes of Health).

Strongest Studies Published Over the Past Year

Seven studies published in 2019 and 2020 are among the strongest yet, and are obviously relevant to water fluoridation as they were conducted in communities with what the ADA considers the “optimal level” of fluoride in drinking water. These include:

  1. Green 2019 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s journal on Pediatrics. It reported substantial IQ loss in Canadian children from prenatal exposure to fluoride from water fluoridation.
  2. Riddell 2019 published in Environment International. It found a shocking 284% increase in the prevalence of ADHD among children in fluoridated communities in Canada compared to nonfluoridated ones.
  3. Till 2020 published in Environment International. It reported that children who were bottle-fed in Canadian fluoridated communities lost up to 9 IQ points compared to those in nonfluoridated communities.
  4. Uyghurturk 2020 published in Environmental Health. It found that pregnant women in fluoridated communities in California had significantly higher levels of fluoride in their urine than those in nonfluoridated communities. The levels found in their urine were the same as those found to lower the IQ of the fetus in Green et al, 2019 and Bashash et al, 2017.
  5. Malin 2019 published in Environmental Health. It linked a doubling of symptoms indicative of sleep apnea in adolescents in the U.S. to levels of fluoride in the drinking water. The link between fluoride and sleep disturbances may be through fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland.
  6. Malin 2019 published in Environment International. It reported that exposure to fluoridated water led to a reduction in kidney and liver function among adolescents in the U.S., and suggested those with poorer kidney or liver function may absorb more fluoride bodies. The CDC funded this study.

The claims made by proponents of fluoridation that there is only “one or two studies” finding harm, or that they are only from areas with naturally high fluoride levels, are no longer relevant. The scientific evidence can now be considered overwhelming and undeniable. In fact, the level of evidence that fluoride is neurotoxic now far exceeds the evidence that was in place when lead was banned from gasoline.

A recent review by Danish scientist, Harvard professor and neurotoxicity expert Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc, also concluded that:

“… there is little doubt that developmental neurotoxicity is a serious risk associated with elevated fluoride exposure, whether due to community water fluoridation, natural fluoride release from soil minerals, or tea consumption, especially when the exposure occurs during early development.”

It should come as no surprise then, that a draft systematic review published in 2020 by the National Toxicology Program of human studies of fluoride’s neurotoxicity concluded that fluoride was a “presumed” neurotoxin based on the large number, quality and consistency of brain studies. 

The review identified 149 human studies and 339 animal studies, but did not include the three most recent neurotoxicity-related studies from the York University group (Till 2019; Riddell 2019), or the study showing that women in the U.S. had levels of fluoride in urine high enough to cause damage to the brain of the fetus (Uyghurturk 2020).

While the draft NTP review is equivocal about effects at low exposures, these newest high-quality mother-child studies support a conclusion that artificially fluoridated water causes substantial IQ reductions. This fact was recently echoed in a letter published in Pediatric Research by the co-authors of the JAMA Pediatrics fluoride/IQ study, which said:

“Over the past 75 years, health authorities have declared that community water fluoridation-a practice that reaches over 400 million worldwide-is safe. Yet, studies conducted in North America examining the safety of fluoride exposure in pregnancy were nonexistent.

When a Canadian study reported that higher fluoride exposure in pregnant women was associated with lower IQ scores in young children, critics attacked the methodology of the study and discounted the significance of the results.

Health authorities continued to conclude that fluoride is unequivocally safe, despite four well-conducted studies over the last 3 years consistently linking fluoride exposure in pregnancy with adverse neurodevelopmental effects in offspring …

The tendency to ignore new evidence that does not conform to widespread beliefs impedes the response to early warnings about fluoride as a potential developmental neurotoxin. Evolving evidence should inspire scientists and health authorities to re-evaluate claims about the safety of fluoride, especially for the fetus and infant for whom there is no benefit.”

FAN Leads the Fight Against Neurotoxins

Since 2000, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has been committed to reducing exposure to fluoride, and even with all of the science firmly on our side, we couldn’t wait for legislators and public health officials to cast aside their entrenched dogma in favor of fluoridation and catch up on the science. Instead, we initiated the legal process to end the practice that today affects more than 200 million Americans.

A little-known provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gave us our opportunity. It offers citizens a way to circumvent the corruption and force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prohibit or limit the use of toxic substances. 

Watchdog groups no longer have to convince the EPA of unreasonable risk; they can now have an objective judge decide based on an independent review of the evidence.

We are also laying the foundation for future TSCA challenges by citizens and environmental groups. For example, because of Judge Edward Chen’s ruling to deny the EPA’s motion to dismiss our case, TSCA law will now be interpreted to allow the EPA to be petitioned to regulate single uses of substances, rather all uses, which was the EPA’s position. This change will make it easier for activists to force the EPA to review the risks of specific chemicals used commercially.

While it has been four years since this effort began in November of 2016 — when the Fluoride Action Network, together with a coalition of nonprofits and individual citizens, presented a petition to the EPA to end the deliberate addition of fluoridation chemicals to the public’s drinking water — it has actually taken 20 years of effort by FAN to bring us to this point.

It took the development of our extensive website in the early days. It took the creation of our comprehensive health database (larger than any government had put together on fluoride’s toxicity).

It took countless submissions to government agencies and the translation of many Chinese neurotoxicity studies and much more. And, after much delay due to government shut downs and Covid-19, our day in court finally arrived.

Trial of the Century

The trial began with an opening statement from the attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Connett. He made the succinct but powerful case that fluoride presents a hazard (threat to the brain); that this hazard is a risk at the doses experienced in fluoridated communities; and that it is an unreasonable risk.

The EPA, represented by lawyers from the Department of Defense, argued that establishing fluoride as a neurotoxic hazard requires a systematic review, which they claimed FAN’s experts didn’t perform.

They also argued that the evidence showing harm from fluoride at the levels found in communities that practice fluoridation wasn’t strong enough to yield action from the EPA. Both of these claims would be disproven by FAN’s experts and attorney during the trial.

This was followed by three days of testimony from FAN’s expert witnesses, all independent and leading scientists whose world-class expertise includes fluoride, neurotoxicity and risk assessments, and whose expertise the EPA has relied on in the past on other toxicants like lead and mercury. The witnesses included (click on links to see their declarations and resumes):

Their testimony was followed by the EPA’s witnesses, two of which were experts-for-hire from the corporate consulting firm Exponent, and one was a risk assessment expert from the EPA.

It was revealed that the EPA paid Exponent approximately $350,000 for their testimony, which was focused primarily on claiming that there was insufficient evidence of harm — something they’re known for doing in every trial, no matter who they’re representing or how strong the science is.

One of their witnesses, Dr. Ellen Chang, has a long history of defending and producing systematic reviews for corporate polluters, including for DOW Chemical’s Agent Orange, Monsanto’s glyphosate, 3M’s PFOAs, and pesticides from Syngenta and Croplife. She also worked for the American Chemistry Council, American Petroleum Institute, and the Manganese Interest Group.

Several paragraphs here couldn’t possibly do the in-depth proceedings of the trial justice, or highlight all of the shocking and incredible statements that were made. I would urge you to read our detailed summaries for each of the trial days. 

I would also urge you to visit our TSCA trial overview page, where you can find the basic facts, a timeline of all actions and rulings, links to all of the submissions made by FAN, links to all of the media coverage, and links to the studies we relied upon to make our case. You can also visit our Twitter page, where we provided live tweet coverage of days 3 through 7.

The Judge’s Reaction

After seven days of trial and closing statements from both parties, the judge held off on making a final ruling, but he did make it fairly obvious that he was convinced that FAN fluoride was a neurotoxin and likely posed an unreasonable risk. He said that the EPA had failed to properly assess that risk, and illegitimately turned down FAN’s 2016 petition for TSCA action.

The judge urged the parties to spend the next few weeks discussing the possibility of an amended TSCA petition and assessment by the EPA, or start a new petition and have the EPA conduct a proper review, and leave his final ruling until that is complete. Both parties expressed doubt that such an arrangement would be fruitful, but ultimately agreed to move forward with it and update the court on their progress in the beginning of August. 

We Expect the EPA Could Continue to Delay

We don’t expect the overzealous proponents of the fluoridation, including the EPA, CDC and ADA, to roll over without using every avenue possible to save their credibility by protecting fluoridation. They’ve already proven time and again, they have deep pockets and no shame.

Proponents don’t seem to realize that continued promotion will cause an ever-increasing loss of the public’s trust in the agencies that are meant to protect them. Continuing this practice in the absence of sound science — and investing millions of dollars in PR to cover up that fact — will further erode the public’s trust in public health programs.

Right now, the only thing being protected is a failed policy and the reputation of those who refuse to accept that this program has been a massive failure both ethically and scientifically.

Before the trial the EPA had already intimated that they could appeal a ruling in our favor, and that even if we win the appeal the rulemaking process to end fluoridation’s neurotoxic harm could take up to three years. This would mean tens of thousands more children permanently harmed by fluoridation.

This is why, regardless of the ultimate verdict, FAN will continue to need your support. We have forged this precedent-setting path together. Your support, contributions and sharing of our cause and legal case have played a critical role in making this happen, and we thank you. Whether we win or lose this trial, our important education efforts will have to continue.

Please consider investing in an end to fluoridation by making a tax-deductible donation to our work.

Also, please consider signing-up to receive FAN’s email bulletins and following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. We will keep you informed about the latest fluoride research and news, plus give you opportunities help influence fluoride policy in your area and throughout the world.

New Tools and Resources to Educate Leaders About Neurotoxicity

While FAN is taking the lead in court at the federal and state level, and helping campaigners at the local level to educate decision-makers and public health officials, we need your help to spread this educational campaign to every community, including yours. To make the task easier, we have created a number of new educational materials.

First, is our handout on neurotoxicity. We have both a color version along with a black and white version for cheaper bulk printing, as well as a list of the references for this handout that you can combine to make a nice double-sided handout if you so choose. You can also check out our other handouts here.

Second, FAN’s Research Director, Chris Neurath, filmed a Zoom webinar in which he presented detailed evidence that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxin.

He described the rapidly accumulating peer-reviewed science showing that fluoride lowers the IQ of children and increases their risk of neurobehavioral problems like ADHD. He put those studies into perspective in ways we can all understand.

This video a powerful tool for campaigners and parents looking to learn the science and to share it with decision-makers. Neurath’s presentation is about 50 minutes and includes a 30-minute question and answer session that took place at the end. Click here to access the PowerPoint slides used in this presentation.

Help educate your state-level decision makers about the neurotoxic harm caused by water fluoridation. Use our simple automated email system to send Neurath’s presentation to your state legislators and urge them to introduce a bill next session to end the practice throughout your state: Educate Your Legislators NOW.

FAN has also produced a new video series entitled, “Four Game-Changing Studies,” explaining the science behind fluoridation’s neurotoxicity in four short videos featuring Paul Connett, Ph.D. The shorter format makes the content easier to share on social media and easier for local authorities to digest incrementally.

Reduce Light Pollution to Sleep Soundly and Feel Energized

Our hunter–gatherer ancestors didn’t have LED lights, iPads or street lights ablaze all night. Instead, they were dependent on the sun, the moon and fire for light. Consistent light cycles ensured that circadian rhythms, moods and hormones were in check.

But today, it’s a different story. We’re exposed to bright lights well past sunset, and during the day, we often don’t get enough real sunlight. Light can increase our productivity, but too much light has consequences. Artificial light at the wrong times creates a mismatch between your genes and the environment, with potentially dire health outcomes.

Reducing your exposure to light pollution can protect you from those negative health outcomes and help you sleep more soundly and feel more energized. Find out how to reduce light pollution and why it’s an important part of an ancestral health-based lifestyle.

Light Pollution: Too Much of a Good Thing

Humans have evolved alongside 24-hour day/night cycles, and our bodily functions have synced up with these cycles in what we call circadian rhythms. Most endocrine hormones exhibit a recognizable daily rhythm, including:1,2,3,4

Cortisol

Luteinizing hormone

Thyroid hormones

Growth hormone

Insulin

Leptin

Ghrelin

Follicle-stimulating hormone

Melatonin

These hormones regulate daily patterns of bodily processes like digestion, metabolism, and sleep.5,6,7 For example, cortisol should be highest in the morning to keep us alert and gradually decrease throughout the day, while melatonin should be highest at night to encourage sleep and low during the day. In fact, exposure to bright 480-nm light in the morning helps determine when the pineal glands will start releasing melatonin at night.8

Light, at the appropriate times and intensities, is the most potent regulator of our circadian rhythms. When bright light hits our eyes, photosensitive cells communicate with a region in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is thought of as the body’s “central clock.”9

The SCN regulates clock genes found in cells throughout our bodies. However, growing evidence shows that light can also regulate mood, learning and other functions without affecting circadian rhythm.10,11

12 Health Consequences of Light Pollution

Light pollution is a major problem in the developed world. At 10 p.m., our hunter–gatherer ancestors may have been settling down for the night under the moon, which emits a mere 0.1 to 0.4 lux of light.12,13

Compare that to home indoor lights at about 100 to 300 lux, or the bright lights in a store that can reach 1,000 lux.14 All night long, street lights and store lights create light pollution that prevents more than 99% of people in the U.S. and Europe from experiencing natural light.15

Light pollution messes with the body’s circadian rhythms, which can disrupt hormones and sleep. Light pollution can also affect mood and cognition without noticeable changes to the circadian rhythm. Whether indirectly or directly, these changes can cause myriad health problems.

1. Inflammation — Exposure to light at night, whether from shift work or binge-watching Netflix, increases inflammatory cytokines and decreases proper melatonin levels at night.16,17 Chronic inflammation contributes to the development of almost every chronic disease that plagues modern societies today.

2. Immune Suppression — Adequate sleep is vital for robust immune function, and facets of the immune system are under circadian control.18 Light exposure at night and disruptions in circadian rhythm both alter the body’s immune responses, making it more susceptible to infection.19,20,21

3. Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Disruption — The HPA axis controls the stress response. When cortisol and other hormones are out of whack from too much light, circadian disruption and not enough sleep, overall cortisol levels rise and the HPA axis is impaired.22,23,24

4. Gut Problems — Because digestion is under circadian control, any disruption to this rhythm can promote the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria, decrease beneficial microbes, and upregulate intestinal permeability and lipopolysaccharide transport into the systemic circulation.25,26 This also helps explain why people who are jet-lagged experience diarrhea or constipation.

5. Thyroid Issues — Thyroid hormones have circadian rhythms, too. Sleep deprivation from ill-timed light is associated with abnormal thyroid function.27,28,29

6. Obesity — Night owls and people with sleep deprivation tend to eat more and gain more weight.30,31 Exposure to light at night, jet lag and shift work are all associated with an increased risk of obesity.32,33

7. Diabetes — Obesity itself is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Circadian misalignment and sleep deprivation have both been linked to increased insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance.34,35,36,37

8. Fertility and Menstrual Problems — From premenstrual syndrome to fertility, circadian disruptions can influence a woman’s reproductive health. Shift work and lack of sleep correlate with increased cortisol levels, decreased melatonin levels at night, and disrupted HPA axis, which can all wreak havoc on female fertility.38,39 Sleep disturbances may negatively influence male fertility, as well.40

9. Cardiovascular Disease — Evidence shows that disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep disorders are linked to cardiovascular disease risk.41,42 In one interesting study, “light-at-night” exposure in 700 subjects correlated with the level of progression of carotid atherosclerotic vascular disease.43

10. Depression and Mood Disorders — A clear connection between dark winter months and seasonal depression has already been demonstrated.44 Light exposure at the wrong times, in any month, can influence mood and depression risk. Poor quality sleep, which can result from abnormal light cycles and circadian disruption, is a risk factor for depression.45,46

In mice, light exposure at night altered gene expression in brain regions involved in emotional regulation, including the hippocampus.47 In a human trial, those exposed to just 5 lux of light at night had an increased risk of developing depression over 24 months of follow-up, compared to those who had less than 5 lux of light at night.48

11. Cognition and Memory Deficits — Were you ever told to get a good night’s sleep before a test? Sleep loss and jet lag are clearly associated with poor learning capacity and neurocognitive performance.49,50 Aberrant light exposure, which can lead to circadian misalignment and sleep disruption, resulted in memory and learning deficits, including reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents.51,52,53

12. Cancer — Bright light at night suppresses melatonin and may increase the risk of certain cancers including breast and prostate cancer.54,55,56,57,58 Sleep deprivation, which can be caused by aberrant light exposure, is also linked to cancers.59 In fact, shift work, where workers’ sleep schedules don’t coincide with natural light cycles, is considered a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.60

Ecological Consequences of Light Pollution

The effects of light pollution extend beyond human behavior and disease. Animals and plants also have evolved along with predictable light patterns, and messing with light timing has ecological impacts. Melatonin, which is suppressed by bright light at night, directly influences the seasonal breeding of animals.61

Light pollution disrupts animal reproduction, species biodiversity, plant flowering and much, much more.62 Light pollution affects many plants and animals, including:63

Birds

Bats

Sea turtles

Marsupials

Rodents

Fish

Moths

Beetles

Spiders

Ants

Worms

Corals

Terrestrial plants

How to Reduce Light Pollution at Home

You don’t have to abandon all electronic activity to mitigate the harmful effects of light pollution at home. Focus on increasing exposure to bright, natural light in the morning and reducing exposure to it in the evening. You will sleep more soundly and feel more energized when your body’s rhythms are synced up with the sun. Here are some helpful tips to get started.

Go Outside, Early

On average, people spend 93% of their time indoors or in a car — it’s no wonder our circadian rhythms are out of whack!64 Once you get out of bed in the morning, open all window shades to let in the morning light. Ideally, spend 20 to 30 minutes outside in the early morning. If that’s impossible, a 10,000 lux full-spectrum light box may suffice if you spend a good 30 minutes nearby. If you commute to work, try to drive without sunglasses to increase your light exposure.

Avoid Bright Lights Later in the Day

There are many ways to facilitate this:

  1. Replace LED light bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Yes, LEDs win in efficiency, but their environmental friendliness only goes so far. LEDs emit light wavelengths that are really, really good at suppressing melatonin, which you don’t want happening later in the day.
  2. Wear amber-colored blue light-blocking glasses in the afternoon and evening, especially if you’re using electronics. These glasses are highly effective at improving sleep and mood.65,66,67
  3. Install a program like f.lux that modifies a device’s display screen to be warmer in the evening and lighter during the day.

Sleep in the Dark

Darken your bedroom at night — the darker, the better. Even dim light at night can disrupt circadian rhythm.68,69 Nix the night light, install blackout curtains and remove that bright blue digital clock. Your mood, sleep and health will thank you!

How to Reduce Light Pollution at the Community Level

Light pollution negatively affects mood, sleep, ecosystems, and public health. Most of the developed world isn’t able to view the Milky Way at night. Some businesses, like hospitals, might not be able to shut down completely at night, but communities and cities can take steps to reduce light pollution.

In fact, at least 17 of the 50 United States already have laws limiting light pollution.70 Some laws require street lights to point downward, while others require low-wattage lighting at night, and even others limit the lights allowed at night. In England, almost a quarter of communities turn off street lights between midnight and 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.71 And, although it may seem counterintuitive, less light at night doesn’t seem to increase crime.72,73

For information on how to take action in your community, check out the International Dark Sky Places. This great resource provides educational materials about light pollution, and also gives tips and examples for how to talk to neighbors, communities and even legislators.

Chris Kresser

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Magnesium L-Threonate for Depression and Anxiety

The recent coronavirus pandemic has infected over 5 million people and has caused over 300,000 deaths. This pandemic has also caused school and business closings, social distancing, and has forced millions of people to be confined to their homes. 

Social confinement can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and depressed mood, and this can lead to other negative health consequences. Although people can exercise and seek counseling, nutrients can make a difference with the most important one being magnesium.

Approximately 50% of American adults are not getting the estimated average requirement for magnesium (around 400 mg of magnesium/day).1 Indeed, most Americans are only consuming around 250 mg of magnesium per day.2

Thus, a substantial percent of the population is likely magnesium deficient and may benefit by taking an additional 150 to 200 mg of magnesium through supplementation. 

In fact, up to 30% of the population is magnesium deficient based on low serum magnesium levels, and up to 84% of certain patient populations are magnesium deficient when using the gold standard IV magnesium load test.3

Thus, subclinical magnesium deficiency is common and leads to numerous mental health issues. This brief review will cover the potential benefits of magnesium, particularly magnesium L-threonate, for mood and anxiety.

Magnesium L-Threonate to the Rescue

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include many mental issues such as depression, confusion and agitation.4 Individuals with depression are known to have

  • Lower magnesium levels in the blood5 and the brain.6
  • Low cerebral spinal fluid magnesium.7

Unfortunately, cerebral spinal fluid magnesium levels are tightly controlled, whereby boosting blood levels of magnesium by 300% only increases cerebrospinal fluid levels by approximately 10 to 19%.8 However:

  • Magnesium L-threonate has improved effectiveness for increasing cerebrospinal fluid magnesium levels.9
  • Only magnesium L-threonate, as opposed to magnesium chloride or magnesium gluconate, increases cerebrospinal fluid magnesium levels and improves cognition in animal models.10

The first report of magnesium for improving mood was published in 1921, showing success in 220 out of 250 cases.11 Since then, numerous case reports have found rapid improvements in mood with the use of magnesium supplementation without side effects.12 Additionally:

  • A randomized equivalent trial found that oral magnesium supplementation was just as effective as an antidepressant for improving mood.13

Thus, clinical studies in humans suggests that magnesium supplementation is beneficial for improving mood. Approximately 60% of individuals who have a depressed mood are considered treatment-resistant and this may be due to magnesium deficiency.14 Moreover:

  • Low magnesium levels correlate with poor outcomes in in individuals with a depressed mood who do not respond to medications.15
  • Higher magnesium intakes are associated with better mood scores.16
  • All of this suggests a potential role for magnesium, especially magnesium L-threonate, for mental health.

In summary, depressed mood may simply be a sign of magnesium deficiency in the brain. Boosting brain magnesium levels, particularly with the use of magnesium L-threonate, may have profound benefits on mood.

Importantly, magnesium is needed to make the three primary neurotransmitters in the brain, i.e., serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline and melatonin which is important for sleep.

magnesium for serotonin and melatonin
magnesium for dopamine and norepinephrine

Magnesium L-Threonate for Anxiety Support

High levels of stress can lead to magnesium deficiency by increasing the amount of magnesium that is lost in the urine.17,18

Moreover, magnesium deficiency enhances the stress response.19

Magnesium deficiency increases stress-induced mortality in animals,20 whereas compensation for magnesium deficiency improves the ability of the nervous system to resist stress.21

In other words, stress leads to magnesium deficiency and magnesium deficiency leads to stress.

Animals receiving diets low in magnesium display increased anxiety-related behavior,22 and this may be due to hyper-excitability in the brain and increased cortisol production.23

Importantly, two studies have shown that supplementing animals with magnesium L-threonate reduces anxiety.24,25

Thus, magnesium L-threonate may have a central role in anxiety support. In summary, anxiety can cause magnesium deficiency and vice versa. Considering that most people in the United States are not consuming an adequate amount of magnesium from the diet, supplementation with magnesium L-threonate may have an important role for anxiety support.

COVID-19: A Leaked Virus Jointly Created by US and China?

We are repeatedly told that COVID-19 originated from a wild animal at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, and that it is a natural mutation of a bat virus. But the hard evidence contradicts this theory.

Did COVID-19 Start in the Huanan Seafood Market?

There is evidence that the first confirmed COVID-19 hospital patient had no contact with the Huanan Seafood Market, and only a few of the next few patients had contact with the market, which would rule out the possibility that the market was the original source of the virus.

The graph below comes from a peer-reviewed scientific paper published in The Lancet. The first recorded incidence of a COVID-19 symptomatic patient being admitted to a hospital occurred December 1, 2019.1 This patient had no contact with the seafood market.

Nine days later, on December 10, 2019, three more patients were admitted to the hospital, two of whom had had no contact with the seafood market. One patient had contact with the market. Five days later, two more people were reported sick after being at the market; however, others who had had no contact with the market continued to be admitted to hospitals. This data clearly shows that the Huanan Seafood Market was not the original source of COVID-19.

huanan seafood supermarket exposure

The virus (called 2019-nCoV then and now called SARS-CoV-2) was circulating in the Wuhan community for at least nine days before the first reported case of a patient who had had contact with the market. The market cluster most likely came from an infected person visiting the market, and infecting stall holders and customers because of its crowded conditions.

The market was closed down January 1, 2020, and cleaned out with bleach to contain this disease. This effectively destroyed any chance of determining if there were infected animals as claimed by the Chinese government, the World Health Organization and others. However, as the virus was circulating in Wuhan before the first cases occurred in the market, closing down the market did not stop this pandemic.

While the virus was spreading throughout Wuhan, and people seriously ill with a new form of pneumonia were going to hospitals, the Chinese government was jailing the doctors who were warning others about this disease.

The government was also telling the world that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission, instead insisting that this was a rare disease that came directly from animals and that could not be passed from person to person — which we now know to be a lie.

A paper published February 6, 2020, by two Chinese researchers showed that there were no bats in the seafood market and that the only bats and bat viruses in Wuhan were at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention and Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

This paper stated that the most likely source of COVID-19 was an accident at one of these labs, and that more research should be undertaken to determine if an accident at the lab was to blame for the pandemic. The Chinese government used pressure to have this paper withdrawn, deleted and suppressed, and the researchers silenced.

However in the interest of transparency and freedom of speech, we are providing a link to the original paper as we managed to save a copy before the Chinese government tried to delete it.2

SARS-CoV-2, the name of the virus that causes COVID-19, has not been found in the wild. Its nearest relative, RaTG13, was collected from bats by WIV researchers in 2013, in Yunnan Province, about 1,000 miles away from Wuhan.

RaTG13 was stored in Wuhan at WIV. However, there was no record of it in the scientific literature or in gene banks until January 23, 2020, when Shi Zhengli, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and others at WIV published that RaTG13 was 96.2 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2.3

The prevailing theory is that an intermediate animal, such as a pangolin, was infected by the bat coronavirus, and the virus mutated in the pangolin before infecting humans. However, at this stage, there is no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 being found in any wild animal.

Several close relatives of SARS-CoV-2 have been found in bats; however, these viruses do not contain the same spike protein found in SARS-CoV-2 that gives the virus the ability to infect humans. The spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 is unique and is different from the spike proteins in other coronaviruses. It has not been found in any other coronaviruses, including RaTG13.

The virus closest to containing a section of spike protein nearly identical to a section of SARS-CoV-2 was found by researchers in one Malayan Pangolin out of a group of 25 pangolins that were confiscated from smugglers at the Chinese boarder.4 However, the rest of this pangolin virus is quite different from SARS-CoV-2.

Several researchers have stated that SARS-CoV-2 is a result of the genetic recombination of part of the spike protein of the Malayan Pangolin coronavirus into RaTG13.5

spike protein coronavirus
The Spike Protein is found on the end of the spike of the Coronavirus. The spike attaches to a cell and the protein allows the virus to infect the cell

It is unlikely that this recombination of two viruses happened naturally in the wild. The infected Malayan Pangolin was captured outside of China, probably thousands of miles away from Yunnan, where the only record of the bat virus RaTG13 has been found.

Given that only one out of 25 of the Malayan Pangolins had this virus, it shows that it is not a common virus and does not cause widespread infections in pangolins. RaTG13 has been found only in a few bats in one location in Yunnan, and nowhere else in the world. It is highly improbable that an extremely rare virus from an isolated area in Yunnan infected and mutated inside pangolins that were caught outside of China.

How did SARS-CoV-2 get this unique spike protein? The theory that these two viruses combined naturally, given that they are most likely separated by thousands of miles, lacks credibility. This may be a popular theory, but it has zero evidence.

Evidence SARS-CoV-2 May Have Come From a Laboratory in Wuhan

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has the largest collection of bat coronaviruses in the world, including RaTG13. WIV specializes in Gain-of-Function research. Gain-of-Function (GOF) research involves mutating viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms to enhance their ability to infect and cause diseases.

This can involve taking a harmless virus and manipulating it to infect and cause severe illnesses in other species, or making already-deadly diseases, such as the Spanish Flu or the plague, even deadlier.

This type of research has divided the scientific community with many scientists warning that if one of these enhanced diseases escaped it could cause a global pandemic. The GOF researchers deny that these deadly organisms will escape. They state that this research is needed to protect us from pandemics by using it to make medications and vaccines.

After 30 years of research there is very little evidence of any benefit from GOF research — and many examples of these deadly disease organisms escaping from laboratories around the world, including China. GOF research certainly hasn’t helped with cures to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

GOF research has been conducted on bat coronaviruses at the WIV since 2007. Researchers there have published several scientific papers showing how they have genetically modified harmless coronaviruses so they now can infect humans. They have been combining parts of two different viruses to make new viruses. Two papers of note were published about this in 2015 and 2017.

In 2015, Shi Zhengli from the WIV, and researchers at various universities and research institutions in the U.S. and Switzerland, published a paper explaining how they genetically modified the SARS coronavirus to create a dangerous synthetic virus.

The researchers took the genetic codes for part of the spike protein from a virus that Shi Zhengli isolated from bats found in Yunnan in 2011, and inserted them into the SARS coronavirus (the virus that caused the original SARS epidemic in 2002-2003).6

The spike protein is found on the top of the spike on coronaviruses. The viruses use this protein to attach to specific receptors in cells to infect them. Each species of animal tends to have unique receptors. This means that the virus has to have a unique spike protein that will bind to the specific receptor. It is a “lock-and-key” system. The spike protein is the same as the key and the receptor is the same as the lock. The wrong key will not open a lock.

Most of the spike proteins in coronaviruses found in animals will not infect people because their spike proteins are the wrong key to unlock the receptors on the cells. The only way coronaviruses from animals can infect people is if the viruses’ “keys” (spike proteins) are somehow modified to fit the humans’ “lock” (cell receptors).

This type of modification can happen through natural mutations, but usually only very slowly, and over many decades. However, spike proteins are being genetically modified in many laboratories around the world, as GOF research, to enable spike proteins to mutate at rates far faster and more frequently than can occur naturally.

This is part of the justification for GOF research: In order to study disease organisms, researchers modify them faster and more often than the organisms would modify on their own, in nature.

The synthetic coronavirus created in 2015 by WIV’s Shi Zhengli and other researchers was genetically modified to make it able to infect the human ACE2 receptor, the same receptor that SARS-CoV-2 infects to cause COVID-19.

This dangerous new genetically modified virus was created by researchers from the University of North Carolina, the Harvard Medical School, the National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration in Arkansas, the Bellinzona Institute of Microbiology in Switzerland and the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, who were working together and subsequently published their paper.

This shows that these types of dangerous genetically modified viruses are being created in many laboratories around the world, including WIV.

In 2017, Shi Zhengli and other researchers at WIV, along with researchers from the New York based EcoHealth Alliance, published a paper on how they genetically modified the spike proteins of eight bat coronaviruses, essentially by cutting and pasting genetic material from other coronaviruses, so that the viruses infected the human ACE2 receptor. This is the same receptor that SARS-CoV-2 infects to cause COVID-19.7

According to an article in Newsweek, the EcoHealth alliance was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to do this research.8

The 2015 and 2017 papers are clear evidence that researchers at the WIV, in conjunction with U.S. and other researchers, have been genetically modifying the spike proteins of multiple types of coronaviruses, by cutting and pasting genetic material from other coronaviruses, so that harmless viruses can now infect humans.

Could SARS-CoV-2 Have Escaped From Wuhan Lab?

There are numerous examples of deadly diseases escaping from laboratories. A paper in Science magazine documents many of them and shows how it has only been luck that they haven’t caused a major global pandemic.9

A U.S. State Department visit to the WIV in 2018 found that the lab had very poor security standards. In a cable to Washington, department officials reported their concerns that a dangerous coronavirus could escape.

Columnist Josh Rogin said in The Washington Post on April 14, 2020: “The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.”

According to Rogin, the officials “… noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”10

Despite these concerns, the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which funds biomedical research around the world, in 2019 recommended that the U.S. should continue to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology research as part of a combination grant designated to a number of entities studying the bat coronavirus. However, the grant was discontinued and the WIV lab never received those funds.11

In Summary

As stated before there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, originated from wild animals or the Huanan Seafood Market. The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in Wuhan for more than nine days before the first case was reported by someone who had been at the market. SARS-CoV-2 has not been found in wild animals or domesticated livestock.

There is strong evidence this virus is a result of the recombination of two viruses. The evidence shows that it was highly unlikely that this recombination could have occurred naturally, as the two confirmed animal host species were geographically separated, possibly by thousands of miles.

There is clear evidence that the closest relative of the SARS-CoV-2 is RaTG13, and this virus was in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is mostly composed of RaTG13, but that part of the RaTG13 spike protein has been modified with a section of a virus found in a Malayan Pangolin. This modified spike protein is what gives SARS-CoV-2 the ability to bind with the ACE2 receptor and infect people.

There is clear evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has been doing Gain-of-Function research to recombine multiple bat and other coronaviruses by genetically modifying the spike protein so that the viruses can infect humans.

There is clear evidence that the biosecurity at the WIV was inadequate due to the lack of properly trained staff and that this could result in one of the many dangerous genetically engineered bat coronaviruses escaping and causing a global pandemic.

The evidence shows that the Chinese government has constantly lied about the facts that caused this pandemic and allowed it to spread, has prevented independent researchers from entering the WIV to investigate what happened there, continues to suppress all independent research, made researchers and papers disappear and silenced others. This is clear evidence of a grand-scale cover up. What are they trying to cover up?

A reasonable conclusion, based on the evidence, is that SARS-CoV-2 was created in the WIV through Gain-of-Function research, and that it accidentally escaped due to inadequate biosecurity.

The Gain-of-Function researchers and organizations are circling the wagons to prevent this information from becoming public. This includes people like Anthony Fauci who, through the NIH, invested millions of dollars into Gain-of-Function research, and many other organizations in the U.S. and around the world that are still funding the WIV and other laboratories doing this dangerous research.

These groups are saying that SARS-CoV-2 has come from natural mutations, because they know that if the facts are revealed, their research and labs will be closed down to prevent future accidents. Fortunately, there are enough scientists concerned about Gain-of-Function research to uncover good evidence about the origins of this pandemic so that we, as a society, can prevent this from ever happening again.

It is time that all Gain-of-Function research is banned. These scientists are creating deadly Frankenstein monsters that can have terrible consequences when they escape. They are Franken-viruses because they are murderous monsters that can kill millions, severely damage economies and destroy livelihoods.

There is very little evidence of any benefits coming from GOF, and the current COVID-19 pandemic clearly shows that this research is too dangerous. Given that there are even deadlier organisms in these laboratories, the next escape could have even greater consequences for all of us. We must stop it now.

André Leu is International Director of Regeneration International and the author of “Poisoning our Children.”

What Are the Benefits of Parsley Tea?

Often used for garnishing meals and improving flavor, parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a fragrant green herb with a refreshing taste. Don’t let its simple appearance fool you, though, as it’s a powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals.1,2

There are many ways to consume parsley, as it can be a colorful addition to salads, soups, sauces and sandwiches. But did you know that you can brew parsley into a soothing and therapeutic cup of tea as well? Read on to learn more about parsley tea, its benefits to your well-being and how you can brew a fresh cup on your own.

What Is Parsley Tea?

Parsley tea is an herbal infusion made from the fresh or dried leaves of the parsley plant.3 The leaves have a naturally bright, bitter taste,4 which is why sometimes a sweetener is added. Making the tea is quite easy, as there are parsley teabags available at your local supermarket. However, given the affordable price of fresh parsley, it may be a better idea to make your own tea at home.5

Steeping parsley in hot water infuses its compounds into the beverage. This allows you to obtain traces of its plant polyphenols and the following nutrients with every sip of parsley tea:6

8 Parsley Tea Benefits

The polyphenols, vitamins and minerals in parsley tea may provide various pharmacological activities, including diuretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and nephroprotective properties, among others.7 All of these nutrients work together to help:

1. Detoxify the body — Because of its natural diuretic property, parsley leaves may help flush out toxins from your body through your urine.8

2. Lower the risk for cancer — Apigenin, one of the flavonoids obtained from parsley tea, has been shown to provide chemoprotective properties.

According to a study published in the Journal of Cancer Prevention, the mechanisms by which apigenin help lower the risk for cancer involve stimulating cancer cell autophagy and apoptosis, regulating cellular response to oxidative stress and DNA damage, suppressing inflammation and angiogenesis, and retarding cancer cell proliferation.9

3. Promote immune health — Parsley tea provides you with vitamin C, which may help improve your immune defenses by supporting cellular immune function, stimulating oxidant-scavenging activity and promoting epithelial barrier function against pathogens.10 Parsley tea also increases your levels of vitamin A, which was dubbed as “the anti-inflammation vitamin” in a 1928 study due to its critical role in enhancing immune function.11

4. Relieve bloating — Parsley is traditionally used to help ease symptoms of bloating. Adjusting eating habits, such as slowing down swallowing, may help bloating as well.12

5. Fight against the effects of free radicals Parsley tea may be a good source of flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals that have antioxidant properties to help defend your cells against harmful free radicals.13

6. Lower the risk for kidney stones A study published in the American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Urology showed that parsley may help increase urine volume, decrease urinary calcium excretion and raise urine acidity, making it a natural antiurolithiasis remedy.14

7. Promote healthy liver function A study published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology found that the extract of parsley may have hepatoprotective effects due to its antioxidant properties.15

8. Manage blood pressure levels Parsley may help lower blood pressure levels by releasing more sodium into your urine and stimulating urination. This decreases the amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels, which in turn reduces the pressure on your vessel walls.16,17

How to Make Parsley Tea

It’s easy to make a steaming cup of parsley tea. Simply follow this recipe adapted from Verywell Fit:18

Parsley Tea Recipe

Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Place the leaves into your cup or a tea infuser. A French press is also viable if you have one at home.
  2. Boil enough water for your chosen container.
  3. Fill the container with boiling water. Steep the leaves for about four minutes, or longer for a stronger flavor.
  4. Remove the leaves if the tea was prepared in the cup. Add a dash of raw honey or stevia.

Take a Sip of This Mint-Infused Parsley Tea

You can take your parsley tea up a notch by adding other herbs to it. Here’s a refreshing recipe you can try that incorporates mint leaves:

Mint-Infused Parsley Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cups of water
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Lemon slices

Procedure

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Put the parsley and mint leaves in a teapot and pour hot water over them.
  3. Let the leaves steep for five minutes. You can either strain them or leave them in.
  4. Pour the tea into the cups, add lemon slices and serve.

(Recipe adapted from A Dash of Lemon19)

Parsley Tea Side Effects

Although parsley tea is generally a healthy beverage, you still should consume it in moderation. Drinking large amounts of parsley tea may cause a severe allergic reaction. In a case study published in 2014, a woman developed near-fatal anaphylaxis because she was consuming a cup of parsley every day.20

To stay on the safe side, if you don’t know whether you’re allergic to parsley, consult with a doctor before adding it to your regular diet.

How to Pick Fresh Parsley for Your Tea

If you prefer making parsley tea from scratch instead of buying ready-to-steep teabags from the supermarket, choose plants that look fresh and crisp, with vibrant green leaves. Avoid parsley that has yellowed leaves or other signs of decay.21

Make sure the plant you choose is grown organically to lower your risk of exposure to harmful gardening chemicals. Buy parsley from the local farmers market to guarantee it’s organic, or better yet, grow parsley at home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Parsley Tea

Q: What is parsley tea good for?

A: Parsley tea contains health-promoting polyphenols and nutrients such as apigenin, carotenoids, vitamins A, C and K, folate, magnesium and iron, to name a few.22 It also has numerous pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and nephroprotective properties.23

Some of its possible benefits include helping reduce the risk for cancer,24 promoting immune health,25 relieving bloating26 and inhibiting the formation of kidney stones.27

Q: How much parsley tea is safe to drink daily?

A: You can safely drink a cup of parsley tea per day, though you should consult with your doctor to learn if you have any allergies before trying it. Consuming too much parsley may lead to anemia or liver or kidney problems.28

Q: Where can you buy parsley tea?

A: Parsley tea is available in health food stores. You also can make your own using fresh parsley leaves.

Q: Is parsley tea good for your skin?

A: Yes. Parsley may help promote healthy skin, thanks to its vitamin A content, which is essential for skin health.29

Q: Is parsley tea good for your liver?

A: Yes. The extract of parsley present in this beverage has been shown to provide hepatoprotective properties.30

Q: Is parsley tea good for lowering blood pressure?

A: A study showed that parsley has diuretic properties, which may aid in the reduction of blood pressure levels.31


The Perps Behind COVID-19

“I am not saying that China deliberately released this, shooting itself in the foot. But it was clear they were developing an extremely dangerous unknown biological weapon that had never been seen before, and it leaked out of the lab…

I personally believe that until our political leaders come clean with the American people, both at the White House and in Congress and our state government, and publicly admit that this is an extremely dangerous offensive biological warfare weapon that we are dealing with, I do not see that we will be able to confront it and to stop it, let alone defeat it.” ~ Dr. Francis Boyle, International Bioweapons Expert, April 15, 2020

According to Johns Hopkins University, as of April 29, 2020, COVID-19 has infected more than 3 million people and killed at least 210,000 worldwide. Those are big numbers, considering the fact that six short months ago, few members of the general public had ever heard of the coronavirus. Almost no one was harboring fears of a looming and deadly global pandemic.

But here we are. As our new reality sinks in, as we adjust to lockdowns and home schooling and long lines at grocery stores, as we look for ways to protect ourselves and our families — and as some grieve for lost loved ones — most of us are also seeking answers.

Why does this virus cause so many mysterious symptoms? Why are some cases mild, others deadly? How can we protect ourselves? Whose advice should we follow? But the biggest questions of all are these: Where did COVID-19 come from? And how can we prevent this from ever happening again?

The answers to these questions may be too disturbing to ponder, especially while we’re still grappling with the impact of the virus on nearly every aspect of our lives. But our failure to investigate, and directly address, the origins of SARS-CoV-2 almost certainly guarantees our failure to protect ourselves from future, possibly even more deadly, pandemics.

Science Most Foul

Thousands of dangerous viruses and other pathogens, such as the bat coronavirus and the avian flu, are being collected in the wild by Chinese, U.S. and international researchers. These viruses are then analyzed and weaponized (i.e. genetically engineered, manipulated, recombined) in secretive, accident-prone, labs like the Wuhan Virology Lab in China or the U.S. Army Lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Coronaviruses typically have a narrow host range, infecting one or just a few species, such as bats. However, using targeted RNA recombination, gene engineers can manipulate viruses such as COVID-19 for “gain of function” to enable them to infect other species (i.e. human cells), interfere with immune system response and readily spread through the air.

A growing arsenal of synthetic viruses have been lab-engineered, despite U.S. and international laws banning biowarfare weapons and experimentation. A disturbing number of these so-called “dual use” Biowarfare/Biodefense labs have experienced leaks, accidents and thefts over the past three decades. As the well-respected Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently warned:

“A safety breach at a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab is believed to have caused four suspected SARS cases, including one death, in Beijing in 2004.

A similar accident caused 65 lab workers of Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute to be infected with brucellosis in December 2019 … In January 2020, a renowned Chinese scientist, Li Ning, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling experimental animals to local markets.”

Safety Failures Are Commonplace

China is hardly the only place to experience such accidents. A USA Today investigation in 2016, for instance, revealed an incident involving cascading equipment failures in a decontamination chamber as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers tried to leave a biosafety level 4 lab. The lab likely stored samples of the viruses causing Ebola and smallpox, according to the report.

In 2014, the CDC revealed that staff had accidently sent live anthrax between laboratories, exposing 84 workers. In an investigation, officials found other mishaps that had occurred in the preceding decade. In 2019, the U.S. Army Fort Detrick, Maryland Biological Weapons Lab was temporarily shut down for improper disposal of dangerous pathogens, according to a New York Times report.

Officials refused to provide details about the pathogens or the leak, citing “national security” concerns. As Sam Husseini recently reported in Salon magazine, biowarfare engineers in labs such as Wuhan or Fort Detrick are deliberately and recklessly evading international law:

“Governments that participate in such biological weapon research generally distinguish between ‘biowarfare’ and ‘biodefense,’ as if to paint such ‘defense’ programs as necessary. But this is rhetorical sleight-of-hand; the two concepts are largely indistinguishable.

‘Biodefense’ implies tacit biowarfare, breeding more dangerous pathogens for the alleged purpose of finding a way to fight them. While this work appears to have succeeded in creating deadly and infectious agents, including deadlier flu strains, such ‘defense’ research is impotent in its ability to defend us from this pandemic.”

The Cover-Up of SARS-CoV-2 Origin

Activist critics of genetic engineering and biological warfare experiments, including myself, Dr. Mercola and GM Watch, joined now by independent voices in the mass media, are reporting, albeit in some cases reluctantly, that mounting evidence indicates that the deadly COVID-19 virus may have accidentally leaked out of one of the supposedly high-security biowarfare labs (the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Chinese Center for Disease Control) that were analyzing and manipulating bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.

In order to conceal their scientific malpractice and criminal negligence, to protect their “right” to carry out dangerous, unregulated research, and to safeguard billions of dollars in annual Biopharm and GMO industry profits (Monsanto/Bayer, among others, is now conducting its own biowarfare research), Chinese and U.S. officials, Big Pharma, Facebook, Google and an arrogant and unscrupulous network of global scientists are frantically trying to cover up the lab origins and diabolical machinations of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A widely-cited paper,1 published in the journal Nature on February 3, 2020, claims to establish that SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus of bat origin that naturally jumped the species barrier between bats and humans and was not synthetically constructed in a lab.

However, as Mercola.com reports one of the Chinese authors of this article, Dr. Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Virology Lab, actually worked previously on weaponizing the SARS virus (the progenitor of COVID-19) and has published peer-reviewed articles on the procedures involved in this genetic manipulation.

There Are Many Ways to Enhance Viral Infectivity

Another oft-cited but problematic article in Nature Medicine (March 17, 2020), co-authored by a bio-entrepreneur industry scientist, has been repeatedly cited by the mass media as offering “proof” that the COVID-19 virus arose “naturally” as opposed to being lab-derived.

But recent critiques offered by independent scientists, including the London-based molecular geneticist Dr. Michael Antoniou, a long-time critic of genetic engineering, argue convincingly that the computer-modeling “proof” cited by Nature Medicine offers no proof at all. As GM Watch reports:

“Dr. Antoniou told us that while the authors [of the March 17 Nature Medicine article] did indeed show that SARS-CoV-2 was unlikely to have been built by deliberate genetic engineering from a previously used virus backbone, that’s not the only way of constructing a virus. There is another method by which an enhanced-infectivity virus can be engineered in the lab …”

Antoniou told GM Watch that this method, called “directed iterative evolutionary selection process,” involves using genetic engineering to generate “a large number of randomly mutated versions of the SARS-CoV spike protein receptor,” and then to select those protein receptors most effective at infecting human cells.

As Antoniou points out, the inventors of this technique received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2018, a fact the authors of the Nature Medicine article surely knew. Did the authors of the Nature Medicine article deliberately leave this more plausible hypothesis out, in order to bolster their questionable thesis that COVID-19 arose naturally — even though biowarfare labs in Wuhan were engineering bat viruses years before the fatal outbreak?

If lab technicians in the Wuhan lab did use the directed iterative evolutionary selection process to engineer a “gain of function” (weaponized) bat coronavirus, and the virus subsequently leaked, infected one or more lab technicians, then spread to people outside the lab, including people from the Wuhan Seafood Market, there would be no trace of the virus having been genetically engineered or manipulated.

Bat Coronaviruses Have Been Weaponized for Over a Decade

Peer-reviewed, published articles, going back more than a decade, indicate that researchers at the Wuhan Labs (Dr. Shi Zhengli and others) have been carrying out experiments to manipulate and weaponize deadly bat coronavirus so that they can readily infect human cells.

In a 2008 article in the Journal of Virology, Zengli and other scientists report on how they have genetically engineered SARS-like viruses from horseshoe bats to enable the viruses to gain entry into human cells.

The powers that be, in Beijing and Washington, like to reassure us that researchers in places like the Wuhan Virology Lab, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control, or the U.S. Army Biological Weapons Lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland are only “studying” (not manipulating or weaponizing) dangerous pathogens like bat coronaviruses, and that security in these government/WHO/NIH-monitored labs is so strict that accidents could never happen.

But a number of well-respected scientific critics of genetic engineering and biological warfare have been sounding the alarm for decades.

Critics including Francis Boyle (author of the 1989 U.S. Bioterrorism law banning bioweapons research) and Dr. Richard Ebright of Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, have warned that experiments and manipulations of viruses and pathogens are inherently extremely dangerous, (not to mention that they violate international law), given human error and the fact that security has been dangerously lax in the world’s biowarfare/biodefense laboratories.

Almost too incredible to believe, funding for the reckless germ war experiments in Wuhan have included more than $3 million from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), with apparent collaboration, according to Boyle, from scientists at the universities of North Carolina, Wisconsin, Harvard and other institutions.

Wakeup Call for Biosafety

In 2014, the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy put a hold or “funding pause” on “gain of function” experimentation on dangerous viruses in U.S. labs due to “biosafety and biosecurity risks.” Yet experimentation apparently continued uninterrupted (with U.S. funding) in China at the Wuhan lab.

Then in 2017, the Trump Administration reversed this “funding pause,” essentially allowing illegal germ warfare research to continue. Longtime anti-GMO activists at GM Watch in the U.K. recently published an article entitled “COVID-19 Could Be a Wake-Up Call for Biosafety.”

The article explains how, below the public radar, secretive and reckless research on genetically engineering and weaponizing coronaviruses has been going on for decades:

“Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, editor-in-chief of the journal Biological Theory, and co-author of Biotech Juggernaut, adds crucial historical context that shows exploring whether COVID-19 could have been genetically engineered should not be dismissed as a subject fit only for conspiracy theorists.

[Newman] points out that the genetic engineering of coronaviruses has been going on for a long time. According to Newman, ‘Even most biologists are not aware that virologists have been experimentally recombining and genetically modifying coronaviruses for more than a decade to study their mechanisms of pathogenicity.’ Indeed, Newman points to papers on engineering coronaviruses that go back a full 20 years.”

US and China Collaborated on Coronavirus Research

Dr. Peter Breggin points out that in 2015, researchers from the U.S. and China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology collaborated to transform an animal coronavirus into one that can attack humans. Breggin’s provocative essay includes a direct link to the original study which was published in the British journal, Nature.

Recent investigative reporting, including an explosive April 14 Washington Post article by Josh Rogin, followed by more muted coverage by CBS News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and others, have alerted millions of people to the fact that the official Chinese/Big Pharma/WHO/NIH “bat in the market” story about the origins of COVID-19 may no longer be credible.

As Rogin’s article points out, officials from the U.S. embassy in Beijing visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology numerous times in early 2018, and tried to warn the Trump Administration that there were serious safety violations in the lab’s handling of bat coronaviruses.

The officials were especially concerned that inadequately trained staff and lax security procedures at the lab, jointly funded by the Chinese and U.S., posed a serious risk of unleashing a “new SARS-like pandemic.”

In fact, in 2004, foreshadowing the current disaster, there were two serious accidents at the high-security Beijing Virology lab, infecting two researchers with the dangerous SARS virus. Ebright, who has been speaking out on lab safety since the early 2000s, said this about the dangerous security procedures at the Wuhan labs:

“… bat coronaviruses at Wuhan [Center for Disease Control] and Wuhan Institute of Virology routinely were collected and studied at BSL-2 (Biosecurity Level 2), which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers.

Virus collection, culture, isolation, or animal infection at BSL-2 with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public.”

Politics Most Foul

The Trump Administration did nothing about the repeated warnings from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2018, concerning the dangerous practices at the Wuhan Lab. Nor scientists at the NIH and the World Health Organization who were supposedly monitoring the lab’s coronavirus experiments.

After the outbreak happened, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) silenced or “disappeared” scientists and journalists who had earlier published research or news articles indicating that the COVID-19 virus leaked from a government lab and infected researchers. As the Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk wrote:

“Faced with the coronavirus threat, Chinese authorities, according to comprehensive reports by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, suppressed whistleblowers, ignored critical evidence and responded so tardily to the outbreak that they moved to compensate for their failures with a draconian lockdown …”

Frantically covering their tracks, the CCP removed every scientific article and news report from the internet and public record which contradicted their official story.

Aiding and abetting the CCP/Biopharm cover-up were the gatekeepers at Facebook (now heavily invested in Big Pharma), who censored and removed an article by Steve Mosher, published by the NY Post on Feb. 22, 2020, which called the official story into question.

Facebook finally unblocked the NY Post article after it was revealed that Facebook’s objective “fact checker,” Danielle E. Anderson, was in fact previously a paid researcher at the same Wuhan lab whose lax security so alarmed State Department officials.

Trying hard to cover up the fact that they ignored the repeated warnings of the State Department and intelligence officials, the Trump Administration and the entire U.S. Biopharm and Vaccine Establishment are doing their utmost to uphold the official Chinese-scripted story.

Especially troubling to the powers that be is the fact that the criminally negligent Wuhan Lab bat experiments were being funded, at least in part, by Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, along with the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch — even after these types of germ warfare experiments had been banned in the U.S.

Commander-in-Chief Trump himself goes back and forth on the “bat in the market” theory, torn between rousing his populist base by denouncing the “Chinese Virus,” and siding with his good friend, and Corporate America’s most important business partner, Xi Jinping, the Chinese Dictator, who just happens to control not only trillions of dollars in U.S. Treasury Bonds and exports, but the medical equipment, Pharma drugs and lab chemicals that are in such short supply in the U.S.

Congress Needs to Investigate NIAID Mischief

In an April 14, 2020 Instagram post, Robert Kennedy Jr. exposes the complicity of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the supposed “rational voice” of the Trump Administration on COVID-19, in the Wuhan disaster:

“The Daily Mail today reports that it has uncovered documents showing that Anthony Fauci’s NIAID gave $3.7 million to scientists at the Wuhan Lab at the center of Coronavirus leak scrutiny. According to the British paper, ‘the federal grant funded experiments on bats from the caves where the virus is believed to have originated.’

Background: following the 2002-2003 SARS coronavirus outbreak, NIH funded a collaboration by Chinese scientists, U.S. military virologists from the bioweapons lab at Ft. Detrick & NIH scientists from NIAID to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks by studying the evolution of virulent strains from bats in human tissues.

Those efforts included ‘gain of function’ research that used a process called ‘accelerated evolution’ to create COVID Pandemic superbugs: enhanced bat borne COVID mutants more lethal and more transmissible than wild COVID.

Fauci’s studies alarmed scientists around the globe who complained, according a Dec. 2017 NY Times article that ‘these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.’

Dr. Mark Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Communicable Disease Center told the Times that Dr. Fauci’s NIAID experiments ‘have given us some modest scientific knowledge and done almost nothing to improve our preparedness for pandemic, and yet risked creating an accidental pandemic.’

In October 2014, following a series of federal laboratory mishaps that narrowly missed releasing these deadly engineered viruses, President Obama ordered the halt to all federal funding for Fauci’s dangerous experiments. It now appears that Dr. Fauci may have dodged the federal restrictions by shifting the research to the military lab in Wuhan. Congress needs to launch an investigation of NIAD’s mischief in China.”

Coronavirus Response Experts Have Shady Backgrounds   

Kennedy also calls out two of the other supposed “health experts” on the Trump team, Robert Redfield and Deborah Birx:

Redfield, Birx & Fauci lead the White House #coronavirus task force. In 1992, two military investigators charged Redfield & Birx with engaging in ‘a systematic pattern of data manipulation, inappropriate statistical analyses & misleading data presentation in an apparent attempt to promote the usefulness of the GP160 AIDS vaccine.’

A subsequent Air Force tribunal on Scientific Fraud and Misconduct agreed that Redfield’s ‘misleading or, possibly, deceptive’ information ‘seriously threatens his credibility as a researcher and has the potential to negatively impact AIDS research funding for military institutions as a whole. His allegedly unethical behavior creates false hope and could result in premature deployment of the vaccine.’

The tribunal recommended investigation by a ‘fully independent outside investigative body.’ Dr. Redfield confessed to D.O.D. interrogators and to the tribunal, that his analyses were faulty and deceptive. He agreed to publicly correct them.

Afterward, he continued making his false claims at 3 subsequent international HIV conferences, & perjured himself in testimony before Congress, swearing that his vaccine cured HIV.

Their gambit worked. Based upon his testimony, Congress appropriated $20 million to the military to support Redfield/Birx’s research project. Public Citizen complained in a 1994 letter to the Congressional Committee’s Henry Waxman that the money caused the Army to kill the investigation & ‘whitewash’ Redfield’s crimes. The fraud propelled Birx & Redfield into stellar careers as health officials. Docs obtained via Tom Paine.”

Although the Chinese government and most of the U.S. political establishment continue to support the official “bat in the market” story, the majority of Americans, do not. As reported in the UK’s Sunday Times:

“According to a Pew Research poll, only 43 percent think the virus came about naturally, while a sizeable 29 percent believe it was made in a laboratory.”

Journalism Most Foul

It is frustrating, and indeed alarming, that so few independent journalists, scientists, activists, and public officials have thus far been willing to question the “official story.”

For 30 years now, myself and others have warned about the dangers of genetically engineered foods and crops and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in general, including gene-altered bioweapons, gene drives, and the new CRISPR gene-editing technologies. Now it appears that our worst fears have materialized.

We need a global public inquiry, led by independent scientists, to gather the evidence on what really happened with COVID-19, followed by an International Biowarfare Crimes Tribunal, so that we can bring the Chinese, U.S. and other perpetrators of this pandemic to justice, and prevent this type of disaster from ever happening again.

It’s time to shut down every Biosafety/Biowar lab in the world (including Bayer and Monsanto’s lab) and implement a true global ban on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including all atomic, chemical and biological weapons and WMD experimentation. Until we do this, none of us will ever be safe again.

The so-called progressive media in America, with a few exceptions, have up until now failed to investigate the real causes of the COVID-19 pandemic, partly out of ignorance of the machinations and arrogant recklessness of the gene engineers and bio-warfare scientists, partly out of fear of appearing to agree with Trump’s racist rantings, or even worse, being branded a “conspiracy theorist” by Establishment Democrats and mass media outlets.

And speaking of conspiracies and murder most foul, almost everyone seems to have forgotten about the nationwide panic surrounding the post-9/11 2001 anthrax bioterrorist attacks — used to help justify the invasion of Iraq — against liberal members of the media and the U.S. Congress.

Then and now, it was clear that these attacks were carried out not by Arab terrorists, nor a single crazed individual, but by a yet unidentified cabal who engineered and deployed weaponized spores from the U.S. military biowarfare lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

But perhaps you think we shouldn’t worry so much, since a blockbuster lineup of anti-COVID vaccines are on the way, funded by the Chinese government, Big Pharma and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, likely including some of the same gene engineers who weaponized COVID-19?

Never mind that Bill Gates, Monsanto, the Gene Giants and Big Pharma appear quite willing to join up with Facebook and Google to implement a 24/7 totalitarian medical surveillance state, with everyone injected with a mandatory and expensive COVID-19 vaccine, while the world’s dictators, corporate criminals and billionaires hunker down in their underground mansions and bunkers.

Never mind that most flu vaccines up until now don’t work that well, especially against constantly mutating viruses like COVID-19, or that they’re routinely laced with aluminum adjuvants and mercury preservatives.

Never mind that perhaps our only real defense against biowarfare is to stop eating Big Ag and Big Food’s poison products, and instead strengthen our health and our immune systems, clean up the world’s air, water and environment, shut down factory farms, stop destroying wildlife habitat and pray that herd immunity eventually stops the spread of COVID-19, since so many of us have already been infected, but are asymptomatic.

In the meantime, please don’t believe everything you read in the corporate mass media, Facebook or even the progressive press. Stay in touch with and support those of us determined to seek and defend the truth, fight for freedom and justice, and organize for a regenerative future and climate.

Remember to eat healthy, organic, regenerative foods, take your immune-boosting supplements, get as much exercise, fresh air and sunshine as possible, wash your hands frequently, stay safe, and stay out of the way of those most vulnerable. Please sign our petition demanding an end to genetic engineering of viruses.