Missouri grocery store repurposing salad bars due for coronavirus – they now contain cereals, candies and even alcoholic beverages

(Natural News) Due to fears that a salad bar might become a vector for the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), a grocery store chain in Missouri replaced the salads with cereal, candy and even alcoholic beverages. Dierbergs Markets, a grocery store chain based in Chesterfield, Missouri, with several locations in the rest of the state,…

Bill Gates EXPOSED: Web of Dark Money and Influence – Part 1: Philanthropic Narrative Shaping

In the first few months of 2020, business tycoon and billionaire Bill Gates saw his popularity soar through the roof. According to YouGov, 58 percent of Americans polled about Gates had a positive opinion of him, he is equally liked by men and women, and both Boomers and Millennials adore him. Gates’ popularity might have increased […]

The post Bill Gates EXPOSED: Web of Dark Money and Influence – Part 1: Philanthropic Narrative Shaping appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

Bill Gates Adds Pharma ‘Fact’ Checkers to Microsoft Products

NewsGuard, which bills itself at “the internet trust tool,” is among the latest technology tools claiming to rate information as reliable or fake news, supplying you with a color-coded rating system next to Google and Bing searches, as well as on articles displayed on social media.

If you rely on NewsGuard’s ratings, you may decide to entirely skip by those with a low “red” rating in favor of the “more trustworthy” green-rated articles — and therein lies the problem. NewsGuard is in itself fraught with conflicts of interest, as it’s largely funded by Publicis, a global communications giant that’s partnered with Big Pharma, such that it may be viewed more as a censorship tool than an internet watchdog.

Now, NewsGuard has expanded its partnership with Microsoft, co-founded by Bill Gates, which will provide all users of Microsoft Edge browser free access to its questionable ratings, among other services.

NewsGuard Expands Partnership With Microsoft

Under Microsoft’s NewsGuard expansion, people who use Microsoft Edge’s desktop and mobile browser will have free access to NewsGuard’s ratings, which otherwise must be purchased via a $2.95 monthly subscription fee. Microsoft’s Bing search engine will also have NewsGuard ratings in real-time, while all other Microsoft departments will also be able to use NewsGuard ratings in their products and services.1

“Projects already underway include the company’s Defending Democracy Program and teams within Microsoft Research who are working on misinformation, disinformation and health care hoaxes,” according to a NewsGuard press release.2

Also under the agreement is Microsoft’s continued sponsorship of NewsGuard’s news literacy program, which is a “unique media literacy teaching tool that guides citizens through the overwhelming landscape of online news and information.”3 More than 700 public libraries from Los Angeles to London, serving more than 7 million patrons, currently use NewsGuard.

The news literacy program exists in the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, and with the expanded partnership it’s expected to roll out in Australia, Canada and other countries in 2020.4

With the news literacy program, librarians will even provide instructions to patrons on how to install the NewsGuard extension on their personal computers, tablets and cellphones. Once you’ve installed the NewsGuard browser plugin on your computer or cellphone, the NewsGuard icon rating will appear on all Google and Bing searches and on articles featured in your social media news feeds.

The NewsGuard ratings are meant to influence readers, instructing them to disregard content with cautionary colors and cautions — but NewsGuard’s ratings are highly questionable, considering its primary backer, Publicis, is an advertising and data firm that’s been involved in advertising and marketing pharmaceutical products, cigarettes and unhealthy junk food to kids.

For instance, Leo Burnett, the ad company famous for creating the Marlboro man ad campaigns that made Marlboro the best-selling cigarette in the world and led to the nicotine addiction of millions, many of whom died from smoking, is a part of Publicis.5,6

NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz stated in a press release, “We are delighted to be able to expand our relationship with Microsoft, which is a leader among companies in taking steps to address the unforeseen, unintended consequences of new technologies …

The internet has empowered people around the world with unprecedented access to information, but the internet has also made it easier than ever for misinformation to spread, including health care hoaxes about COVID-19.”7

Unfortunately, what’s less widely publicized is the widespread deception that can occur when a conflicted start-up company is allowed to dictate what’s truth and what’s not.

Publicis Acquires Big Data Collection Company Epsilon

Publicis was the lead investor among a group of 18 that helped make NewsGuard a reality. As a giant global communications group, Publicis has divisions that brand imaging, design of digital business platforms, media relations and health care.

Publicis Groupe’s health subsidiary, Publicis Health, names Merck, Abbot, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Celgene, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson and other Big Pharma giants as clients, which gives you an idea of where its loyalties lie.8

In early 2020, drug giant GlaxoSmithKline awarded Publicis Media a healthy piece of business, and the communications group responded by creating a custom platformGSK to run the drug giant’s media business; platformGSK in turn added Pfizer Consumer Healthcare to its portfolio, making the total venture worth $1.5 billion.

Publicis also handles other Big Pharma media accounts, including Novartis’. In August 2019, Publicis created NovartisONE2 to manage the pharma giant’s global media account worth $600 million.9

In April 2019, Publicis also announced that it would acquire marketing services company Epsilon in a $4.4 billion deal.10 Epsilon made headlines in 2011 after a massive data breach, but is far from a household name, despite its strong presence in the marketing world. What is Epsilon? CNET explained:11

“In addition to offering e-mail marketing services and managing customer e-mail databases for clients, Epsilon monitors social networking and other sites to see what people are saying about a company, advises on markets to target, helps develop and maintain customer loyalty programs, and offers Abacus, ‘the world’s largest cooperative database with over 8.6 billion consumer transactions and 4.8 billion business transactions’ used for creating lists of prospective customers.

The different data Epsilon sells includes age, profession, residence, ethnic information and political affiliation …”

Digiday further described Epsilon as “a smorgasbord of data given it has more than 250 million U.S. consumers in its database and sends over 71 billion personalized emails each year.”12 Epsilon was also an early adopter of Amazon Alexa, integrating public Alexa data with its own consumer information.13 Until the acquisition — the second largest deal in advertising history — Publicis lacked a major data marketing arm, but now, as Adweek put it, is “firmly in the data business.”14

In addition to owning NewsGuard, Publicis has made deals with other tech companies, including a $500 million, multiyear ad partnership with Facebook in 2014. “Under the terms, Publicis’ agencies and their clients — which include powerful brands like Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Bank of America, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola — will receive discounted rates on a range of Facebook products as well as access to Facebook’s user data and engineers,” according to Entrepreneur.15

In 2013, Publicis also inked a $100 million deal with Google and agreed to purchase millions of dollars in YouTube ads in the next year.16 If NewsGuard continues, it’s very likely Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will use its ratings to lower the visibility of content — making nonconformist views disappear entirely.

NewsGuard Ignores Key Data, Censors Truthful News

Once installed on your browser, NewsGuard assigns a color coded “Nutrition Label” to sites, rating them green or red in a process they said would be “completely transparent and accountable.”17 The nine criteria NewsGuard is using to “protect” you from fake news include:18

Does not repeatedly publish false content (22 points)

Gathers and presents information responsibly (18 points)

Regularly corrects or clarifies errors (12.5 points)

Handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly (12.5 points)

Avoids deceptive headlines (10 points)

Website discloses ownership and financing (7.5 points)

Clearly labels advertising (7.5 points)

Reveals who’s in charge, including possible conflicts of interest (5 points)

The site provides the names of content creators, along with either contact or biographical information (5 points)

A score lower than 60 points gets a red rating, while higher scores get more favorable results, which is intended to provide readers with a “signal if a website is trying to get it right or instead has a hidden agenda or knowingly publishes falsehoods or propaganda.”19 However, NewsGuard’s ratings can’t be taken at face value.

Recently, NewsGuard announced that my site has been classified as fake news because we have reported the SARS-CoV-2 virus as potentially having been leaked from the biosafety level 4 (BSL4) laboratory in Wuhan City, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to NewsGuard, “There is no evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak, and genomic evidence has found that the virus is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus.”20 But NewsGuard’s position is in direct conflict with published scientific evidence suggesting this virus was created in a lab and not zoonotically transmitted.

Since my February 4, 2020, article, I’ve become increasingly convinced — through reviewing the scientific literature that NewsGuard ignores or is unaware of — that SARS-CoV-2 may in fact be a synthetic virus, likely created and released (inadvertently or not) from one or more laboratories that worked on weaponizing SARS and bat coronaviruses.

Interestingly, an April 2020 report by CNN reveals China’s censorship of articles mentioning the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 may have leaked from the Wuhan BSL4 facility appears to come from China,21 which means, by essentially also censoring such articles, NewsGuard is functionally protecting Chinese interests and inhibiting scientific inquiry.

Overall, it appears NewsGuard is just another big business aimed at keeping the chemical, drug and food industries, as well as mainstream media, intact by discrediting and eliminating unwanted competition, including yours truly and many others who empower you with information that helps you take control of your health.

Fighting Back Against Fake ‘Fact Checkers’

NewsGuard is backed by the Publicis Groupe, which has been manipulating what people think about commercial products for nearly a century.22 You don’t need this thought police, advertising front group helping you sort through fake news and telling you what’s sound science and what’s not.

There are a number of ways to fight back, including choosing browsers and search engines that do not automatically contain NewsGuard ratings. In addition, if your local library is using NewsGuard, you can start a campaign to get it removed, while letting others know that NewsGuard is owned by a pharmaceutical public relations/data firm and is engaged in censoring truthful news and scientific freedom.

Counties With Meat Plants Have Double Amount of COVID Cases

Meatpacking plants have joined nursing homes and prisons as hot spots of COVID-19 cases, and the infections are affecting the surrounding communities as well. It’s one more way that the industrial model of food production that’s permeated the U.S. is failing and, rather than supplying healthy food for the public, is causing environmental destruction and disease.

In an April 2020 report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that COVID-19 cases among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities were reported by 19 states. The facilities employ approximately 130,000 workers and have seen 4,913 cases and 20 deaths.

“Factors potentially affecting risk for infection include difficulties with workplace physical distancing and hygiene and crowded living and transportation conditions,” the CDC noted.1 An analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) further revealed that counties containing meatpacking plants, or located within 15 miles of one, are also facing an above-average number of COVID-19 infections.2

Nearly Double the COVID-19 Infections in Meatpacking Counties

Using cases reported by Johns Hopkins University, EWG revealed that, as of May 6, 2020, counties with meatpacking plants, or within a 15-mile radius, reported 373 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, which is close to double the U.S. average of 199 cases per 100,000. EWG reported:3

“Meat plant outbreaks are among the largest drivers of the recent eight-fold growth in COVID-19 cases in rural America. Before [meat plants were ordered to remain open on April 28] … at least 30 plants temporarily closed to address their outbreaks, although most have remained open without pause. In at least one state, the governor overrode public health officials to force a plant to remain open.”

A Bloomberg analysis also revealed that, during the week after the order that meatpacking plants remain open, cases of COVID-19 increased 40% in counties with major meat slaughterhouses compared to a 19% rise across the U.S.4 While such counties represent just 7.5% of the U.S. population, they accounted for 10% of new COVID-19 cases and were described as new hot spots in the mostly rural areas.

Neighboring communities are also at risk, because while the average U.S. commute is 15 miles one way, many meat plant workers likely travel much farther to get to work. “… [B]ecause the 15-mile radius around meatpacking plants often crosses county or state lines, seemingly isolated case clusters not only endanger one community but can also spread the virus to neighboring counties or states,” EWG noted.5

As an example, EWG cited Dakota City, Nebraska, which is home to Tyson Foods. The plant reported 669 cases on April 30, 2020, but the seven counties that are located in a 15-mile radius of Dakota City have an average of 1,000 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. Worse still are the counties that are near more than one meatpacking plant, “creating a deadly Venn diagram with overlapping zones of potential plant-linked infections.”6

Tama, Black Hawk and Marshall counties in central Iowa, which have three meatpacking plants, have an average of 1,483 cases per 100,000 residents — more than seven times the U.S. national average.

Consolidation Leads to Rises in COVID-19 and Meat Shortages

Tyson, JBS USA, Smithfield Foods and Cargill Inc. control the majority of U.S. meat and poultry, most of which are processed in a limited number of large plants. Because the processing is concentrated into a small number of large facilities, a U.S. government statement noted, “[C]losure of any of these plants could disrupt our food supply and detrimentally impact our hardworking farmers and ranchers.”7

While the move to keep meat and poultry processing plants open was met with criticism from unions calling for increased protections for workers in the cramped conditions, the government cited statistics that closing one large beef processing plant could lead to a loss of more than 10 million servings of beef in a day.

Further they noted that closing one processing plant can eliminate more than 80% of the supply of a given meat product, such as ground beef, to an entire grocery store chain.8 It’s unknown just how many COVID-19 infections have occurred among the more than 500,000 workers employed by the approximately 7,600 slaughter and processing facilities in North America.9

Some states and counties are not releasing information about which facilities have cases. Even the workers at some facilities have been kept in the dark as outbreaks occurred. EWG reported, however:

“According to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, as of May 12, there have been at least 12,500 reported COVID-19 cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 180 plants in 31 states. As of May 12, the Food and Environment Reporting Network’s map of all meat and food processing plant COVID-19 outbreaks shows infections of 13,342 meat industry workers.”10

EWG also reported the meatpacking plants with the most COVID-19 cases, with the top 10 as follows:11

Company Location Infected Workers Confirmed Cases in Counties Within 15 Miles Share of Confirmed County Cases From Nearby Facility Outbreaks

Tyson Foods

Logansport, Indiana

900

1,963

45.8%

Smithfield Foods

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

800

2,409

33.2%

Tyson Foods

Perry, Iowa

730

683

100%

Tyson Foods

Dakota City, Nebraska

669

2,386

28.0%

Tyson Foods

Waterloo, Iowa

444

1,826

24.3%

Triumph Foods

St. Joseph, Missouri

422

442

95.5%

JBS

Worthington, Minnesota

350

1,133

30.9%

JBS

Green Bay, Wisconsin

300

1,697

17.7%

Tyson Foods

Goodlettsville, Tennessee

298

4,221

7.1%

Cargill

Dodge City, Kansas

288

875

32.9%

CAFOs Killing Off Unprecedented Number of Animals

The problems caused by consolidation in the meat industry are perhaps no more apparent than to the farmers left with hundreds of thousands of animals quickly growing too large for slaughter, and nowhere to send them. Farmers with large pig farms are being particularly hard hit, although egg and poultry farmers have also been affected.

If slaughterhouses close, the farmers have nowhere to send their animals, and with a new, younger group waiting to replace them, have no room to spare. Across the U.S., farmers are being forced to gas, lethally inject or shoot food animals in the head, a waste of meat during a time when many are struggling to find food, and a sentence that’s causing emotional damage to farmers.

“The economic part of it is damaging,” Steve Meyer, a pork industry analyst, told The New York Times. “But the emotional and psychological and spiritual impact of this will have much longer consequences.”12 The mental turmoil is also giving way to another environmental problem — what to do with all the dead bodies. The Times reported:13

“In recent weeks, animal health officials in Minnesota have leased plots of land as large as 100 acres to create composting sites for hogs. Each day, farmers arrive in trucks to unload the remains of their pigs. Then a cleanup crew puts the carcasses into a wood chipper.

So far, the state has composted more than 5,000 pig carcasses across two locations, and it plans to establish up to three more disposal sites in the coming weeks, said Michael Crusan, a spokesman for the Board of Animal Health.

Farmers, who spend about $130 to raise each pig, pay to transport the carcasses to the disposal sites, where the state covers the cost of composting. Some farmers who have had to cull large numbers of animals have lost as much as $390,000 in a single day.”

Meat Inspectors Spreading Disease

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is tasked with conducting inspections on U.S. meat supplies. This requires inspectors to travel to slaughterhouses, processing plants and other facilities across the U.S.

FSIS inspectors speaking to Government Executive criticized the agency’s handling of the inspection process during the pandemic, detailing unsafe working practices that are likely contributing to the spread of disease.14 Prior to April 2020, multiple inspectors said they were prohibited from wearing masks during inspections because it would create fear in the facilities.

Reports have emerged of potential disruptions to the food supply chain as meat plants, including facilities in Greeley, Colorado, and Columbus Junction, Iowa, closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees and federal inspectors. However, prior to the closure, as inspectors in Greeley fell ill, the USDA sent another round of inspectors to the plant to supplement the workforce there.

FSIS also relocated employees from a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Smithfield plant that closed to a facility in Waterloo, Iowa, where inspectors were also testing positive for COVID-19. While inspectors questioned the strategy of moving employees potentially exposed to COVID-19 from one hot zone to the next, FSIS told inspectors to keep working, even if they’d been exposed, as long as they had not yet developed symptoms.15

FSIS has not revealed how many inspectors have contracted COVID-19, but Buck McKay, an FSIS spokesperson, stated that “ensuring the U.S. supply chain remains strong is [the agency’s] top priority.”16

‘The Sickness in Our Food Supply’

In an article titled “The Sickness in Our Food Supply,”17 author Michael Pollan succinctly sums up many of the problems facing the food supply, and how they’ve now been thrust into the spotlight due to COVID-19. Americans, for the first time in decades, have been faced with empty grocery store shelves and meat shortages.

In May 2020 Costco began limiting the amount of meat each shopper could purchase, while Kroger warned customers that it could soon have limited inventory.18 The problem, however, isn’t a shortage of food but problems with distribution and breaks in the supply chain.

Adding insult to injury, the foods that the industrialized food system promotes, including heavily processed junk foods, are those that contribute to the chronic diseases that make people most at risk from severe COVID-19 infection. And some of the most questionable practices of all, like the massive planting of corn and soybean crops, are likely to be unscathed by the pandemic. Pollan wrote:19

“The pandemic is, willy-nilly, making the case for deindustrializing and decentralizing the American food system, breaking up the meat oligopoly, ensuring that food workers have sick pay and access to health care, and pursuing policies that would sacrifice some degree of efficiency in favor of much greater resilience.

Somewhat less obviously, the pandemic is making the case not only for a different food system but for a radically different diet as well.

It’s long been understood that an industrial food system built upon a foundation of commodity crops like corn and soybeans leads to a diet dominated by meat and highly processed food. Most of what we grow in this country is not food exactly, but rather feed for animals and the building blocks from which fast food, snacks, soda, and all the other wonders of food processing, such as high-fructose corn syrup, are manufactured.

While some sectors of agriculture are struggling during the pandemic, we can expect the corn and soybean crop to escape more or less unscathed. That’s because it takes remarkably little labor—typically a single farmer on a tractor, working alone—to plant and harvest thousands of acres of these crops. So processed foods should be the last kind to disappear from supermarket shelves.

Unfortunately, a diet dominated by such foods (as well as lots of meat and little in the way of vegetables or fruit—the so-called Western diet) predisposes us to obesity and chronic diseases such as hypertension and type-2 diabetes. These ‘underlying conditions’ happen to be among the strongest predictors that an individual infected with Covid-19 will end up in the hospital with a severe case of the disease …”

Support the PRIME Act

Under current government regulations, the USDA, not individual states, has control over how meat is processed. Small livestock producers are forced to drive long distances to have their animals slaughtered at slaughterhouses that meet federal inspection standards — the same slaughterhouses that are now being shut down because the giant facilities are breeding grounds for disease.

Small, custom slaughterhouses are not permitted to sell any of their meat to grocery stores, schools or restaurants, even though it could now prove to be a lifeline to states.

The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act, introduced by Representative Thomas Massie, R-Ky., would allow farmers to sell meat processed at these smaller slaughtering facilities and allow states to set their own meat processing standards.

Because small slaughterhouses do not have an inspector on staff, a requirement that only large facilities can easily fulfill, they’re banned from selling their meat. The PRIME Act would lift this regulation without sacrificing safety, as random USDA inspections could still occur.20

Massie stated that the shutting down of meat processing plants is driving the euthanizing of animals that may lead to shortages in the supermarket, including a shortage of beef by the fall. “Let those small meat processors fill in the gaps so that we don’t have the dangerous situation where we’re euthanizing animals instead of providing them as food. My bill would allow that to happen,” he stated.21

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.”