by WorldTribune Staff, April 15, 2021
Mounting evidence pointing to laboratory origins of the Covid-19 virus in Wuhan, China implicates Dr. Anthony Fauci, said economist Peter Navarro, an assistant to President Donald Trump and early proponent for cutting off travel from China early in the pandemic.
Navarro followed up the explosive statements in a column with a podcast in which he said President Trump had wanted to launch a presidential commission on the origins of the virus which would have placed China on the defensive. However Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin blocked the initiative.
In an April 13 op-ed for the Washington Times, Navarro wrote: “The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, believes the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“If Dr. Redfield is correct — and he almost certainly is — then Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health must assume significant responsibility for a global pandemic that has killed over half-a-million Americans, kicked tens of millions of Americans to the unemployment curb and drained trillions of dollars of wealth from the American economy.”
It was Fauci who “provided the Wuhan lab with both the funding and the green light for gain-of-function experiments,” Navarro noted, adding those are facts that “are not in dispute.”
“Gain of function” refers to artificial manipulation of existing viruses in order to enhance or enable their transmission to humans and to cause disease. The acknowledged purpose is to gain knowledge to better fight such viruses. Bioweapon development is another potential application.
After a number of leaks of dangerous pathogens from high security labs, the Obama administration had already stopped funding for gain of function research as being too dangerous. However, in 2017, Fauci as head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reauthorized funding for the Wuhan research without informing the Trump administration, Navarro pointed out.
Between 2014 and 2019, Fauci was responsible for $7.4 million provided by the NIH that went to funding gain of function in two batches, as reported by Newsweek in April of last year.
The first $3.7 million went to collection and study of bat coronaviruses under the direction of Wuhan’s Shi Zheng-Li, with a portion of another $3.7 million for gain of function research directed there by Peter Daszak of the World Health Organization.
In December of 2019, just before news broke of a new virus outbreak, Daszak spoke openly about the accomplishments from more than 15 years of genetically engineering viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the ease of doing this with coronaviruses.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is a P4 weapons lab. “With a biosafety rating of P4, the Wuhan lab houses the most dangerous pathogens on Earth, including the deadly Ebola,” Navarro writes. Further, the lab “engaged in research on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army since 2017 — the same year Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins approved gain-of-function research in Wuhan.”
Such labs are not 100 percent secure. As recently as 2018, the U.S. State Department warned of improper precautions at the Wuhan lab, and voiced concern of the possibility of a “new SARS-like pandemic.”
SARS-CoV-2 most closely resembles viruses that have been found in horseshoe bats. The Wuhan lab has an extensive collection of these rare and novel viruses. Adding fuel to this bat cave fire, many of these viruses were brought to Wuhan by China’s so-called Bat Lady Shi Zhengli. Before she was effectively muzzled by the Chinese government, Shi expressed concerns that the virus may have leaked from her lab.
“The only remaining question about whether Anthony Fauci is the father of the CCP virus is whether that virus escaped from this lab,” Navarro said.
In an interview on Steve Bannon’s “War Room”, Navarro said, “one of my deep regrets at the Trump White House was not being able to push forward with a presidential commission.” President Donald Trump wanted to do one, Navarro said, but Steve Mnuchin “fought this tooth and nail” over concerns of its reception by the Chinese.
“That commission not only would have gotten to the bottom of the origins of the virus,” Navarro said, “It would have put in motion a calculation of trillions of dollars that China has cost us with this virus, and allowed us to collect both compensatory damages and punitive damages.”
“They took away, at a minimum, a full year’s worth of GDP when you cost it all out — over 20 trillion dollars.“
Framing China’s legal obligations for the economic damage stemming from such a virus leak, Navarro added: “That’s the language of tort law. A tort is when you sue somebody who has harmed you and you collect compensatory damage for the harm they inflicted on you as well possible punitive damages to discourage them from doing that again. That’s exactly what we need to do with communist China.”