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How a CCP Operation Ensnared the US Government
How HHS became compromised during the COVID Crisis
By Clare M. Lopez
As described in my earlier guest essay for this Substack, “Long history of China's CCP and Biowarfare”, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in collaboration with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has a long history involving development of its offensive Biological Warfare (BW) program. That piece explained how the CCP took over the Japanese Imperial Army’s WW II Biological Warfare program that brought such horror to the Chinese people from Japan’s Unit 731 based in Manchuria. Here now, we should first expand on how the Soviet Union teamed up with the CCP to develop both of their Biological Warfare programs into the massive state-run networks that they are today.
Then to get at the main theme for this essay, I will delve into the way the CCP eventually – I believe deliberately, methodically, and maliciously – ensnared the U.S. public health system and its leading officials in its own Biological Warfare program by way of partnerships on Gain-of-Function (GoF) research at the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, the Galveston National Laboratory, and through U.S. Government (USG) funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) channeled through Peter Daszak’s New York-based EcoHealth Alliance Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). While China certainly welcomed U.S. funding and technology, it did not actually need either: the CCP-PLA already had long been conducting GoF research, likely in collaboration with Russia. What the CCP did want, I believe, was to ensnare the USG in complicity for this or another Biological Warfare pandemic that it has repeatedly declared is a weapon of choice in its “Unrestricted Warfare” arsenal against the U.S.
When Ken Alibek, the First Deputy Chief of the USSR’s sprawling Biopreparat network, defected to the United States (U.S.) in 1992, he revealed for the first time how the Soviets had built a massive KGB/military-controlled biological weapons program under cover of ostensibly civilian labs and research centers. Some were managed by the Soviet Ministry of Health while others were overseen by the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In fact, the entire apparatus was under the control of the Soviet Communist Party by way of the Politburo. Alibek’s book, “Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World—Told From Inside by the Man Who Ran It” was first published in 1999.
In “Biohazard”, Alibek confessed that, while still at Biopreparat, he had authorized Gain-of-Function work at the Vector Biological Warfare facility that was intended to create a “powerful new smallpox weapon”. Sergei Netyosov, Deputy Scientific Director at Vector, led a team of scientists who’d begun work on creating a chimeric virus that would combine Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) with vaccinia, a nonpathogenic virus related to smallpox. If successful, the result could have been a Biological Warfare double-agent capable of triggering both VEE and smallpox at the same time. Later, according to Alibek, Vector researchers reported success at inserting a gene for Ebola into the vaccinia genome to create an Ebola-smallpox chimera weapon. It is not known publicly whether Russian GoF efforts at creating such chimeras either continued or ever succeeded. But we do know that the CCP-PLA ‘civilian-military fusion’ offensive Biological Warfare program conducted similar such research – and did so much more recently – as described below.
Although Alibek did not mention much about the Soviet Biological Warfare collaboration with Communist China, we know from other open sources that soon after seizing control of China in 1949, Mao Zedong established a close relationship with Stalin’s USSR. At that time, the USSR was far more advanced in every technological area than China, which almost completely lacked a national technological base. Writing in the National Review issue of December 19, 2022, Klon Kitchen recounts how the Soviets sent “thousands of scientists and engineers to help Mao build his country’s technological base…[and] nearly 40,000 Chinese were sent to Russia to receive advanced training” there in return. Kitchen does not specify BW as a field of such training but it most likely would have included Biological Warfare.
For one thing, the CCP-PLA model for its Biological Warfare program is called “civilian-military fusion”. Just as in the former Soviet Union (and likely continuing today in Russia) the Communist Party’s Biological Warfare program is concealed behind a façade of civilian labs and research centers, so too in today’s China its BW program is spread out across a vast network of both civilian and military labs and research centers—but all remain under the administrative control of the CCP and top leadership of the PLA. Chinese virologist and whistleblower Dr. Li-Meng Yan and the Citizens Commission on National Security (CCNS)’s Col. Lawrence Sellin have described much of that network and its ongoing offensive “unrestricted warfare” model of BW. Israeli Lt. Col. Dany Shoham at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies also has written extensively on the CCP-PLA’s collaborative BW program.
For our purposes here, the important points to note are the close working relationship between the Soviet-Russian Communist Party and the CCP, the apparent modeling of the CCP-PLA Biological Warfare program on the Soviet one, and the decades-long commitment to Gain-of-Function research by the Russians. Given that history, as well as more recent reporting, there is little doubt that the CCP-PLA also have long been working on GoF experiments within Beijing’s overall BW program. Again, the importance of this understanding is that China did not need U.S. input, either financial or technological, to continue its GoF research with the SARS-CoV. Rather, the methodical “elite capture” development of entangling relationships with top U.S. research facilities and public health officials ensured that when this was all inevitably investigated and revealed, evidence would show close, long-standing USG involvement, thereby spreading the guilt for a pandemic the CCP itself unleashed and perhaps irredeemably tarnishing reputations and destroying public trust throughout the U.S. health care system.
One of the key studies that revealed both CCP-PLA GoF research and US government involvement is the widely publicized paper entitled “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence”, first published in Nature Medicine 9 November 2015. Here we see some of the clearest evidence of GoF work on the SARS-CoV in which American and Chinese scientists together “built a chimeric virus encoding a novel, zoonotic CoV spike protein”. We will note that this study was conducted with funding from EcoHealth Alliance and included both Dr. Ralph Baric, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the now-notorious so-called “bat woman”, Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi, who heads the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Also of note is that this particular GoF research was conducted not only with U.S. taxpayer funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) all channeled through EcoHealth Alliance, but that it was off-shored to the WIV after President Barack Obama had stopped funding for GoF research in 2014 because it was too risky. The Obama “pause”, however, was “voluntary”, which allowed the Department of Defense to continue research under the auspices of “national security”.
In addition to the UNC/Chapel Hill, we should also mention the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), located on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). GNL is the second of these two university-based maximum containment (BSL-4) laboratories in the U.S. that are focused on the study of highly infectious diseases and development of medical countermeasures. Like UNC, the GNL is part of the NIAID Biodefense Laboratory Network, directed for 38 years by Dr. Anthony Fauci prior to his December 2022 retirement. According to GNL former Director Dr. James Le Duc (who retired in 2021), GNL has been collaborating with the WIV since 2013 and also with the CCP-controlled Chinese Academies of Science. Indicative of the influence the CCP wielded over U.S. public health institutions is the August 2022 admission by UTMB that it may have broken U.S. law when it signed contracts—including one with the WIV—that gave three Chinese labs authority to order destruction by its US partners of “secret files, materials, and equipment” with no backups allowed. Those MOUs, signed by GNL Director Le Duc, have since been terminated and UTMB has asserted that no documents or other materials were destroyed.
Another disturbing revelation appears in the 2021 book “What Really Happened in Wuhan” by Australian investigative journalist Sharri Markson. On page 216, she writes that in 2015 then-NIH Director Francis Collins “formalized collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences” (CAMS), which is the PLA’s highest level research institute. The PLA uses the CAMS’ dual-use research in the context of China’s civilian-military fusion model to advance its overall offensive BW program. Perhaps Collins’ collaboration with CAMS was merely naïve; the later consequences, however, were deeply detrimental to the official USG response to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, just as no doubt intended by Beijing, when Collins told Dr. Fauci in April 2020 that suggestions of a lab leak were a conspiracy. This is how elite capture works.
Indeed, it can be shown that the entire span of U.S. public health institutions, from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the NIH, and Fauci’s own NIAID responded to the COVID crisis in a panic once they realized that that their own funding of and involvement in China’s GoF BW program may have led directly to the public health disaster that convulsed the U.S. from 2020-2022. At least one email dated 1 February 2020 obtained by the U.S. Right to Know organization indicated that both Collins and Fauci early on were alarmed by the links they knew they’d personally fostered between the NIH and the WIV. As we now know, a secret teleconference with a group of virologists was held that very day and touched off a concerted effort to discredit the lab leak hypothesis, which likely would have led to discovery about their own contributions to GoF research at the WIV. There followed the 17 March 2020 paper “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2” in Nature Medicine which claimed “strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation”.
Documents uncovered in a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request by Judicial Watch indicated that in May 2022 GNL’s Le Duc warned Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of potential investigations into the COVID issue by Congress. The content of more emails, as documented in a November 29, 2022 article from the Brownstone Institute, makes it clear that the CCP, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and leadership of the U.S. public health establishment have been trying desperately to stymie any efforts at investigation of the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 because they know that they themselves are implicated in funding and collaborating in the CCP-PLA BW research that likely created it.
How they all became involved, wittingly or not, in supporting the Chinese regime’s offensive Biological Warfare program is the story of a sophisticated recruitment operation—or as Peter Schweizer tells us the CCP calls it, “elite capture”. Since at least 2005, when Epoch Times acquired a copy of The Secret Speech of Chi Haotian, we have known (or should have known) that the Chinese regime actively is working to develop “special means to ‘clean up’ America”, specifically “new bio-weapons”. Jeff Nyquist published the entire speech in English translation at his blog in September 2019. That virtually the entirety of the U.S. public health system allowed itself to become ensnared in such an operation that finally looks to become fully exposed in planned hearings as Republicans take control of the House of Representatives nevertheless remains deeply disturbing. The naivete, if that’s what it was, or arrogance, carelessness, greed, that allowed leadership of the CDC, FDA, NIH, NIAID and top university lab facilities to be lured into complicity for one of the worst health disasters of modern times should inform us all of how the CCP conducts the “unrestricted warfare” by which China fully intends to take down America and the rest of the free world.
We welcome Congressional hearings into the entire affair but also second Dr. Robert Malone’s call for an international tribunal to “investigate and if warranted, prosecute those responsible for the millions of deaths caused by the lab-created SARS-CoV-2”, as he tweeted on New Year’s Day 2023. The SARS-CoV-2 disaster was global. Its deliberate unleashing upon the world, on top of the virus’ actual creation, by the CCP demands that China’s communist leadership be held accountable. The worldwide orchestration of devastating lockdowns—again at the instigation of the CCP, channeled back to Fauci by way of NIAID deputy director Dr. Clifford Lane—must also be investigated and explained. The failure by Fauci under oath in Congress to admit honestly to his and NIH/NIAID’s direct involvement in GoF research by what he must have known was a massive Chinese BW program likewise must be explained to the American people.
Let us hold Congress, our public health institutions, and the USG overall to account for what was done to us. We’ll be watching.
Clare M. Lopez is the Founder/President of Lopez Liberty LLC and Director U.S. Geostrategic Security Issues for the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement (NEC-SE)
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Guest Essays reflect the guest author’s opinion and expertise.