Notes on Farrar Teleconference
Chris’ most recent video talks about a conference call between Fauci, Jeremy Farrar and others. I reviewed the released (and heavily redacted) emails and found the following.
(Note that throughout this post there are references to pages such as “NIH 002407.” Those are references to the page number on the FOIA information release, so that anyone can cross check this information.)
The conference call occurred just after Kristian Anderson sends out a January 31st email saying that “one has to look really closely all of the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.” NIH 002396
The conference call was scheduled by Jeremy Farrar.
The participants were:
Almost all these people are well known and, in some cases, very highly regarded scientists.
Farrar sent an agenda for the teleconference which stated:
1. Introduction, focus and desired outcomes – JF
2. Summary – KA
3. Comments – EH
4. Q&A – All
5. Summary and next steps – JH” NIH 002407
That email also contained a note saying:
“Information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on the next steps.” NIH 002406
About two weeks later – after the telephone conference – Fauci sends out this email:
Fauci’s email of February 13 seems to explain the reasons for the teleconference. He speaks of:
“… an ad hoc group informally led by Jeremy Farrar of Wellcome Trust. This groups has about 15 people, all of whom are highly respected scientists, mostly evolutionary biologists who are convening by emails and conference calls … to try and determine the evolutionary origin. “NIH 001920
Note that the emails says that the group will “try and determine the evolutionary origin.”
Four questions arise.
One, why was the focus of the group to determine the “evolutionary origin” of the virus. Shouldn’t a scientific investigation try to determine the “origin of the virus?” It seems like Fauci is stating that they assumed that the virus arose in nature and was not human engineered.
Well, why would scientists assume something like that?
I suppose an answer could be that they had already concluded, based upon some prior investigation, that it was not human made. But just the day before Kristian Anderson had noted:
“one has to look really closely all of the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.” NIH 002396
But even if they actually had already concluded that the virus was of natural origin, how do you answer the next question?
Question Two – if this was truly an objective and dispassionate discussion about a virus which was obviously not human made – why did the agenda have as point 1:
“Introduction, focus and desired outcomes – JF” (Emphasis added) NIH 002407.
Just what “desired outcomes” were being referred to? If the desired outcomes were to conclude that the virus was not human made, then that would not be scientific at all since it would presume the conclusion.
Is there another explanation for the phrase “desired outcome?”
Again, one could conjecture that it could be that they simply wanted to educate the public they knew that this was not a genetically engineered virus and that was the desired outcome.
But if that is the reason, how do you answer question three?
Question Three – if this was just an attempt to get to supposed obvious truth of an evolutionary origin and educate the public about it – why was it crucial that “Information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on the next steps.” NIH 002406.
What was so secret about the whole thing?
And that leads to the final question.
Question Four, what did this have to do with all these scientists in the first place?
Why would they all convene at this time to find an “evolutionary origin” for the virus?
These questions deserve answers.
There could very well be innocent explanations to all four questions. But, on the other hand, if the teleconference was an attempt to divert attention from the issue of a potential human-made origin for the virus, then that is a different story. Because, if the pandemic was indeed the result of a genetically engineered virus, then the public has an absolute right to know so that a debate can be started on international agreements to prevent this from ever happening again.
There may be a way to shed more light on this issue.
Around the time of the conference call there were several email exchanges between the participants of which, a large portion of those emails have been blacked out. NIH 002381, NIH 002314 – NIH 002323.
A suit could be brought to see if the blocking out of this information was justified under the specific exemptions or exclusions provided for under Freedom of Information Act. The law indeed provides for that. If the redactions are not proper then the information can and should be made available to the public. Will anyone take up that challenge?
In any event, after the teleconference on February 19, 2020, Farrar along with Peter Daszak and Christian Drosten (Drosten was on the conference call) and others published an letter in the Lancet claiming that the Sars Cov 2 virus arose naturally and not as a result of genetic engineering. It condemned “conspiracy theories” to the contrary.
On March 17, 2020 Robert Garry (also on the conference call) with Kristian Anderson (also on the conference call) and two other participants in the teleconference (Edward Holmes and Andrew Rambaut) published a study stating that Sars Cov 2 was not a product of genetic engineering. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9.
The article study specifically stated:
“Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation.”
That study was picked up by the media as proof that the virus was of natural origin and that anyone saying anything to the contrary was a “conspiracy theorist.
The headline of that article was:
Sorry, conspiracy theorists. Study concludes COVID-19 ‘is not a laboratory construct’
That study was even referred to on the official NIH blog as proof that the virus was of a natural origin in an article which was authored by Francis Collins. https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/03/26/genomic-research-points-to-natural-origin-of-covid-19/
Francis Collins is the Director of the NIH. He was also involved in some of the emails between the parties to the teleconference. NIH 002317 – NIH 002318
Next, in April, Edward Holmes a well-known evolutionary biologist and virologist (who, once again, was also on the conference call) additionally published (co-authored) an article in Cell which also stated that Covid 19 was not genetically engineered.
That study stated:
“Importantly, an independent insertion(s) of the amino acids PAA at the S1/S2 cleavage site was recently observed in a virus (RmYN02) sampled in mid-2019 from another Rhinolophus bat in Yunnan province, indicating that these insertion events reflect a natural part of ongoing coronavirus evolution.”
These publications also raise questions.
Were these published studies the “next steps” referred to in the “agenda” set for the original teleconference? If so, why publish them in three studies, not in one? Why not explain that all three studies were related to a group effort by everyone involved in the initial teleconference?
We don’t know.
It seems like there are a lot of questions here. And considering that it seems to involve the ongoing global pandemic, these are important questions.
There were thirteen participants in the original teleconference.
Perhaps Chris can email each of them an invitation to explain all this this in a podcast.
It would be interesting to hear the response.
Robert Kadlec, mentioned in the February 13th email, also shows up in the push to fund the new Merek treatment.
In his complaint, Bright suggests Kadlec attempted to help Ridgeback sidestep a government contracting process that is supposed to be guided by science. In one email to BARDA, a Ridgeback executive wrote that Kadlec was “personally” pushing the company “to move fast, but we can’t without this authorization” for funding.
Mike that’s a nice case you make there. 🙂
“You ask a lotta questions for a guy from New Jersey.” — Rosanne Rosanna Danna
Awesome analysis Mike. Awesome. You can join Chris as a Kristian Science Monitor!
I especially like that you clearly show there likely WAS a consipiracy – to choose seemingly unrelated teams to publish separate, seemingly unrelated articles as fast as possible so as to drown out consideration of a lab origin.
That furin cleavage site is still there, though. How did that get there?
Now that they can no longer hide the fact that it was engineered they have changed the effort to an all out Blame China Blame China blitz. All of what the media is asking is ” Is it natural origin or China?”, no other possibility is even proposed. Even here at PP 90% of the discussion is the same.
There were documented cases of C-19 in several countries months before the China outbreak. HELLO!!!