BY WEI-SHI MENG
When it comes to COVID-19, Ariel Fernandez seems to know what he is talking about. In a short timespan he has published several scientific papers on the subject.
One of Ariel Fernandez’ papers, one of the most widely read scientific papers, has already found a major detractor. His name is Peter Daszak, a name unfamiliar to the public a few months ago. Daszak is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, the charity that serves as contractor for NIH and the DoD/Pentagon and in turn, subcontracts to several laboratories overseas, especially the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), for research that is forbidden in the US. This work involves gain of function research geared at anticipating and preventing CoV pandemics by inducing pandemic potential in CoVs found in nature. Sounds absurd? Well, it is! Defies common sense? It sure does!
WM: Dr. Fernandez, can you tell me why Daszak dislikes your paper?
AF: Daszak and his troupe are disparaging me and my paper “Molecular Biology Clues Portray SARS-CoV-2 as a Gain-of-Function Laboratory Manipulation of Bat CoV RaTG13”. When I first learn of this, it came to me as a surprise because the paper never mentions Daszak, and does not imply that he is to be blamed for anything. My paper shows that the SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to have arisen naturally. Daszak was so incensed and became so threatening, bullying me through the networks, that I realized I had to learn who this person was. I asked myself: Why is this guy attacking me? I found out he is the most fierce player in the cover-up concerning the alleged lab origin of COVID-19. Daszak disqualifies and disparages anybody and everybody that suggests or implies, however vaguely, the artificial origin of SARS-CoV-2. Everybody knows now about his infamous opinion piece published to that effect in The Lancet, where Daszak omitted disclosing any conflict of interest and the journal went along with it. So, obviously I had to learn what was Daszak’s motivation for targeting my paper. It didn’t take me long to find out that Daszak had been the primary force behind gain of function modifications of bat CoVs, including the insertion of the “detonator” for infection: the furin cleavage site that is essential for the priming of the spike protein for entry into the human cell.
WM: I know your paper is the first scientific piece to tag the humanized furin cleavage site as the smoking gun in the artificial origin of the SARS-CoV-2. Why is that so?
AF: Because this site is missing altogether in other CoVs of the same lineage, and because it is encoded at the nucleotide level in a way that is totally atypical for homologs of SARS-CoV-2. It was inserted in the lab to weaponize a bat CoV, to enable the virus to infect humans.
WM: And what has that to do with Peter Daszak?
AF: Well, first it is important to indicate that Daszak had amassed a huge support from the DoD and the Pentagon. The hotly debated NIH support he got is peanuts compared to what he received from the Pentagon. That kind of research is invariably dual in its nature: the same virus manipulations that would enable him to infer (and hopefully prevent) pandemic potential are the ones that serve to weaponize the virus. The same concept Daszak sold to the DoD is the one he sold to NIH, mutatis mutandis, only that in the latter context it sounded far more ridiculous, something like: “I am anticipating CoV pandemics by endowing bat CoVs with pandemic potential, promoting and inducing their transmissibility to humans”. So Daszak subcontracted gain of function research to change the spike of bat CoVs in order to change the target species and proposed to insert humanized furin cleavage sites in order to arm the virus for infection.
WM: That sounds really ominous, but how do you know all this?
AF: The proposals for the grants awarded to EcoHealth Alliance are (or should be or were at some point) in the public domain, since Daszak subcontracted grants of taxpayer dollars. Strikingly, DARPA rejected his proposal for insertion of furin cleavage sites, deeming it too dangerous. But he had preliminary results together with “batwoman” Shi Zhengli, from the WIV and it is known that he intended to do more of such gain of function work.
WM: So he needs your paper removed from the literature?
AF: Yes, except that I have no intention of retracting it, and I happen to be the sole author.
WM: It seems it is a major cover-up that will trigger Daszak’s downfall.
AF: Possibly! The role of Daszak in the cover up, as staunch detractor of anyone proposing the lab leak, is a lot easier to establish than his alleged role in actually causing the COVID-19 pandemic. Sounds familiar?
WM: Indeed! The cover-up will bring about Daszak’s downfall. He should know better.
AF: I guess he can’t help it: “By the mouth the fish dies”, or so it goes, right? It looks like he will be subpoenaed by Congress, so the plot thickens. Hopefully, lessons will be learned and accordingly, better policies will be put in place to avert future catastrophes of this nature.