Here are two recent media articles ostensibly on the same subject but offering quite different focuses. Readers of each article will likely get completely different impressions of what is going on.
The first story is from a western media outlet and the second is from RT News America, a global news outlet known for its critiques of western media shortcomings. We can’t say which article is correct, if either of them are.
The article contents are in black, my comments in red.
The following headline and the abridged article recently appeared in the New Zealand Herald, our national newspaper which is closely associated with the western mainstream media,
“Covid-19: Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats 18 months before outbreak”
22 Sep, 2021 12:00 PM
Article headline immediately focuses on and associates “Wuhan Scientists” and “Covid 19.”
Studies show up to 70% of people read no further than the headline and their takeaway message of the article occurs within these few seconds. Just in case you are someone who reads the first few lines as well as the headline, the reference between “Coronaviruses” and “Wuhan scientists” is repeated.
Wuhan scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show.
New documents reportedly show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.
They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested US$14 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to fund the work.
“They” – the Wuhan scientists who are the main focuses of the article – planned to create highly dangerous chimeric (man made) viruses and requested financial assisitance from “DARPA” to do so.
The article makes no mention of who or what Darpa is, which would lead most people to conclude Darpa is a Chinese organization, as this is consistent with the context of the article, but this is not correct. Darpa is an American military research agency, a part of the United States Department of “Defense” (Pentagon). It is responsible for the development of emerging technologies for possible use as weapons by the American military, viruses included.
The proposal also included plans to mix high-risk natural coronavirus strains with more infectious but less dangerous varieties.
The bid was submitted by British zoologist Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, the US-based organisation, which has worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researching bat coronaviruses.
Darpa refused to fund the work, saying: “It is clear that the proposed project led by Peter Daszak could have put local communities at risk”, and warned that the team had not properly considered the dangers of enhancing the virus (gain of function research) or releasing a vaccine by air.
Peter Daszak was also behind a letter published in The Lancet last year which effectively shut down scientific debate into the origins of Covid-19.
Viscount Ridley, who has co-authored a book on the origin of Covid-19, due for release in November, and who has frequently called for a further investigation into what caused the pandemic in the House of Lords, said:
“For more than a year, I tried repeatedly to ask questions of Peter Daszak with no response. Now it turns out he had authored this vital piece of information about virus work in Wuhan but refused to share it with the world. I am furious. So should the world be.”
“Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) proposed injecting deadly chimeric (man made) bat coronaviruses collected by the Wuhan Institute of Virology into humanised and ‘batified’ mice, and much, much more.”
THIS SECOND ARTICLE FROM RT AMERICA IS REPORTING ON THE SAME SUBJECT, BUT PRESENTS A DIFFERENT FOCUS ENTIRELY…
“Leaked docs show DARPA considered funding $14mn project to infect Chinese bats with altered coronaviruses in 2018”
22 Sep, 2021 16:25
Documents published by a scientist group probing Covid-19’s origins reveal that controversial US non-profit organization EcoHealth Alliance had sought $14 million in 2018 for a project that would expose Chinese bats to altered coronaviruses.
This article immediately focuses on the western “EcoHealth Alliance”, an allegedly controversial organization, and not on “Wuhan scientists.”
Some 18 months before the first Covid cases appeared, the three-and-a-half year study had planned to release skin-penetrating particles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” from bat coronaviruses into bat caves in China’s Yunnan province. The goal was to study and prevent transmission to humans.
Now we hear the 3.5 year study – still not associated with Wuhan scientists – was to help prevent virus transmission to humans, a surely noble goal.
The proposal, titled ‘Project Defuse’, was submitted by EcoHealth Alliance for funding consideration as part of an initiative aimed at preventing emerging pathogen threats by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was ultimately rejected over safety concerns.
This article clearly describes Darpa as an American military research organization.
EcoHealth President Peter Daszak, a British zoologist, is listed as the person in charge of Project Defuse, which would have been a collaborative effort with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and a number of US universities, along with the US Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center and the Palo Alto Research Center.
The article shows the project leader is British scientist Peter Dasuk with several American research organizations being listed as collaborators.
Earlier this month, investigative news outlet The Intercept revealed that federal agencies, including the US National Institutes of Health, granted EcoHealth Alliance a total of $3.1 million – with nearly $600,000 used in part to “identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans” at the WIV.
They indicate that researchers were looking to tailor bat coronaviruses to target “human-specific cleavage sites”. This would make it easier for the virus to get into human cells.
Here a connection is listed between US research organizations and coronavirus research. Specifically, work included modifying coronaviruses in order to increase human infectiousness.
In a statement, DRASTIC said the proposal’s “discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites” indicated that a closer review by the “wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted.”
Although DARPA’s ‘Biological Technologies Office’ rejected the project since it would “potentially involve ‘Gain of Function’ research” without assessing the risks of such, it left the door open for future funding since there were “several components of great interest” in the proposal.
This paragraph is more ambiguous – stating that Darpa rejected funding on this particular occasion, but also making it clear that they were still interested in some aspects of the project.
In response to a verification request from a news outlet, DARPA stated that it has “never funded directly, nor indirectly as a subcontractor, any activity or researcher associated with the EcoHealth Alliance or WIV.”
The documents do not present any conclusive evidence to support the disputed theory that Covid-19 was leaked from a Chinese lab, but they further highlight the fact that US agencies had expressed interest in risky research into bat coronaviruses in the years leading up the pandemic.
This paragraph is self explantory. It highlights an aspect of the whole story that is not commonly mentioned in the western media. Also not made clear by either article – perhaps because no-one really knows exactly what went on between American and Chinese authorities and organizations – is who it was who actually initiated and lead this “gain of function” research on coronaviruses in Wuhan.
Was this an American military initiative or did the Chinese government play a part ? Was it a joint venture? Was it for civilian or military use? Was the Wuhan lab used simply as a specialist facility for doing the donkey work or did they contribute to the direction of the research program itself?
The lab in Wuhan was only commissioned in 2018, a year before the similar Fort Detrick military bio-research lab in America was shut down over safety concerns. Are these two events linked? Like all major global stories – invasions, assassinations, terroriat attacks, regime changes etc – the truth of the matter takes years and decades to emerge.
No doubt the truth about the Covid 19 global pandemic will emerge at a similarly glacial pace. Read internationally to get a better view on this and every subject. Check in with small citizen journalists who now are the best source of information in many cases.
The mainstream media we thought we had, died long ago. You must remember that.