Australian journalist Sharri Markson has written a book titled What Really Happened in Wuhan: the Cover-Ups, the Conspiracies and the Classified Research. The book was excerpted in today’s London Times, from which these paragraphs come:

Fauci defended the scientists who had undertaken the highly controversial gain-of-function research that had prompted the global debate, saying they had “conducted their research properly and under the safest and most secure conditions”. The same research that some international scientists said should be banned, Fauci described as “important”.
The mandatory “pause” or ban on gain-of-function research was inexplicably lifted under the Trump administration in 2017. No adequate explanation has been given for why this decision was made. There was no public debate. On December 19, 2017, the NIH announced it would resume funding gain-of-function research involving Mers, Sars, coronaviruses and influenza after a new “framework” had been developed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Senior administration officials told me Fauci did not raise the issue of kickstarting gain-of-function research with any senior figures in the White House. There was one White House meeting, which Fauci requested with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he raised the issue of gain-of-function research. “It kind of just got rammed through,” a senior source claimed.

I asked the former national security adviser Robert O’Brien about this. “I was in meeting after meeting with Dr Fauci, and that never came up,” he says. “I don’t know if he alerted anyone. I never heard about it until I was out of office.” Mike Pompeo, who was director of the CIA from 2017 to 2018, said he didn’t know if Fauci got permission from anyone to re-start the dangerous research, particularly with regard to contributing funding via sub-grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci didn’t even tell his boss, Alex Azar, the health secretary, who only found out the US restriction on gain-of-function research had been lifted from media reports in 2021.

If this account is correct, Fauci played a key role in the restarting of gain-of-function research at the WIV in 2017.

In hindsight we can clearly see that health authorities, the US government and international governments all ignored the warnings from eminent scientists, and allowed the dangerous scientific research to go ahead. The public was never brought into these debates. … While the origins of Covid-19 have not yet been established, it’s clear this type of research carries grave risks.

What was even more terrifying was that not only was the NIH funding gain-of-function research in the US — but it was funding research in China, where it had no oversight and no way of knowing how safe the laboratories were where these risky experiments were taking place.

While the evidence might never be definitive, especially given the Chinese government’s apparent cover-up efforts, there seems to be an emerging consensus that the Wuhan lab is the most likely source of COVID-19. If that is the case, Dr. Fauci has much to answer for, if anyone other than Rand Paul ever asks the questions. If gain of function research was paused at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2014–that is, if the research itself was paused and not merely our funding of it–and if gain of function research was then re-started in 2017 at the instance of Dr. Fauci, the man who ostensibly has been in charge of combatting the virus may have played a major role in unleashing it in the first place.

This seems like something our “mainstream” reporters should take a break from Twitter and inquire into.

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