Why, oh, why is President Joe Biden reluctant to get to the bottom of COVID’s origins?
After the intel report that he ordered concluded that “China’s cooperation” is likely “needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19,” Biden vowed, “The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them.”
Yet when National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met Wednesday with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Zurich, the virus didn’t come up, according to the readout. Their powwow was billed as a follow-up to Biden’s phone call with President Xi Jinping last month — at which it seems COVID wasn’t mentioned, either.
Biden’s people aren’t, as the prez vowed, doing “everything we can to trace the roots of this outbreak.” And the truth is that they don’t even need China’s cooperation to do so, contra the intel officials.
“We can get to the bottom of it with about 95 percent confidence” without Beijing, Hudson Institute senior fellow David Asher tells me. He has spent years working with the feds to disrupt terrorism financing, sanctions evasion and money laundering and investigated COVID for the State Department last year.
“If we could break into the Iranian nuclear-weapons program with our allies, including our Israeli partners, if we could break into . . . North Korea’s missile and space and nuclear programs multiple times,” he says, “can’t we get inside the bloody Wuhan Institute of Virology? Seriously? I think I could do it in about a month. I just would need sort of significant power.”
Asher believes Biden “outsourced” the probe to the spooks knowing they’d come to no conclusion. Kevin Brock, a Center for Financial Stability senior fellow who served as the FBI’s assistant director of intelligence, doesn’t think “we are flying so blind in China right now from an intelligence collection standpoint as this report intimates.”
“It’s doable,” said Diane Cutler, who is investigating COVID’s origins for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “We can get answers. There is a lot of information that is available in the United States, but we haven’t had the cooperation” of the Wuhan lab’s American collaborators.
EcoHealth Alliance, she notes, is “funded 98 percent by taxpayer money, and they aren’t cooperating.” The group “hid their ties to China in the financial records,” but her team uncovered its extensive work with the Wuhan lab. A whistleblower just leaked documents showing EcoHealth tried to get Pentagon funding to do gain-of-function research that would have made a coronavirus more likely to infect humans.
No surprise, then, that EcoHealth head Peter Daszak was one of the loudest voices insisting the lab-leak theory wasn’t plausible (with an assist from Biden’s medical czar, Anthony Fauci). Outrage over Daszak’s conflicts of interest forced him to resign as chairman of the UN-backed Lancet COVID commission a few months ago. His successor just disbanded it entirely because so many of its experts had ties to EcoHealth; it’s yet another derailed investigation.
“EcoHealth Alliance should have been raided months ago, a year ago, how about nearly two years ago? We knew from the very beginning that they were putting out false information at the State Department,” Asher tells me. His BS detector tingled when Daszak insisted as soon as the pandemic came to light that it originated in Wuhan’s wet market.
“I’d been there in ’97 or ’98, and there were definitely bats and monkeys, and there was just crazy stuff for sale. You could get a monkey, they’d cut the head off it, and they’d give you its brain, you could eat it,” he says. “It was like out of Indiana Jones.” But a coronavirus that appeared in China in 2002 changed everything. “In the wake of SARS, they cleaned this stuff up.”
But “the most powerful source of evidence” for the lab-leak theory, Asher says, is “the sequence itself.” He points to four studies of the COVID pathogen, recently reported on by The Wall Street Journal, showing the lab-leak theory is almost certainly correct.
Asher thinks it’s possible independent experts, like those working at Hudson, will figure out what really happened in Wuhan two years ago. It would be a lot easier if the feds, with their subpoena power, signed on.
Don’t count on it, though: For some reason, Team Biden has no interest in getting to the bottom of a one-in-a-century event that’s killed lives and economies.
Kelly Jane Torrance is a member of The Post Editorial Board.
Credit: Source link