Peter Daszak, President of the EcoHealth Alliance and team member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Study into the Origin of the SARS-CoV-2 at Wuhan, China worked with scientists in the US and China to push the ‘natural origin’ theory on the COVID-19 pandemic right from the onset of the spread of the coronavirus globally.
Emails obtained by US Right to Know through Public Records and in possession of GoaChronicle.com show that a statement in The Lancet authored by 27 prominent public health scientists condemning ‘conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin’ was organized by EcoHealth Alliance.ScientistStatement
EcoHealth Alliance is a non-profit group that has received millions of dollars from the US Government to genetically manipulate coronavirus with scientists led by Professor Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China.EHChina
Emails show that EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak drafted the Lancet statement and that he intended it to ‘not be identifiable as coming from any one organization or person but rather to be seen as ‘simple a letter from leading scientists’. The WHO member of the Global Study wrote that he wanted ‘to avoid the appearance of a political statement.’The_Lancet_Emails_Daszak-2.8.20
Daszak also stated, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that 2019-nCoV does not have a natural origin. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that this virus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging diseases”.The_Lancet_Emails_Daszak-2.6.20
The scientists’ letter orchestrated by Peter Daszak appeared in The Lancet on February 18, just one week after the World Health Organization announced that the disease caused by the novel coronavirus would be named COVID-19. Interestingly, the letter included no scientific references to refute a lab-origin theory of the virus. Scientist Linda Saif asked Peter Daszak in her emails whether “it would be useful to add just one or two statements in support of why nCOV is not a lab-generated virus and is naturally occurring? Seems critical to scientifically refute such claims!”The_Lancet_Emails_Saif-2.6.20
Peter Dasak responded saying ‘I think we should probably stick to a broad statement’.
It is also important to note that although the “EcoHealth Alliance” appeared only once in The Lancet statement, in association with co-author Daszak, several other co-authors also have direct ties to the group that was not disclosed as conflicts of interest. Rita Colwell and James Hughes are members of the Board of Directors of EcoHealth Alliance, William Karesh is the group’s Executive Vice President for Health and Policy, and Hume Field is Science and Policy Advisor.
Shockingly, Peter Daszak, while orchestrating the entire ‘natural origin theory’ with 27 global scientists to be published in The Lancet, he discussed hiding his role in the statement published in the medical journal.
The Lancet statement, signed by 27 prominent scientists, has been influential in tamping down suspicions by some scientists that COVID-19 could have ties to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has a research affiliation to the EcoHealth Alliance.
Daszak drafted the statement and circulated it to other scientists to sign. But the emails reveal that Daszak and two other EcoHealth-affiliated scientists thought they should not sign the statement so as to mask their involvement in it. Leaving their names off the statement would give it “some distance from us and therefore doesn’t work in a counterproductive way,” Daszak wrote.Baric_Daszak_email
Daszak noted that he could “send it round” to other scientists to sign. “We’ll then put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice,” he wrote.
The two scientists Daszak wrote to about the need to make the paper appear independent of EcoHealth, are coronavirus experts Ralph Baric and Linfa Wang.
In the emails, Baric agreed with Daszak’s suggestion not to sign The Lancet statement, writing “Otherwise it looks self-serving, and we lose impact.”
In the end, Daszak did sign the statement himself, but he was not identified as its lead author or coordinator of the effort.
The WHO Global Study is identical to the ‘natural origin’ theory that Peter Daszak has been instrumental in propagating. The WHO study stated:
“As soon as the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in late December 2019, investigations were conducted to understand the epidemiology of COVID-19 and the original source of the outbreak. A large proportion of the initial cases in late December 2019 and early January 2020 had a direct link to the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan City, where seafood, wild, and farmed animal species were sold. Many of the initial patients were either stall owners, market employees, or regular visitors to this market. Environmental samples taken from this market in December 2019 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, further suggesting that the market in Wuhan City was the source of this outbreak or played a role in the initial amplification of the outbreak. The market was closed on 1 January 2020 and was cleaned and disinfected. The virus could have been introduced into the human population from an animal source in the market or an infected human could have introduced the virus to the market and the virus may have then been amplified in the market environment
Subsequent investigations into the first human cases have determined that they had onset of symptoms around 1 December 2019. However, these cases had no direct link to the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market and they may therefore have been infected in November through contact with earlier undetected cases (incubation time between date of exposure and date of symptom onset can be up to 14 days). Additional studies are ongoing to as whether unrecognized infections in humans may have happened as early as mid-November 2019
At this stage, it is not possible to determine precisely how humans in China were initially infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, all available evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 has a natural animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus. SARS- CoV-2 virus most probably has its ecological reservoir in bats.
The appointment of Peter Daszak on the WHO Global Study team of scientists investigating the Origins of SARS-CoV-2 is highly questionable and was a clear conflict of interest. Peter Daszak pushed the ‘natural origin’ theory at the onset with a group of scientists and did so in the WHO study too.
Last week, speaking at the global media press briefing, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, said, that there has been a ‘premature push’ to rule out the theory that the virus might have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan. Investigating into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in China was being hampered by the lack of raw data on the first few days of the spread there and urged it to be transparent. “We ask China to be transparent and open and to cooperate. We owe it to the millions who suffered and the millions who died to know what happened,” he said.
Interestingly, Dr. Tedros’s views contradict the WHO Investigation panel that conducted the first study into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China. “Introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway,” reported the WHO Investigation Study on which Peter Daszak was a member.