ebola africa covid

Africans who charged that the outbreak had lab origin were dismissed. Scientists they accused were the loudest in dismissing the possibility of lab origin for Covid. Were the Africans right all along?
Independent Science News just published the in-depth investigative piece "Did West Africa's Ebola Outbreak of 2014 Have a Lab Origin?" by virologist Jonathan Latham, the editor of ISN, and myself. I believe the piece's ramifications are profound and have a serious bearing on what has transpired with the Covid pandemic.

Synopsis: The Ebola outbreak of 2014 was a disaster for West Africa. Over 11,000 lives were lost amidst intense negative social and economic consequences. The 2014 outbreak of Zaire Ebola (as the species is known) is today commonly cited as a bona fide example of a natural zoonosis that began in the country of Guinea. However, as is widely known, the 2014 outbreak was puzzling on multiple levels. The greatest of these puzzles is that all previous Zaire Ebola virus outbreaks occurred in the Congo basin, which is thousands of miles away. Additionally, to this day, despite extensive sampling, no animal source of Zaire Ebola virus in West Africa has ever been identified. At the same time, in Sierra Leone, not far from the border with Guinea, is the town of Kenema which hosts a U.S.-funded virus research facility. The research focus of this lab, which is run by the U.S.-based Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, are the viral hemorrhagic fevers of which Ebola is one.

We now disclose the results of our scientific investigation into the origin of that outbreak. What we have uncovered are fundamental logical and scientific weaknesses in the orthodox outbreak story and, as well, strong evidence that supports an origin in Sierra Leone. First, we show that the orthodox story of patient zero-the Guinean child who played with bats is simply speculation and unsupported by clinical or documentary evidence. Second, the epidemiological links from this child to the first confirmed cases, which were months later, are also highly speculative. Thirdly, we have reanalysed the phylogeny of the Ebola genomes published during the outbreak and find no support for an origin in Guinea. Rather, phylogenetics strongly supports assertions made at the time by MSF (Doctors without Borders) that, though identified first, the Guinea outbreak actually spread from Sierra-Leone. In line with this supposition, we lay out the compelling phylogenetic evidence that the Sierra Leone outbreak began well before its official date of first detection. Lastly, our investigation revealed a cover-up. Although there are clear and obvious inconsistencies between the phylogenetic evidence and the orthodox narrative of a Guinean origin, western researchers, many of them from the lab in Kenema, or closely connected to it, chose to overlook these weaknesses to promote a false and misleading Guinean origin story.

Here's a breakdown of a few of the individuals and institutions described in the piece, sometimes noting their involvement with Covid.

Robert Garry of Tulane University and Zalgen

Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research

Garry is president and founder of the VHFC. Andersen is vice president. In dismissing claims by Africans that his labs might have been responsible for the outbreak, Gary told Politifact: "We were there working 10 years and then Ebola came here." But on August 25, 2013, just months before the Ebola outbreak, the VHFC posted on its website an article titled: "Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute make major advances in the fight against Ebola virus." This article is no longer on their website, but we retrieved the headline from WayBackMachine. As noted in the in-depth article, several of the scientists at the VHFC have done extensive work on Ebola.

Garry and Andersen were the two most vocal authors of "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2" — which claimed in March of 2020 that Covid could not have lab origin and was widely used to dismiss the need for scrutiny as the public was attempting to understand the pandemic.
ebola africa covid
Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin.

In 2014 Leendertz was the senior author of the influential paper which claimed: "The severe Ebola virus disease epidemic occurring in West Africa stems from a single zoonotic transmission event to a 2‐year‐old boy in Meliandou, Guinea." This despite compelling evidence to the contrary, including that they could find no Ebola among the bats in the area, that there was no mass die-off of surrounding mammal wildlife as with past Ebola outbreaks. Also, the child in question, according to several sources, including his father, was actually 18 months old when he died and too young to be playing with bats.

During the Covid pandemic, Leendertz was a member of the WHO team that reported, in March 2021, on the origins of COVID-19.

Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Pardis Sabeti, board treasurer of VHFC, member of Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Lander is the most famous of the authors of the phylogenetic papers which attempt to place the origin of the outbreak just over the border in Guinea and away from Sierra Leone where the U.S. labs are located. Until he was forced to resign in February, 2022, following reports of bullying people who worked for him, Lander was President Biden's chief science advisor. He is listed now as on leave from the Broad Institute. Sabeti has done extensive work on Ebola and was named one of TIME magazine's "Ebola fighters" people of the year.

Ron Klain

On October 17, 2014, President Barack Obama named Klain "Ebola czar". The same day, the Obama White House instituted a "pause on funding for any new studies that include certain gain-of-function experiments involving influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses." There were other funding cutoffs to the VHFC during this period.

Klain is now chief of staff in the Biden administration.

Metabiota

Metabiota, was a VHFC partner in 2014. MSF's emergency response coordinator was highly critical of the biosafety measures used by Metabiota at Kenema, stating: "I didn't go inside the Metabiota lab...I refused because I had already seen enough." WHO Ebola coordinator stated Metabiota staffers "are systematically obstructing" attempts to track the outbreak. MSF would also charge there was a "hidden outbreak in Sierra Leone" — raising the question of whether Metabiota's seeming bungling was actually part of a coverup to obscure the outbreak's origins in Sierra Leone by obstructing reporting from there.

In addition, other member of the VHFC charged Metabiota of culturing cells from Ebola patients after the outbreak, which they insisted was dangerous and should "be stopped immediately."

Since 2014, Metabiota has received funding from Google Ventures, the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, USAID's PREDICT program and Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners, apparently while Hunter Biden was a managing partner, causing headlines. It also caused headlines when the Russian Ministry of Defense accused it of involvement in biolabs in Ukraine. It also has a relationship with In-Q-Tel -- the CIA's venture capital project.

The full piece contains other vital aspects of the story, including scrutinizing Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, which worked with Thomas Geisbert, who is now at the University of Texas Medical Branch, but formerly was at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) in Maryland, also known as Fort Detrick — the largest "biodefense" facility in the world.
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Regarding pandemic origins of Covid, see my prior "Crucial Points on Pandemic Origins Debate" and other pieces.