Former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hit out at Dr Anthony Fauci for parroting the same ‘crazy talk’ excuses and theories as China about the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak and says the National Institute of Health tried to thwart the State Department’s investigation.
Pompeo addressed the fight to uncover the origins of COVID-19 following a bombshell Vanity Fair report that revealed some State Department officials had advised against investigating the possibility virus leaked from a Wuhan lab.
In an interview with Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle on Thursday night, Pompeo said it was no surprise that some within the State Department tried to suppress the probe because they didn’t like President Trump or himself.
He added that he had to deal with a lot of internal bureaucracy and debate from the NIH.
Pompeo also criticized Fauci, who runs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the NIH, for suggesting that China has an interest in the US discovering how the outbreak started.
”To hear Fauci… talk about how the Chinese have an interest in us discovering what happened is just crazy talk. The Chinese have a deep interest in covering it up. They have done so pretty darn effectively,’ he said.
Former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday addressed the fight to uncover the origins of COVID-19 following new report that exposed the tug-of-war
Pompeo said there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ that supports the theory – touted regularly by Trump but initially dismissed by many experts – that COVID-19 likely escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
‘When you heard Dr Fauci… those are the exact same words, the exact same excuses, the exact same theories that the Chinese Communist Party has presented for over a year now.
‘He implies good faith for the Chinese Communist Party. Here we are on the 32nd anniversary of Tiananmen Square where we saw the brutality of this regime. For Dr Fauci to go out and think the Chinese Community Party cared that there were people in Wuhan that were dying, whether it was Chinese people or Americans, is just naïve beyond all possible imagination.
‘The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t care for a moment. They have no desire for the world to know what happened. They could clear this all up in a minute if they wanted to, they’ve chosen not to.
‘I think that’s another link in the chain that demonstrates that when we get to the end of this, we will have demonstrated the Chinese knew what had happened and their virology lab was at the center of it.’
Pompeo wouldn’t speculate on China’s intention or the potential coverup.
‘But we know this: They don’t want you to know. That suggests to me that we should give them no benefit of the doubt and we should impose enormous costs of the Chinese Community Party until they come clean about what happened inside their country,’ he said.
Pompeo went on to praise the work of a group of State Department officials, specifically one Miles Yu who speaks Mandarin, who he says worked diligently to investigate the origins.
The Vanity Fair report revealed that Yu was translating and ‘mirroring’ documentation he found on the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s website so he could compile a dossier of questions for Pompeo about the research.
Pompeo also criticized Fauci, who runs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the NIH, for suggesting that China has an interest in the US discovering how the outbreak started
Pompeo said there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ that supports the theory – touted regularly by Trump but initially dismissed by many experts – that COVID-19 likely escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Pompeo acknowledged that he received an ‘extensive piece of work’ from Yu in April last year that they then worked to get declassified.
‘There were folks all over that community who just didn’t want to talk about this, who wanted to stay focused on other things. They didn’t want the world to know the Chinese Communist Party was in the process of covering up,’ Pompeo said of Yu’s dossier.
‘We can all draw our own conclusions… We had a group in the State Department – Miles Yu, a handful of others – who were working diligently to get this information out to the American people so the world could see what the Chinese Communist Party had done to all of us.’
Pompeo’s comments came the same day as Vanity Fair’s report examining the behind-the-scenes battle over COVID’s origins pointed to new evidence that supports the theory the pandemic leaked from the Wuhan lab.
Former State Department official Thomas DiNanno says he was warned off the lab leak theory by nervous colleagues
It has raised questions about why the theory wasn’t investigated more thoroughly from the outset.
It has emerged that career staffers at the State Department ‘warned’ officials not to investigate the possibility COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan lab, fearing it would expose US funding for gain-of-function research there.
Thomas DiNanno, former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance raised the concern in a memo.
DiNanno wrote that staff from two bureaus, his own and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, ‘warned’ leaders ‘not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19’ because it would ‘open a can of worms’ if it continued.
In one State Department meeting, officials say colleagues explicitly told them not to explore the Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function research because it would bring unwelcome attention to the US taxpayer funds that were supporting the work.
Gain-of-function research is a controversial field that involves collecting dangerous viruses and genetically modifying them to be more deadly, in order to study the risks of future outbreaks.
Richard H. Ebright, a professor at Rutgers, has compared the field of gain-of-function research to ‘looking for a gas leak with a lighted match.’
DiNanno told Vanity Fair that his probe into the lab leak theory was thwarted at every turn, with hostile and antagonistic technical staff warning him not to open ‘Pandora’s box.’
Things came to a head at a meeting on December 9, when State Department staff met to discuss what the department could or should say publicly about the Wuhan lab.
British-born Peter Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit that funneled US grant money to gain-of-function research at WIV and elsewhere. He is seen above participating in the World Health Organization’s investigation in Wuhan
‘Bat lady’ Shi Zhengli works with other researchers in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in a file photo. She has published research on gain-of-function experiments
According to people at the meeting, Christopher Park, the director of the State Department’s Biological Policy Staff in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, advised that people shouldn’t say anything that would point to the U.S. government’s own role in gain-of-function research.
Park, a Trump appointee like DiNanno, had been involved in lifting a U.S. government moratorium on funding for gain-of-function research in 2017.
Park was reportedly not the only one who raised concerns about the investigation ultimately raising questions about U.S. funding.
As the group probed the lab-leak scenario and other possibilities, its members were repeatedly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ four former State Department officials told the magazine.
The admonitions ‘smelled like a cover-up,’ said DiNanno, ‘and I wasn’t going to be part of it.’
Park told Vanity Fair: ‘I am skeptical that people genuinely felt they were being discouraged from presenting facts.’
He insisted that he had just been making the case that it ‘is making an enormous and unjustifiable leap…to suggest that research of that kind [meant] that something untoward is going on.’
The acting undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security at the time, Chris Ford, was hostile to an investigation, according to officials.
In a January 2021 memo, Ford pushed back at against an initial probe from a panel of experts, because he believed it contained weak evidence.
‘I would also caution you against suggesting that there is anything inherently suspicious—and suggestive of biological warfare activity—about People’s Liberation Army (PLA) involvement at WIV on classified projects,’ the memo said.
‘[I]t would be difficult to say that military involvement in classified virus research is intrinsically problematic, since the U.S. Army has been deeply involved in virus research in the United States for many years.’
DiNanno then hit back with his own memo, arguing that Ford was misrepresenting the panel’s finding. He also objected to previous warnings about not investigating because of the risk of opening a can of worms.
It’s unclear exactly much U.S. government funding was going to the Wuhan lab, but at least some of it was being routed through a nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance.
Top WIV scientist Yuan Zhiming described widespread deficiencies in biosafety training in China’s biosafety-level 3 labs in a 2019 article pleading for more funding
By 2018, EcoHealth Alliance was pulling in up to $15 million a year in grant money from an array of federal agencies, including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to tax filings.
EcoHealth Alliance and its founder Peter Daszak have been working with Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan lab virologist known as the ‘bat lady’, for more than 15 years.
British-born Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance — and in the early days of the pandemic, he was key in establishing the veneer of a ‘scientific consensus’ that the lab-leak origin was impossible.
Daszak not only signed but spearheaded a letter signed by 27 scientists rejecting the lab leak hypothesis, which was published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet.
Leaked emails later revealed that he encouraged colleagues who do gain-of-function research on coronaviruses not to sign the letter, in order to obscure the connection.
The letter declared that the scientists had ‘no competing interests’ — but it seems clear that Daszak did, as a lab leak origin would likely derail his entire field, but an animal origin would justify his life’s work.
The Vanity Fair article also noted serious concerns about safety and upkeep at the Wuhan lab facilities that handle hundreds of strains of bat coronaviruses.
In 2019, in an article pleading for more funding, top Wuhan lab scientist Yuan Zhiming describes widespread deficiencies in biosafety training in China’s biosafety-level 3 labs.
China has dozens of BSL-3 labs, but only one BSL-4, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, though it plans to build half a dozen more.
Yuan noted that ‘most laboratories lack specialized biosafety managers and engineers.’
He also wrote: ‘Maintenance cost is generally neglected; several high-level [BSL-3 labs] have insufficient operating funds for routine, yet vital processes… some BSL-3 laboratories run on extremely minimal operational costs or in some cases none at all.’
Last July, Yuan claimed on Chinese state television that safety protocols are so tight at Wuhan lab that ‘not a mosquito can fly into the building without authorization’.