by Dr P.S. Venkatesh Rao

BANGALORE: Hydra was a fearsome beast with multiple heads and a serpentine body in Greek mythology. Slaying the Hydra initially posed a challenge to Hercules. Each time he cut a head, it would grow back. Finally, he realized that if all the heads were cut at once, the creature would die for good. We now have the herculean task of dealing with multiple variants of the Covid-19 virus simultaneously. As soon as we develop antibodies to one variant, we are attacked by another variant. While we deal with this monster, we need to find who created it, before another monster is created to destroy humanity. The Justice League is a team of fictional superheroes who come together to fight supervillains threatening the world. While real life superheroes are fighting the pandemic, we also need to bring the perpetrators to justice. So who has done it? In any criminal investigation one looks for: why, what the motivation is; verify the identity of the victim for clues about the culprit; follow the money trail to find out who the beneficiary is; ascertain the methods used and interrogate witnesses to find how, where and when the weapon and support was obtained. The veracity or trustworthiness of a witness depends on the statements made when testifying at a trial, if consistent, inconsistent or ambiguous. The evidence collected has to withstand scrutiny. Scientific forensic evidence is better than circumstantial evidence.

WHY: The motive for the crime and its intended consequences: To decimate others’ populations including security personnel and medical services and take over their assets is a standard bio-war motive. In the past 80 years, war strategy evolved from conventional weapons to nuclear armaments. Stockpiling of atomic weapons by multiple nations made them only a deterrent. Superpowers looked for unconventional methods to deal with asymmetric warfare. Ellen Sexton in Encyclopaedia Britannica defines asymmetrical warfare as unconventional strategies and tactics adopted by a force when the military capabilities of belligerent powers are not simply unequal but are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other. A nation under attack may be unable or unwilling to use its full military power for ethical and other reasons against a deceptive total war by the enemy. It may not even be able to identify the duplicitous enemy. From Sarin nerve gas to Agent Orange, chemical warfare has had very limited use and invites international condemnation and sanctions. Now fast forward to the present. Conflicts have become complex and depend on geopolitical, economic, military, space, nuclear, cyber, bio-weapons and other factors, especially hybridized technologies: commercial products repurposed for the military. Strategists of major powers prefer a new kind of proxy war by a non-human proxy as it does not need boots on the ground to fight guerrilla war (means “little war” in Spanish) by lesser powers. It also suits bullies who lack the will to sustain a war and those who are susceptible to social and political pressures back home. The modern non-human proxy may be lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs), cyber war, geophysical weapons, toxins, microbes of which the last is the new favourite. Bio-war is deceptive with deniability, easy to deploy unnoticed, does not need troops and expensive weapons. On the other hand, it can be very profitable. It wrecks the target’s civil and military human assets and economy, permitting an easy subjugation of a shattered nation or entity. Technological superiority of the target can be overcome by attacking its vulnerable health and digital infrastructure.

WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION AND WHO IS THE BENEFICIARY? For any autocratic leader and his military chiefs bioweapons are the highway to world domination and monopoly of trade and resources. It does not occur to them that it is the highway to perdition. Those who fund this research and those who divert public funding, are under the illusion of riches from health-related patents and profit from the misery of humanity. The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) granted on 11 September 2020, the first patent number CN111218459B covering a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus to the Institute of Military Medicine, Chinese Academy of Military Sciences in conjunction with CanSinoBIO, a Chinese vaccine maker, for application CN202010193587.8 filed as early as on 18 March 2020. In an article published in January 2020, Shi Zhengli the bat lady of Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), states “We have recently designed and engineered a pan-CoV fusion inhibitor, EK1 peptide, which could inhibit infection of five human coronaviruses.” She also mentions the recent development of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, nanobodies and vaccines. Obviously not only the military scientists but also the pharma industry was involved in the WIV. Those who funded or diverted funds from the US have been so naïve about the PLA’s intentions that they have been taken for a ride. The money trail is leading to them and they are also heading down the road to perdition. The researchers who worked for funding and dreamt of fame and riches are the fall guys, the scapegoats who will be sacrificed and get crucified first. It is interesting to note that in recent years the Nobel Prize in Medicine for 2008 was awarded to Harald zur Hausen “for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer” and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier “for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)” and in 2020 to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus”. With modern technology, especially the CRISPR-Cas9 tool kit for gene editing, regulation and engineering, it is easier to synthesise a deadly new virus, than discover one, offering a great chance of being nominated for the prize. A claim for the Nobel Peace prize for the researchers has already been made by the wolf-warrior-in-chief.

INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS WITH AMBIGUITIES: To cover up the truth, the origin of the Covid-19 virus was blamed on natural evolution by mutation of a RaTG13 virus isolated from the Mojiang copper mine in Yunnan infested with bats even though it is 1,500 km away from Wuhan, too far for the bat’s small range of flight. Survey published by the Chinese showed that bats were not sold in the Wuhan wet market. The trade and consumption of bats is restricted to the southern part of China and bordering south-east Asian nations. Promotional videos eulogising Chinese researchers, showed bats inside the WIV in cages. So the only bats in Wuhan were those in the WIV lab. RaTG13 virus is a red herring. Phylogenetic studies of the coronavirus family tree have shown that Bat CoV ZC45 and ZXC21 are the closest relatives of the Covid-19 virus and their spike protein is very similar to that of the Covid-19 virus. RaTG13 virus though genetically closest to Covid-19 virus, has a dissimilar spike protein unsuitable for human receptors. Hence, it is an unlikely natural progenitor of Covid-19 virus. To prevent researchers from performing phylogenetic studies to construct the correct family tree of the Covid-19 virus and its variants, the Wuhan researcher’s database was taken offline and sealed and data submitted to an international online database was withdrawn. On 20 January 2020, two articles were submitted to two different scientific journals by the Bat Lady, one in Nature where her team showed RaTG13 with five strains of Covid-19 virus as one family. The other article in Emerging Microbes & Infections, with two US-based and funded co-authors, shows the corona family tree showing only one strain of Covid-19 virus and the CoV ZC45 virus, but not the RaTG13 virus. The family tree in the second article was replaced on 3 March 2020 in the online version with another family tree, this time showing both CoV ZC45 and ZXC21 viruses. Submitting two similar articles simultaneously to two different journals is highly unethical, and that too with different figures of the same data and thus screams of manipulation and misinformation. How it has escaped peer review is shocking.

HOW, WHERE AND WHEN WAS THIS BIO-WEAPON DEVELOPED? Bat CoV ZC45 and ZXC21 viruses, the closest relatives of the Covid-19 virus were collected in 2015 and 2017 in Zhejiang Province in eastern China, in a cave near Zhoushan. A CCP military lab exists in Zhoushan. Media reports suggest it has been active since at least 2017. All such facilities are designated as secure government facilities and under state and national security laws, all projects are classified projects and all data is confidential information to ensure secrecy. To minimise breach of confidentiality, if a researcher defects, each bio-weapon project is divided into multiple parts and given piecemeal to multiple researchers sworn to secrecy in different secure labs. After assembly, multiple strains of a virus are sent to WIV for testing on bats, genetically engineered “humanised mice” and tissue cultures. Phylogenetic study of the family tree of all Covid-19 virus strains from around the world link up to three closely related ancestral strains. How many more unreleased strains are still being tested is anybody’s guess. A 55-year-old may have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on 17 November 2019, according to the South China Morning Post. The first admission with proven Covid-19 was on 1 December 2019 as per the Lancet article by doctors from Wuhan mentioned in my earlier articles.

SMOKE THEM OUT: From the start of the pandemic every effort has been made by all perpetrators, collaborators and beneficiaries to collar and convince the researchers, scientific publications, media and public at large that zoonotic origin is the truth and a leak from a biosafety 4 lab is impossible. The art of disinformation is to convince others of the truthfulness of lies and make them disbelieve the truth. The Sunday Guardian, its Editor-in-Chief and this author over eight articles, have insisted on analysis and logical conclusions based on evidence from scientific studies to create awareness about concealed facts and the imminent danger. Scientific research has no finality to it as more evidence gets unearthed progressively. The search for the truth shall continue worldwide. As they say sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.