Covid – fact checking the fact checkers

Someone sent me this video today. They asked me about my thoughts on this. I’m interested in bodily integrity and rights erosions in the interests of ‘the common good’ so this is a philosophical issue. But obviously this is also a hugely emotive and controversial issue. I’ve gone through the video and the Fact Checker (USA Today) site to see if I can check what’s being claimed.

This is my understanding of Covid-related research to date. 

  1. There has been an increasing recognition of the risks of pandemics on a growing global population. In response, laboratories worldwide, but particularly in nations with highly developed scientific research facilities, have been investing increasingly in the implications of mutation and transmission, response and impact. 
  2. Since all this requires finance, some of the financial risks were taken by drug companies already heavily invested in looking into the profitability of producing a pandemic vaccine which would likely have high usage and therefore reap high profits. 
  3. “A key driver is the media and the economics will follow the hype … investors will respond when they see profit at the end of the process.”  Daszak
  4. The interviewee, David E. Martin, is a national intelligence analyst, founder of with a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has a LinkedIn page and seems, to all intents, legit. His claims are as follows: a) the CDC patented the genome of Covid to make a profit and stop others from making a profit; b) therefore either the virus is manmade (in which case its development was illegal – creating a bioweapon is an act of war) or it is natural (in which case patenting it is illegal) and c) research was moved from the US to China, to Wuhan specifically, but the financing was hidden through a series of intermediaries. 
  5.  It’s always worth asking: qui bono? What has he to gain from his analysis of the patenting of Covid? The man he is speaking to in the video is a lawyer from California who has a vested interest, as a lawyer, in creating law cases from which he could profit. Martin, however, doesn’t appear to have any immediate means of benefiting, except perhaps through receiving high levels of publicity. The video has been taken down several times by ‘fact check’ organisations.
  6. The patenting of Covid: the Centre for Disease Control says they did this as ‘defensive patenting’ so no commercial or private company could patent and therefore control access to the genome. They also said that the genome is published on their website. That may or may not be true. I couldn’t find it. I found this: It makes sense to defensively patent something you’re working on, if what you’re working on is manmade; but if what they patented was a lab-produced genome of  SARS-COV (not SARS-COV2) then i) they’ve patented something to which they would have had access in any case as they came across the natural product (which cannot be patented, because wild creatures cannot be patented) and ii) you run into the issue with why they created a simulacrum of the original virus – sequenced its genome – and then worried about other people doing so when, if it’s natural, there’s nothing to stop them.
  7. As far as research being moved to China, it’s obvious that some research collaboration was taking place between the US and China. This from “Fact Check):  In 2014, the NIH approved a grant to EcoHealth Alliance designated for research into “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” The project involved collaborating with researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study coronaviruses in bats and the risk of potential transfer to humans. The original five-year grant was reapproved by the Trump administration in July 2019. In total, $3,378,896 in NIH funding was directed from the government to the project.
  8. My conclusion is that no, the virus wasn’t created and spread in order to allow companies to profit from the creation of the vaccine. BUT yes, the virus may well have escaped from a lab and yes, yes, yes, the pharmaceutical companies who knew that the possibilities of profit would benefit them enormously were no doubt thrilled that there was an outbreak and have profited massively. As far as the vaccine not being a vaccine is concerned, no, I don’t believe that the vaccine is either deliberately harmful to humans or not a vaccine. I do think that it has been developed far more quickly than can allow for a full analysis of its impacts on human health. They simply have not had time, by their own admission, to test for long term effects or rare side effects (as we have seen). Moreover, the lipid nanoparticle into which the RNA fragment is placed in order to inject the vaccine are long chain polymers which, as far as I can understand, originate from the oil industry (long chain polymers are also used to make things like clingfilm, contact lenses, etc, as far as I can discover. These details may be ill expressed but the gist of what I’m saying is that the pharmaceutical and hydrocarbon industries both benefit in this). 
  9. The bottom line? The virus wasn’t created in order to kill us. Whether naturally or artificially evolved, it’s an inevitable response to the pressure of human exploitation of other systems putting those systems under pressure. The vaccine wasn’t created in order to kill us either and unless we are prepared to live in isolation from the rest of the human and animal community, we don’t have much choice about taking it. However, we can’t technofix ourselves out of the pandemic, any more than we can technofix ourselves out of the ecological emergency by seeding clouds for rain or installing “Citytrees” . We need to use biomimicry, sure, but not unless we realise that we are part of other systems, and the vaccine is not ‘evil’ and doesn’t need to be ‘eradicated’ but is a clarion call for us to recognise our dependence on other systems being able to flourish alongside us.

Leave a Reply