How do we assess the Biden administration’s response to COVID? Well, here’s one marker: it tells you pretty much everything that the White House that is supposedly so committed to science chose as its head COVID coordinator a man with no background at all in science or medicine. His name is Jeffrey Zients. Zients ran Joe Biden’s presidential transition team, that’s his qualification. He’s a former management consultant from Bain, who sat on the board of Facebook. Jeffrey Zients is a political operative. That’s who’s overseeing COVID response for Joe Biden. The good news is because Zients isn’t even close to being an actual scientist, he doesn’t talk like one. Occasionally he says things whose significance the rest of us can clearly understand. Read what Zients said on CNN yesterday, and it becomes very clear how the White House understands this pandemic.
JEFFREY ZIENTS: And the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and brighter. Let's keep up our guard. Let's follow the CDC guidance. And the CDC guidance across time will allow vaccinated people more and more privileges to take off that mask.
There it is. "The CDC guidance across time will allow vaccinated people more and more privileges to take off that mask." A sentence like that raises so many questions, it’s hard to know where to start. How about here: If the vaccines work, why are any vaccinated people wearing masks anywhere, ever? Seriously. Jeffrey Zients should be required to explain that, slowly and with numbers, so the rest of us who didn’t serve on the board of Facebook can understand. No one’s asked him to explain that, of course, so he hasn’t. Nor has anyone asked Zients just how effective masks are at preventing the spread of COVID. Our public health authorities act as though masks are absolutely critical. But are they absolutely critical? Where are the serious studies that prove that? Do they exist? If they do exist, is there a reason they’re being hidden from us? And, finally, when did masklessness become a privilege? For thousands of years, until 12 months ago, masklessness was the global status quo. Virtually everyone on earth lived without masks. That wasn’t considered weird. Masks were weird. They were unhealthy and menacing. Yet Jeffrey Zients has just informed us that things have changed. Going forward, not wearing a mask, even after you’ve been vaccinated, is "a privilege" — a Scooby snack, a gold star, a pat on the head — that may or may not be granted to you exclusively by the Democratic Party, on the basis of no science, but purely because they’re in charge and you’re not. That’s called public health. It’s absolutely critical to the existence of our species that you comply with it reflexively, without asking questions or thinking about it. This will all continue, Zients explained, "across time."
What does that mean, exactly? How long will this terrifyingly irrational exercise continue? For the answer to that question, we go to a man even more partisan than Jeffrey Zients. The nation’s most highly credentialed political operative, Tony Fauci, let us know that, actually, this mask thing is never going to end.
CHUCK TODD, NBC: But is the mask going to be something we have with us in a seasonal aspect?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: You know, that's quite possible. I think people have gotten used to the fact that wearing masks, clearly, if you look at the data, diminishes respiratory diseases…So it is conceivable that as we go on a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory-borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll be spreading these respiratory-borne diseases.
"A year or two or more from now." In other words, never — you’re never taking off the mask. Get ready for a lifetime of filthy wet cotton covering your mouth, reduced oxygen flow to your brain, and a world where every stranger looks the same because no one has a face. When Kamala Harris and her husband kissed the other day while wearing masks, they were giving you a preview of your daughter’s wedding. In a masked world, human beings never really touch each other. Is that public health? No, it’s not public health. It’s a kind of punishment. Tony Fauci is punishing the country — you, us, everyone. The question is: why is he doing that? Maybe he liked it, that’s possible. But you’ve got to think that at least part of Fauci’s authoritarian germ hysterical is a cover for something else. Could it be that Tony Fauci is trying to divert attention from himself and his own role in the COVID-19 pandemic?
What do we mean by that? We can’t recommend more strongly a new piece by Nicholas Wade, who for more than 50 years has been one of the preeminent science writers in the world. For 30 years, Nicholas Wade worked for the New York Times, he edited the science section there. But this piece did not run in the New York Times, he edited the science section there. But this piece did not run in the New York Times. It ran on Medium. And the piece explains where the virus almost certainly came from. In it, Wade makes it clear that, more than any other single American, Tony Fauci is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wade lays out a nearly insurmountable amount of evidence that this virus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Central China. We’ve raised this possibility from the early days of the pandemic. But this piece all but proves it. At the time the outbreak began last fall, the Wuhan lab was conducting experiments on how to make bat viruses infectious to human beings. Those experiments were funded by American tax dollars, the funding for those experiments was approved and directed by Tony Fauci in Washington. It’s hard to believe that, but it’s true, and the piece lays it out.
Many of the Wuhan experiments fell under the direction of a Chinese researcher Shi Zheng-li. Known as the "bat lady," she was China's leading expert on bat-born viruses. Her job was genetically engineering coronaviruses so that they infect human beings, and do so as easily as possible.
The work, Wade notes, involved, "doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells."
Why was this research going on? You’ll have to ask the scientist who did it.
But the facts remain, these were some of the most dangerous experiments ever conducted by mankind. And yet we know that China wasn't taking the necessary safety precautions. And we should not be surprised by that. Several years ago, U.S. diplomatic cables warned about lax standards at the Wuhan Lab. The Wuhan facility was classified as a "bio-safety-level two laboratory." What does that mean? According to Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers, that's approximately the same level of safety that you would find in a dentist's office in America.
So that lab, conducting research on the coronavirus, and how to make it transmissible to human beings, resulted almost certainly infected a lab researcher and spread from there. The first coronavirus patients didn’t come from the so-called wet market as we heard. That was a lie. The first patients of the coronavirus were employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Once again, why would the Wuhan lab be conducting experiments like that in the first place? Well, we know that Tony Fauci had authorized payment for the research. For five years -- from 2014 to 2019 -- the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci runs, and has for decades, pumped money to a group called the EcoHealth Alliance.
The EcoHealth Alliance, run by a man called Dr. Peter Daszak, contracted with Dr. Shi to conduct gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
Just before the pandemic became public knowledge -- on December 9, 2019 -- Peter Daszak sat for an interview that was streamed online. In that interview, he bragged about how easy it is to manipulate coronaviruses in lab experiments.
PETER DASZAK: Coronavirus is a pretty good… You can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily. It’s spike protein, Spike protein drives a lot of what happens with the coronavirus, zoonotic risk. So you can get the sequence, build the protein. And we worked with Ralph Barrack at UNC to do this. Insert into a backbone of another virus and then do some work in the lab.
Just days after he said that, it became clear that this new version of coronavirus, this novel coronavirus, what we now call COVID-19, was running rampant through Wuhan then China then the world. Since the pandemic began, Peter Daszak, not surprisingly, has appeared on virtually every media platform available to him to deny, in the most strenuous and dismissive terms, that the Wuhan lab could be in any way linked to the outbreak, since he has very personal motives for claiming that. "The idea that this virus escaped from a lab is just pure baloney," he said last year. But that’s a lie. It’s not pure baloney.
A lot of smart people knew that right away. One of those people is Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT. She bravely wrote a paper about how the coronavirus's genome hadn't changed much over time, and that was odd because that genome had gone through trillions of replications. According to Chan, that fact implied that the virus was designed for human-to-human transmission from the outset.
The former director of the CDC also clearly understood this. He too argued the virus came from the Wuhan lab.
CDC DIR. REDFIELD: I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely ideology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, escaped. Other people don’t believe that. It’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out. It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect the laboratory worker.
Millions of people have died of COVID-19, so it’s not a matter of score-settling or blame-assignment to figure out where it came from. If you want to prevent the next global pandemic, you have to figure out how this one started. And so, the World Health Organization, said it would get to the bottom of it. The World Health Organization, of course, is beholden to China. And so, it tried to hide the basic facts of the origins of this pandemic. And to hide those facts, WHO appointed none other than Peter Daszak as the only America-based representative on the investigative team looking into where the virus came from. In what turned out to be a sham report, that team concluded it's "extremely unlikely" the virus came from the Wuhan lab. That’s not true.
The WHO’s investigation into the origins of the virus was fraudulent, and that matters to public health globally. But one thing you’ll notice is that Tony Fauci did not say that. Why? Because once again, he’s implicated in it, personally. The gain-of-function research that Peter Daszak was bragging about in the video we just showed you had, in fact, been banned explicitly by the U.S. government. There was a federal moratorium on the funding of exactly the kind of gain-of-function experiments that went on in the Wuhan lab, to disastrous effects. So why didn't the feds halt its funding to the lab in Wuhan? That is a central question, and Nicholas Wade looked into it.
Here's what he found: "Someone wrote a loophole into the moratorium. The moratorium specifically barred funding any gain-of-function research that increased the pathogenicity of the flu, MERS or SARS viruses. But then a footnote on p.2 of the moratorium document states that 'An exception from the research pause may be obtained if the head of the USG funding agency determines that the research is urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security.'"
And that’s exactly the loophole that was exploited. Who signed off on this? Tony Fauci — possibly along with Francis Collins, the director of the NIH -- invoked that special exception in order to keep funding the Wuhan lab, and the deadly experiments that were going on there. The experiments that clearly went so wrong.
According to Richard Ebright, "Unfortunately, the NIAID Director [Fauci] and the NIH Director exploited this loophole to issue exemptions to projects subject to the pause – preposterously asserting the exempted research was ‘urgently necessary to protect public health or national security — thereby nullifying the pause."
This wouldn’t have happened if Tony Fauci didn’t allow it to happen. That is clear.
It’s an amazing story. It is a shocking story. In a functional country, there would be a criminal investigation into Tony Fauci’s role in the COVID pandemic that has killed millions and halted our country, changing it forever. So why isn’t there a criminal investigation into Tony Fauci’s role in this pandemic?
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the May 10, 2021, edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."