Why have several researchers with close ties to the CCP been undermining the dissemination of peer reviewed research which looks at a lab origin of the COVID-19 Pandemic and gain-of-function research?
Few things are as nerve-racking as your first day at a brand-new school in a brand-new state, that’s on the other side of the country.
And so I was beyond relieved when the teacher of my second grade class Mrs. Mongelluzzo – easy to spell with the Mickey Mouse Club cadence – told everyone at the end of a rough first day that to help break the ice, everyone should try and bring a joke back to class the next day as their only homework. Knowing my dad seemed to at least think he was pretty hilarious, I waddled home so fast that I almost started rolling at one point, eager to call my dad at work to get the joke to help me fit in with a class of eight and nine year-olds the next day.
I’m not sure I’ve ever raised my hand faster in my life that next day, when Mrs. Mongelluzzo asked if anyone had remembered their homework and returned with a joke. Brand news class, all eyes on me, time to show I can fit in:
“Alright, so… how do you tell a male chromosome, from a female chromosome?
(At this point I assumed the confused looks meant my classmates were deeply pondering this profound genomic kaon.)
“Well… of course – YOU JUST PULL DOWN ITS GENES!!”
And so I learned my first hard lesson in the school of having a Microbiology PhD father trying to help you navigate through novel social situations. Or any social situations. But I digress.
However the good news was that although my dad’s job might not have made fitting in among my peers any easier, he more than made up for it during my first Take-Your-Kid-to-Work Day a few weeks later. Riding the Red Line from the Shady Grove Metro decades later while living in a halfway house as an ex-con and felon for the rest of my life, GPS anklet banging around underneath my extra-long khakis, I had a hard time imagining myself back then, staring out the window, oblivious to so much of the world that prison would later reveal to me.
But for eight-year-old me, the metro was the first part of the most incredible adventure of my life up to that point.
After the metro it was just one science-fiction escalator ride towards an impossibly distant windy pinpoint, stopping to ask the friendliest pair of glasses I could find for directions to the right building, and then one elevator later - I stepped into a massive slew of cubicles, absolutely terrible haircuts and pocket-protectors as far as the eye could see - but most importantly for me, a crowd that would appreciate my sense of humor.
After the laughs and smiles it was kaleidoscopic protein models that spun and danced on screens and the same microscopic structures that I remembered from my dad’s t-shirts blow-up to preposterous proportions and popping up on office walls and projector screens, I felt like I’d walked into a movie set - watching discoveries and knowledge get summoned into existence in real-time, and being able to poke around and find a community that loved the fact I had something of a precious science vocabulary and wasn’t afraid to ask what might be a stupid question… since the other hand of that is it just might be a really good one too.
So all of these happy formative memories swirled back to the surface when shortly after our paper examining a laboratory origin of the COVID-19 Pandemic was published in August 2020, the end of a journey that’d started with its submission back in April, a handful of random folks emailed us. My assumption initially and for several weeks afterwards was that at least one of them had been an old colleague of my father’s, since I mean - after you have your PhD for about 40 years you tend to build up a fairly long list of contacts.
However once a bit of time had passed and I thought about it, I wasn’t aware of my dad ever significantly interacting with a former Secretary of the Navy and Obama advisor directly attached to defense work, a federal global technology S&T researcher interested in engaging with China and who it’s hard to imagine hasn’t been extensively involved with defense programs, an MIT artificial intelligence and cyber-security wonk with extensive ties to the defense industry, and a scientist part of another team which denigrated my father’s career and said he never should’ve written a paper like ours also with extensive ties to DARPA and the defense industry.
Even more bizarre, that former Secretary of the Navy spent much of 2020 directly lobbying with the help of Johns Hopkins for more scientific and academic engagement and cooperation with the CCP, alongside the sitting Director of National Intelligence (and soon to be oxymorons), Avril Haines. And so maybe it should raise a few eyebrows that the sitting Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, attempted to scrub existence of his company’s efforts to aid and abet the CCP placing students and researching into American institutions and especially key STEM programs via multi-million dollar contracts from the internet.
This company, WestExec Advisors, is also tied to the current Press Secretary, Jen Psaki.
And it was only co-founded by Blinken, it’s other founder writes whitepapers alongside Avril Haines, since it’s all one big happy not-even-vaguely-corrupt-and-compromised mob family.
Oh and Ms. Psaki just spent today telling the American people that there’s no grounds whatsoever that would cause President Biden to fire Tony Fauci. Not even treason?
In a time of war? Because the punishment for that very clearly isn’t losing your job - it’s losing your life via state execution. And so aiding and abetting the the Chinese Military in covering up the worst war-crime in human history would certainly be nominal groups for a bullet to the head, or however the government is doing it these days.
And in case any of this sounds a bit outlandish, turns out there’s been a high-level defector from China in America for several months, working alongside the DIA exclusively since “DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies."
The idea that there’s even a discussion as to whether or not SARS-CoV-2 was engineered is entirely absurd, the only people acting like this is in doubt at all are looking to cover as many asses as they possibly can while directly aiding and abetting a disinformation campaign being run by the Chinese Military, and simultaneously keep the door open to violate as many Natural Laws as they possibly can.
Most notably, Alina Chan, who’s already designed a protocol to insert freaking Ebola into human cells, and has been falsely presenting herself as some sort of honest actor while literally attempting to bribe other scientists to hide the truth.
And so as our emails with this giant wildly corrupt and conflicted cabal of DARPA-JHU-WestExec squad of fuckbois below recounts, their contact with us has become even stranger considering what’s happened since... and what hasn’t happened. Instead of our ideas being embraced by the wider scientific community like I would've expected from my childhood, they've been marginalized and our voices largely ignored.
My father wouldn’t even let me take the super-cool U.S. Government pens to use in school since it could technically considered stealing, he’s never sniffed anything resembling defense work or the hundreds of millions of dollars of funding to do it, been anywhere near Big Pharma, or sought membership in some sort of international group or organization that’s supposed to somehow give one credibility since you can say you’re a part of it and it allows you to claim expertise you simply do not have.
And maybe my dad's existence as just a simple scientist a good thing.
Because if this pandemic has demonstrated anything, it’s that our international institutions have not only failed us as they’ve enabled the profiteering of public citizens that's turned what was once a historic wealth gap in human history into one that’s only ever been demonstrated before in science-fiction movies, all the while we die off in the worst ongoing mass casualty event in generations. And these international organizations and their false sense of authority enable charlatans like Peter Daszak to corrupt and defile the scientific process by hiding behind imaginary xenophobia, when all he’s really been doing is running interference for the people providing the funding for his work.
Because if one thing is certain, it’s that he has no interest in anything other than preserving the many hundreds of millions of dollars of funding he collects a six-figure salary to coordinate – as opposed to being worried about saving human life or getting to the bottom of this pandemic. And yet he doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and the “dual-use” side of the gain-of-function methodologies like serial passage refer to their possible uses in the defense industry, and now by those wishing to continue playing God and attempting to directly alter the human genome in at attempt to cheat nature’s basic strictures.
Maybe it's more than a coincidence that the last point made by the biggest cinematic franchise in history is that playing games with reality and attempting to manipulate the popular media's perception of it can put an enormous number of lives at risk, and that there’s a lot of money to be made and power to be seized when seemingly benign international groups present themselves with authority they do not have, and with responsibilities they refuse to uphold.
Maybe those movies were on to something.
However, sure, maybe my dad and I are mistaken and there is something wrong with our paper which accounts for so many seeking to exclude it from the discussion at this point and keep our voices out of the media.
From: Karl Sirotkin PhD Date: Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 10:51 AM
Mr. Danzig, Dr. Kwik-Gronvall, Mr. Triolo, Dr. Leighton, and Mr. Mallery:
When you all initially contacted my son and I about our paper, Might SARS‐CoV‐2 Have Arisen via Serial Passage through an Animal Host or Cell Culture? my initial thoughts went to fond memories I have from much earlier in my career when I was publishing more.
On both occasions, scientists reached out to me after a paper I'd written was published, excited about my work, and asked me to present it at conferences.
However, since your group initially contacted us to point out that we hadn't properly supported one of our assertions, to which we replied with the citation which we had mistakenly left out, we have heard nothing at all from any of you since. Unlike my previous experiences, your group doesn't seem at all interested in helping what you called "a real contribution" to the discussion around the origins of COVID-19 gain any traction anywhere, either among fellow professionals or the popular press.
Your contact seems different and outside my normal experience as a professional. If Mr. Danzig was simply curious about the 1977 influenza incident, I would have simply expected him to ask, so the rest of the distribution seems a bit mysterious, and frankly we are curious about the motivation especially considering the silence since and where things now stand.
The larger distribution seems odd to me, since the four of you come from such diverse backgrounds. And it was made ever stranger after Dr. Kwik-Gronvall's team at John Hopkins asserted that I was not qualified to write our paper, as part of a team with extensive ties to DARPA and the defense industry. A characteristic that, to an outsider, would also seem to bind your group together as well?
Unless I am mistaken and the four of you have some other longstanding interest in gain-of-function work outside of DARPA and other defense work that brought you together to email us about the use of serial passage in our paper?
Finally, are you aware of Alina Chan, who is attached to the Broad Institute and MIT as many of you are, actively telling reporters to ignore the peer review process, and presenting herself as some kind of expert after this article which reads like badly-researched fan-fiction from a lovesick writer was published? This article was published nearly a month after our peer reviewed paper was. And long after Zero Hedge made international headlines getting kicked off Twitter for asserting the possibility of a laboratory origin. Events this Boston Magazine article ignores entirely as it attempts to create a parallel universe. Since you were so concerned about an incorrect citation in a peer reviewed paper published from strangers, certainly you’re concerned about someone with ties to the same institutions as many of you denigrated the scientific process, and allowing herself and her research to be misrepresented in the press.
So my question is: Why did the four of you contact me and my son? If it was to make sure the science is presented and communicated correctly, why has there been only silence since? And Dr. Kwik-Gronvall, why did your team assert I was unqualified to write this paper after you were already so familiar with it? I appreciate the fact JHU retracted that statement, but I assume that was only after my son emailed asking very politely for a correction.
With the entire globe in the grips of this pandemic, accurate and honest scientific reporting and research has never ever been more important. It is already looking as if continually updated vaccines might be required to control COVID-19 as it mutates, and with confidence in vaccines already low - aren't the four of you concerned with the potential damage that can be done when the scientific peer review process is not respected? Such lack of respect causes lowered belief in the entire scientific enterprise.
Alina presented herself as superior to out peer reviewed paper by telling journalists that it would be ok to ignore it, but of which we have yet to see specific criticisms other that Richard's excellent question. When four scientists as accomplished and connected as you take all that time to reach out about our paper, but then remain silent afterwards which this implied criticism by one with which you seem to have an association?
So maybe you can help us understand your motivations and the larger context of your interest? Since I’m baffled that this even seems to be a question when reviewing a field, in any context, scientific or journalistic: Is it professional and appropriate to ignore or encourage others to ignore a peer reviewed article? The clear answer is, “No,” unless specific criticisms are part of that assertion. And we are happy to discuss this, if there is any question about this being appropriate behavior for a scientist, since Alina is rather young and perhaps hasn’t been properly trained.
And since all of this is so bizarre, and since several articles have already appeared in the popular press which ignore the peer reviewed science, and so many others with backgrounds in finance and politics seem to be coming out of the woodwork writing articles and pretending to have the ability to address the science when all they hold no relevant degrees and have only ever written popular pieces, acting like their research and work should be considered with the same seriousness as ours – this email will be posted to a public forum for open discussion.
Dr. Karl Sirotkin
Richard Danzig responded to that email chain below:
Saturday, Jan 23, 10:14 AM
When I read your and your son’s paper I wrote to you about what seemed a mistaken description of a previous paper. You quite properly wrote back acknowledging the mistake. I haven’t written further because there doesn’t seem more that I can contribute. I am not a scientist, but rather simply someone with some expertise on national security questions who wants to understand what is happening in relevant domains of science and technology. As shown in my message, I copied several scientists who I knew were interested in this topic. They do not constitute “a group” and hadn’t seen my message before I sent it. I cannot speak for them. I have copied these others on this email and also included John Mallery who ably supervises the “biosecurity analysis” mailing list. As John has said he does not want these communications directly circulating on that list, I leave to him whether he wants to circulate this further. I hope this addresses your concerns about my original message and why you have heard no more (save for this!) from me.
Since all this seemed to do was dodge any sort of explanation, Dr. Sirotkin tried again below:
Sunday, Jan 31, 9:37 PM
Dr. Danzig, Dr. Kwik-Gronvall, Mr. Triolo, Dr. Leighton, and Mr. Mallery:
Dr Danzig, Your courtesy is appreciated, but not of the questions I’ve asked have been addressed, so apparently, I need to be more direct.
I’m including the bio-security mailing list in this distribution since there are unanswered questions here that go well beyond SARS2’s origins and affect National Security from the biotechnology perspective. Dr. Danzig, you sent the first email to a handful of people as well as a email list of anonymous recipients in what seemed to be an attempt to sideline our work and push aside questions about gain of function research – we should be able to answer to that same distribution, especially because in your follow up to that same distribution, you seemed to say we agreed we were mistaken in the context of pandemic influenzas viruses. But the only mistake was a missing citation, we neveragreed that any of the conclusions were mistaken, nor have we seen any criticism of the logic and conclusion of our August 2020 Bioessays peer reviewed publication. A letter is in press that adds the citation, and goes into more signs regarding serial passage and this novel coronavirus.
And we address you along with everyone else, Dr. Danzig, because these questions don’t relate to granular scientific issues but instead are more ones of integrity and the common public good. By the way, for a non-scientist you really must have been following the scientific field closely both to spot our paper and notice it was missing a citation.
Due to the number of lives on the line, and that fundamental issues of scientific and professional integrity seem to be in question, I hope you can provide direct answers to the following questions which I’ve tried to make as clear as possible. Some questions only a few on the initial distribution will be able to answer, but I hope those on the mailing list will respond as well since these questions obviously relate to biosecurity and go way beyond SARS2’s origins.
In my more than four decades as a practicing scientist I have never felt this sense of bewilderment and concern over the conduct of other professionals, and especially now in the middle of a pandemic that has no end in sight – to have the scientific community act with such apparent duplicitous intent, in a possible effort to secure their own access to billions of dollars of funding is truly disconcerting, a feeling I would expect to be shared by everyone who considers themselves a part of the wider scientific community.
Question 1: What were the context of the discussions were that led you to initially use the rather broad email distribution that you used as well as the national security list? I also want to restate for this question that the missing citation did not cause any of our logic or conclusions to be compromised, it did not affect our analysis of the current pandemic, instead only provided a nice narrative parallel to it. However, you decided to contact us in the first place, and include others on that initial email distribution which also included a broad anonymous list, so out of professional courtesy and transparency I’m simply asking how the decision was made to contact us, with such a broad distribution list and then to avoid answering our questions?
Question 2: At least two of you appear associated with the Johns Hopkins team which stated that I was unqualified to write a paper covering the origins of SARS2. Why did your team make that judgment? What made your group more qualified than myself when my experience includes teaching molecular virology, molecular biology, and performing nearly two decades of genetic engineering wet-work, and as a bioinformatics scientist I have much longer tenure in the field than anyone on that report’s author list. Why has the entire John Hopkins COVID-19 tracking unit been either pretending that our paper does not exist, or actively trying to undermine its credibility – when they’re obviously entirely aware of it, and how sound it is? To the point of not even citing us in their list of peer reviewed literature citations?
Question 3: How much more death is needed before the discussion around gain-of-function work is opened back up and the moratorium against it (or at the very least monitoring by those who do not have a conflict of interest) is reconsidered? And shouldn’t there be intense, independent scientific scrutiny of all gain-of-function genome-altering work that asks, not only: “What might be the benefit?” but also, “What can possibly go wrong?” We cannot help but wonder if the DARPA-funded Foundry , or work on the recent Apollo report, played a role in what appeared to be an attempt to discredit us, and if this distribution list has an interest in that work going forward, and is part of the efforts to minimize such moratoriums or safety monitoring?
I sincerely hope everyone on this list has National Security interests foremost in your priorities and we are wrong to be worried about your desire to continue the inadequately monitored gain-of-function work which puts humanity at such terrible risk.
Question 4: How is it that all of you are concerned enough about academic integrity to contact us about a missing citation, but have sat back and done nothing as our peer-reviewed work is appropriated in the popular press? And since this is so obviously a public health issue, do you believe that journalists should report on the peer reviewed science, or be encouraged to make their own opinions about what the state of the science really is? This would not be an issue for me, if any honest detailed criticism of our paper at all was known to me, however since it is not – If academic integrity was at the heart of your initial contact with us, why have you been sitting back spectating as our ideas have been stolen and misrepresented to the general public at large by multiple mainstream outlets?
We look forward to your responses.
Karl Sirotkin, PhD
Strangely enough, they were never heard from again!!