There’s a reason for that particular choice of words. A pattern of selective omissions in an otherwise entirely truthful presentation can easily mislead us as much as any outright lie. And under certain circumstances, such omissions may be made necessary by powerful outside forces, so that even the most well-intentioned writer is faced with the difficult choice of either excluding certain elements from his analysis or having his important work denied a proper audience. I have sometimes faced this dilemma myself, but over the last few years, my lengthy American Pravda series has charted those gaping lacunae in our received accounts of modern world history, as I have sought to provide a historical counter-narrative of the last one hundred years.
Careful reexaminations of events from fifty or sixty years ago may be interesting, but those of the present day have far greater importance, and this is particularly true with regard to the Covid-19 epidemic that has engulfed the world since early 2020. Millions have already died, including many hundreds of thousands of Americans, with a newly released research study by the University of Washington’s authoritative Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) now suggesting that our domestic death-toll has already exceeded 900,000. This global outbreak first began in Wuhan, and the nature of its origin has become a major flashpoint in the new Cold War between China and America, with the trajectory of that conflict having only slightly changed as Trump Neocons have been replaced by Biden Neocons at the helm of our foreign policy.
Two months ago I published a lengthy article summarizing much of the information from the first year of the outbreak and focusing upon the heated debate regarding the origins of the virus. Aside from the reports of the teams of investigative journalists at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press, several very long articles by independent journalists and researchers have constituted my main sources of information, including:
- How It All Started: China’s Early Coronavirus Missteps
The Wall Street Journal • March 6, 2020 • 4,400 words
- China Didn’t Warn Public of Likely Pandemic for 6 Key Days
The Associated Press • April 14, 2020 • 2,400 Words
- China’s CDC, Built to Stop Pandemics Like Covid, Stumbled When It Mattered Most
The Wall Street Journal • August 17, 2020 • 4,500 Words
- The China Syndrome Part I: Outbreak
- The China Syndrome Part II: Transmission and Response
- The China Syndrome Part III: Wet Markets and BioLabs
- The China Syndrome Part IV: Did China Fudge its Data?
Philippe Lemoine • Quillette • August 24-September 6, 2020 • 31,000 Words
- The Lab-Leak Hypothesis
For decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if …?
Nicholson Baker • New York Magazine • January 4, 2021 • 12,000 Words
This compendium of crucial research has now received a major addition, a 11,000 word analysis of the likely origins of Covid-19 by Nicholas Wade, a distinguished former science reporter and editor, who had spent more than four decades at the New York Times, Science, and Nature, and the author of several excellent books dealing with anthropology and evolutionary biology.
- Origin of Covid — Following the Clues
Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?
Nicholas Wade • Medium • May 4, 2021 • 11,000 Words
Suppressing Possible Artificial Origins as “a Conspiracy Theory”
The central focus of both Baker and Wade is indicated by their closely-related titles, namely the origins of the virus and whether it was the product of a laboratory, presumably the Wuhan Institute of Virology, then later released in a tragic accident. Both these authors strongly lean toward that latter possibility, but take somewhat different approaches. While Baker, a prominent novelist and liberal public intellectual, must rely upon general arguments or merely reports the opinions of the experts that he interviewed, Wade deploys his strong scientific background to build a persuasive case for that same conclusion.
From nearly the beginning of the epidemic, the position taken by the mainstream media had been that Covid-19 was very likely natural in origin, and although President Trump and some of his political allies soon loudly claimed otherwise, the perceived scientific consensus remained unchanged.
But as Wade demonstrates, that supposed consensus was largely illusory, having been shaped by two early items that appeared in prestigious scientific publications. On February 19, 2020, the Lancet had published a statement signed by 27 virologists and other noted scientists that declared: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” and that “[scientists] overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.” Then the following month Nature Medicine published an analysis by five virologists providing some theoretical arguments against any artificial origin, stating that: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”