House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) speaks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Sept. 17, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Republicans
Two GOP lawmakers this week launched a campaign calling on whistleblowers in the military to come forward with their experiences in training programs that promote critical race theory or “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“We won’t let our military fall to woke ideology,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), a former Navy SEAL, wrote in a tweet on Friday while linking to a website where informants can submit their accounts. “With written permission, we will anonymously publish egregious complaints on social media and tell the country what’s happening in our military.”
“For too long, progressive Pentagon staffers have been calling the shots for our warfighters,” said Crenshaw about the web page posted in conjunction with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a former Army captain. They hope that service members “will anonymously publish egregious complaints on social media” in order to “tell the country what’s happening in our military,” according to Crenshaw.
“Progressive Pentagon staffers have been calling the shots for our warfighters,” the lawmaker added, “and spineless military commanders have let it happen. Now we are going to expose you.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Space Force confirmed it relieved Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier of his duties after he alleged that Marxism and critical race theory—which draws heavy inspiration from Marxist critical theory—are both being spread in the military via training courses that are required by Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other high-level officials.
“Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, Space Operations Command commander, relieved Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier of command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, May 14, due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead,” the Space Force said in mid-May, adding that Lohmeier’s remarks in a podcast and in his self-published book “constituted prohibited partisan political activity.” The Space Force’s statement didn’t provide an example.
Last week, Lohmeier met with Cotton, who tweeted after their meeting that he’s concerned “by what I heard” and promised to press “senior military leaders for answers.”
Critical race theory denounces U.S. and Western culture as a systematic form of oppression that negatively impacts minority groups. Critics of the ideology—which is sometimes referred to as being “woke”—have said its proponents apply the Marxist tactic of “class struggle” to divide people along lines of race, gender, and ethnicity to label them “oppressors” and the “oppressed.”
At the state level, legislatures and governors have taken action against critical race theory as well as The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” by barring them from being promoted in schools and in government institutions.
The governors of Tennessee, Idaho, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have already signed anti-critical race theory bills. In Texas, Arizona, and Iowa, similar measures have been proposed, according to an analysis.
The office of the Michigan secretary of state has told two county clerks that they do not legally have to provide access to voting equipment maintained by their office if ordered to do so by county boards.
“The Board has no authority to require you or any municipal clerk to provide external access to voting equipment maintained by your offices, and neither you nor municipal clerks in Cheboygan County should provide this access,” Jonathan Brater, director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, told Cheboygan County clerk Karen Brewster in a May 20 letter obtained by The Epoch Times.
Another official from the office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, sent a similar letter on the same day to the clerk in Antrim County, conveying the view that the board of commissioners there has no authority to require an audit or compel the providing of election records.
Commissioners can seek such records through a freedom of information act request, Lori Bourbonais, director of the Elections Administration Division at the bureau wrote. “However, they have no authority to direct county or local clerks to provide this information, nor are any opinions they have about the manner in which local clerks conduct voting and registration transactions binding on local clerks in any way,” she added.
Brewster and Antrim County clerks were also advised not to grant access to voting equipment to firms not accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
Antrim County’s Board of Commissioners and the county’s clerk were asked at a May 6 board meeting to look into whether or not, and how, an audit of the Nov. 3, 2020 election could be required or requested. The board worked with Guy to ask the Bureau of Elections for answers.
Guy told commissioners during the meeting that voter registration rolls belong to the townships and alleged the board could not demand an audit because it lacked jurisdiction over the townships.
Commissioner Dawn LaVanway, a Republican, moved two weeks later to have the board complete a forensic audit of the election. The motion failed.
The county immediately after the election last year reported that Democrat Joe Biden received over 3,000 more votes in the county than then-President Donald Trump. However, the county twice updated the results, with Trump ultimately being shown ahead by nearly 4,000 votes.
Guy initially pinned the issue on a combination of a software glitch and human error. She and Benson later blamed what happened solely on human error, specifically a failure to update election machine programming. A hand recount later found another difference in the count of about 10 votes.
William Bailey, a voter, later sued the county, alleging the vote count was manipulated. Forensic auditors who examined Dominion Voting Systems machines on behalf of Bailey said the company’s software was “purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.” The audit’s findings were disputed by Michigan officials and Dominion.
In Cheboygan County, the Board of Commissioners tasked a subcommittee to explore the desire by some residents to have an audit of the 2020 presidential election. The subcommittee has been looking at different things and trying to collect more data, Board Vice Chairman Sangster told a meeting late last month.
A team including Matthew DePerno, who represented Bailey, offered to do a free audit in the county. Sangster said his view is that there is nothing free.
Board Chairman John Wallace said the subcommittee will make a recommendation to the board after completing their exploration.
Multiple residents spoke during the meeting, some in favor of ordering an audit and others against the idea.
Wallace and Sangster did not respond to requests for comment on the letter from Benson’s office. Dominion did not return an inquiry. Guy did not respond to a voicemail or an email. Brewster declined to provide a copy of the letter, telling The Epoch Times in an email, “Please request any information with a FOIA Request!” When informed that the letter had been obtained, and asked for comment, she did not respond.
State law indicates that county boards lease, buy, or otherwise acquire electronic voting systems, including machines. That means the boards can order an audit, Beth Bridgman, leader of a group called the Cheboygan Freedom Fighters that is advocating for an audit, told The Epoch Times.
“Our county paid for those machines, right? On behalf of the people, our commissioners did. And those machines are our physical property,” she said.
The funding for the audit, if it were ordered, would come from money donated to Bailey’s legal case and from fundraising, she added. It could be conducted by Cyber Ninjas, the firm running the audit in Maricopa County.
A security person moves journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a World Health Organization team arrived for a field visit in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province, on Feb. 3, 2021. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo) Thinking About China
On May 24, the Wall Street Journal published seven key sets of facts that demonstrate that Wuhan virologists, who claim to have been conducting analyses that would help develop vaccines for a then-non-existent pandemic, might have taken undue risk through gain-of-function research or lax lab safety standards, that sparked the COVID-19 pandemic that killed almost 3.5 million people worldwide, and counting. At the very least, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is culpable for omitting crucial data that would help the world determine the virus’s origins.
First, six workers from a bat-infested copper mine in the Mojiang region of China, got sick in 2012, and three died. All the sick miners had similar symptoms. A CT scan “revealed severe pneumonia, with the same lung markings now seen in many COVID-19 patients,” according to evidence seen by the Journal. Four miners tested positive for SARS antibodies.
Second, WIV scientists suspected a bat-borne coronavirus, and collected samples from 276 bats of at least six different species, from the area. “They extracted genetic material from the samples and sequenced fragments,” according to the Journal. “Half of the samples tested positive for coronaviruses,” including a SARS-type one. “Critically, all six bat species showed evidence of coronavirus co-infection, the researchers found. In other words, the virus could easily exchange genetic material with similar ones to create a new coronavirus—an environment ripe for the creation of new viruses that could potentially infect humans.”
Dr. Shi Zhengli, the top WIV bat coronavirus expert, led that research. Dr. Shi claims to have retested the miners, thereby rejecting the hypothesis that they were infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Third, the WIV once had a public database of 22,000 samples and virus sequences. 15,000 of these were from bats. In September 2019, WIV took the database offline, ostensibly due to over 3,000 cyberattacks.
Fourth, Dr. Shi recently said her team found eight additional SARS-like coronaviruses at the mine. “Many scientists question why the WIV didn’t announce the existence of those viruses earlier, as well as their connection to the mine, and why they waited so long to allow scientists to examine their sequences,” according to the Journal. “Some have noted that Dr. Shi has repeatedly asserted that the Mojiang miners had a suspected fungal infection, not a virus, contradicting research papers at the time and Dr. Shi’s update in [the journal] Nature, which said the miners were thought to have a virus.” Dr. Shi was not fired, so WIV is responsible for her apparent dissimulation.
Fifth, WIV conducted gain-of-function research. Such research makes viruses more lethal and infectious, under highly-controlled circumstances, ostensibly in order to develop vaccines. Some scientists, according to the Journal, say that research papers reveal that WIV employees “were combining some bat coronaviruses they had cultured with genetic material from others.”
“Dr. Shi has publicly described doing experiments, including in 2018 and 2019, to see if various bat coronaviruses could use a spike protein on their surfaces to bind to an enzyme in human cells known as ACE2,” according to the Journal. “That is how both the SARS virus and SARS-CoV-2 infect humans.” The experiments required the combination of a bat coronavirus and the spike protein of another, then the infection of genetically-engineered mice containing human ACE2, according to Dr. Shi.
According to the Journal, “Ralph Baric, a microbiologist at the University of North Carolina … worked with the WIV on a study to create an artificial coronavirus that infected human cells in the lab.” Dr. Baric has some explaining to do. Scientists should not collaborate with totalitarian regimes on dangerous biological research.
Sixth, three WIV researchers got sick in November 2019 and were hospitalized with symptoms consistent with both seasonal flu and COVID-19. This information, obtained by the Journal, was likely from Australia’s intelligence service.
Seventh, Chinese authorities are obstructing researchers and reporters from accessing the copper mine and environs (although one heroic Journal reporter recently managed to make it there by mountain bike to take a photo). Officials detained him for five hours and deleted the photograph.
Scientists are looking at these facts, raising concerns, and demanding more data.
Ian Lipkin, infectious-disease specialist at Columbia University, said WIV experiments on coronaviruses in labs might have been at a lower biosafety level than is required in the United States.
Dr. Ralph Baric believes that the genetic structure of SARS-CoV-2 indicates a wild origin and natural evolution to infect humans, but that a “rigorous investigation would have reviewed the biosafety level under which bat coronavirus research was conducted at WIV … detailed information on the training procedures with records, the safety procedures with records and strategies that were in place to prevent inadvertent or accidental escape,” according to the Journal.
Virologist Bernard Roizman at the University of Chicago told the Journal, “I’m convinced that what happened is that the virus was brought to the lab, they started to work with it … and some sloppy individual brought it out. They can’t admit they did something so stupid.”
Clearly, the gathering and public revelation of more evidence is needed to address these concerns. The WHO-led team tasked with investigating the virus’s origin, only spent three hours at WIV. It was unable to do antibody tests on animals and people near the copper mine. Even WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticized his own team’s investigation as inadequate.
China’s gain-of-function research should be a concern to all. According to the Journal, “Critics say the risk of harmful, genetically enhanced viruses leaking from the lab is too great” to justify any benefit from gain-of-function research that assists in developing vaccines for future potential pandemics.
In 2014, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) stopped funding gain-of-function research, only to reinstate it in 2017 though under the greater strictures of an expert review panel. China’s restrictions on gain-of-function are less rigorous, and its science is often substandard. It can and is hijacked by an unethical Chinese military under Xi Jinping’s control.
In sum, the WIV lab researchers did not disclose their collaboration with the Chinese military, released discrepant data that appears to evidence dissimulation, and are not being transparent. They failed to provide full access to evidence that could explain the origin of the virus.
Most scientists do believe the lab-leak hypothesis is unlikely relative to natural human-to-animal spillover, which happens much more frequently.
But until China improves its scientific and political ethics, it has no business conducting gain-of-function research. Western scientists should immediately stop putting such powerful technologies into the hands of potentially sloppy and military-linked scientists in China, when the stakes are so high. Continuing to conduct collaborative scientific research with them, given what we know today, is an unjustified risk for the world.
Anders Corr has a BA/MA in political science from Yale University (2001) and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a Principal at Corr Analytics Inc., Publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. He authored “The Concentration of Power” (forthcoming 2021) and “No Trespassing,” and edited “Great Powers, Grand Strategies.”
A 24-year-old suspect who allegedly opened fire near a nightclub in Minneapolis was charged with murder and attempted murder.
Prosecutors said (pdf) that Jawan C. Carroll, an alleged member of the gang “Tres Tres,” was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Charlie Johnson, 21, and Christopher Jones, 24. He also faces seven counts of attempted second-degree murder. The incident occurred last weekend.
The criminal complaint filed by Hennepin County prosecutors said a number of people were in front of the Monarch nightclub at 322 First Ave. N. when the shooting took place at 2 a.m. on May 22.
Johnson, a University of St. Thomas student, and another person were walking in the area and had walked out of an alley onto the sidewalk when the shooting started, the complaint said. Johnson was struck in the back by gunfire while he was running away.
Family members told local media that he was out with friends to celebrate before their graduation ceremony the next day.
“He was just trying to celebrate his college graduation with his buddies, trying to walk home, and was gunned down on the streets of what now is a broken city that I don’t know that I can go back into,” Charlie’s father, Greg Johnson, told KARE-TV, likely referring to the widespread violence that occurred last summer in Minneapolis.
Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said the shooting is fallout caused by the “defund the police” movement that erupted last year amid Black Lives Matter protests and riots.
“What’s not debatable is what they did in this case to hold people accountable for their behavior,” Cramer told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “It’s a critical function that the ‘defund the police’ crowd doesn’t have an answer for.”
An amendment to the Endless Frontier Act that would ban the use of U.S. tax dollars to fund “gain-of-function” research in China was adopted by the Senate on a voice vote on May 25.
The amendment was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and co-sponsored by Republicans Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
“No funds made available to any federal agency, including the National Institutes for Health, may be used to conduct gain-of-function research in China,” the amendment said.
The amendment defines gain-of-function research as “any research project that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity or transmissibility in mammals.”
That’s the same definition the National Institutes for Health (NIH) used when implementing a funding moratorium on gain-of-function research from 2014 to 2017. The moratorium lapsed during the previous Congress.
Paul’s amendment follows a growing debate in Congress and the media over the issue of whether the CCP virus—also known as the novel coronavirus—originated due to a leak, accidental or otherwise, from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), or from transmission to humans via bat meat sold in an open-air market in Wuhan. The latter is the official explanation of the Chinese regime.
“We don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally,” Paul said in a statement about his amendment. “While many still deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise. The passage of my amendment ensures that this never happens in the future.
“No taxpayer money should have ever been used to fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, and now, we permanently have put it to a stop.”
Earlier this month, Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), had a heated exchange during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, concerning whether the Wuhan lab had received U.S. funding directly or indirectly.
Fauci, who has been a highly visible and controversial adviser on the CCP virus to both President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, vigorously denied that such funding came from NIAID.
“Gain-of-function research essentially involves juicing up naturally-occurring animal viruses to infect humans,” Paul’s office said in the statement.
“For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses.
“During their research, Dr. Baric and Dr. Shi worked together to insert bat virus spike protein into the backbone of the deadly SARS virus and then used the man-made super virus to infect human airway cells.
“Much of the research they were doing was funded through Dr. Fauci’s NIH and NIAID.
“When Dr. Paul asked Dr. Fauci whether he supports the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan, Dr. Fauci, a strong supporter and ardent advocate of gain-of-function research, claimed that the NIH ‘has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’
“Despite Dr. Fauci’s previous denials, there is ample evidence and backing by the scientific community that the NIH and the NIAID, under his direction, funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“A multitude of scientists have reviewed this research and said it meets the definition for gain-of-function. Many of these scientists have also discussed the inherent dangers of conducting gain-of-function research and the risks it poses to the human population.”
The Endless Frontier Act is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and provides a massive increase in funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Schumer’s bill would boost NSF’s funding from its present $8.5 billion annual budget by creating within it a new Directorate for Technology and Innovation that would receive $100 billion over the next five years.
“The goals of the directorate shall be, among other things, the strengthening of U.S. leadership in critical technologies through basic research in key technology focus areas, such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and advanced manufacturing, and the commercialization of those technologies to businesses in the United States,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
“The bill gives the NSF the authority to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information within the United States concerning the NSF’s activities and the results of those activities.”
In addition, the Schumer proposal would dramatically increase NSF’s work in the areas of critical technologies in the national security sector of advanced technology research.
The proposal also directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop on an annual basis “a strategy for the federal government to improve national competitiveness in science, research, and innovation to support the national security strategy.”
In addition, the bill directs the Department of Commerce to “(1) establish a supply chain resiliency and crisis response program to address supply chain gaps and vulnerabilities in critical industries, (2) designate regional technology hubs to facilitate activities that support regional economic development that diffuses innovation around the United States, and (3) award grants to facilitate development and implementation of comprehensive regional technology strategies.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Saturday accused the progressive “Squad” of acting as “press secretaries for Hamas terrorists,” as he announced that he is introducing a resolution backing arms sales to Israel.
“Rep. [Ilhan] Omar accused Israel of carrying out acts of terrorism. That is a vicious lie. And to be honest, the Squad is acting more like the press secretaries for Hamas terrorists than they are like United States congressmen,” Cruz said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
The Texas Republican was referring to a group of progressive women with a socialist agenda who became known as “the Squad,” including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). They have supported the “defund the police” movement, “Medicare for All,” free college education, the “Green New Deal,” and other socialist policies.
The women come under fire in recent days for their controversial anti-Israel tweets as violence intensified between Israel and Hamas, a designated terrorist group since 1997, before a ceasefire agreement was eventually reached Thursday. The 11-day conflict started when Hamas launched rockets into Israel over a court case to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem that triggered riots.
Ocasio-Cortez last week said President Joe Biden’s defense of Israel’s use of force to protect itself against the terrorist group was “siding with the occupation.”
Tlaib meanwhile accused Israel of “promoting racism and dehumanization” under a discriminatory “apartheid system.”
“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism,” Omar wrote. “Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”
Cruz said that their rhetoric makes them sound “more like they’re acting as press secretaries for Hamas terrorists than as members of the United States Congress defending American national security and the security of our allies.”
Mark Regev, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back at criticism from the group.
“They were firing thousands of rockets on our civilian population. They were trying to murder our people in their homes. We were defending ourselves,” Regev told Fox News. “They were firing out of schools. They were firing out of built-up areas. They were firing out of homes, out of mosques, even out of playgrounds.”
“People need to understand—Hamas is not just Israel’s enemy,” he added. “Hamas is the enemy of everyone who wants to see peace and reconciliation in our part of the world. They are a brutal jihadist terrorist group. No one should make excuses for them.”
Cruz told Fox News his resolution will show whether lawmakers are willing to “support Israel” or “sashay up to the anti-Israel left.”
“Let’s decide if you’re willing to send weapons to support Israel, or if you’re going to sashay up to the anti-Israel left, then you need to own it and I hope we’re going to have a vote next week and decide which side of the line everyone stands on,” he said.
The senator’s plans for a resolution comes after progressives, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), pushed to block a $735 million arms sales to Israel last week.
“I’m introducing a resolution to approve the arms sales, and I’m going to fight for a vote because there are a lot of Democrats in the Senate who want to play footsie, who want to say: ‘Well, no. I don’t agree with that antisemitic language from the Squad.’ Well, let’s vote,” Cruz added. “Let’s decide if you’re willing to send weapons to support Israel, or if you’re going to sashay up to the anti-Israel left, then you need to own it.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar, and Pressley for comment.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the ongoing federal response to COVID-19 in Washington on May 11, 2021. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images) US News
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted that he is now “not convinced” that COVID-19 developed naturally, and called for deeper probe into the origins of the virus.
Fauci, the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was asked by PolitiFact whether he was confident that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus developed naturally.
“No actually. I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” Fauci said during a Poynter event, “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking,” on May 11.
“Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals. But it could have been something else and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,” he continued.
On the same day, when asked by a doctor during a Senate hearing about whether it’s possible that COVID-19 arose from a lab accident in Wuhan, Fauci responded: “That possibility certainly exists.”
“I am totally in favor of a full investigation of whether that could have happened,” he responded.
Early reports about an outbreak of the CCP virus first appeared in China’s central city of Wuhan in late 2019, when a cluster of cases was reported by state-controlled media to be linked to a local wet market. More than a year later, the origins of the virus remain unknown, though the possibility that the virus leaked from a laboratory at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is now receiving wider recognition.
Days after the Poynter event, PolitiFact quietly retracted a Sept. 2020 fact check that labeled a Hong Kong virologist’s claim that COVID-19 originated in a lab as inaccurate and a “debunked conspiracy theory.”
“The claim is inaccurate and ridiculous,” the now-archived fact check previously said. “We rate it Pants on Fire!”
In an updated editor’s note published May 17, PolitiFact explained why it has now removed the label.
“When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed,” the note states. “For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute.”
The original fact check from PolitiFact cited a Sept. 15, 2020, Fox News interview with Hong Kong virologist Li-Meng Yan, in which she said that she has “solid scientific evidence” that COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, is “not from nature.”
“It is a man-made virus created in the lab,” the virologist and former postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong told the news network at the time.
PolitiFact’s Editor-in-Chief Angie Drobnic Holan told The Epoch Times that she has no further comment on the matter.
Fauci’s latest remarks mark a reversal from comments he made in an interview with the National Geographic published May last year, in which he asserted that there’s no scientific evidence that the CCP virus was made in a lab.
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated … Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” Fauci told the publication.
Meanwhile, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee say they believe it to be more likely that the CCP virus originated within a Chinese laboratory than from an animal.
“There is overwhelming circumstantial evidence … to support a lab leak as the origination of COVID-19,” a May 19 report, led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the committee, states. “By contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to humans.”
A laboratory leak could involve either a naturally occurring virus being kept at the facility or a virus that has undergone laboratory manipulation.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is home to China’s only P4 lab—the highest level of biosafety—and it’s located not far from the city’s wet market where the cluster first emerged. A State Department fact sheet released in January stated that the WIV had been conducting experiments on bat coronavirus starting at least as far back as 2016. The institute also carried out “laboratory animal experiments” for the Chinese military since at least 2017.
The department also stated that it had reason to believe that “several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”
The Chinese regime has denied that the virus’s origin was linked to the WIV and has pushed a natural zoonotic hypothesis—that the virus was transmitted to humans from an animal host. However, Beijing has so far failed to identify the original animal species that allegedly passed the virus on to humans.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said this week that the Biden administration has asserted both publicly and privately that the Chinese regime was “not transparent from the beginning.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed new charges against reported Black Lives Matter activist John Sullivan for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, saying that Sullivan allegedly told others later that he brought along a megaphone to incite riots inside the building.
According to court documents filed last week by federal prosecutors, Sullivan, of Utah, is facing new weapons charges. Sullivan, in statements online and in reports, said he attended a number of Black Lives Matter protests last year, posted numerous anti-police and anti-Trump statements, and also allegedly posted on Twitter support for armed revolution.
After leaving the Capitol on Jan. 6, Sullivan was seen, according to federal prosecutors, telling a witness that he “brought my megaphone to instigate [expletives]” and wanted to “make these Trump supporters [expletive] all this [expletive] up” inside the Capitol building.
Sullivan, they said, also portrayed himself as a journalist who was documenting the incident. However, they said that he was actively participating in the breach—and even apparently broke a window.
“There are so many people. Let’s go. This [expletive] is ours! [Expletive] yeah,” Sullivan allegedly cheered after he and others entered the Capitol, the DOJ documents said.
He added: “We accomplished this [expletive]. We did this together. [Expletive] yeah! We are all a part of this history,” and “let’s burn this [expletive] down,” according to the court papers. Federal prosecutors alleged that he was attempting to incite others to burn the Capitol down several times.
Appearing to reference his participation in Black Lives Matter events, at one point on Jan. 6, he’s also heard allegedly saying, “I am ready bro. I’ve been to too many riots. I’ve been in so many riots,” the documents said.
And at one point, Sullivan allegedly told Capitol Police officers in the building to “stand down,” prosecutors said. “There are too many people, you gotta stand down, the people out there that tried to do that shit, they got hurt, I saw it, I’m caring about you,” he allegedly said.
“Hey guys, I have a knife,” Sullivan also said, according to federal prosecutors. “I have a knife. Let me up.”
Sullivan, notably, recorded a video of the confrontation between rioters and police near the House chamber that included the fatal Capitol Police-involved shooting of Air Force veteran Ashley Babbitt and, according to the court filings, boasted to a witness that “my footage is worth like a million of dollars, millions of dollars.”
As a result, the DOJ last week said it had seized about $90,000 from Sullivan after he sold the footage to several unnamed news outlets.
Sullivan’s lawyer had no comment on Sunday when The Epoch Times reached out to him.
According to reports, Sullivan was involved in organizing Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Utah. He was also charged last July with alleged rioting, making a threat of violence, and criminal mischief for his part in a demonstration and riot that led to the shooting of a motorist.
“As a protest organizer, John Sullivan is heard talking about seeing the shooting, looking at the gun, and seeing smoke coming from it. John did not condemn the attempted murder nor attempt to stop it nor aide in its investigation by police,” said police in an affidavit last year.
Sullivan, who used the name “Jayden X” online—apparently in reference to Malcolm X—frequently posted on Twitter his support for Black Lives Matter and armed revolution. Black Lives Matter groups in Utah also disavowed him in January, describing Sullivan as a “loose cannon.”
Sullivan, according to his lawyers in a filing, sold his footage to CNN worth $35,000, sold footage to NBC for $35,000, and sold more to other media outlets.
His lawyers balked at the asset seizure and asked a judge to have the federal government return his money.
“At the outset, defendant notes that he needs the funds in the seized bank account in order to pay his rent and household necessities,” his lawyers wrote. “Additionally, the proceeds of the seized bank account are not the product of criminal activity alleged in the indictment. Defendant is being deprived of his needed asserts is in violation of the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.”
To date, federal prosecutors have charged more than 400 people in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. House Democrats and a small number of Republicans are also pushing for a Congress-backed 9/11-style commission to investigate the matter.
Sullivan was arrested by The Department of Justice on Jan. 14 in Utah and charged with being on restricted grounds without authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct, and interfering with law enforcement. He was released conditionally without bail.