The Lancet Accused of ‘Suppressing’ January 2020 Study on COVID’s Human-to-Human Transmissibility
15:31 GMT 25.07.2021 (Updated: 17:21 GMT 25.07.2021)
© REUTERS / LOREN ELLIOTTA man walks under a public health message about social distancing displayed at a shopping plaza in the city centre during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia
© REUTERS / LOREN ELLIOTT
The West and China are in the midst of an info war regarding the origins of the coronavirus, with more and more US officials now alleging that the virus may have leaked from a Chinese lab. China, meanwhile, has asked for a World Health Organisation probe into whether the shutdown of a US military biolab in mid-2019 was somehow related to the virus.
Peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet has been accused of sitting on a study about the dangers of human-to-human transmission of Sars-CoV-2 for over a week in January 2020, with the information said to have been provided to them by Chinese scientists seeking to alert the planet about the dangers of the virus.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, the gargantuan UK-based health research-related foundation, made the allegation against The Lancet in a new book titled "Spike: The Virus vs. The People – the Inside Story."
Farrar, who co-wrote the book with British Indian science journalists Anjana Ahuja, reportedly expressed "shock" at the journal’s decision to delay the paper’s publication, citing the need to provide information as a key means to battling a new and dangerous virus.
The Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton dismissed Farrar’s allegations, telling The Daily Mail that “all papers of major public health importance were shared as soon as possible while ensuring rigorous peer-review.”
A spokesperson for the journal further dismissed claims that the delay in publication amounted to suppression, saying that authors are “encouraged to share unpublished papers that have been submitted…directly with relevant medical and public health bodies, and funders, as well as via pre-print servers."
This is the second coronavirus-related attack against The Lancet in weeks. Last month, the medical journal was accused of failing to declare British zoologist Peter Daszak’s work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology when it published a letter in February 2020 condemning the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis as a “conspiracy theory” despite his conflict of interest in the matter.
Over the past year, US media and congressional investigators have revealed that Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance has funnelled millions of dollars in US National Institutes of Health funding into the Wuhan lab, with some $3.74 million spent on dangerous bat coronaviruses, in circumstances where such research was prohibited in the United States.
In his book, Farrar said he was contacted by Dutch medical doctor and government advisor Thijs Kuiken about a paper sent for review to The Lancet on 16 January 2020 which suggested that the virus was “consistent with person-to-person transmission.” Its conclusions were based on the study of members of a family from Shenzhen who visited a hospital in Wuhan and made a family member who did not join them on the trip sick upon returning home to Shenzhen. At this time, the medical debate on COVID-19’s potential for human-to-human transmission was still up in the air.
Kuiken reportedly expected for the information to be published immediately, but that The Lancet “either would not or could not do it,” with Horton reportedly not replying to Kuiken’s emails or messages. The paper in question was only published on 24 January 2020, after Chinese medical authorities had already confirmed the virus’s human-to-human transmission capabilities five days earlier.
WellCome Trust’s Shady Ties
WellCome Trust is among the top three medical foundations in the world, and regularly partners in the spending of its £26 billion+ endowment with the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, George Soros’ funded Open Society Institutes, the Rockefeller Foundation, etc. Amid the COVID pandemic, the trust has quietly earned billions in profits via timely investments in major pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines, prompting some in the medical community to question its ethics.
COVID Info War
The allegations against The Lancet come amid the ongoing back-and-forth campaign of claims between the US and China over the origins of the novel coronavirus. Last week, US media reported that the White House now formally considers the coronavirus lab leak theory as "equally plausible to" the dominant natural origins explanation. The reversal in thinking marks a stark contrast to Democrats’ earlier blanket dismissal of lab leak claims being made by members of the Trump administration in 2020 and early 2021.
China has struck back at the claims that its Wuhan Institute of Virology was responsible for the global pandemic. Last week, over half-a-million people in China signed a joint letter to the World Health Organisation calling for a probe into the mysterious August 2019 shutdown of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The letter stressed that while China has allowed Western virologists and US media to visit the Wuhan lab, the US has not followed suit with regard to Fort Detrick, nor shared any information with China on the exact nature of the 2019 shutdown, amid concerns that it may be COVID-related.
Citing US studies, Chinese media have alleged that COVID-19 may have been in the US as early as December 2019, weeks before the Centres for Disease Control officially confirmed the first US coronavirus case on 21 January 2020.
This week, a group of Italian scientists appeared to reinforce China’s questioning of the Wuhan leak/origins theory by finding that COVID-19 may have been circulating in Italy as early as October 2019, two months before Beijing alerted the world about the virus.