lab leak

Damning New Evidence Scientists Misled the World on Covid-19 Lab Leak

1 August 2023

4.7 MINS

In public, top scientists said Covid-19 came from nature and called the lab leak a “conspiracy theory”. In private, they feared otherwise.

A leading Australian virologist has been implicated in a scandal of global proportions.

The University of Sydney’s Professor Edward C. Holmes co-authored one of the most influential scientific papers of the Covid era.

Covid-19 “is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” he and his colleagues declared in ‘The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2’, published in Nature Medicine on 17 March 2020.

The paper has since enjoyed almost 6 million views. Journalists the world over have cited it thousands of times to bolster the popular view that Covid-19 originated in the wet markets of Wuhan. Facebook and other social media platforms used the paper to justify censoring anyone who supported the lab leak theory. Those who still believed Covid-19 leaked from a lab were labelled racists and right-wing extremists.

Holmes himself made even more grandiose claims than the paper, stating in a March 2020 interview, “There’s nothing in there at all that is a signature of laboratory manipulation. So I think you can pretty safely put those conspiracy theories to bed.”

Professor Holmes’ Secret Lab Leak Suspicions

We now know that Holmes and his colleagues misled the world.

In damning communications subpoenaed by US Congress last week, the paper’s authors expressed secret doubts about their published claims.

Both before and after the paper went to print, Holmes admitted privately that Covid-19 — which has killed 7 million people globally according to official records — may well have leaked from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

While drafting the paper, in February 2020 Holmes sent a private email to colleague Ian Lipkin, saying: “I favour natural evolution myself, but the furin cleavage site is an issue.” He added, “it’s the epidemiology that I find most worrying”.

Other communications from the time suggest Holmes was even more doubtful, leaning “60-40 lab”.

After the paper’s publication, Holmes continued casting doubt on the conclusion he and his colleagues had sold to the public.

“Let’s face it,” he wrote in a comment on messaging platform Slack in April 2020, “unless there is a whistleblower from the WIV who is going to defect and live in the west under a new identity, we are NEVER going to know (what) happened in that lab. Never.”

Scientists Didn’t Believe Their Own Conclusions

The communications made public on Capitol Hill last week reveal that all five co-authors of Proximal Origins believed a lab leak may have been responsible for the virus that shut down the world.

Dr Kristian Andersen, the paper’s lead author, wrote via Slack, “The lab escape version of this is so friggin’ likely to have happened because they were already doing this type of work & the molecular data is fully consistent with that scenario.”

Andersen also wrote, “The main issue is that accidental escape is in fact highly likely—it’s not some fringe theory.”

Dr Andrew Rambaut hoped to avoid a lab leak conclusion for political reasons: “Given the **** show that would happen if anyone serious accused the Chinese of even accidental release… We cannot possibly distinguish between natural evolution and escape so we are content with ascribing it to natural processes.”

Even so, he admitted that “Lab passaging might also generate this mutation.”

Dr Ian Lipkin wrote, “I am concerned that scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology did not take adequate precautions when growing bat viruses.”

Dr Robert Garry acknowledged, “Transmitting a bat virus-like RatG13 in HeLa cells and then asking your graduate student to insert a furin site… would get you there. It’s not crackpot to suggest this could have happened given the Gain of Function research we know is happening.”

In private, the authors celebrated the traction their misleading paper was gaining. “We RUUUUUUULE. That’s tenure secured, right there,” Mr. Andersen wrote.

A detailed timeline of the communications that took place between the authors of Proximal Origin has been reconstructed by the Brownstone Institute.

Dr Anthony Fauci’s Hidden Hand in the Paper

Leading international scientists are now calling on Nature Medicine to retract the sham paper.

Professor Ian Lipkin has since withdrawn his support for the paper entirely, after learning that dangerous coronavirus research was taking place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Also concealed at the time of the paper’s publication was the involvement of Dr Anthony Fauci, then chief medical advisor to the President.

Fauci cited Proximal Origin during a White House press conference in April 2020, in an effort to hose down the lab leak theory.

What Fauci hid from the public was that he was the one to commission the paper in the first place. He also had the final say on its contents, according to an earlier set of emails uncovered by House Republicans.

Fauci had all the motive in the world to scuttle the lab leak theory. For years in his role as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci funnelled millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund risky gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Despite his intimate involvement in Proximal Origin, Dr Anthony Fauci’s role is never acknowledged in the paper.

It’s the stuff of political thrillers — but in this case, it’s all true. As Sharri Markson of Sky News summarised:

These revelations are massive. We as the public were assured by trusted scientists that the virus came from a wet market. The world trusted the scientists to tell us the truth, not to cover up on behalf of China; not to cover up so that their dangerous research or their pay packets wouldn’t be affected.

Accountability from the ABC

Australian taxpayers were forced to pay to promote the paper’s misinformation thanks to the ABC’s Media Watch program.

In May 2020, Media Watch devoted almost two full programs to discrediting the intrepid work of Sharri Markson — one of the few investigative reporters who suspected a lab leak origin for Covid-19.

Finally calling the ABC to account is The Australian, with columnist Chris Mitchell writing:

Media Watch, the wider ABC and the Channel 9 papers have produced one-sided coverage designed to reinforce the idea the virus spread from a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan rather than from a laboratory in the nearby Wuhan Institure of Virology (WIV)…

ABC management should be asking Paul Barry and his team why it has spent so much air time in the past 3½ years trying to suppress a story that looks increasingly probable. The answer, of course, is pure politics.

And to the ABC’s disgrace, one of the public broadcaster’s senior journalists was caught on a hot mic over the weekend admitting the lab leak theory was likely correct all along.

Among a tirade of insults directed at Sharri Markson — including that she was “annoying”, “unhinged” and “a pit-bull” — Foreign Affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic conceded “she’s looking more and more like she’s right”. He also said, “I remember being super dismissive” the lab leak theory, thinking it “was just the most unhinged thing ever”.


With so much truth leaking out from secret conversations, perhaps it’s time for some apologies in public — and most of all, some accountability.

Australians deserve no less.

Image via Unsplash.

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  1. Stephen Lewin 1 August 2023 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Thanks again Kurt for great informative articles of public interest ..

  2. Warwick Marsh 1 August 2023 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Another killer article about the orwellian lies of the health/media/military/industrial complex.

  3. Stan Beattie 1 August 2023 at 10:28 am - Reply

    It would be good to see the involvement of DARPA and the Uni of NC Chappel hill and the interactions with Tony Fouci and WIV brought into the light and prosecuted.
    There is very little doubt that this virus was planned, designed, released, with multiple outcomes. Population reduction being high on the list, but also includes population control, and the enrichment of the Pharmaceutical complex, and the whole WEF agenda.
    I am so grateful everyday that the God who created the universe is still in control and as we trust Him he does supply all our needs

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