Rand Paul pulls back curtain on the ‘Great COVID Cover-up’

In an explosive new op-ed, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) claimed that at least 15 separate federal agencies knew that attempts to create a COVID-19-like coronavirus were being undertaken at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as early as January 2018.

Yet, heads of these agencies did not reveal this information to the public; for years, they actively refused to release information on the project to lawmakers such as Paul, who were attempting to provide congressional oversight.

“For years, I have been fighting to obtain records from dozens of federal agencies relating to the origins of COVID-19 and the DEFUSE project,” wrote Paul, who in March revealed he was formally launching a bipartisan investigation into the virus’s origins with Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan.

The DEFUSE project refers to a proposal submitted by EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization headed by British zoologist Peter Daszak, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The purpose of the proposal was to “insert a furin cleavage site into a coronavirus to create a novel chimeric virus.”

Paul also identified two additional parties who were part of the original plan to create chimeric coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab: the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the federal agency formerly headed up by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology and one of the authors of the now-disgraced “Proximal Origin” paper. The authors of the paper, which was published in Nature in March 2020, stated that evidence clearly indicated that SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally, even though privately, the authors expressed clear concerns that evidence suggested the virus was genetically designed.

Some scientists have already raised ethical concerns in response to the revelation.

“We now know Ian Lipkin was part of the initial DEFUSE proposal,” said Bryce Nickels, a professor of genetics at Rutgers University, in response to the revelation. “Everything he has said about COVID origins and his role in the fraudulent ‘Proximal Origins’ paper must now be reconsidered in the wake of these new revelations.”

It’s not just Lipkin, of course.

All of these parties failed to speak up when COVID-19, one of the deadliest viruses in a century, emerged from Wuhan, Paul says, and details of the DEFUSE project may not have come to light at all if not for a whistleblower (identified as Lt. Col. Joseph Murphy).

More details of what the Kentucky senator calls “the Great COVID Cover-up” are likely to materialize as Paul and Peters continue their investigation. But an abundance of evidence already shows it’s no exaggeration to use that word: cover-up.

Paul is hardly the first government official to use the term.

Nearly a year ago, David Asher, a bioweapons specialist who led the State Department’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19, sat down with New York magazine journalist David Zweig and explained why there has been so little progress made in discovering the origins of COVID: Those with institutional power don’t want answers. 

“It’s a massive coverup spanning from China to DC,” Asher said. “Our own state department told us, ‘Don’t get near this thing, it’ll blow up in your face.’”

Other government whistleblowers have also attempted to expose the cover-up.

In August, the CIA confirmed that the agency was “looking into” allegations from a CIA whistleblower who claimed that analysts tasked with determining the origins of COVID were offered “significant” financial incentives to change their assessment that COVID likely emerged accidentally from the Wuhan lab. (It’s worth noting that Fauci allegedly was admitted to agency headquarters “without a record of entry” while the CIA was conducting its investigation into COVID’s origins.)

The reason the government would cover up DEFUSE becomes obvious when one analyzes the nature of the proposal, which British author Matt Ridley weeks ago noted included a great many “wacky” (and reckless) ideas such as spraying vaccines into bat caves to immunize them.

“In the end, what they were doing was making more dangerous viruses, with a view of understanding them,” Ridley said. “It looks very strongly as if in trying to prevent a pandemic they may have caused one.”

While we still do not know this for certain, it looks increasingly likely that COVID-19 was born of gain-of-function research that was partially funded by the U.S. government.

Though this result would be shocking to many, especially those who see the state as virtuous and infallible, it’s far less surprising to students of history and economics.

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“The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments,” Ludwig von Mises explained in Omnipotent Government. “The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.”

The reason for this is obvious. The more power is concentrated, the less accountable it becomes, and power without accountability is a recipe for disaster.

Jon Miltimore is the editor-at-large of FEE.org. Follow his work on Substack and X.

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