News   /   IN-DEPTH   /   Foreign Policy   /   Editor's Choice

Concerted effort to dismiss COVID-19 lab origin hypothesis

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A health worker inoculates a prisoner with a dose of the CoronaVac vaccine, developed by China's Sinovac laboratory against COVID-19, at

This is article is based on episode 57 of Presscast, a podcast by press TV. In this episode we are joined by Independent Palestinian Jordanian investigative journalist in New York, Sam Husseini.

He has a full time job with the Institute for Public accuracy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that encourages mainstream media outlets to interview progressive scholars and policy analysts, founded in 1997 by Norman Solomon, who served as executive director until 2010.

Sam has spent considerable time on investigating the origins of the pandemic.

He offers insight into the likelihood of COVID-19 having originated in a lab, though not necessarily in Wuhan, China.

Would you care to share some of your Corona related findings with us?

… there was a CDC news conference in February of 2020 about the pandemic, and I asked if it was a complete coincidence that there was a lab, now we know several labs, in Wuhan, China, and they basically dismissed it.

… It was widely regarded as a conspiracy theory in the US press; I'm not sure how it's been covered exactly in Iran and elsewhere.

And it made me look more closely at the US biowarfare apparatus.

You might recall the anthrax attacks which followed the 911 attacks, and were depicted as coming from Arabs, who are Muslims.

So, after the 911 attacks, there were a series of letters sent through the US Postal Service to members of Congress and members of the media that said, "Praise to Allah, Death to America, Death to Israel", obviously pretending to come from Arabs and Muslims, they ended up coming from the US or US allies, and they never actually got to the bottom of it.

US biowarfare efficiency efforts

So that was one of several strains of that had some connections to continued [sic: ongoing] US biowarfare efficiency efforts.

 Now I don't know where the pandemic originated, I don't know for certain that it didn't come from nature, but I think that there was a concerted propaganda effort to dismiss the possibility that it could have some kind of lab origin.

Lab origin doesn't necessarily mean the labs in Wuhan; they could be being framed, as we saw in the anthrax attack, that was a classic, what you would call a false flag operation.

So I've attempted to pursue this very systematically. I've done serious media work, including on weapons of mass destruction, over the years I did a lot of the in depth work regarding lies about Iraqi WMDs before the invasion in 2002.

US fabrication of Iraqi WMD evidence

Actually before, it's about the 1990s that [there] was a concerted effort in US fabricating evidence, so called evidence, about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

But this has been a particular breakdown because, you know, virtually every sector of the media structure in the United States is attached to political movements or parties.

So you have, MSNBC, which is the Democratic Party line and Fox, which is largely the Republican Party line and the media structure just simply pursues what each of those entities want.

There's very little media space for actually fulfilling facts, and so on.

This, honestly, even includes the left in the United States which I've been associated with, because, you know, you talk about a lab origin in Wuhan they immediately say oh well that's going to polarize things with China, which is what the US militarists want, and therefore we can't think such thoughts.

It became quite clear during this pandemic that there's a lot of misinformation about the origin and possible cures, so how, as a scholar, do you wade through this ocean of information, how do you know what is accurate, what is solid and what is not?

Well it's difficult. I've scaled back my ambitions, we, myself and other independent actors, may be able to determine the origin of the pandemic, but if we can't, then we can at least expose the sources of the fabrication of the information in the process of trying to do so.

So for example, you had Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance. He funded the lab in Wuhan, I exposed that he also got far more money than the publicized money that he got from the NIH.

I found out that he got for more money from the Pentagon and USAID, which is the State Department, which is sort of a soft power, CIA, and eventually those facts got out there and have been substantially discredited as a result of that.

So I think that pursuing things like that does have some tangible consequences.

As you will be aware, this is not the first time mankind has been hit by this virus. We had SARS, for example, as well as other variants of coronavirus in the past.

So, why didn't we talk about SARS coming out of the lab at that time?

I haven't investigated this in full, but it's my understanding that the initial outbreak of SARS, they found an intermediate host, which is what they've been looking for this whole time.

They said it's a pangolin, it is a this, it is a that; it always ended up being a dead end.

And I emphasize the initial one, because since the initial SARS [outbreak], there were, I believe, three lab leaks of SARS after that. So there's a substantial body of lab leaks from all countries that are engaging in dangerous lab work.

The United States has led the way in effectively undermining international conventions to prohibit the use of dangerous lab work that other countries have followed, including China and Russia, obviously the UK and France [sic]. Israel hasn't even signed the relevant treaty.

There are no trustworthy institutions

And I think we have, pertaining to your point that there's no good source of information, I think we are in a state of global crisis, fundamentally, there are no trustworthy institutions, whether that's in the media sector, whether that's in the global governance sector, international law, political sector and so on.

You know, the people that you have with integrity don't generally have resources.

We have to try to find ways of getting around that, and then when you do have some strains of possibility of that happening, those things are immediately attacked.

So, for example, when WikiLeaks disclosed the Iraq War logs what was the first thing that the US government did?

It attempted to pull the plug on WikiLeaks getting funding by going to the credit card companies so that ordinary people might actually want to support a global media institution exposing these facts and affecting the discussion on the world stage... and then of course they prosecuted Assange for disclosures regarding US war crimes in Iraq and demonized him to the US liberals.

So, anytime an institution attempts to assert itself on the global stage they are immediately ruptured.

So I think that those are some of the issues we're dealing with and why I say we're in a state of global crisis.

Sam Husseini, Investigative Journalist


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku