Vanity Fair exposes intertwined interests of U.S. political and medical communities hindering investigation of new coronavirus traceability

Although Vanity Fair is a fashion magazine, it has a separate team dedicated to investigative reporting on current events and has been breaking exclusive stories. On June 3, Vanity Fair published a 12,000-word investigative story that explored how and why mainstream U.S. public opinion has been downplaying the “lab leak theory” of the new coronavirus’ traceability. The report mentions a joint letter signed by 24 industry experts in The Lancet last year, making public opinion believe that the leak theory is just a conspiracy theory, even the Trump administration’s attempts to trace the source of the investigation is also subject to huge internal resistance, it is difficult to shift the direction of the investigation to “gain-of-function” research, some former senior officials questioned the industry and the study has too many interests in the disagreement and hinder a neutral investigation. The most controversial of these is Daszak, an expert member of the World Health Organization’s mission to China, who has been working for years receiving grants from the Washington government to conduct gain-of-function research, in cooperation with the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research.

According to Ming Pao today, the U.S. public opinion downplayed the causes of the “laboratory leak theory”, “Vanity Fair” to reveal the U.S. experts in the interests of scientific research hindrance traceable to the source.

Vanity Fair is a fashion magazine, but it has a separate team dedicated to investigative reporting on current affairs, which has repeatedly broken exclusive news. The magazine reported on Thursday (3), after months of investigation, interviewing more than 40 people, and reviewing hundreds of pages of government documents, including internal memos, meeting minutes and emails, found that the scientific community has a series of suspected conflicts of interest, so that the U.S. government’s virus traceability investigation work is hampered, partly involving the controversial “gain of function” ( The U.S. government’s investigation into the origin of the virus has been hampered in part by controversial “gain of function” virus research funded by Washington. This type of research focuses on strengthening viruses to understand their properties.

U.S.-funded research involves Wuhan Institute

Vanity Fair reported that a State Department retrospective investigation team found that three researchers working on coronavirus gain of function at the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research had contracted the disease the previous fall, before the outbreak was known, but at a meeting involving four different State Department departments last December, a senior official suggested that U.S. officials refuse to talk about it so that the public would not later focus on Washington’s role in gain of function research, surprising many participants. The report also quoted four former State Department officials as saying that they would not talk about it. The report also quoted four former State Department officials as saying that members of the investigative team were repeatedly urged not to open “Pandora’s box,” and that the team’s immediate supervisor confessed that the situation “felt like a cover-up.

Robert Redfield, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in an interview that after he expressed support for the leak theory last March, he received death threats from some prominent scientists, “I expected it to come from politicians, not from the scientific community.

The White House National Security Council has another virus traceability team coordinated by then-Deputy National Security Advisor Bomin. The White House National Security Council had another team coordinated by then-Deputy National Security Advisor Bomin, who told Vanity Fair that many of the industry’s top experts were closely associated with gain-of-function research and received or were responsible for approving related grants, a suspected conflict of interest that disguised a serious obstruction of a neutral investigation.

WHO Visits Experts in China to Roll Conflict of Interest Controversy

The report said that the most suspected member of the WHO expert team to China is Peter Daszak, a British zoologist who has repeatedly and publicly refuted the leak theory. The report noted that the Ecological Health Alliance, of which Daszak is chairman, has received funding from Washington for years, which it distributes to individual laboratories and research institutions, creating a huge influence in the virology community. According to Newsweek, Daszak has co-authored more than a dozen papers with Zhengli Shi and handled at least $600,000 in Washington grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research. The relationship between the EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research once prompted the Trump administration to call off the grant, but triggered an open letter of condemnation from 81 Nobel laureates, forcing the authorities to set conditions on the grant instead.

Daszczak was behind a letter signed by 24 experts in last February’s Stabbing Blood, also known as The Lancet, which was like a hammer in the scientific community and kept the lab leak theory as a conspiracy theory. The statement claimed that the participants were not involved in a conflict of interest, but Vanity Fair revealed that at least six of the co-signers worked for or were funded by the EcoHealth Alliance, and the leaked emails cited also showed that Daszak had written to two scientists who had collaborated with Shi Zhengli on research, saying they should not join the co-signers to avoid drawing attention to their scientific collaboration links.

Ming Pao said China has always denied the theory of laboratory leaks and other man-made arguments about the virus, and condemned the West for stigmatization and political manipulation through the epidemic.