10/24/20

Operation Warp Speed Status Report Courtesy of the Military

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Below is a compilation of initiatives, actions, and accomplishments across Operation Warp Speed (OWS)’s primary efforts in the past week. To learn more about OWS, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website and the Department of Defense (DOD) website.

Pfizer, Merck, and Moderna among finalists for Operation…

VACCINE DEVELOPMENT:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today authorized the restart of AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 clinical trial in the U.S. As part of the standard review process for adverse events in clinical trials, a voluntary pause was triggered to allow for the examination of safety data by independent monitoring committees. This pause while the adverse event was fully investigated means the science-based, data-driven process continues to work as it should.

Moderna announced it completed enrollment on its Phase 3 clinical trial, noting 37 percent of the 30,000 participants are part of minority populations. To date, more than 25,650 participants of Moderna’s participants have received their second vaccination. According to Moderna’s announcement, the company’s decision to submit a dossier to FDA requesting Emergency Use Authorization will be based on an assessment of whether the potential benefit of the vaccine outweighs the potential risks. The science and data behind this assessment is accruing.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met Thursday to discuss the ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the interest of transparency over the process, the FDA streamed the entire committee meeting on both its own website and on YouTube. The all-day meeting explored the potential of granting Emergency Use Authorization and the standards and criteria that will be applied to vaccine candidates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a new page on their website dedicated to education on the COVID-19 vaccine planning efforts: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.

In its commitment to transparency, Operation Warp Speed has posted four redacted contracts here: https://www.hhs.gov/foia/electronic-reading-room/index.html

THERAPEUTICS DEVELOPMENT:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) on Oct. 22 for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

MANUFACTURING, DISTRIBUTION, AND ADMINISTRATION:

Operation Warp Speed is working with the U.S. Marshals Service as part of a “whole of government” approach to ensure the security of the vaccine supply chain, including delivery to administration points. Marshals Service liaisons are embedded with the OWS team to ensure there is consistent communication and information flow in the security sector.

Synchronizing and integrating data across distribution and administration operations is a critical effort of Operation Warp Speed. To that end, OWS is using a specially designed platform to collect, correlate, and visualize data across the entire operation. The “Tiberius” platform integrates the related manufacturing, supply chain, allocation, state and territory planning, delivery, and administration of both vaccine products and ancillary kits. The 2020 technology provides visibility across all U.S. jurisdictions to provide decision support and ease the burden of public health officials throughout the nation. Additionally this week, HHS in support of Operation Warp Speed began signing Memorandums of Understandings with jurisdictions to provide access to information technology (IT) support to assist them with vaccine response planning and distribution at no cost.
An OpEd by HHS Secretary Alex Azar titled “Why Operation Warp Speed is a Made-in-America story,” highlighted the scaling up of manufacturing facilities across the country. He discussed DOD’s success in applying a military supply chain and logistics mentality to develop and deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the American people.

KEY ENGAGEMENTS:

HHS Secretary Alex Azar visited Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and saw their work on clinical trials for Regeneron’s antibody cocktail and Moderna’s candidate vaccine.

Operation Warp Speed Chief Science Advisor Dr. Moncef Slaoui visited a Moderna clinical trial site at George Washington University Wednesday and spoke with ABC’s Bob Woodruff.

HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan visited the University of Kansas Medical Center for a meeting with their leadership and physicians about the Phase 3 clinical trials they have been overseeing for the AstraZeneca Vaccine. Deputy Secretary Hargan will also join Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts on Saturday, October 24 for a tour of the University of Nebraska Medical Center where they are conducting clinical trials for COVAXX vaccine and therapeutic candidates.

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined a Univision Town Hall entitled “COVID-19 Vaccines: Myths and Facts” to discuss the importance of Hispanics being represented in clinical trials.

The Washington Post: “Unprecedented vaccine trials on track to begin delivering results.”

Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer Gen. Gus Perna and Vaccine Development Lead Dr. Matt Hepburn will participate in a discussion with The Heritage Foundation on “The Fight to get a COVID-19 Vaccine” Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. The virtual event is free and open for registration.

SENIOR LEADER QUOTES:

“Clinical trial volunteers are the real heroes of this pandemic. Many people are looking for a way to make an impact and serve. Volunteering is a tremendous opportunity to be helpful.” ~Dr. Matt Hepburn, OWS Vaccine Development Lead

“Advances in science are the foundation for the unprecedented progress we are seeing under Operation Warp Speed. But the broader set of requirements for ultimate success—unwavering leadership, ingenuity, determination, the commitment of enormous resources, exceptional logistical infrastructure, and public-private collaboration—can be assembled only in America.” ~HHS Secretary Alex Azar

“It’s not a certainty, but the plan – and I feel pretty confident – should make it such that by June, everybody could have been immunized in the U.S.” ~Dr. Moncef Slaoui, OWS Chief Advisor

“Trust in the science. We have executed vaccine development with rigor. The leading scientists in the world and the quality of the nation’s pharmaceutical base, with oversight of the FDA’s gold standard, lend credibility to this unprecedented effort.” ~Paul Ostrowski, OWS Director for Supply, Production, and Distribution

Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, engaging with private firms and other federal agencies, and coordinating among existing HHS-wide efforts to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

10/21/20

Mouthwash, Baby Shampoo May Deactivate Coronaviruses

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

In part from Medical News Today to collaborate the story:

A new research review suggests that publicly available mouthwashes could, in theory, inhibit SARS-CoV-2. The team behind the review call for further research to be done to confirm their speculative findings.

If clinical trials prove effective, the findings, published in the journal Function, may provide another way to reduce the spread of the disease until scientists can produce an effective, publicly available vaccine.

Since the sudden emergence and rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, scientists and researchers have focussed on the development of a vaccine that could help protect people vulnerable to COVID-19.

However, scientists have estimated that an effective, publicly available vaccine could take at least 12–18 months to develop.

In the meantime, some scientists are focusing on ways to reduce the rate of infection to controllable levels that will not overwhelm hospital intensive care units.

*** THIS IS NOT A CURE, IT IS A SUGGESTED OPTION TO SLOW THE SPREAD ***

How Much Mouthwash Should Someone Use

HERSHEY, Pa. — As the world waits for a vaccine to COVID-19, a new study finds there may be a way to slow the spread sitting in your medicine cabinet. Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine say nasal and oral rinses like mouthwash can deactivate human coronaviruses. Their study concludes these common, over-the-counter products should have the same effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

The group tested various products including one-percent baby shampoo, a neti pot, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers, and mouthwash, seeing how each would lower the viral load of coronavirus strains in a patient’s mouth. Their findings reveal most of these products effectively shut down virus particles in less than two minutes. Researchers hope they may also lower the chances of COVID infection among people carrying the virus.

“While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed,” says Craig Meyers, distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology, obstetrics, and gynecology in a university release. “The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines.”
Both mouthwash and baby shampoo render 99.9% of coronaviruses inactive

Meyers and his team replicated the reaction between virus cells in mouths and noses when they encounter rinses and mouthwashes. Health officials say these are the two major points where coronavirus enters and exits the body, which explains the emphasis on face mask protection.

Researchers introduced their virus solutions to all of the cleansing products for 30 seconds, one minute, and two minutes. Meyers explains that the outer envelope of their viruses and SARS-CoV-2 are so genetically similar that the results should mean COVID-19 would become inactive after exposure to rinses as well.

The results reveal one-percent baby shampoo solution deactivated more than 99.9 percent of human coronaviruses after two minutes of contact. Researchers say doctors, who regularly have contact with infected patients, often use baby shampoo to rinse out their sinuses.

Even better, the results find several mouthwash and gargling products leave 99.9 percent of coronaviruses inactive after just 30 seconds. Some of these rinses stopped 99.99 percent of coronavirus.

“People who test positive for COVID-19 and return home to quarantine may possibly transmit the virus to those they live with,” Meyers adds. “Certain professions including dentists and other health care workers are at a constant risk of exposure. Clinical trials are needed to determine if these products can reduce the amount of virus COVID-positive patients or those with high-risk occupations may spread while talking, coughing or sneezing. Even if the use of these solutions could reduce transmission by 50%, it would have a major impact.”

Researchers will now be looking to expand their study to clinical trials involving COVID-19-positive patients.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Virology.

10/19/20

Was the MERS Virus a Model for the Creation of COVID-19?

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

First reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus with symptoms similar to the COVID-19 coronavirus, namely, fever, cough, and shortness of breath with a range from none, to mild, to severe.

As of January 2020, about 2,500 cases of MERS have been reported worldwide. Human-to-human transmission typically requires close contact with an infected person, the spread being uncommon outside of hospitals.

In contrast to COVID-19, the death rate from MERS is about 35%.

MERS is believed to have originated in bats, was transmitted to camels as an intermediate host, then infecting humans, who had contact with the infected animals.

Although the COVID-19 virus has structural similarities to bat coronaviruses, its precise origin has yet to be identified.

The most distinguishing and unique structural feature of the COVID-19 virus is the furin polybasic cleavage site, a sequence of amino acids that interacts with human cell enzymes, which “cut” or “cleave” parts of the viral structure, thus contributing to the life cycle of the virus.

In the case of COVID-19, that sequence of amino acids is usually identified as proline-arginine-arginine-alanine or, in scientific notation, PRRA, which precedes an arginine-serine cleavage point, R-S.

It is unknown from where the PRRA sequence originated because it does not exist in any of the bat coronaviruses identified as close relatives of the COVID-19 virus.

A model for such a structure, however, does exist in the MERS coronavirus, which has a proline-arginine-serine-valine or PRSV sequence preceding the R-S cleavage point and having the following alignment:

COVID-19    PRRAR-S

MERS           PRSVR-S

Both sequences begin with proline (P), both are polybasic having more than one arginine (R) and both have a non-polar amino acid in the fourth position, alanine (A) and valine (V), respectively, prior to the cleavage point, R-S.

It is important to note that COVID-19 and MERS are from two completely different families of coronaviruses, so one could not have evolved from the other.

According to the scientific article “Structures and dynamics of the novel S1/S2 protease cleavage site loop of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein,” the presence of proline (P) is highly unusual.

Unlike other amino acids, proline produces structural rigidity in proteins and is found in only 5 out of 132 identified furin cleavage site sequences.

Likewise, alanine (A) located just prior to the R-S cleavage point exists in only 5 out of 132 furin cleavage site sequences.

In an early June scientific article, “A novel bat coronavirus closely related to SARS-CoV-2 contains natural insertions at the S1/S2 cleavage site of the spike protein,” the authors claimed to have identified a bat coronavirus, called RmYN02, that appears to have a “precursor” of the COVID-19 furin polybasic cleavage site.

RmYN02 has a proline-alanine-alanine (PAA) insertion roughly in a similar position to the COVID-19 virus, but PAA is chemically neutral, lacks any basic amino acids, and has no R-S point to be cleaved.

RmYN02’s PAA sequence, therefore, cannot be considered a precursor of the COVID-19 furin polybasic cleavage site.

So, the question remains, if no yet identified close relative of COVID-19 has a similar furin polybasic cleavage site, from where did such a unique structural feature with amino acids in unusual positions arise?

Furin polybasic cleavage sites are known to increase viral infectivity and pathogenicity. Genetic engineering techniques for inserting such cleavage sites have existed for at least fifteen years.

At present, no natural evolutionary pathway has been identified to explain the presence of COVID-19’s furin polybasic cleavage site.

Those who may have manufactured the COVID-19 virus could have been trying to mimic the cleavage site found in MERS.

Furthermore, the high rate of human-to-human transmission found for COVID-19, may have resulted from “pre-adapting” the virus for human infection by serial infection or “passaging” of the virus using animal models genetically-engineered to express the human coronavirus receptor.

There is now a preponderance of evidence that the COVID-19 virus was the product of laboratory experimentation rather than a natural infectious “jump” from bats to humans.

China still has a lot of explaining to do.

This column was originally published at WION.

(Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected])

10/13/20

Dr. Li-Meng Yan Reveals China’s Fake Science and the COVID-19 Cover-up

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party supported by some Western scientists and a politically-motivated media have desperately tried to convince the world that the COVID-19 virus originated as a bat beta-coronavirus which underwent a natural mutation process and was then acquired by humans after exposure to infected animals.

Undoubtedly, such subterfuge is meant to protect certain vested interests, including the potentially devastating political and economic consequences for China, global corporate and private investment in China, and a negative effect on scientific collaboration and research funding of major Western research laboratories.

In her first article, “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route,” Chinese scientist and whistleblower, Dr. Li-Meng Yan presented the biological evidence demonstrating that the COVID-19 virus was made in a laboratory.

Now, Dr. Yan has published her second scientific article “SARS-CoV-2 Is an Unrestricted Bioweapon: A Truth Revealed through Uncovering a Large-Scale, Organized Scientific Fraud,” which describes the extraordinary lengths the Chinese Communist Party has gone to cover-up the true laboratory origin of the COVID-19 virus in order to escape responsibility for the pandemic.

For months after the start of the outbreak, China flooded the scientific literature with subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages supporting its narrative that COVID-19 is a naturally-occurring disease that “jumped” from animals to humans in the Wuhan seafood market.

After endless media reports and scientific studies, the theory that the Wuhan seafood market was the source for animal-human COVID-19 transmission was totally discredited, even by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On February 3, 2020, “batwoman” Dr. Zheng-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology published an article suggesting that COVID-19 originated in bats and a bat coronavirus named RaTG13 was shown to be 96.2% identical to the COVID-19 virus, thus supporting the naturally-occurring theory.

Since then, literally hundreds of scientific articles have used RaTG13 as a basis for investigating the natural origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that RaTG13 exists only on paper because no live virus or intact genome of RaTG13 have ever been isolated or recovered.

Dr. Yan and her colleagues now make multiple arguments indicating that RaTG13 is a fabricated virus.

One way to determine if a virus is related to or evolved from another virus, in this case, RaTG13 and the COVID-19 virus, is to compare the synonymous and non-synonymous mutations in the genetic code.

The DNA genetic code, which is composed of combinations of the nucleotides guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine (G, A, C, and T), determines the structure of proteins. It does so through groups of three nucleotides called codons that correspond to specific amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and that code is redundant.

For example, the amino acid arginine can be produced by codons CGT, CGA, CTC, or CGG, meaning the third nucleotide in the codon is redundant or interchangeable and will still code for arginine. Any change in the first or second nucleotide will produce a different amino acid.

So, a viral genetic code can mutate, but still produce the same amino acid or a “synonymous” outcome. A mutation in the first or second nucleotide in a codon will result in different amino acid, a “non-synonymous” outcome.

In the absence of a major natural or artificial recombinant event, viruses that are naturally related or evolve from each other, as claimed for RaTG13 and the COVID-19 virus, have roughly standard ratios comparing synonymous and non-synonymous mutations.

Dr. Yan’s data show that when the ratios of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations between a critical segment of the RaTG13 and COVID-19 viruses are compared, the result “is abnormal and a violation of the principles of natural evolution.”

The interpretation is that RaTG13 and the COVID-19 virus could not be related to each other through natural evolution and that RaTG13 is a likely fabrication.

In addition, a reconstructed RaTG13 receptor binding domain does not bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptors in two species of horseshoe bats, implying that RaTG13 could not exist in a bat population from which it would mutate and infect humans, completely undermining the naturally-occurring theory.

Dr. Yan also questions the accuracy of China’s pangolin (scaly anteater) coronavirus data upon which dozens of scientific studies examining potential natural coronavirus recombination events are based.

In early June, another novel bat coronavirus, RmYN02, which shares a 93.3% sequence similarity to the COVID-19 virus, was identified and used to support the Communist Chinese Party’s argument that the pandemic was a natural outbreak.

In that weak attempt to buttress the naturally-occurring theory, the Chinese authors of the RmYN02 article claim that a proline-alanine-alanine (PAA) amino acid insertion represents an ancestor to the proline-arginine-arginine-alanine (PRRA) furin polybasic cleavage site found in the COVID-19 virus, but not found in any other related bat coronavirus.

The presence of the furin polybasic cleavage site is a marker for genetic manipulation and, therefore, countering that fact would be an important objective of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda machine.

The RmYN02 hypothesis disintegrates under scrutiny because the PAA sequence is chemically neutral, not basic and it could not cleave anything.

RmYN02 does not even possess the arginine-serine (R-S) cleavage point found in the COVID-19 virus and all related coronaviruses and the published RmYH02 sequence seems to be out of alignment.

Dr. Yan’s second scientific article adds one more nail in the coffin of China’s false theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was naturally-occurring.

(Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. His email address is [email protected])

This column was originally published at WION.

10/8/20

Are the Global Scientific Elite Trying to Bury the Truth About the Origin of COVID-19?

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

There may be some culpability involved, but the huge resistance being mounted by the international scientific elite, the media, and vested financial interests against conducting an objective analysis of the origin of the COVID-19 virus is primarily about money.

If it would be determined that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from a laboratory leak of a genetically engineered virus, it would not only disrupt the flow of huge sums of research funding, but adversely affect the investments of those vehemently opposed to President Donald Trump’s efforts to make the U.S. economy less dependent on China and, therefore, make the U.S. less vulnerable to Chinese geopolitical blackmail.

There is growing scientific evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted from a vaccine development project gone wrong.

Live-attenuated vaccines are a type of vaccine used for smallpox and childhood diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, in which a weakened or “attenuated” form of the virus that causes the disease is manufactured.

Because such vaccines are so similar to the natural infection that they help prevent, they create a strong and long-lasting, even lifetime immune response.

Live-attenuated virus vaccines must possess certain characteristics to be safe and effective.

They must have lower virulence and replication capability than the natural pathogenic form of the virus, but be able to induce a pronounced immune response.

Of additional importance is that the live-attenuated virus vaccines should clear quickly from the body and not revert or mutate back to the natural pathogenic form.

To fulfill those characteristics, certain modifications providing protection strategies, or “circuit breakers,” must be engineered into the viral genome, which are also potential markers of artificial manipulation.

An ad hoc group of scientific investigators known as DRASTIC have compiled a 36-point list to buttress their claim that the COVID-19 virus could have originated in a vaccine development program.

For example, a central mechanism for controlling immune responses is mediated by interferons. The COVID-19 virus seems to have some signatures in its genome which indicate interferon hypersensitivity compared to the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 pandemic.

Another indication that the COVID-19 virus may have been the product of an attempt to produce a live-attenuated virus vaccine is the accumulation of “synonymous mutations” in the spike protein compared to RaTG13, which the global scientific elite claim is the nearest bat coronavirus relative.

The artificial accumulation of synonymous mutations has been described as one method of producing live-attenuated virus vaccines by “deoptimizing” the genetic code and inhibiting replication.

The most striking indication of genetic manipulation of the COVID-19 virus is the presence of the furin polybasic cleavage site, which does not exist in any closely-related bat coronavirus yet identified.

Given its role in the virus-cell or cell-cell membrane fusion process, the DRASTIC team suggests that the insertion of the furin polybasic cleavage site may have been related to a high-risk attempt to produce an intranasal “self-spreading” vaccine spray.

“Self-spreading vaccines are essentially genetically engineered viruses designed to move through populations in the same way as infectious diseases, but rather than causing disease, they confer protection.”

Obviously, much could go wrong using such an approach.

To avoid the scientific equivalent of the Russian collusion hoax, the Trump Administration should not rely on the international scientific elite, the media, and vested financial interests to shape the debate, but should appoint an independent and objective task force to determine the true origin of the COVID-19 virus.

Given the power of genetic engineering and the enormous danger when it is recklessly applied, the stakes are just too high not to address this issue honestly and directly.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is retired from an international career in business and medical research with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].

10/8/20

Don’t Tell Me the COVID-19 Virus Could Not Have Been Manufactured by China

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

Already by 2008, scientists were synthesizing in the laboratory viable and infectious artificial COVID-19-like viruses.

So far, the global scientific community has been unable to identify a natural origin of, or a logical evolutionary pathway for, the COVID-19 virus.

In contrast, the entire history of coronavirus research is punctuated by the ubiquitous use of genetic engineering to produce new viral combinations, which makes a laboratory origin a far more likely scenario.

In 2008, just five years after the first 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic, Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina published an article entitled “Synthetic recombinant bat SARS-like coronavirus is infectious in cultured cells and in mice,” in which he described the creation in the laboratory of an entirely new virus capable of producing a human SARS-like infection:

“Here, we report the design, synthesis, and recovery of the largest synthetic replicating life form, a 29.7-kb bat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus (Bat-SCoV), a likely progenitor to the SARS-CoV epidemic.”

In that study, Baric demonstrated that his new synthetic virus was capable of infecting human lung cells to a similar extent as the first human SARS pandemic virus because he had genetically spliced the receptor-binding domain (RBD) from the SARS virus onto his new artificial virus.

It is important to note that Dr. Baric has been a long-time research collaborator with Zheng-Li Shi, the “bat woman” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Similar to the 2008 study described above, Baric and Zheng-Li Shi jointly published a 2015 scientific article describing the insertion of the RBD from a newly isolated coronavirus (SHC014) into SARS-CoV-1, the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 pandemic.

Baric and Zheng-Li Shi combined the components of two coronaviruses and produced another novel virus, SHC014-MA15, which showed “robust viral replication both in vitro [cell cultures] and in vivo [animals],” using models adapted to test for human infectivity.

Other genetic engineering techniques, such as the insertion of a furin polybasic basic cleavage site, which is found in the COVID-19 virus and in no other close natural relative, as well as individual artificial “point” mutations, have been widely used in coronavirus research.

Since the initial 2002-2003 SARS pandemic, which also originated in China, there have been attempts to create a broad-spectrum vaccine that would provide long-lasting protection against a variety of coronaviruses that might emerge from nature and infect humans.

One such approach has been the development of live-attenuated vaccines like those used for the childhood diseases measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, in which a weakened or “attenuated” form of the virus that causes the disease is manufactured.

Because live-attenuated vaccines are so similar to the natural infection that they help prevent, a strong and long-lasting, even life-time immune response can be produced.

In a 2018 scientific article, Dr. Baric offered a strategy for the development of a broad-spectrum, live-attenuated vaccine for coronaviruses.

Baric also identified the inherent danger of live-attenuated virus vaccines that they have been shown to revert back to their original pathogenic structure after administration to a recipient.

That risk is exponentially increased for “self-spreading” vaccines, which are essentially genetically engineered live-attenuated vaccines designed to move through populations in the same way as viruses, but rather than causing disease, conferring protection.

In my two previous articles, here and here, I cited evidence supporting the argument that the COVID-19 virus originated in connection with China’s vaccine development program, in which a live-attenuated virus may have reverted to its deadly form after a human infection and then leaked from laboratory containment.

Given the mounting evidence, a non-natural origin for the COVID-19 pandemic demands investigation.

This column was originally published at WION.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is retired from an international career in business and medical research with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].

10/6/20

Trump Is Back in the Fight After Conquering the China Virus

By: Cliff Kincaid

Like a conquering hero, President Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center (also known as Bethesda Naval Hospital) on October 5 and entered the White House in dramatic fashion. After recovering from what looked like a nasty cold or flu, the leader of the Free World decided he couldn’t stay in a hospital or a basement. The media wanted him dead. But for many Trump supporters, the circumstances surrounding the nature and timing of his infection remain a mystery. They are, however, grateful that Trump is back in the White House, ready to fight for his presidency.

One wonders if the president was anxious to leave the hospital where anti-communist Senator Joe McCarthy checked in with a knee problem and checked out in a body bag. The McCarthy case is one of several mysterious deaths associated with Bethesda.

Or perhaps he was just anxious to get back into the political fight, not only against the Democrats but the Chinese Communists. “Make no mistake,” declared Senator Kelly Loeffler. “China is directly responsible for spreading this deadly virus to our President, First Lady, and countless other people here in America and around the globe.”

One sympathized with the president, in his apparent rush to escape Bethesda, as he was given experimental and potentially dangerous drugs by White House physician Dr. Sean Conley for what looked like cold and flu symptoms.

Conley, who previously served as an emergency doctor for the U.S. Navy, had previously supported Trump’s use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19. Then, all of a sudden, after Trump gets the disease, he said he and the president had “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.” This was a strange development.

Trump reportedly became symptomatic on Thursday, October 1. On Friday, October 2, he announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the Coronavirus.  The CDC says, “Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have fever, cough, or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19.” That means he could have gotten the virus on Tuesday, September 29, the day of the debate.

The China virus had reportedly affected him with a fever, mild cough, some nasal congestion, and fatigue. These are mostly symptoms of the common cold or flu. So why was he subjected to experimental drugs and procedures? And why was hydroxychloroquine taken off the table?

For the record, the CDC says symptoms of a cold usually peak within 2 to 3 days and can include sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, mucus dripping down your throat (post-nasal drip), watery eyes, and fever (although most people with colds do not have a fever). The flu can include some of these factors plus fatigue.

Based on his own experience with the disease, Trump issued a statement comparing coronavirus to the flu. That was significant. But Big Tech companies Twitter and Facebook immediately censored him.

As if we needed more evidence, it should be clear by now that Big Tech and certain political forces are determined to convince the public that COVID-19 is not a flu-like illness. Taking guidance from the World Health Organization, a Chinese puppet, they want people to be scared. By contrast, Trump wanted to reassure people that they can fight and beat the disease as he did.

At the same time, Dr. Conley does not inspire confidence. For example, on October 3, Conley was asked, “Is there any clarity on how he became infected?” Conley replied, “I’m not going to go into that. As far as his care, it’s irrelevant.” He was then asked when Trump was infected. He replied, “We’re not going to go into that.”

Does he know something he is not sharing? Why didn’t he just say “I don’t know.”

It may be the case that it is difficult at the present time to determine for sure how or when he was infected. On the other hand, it could be a national security matter that is under high-level investigation. In this case, one can understand why the president wants to project an image of strength. In fact, on October 6, Trump reported no symptoms.

The source of the infection is still a mystery. The media are trying to blame Trump personally or those around him. As a result, the White House has issued an “Update on the Health and Safety Precautions taken within the Executive Residence.” But questions persist surrounding the unidentified 11 people who tested positive in connection with preparations for the debate. Were these people in any U.S. Government agencies? Were they outside actors? Foreign agents?

What was also mystifying was why Conley was so evasive about Trump receiving oxygen. Here’s an edited partial transcript of remarks from October 3:

Question: And he has not received any supplemental oxygen?

Dr. Sean Conley: He’s not on oxygen right now. That’s right.

Question: He has not received any at all?

Dr. Sean Conley: He’s not needed any this morning today at all. That’s right. Now he’s…

Question: I’m going to try to pin you down one more time. I know you said there was no oxygen yesterday and today, does that mean he-

Dr. Sean Conley: Yeah, he’s not on oxygen today-

Question: But did he receive any on Thursday?

Dr. Sean Conley: And he’s… What’s today? Saturday?

Question: Today’s Saturday.

Dr. Sean Conley: No, no, Thursday…So Thursday, no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday, with the team a while, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen.

Why was he so evasive? Whatever the explanation, it’s not what we should expect from a doctor with supervision over the health and safety of the President of the United States. In this regard, there are matters of concern. In addition to getting a rather common steroid, Trump was given a so-called “investigational cocktail,” REGN-COV2, produced by Regeneron, which describes it as being studied for its “potential” to treat people with COVID-19 and to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The company says, “REGN-COV2 is an investigational medicine, and its safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.”

Trump is also being subjected to a five-day course of the drug VEKLURY, also known as Remdesivir. It was given an emergency use authorization for COVID-19 in the United States. The manufacturer, Gilead, warns, “VEKLURY is an investigational drug that has not been approved by the FDA for any use. It is not yet known if VEKLURY is safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19.” The company warns of possible “hypersensitivity reactions, including infusion-related and anaphylactic reactions…” Anaphylaxis is defined as a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. People can go into shock as a result.

It appears the doctors were using experimental drugs on Trump as if he was in desperate physical condition. Yet he left Bethesda in a rush to get back to the White House and appeared to be in good health after quickly recovering from flu-like symptoms.

Whatever the impact of the drugs, he appears to be in good fighting shape, as he works to save his presidency from the Deep State.

  • Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. usasurvival.org.

10/4/20

Don’t Blame Trump: Wearing A Mask: My Body My Choice

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Despite no study anywhere and ever, peer-reviewed, double-blind, or whatever has shown masks to be 100 percent effective in blocking the spread of COVID-19, the jackals in the Democrat Party and the legacy media (sorry for the redundancy) are blaming President Trump for contracting the Chinese Wuhan virus, saying he had it coming and invited it through his propensity for not wearing a mask in certain situations. These buzzards circling his bedside at Walter Reed Medical Center have long called his campaign rallies “super-spreader” events, unlike the riots and protests which are magically COVID-proof.

No medical journal or institution has ever said we could get the COVID-19 infection rate down to zero. It is a nasty, pernicious virus, made in and deliberately allowed to spread worldwide by China. No one can pinpoint the exact moment or source of any individual’s infection. So to say if you had done x, y, or z you wouldn’t have gotten infected is absolute nonsense. You can mitigate your risk but not eliminate it.

Masks have returned as an over-hyped preventative, but in fact, they prevent little. As even the sainted and hypocritical Dr. Anthony Fauci has noted, unless you are wearing a custom-fitted N95 mask that medical professionals wear, masks provide more emotional security than actual protection. People are constantly touching their face and adjusting them. They pull them under their chin or let them hang from their ears as Joe Biden loves to do, spreading virus particles to other parts of the body and other people.

If masks were 100 percent effective, we wouldn’t need social distancing or a national lockdown. If masks were 100 percent effective, we could simply give incarcerated felons a mask rather than releasing them from prison to prey on the general population. We could give parishioners a mask and let them attend church on Sunday. We could send our kids to school rather than let them suffer in educational and social isolation, stinting their cognitive and emotional growth and leaving them prey to domestic abuse, drugs, and suicide.

If President Trump screwed up and infected himself and others by not wearing a mask during events, then explain the infection of Sen. Thom Tillis, who was wearing a mask during the Rose Garden ceremony announcing the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be a Supreme Court justice.

In early April, two physicians associated with the University of Chicago, Dr. Margaret Sietsema, an expert on respiratory protection, and Dr. Lisa Brosseau, a national expert on respiratory diseases as well as respiratory protection, cast doubts om this blind faith in masks and a national mask mandate as proposed by Joe Biden in a piece they wrote for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy entitled:” COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data”:

We do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19-like illness to routinely wear cloth or surgical masks because:

– There is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission

– Their use may result in those wearing the masks to relax other distancing efforts because they have a sense of       protection

– We need to preserve the supply of surgical masks for at-risk healthcare workers.

Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.

Surgical masks likely have some utility as source control (meaning the wearer limits virus dispersal to another person) from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread of large cough particles and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles. They may also have very limited utility as source control or PPE in households.

Which part of that do Trump critics not understand? And where was there concern when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got her hair done at a salon otherwise closed to the public while not wearing a mask? Or when Dr. Fauci sat in the seats at a Washington Nationals baseball game while not wearing a mask?

Speaking of Dr. Fauci, how about his sage advice on masks and the now-you-need-them now-you-don’t flip-flop of the so-called “experts.” As Dr. Fauci discussed the matter on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on March 8:

When it comes to preventing coronavirus, public health officials have been clear: Healthy people do not need to wear a face mask to protect themselves from COVID-19.

“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told 60 Minutes. 

While masks may block some droplets, Fauci said, they do not provide the level of protection people think they do. Wearing a mask may also have unintended consequences: People who wear masks tend to touch their faces more often to adjust them, which can spread germs from their hands.

Perhaps that’s why Fauci took his mask off at a baseball game? It is not all that effective, is mostly for show and leads to a false sense of security. Masks are also symbols of compliance to the orders of the state and those politicians’ medical experts and media pundits who kept their jobs and paycheck while the rest of us were locked down and threatened with incarceration. This pandemic has been a dream for liberals – a chance to fulfill a dream to control every aspect of our daily lives.

There are so many things wrong with the picture of President Fauci taking in a Washington Nationals baseball game that one does not know where to start – and no it is not the fact that at that moment he is not wearing a mask. The first thing is that he’s there at all, unlike the rest of America that he forbids from watching a baseball game. They’d like to take in a game too but only Fauci, secure in the knowledge that he has a regular job and a regular paycheck, got to enjoy America’s new favorite national pastime, players kneeling during the National Anthem

Dr. Fauci took a break from his world tour long enough to take in a game and throw out the first pitch, which was predictably wild and to the left, the latest in a long series of curveballs he has thrown at us.

Fauci took umbrage at the question of where was his mask and why he was not social distancing with colleagues while he was sitting in the stands at the game. As the New York Post reported:

“I had my mask around my chin. I had taken it down. I was totally dehydrated and I was drinking water, trying to rehydrate myself,” Fauci insisted. “And by the way, I was negative COVID literally the day before. So I guess people want to make a big event. I wear a mask all the time when I’m outside. To pull it down to take some sips of water and put it back up again, I guess if people want to make something about that, they can. But to me, I think that’s just mischievous.”

In one image, Fauci was seen with his mask on his chin grinning at a friend to his right. In another image, Fauci looked straight ahead watching the game, with empty hands pointed toward the field.

You weren’t rehydrating yourself, Dr. Fauci, you were being a hypocrite, a fraud, and a liar. Why can you and your companions juke elbow-to-elbow while you and your ilk ban people sitting three to a pew in a church in observing the constitutional freedom of religion you took from them? The esteemed pundit John Nolte came to this conclusion recently on the pages of Breitbart:

…Fauci is a stone-cold liar. And if he’s not a stone-cold liar, his only defense is that he is a fraud….

For months Fauci has been everywhere, all over TV, urging Americans to lock themselves down, to abandon their jobs and their sick and dying family members, the small businesses they spent their lives getting off the ground; he urged us to drive our economy into the dirt, pull children who desperately need structure out of school, forgo once-in-a-lifetime graduations and graduation parties, cancel weddings and vacations…

Fauci’s message was clear, militant, terrifying, and relentless: If you don’t do these things, if you don’t sacrifice these things, if you don’t give up your liberty and prosperity, you are no better than a serial killer. The coronavirus is a unique and deadly killer, a particularly infectious and fatal disease, unlike anything we’ve seen in more than a century.

Unless, of course, you are Dr. Fauci and want to take in a baseball game. The rest of us watch the experts take away their constitutional rights under the guise of protecting our health. They are truly America’s huddled masses yearning to breathe free under the stifling oppression of government mandates. They watch threats to their health and safety grow as liberal jurisdictions release tens of thousands of felons onto the streets while calling for the defunding of ICE and the police. They can’t patronize our local businesses but rioters can burn them down. People going to church are stalked and ticketed but arsonists and looters are set free.

The Wuhan virus pandemic is a liberal/progressive dream come true. It gives them the recession they have prayed for, the only time they pray, to oust President Trump. Their reason for getting up in the morning is to enact laws and programs that control every aspect of our lives and the Wuhan virus gives them the chance to do just that. They are not letting this crisis go to waste moving swiftly to exercise the authority they do not legally have to shred the unalienable rights our Creator endowed us with and the Constitution that was written to protect them.

Those who won’t condemn Fauci and Pelosi for not wearing a mask ignore the fact that maybe they are on to something. They ignore the growing scientific evidence exposing the mask hoax:

The president of the Italian Society of Anti-infection Therapy said that there is “no scientific rationale” for wearing masks outdoors. Holland’s top scientists have come out strongly against mask-wearing. Denmark’s scientists have reached the same conclusion.

Masks are like chicken soup. They make you feel better. They may in fact be no more effective for most non-infected people as a Halloween mask and just as misleading. 

*Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

10/4/20

Who Wants President Trump Dead?

By: Cliff Kincaid

Cleveland Clinic, the sponsor of the presidential debate, admits that at least 11 positive coronavirus tests can be traced to members of the media or organizers of the event. This is either gross incompetence or malfeasance for a federally-funded organization supposedly specializing in health and welfare.

These mysterious people were “scheduled to work logistics/set-up in the days prior to the event,” the clinic says. Is it too outlandish to suggest that one or more could have been tasked with spreading the virus in such a way as to threaten the life of President Trump?

If there is a lesson the American people have learned about Trump in the more than three years he has been in office, it is that he has challenged the power of the Deep State. Nobody knows this better than Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, who once questioned why Trump would fight the intelligence agencies, since “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

At a time when Netflix is running “Wormwood,” a drama about the mysterious death of a military biochemist in the CIA’s MK-Ultra mind-control program, liberals and conservatives have got to agree that the intelligence agencies will stop at nothing to impose their will on those who resist their plans.

To this day, nearly 20 years after the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, the FBI has still not officially figured out who did it, perhaps because the anthrax was stolen from a U.S. lab and used by al Qaeda terrorists. The truth is just to difficult to tell.

The truth is that U.S. intelligence agencies are thoroughly infiltrated by the enemies of the United States, who also happen to be Trump’s enemies.

In the case of Trump’s infection by the China virus, which quite likely emerged from a Medical Deep State-supported Chinese laboratory, the City of Cleveland went into slightly more detail, issuing  a statement about “11 [COVID] cases stemming from pre-debate planning and set-up.” It then added, strangely, that “the majority of cases” involved “out of state residents.”

To add more mystery, the city then said that because these cases “involve people in and out of state, some of whom may be continuing to travel,” it would try to interview and monitor them. They were “interviewed when possible,” which means some could not be located.

The clinic claimed, “It’s important to clarify the 11 people who tested positive never accessed the debate hall. These individuals were either members of the media or were scheduled to work logistics/set-up in the days prior to the event.” But it can just as easily be concluded that these people, whoever they are, had access to surfaces and spaces used by President Trump during the debate.

This is quickly developing into a medical scandal involving the life of the president and the fate of our Republic.

If President Trump is guilty of playing down the severity of the pandemic, as his critics say, in order to keep people as calm as possible about the nature of the virus, the Cleveland Clinic misled the president himself with disastrous consequences for the nation. It had claimed that “guests” at the debate, including the president and First Lady, had a “low risk of exposure” to coronavirus when they have subsequently tested positive.

Despite alternative theories, it seems likely that the president and First lady were infected at that presidential debate on Tuesday, September 29, where those 11 still-unidentified people with the virus were involved in debate preparation. Trump came down with symptoms later in the week and was whisked away to the Bethesda Naval Hospital, a place where some high-profile people such as anti-communist Senator Joe McCarthy met their demise. He went in with a knee problem and died of hepatitis.

Like McCarthy, Trump is a sworn enemy of those in charge of the “national security” establishment.

It appears that Trump was in worse shape than previously believed and that he may have been given a hefty amount of the virus. But by whom? And how?

The FBI has not indicated it is undertaking any kind of investigation into the transmission of this disease. Perhaps the FBI is useless and can’t be trusted anyway. It may be the case that Trump supporters – and Americans in general – have to demand answers as to how the president was poisoned by the China virus.

The media, through their fake news and phony polls, are trying to blame Trump personally for getting sick.  The real issue is that the president has been targeted for personal destruction from the start of his presidency and that getting the China virus may be how the communist regime and its friends and allies hope to get rid of the leader of the Free World.

Meanwhile, Trump supporters are worried about the White House physician giving the president doses of Remdesivir, an unproven and experimental drug that can have very harmful side effects.

One leftist, an advocate of “Green Power” to save the earth, hopes that Trump’s political future is finished and that Senate Democrats  move to “deny Trump’s corrupt appointment to RBG’s pivotal Supreme Court seat.” That is in fact what Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding. But rather than being corrupt, the process is legal and constitutional and the nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, is a Christian mother and legal scholar.

This is what Trump’s enemies really fear – the restoration of America as a constitutional republic.

Anti-Trump Pope Francis has just issued “Fratelli Tutti,” a new encyclical on “fraternity and friendship” that attacks the greatest economic system the world has ever known. “The fragility of world-systems in the face of the pandemic has demonstrated that not everything can be resolved by market freedom,” says the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He calls for building “the alternative social structures we need,” code for socialism.

The Marxist Pontiff ignores the leadership of President Trump, now fighting to survive against the China virus, in assembling private companies to manufacture the equipment and drugs we need to treat and save the victims.

Sinister global forces are thinking Trump is on his death bed and victory is theirs.

The debate itself was held in the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, a part of Case Western Reserve University and the Clinic’s joint Health Education Campus.

The Cleveland Clinic, which was serving as “Health Security Advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates,” said it had imposed a broad range of risk-mitigation strategies “to help protect everyone within the space” of the actual debate, including:

  • Adding distance between seats.
  • Incorporating personal health screening and safety measures.
  • Implementing disinfectant measures.

But with left-wing activists celebrating President Trump’s positive coronavirus test, and hoping for his political and physical death, it would seem logical to examine what vetting process it undertook to make sure debate “organizers” and even “members of the media” were free of the disease.

Our media, exposed over the last three years as propaganda mouthpieces of the intelligence agencies trying to destroy Trump, are not interested in finding out what truly happened. Instead, it is another opportunity for them to bash the president and his supporters.

On the surface, the debate sponsors seem to have impressive credentials.

James Merlino, MD, was identified as the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic and Chief Health Security Advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates for the 2020 General Election.

The Cleveland Clinic claims to be “Leading the Way in Innovative Research for COVID-19 Patients” and says it maintains a “research registry of nearly 23, 000 patients who have been tested for COVID-19 at Cleveland Clinic. These patients, the clinic says, have had positive and negative results.

It looks like the clinic may have been partly responsible for producing two high-profile COVID patients – the president and First Lady.

The Cleveland Clinic, which received $130 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2019, insisted that “everyone permitted inside the debate hall tested negative for COVID-19 prior to entry,” and that “Individuals traveling with both candidates, including the candidates themselves, had been tested and tested negative by their respective campaigns.”

After first refusing to comment on whether any proof was offered of negative tests, the clinic said it took the word of the campaigns that this was a fact.

The Cleveland Clinic got $199 million in federal coronavirus bailout money, the New York Times reported earlier this year. The paper added, “Last year it had so much money on hand — its $7 billion in cash helped generate $1.2 billion in investment profits —  that it paid investment advisers $28 million to manage the fortune.”

Yet, with all of this money, it still could not assure the health, safety, and security of the first 2020 presidential debate.

Rather than examine this scandal, Trump antagonists in the media like Chris Wallace of Fox News complain that Trump’s family did not wear masks while seated during the debate in Cleveland. But that was a distortion. Members of the family were shown wearing masks when they entered the venue. Once they were in physically distanced seats, some took them off. That was consistent with health guidelines.

The issue is whether Trump’s enemies could have somehow placed the virus in the vicinity of Trump or his family, exposing them to the deadly disease.

To cite the “experts” in the media, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says, “The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.”

The words “thought to spread,” and “mainly” are educated guesses.

Although some “experts” say that spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another, one review found a coronavirus can survive on a surface from 2 hours to 9 days. The National Institutes of Health says vaguely, “Viruses can live for a time on surfaces outside the human body.”

The president’s life is still in danger and we know that many people, here and abroad, want him dead. Before it’s too late, we need to uncover what may turn out to be the most diabolical plot in American history. All of those involved in preparing the debate and the debate stage have to be identified and interrogated.

Even while praising his doctors at Bethesda, Trump may understand that his sickness is just the latest attempt by his political enemies to destroy him. We will find out soon if he recovers sufficiently to resume his fight back mode.  Many are praying and rooting for him. His enemies are betting that he will retire from the field of battle.

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.

10/4/20

Is the COVID-19 Pandemic a Case of Vaccine Research Gone Wrong?

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

In an attempt to dominate global vaccine research and development, China may have hurriedly and recklessly applied genetic engineering techniques, creating and leaking a highly infectious and deadly coronavirus causing a worldwide pandemic.

Live-attenuated vaccines are a type of vaccine used for smallpox and childhood diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, in which a weakened or “attenuated” form of the virus that causes the disease is manufactured.

Because such vaccines are so similar to the natural infection that they help prevent, they create a strong and long-lasting, even life-time immune response.

The disadvantage of live-attenuated vaccines resides in the fact that, because they contain a small amount of the weakened live virus, people with compromised immune systems or long-term health problems often referred to as “pre-conditions” may be at risk.

It has now been suggested that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, may have arisen from laboratory experiments to produce a live-attenuated vaccine, a process that may have included genetic manipulation.

Over time, viruses have developed strategies to avoid the human immune response, allowing them to better infect cells and replicate.

Many SARS-CoV-2 patients develop only low levels of neutralizing antibodies and suffer prolonged illness compared to SARS-CoV-1, the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 pandemic, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 evades human immune surveillance more effectively.

It is widely known that when viruses evolve to escape immune detection, they often suffer reduced fitness and become less infectious, yet SARS-CoV-2 remains highly infectious.

SARS-CoV-2 first binds to the human cell and then undergoes a membrane fusion process to gain entry, a process that is mediated by its spike protein.

The S1 component of the spike protein contains the receptor-binding domain (RBD) that binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptor (ACE2), while the S2 segment of the spike contains the fusion-regulating element. At the S1-S2 junction is a furin polybasic cleavage site, which is involved in the separation of the S1 from the S2 section.

The RBD constantly switches between an “up” position that allows for receptor binding and “down” position in order to evade an immune response.

For membrane fusion and viral entry into the cell to occur, the spike protein must be split at the S1-S2 junction by an enzymatic process. The furin polybasic cleavage site facilitates that process by interacting with the enzymes of the human cell surface.

How then does SARS-CoV-2, which is highly-adapted for human infection, evade the immune response?

The dynamic state of the RBD may explain the paradox. That is the switching between an “up” position that allows for receptor binding and “down” position in order to evade an immune response.

It appears that the SARS-CoV-2 RBD exists mainly in the “down” position to avoid triggering the immune system.

The presence of the furin polybasic cleavage site not only can “pre-activate” SARS-CoV-2 for fusion and cell entry, but S1-S2 cleavage may also facilitate the adoption of the “up” conformation that is required for SARS-CoV-2 to bind to the ACE2 receptor.

According to such a scenario, SARS-CoV-2 is protected from an immune response until the very moment infection takes place.

How is all of that related to vaccine development?

In order to produce a live-attenuated vaccine for a coronavirus, you need an RBD that is highly specific for human infection, but one that is also exposed to the human immune system.

There are no known naturally-occurring coronaviruses with an RBD highly adapted for human infection and, at the same time, containing the furin polybasic cleavage site found in SARS-CoV-2.

It is feasible, therefore, that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from the accidental laboratory release of a coronavirus being artificially modified for the production of a live-attenuated vaccine.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].