The editor of the Lancet medical journal has admitted that Peter Daszak – a leading signatory of a letter published by the journal discrediting man-made origins of COVID-19 – had “significant” conflict of interests and did not declare them at the beginning of the pandemic.
The admission from Dr. Richard Horton came during a grilling from British Members of Parliament on the Science and Technology Select Committee. The stark revelation confirms a lot of early-National Pulse reportage on Daszak, the Wuhan lab, and the interconnected nature of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Horton’s public acknowledgment of Daszak’s conflicts of interest discredits the legitimacy of the critical 2020 statement which stifled debate about the true origins of COVID-19 in the mainstream media and scientific community. News outlets and legislators alike relied upon the comments to delegitimize the idea that novel coronavirus emerged from the Anthony Fauci-funded BSL-4 laboratory in Wuhan.
In the declaration, Daszak as well as other “scientists” wrote:
We sign this statement in solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China who continue to save lives and protect global health during the challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are all in this together, with our Chinese counterparts in the forefront, against this new viral threat.
The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.
In early February, The National Pulse highlighted how Daszak had collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology – believed by many including former Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to be the source of COVID-19 – for nearly two decades.
We also unearthed Daszak’s detailed descriptions of the research he conducted alongside his “Chinese colleagues,” including “bat lady” Shi Zhengli, where he admits to manipulating bat coronaviruses into “killer viruses.” The collaborative research was funded in part by Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), as Daszak divulged on a 2020 podcast, “we have 16,000 bat samples in a freezer in China that we collected using U.S. taxpayers’ money.”
During the briefing, Dr. Horton admitted “100%, I completely agree, the information that we published in June as an addendum should definitely have been included in the February letter,” in reference to an updated statement published by the journal where Daszak declared his conflicts of interest, leading to his recusal from the Lancet COVID-19 task force.
“In this particular case, regrettably, the authors claim that they have no competing interests, and of course… there were indeed competing interests that were significant, particularly in relation to Peter Daszak,” Dr. Horton responded to criticism of the journal’s delayed disclosure of the EcoHealth Alliance President’s competing interests.
“We ended up having a debate with him about, well, do you have a competing interest or not,” Dr. Horton added before admitting:
“It took us over a year to persuade him to declare his full competing interest, which we eventually did in June of this year.”
Meanwhile, New York state recently appointed Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance to aid in its pandemic response.