A remarkable twist in a tragedy, still ongoing, with effects that have transformed this country forever: just days before authorities reported the first cases of the coronavirus in Wuhan, a top inspector at the World Health Organization sat for an interview that was broadcast on YouTube.
The inspector was a man called Peter Daszak. He spoke about his research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which had been going on for more than 15 years. In the interview, Daszak also discussed his nonprofit organization, which had received millions from the U.S. government. Daszak channeled a substantial percentage of that money to the lab in Wuhan, which he described as, “world-class lab of the highest standards.” Some of that work, paid for by American taxpayers, went to something called “gain-of-function research.” It involved manipulating viruses in a laboratory to make them more transmissible and more deadly. In his YouTube interview, Peter Daszak spoke freely about all of this. At the time, he had no reason not to. Outside of a handful of diplomats, no one had raised concerns about the kind of research into bat viruses, very dangerous research it turns out, that was taking place in Wuhan. According to Peter Daszak, his research,