China has rejected a World Health Organization plan that would further probe the origin of the virus that causes COVID-19, including the possibility that it escaped from a Chinese laboratory. American officials are taking a similar obstructionist stance, but evidence for the laboratory origin has been mounting since early 2020.

As Israeli microbiologist and biological warfare expert Dr. Dany Shoham noted in “China and Viruses: The Case of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu,” the Chinese scientist transferred a load of deadly pathogens from Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The viruses included Machupo, Junin, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, and Hendra, but this was not the full extent of Dr. Qiu’s collaboration with the WIV.

Shoham, who earned a Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Tel Aviv University, found that in 2017–2018 alone, Qiu made at least five trips to the Wuhan lab, approved by China’s communist regime for research activities involving the Ebola, Nipah, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses. As that research continued, the WIV received financial support from the United States through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIAID since 1984, funded the WIV to conduct gain-of-function research that makes viruses more deadly and transmissible. Money is fungible and the WIV is not accountable to American taxpayers.

Fauci initially opposed President Trump’s ban on travel from China and maintained the theory that the virus that causes COVID-19 developed naturally in the wild. When scientists found evidence that the virus had been engineered, the NIAID boss pressured them to change.

In the early days of the outbreak, virologist Kristian Andersen of California’s Scripps Research Institute cited “unusual features of the virus” that made it “look engineered.” The next day, Dr. Andersen received a call from Fauci and other virologists. Within days, Andersen, who earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge and conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard and MIT, dismissed an engineered virus as a “crackpot” theory.

Congressional Republicans, led by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, want to know what happened on the call and why Andersen so quickly changed his view, with no explanation. A conference call is hardly a forum for scientific debate, but intimidation is a possibility.

Fauci earned a medical degree in 1966, but his bio shows no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry. Fauci contended that AIDS was caused by a virus known as HIV. Peter H. Duesberg, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, found no scientific evidence for that claim.

As Duesberg explained in “Inventing the AIDS Virus,” HIV is “one of the many harmless passenger viruses that cause no clinical symptoms during the acute infection,” and Duesberg was hardly alone. Scientists challenging the HIV-AIDS hypothesis included Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, Charles Thomas, former professor of microbiology at Harvard, and biologist and science historian Robert Root-Bernstein, author of “Rethinking AIDS.”

Unable to refute Duesberg scientifically, Fauci deployed his bureaucratic power to control the narrative and “cancel” the distinguished medical scientist. For example, in 1988, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour sent camera crews to interview Duesberg, but the PBS show pulled the interview and replaced it with a short segment of Fauci attacking Duesberg. As the UC Berkeley scientist also noted, his laboratory funding also came under attack.

With a NIAID budget of more than $6.2 billion, Fauci pulls some heavy purse strings. While revelations from the conference call with Andersen await, embattled Americans should know that other scientists have faced threats for finding evidence of a laboratory origin.

In March 2020, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield told reporters, “I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan was from a laboratory. You know, escaped.” Redfield then began to receive death threats. As he explained, “I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis. I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”

Science is a matter of empirical investigation, not authoritarian enforcement. Considerable evidence points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the origin of the virus that causes COVID-19. China is blocking all investigation and Fauci, who funded the WIV to conduct gain-of-function research, is hostile to scientists who entertain the possibility of a laboratory origin. If anybody thought that was a huge advantage for China, it would be hard to blame them.

Xiangguo Qiu, who transferred the cargo of deadly pathogens to the WIV, is named in two patents held by the Chinese communist regime. The Chinese scientist was fired from Canada’s NML and at the time of writing, journalists are unable to locate her. On the other hand, her past activities are a matter of record. As Dr. Shoham discovered, Dr. Qiu “maintains a close bond with China and visits frequently, and many Chinese students from a notable range of Chinese scientific facilities have joined her at the NML over the past decade.”

Of those facilities, four are believed to be involved in Chinese biological weapons development: the Institute of Military Veterinary, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, in Changchun; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chengdu Military Region; the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Hubei; and the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing. As Shoham noted, “All four facilities collaborated with Qiu on her Ebola research.”