Source: Daily Mail
Shortly before the pandemic, Sir Jeremy Farrar, head of the globally respected Wellcome Trust, delivered a speech offering his prescription for protection of public health: it required good leadership, free-thinking scientists and universal trust in their work.
The director of the world’s biggest philanthropic science funding body said he had ‘tremendous responsibility to be accountable for what we do and to be as transparent as we can be’.
So it is curious that since the Covid pandemic began, this hugely influential figure has been at the heart of the scientific establishment’s efforts to stifle debate on the origins of the virus that emerged in Wuhan.
The Oxford, Edinburgh and London-educated infectious diseases expert has claimed scientists ‘know’ Covid was not created in a lab, suggested such an idea was a ‘conspiracy theory’ and insisted that ‘evidence’ indicates it spilled over naturally from animals.
Now, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that emails from America’s top infectious disease chief, Anthony Fauci, show how Farrar played a key role behind the scenes in marshalling top scientists’ response to concerns over the virus’s origins, even demanding secrecy on their discussions.
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Crucially, he was a central figure behind two landmark statements published by leading science journals that helped to silence dissident views, arguing against the plausibility of ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario’.
Scientists who have sought a proper investigation into the possibility that the novel coronavirus might have leaked from a Wuhan laboratory accuse Farrar of helping establish a ‘false narrative’ that has set back understanding of the disease.
His actions have also prompted alarm in Westminster.
‘Farrar is clearly an impressive individual, so we should all be concerned when someone of his stature appears to be stifling debate,’ said Bob Seely, a Tory member of the foreign affairs select committee. ‘It is chilling. The job of science is to go where the truth leads, not to stop us going there.
‘Distinguished people such as Jeremy Farrar should not have been participating in systematic and organised attempts to shut down open debate on such a vital issue for the entire world. We have a right to be worried.’