The writer whose Post op-ed on the possible laboratory origin of COVID-19 beat being branded “false information” by Facebook is working on a new book that warns China is building three more labs like the one now under investigation by US intelligence agencies.
Steven Mosher’s “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics,” set for publication in March, says that China “is moving forward with plans to greatly expand its technological capacity to carry out what it called ‘biosecurity research.’”
And while Chinese officials claim the work is intended to combat future deadly diseases, Mosher writes that “the worry is that this is merely civilian cover for a further, and major expansion of China’s biological weapons program,” according to an excerpt obtained by The Post.
Last year, Mosher wrote an opinion column for The Post in which he suggested that SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — “may have escaped from” China’s Wuhan Institute for Virology, which contains the communist country’s “only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronavirus.”
Facebook moved to limit sharing of the op-ed from the account of Mosher’s nonprofit Population Research Institute by obscuring it with a “false information” label — only to later reverse course and remove the mask without explaining why.
And when President Joe Biden on May 26 ordered a 90-day probe into whether the virus developed naturally or emerged from the Wuhan lab, the social media giant caved even further and ended a ban on posts that say it was manufactured.
Biden’s directive marked a dramatic about-face after months in which leading Democratic lawmakers downplayed the notion of a lab leak — and came less than a week after House Republicans demanded the release of US intelligence on the subject and any suspected “collaboration” between the Wuhan lab and the Chinese military.
In his forthcoming book, Mosher writes that a new Chinese “biosecurity law” enacted last year “provides the legal basis for the establishment of many more bio labs in the country as evidence grows that COVID-19 originated from just such a laboratory in Wuhan.”
“Xiang Libin [China’s deputy minister of science and technology] said that the ministry has already examined and approved the construction of three biosafety level-4 labs, or P4 labs modeled on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and 88 biosafety level-3 labs, or P3 labs,” according to the excerpt.
That’s on top of two P4 labs and 81 P3 labs that Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has said were either in operation or approved for construction, meaning that “these new labs will more than double Beijing’s ability to work on dangerous pathogens,” according to Mosher.
“The People’s Liberation Army also has a number of P3 labs in operation as well. But it also extensively collaborates with supposedly ‘civilian labs’ on research projects, including those involved in the production of bioweapons,” Mosher writes.
“The principle of civil-military fusion means that the distinction between the two kinds of labs is blurred in practice, if not, for all practical purposes, nonexistent,” he says.
Mosher’s new book, which is being released by the conservative Regnery Publishing company, will reveal “mountains of evidence” that the pandemic began in the Wuhan lab, as well as “Chinese Communist Party source documents” about “viruses bioengineered to wreak global havoc,” according to an Amazon.com webpage for pre-orders.
China’s new labs “will ‘specialize in advanced pathogenic microbiology’ and will presumably have the capability to engage in gain-of-function research of the kind that produced SARS-CoV-2,” the excerpt says.
On Tuesday, during heated questioning by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, denied that the US government funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
Mosher also notes that “Chinese defector Dr. Yan Limeng, who worked extensively in a P-3 lab in Hong Kong, has said that it would take only six months for her lab, or any such lab, to produce the coronavirus that caused COVID-19.”
When Biden announced the 90-day probe into the origins of the virus, he said that “two elements” of the US intelligence community “leans more toward” believing it emerged from nature, while another suspected it escaped from the Wuhan lab.
Biden didn’t say which agencies held the conflicting views.
Since then, senior administration officials overseeing the investigation have come to believe the lab-leak theory is at least as credible as the natural-origin theory, CNN reported last week, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.