Book review: The Wuhan Cover-Up: And the Terrifying Bioweapons Arms Race, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

posted: March 10, 2024

tl;dr: A detailed look at the U.S.’s bioweapons programs and how they led to the COVID-19 pandemic...

This book, coupled with a household move, prevented me from doing my regular weekly blog posts. Yes, I almost couldn’t put it down.

As the subtitle suggests, lawyer and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sets out to prove two theses in his latest, timely book The Wuhan Cover-Up: And the Terrifying Bioweapons Arms Race. The first, that there is a cover-up into the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, is an easy one. All that one needs to do is to take note of how hard the U.S. National Institutes of Health is fighting requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act, the extensive redactions in the material that is released, and the highly incriminating tidbits that somehow escape the censors’ eyes and become public. Kennedy proves his cover-up case without even mentioning The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2 co-author Andrew Rambaut’s comment about “the shit show that would happen if anyone accused the Chinese of even accidental release” and fellow co-author Kristian Andersen’s statement that “I hate when politics is injected into science - but it’s impossible not to.” These scientists were tasked with examining scientific evidence to determine the origin of the virus, and they decided to become lying politicians, thinking that they were averting World War III.

A simple book cover with a bright red background and a faint image of a star and four spiked viruses, with the title and author's name in bold white letters and the subtitle in slightly smaller yellow letters

The cover-up reaches much farther and higher in the hierarchy than just the authors of the Proximal Origin paper and the other papers that blame the pandemic on zoonotic spillover in the Huanan Seafood Market from an intermediate host animal that, strangely, has never been identified because no animals tested positive for the virus early in the pandemic (yes, the zoonotic spillover advocates have their own conspiracy theory about how the Chinese Communist Party is suppressing evidence of the spillover). This is where The Wuhan Cover-Up is most interesting to me. Certainly Anthony Fauci is a key figure: he and NIH Director Francis Collins advocated for gain-of-function virus research back in 2011 when the enabling technologies were first invented, in a Washington Post article titled A flu virus risk worth taking.

Fauci then implemented his gain-of-function virus visions by, among other actions, funding Ralph Baric’s research at the University of North Carolina and using Peter Daszak at EcoHealth Alliance as a pass-through to fund research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, home of the world’s largest collection of bat viruses. The last thing that Fauci wants to do is to admit that his advocacy and actions led to a pandemic that killed millions of people. He and the other people at the top of the medical research hierarchy, including Jeremy Farrar of the World Health Organization, are fighting tooth-and-nail against the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus leaked from a lab. This task is not that hard given malleable scientists like Rambaut and Andersen, who don’t want to admit that the profession to which they’ve devoted their lives has killed millions, and a compliant Chinese Communist Party, which also doesn’t want to admit that an accident at their premier “bioresearch” lab has killed millions.

An image on a black background, with a quote and the speaker's name on the left in white letters, and on the right side a black-and-white headshot of a middle-aged bespectacled man with a beard

Slack message from a co-author of the Proximal Origin paper, which blamed the pandemic on zoonotic spillover

That leads to the more challenging thesis that Kennedy attempts to prove, that the “bioresearch” in labs like WIV is in support of bioweapons programs, as well as defense against the bioweapons of potential adversaries, and is not for the purely benevolent purpose of developing vaccines against natural viruses. The evidence that Kennedy presents goes back decades, and cites many sources. It was convincing to me, although some people will resist Kennedy’s arguments until, perhaps someday in the future, the U.S. President fesses up. Certainly the fact that WIV is a joint civilian/military lab whose leader, Chen Wei, is a Major General in the People’s Liberation Army is highly suspicious. Also suspicious is the degree to which the U.S. intelligence community and the Washington establishment is protecting people like Fauci, Daszak, and Baric. If a chemical spill from an industrial plant had killed millions, certainly there would be an investigation into the cause, and the perpetrators would be held accountable.

Each time Kennedy mentions Chen Wei, he also references what he claims is her nickname: “Goddess of War”. Another example: the chapter that makes the same point that I made in my The Next Pandemic post is titled: “Pivot to Permanent Preparedness for a Pipeline of Pandemics”. That illustrates one salient aspect of the writing style in The Wuhan Cover-Up: like a good lawyer in a courtroom trial, the evidence against the accused is presented in the most emotionally persuasive manner. Another even more prominent aspect of the style is due to the fact that the book was no doubt rushed to market, and was based upon research performed by multiple people. Each chapter presents a lot of information and facts, but it has not been refined into a seamless narrative. Some of the transitions are rather abrupt.

These stylistic issues aside, I do highly recommend The Wuhan Cover-Up to anyone interested in the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. On this important topic, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is far more knowledgeable than anyone else running for President. Given how many people died in the pandemic, and how much it upended the lives of nearly everyone on the planet, it is critical that we learn from the mistakes of the past and not cover-up the truth.