Credit where credit is do, and sharing the blame too

We’d be happy to take this in a check, by the way.

I maintain that Donald Trump should campaign as a ‘shadow president,’ taking on Joe Biden rather than scrum with Republicans even before they announce their candidacies. Give credit where it’s due with this op-ed in the Daily Mail, published shortly before Trump took the stage at CPAC. His roaring address reaffirmed his anti-establishment orientation, and so does this lengthy essay that focuses entirely on Biden’s policies of going all-in on the “globalists,” starting with the World Health Organization.

As president, Trump pledges to cut off WHO entirely and then demand reparations from China over the leak of COVID-19 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). But Trump is treading on some politically dangerous ground here, because this didn’t all happen under Joe Biden:

When I first suggested in early 2020 that the virus may have come from a lab, it was called ‘racist,’ a ‘conspiracy theory,’ and a claim for which ‘there is no evidence’.

The entire globalist establishment—from the World Health Organization, to the media, to Anthony Fauci and the public health authorities, to the corrupt Silicon Valley tech giants, to Joe Biden—worked relentlessly to silence, censor, and shut down any suggestion that the so-called ‘lab leak theory’ could be true.

Very true, but it’s also true that Trump employed Fauci and the other major “public health authorities.” Trump could have dismissed Fauci and Francis Collins and promoted the dissenting scientists. Why didn’t he? Trump doesn’t explain, but he blames Biden for suppressing the lab-leak theory after Trump’s departure:

When Joe Biden came into office, he shut down the investigation my administration had launched into the true origins of the China Virus.

We all know the real reason for these censorship campaigns. The ‘lab leak’ did not serve their political agendas. So they did the Chinese Communist Party’s dirty work, and effectively imposed China’s propaganda on the Western world.

That’s one reason, but it’s not the only one — and it didn’t start in Biden’s administration. In the first place, the US funding for gain-of-function (GOF) research started under Trump. Collins reinstated support for GOF research in December 2017 as the head of the National Institutes of Health, over the objections of the Cambridge Working Group. After that, Fauci began sending grant money to Eco Health Alliance that ended up funding GOF at the Wuhan lab. The State Department warned everyone of serious safety-protocol breaches at WIV in 2018.

Trump wasn’t directly responsible for these moves, and almost certainly didn’t even know about them, but they still happened on his watch. So did the cover-up; he allowed Fauci and Collins to run the pandemic after that as well, and reportedly Fauci used that time to try to cook a report that would shut down any inquiry into the lab leak. That started just as the pandemic arrived in the US, in fact:

New emails uncovered by House Republicans probing the COVID-19 pandemic reveal the deceptive nature of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

They show he “prompted” or commissioned — and had final approval on — a scientific paper written specifically in February 2020 to disprove the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.

Eight weeks later, Fauci stood at a White House press conference alongside President Trump and cited that paper as evidence that the lab leak theory was implausible while pretending it had nothing to do with him and he did not know the authors.

“There was a study recently,” he told reporters on April 17, 2020, when asked if the virus could have come from a Chinese lab, “where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences… in bats as they evolve and the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.

The suppression of this clearly likely origin story started under Trump’s presidency, not Biden’s, although again not for Trump’s benefit. The reason for the cover-up wasn’t primarily to promote CCP propaganda, although it certainly had that effect. It was to cover up how Collins and Fauci ignored all sorts of warnings about GOF, funded it at a substandard Level 4 lab, and thus created the pandemic — or at least aided and abetted it.

That track record will make it tough to claim reparations from China, especially on the basis of a cover-up. Trump’s own administration was helping to manufacture it — again, without his knowledge, but that’s not exactly a great argument for a second term either.

With that said, the rest of Trump’s argument has solid value. Trump wants the US to withdraw from the WHO again until real reforms take place, which Trump himself ordered and Biden reversed. He rightly shreds Biden for agreeing to give WHO emergency authority over medical supplies in the US as well as emergency censorship authority, calling it “insanity”:

In the event of a real emergency, the treaty would have us ship up to 20% of our medical supplies and medications to the WHO for distribution to other countries.

This outrageous globalist scheme would put America and other signatories on the path to surrendering our sovereignty to the whims of foreign public health bureaucrats—the same people who got COVID-19 completely and totally wrong.

The draft treaty also pushes censorship of disapproved speech about matters of public health—just like they censored the facts about the Wuhan Lab.

This is insanity. America and other free nations should have no part in it.

Indeed. And this is an excellent use of the shadow-presidency strategy, which Trump could have been employing more consistently since his campaign launch in November. It’s the one big advantage that Trump has over the rest of the GOP field — his status and experience in the White House. He’d be better advised to spend his time in this way rather than cooking up new playground nicknames for Republicans who have the temerity to compete against him. However, Trump may want to find better grounds on which to argue than railing against his own pandemic advisers.

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