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Investigative journalist Paul D. Thacker, publisher of The Disinformation Chronicle, joined “The Defender In-Depth” podcast today for a deep dive into efforts by powerful government officials and scientists to discredit and censor the COVID-19 lab-leak theory — the topic of one of last week’s top stories in The Defender.

Thacker discussed the timeline he published of key moments over the past four years when efforts were made to stymie the lab-leak theory while promoting the zoonotic theory that the virus jumped from humans to animals instead of emerging from a lab.

Thacker, who said he’s dedicated much of his journalism to revealing “corruption in science and medicine,” shared the story behind the story about efforts to marginalize the lab-leak theory and those who espoused the theory.

He connected his findings to his prior investigations, including the revelation of documents as part of the “Twitter Files” that unmasked the workings of the “censorship-industrial complex” involving government, Big Pharma, scientists, academia, non-governmental organizations, media, journalists and Big Tech.

‘I realized something weird was going on’

Thacker told “The Defender In-Depth” that “throughout the first year of the pandemic, I really didn’t pay much attention to a lot of the issues involving the pandemic.”

But the turning point came when he saw prominent scientists who expressed a divergent viewpoint were being censored.

“The first thing that clued me in to the fact that there was something going on that was weird was when Dr. John Ioannidis came out with some controversial statements about the pandemic,” Thacker said.

Thacker said he found it “very disturbing” when YouTube removed an interview Ioannidis, a Stanford University professor of medicine, did on Fox News.

“That’s when I realized something weird was going on,” he said. “I was like, ‘Why is it these sorts of entities in the media won’t even allow people to have an opinion?’ I thought that was very odd and, I thought, quite telling of the fact that there was something being hidden.”

Thacker said his prior experience as a U.S. Senate investigator allowed him to detect more clues of a cover-up — this time involving prominent government officials.

One such instance, according to Thacker, was when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci about his involvement in funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.

“He lied about that,” Thacker said. “I know that because I’ve had to deal with these issues myself when I was a Senate investigator.”

“When I saw his testimony, I was really stunned and, quite frankly, disgusted … that was my first clue that there was something going on,” Thacker said. “And then it just came out over time that he was involved in a very concerted cover-up.”

Citing highly influential scientific papers promoting the zoonotic theory — which documents reveal Fauci had a hand in, despite never acknowledging this publicly — Thacker said Fauci was engaged in “ghost-management,” which he called “a type of corruption [that’s] very well understood in the pharmaceutical industry.”

‘They’ve been lying from the beginning’

According to Thacker, “We’ve not had a real honest discussion about how this pandemic started. That discussion was shut down … it was censored. We know throughout much of 2020 and 2021, Twitter shut down discussions of it. Facebook did as well.”

It took the “Twitter Files” for evidence to begin reaching the public, Thacker said, despite coordinated efforts to the contrary.

“What’s very clear is that there was a concerted effort by the United States government and these allied academic groups [and] nonprofits … who were trying to suppress messages,” he said. “They have a history of being wrong and they have a history of what they call ‘moderation,’ which actually is censorship.”

In the face of mounting evidence of a cover-up, powerful entities are left with no choice but “to continue lying,” Thacker said.

He added:

“They’ve been lying from the beginning, and so, they don’t have any other choice … I don’t think there’s any possibility they can come forward and say ‘Oh, by the way, I’m sorry, I may have misled you for the past four years.’”

This includes attempts to stonewall ongoing lawsuits, such as “the NIH [National Institutes of Health] not disclosing their internal emails and requiring people to sue them to get access to public documents,” Thacker said.

Echoing last week’s “Defender In-Depth” interview with drug safety advocate Kim Witczak, a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee who said, “If you follow the money, you’ll always find the answer,” Thacker said such corruption will “stick around because there’s just too much money sloshing around.”

Real-world consequences

Thacker said that cover-ups and the growing evidence of their existence have contributed to declining trust in the media and scientific communities.

“It’s very hard to believe what you read in the newspapers, what you find in the media anymore,” he said. “It’s very difficult to believe what you find published in the scientific literature now. It’s become very politicized.”

He added that establishment media journalists “are very troubled by the fact that someone like me could come along and publish documents and say, ‘Your stories are false, because here are documents showing that this didn’t happen or that this study was falsified.’”

“I can tell you that today, the public’s confidence in the media is in the garbage. People do not trust the media anymore, and they’re going to alternative viewpoints. And maybe that’s going to be the future,” he said.

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