by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola:
- In December 2013, Zaire Ebola hemorrhagic fever broke out in Guinea and over the next three years spread across West Africa, ultimately killing 11,323 people. It was the largest and deadliest Ebola outbreak in history
- According to a paper published at the end of December 2014, the Ebola epidemic was traced back to a 2-year-old boy in Meliandou, Guinea. Supposedly, the boy had come in contact with an infected fruit bat in a hollowed-out tree. However, no Ebolavirus was ever detected in any of the bat samples collected from the area
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- The senior author on that 2014 paper was Fabian Leendertz, a renowned virus hunter with the Robert Koch Institute in Germany. Leendertz was also a member of the World Health Organization team that investigated the origin of COVID-19, concluding without evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was of zoonotic origin
- In late October 2022, Sam Husseini and Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., published a new analysis, in which they highlighted the holes in the zoonotic origin narrative and laid out the evidence pointing to a lab leak
- Curiously, many of the same individuals, companies and organizations involved in the Ebola epidemic have also been linked to the alleged creation of SARS-CoV-2
In December 2013, Zaire Ebola hemorrhagic fever broke out in Guinea and over the next three years spread across West Africa, ultimately killing 11,323 people.1 While Ebola epidemics occur on a near-annual basis, this was the largest and deadliest in history.2
Of the five Ebola viruses known to cause disease in humans, Zaire Ebolavirus, first identified in Zaire in 1976, is the most dangerous, with a fatality rate ranging between 53% and 88%,3 depending on the variant.
The virus leads to severe immunosuppression, but most deaths are attributed to dehydration caused by gastric problems. Early signs of infection include nonspecific flu-like symptoms and sudden onset of fever, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, vomiting and abdominal pains. Other less common symptoms include sore throat, rashes and internal/external bleeding.
As the infection sets in, shock, cerebral edema (fluid on the brain), coagulation disorders and secondary bacterial infections may occur. Hemorrhaging tends to begin four to five days after onset of the initial symptoms, which includes bleeding in the throat, gums, lips and vagina. Vomiting blood, excreting tar-like feces indicative of gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver- and/or multi-organ failure can also occur.
The Virus Hunter That Assigned Zoonotic Origin
According to a paper4 published at the end of December 2014, the Ebola epidemic was traced back to a 2-year-old boy in Meliandou, Guinea, named Emile Ouamouno. Supposedly, the boy had come in contact with an infected fruit bat in a hollowed-out tree.
This, even though no Ebolavirus RNA was ever detected in any of the bat samples collected from the area. Interestingly enough, the senior author on that paper was Fabian Leendertz, a renowned virus hunter with the Robert Koch Institute in Germany.
Leendertz was also a member of the World Health Organization team that investigated the origin of COVID-19.5 As you may recall, they also concluded, without evidence, that SARS-CoV-2 was most likely of zoonotic origin and dismissed the lab leak theory as not worthy of further consideration.
Lab Leak Suspected From the Start
However, just as with SARS-CoV-2, suspicions and rumors that the Ebola outbreak was the result of a lab leak were present from the start. Some scientists even suspected the virus might be a weaponized form of Ebola. As noted in a 2014 paper in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry:6
“Another subject that may cause a plethora of arguments is that this virus may be a laboratory generated virus … There is a conjecture that the virus is transmitted to people from wild animals. However, by reason of the high mortality among them, it is impossible that these animals are the reservoir host of EVD.”
In late October 2022, Sam Husseini and Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., published a new analysis7,8,9 in Independent Science News, in which they laid out the evidence pointing to a lab leak. They also dissect Leendertz December 2014 report, highlighting the holes in the zoonotic origin narrative. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest the outbreak in in Meliandou wasn’t Ebola at all. Husseini and Latham write:10
“Chernoh Bah, an independent journalist from Sierra Leone, wrote a book on the 2014 Ebola outbreak and visited Meliandou. Bah found that: ‘Local health workers still think malaria may have been the actual cause of his [Emile’s] death.’
While in Meliandou, Chernoh Bah also interviewed Emile’s father. According to Bah, the Leendertz team (who never claimed to have interviewed the father) made a crucial error: ‘The child was actually 18 months old when he died’ … The age question, it should be noted, is crucial to the entire outbreak narrative. As Emile’s father told Reuters:
‘Emile was too young to eat bats, and he was too small to be playing in the bush all on his own. He was always with his mother.’ Bah also identified another apparent error: that Emile had four siblings who never became sick. These siblings are not mentioned anywhere in the scientific literature …
Further, although some bats appear to carry antibodies against Ebola viruses, only intact Bombali Ebola (a different virus species in the Ebola genus) has ever been isolated from a bat, despite intensive searches … Bombali is a species of Ebola that does not infect humans.
Taken together, this suggests that bats rarely carry Ebola viruses and when they do it is in small quantities. This context makes it somewhat surprising that Saéz et al. ascribed the 2014 outbreak (without supporting evidence) to contact with bats.
Indeed, Fabian Leendertz now doubts that bats are true reservoirs of Ebola viruses.11 Given the general want of evidence, one wonders by what exact process such poorly supported claims were transmuted into international headlines.”
Was Ebola Experimented On Before the Outbreak?
As detailed by Husseini and Latham,12 “persistent rumors in the region linked the outbreak to a US-run research laboratory in Kenema, Sierra Leone.13 This facility studies viral hemorrhagic diseases, of which Ebola is one.”
The Kenema lab, which has been run by the U.S.-based Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC) since 2010, is located about 50 miles from the village in Guinea where the Ebola outbreak first emerged.14
The founder and president of the VHFC is Robert (Bob) Garry, who was also part of the group of virologists who in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic concocted “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” paper15 in which they dismissed the lab leak theory and insisted zoonotic origin was the most plausible, despite the lack of evidence.16
As recently as November 2022, Garry still insisted SARS-CoV-2 “emerged via the wildlife trade.”17 In that same article, Garry drew parallels to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, claiming that conspiracy pundits were wrong about Ebola being leaked from the Kenema lab, because “we did not have EBOV [ebolavirus] in our laboratory and therefore could not have released or engineered it.”
According to Garry, the Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks are both victims of “guilt-by-proximity.” However, in a March 11, 2023, interview on the Decoding the Gurus podcast, Kristian Andersen, vice president of the VHFC’s Kenema lab18 and another “Proximal Origin” author, clearly refuted Garry’s claim:19
“The problem is that people see these coincidences. One of the new ones is the Ebola lab leak, which also is being blamed on us, because we had been studying Ebola in Kenema in Sierra Leone, and lo and behold Ebola emerged just a few miles from there in 2014,” Andersen said.
So, what do we make of this? Garry claims the Kenema lab didn’t have any Ebola virus and Andersen says they did. Both are top executives at the lab and ought to know what was studied and what wasn’t. So, who’s telling the truth?
Was Kenema Lab Involved in Biowarfare Work?
According to Husseini and Latham,20 there’s good reason to believe the Kenema lab was working with Ebola before the outbreak in Guinea, some 50 miles from the lab. For starters, the Guinea outbreak was the first time Zaire Ebola emerged in West Africa. All previous outbreaks of this most-lethal strain of Ebola occurred in the Congo basin, in the central African equatorial zone, some 3,000 kilometers (approximately 1,864 miles) from Guinea.
“Hence Zaire Ebola’s appearance in West Africa was a striking and very unexpected development,” they write. How did it get there? Ebola is not highly contagious as transmission typically requires direct contact.