Debris of an Automobile Giving Birth to a Blind Horse Biting a Telephone by Salvador Dali, 1938.
This is an interview of Igor Nikulin a microbiologist, expert on chemical and biological weapons and former member of the UN Commission for Biological Weapons, to the Associated Press (not published by the AP, we are publishing this with permission from Igor Nikulin)
The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases has been surging worldwide in recent times, with reports from the United States, India, and Brazil, that their daily counts are going up by the tens of thousands. First and foremost, this can be attributed to the increase in the number of tests being conducted; however, the mass hysteria stirred up by the media against the backdrop of an increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases became an instrument for waging an internal political war in the US on the eve of the presidential elections, as well as in the Cold War between the US and China. Both heads of state are now officially accusing each other of creating and using biological weapons.
Furthermore, the hysteria stirred up by the world media over the upcoming second wave of the coronavirus is now being used for the mass adoption of distance learning in schools and universities, as well as for introducing systems and technologies to track a person’s every step. Russia is no exception. In our country, officials have closed down schools and classes, children are forced to switch to “distance learning,” and those children who cannot switch to distance learning for technical reasons are simply left out of the learning process. But according to experts, even those with the necessary “technical capabilities” do not study anymore (the results of the spring quarantine are disastrous) and quickly become afflicted by illnesses associated with excessive interaction with the digital space.
Currently, there are practically no experts in Russia who could openly confirm the chimeric nature of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Firstly, because of government censorship, and secondly, because one can be vilified as a “COVID-dissident.” For stating such a fact. But Igor Nikulin is an exception to this. He is a microbiologist, an expert in chemical and biological weapons, member of the United Nations Special Commission to oversee Iraq’s compliance with the destruction of Iraqi chemical, biological, and missile weapons facilities, a former advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and a former member of the UN Commission for Biological Weapons .
Two and a half months ago, the Associated Press took an interest in Dr. Nikulin and sent him a series of questions. However, for some reason Igor Nikulin’s answers were never published, so he decided to share these materials with our correspondent. The very fact of such an inquiry from the AP is already an interesting development, especially in the context of the then upcoming elections in the United States. The direction of questioning is just as interesting.
The crackdown against President Trump by major US mass media outlets in response to his appeal to US citizens to not to fear the coronavirus, as well as the failure to publish the interview with Igor Nikulin to the Associated Press after more than two and a half months suggest that alternative viewpoints in the US are being censored.
It should be noted that despite its claims about not being nonpartisan, the Associated Press, like many other mass media in the US, is now acting overtly against Donald Trump.
In his interview, Igor Nikulin, as a leading specialist in his field, explains what experience lies at the heart of his competence in matters relating to the creation of chimeric viruses for the mass infection of people.
What follows is AP correspondent David Klepper’s questions and Igor Nikulin’s responses presented as an interview.
AP: Where do you think the coronavirus came from? Is it of natural origin? Is it artificial? Do you believe the virus escaped from a lab?
Igor Nikulin: Viruses, as is well known, do not reproduce in the outside environment. If they remain viable in the external environment, this only occurs within a limited time period and under very specific conditions. They reproduce only inside a living cell, which the virus must infiltrate. The virus infiltrates a living cell with the help of its protein envelope, which has protein fragments that can bind to a specific protein of this cell. If the virus does not find such a protein with which it can bind, it will not be able to infect the cell; and therefore, it will not reproduce, hence it will not cause disease. This explains why only a small part of the huge number of known viruses is pathogenic to humans.
These viruses and the list of diseases they cause are well known, so we have no need to go into specifics. But let us emphasize that each virus that causes human disease is able to affect only certain groups of cells in the human body, i.e. it has target cells in this organism.
Most of the known coronaviruses do not have target cells in the human body, so they are not human pathogens, and they do not pose a threat to us. But in recent decades, varieties of coronaviruses have emerged, causing diseases in humans. Let us call them SARS viruses. The target cells for this group of viruses are found to be cells with the protein enzyme DFS4 (dipeptidyl-peptidase 4).
Now let us look at the information about the replication cycle of the SARS-Cov-2 virus which causes the disease called COVID-19. It turns out that its target cells have a protein-enzyme on their surface a called ACE 2 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), which can be found on the surface of epithelium cells in the respiratory tract, blood vessels, intestines, and some other organs.
One can’t help but wonder, “How could it happen that the virus has received a fundamentally different target for infecting human cells?” The easiest thing to say is that a mutation of the virus occurred. However, current ideas about mutations do not support this conclusion. The thing is that to provide such capability to the virus, it is necessary to introduce fragments of a protein into its protein envelope that are capable of actively binding to ACE 2 in human cells that were previously not part of its structure. A natural mutation could not have done such a thing.
AP: What evidence do you have?
Igor Nikulin: Read the article published in the authoritative journal Nature Medicine on November 9, 2015, and everything will become clear. We have already had an occasion to give a sufficiently detailed account of this article’s content, but in this instance, let us be brief. In this article, the authors of the paper (15 authors, the overwhelming majority of them are US scientists) informed the scientific community about the large-scale work of creating of a chimeric virus based on the SARS virus, capable of penetrating into human cells by binding to the ACE 2 protein enzyme.
The author of this structure appears to be Vineet Menachery, an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The scientists indeed introduced a protein capable of interacting with the ACE 2 enzyme into the protein envelope of the SARS virus. They confirmed their results by modeling and examining human airway epithelial cell cultures, showing that the chimeric virus successfully infected the human cells and replicated to high titers, i.e. confirmed its ability to cause an epidemic. What other evidence do you need?!
AP: Are the experts wrong? Why do the experts say it is a natural virus?
Igor Nikulin: Now, regarding our authoritative specialists’ statements about how the current epidemic arose from natural foci.
The author of the concept about the natural nidality of infectious diseases [meaning infectious disease outbreaks arise from natural foci, to which the pathogen is endemic, and from where the causal pathogen can be isolated – translator’s note] is our outstanding scientist Evgeny Nikanorovich Pavlovsky. The essence of his concept establishes the fact that any infectious disease arises from its own natural foci in wildlife, which should be identified, studied, and continuously monitored. This conclusion was a guiding star in the fight against many infectious diseases (plague, malaria, typhoid, etc.). Despite the efforts of thousands of researchers worldwide, such endemic foci for SARS-Cov-2 has not been identified. It is not found in nature. For some viral diseases, the carrier of infectious agents is often humans themselves. But it is a secondary host. Where is the primary host?
Identification of a primary natural focus for the pathogen could give strategic guidance in the fight against this disease. But it does not exist. Moreover, it was found during trials of the prospective vaccines that there are no animals that are suitable for such trials. They cannot be infected with this virus. And without it, what kind of tests can be done? One has found a way around this by creating a line of humanized mice. These are animals with human genome fragments artificially introduced into them to allow them to be infected through interaction with ACE 2. As far as we know, such a line of mice was transferred from the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences to the VECTOR State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology for vaccine trials in May 2020. I want to ask you to highlight this, as certain speculation is beginning to spread without taking this point into account.
AP: Was it deliberately used as a biological weapon?
Igor Nikulin: We do not know this, although the US military laboratories’ participation in this work (the authors of the research do not conceal this) does not instill optimism. Another important question to ask is did the pandemic emerge due to deliberate, malicious actions? We do not have that kind of evidence. Unfortunately, laboratory infection cases, i.e. due to a pathogen escaping the confines of a laboratory, are not uncommon. Such cases are difficult to rule out, even if the safety procedures are observed. In my opinion, the COVID-19 epidemic started in the USA in July 2019, when Fort Detrick in Maryland was shut down due to biological safety concerns. Specialists from this major US military biological center participated in the creation and testing of this chimeric virus. CDC Director Robert Redfield indirectly confirmed this suggestion at a hearing at the US Congress when he said that several American citizens who were thought to have died from the flu were posthumously identified as coronavirus cases.
AP: Do you think that the USA developed HIV as a biological weapon?
Igor Nikulin: From 1987 to 1994, I worked at the All-Russian Research Institute of Applied Microbiology in Obolensk (Serpukhov district, Moscow region); I was involved in research in the field of molecular biology and genetic engineering. I started as a research intern and worked my way up to become a senior researcher and the head of the scientific group working on analysis and sequencing. In 1991, we managed to decipher a significant part of the HIV genome isolated at the Institute of Virology in Novosibirsk. We came to a conclusion that the HIV genome corresponds to the genome of green monkey simian immunodeficiency virus by 80%, and we also found a cloned fragment of the order of 1000 nucleotides.
Unfortunately, we was not able to complete our research for reasons among which were those of a political nature. The USSR collapsed, and the new Russian leadership was not interested in confrontation with the West. And Mr. George Soros allegedly stated that if such “provocative topics” would be further researched in Russia, he would stop any financing of Russian science at all. The topic was simply closed, like many other promising directions.
AP: The Russian media states that you are an expert in biological weapons and have acted as a member of the UN Commission on Biological Weapons from 1998 to 2003. You also stated that you were a UN weapons inspector in Iraq. Can you tell me about your past? We asked the UN, and we were told there was no evidence that you worked there. What have you done for the UN? Can you tell us what kind of work you carried out or provide evidence to support your claims?
Igor Nikulin: Since January 1995, after leaving the Research Institute of Applied Microbiology, I worked in the Committee on Ecology of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. In 1997, the State Duma Council appointed me as a Middle East expert, in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement. The State Duma Chairman at that time was Gennadiy Seleznyov.
I still have my blue service passport issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry with Iraqi visas, which shows that I was sent to Iraq not in my interests but in the interests of the state. I worked for only several months in Richard Butler’s Special Commission, but I had more success than the head of the Commission did in two years. In particular, in February 1998, when Richard Butler was in Washington for consultations, I was able to convince the Iraqi authorities to open the Presidential Palaces in Baghdad, Tikrit, and other government facilities for inspections.
The website: nikulin.web-soft.ru shows a photo of me signing a document in the Iraqi President’s office, declaring that I have not found any chemical and biological substances. The Anglo-Americans did not like this activity, especially since I did not share the accusatory bias of the Commission’s head, and I tried to be objective in my investigation.
As a result, around August-September 1998, I left the Commission, but I received a proposal from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was apparently impressed by my diplomatic skills. I was offered to become a confidant of the UN Secretary General, and I was given several assignments, including searching for hostages in Iraq. By the end 1998, I was able to meet with several Kuwaiti citizens, including the Prince of Kuwait. None of them expressed a desire to return to their homeland. The prince passed a letter through me to his family. In 1999, with the UN Secretary General’s support, I managed to arrange regular flights between Moscow and Baghdad flight, which until 2003 were the only ones for this country, which was under sanctions.
In December 1999 and early 2000, I flew to Libya with Kofi Annan’s address to the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, and I met with his brother Mohamed, the Ambassador of Sudan in Libya. Photos from these meetings are also available on my website. All photos are original (not digital), and I have negatives. At the same time, I registered a Russian company (ZAO Centrapharm) in Iraq under a humanitarian resolution, and from 1999 to 2003, I fulfilled seven UN contracts under the Oil for Food Program for the supply of medications, mainly cancer drugs. This, too, is easy to verify. So, the phrase “we have no evidence“ translated from diplomatic to everyday language means, “we know that there was such a person, but we don’t know what he did.”
I also flew to Geneva several times between 1999 and 2001 to participate in the trilateral working group on compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention. The head of the Russian delegation was Sergey Kislyak, the future Ambassador to the United States. On the UK side, there was David Kelly, with whom I had become acquainted during my work in Richard Butler’s Special Commission. For my 40th birthday in November 2003, the UN Secretary General presented me with a ROLEX limited edition watch. Many UN officials have this same watch.
Unfortunately, my archive was partially burned during the US bombing of Baghdad in March 2003, but I managed to save some documents and photos.
AP: What are you doing now? Do you get paid for interviews or comments about the coronavirus?
Igor Nikulin: I am currently lecture to university students, as well as at the Anti-Terrorism Center of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and I act as an independent expert. I am also engaged in public activities: I am the chairman of the “Justice” inter-regional civic organization. This organization is involved in defense of historical truth and preservation of historical memory. I participated in the preparation of the Rurik dynasty exhibit at the Moscow Manege, I fought for the preservation of Rurik’s grave, and I have been engaged in other similar activities. I received a commendation from the former Minister of Culture Medinskiy for my activities.
I consider your question about payment for comments to be impolite, even indecent.
This is the translation of the interview of Igor Nikulin a microbiologist, expert on chemical and biological weapons and former member of the UN Commission for Biological Weapons, to the Associated Press (not published by the AP, first published in the “Essence of Time” newspaper issue 400 on October 24 with permission from Igor Nikulin).