Was a U.S. Defense Department Industry Day event in 2017 and, to a greater extent, DARPA’s P3 platform laying the groundwork for the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s not too far-fetched of a question, considering that—minus conducting a large-scale clinical trial to test its product—DARPA had been developing mRNA vaccine technology for years as a medical countermeasure against infectious diseases. By now, that part of the story is undoubtedly well-known. However, what hasn’t gotten enough, if any, attention is that the U.S. government classified the novel 2019-nCoV (later named COVID-19) as a National Security Threat on February 4, 2020—over a month before the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic. That’s concerning in and of itself. But even more disturbing is that President Trump—the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces—appeared utterly unaware that COVID-19 was classified as a national security threat. As late as March 9, 2020, when there were only 546 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Trump continued to compare the Coronavirus to the common flu. In a February 6, 2017 press release, DARPA’s P3 Program Manager Matt Hepburn defined DARPA’s objective of “60 Days to Stop a Pandemic,” stating: 

“DARPA’s goal is to create a technology platform that can place a protective treatment into health providers’ hands within 60 days of a pathogen being identified, and have that treatment induce protection in patients within three days of administration. We need to be able to move at this speed considering how quickly outbreaks can get out of control. The technology needs to work on any viral disease, whether it’s one humans have faced before or not.

Our country asks our military Service members to deploy globally and provide humanitarian assistance in all manner of high-risk environments. We owe it to them to develop the best protections possible. If we’re successful, DARPA could take viral infectious disease outbreaks off the table as a threat to U.S. troops and as a driver of global instability.”

What’s going on here? After reading independent researcher Sasha Latypova’s recent Substack, titled, “Audio Leaked from AstraZeneca: COVID was classified as a National Security Threat by the US Government/DOD on February 4, 2020,” the fantastic attorney Jeff Childers brought the abnormal goings-on to light in his February 8, 2024 Coffee and Covid newsletter. “Assuming Sasha’s audio is legit and her dating is correct—she’s been reliable so far—this is the biggest COVID story in years, tucked away in a quiet little Substack post,” Childers wrote. Indeed, the dating seems correct given that DARPA’s February 6, 2017 press release highlights P3’s first official meeting set for February 22, 2017, at the Crown Plaza Tyson’s Corner, VA, which are particulars referenced in the leaked AstraZeneca audio. Pondering why President Trump was unaware of the DoD’s “undercover, top secret, tailor-made-for-COVID Pandemic Preparedness Program,” Childers wrote:

“Assuming the dating is correct, the leaked audio proves that DoD considered COVID-19 way more serious than flu, but—and this is the critical part—for some reason they didn’t bother to tell the President. Trump would not have been yammering on Twitter in March downplaying COVID if he’d known in February the DoD considered COVID to be a unique national security threat justifying vaccine developers to stop everything they were doing and put everything onto Sars-2.”

According to the tape of the leaked AstraZeneca call (which was recorded at an internal executive meeting in late 2020 and given to Latypova from an unnamed whistleblower), when SARS-CoV-2 emerged, AstraZeneca and its “small and committed” team of virologists had been busy working on DARPA’s P3 project since coming on board in February 2017. As a P3 participant, the objective was “going from discovering a novel virus to producing drugs in less than 60 days.” Vaccine developer Mark Esser explained on the call that his team had been pretty successful in the early discovery engine piece and had won a biopharma R&D award about a year earlier. Esser noted that in January 2020, he and his team were “anxiously following the emerging news from China about the new disease.” Esser then remarked:

“It wasn’t a surprise to me when I got a call on February 4th from the Defense Department here in the US saying that the newly discovered Sars-2-virus posed a national security threat.”

WOW. The DOD’s February 4, 2020, assertion to a handful of cohorts that the new virus was a national security threat certainly explains why the PREP Act declaration in the U.S. was made retroactive to February 4, as noted by Latypova. Interestingly, the DOD issued a directive on February 4, 2020, making changes to its need-to-know enhanced security Special Access Programs (SAPs). Is it related? It would be nice to know because the date is curious. In hindsight, the real-life pandemic scenario that locked down humanity and changed life as we know it fits perfectly into the mission of DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform, P3. Moreover, the audio demonstrates that when President Trump decided to recruit commercial vaccine developers—”including gross ones not part of the PPP’s close-knit basement club”—the DOD was years ahead quietly working with companies like Moderna and AstraZeneca to rapidly develop vaccines for new threats. In a scenario that seems increasingly plausible, Latypova wrote: 

“The US Government organized itself for war but lied to the public that it was a zoonotic virus and a healthcare event. Anyone who suggested otherwise was heavily censored and surveilled online, including me. They continue to pretend it was/is a natural virus evolution to this day.”

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Tracy Beanz & Michelle Edwards

Tracy Beanz is an investigative journalist with a focus on corruption. She is known for her unbiased, in-depth coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. She hosts the Dark to Light podcast, found on all major video and podcasting platforms. She is a bi-weekly guest on the Joe Pags Radio Show, has been on Steve Bannon’s WarRoom and is a frequent guest on Emerald Robinson’s show. Tracy is Editor-in-chief at UncoverDC.com.