Our search for the scientific credentials of the latest 'covid truth' celeb turns up nothing. Poornima Wagh claims to have worked on analysis of 756 samples proving SARS-CoV-2 does not exist. Did she?
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Responds, Aug. 30 and Sept. 1
UPDATE: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has checked in with the following statement this morning from their press office: “Nobody by the name of Poornima Wagh has obtained a degree from our institution.” We have also received a second confirmation from Roger Watson: “I have it from the dean of Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at LSHTM, Alison Grant, that nobody of her name has obtained any degree from their institution.” Update Thursday, September 1: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has confirmed: “Nobody with the last name Wagh, including as part of a hyphenated surname or as part of a surname containing the letters in that order, has obtained a degree from this institution.” — efc. PS — Dougie Jones, anyone?
Salisbury College Responds, Sept. 1
UPDATE: Poornima Wagh claims a degree in finance from Salisbury University, December 1995. However, the graduation program lists her as Liberal Studies. I contacted the campus and, after bouncing around the telephone system, landed in the president’s office. There, I learned that the Finance Department has been under the Purdue Business School since its founding in 1986. Liberal Studies is under the Fulton School, which is an entirely different academic region of the University. — efc
By ERIC F. COPPOLINO
New Edition of PlanetWaves FM (Friday, Sept. 2, 2022)
SOMEONE CLAIMING TO HOLD TWO DOCTORATES from the world-renowned London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is the latest sensation of the health freedom movement — distinctive because she claims to be an accredited virologist who states declaratively that SARS-CoV-2 does not exist.
Wagh claims to have participated in a massive laboratory project in early 2020 that attempted to sequence 756 samples of lung fluid taken from supposedly “covid”-positive patients in California — only to find that none of them contained any such virus particles whatsoever.
For the growing number of people who assert that SARS-CoV-2 has never been isolated and cannot be tested for, she is a dream come true — a scientific unicorn providing long sought-after vindication.
What is different here is that the “no virus” side of the discussion is generally stating that various genetic sequences have been falsely declared as belonging to "SARS-CoV-2" in computer simulations. These are hypothetical “genomes,” called in silico sequences, that have never been shown to match an actual virus or cause disease. Wagh is saying that they couldn't even find those theoretical sequences in their hundreds of samples, much less whole virus particles.
Meanwhile, more than two hundred governments and institutions around the world deny having any record of a sample of SARS-CoV-2 taken from a human host. If what she is saying is true, Wagh provides a critical layer of validation of this position — and she is being welcomed with open arms by the health freedom or “covid” truth movement.
In addition to having extraordinary public support for a scientific dissident, significant public presenters are noticing Wagh. For example, Dr. Lee Merritt, when introducing Wagh in an Aug. 17 video, said the interview was "the most important video she had done" since the covid crisis began.
She has been interviewed numerous times by vlogger Regis Tremblay, with one video getting more than 63,000 views so far.
After a webinar presentation held Sunday, Aug. 28, her co-panelist Reiner Füellmich was so impressed that he invited her to appear before his well-known and widely-respected Corona Investigative Committee. Like many mainstream “covid” truth organizations, this panel has a tendency to be hostile to the no-virus position — but they are open to her. It’s as if she’s the presenter everyone has been waiting for.
Despite the credible efforts of many doctors and scientists during the past 30 months of the crisis, Poornima Wagh is now being held up as the official whistle-blowing insider scientist with long-awaited, irrefutable proof that no SARS-CoV-2 virus exists.
Welcome to old-school investigative reporting. Worth paying for!
The Questions Nobody’s Been Asking Until Now
There is just one problem.
Is everything she is saying true? Did she really earn two simultaneous doctorates from the London School of Tropical Medicine, one in virology and one in immunology, in under four years?
Did she really play a key role on a team that attempted de novo sequencing of 756 samples of lung fluid taken from “covid” patients suffering from pneumonia, finding no viral material whatsoever — as she has repeatedly claimed?
Did she really do her doctoral work at one of the most prestigious medical institutes in the world — which research concluded that HIV infection does not exist?
It seems that until now, none of the people who have interviewed her have made any effort to verify or corroborate her claims, nor has anyone attempted to vet her doctoral degrees or work history prior to putting her on the air.
Introducing her recently, a website calling itself "Exposé News" wrote, "We were unable to find a biography for Wagh using the usual search engines but she provided a summary at the beginning of her presentation."
That was their total vetting process — and it would seem that of everyone else who has run her up the flagpole.
The Search for Wagh's Claimed Ph.D.s
Wagh is claiming dual Ph.D.s in virology and immunology, both granted simultaneously by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in December 2016. These claimed advanced degrees — which would be a precious professional commodity — do not so much as appear on any CV or résumé that we have found. Further, Wagh claims to be unemployed.
In a recent interview with Planet Waves FM, Wagh hedged on admitting the exact title of her claimed doctoral thesis, only giving its approximate topic — "malaria and HIV co-infection." She said this one paper was the basis of not one but two Ph.D. degrees, which she claims were both awarded in December 2016.
But after exhaustive searches over the past six weeks, not one reference to her doctoral credentials can be found. All that exists is a CV which claims undergraduate work and a master's degree in finance, and résumés which claim she has taken undergrad science courses and worked in laboratories as a technician. However, deeper investigation has revealed that her bachelor’s degree from Salisbury was really in liberal studies, not in finance.
Regarding access to her claimed doctoral thesis, Wagh told Planet Waves FM, "It should be available in the library."
"They are downloadable as documents," agreed Dr. Kevin Corbett of London, who did his doctoral work on HIV testing and its sociological impact, and has chaired the oral examinations for several Ph.D. candidates. He is familiar with the British system of advanced education, in which he has participated for a generation. Hear the full interview.
The Thesis Should be in the British Library
"Normally, when you gain the award in the UK of a Ph.D, the thesis or both theses will be available on an archive catalog, usually within the college archive or online archive and/or within the British Library's online archive," Corbett added.
"I was very interested in reading them but I actually couldn't find them listed. And other people have tried to find them as well," he added.
No record of her thesis or her name can be found in the British Library, which is the repository of all doctoral dissertations and theses in England. Corbett said he searched both by her name, and for all papers dealing with the topics of both malaria and HIV, and found nothing associated with her.
"It is quite important to have a look at this," he added, saying that just because you can’t find it doesn’t mean that the thesis does not exist. “One thing is certain, which is that you don’t earn two Ph.D.s with only one thesis. The same thesis couldn't have been used for two Viva Voce exams. Impossible.” The Viva Voce — Latin for ‘live voice’ — is the in-person oral committee examination where a doctoral candidate defends their thesis.
Additionally, Planet Waves FM could find no record of any peer-reviewed publications by “Dr. Poornima Wagh,” or any other scientific paper anywhere that cited her work.
Background in Finance, Accounting — and as a Lab Tech
Wagh's admitted background is in finance, though she also claims to have worked as a clinical lab scientist from 2005-2019 at two different universities, one in Texas and one in California. That is possible, as she knows some laboratory jargon.
Planet Waves FM investigators, working independently of Corbett, could find no trace of Wagh's claimed doctoral work. And Wagh has not responded to subsequent requests from Planet Waves FM for the exact title and proper citation of her thesis.
She claimed that her thesis concluded that HIV infection did not exist because there was no published paper that made the connection between HIV and AIDS. (This assertion was famously stated many times in the past by PCR-inventor Kary Mullis.)
And she added that she proved that malaria was caused by vitamin deficiency rather than by a protozoa, the latter held to be established science. She did not explain the nature of the research on which her claimed thesis was based.
Referring to the claimed theme of her thesis being the claim that HIV does not cause AIDS, I asked, "People lose their labs and reputations for this. How did you get past that?"
Says Faculty Member 'Pulled Strings' For Her
"I didn't get past it," she said.
After stammering for a few moments, she added: "I literally was not going to get my Ph.D.," continuing, "I had one professor pull some strings for me because they were not happy with what I was even presenting. It was very completely unscientific in their opinion, if not complete bullshit and utter crap. So, and I said to them, 'If you don't want to give me a Ph.D., that's fine, I'll just leave'. This is [my] Ph.D. thesis. If you don't want to accept it, that's fine by me."
Then she added, “They just wanted me gone.”
Yet she says that on this basis — with the intervention of a member of the faculty behind the scenes — she was granted not one but two simultaneous doctorates from the most prestigious institution of its kind in the world.
Additionally, we can find no version of her CV that cites her Ph.D.s; she only lists her educational background in finance. She claims that her BSc in finance was granted from Salisbury University in Maryland in 1995; and that her MBA in finance and economics was granted from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 2000.
Neither her undergraduate nor master’s degrees are listed as being in any scientific field. That would render it nearly impossible to get into a hard-science program like London Hygiene, or anywhere. Her LinkedIn page states only that she was an accounting project manager at the Pacific Capital Bancorp and related experience.
Wagh does not like to be questioned about her credentials, which are the pride of most scholars.
She wrote in an Aug. 27 email to a prominent medical doctor who has pioneered the virus existence issue, obtained by Planet Waves FM, that our asking her for the title of her Ph.D. thesis was like "interrogating a criminal who had committed a crime."
"I spoke with him on the phone and I was SEVERELY grilled like I was perhaps a criminal or a fraud by his standards on the phone for over 30 minutes. This phone call happened yesterday at around 1:30 pm California time. I was very shocked with the questions asked and the tone taken in the call," she wrote in her Aug. 27 email to the doctor.
Lab Methods and ‘Patient Zero’
She was referring to a Planet Waves FM interview conducted Friday, Aug. 26. In that discussion, Wagh said that in April 2020, she worked in a university laboratory that received 1,500 samples of bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid (BALF) purportedly taken from pneumonia patients in California, all of whom had allegedly tested “positive” for SARS-CoV-2 using the standard PCR test.
This is an enormous cohort for a virus isolation project, by any measure.
She said that under a grant from a university in Texas, the California lab was given the task of isolating intact SARS-CoV-2 from a human host.
She would not identify any of the institutions involved, claiming she was afraid of being sued. She also claimed that the principal investigator on the study she worked on — her boss, who ran the project — had mysterously died in Costa Rica several days ago, in late August 2022. She did not give the person’s name.
If her principal investigator is dead, that also means she cannot be contacted to confirm or deny Wagh’s claims.
Wagh also said that two other people who had worked on the team had also died, which she considered suspicious. And finally, she has claimed in several interviews that the FBI raided the lab and seized all the papers and computers associated with the virus isolation study. That suggests that none of her backing data is available. However, she claims to have the final scientific paper that came out of the work — but will not provide it.
Wagh said that the lab where she worked had individually analyzed 756 of the 1,500 samples, but could not isolate a particle that could be characterized as SARS-CoV-2. All they could find was "random cellular debris." She went onto say that when sequenced, this did not match the genome for "Patient Zero."
When pressed for who exactly "Patient Zero" was — that is, which hypothetical genome she was matching against — she did not know. "Patient Zero" is not a term used in the SARS-CoV-2 crisis.
Rather, in the history of virology, it is a direct reference to the first (falsely) claimed AIDS patient, Gaetan Dugas, who was said to have gone on to personally infect all of North America. Historically, the thing about “Patient Zero” is that he did not exist; the story was not true. And the term has never been used again.
"I don't know much. I just know there's one patient. There's actually 10 patients but only one patient they did the lung lavage on, apparently."
Wagh Did Not Know Multiple ‘SARS-CoV-2’ Genomes Existed
"I didn't know there were two genomes. I thought there was just one," she said. But in fact, by late January 2020, there were 28 published theoretical or in silico sequences for SARS-CoV-2. But she didn’t seem to know that there were quite a few as of last week, either.
She was unaware that Christian Drosten's team in Germany used half a dozen different sequences to design their PCR protocol that was then published by the World Health Organization in mid-January. Currently, about 12 million claimed genomes of “SARS-CoV-2” are deposited into the GISAID.org genetic library.
But most astonishingly, she did not know till I informed her during our conversation one week ago that there were any multiple sequences. She thought there was simply “Patient Zero" and had no idea who that was — or what acession number (the specific virus ID in any of the datbases) she was supposedly testing against.
As for the many claimed sequences in early 2020, while the existence of multiple virus codes is not common public knowledge, one would expect a double Ph.D. working on a major viral isolation project associated with this specific (claimed) virus "to know this information cold," said Mike Donio, a molecular biologist who has worked for 20 years in industry and academic laboratory settings.
Donio said that a lab would not run the samples individually in a process like this, as Wagh claimed, but rather run them in batches. “The goal was to find the virus particle, not to diagnose an individual case,” Donio said. “Labs often do batch analysis,” especially if time and money are an issue. “If they needed to go back and figure out which sample it came from, that could be done in a second step.”
Donio was also critical of Wagh’s claim of de novo sequencing of what she called “random cellular debris” from these samples, which she said did not align with any prior sequences. This, she said, proved that the virus does not exist.
“Who cares if you just end up with cellular debris?” Donio asked. “Of course you are going to have tons of genetic material in from the cells as they break down. It's more than enough to assemble whatever kind of genome you want. It would be more shocking to find no sequences or no RNA [to match the alleged SARS-CoV-2 genome] in such a pool.”
Wagh said that the team that did the purported study of the 756 samples had prepared a formal scientific paper reporting the result that they could not find the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But she said the paper, which survived the claimed FBI raid that took all of the other records, has not been published. Planet Waves FM asked her for a copy of the paper, or at least the methodology section — but she did not provide it.
The Need to Question Experts
"If one presents their credentials and expertise front and center as a claim to the credibility of the information that they are presenting, it is our duty to verify that these credentials and experience exist and are in fact valid," said Mike Stone, author of the ViroLIEgy.com website, which exposes fraudulent practices in the study of claimed viruses, and the entire field of virology.
"We must always be willing to examine all experts and their claims thoroughly using critical thought, logic, and discernment in order to make an educated and informed opinion," Stone added.
In an email sent to Wagh Monday morning, Aug. 29, I wrote: “Under the rules of journalistic fair play, which are our editorial policy, you are entitled to give your best defense in your own words to accusations made against you and your reputation. Our investigators can find no trace of your doctoral degrees, or your thesis or dissertation.”
Wagh did not respond.
— Additional Research: Cindy Tice Ragusa.
Eric F. Coppolino is a New York-based investigative reporter. He is the host of Planet Waves FM on Pacifica Radio, the author of What Happened: The Covid Chronology, and founder of Covid19 News. Please visit his Press Room.
FULL JOURNALISTIC BIO
Eric Francis Coppolino is in his 39th year of exposing scientific fraud and corporate crime. He is a specialist in mass poisoning incidents and associated lawsuits.
He is the founder and editor of Covid19 News, and the author of the Covid Chronology, a day-by-day account of lockdowns and claimed pandemic back to 2006. He hosts Planet Waves FM on the Pacifica Network and has covered covid every day for the past 916 days.
He began his investigative career at age 19 as a student journalist exposing New York State’s plan to re-habitate the contaminated Love Canal Neighborhood in Niagara Falls, NY, where 750 homes and two elementary schools were built on and around 23,000 tons of chemical and nuclear waste.
His later investigations have focused on the manufactures of industrial toxins — PCBs, dioxins and herbicides focusing on GE, Monsanto, Westinghouse, the U.S. EPA, the FDA and the New York State Department of Health.
His investigative journalism has been published by Sierra Magazine, The Ecologist, The Village Voice, the Las Vegas Sun and many other newspapers and magazines. He has also written for the New York Daily News, the London Daily Mirror and Daily Mail; and The New York Times has done several articles about his journalistic efforts exposing toxins.
He is accredited by the International Federation of Journalists, the National Union of Journalists, and the Pacifica Network; and in the past has been accredited by the European Union (at the presidential level) and the New York State Capital.