Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 19, 2020

False Claims About The Novel Coronavirus And How To Debunk Them

Today China reported zero new domestic cases of novel coronavirus infections. It has beaten the epidemic just as we predicted early on. Other countries with still expanding epidemics will have to adopt all the measures China has taken to also win the fight.

Our extensive reporting about the novel cornonavirus has attracted many new commentators to this site. Unfortunately some of these, as well as some of the regulars, continue to spread disinformation and myths about the current pandemic and its causes.

To keep some level of quality at this site requires an aggressive countering of such comments. But our capacity to do so is limited. We do delete comments that are nonsensical or have been debunked and we do block people who insist on posting or reposting nonsense. But there are now many more comments per day than we can read. We therefore have to ask other commentators to counter the bad false ones.

Here are some of the false claims that are made about the pandemic and the facts needed to debunk them.

Myth:

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a Chinese virus that comes from bats. It infected people because Chinese people eat bats.

Facts:

The source of the virus is actually not known. The patient number 1, the person who first carried the virus, has not been found. The Wuhan wet market where exotic animals are sold was not the source of the outbreak:

The paper, written by a large group of Chinese researchers from several institutions, offers details about the first 41 hospitalized patients who had confirmed infections with what has been dubbed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). In the earliest case, the patient became ill on 1 December 2019 and had no reported link to the seafood market, the authors report. “No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases,” they state. Their data also show that, in total, 13 of the 41 cases had no link to the marketplace. “That’s a big number, 13, with no link,” says Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University.

While the novel corona virus might be one that was originally carried by bats it is unlikely to have jumped from a bat to a human. The older SARS virus, which is somewhat similar to the novel coronavirus, originated from bats but first spread to other animals before mutating from there into a form that infects humans.

The only place where bats are regularly used as food is the Pacific island Palau which is more or less a U.S. colony. Videos showing Chinese citizens eating fruit bat soup were actually filmed on that island.

Myth:

The virus is related to HIV, the virus that causes aids.

Facts:

Some Indian researchers found four genome sequences in the novel coronavirus that can also be found in the HIV virus. They self published their findings in a paper that was not peer reviewed. We discussed that paper in detail on February 1 in our second post on the virus and we strongly expressed our doubt about its veracity. A few days later the paper was retracted by its authors after other scientists had pointed out that the lengths of each of the four sequences they had compared were way too small to be of statistical significance.

Myth:

Asian people are genetically more receptive for the novel coronavirus.

Fact:

The virus enters human cells by binding to the ACE-2 receptor on the cells hull. There were assertions that people in Asia have more ACE-2 receptors than people elsewhere. But detailed studies of various genome sequence databases have found no statistical basis for such claims. People of Asian, Caucasian or African heritage all have the same numbers of ACE-2 building elements and receptors. The virus will effect them equally.

Myth:

The virus originated from a military weapon research laboratory.

Facts:

There is zero evidence that the virus is from a Chinese or U.S. or other (weapon) laboratory and the claim actually makes no sense. The genome of the virus consists of more then 23,000 'letters'. It is significantly different than the genome of other known viruses. (Added:) It is not lab made:

We offer a perspective on the notable features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and discuss scenarios by which they could have arisen. Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.

To artificially create such a complex entity and to test all its variants would have been a program of the size of the Manhattan project and would have cost billions.

Weapon researchers are sane people with a limited budget. They look for methods to defeat an enemy. A virus that affects all humans indiscriminately but kills mostly very old ones would have no military value.

Myth:

Moon of Alabama has downplayed the danger of the virus.

Facts:

Our first post on the issue was headlined The Coronavirus - No Need To Panic. It discussed the infectiousness and fatality rate of the novel coronavirus disease in comparison to other virus caused diseases. We pointed out that it is less infectious and less deadly than for example SARS but never said that it is not dangerous at all. In fact the numbers we pointed out said the opposite.

The piece simple put the current epidemic into perspective. We have since posted a total of 15 detailed pieces on the pandemic. To claim that this is a downplaying of the issue is nonsensical.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 19, 2020 at 12:19 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

Tom_LX 601

I listen to that doctor, and look at what is happening in Italy. What is happening there is unprecedented. Using the military convoys to take bodies to less harder hit regions to be cremated as local crematoriums cannot keep up. I don't think simply blaming that on air pollution is correct.
And it is not just old men or people with pre-existing problems dying. It seems to come down more to level of medical care each patient can recieve.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 10:14 utc | 601

Posted by: Kassandra | Mar 19 2020 22:00 utc | 202

The ACE2 binding has been known from Sars at least from 2007 onwards (German paper) no remedy was found or financed.

So no, this does not mean specific targeting.

Why China? If the cause of the first Sars pandemic in 2003 is not known, the new Corona virus might have gone a similar route, hopefully it will disappear on a similar route.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 22 2020 10:24 utc | 602

hospital doc @ 567 says:

So, It is likely that your Swiss doc does not know what he is talking about

the study that you cite with the mortality rate of 0.04 refers to Wuhan, and it was published, but not peer reviewed, as their disclaimer states. for the most part the Swiss doc is not talking, but compiling stats from the Italian National Institute of Health, so if you have some contention with their work maybe you should take it up with them.

bottom line:

'The Italian Institute of Health moreover distinguishes between those who died from the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus.'

'Thus the most important indicator for judging the danger of the disease is not the frequently reported number of positively-tested persons and deaths, but the number of persons actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality).'

yes, the hospitals up north are overwhelmed, but that's happened before.

it's a new virus, doc, there are no antibodies.

Posted by: john | Mar 22 2020 11:05 utc | 603

Posted by: john | Mar 22 2020 11:05 utc | 603

Good luck with those Italian statistcs, I guess they are useless.

As children do not seem to suffer from the virus - the Corona lung disease is nothing like flue/pneumonia. Kids do get pneumonia and it can be fatal.

And yes, we are staying at home so hospitals do not get overwhelmed.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 22 2020 12:31 utc | 604

somebody says:

Good luck with those Italian statistcs, I guess they are useless

well, your guess seems a pretty confused one as your next statement concurs with the stats themselves that:

children do not seem to suffer from the virus

in fact, not only children, but pretty much everyone under 70, or actually 80, and even most of those over 70 who are otherwise healthy(understanding that old age is itself a condition).

there are currently 42,681 active cases in Italy. 93% of those are in mild condition. 7% are serious or critical.

Posted by: john | Mar 22 2020 13:35 utc | 605

@PeterAU1, 471,474
The counterargument to the small overall amount of war materiel sent to the Soviets under Lend-Lease concerns the timing of the aid. The first tranche of Lend-Lease equipment arrived during the fall of 1941, in time for the defense of Moscow. That was the one time the Germans had a numerical advantage over the defenders, who were composed of scratch forces and were short on supplies because they were being reserved for a counterattack. Most of the weaponry supplied was British, with the understanding that the Brits would be compensated in-kind by the US. The Soviets got a British tank that was adequate for the defense of Moscow (Centurion?) while the new T-34 was being kept in reserve. The Hurricane fighter was used to fill the gaps left by the decimated I-16s before the arrival of the Bell P-39s that made a crucial difference in the air war during 1942, and before the new Yak fighters could be produced in significant numbers. The Hurricane was the right plane for the situation - simple, rugged, easy to maintain, and reasonably competent for its combat environment. It was also a difference-maker because of the transient advantage the Soviets gained in keeping their planes flying during the winter conditions of 1941-42. So while the amount of weaponry supplied under Lend-Lease was small as measured against the overall war effort, it was delivered at a crucial time. The later needs for Lend-Lease equipment were centered on logistics: trucks and locomotives. Logistical constraints set the pattern of Soviet advances for much of the war, mainly, grinding battles of attrition and position, followed by slow advances and more of the same. It was ugly but it worked. The Soviets had absorbed the lesson of the 1942 Kharkov battle, that attempting a breakthrough that taxes logistical capability can lead to disaster.

The best thing that can be said about Stalin during that phase of the war was that he knew when to back off. He knew that his sweeping orders during the early days of Barbarossa had led to disaster, even to the point of being fatalistic about the possibility of being arrested by his top commanders. When he wasn't, he got religion. The revival of fighting for Mother Russia in late 1941 wasn't a cynical ploy, it reflected Stalin's authentic state of mind. Much of the authority that was personally arrogated by Stalin in the early days was devolved to the Stavka, a combination of command center and war-college-on-the-fly. It was very effective at evolving the Soviet army into a first-rate fighting force.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Mar 22 2020 17:01 utc | 606

bevin @ 590

You seem to me to be a sensible and reasonable person so I can only assume that I am misinterpreting what your position is. 
Mine is that the pandemic is real, though its severity cannot be known yet. That it was predictable-as a natural occurrence in this sort of society. That instead of planning to take it in stride governments sold the reserves that they were meant to save-the spare capacity in hospitals, the reserve personnel required every winter and in some years desperately needed, even the proper nutrition of the poor, children and the most vulnerable (cancelling the Food Stamp programme being symptomatic politically).

Thank you. I also assume you are sensible and reasonable. I agree with everything you said above, and I would point out that those policies are SOP for neoliberalism. My position is complex. Reality is too complex for a single-thread narrative to do it justice, although fascists are always happy to provide such a single thread.

There are at least two major things happening: the virus outbreak and the economy-killing lockdowns. As you mentioned, the neoliberal cutbacks are a major factor in the hospitals overflowing. Furthermore, the lack of test kits (especially in the US) has caused tests to be given disproportionately to people already showing symptoms, which skews the contagion statistic. So, I think the virus is real; I simply don't have enough data to buy that this is a pandemic. I don't know how many of the victims overlap the category of normal flu victims. Meanwhile, I have plenty of data that the economy is being put through an engineered crash.

I will let others spend their energy speculating about unknown infection rates and the possibility of bioweapons. My main concern is for the economy that survives the crisis, however long that takes. 95-98% of the population will survive. The medical risk of the current "pandemic" is very low for the super rich. They are already cocooned. They can spend all their time figuring out how to use the panic to their advantage. IMHO, they will use this panic to restructure society. They will create a new "normal".

So what you are saying is that the publicity, which surely comes before the reaction (though the process is dialectical) is designed to create an atmosphere in which the US government can save Wall St and give Boeing money. Why do you think that they need such a smokescreen? And isn't this pandemic which, I take it you agree is real in Iran, Italy and China, for example an incredibly (I use the word advisedly) complex and dangerous-particularly to the economy and public finance- means to use?

They need the smokescreen because everybody knows neoliberalism has failed. The market was going to crash sooner or later. This way they can blame the virus instead of rampant greed and book-cooking. Capitalism is exonerated.

But, in reality, people want Wall St. regulated. They want the financial crooks and stock buyback kings in jail. The Sanders campaign was all about reining in neoliberalism and giving government a bigger role in the regulation of the economy. Despite Bernie being a flawed leader, his campaign showed that young people do not like capitalism and are willing to consider socialism. But, now the virus gets people to forget all about neoliberalism, to allow the rapacious puppets in both parties to hand Wall St. piles of money in a bum's rush, over-the-weekend Congressional session.

AFAIAC, the super-rich are just maximizing their take on the way out the door of the US. They are having their servants in government do one last big ripoff for them with these bailouts. They don't care if the country crashes and burns. In fact, this way to crash it is the "neutron bomb" solution. It wrecks the society and leaves the industrial plant and real estate assets intact, while reducing the populace (95+% of whom will survive this "pandemic") to debt slavery or worse.

Congress is talking about giving Wall St. $4T. That is 25% of the GNP. That is on the order of $10,000/citizen, even more if only adults get paid. That is 8 months income for a family of two at the median income (~$30k). The government could choose to give that amount to the citizens instead of Wall St. The citizens could wait out the unemployment for a six month quarantine. But they choose to give the money to the same parasites that have been looting us for 40 years. Its a done deal. Say goodbye to your savings, as zero interest rates, massive inflation from money printing, and a diving stock market wipe out what's left of middle class savings. I think those concerns (the concerns of 95% of the 99%) are at least as worthy of discussion and action as the deliberately muddled facts about the virus.



The reality is that the need for Disaster Capitalism, envisioned by Naomi Klein has passed: it is yesterday's warning. The 'disasters' came and were used as excuses to privatise and steal. It is no longer necessary to attack the Unions, they exist in name only, there are no more strikes, there is no more threat to 'management' in production.

Wrong. The disasters are baked into the capitalist system of boom and bust. They are amplified by the financialization of everything and the ensuing asset bubbles. Disasters occur when the asset bubbles inevitably burst; and the 0.01% always have plans to profit (or at least come out better than everyone else) from them. The current stock market bubble has been inflated since 2008, and it was long overdue to burst. QE, and lately Repo QE have held things together. Many of us have been waiting for it to burst ever since Trump was elected, because it seemed that TPTB would blame the collapse on Trump. Now it seems that TPTB have found a way to pop the bubble without discrediting the disastrous, proto-fascist governing style of Trump.

The government, which is difficult to distinguish from Wall St...did not summon up this crisis, on the contrary this crisis could -as TPTB know - overwhelm both government and neo-liberalism. In fact neo-liberalism, in practice is pretty well ended, not by design but by public demand for massive expenditure of moneys not borrowed at interest or pledged against the taxes.

(I already commented on neoliberalism above.) I never said the government "summoned" Covid. I said that TPTB have long since had this contingency on their radar. Bill Gates has been ranting about pandemics for over five years. He gives TED talks about it. He funds research. He holds conferences on it, like the infamous one last ?Novermber? where they held a coronavirus drill. So, the government mis-reaction is exactly what I would expect. It temporarily props up the financial system while the massive bubble of the last 12 years is unwound. The lockdowns and the need to rearrange one's life to deal with the lockdown gets in the way of people from organizing in any effective way.

A new era is opening and not because the ruling class wanted one but because it lost control of the very system that it had cobbled together to facilitate its plunder.


The crown lies in the dust, whoever picks it up will rule.

Control is a very imprecise word, but its mostly about timing. The ruling class has long understood that the deregulated neoliberal economy crashes on a regular basis. They have been propping up the current bubble for years, controlling the timing, all the while searching for a way out. And along comes covid. Rulers have the resources to create contingency plans. Bill Gates has been creating the pandemic contingency plan for at least five years. TPTB have decided to implement that plan to cover their looting in the 2008-2020 bubble. The propaganda line is that the virus is the culprit, not Wall St. crooks. The hyper-inflation is the result of the bailout, not the expected result of years of running the printing presses for QE.

Elites don't need proactive plans. They are already on top. They need reactive plans - ways to stay on top. The lockdowns are a reactive plan.

----

That's how I see things. Feel free to disagree, but I think its a matter of emphasis. We both agree about the neoliberal origins of the economic crisis. We agree that the lockdown response will make that worse. The only point of disagreement is how to react to a disease that leaves 95-98% of its victims still alive. I think there is room to differ on that.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 22 2020 19:01 utc | 607

@ 607 john brewster... is sounds like you are saying covid is the excuse for the engineered take down of wall st and the economy.. but the stock market and economy has been over rated for a very long time.. to my mind it's like the wizard of oz where more people are realizing the fake ( fed and etc) behind the screen.. how many holes in the financial system need to be witnessed for anyone but the most dense to not see this? ltcm, the accounting firms, enron, and etc. etc. 2008.. there are countless examples of this boom bust and inflate again routine for everyone to see..

i don't know that capitalism is exonerated by anyone other then the same liars to continue to perpetuate lies... for those more socially inclined, capitalism as it is presently represented by wall st, is not anything other then a grand ponzi scheme by the financial racketeers - wall st banks, imf and many in the financial community..

and a lot of this ''economy'' that gets talked about is a false economy, especially the one connected to moving money around on the table by the banks and etc.. that is not a real economy like someone doing something like growing potatoes.. it is a make believe economy and that is what so much of the present day economics is about..

i get tired those who keep on saying "the elites are running this and that and we are all supposed to be unable to address any of it" see jackrabbit posts for examples.. lets use language that gives us power rather then handing it to the sycophants for the financial world - the msm outlets for the most part..

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2020 20:23 utc | 608

b, what is the probability that a natural (ie not lab grown) global virus outbreak starts in an area (wuhan seafood market aka the wet market generally accepted as the epicentre of the outbreak) within a 20km radius of the only BSL4 lab in China (incidentally specializing in viruses)

Looking at the area of China my calculations say much less than 0.001%.

Your argument that this is a natural epidemic which just happened to start very close to the only BSL4 lab in China is on very thin ground.

It is either that China is responsible for this global epidemic or someone else (US or Israel are the only potential candidates) released the virus near China's lab.

Posted by: ancientarcher | Mar 22 2020 20:43 utc | 609

@ 609 ancientarcher... the odds of that are similar to the odds of the skripals getting " russian military grade sarc/"novichok right next to porton down in the uk..

people generally don't like to think about these coincidences...

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2020 21:03 utc | 610

it sounds like you are saying covid is the excuse for the engineered take down of wall st and the economy..

Yes.

but the stock market and economy has been over rated for a very long time..

i don't know that capitalism is exonerated by anyone other then the same liars to continue to perpetuate lies...

it is a make believe economy and that is what so much of the present day economics is about..

As I said, they have been propping up the market with QE/Repo for years, trying to come up with some way out. They're opportunists who have decided to take the opportunity that covid presented them with. No grand conspiracy theory; just one of many options in their bag of tricks.

My unstated point is that TPTB, especially fascists like to be able to claim that everything they did was "legitimate". (E.g., Hitler came to power "legitimately".) Yes, the economy is make believe. But the economy is increasingly bifurcated, just the filthy rich and the rest peasants. The rich get to write the story (and the laws).


lets use language that gives us power rather then handing it to the sycophants for the financial world - the msm outlets for the most part..

"Legitimacy" is relevant to this. People are mad about Wall St. They want to fix it; but by creating a talking point about the virus, TPTB can deflect that anger. As Caitlin Johnstone says, "its all about narrative control". There will only be a small window for fixing Wall St. in this crisis (as there was a small window after 2008). The virus narrative will allow TPTB to flap their gums all through that window.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 22 2020 21:56 utc | 611

john brester @ 611 is for james @ 608

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 22 2020 21:57 utc | 612

Posted by: ancientarcher | Mar 22 2020 20:43 utc | 609

"It is either that China is responsible for this global epidemic or someone else (US or Israel are the only potential candidates) released the virus near China's lab."

Oh man! Can't you see that such an epidemic has no one responsible? That it just happened? And if one is not able like in this case to identify properly whose dunnit (as nobody seems to be able to do that) insisting on a responsible power only shows a severe brain limitation, kind of being addicted: because my brain cannot imagine it I urge that somebody must be responsible. Not an adult brain, sorry.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 22 2020 22:05 utc | 613

@ 611 john brewster.. thanks john... we mostly agree.. where we differ is in how the transformation is going to come about.. it will be a collapse that can't be picked up and put together again as easily as the last time... and other factors - world factors like the rising power of china and russia also play into this, just exactly how, i am not so sure.. bottom line we need a complete reboot with a new software program, if i can use an analogy like that.. it might not happen this time, but it's coming.. complete collapse and building a new system from scratch is what is needed here..

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2020 22:22 utc | 614

For b @97:

Why the hostility? I think statement of probabilities are as valid in either case.

Also anyone: What are the differences between bacteria, prion,and virus?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Mar 22 2020 23:30 utc | 615

Curmudgeon @ 615

Bacteria = single celled life form that contains DNA and the machinery to reproduce.
Virus = a small amount of DNA or RNA. Must hijack the machinery of infected cell to reproduce.
Prion = a misfolded (from the normal biological configuration) protein that coerces other normal
proteins to become toxic.

Scales
Bacteria = on the order of one micron
Virus = on the order of ten nanometers (1/100th of a micron), although recently, giant virii have
been discoverd with almost as much DNA as a bacteria.
Prion = on the order of one nanometer

This kind of information is readily available on wikipedia.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 1:03 utc | 616

Thank you for your patience, jb.
By the explanation, I would think the prion is not comparable to the virus or bacteria assuming it's a mutation rather than an attacking organism. It leads into further discussion about the nature of the virus. My understanding is that the problem with the virus is not so much damage it inflicts directly, instead the damage inflicted by the host or victim immune system. I'm basing my presumption on reading about the studies of bats as disease vectors, interestingly the bat carries the infection without much negative reaction to it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Mar 23 2020 1:15 utc | 617

john brewster @607:

Elites don't need proactive plans. They are already on top. They need reactive plans - ways to stay on top. The lockdowns are a reactive plan.

While I too see a response that is gamed to advantage powerful interests, I think a transition to a different state (feudal?) is unlikely. Yet it's not outside the realm of possibility.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23 2020 1:31 utc | 618

ancientarcher @609

I agree with your logic.

There also seems to be the possibility of accidental release elsewhere (USA?, Italy?) that was covered up by calling it death from flu - something which China was accused of doing in January.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23 2020 1:36 utc | 619

"gaming the response", that's kind of where I'm going with it, our reaction may be worse than the affliction

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Mar 23 2020 1:41 utc | 620

james @:

those who keep on saying "the elites are running this and that and we are all supposed to be unable to address any of it" see jackrabbit posts for examples.

I've never said there's nothing that people can do about it. In fact I've urged people to form and support Movements for change.

And yes, elites are running things - I think that's a recognized fact. One can chose to believe the propaganda fantasies or be empowered with an understanding of political and social reality.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23 2020 1:58 utc | 621

@ 621 jr.. okay thanks... i think my diversion from your position on this is that the elites are not a unified group.. i could be wrong, but i think they are more fragmented and not able to foresee where things can go from here forward.. but yes - movements are a good starting point, until they get infiltrated by the same losers that are willing to sell out anything for a price... we'll see where this covid 19 takes us... i say their is a lot of unpredictable and unforeseen possibilities and the elites are not as unified and together as you seem to imply..

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2020 3:10 utc | 622

Curmudgeon @ 617

No offense, but from your questions and your musings, it sounds like you need to read some basic biology on the internet.

I'm not exactly where prions showed up in the covid discussion, but covid is definitely a virus. Not a prion.

Immune system responses are extremely complicated. The current understanding is that, in some cases, for unclear reasons, the immune system goes wild. This is called a "cytokine storm", because there are molecules in the immune system name cytokines. The theory is that the storm damages the tissue, which then makes it prone to bacterial pneumonia, which quickly finishes off the victim.

Here is an unrelated factoid about cytokines:

Food poisoning, among other illnesses, is caused by the release of "super-antigens" by the bacteria causing the poisoning.

Superantigens (SAgs) are the most powerful T cell mitogens ever discovered. Concentrations of less than 0·1 pg/ml of a bacterial superantigen are sufficient to stimulate the T lymphocytes in an uncontrolled manner resulting in fever, shock and death [1–3].

- Bacterial superantigens

So, it might be that cytokine storms happen in patients that are harboring bacteria, which release super-antigens.

The bottom line here is that this is extremely complex science. Given the questions you are asking, if you are really interested in the topic, you need to take a basic biology course.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 4:20 utc | 623

james @ 614

Glad to hear we are generally in agreement.

we need a complete reboot with a new software program, if i can use an analogy like that.. it might not happen this time, but it's coming.. complete collapse and building a new system from scratch is what is needed here..

Well, its clear that the CIA has been honing its democracy-destruction tool kit since 1953. Sometime around 2001, it became possible to completely nullify genuine democracy in first world countries by a combination of media control and Reichstag Fire-like provocations that cause security to trump democracy.

Whatever the new system might be, it ain't gonna be the simple-minded, easily hackable mess we have today.

I wrote up a version of my ideas back in 2008. You can find it on the wayback machine by concatening the following two lines in your browser search window:

https://web.archive.org/web/20090802184436/
http://www.poly-ticker.org:80/index.php?title=Poly-Ticker_Home_Page

The enclosed "http:" prevents me from using the "A HREF..." construct.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 4:29 utc | 624

@ Hausmeister | Mar 22 2020 22:05 utc | 613

That's exactly my point. This just didn't happen by itself. The viral epidemic just didn't start because of the natural evolution of a virus because of people eating bats which just happens to be 20km from the only BSL4 lab in the country which happened to be researching viruses. These sort of coincidences don't happen. However, you, like b, can stop thinking and try to push that agenda. That works! But only for your brain. You just need to look at the location where the epidemic first spread, the epicentre, to know that this virus aint natural

Posted by: ancientarcher | Mar 23 2020 6:20 utc | 625

Posted by: ancientarcher | Mar 23 2020 6:20 utc | 625

The US sports team stayed at the Wuhan Oriental Hotel. After 5 of these soldiers exhibited breathing issues, they infected 42 Oriental Hotel staffers, who then infected 7 animal market workers (perhaps when they delivered meat to the hotel kitchen?). Read here: https://www.unz.com/article/last-man-standing/

Posted by: kiwiklown | Mar 23 2020 10:46 utc | 626

James--
"that the elites are not a unified group.. i could be wrong, but i think they are more fragmented and not able to foresee where things can go from here forward.."

O that I am in complete agreement. Some friends of mine are sure there is some kind of mastermind group controlling everything and it is frustrating talking with them.

EG; The elite have just seen their net worth plunge by billions in two weeks. Hard to figure why they would have planned anything like that.

Posted by: arby | Mar 23 2020 12:19 utc | 627

arby @ 627

The elite have just seen their net worth plunge by billions in two weeks. Hard to figure why they would have planned anything like that.

They didn't plan it. It was inevitable that the bubble that started in 2008 was going to collapse. They knew that, at some point, there was going to be a massive correction. So, some of them (I don't believe in a mastermind group) decided the virus was a good excuse to pop the bubble in a manner that blamed "an act of nature/god" instead of the greed of the 1%.

As we saw, some of the insider hirelings (i.e., Congress critters) did act on their knowledge to cash out. I'm sure others did the same.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 13:17 utc | 628

james, arby: the elites are not a unified group

They're remarkably unified on certain things: neoliberal capitalism, plutocracy, favorable tax regimes (including access to off-shore hideaways), zionism/empire (two sides of the same coin), globalism (economic integration), police state control.

Minor differences and wealthy people with quirky views are often played up so that it seems there's less unity than there is.

Is there a single group that "runs things"? Not on a micro-manager kind of way as this 'conspiracy theory' suggests but it would be foolish to ignore the hierarchical nature of government and even more foolish to think that the most powerful people don't collude to advance their own interests. In particular, we find certain 'untouchables' with great power and amazing longevity of service like Hillary, McCain (before he passed away), Bush (before he passed away), Mueller, Biden, Soros, etc.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23 2020 14:00 utc | 629

john brewster @ 623
Prion only came into the conversation once that I'm aware, circa #50. It's not that important other than the damage it causes like bacterial infections.

When the author expresses the need to defend itself against attack, like the accusation of downplay, the reaction is not unlike an immune response to a virus infection in that no real threat exists. The author hasn't downplayed it, but is provoked into a defensive response to the attack. Downplaying the seriousness of the threat is actually a good thing as in the old saying the only thing to fear is fear itself. The virus is not our biggest concern. Much of the commentary on this thread emphasizes a much greater threat.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Mar 23 2020 14:14 utc | 630

ancientarcher | Mar 23 2020 6:20 utc | 625

Both possibilities might (!) have happened. You do not know what really happened, I do not know. But without any real reason that you can show and defend, just from a vague guess, you insist it must have been like this. Therefore my impression: this guy is not able to accept facts! „Only 20 kms away...“ - are you kiddin?
The claim of
kiwiklown | Mar 23 2020 10:46 utc | 626
should be disputed, in case this is possible right now. I do not know. According to Occam's razor based probabilities it is more likely that this is another construct. Unless proven as true. I understand b within this context: the danger to be ridiculed is ways too high.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 23 2020 16:19 utc | 631

@ 624 john brewster.. the cia needs to be broken up... if anything serves the 1% so well, it is this...

@ arby and jackrabbit.. thanks for your take on all this.. jr - i continue to believe we can make a better world and that greed is not the upmost concern for most people... and - the big and - eventually everyone including this neurotic 1% will see it too.. but it takes time.. i just don't think they are a unified bunch.. they are too messed up in the head to be unified is my take.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2020 18:39 utc | 632

Hello b, perhaps it is time to retract some of your claims above:

There is zero evidence that the virus is from a Chinese or U.S. or other (weapon) laboratory and the claim actually makes no sense. The genome of the virus consists of more then 23,000 'letters'. It is significantly different than the genome of other known viruses. (Added:) It is not lab made:

We offer a perspective on the notable features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and discuss scenarios by which they could have arisen. Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.

To artificially create such a complex entity and to test all its variants would have been a program of the size of the Manhattan project and would have cost billions.

Weapon researchers are sane people with a limited budget. They look for methods to defeat an enemy. A virus that affects all humans indiscriminately but kills mostly very old ones would have no military value.

The authors of that article failed to notice another, earlier, article in that same Nature that makes precisely the claim that they did engineer a manipulated virus just like that in the laboratory:

https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

Letter
Published: 09 November 2015

A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence

Vineet D Menachery, Boyd L Yount Jr, Kari Debbink, Sudhakar Agnihothram, Lisa E Gralinski, Jessica A Plante, Rachel L Graham, Trevor Scobey, Xing-Yi Ge, Eric F Donaldson, Scott H Randell, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Wayne A Marasco, Zhengli-Li Shi & Ralph S Baric

Nature Medicine volume 21, pages1508–1513(2015)

Abstract

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV underscores the threat of cross-species transmission events leading to outbreaks in humans. Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations1. Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV. Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.

In the recent Nature article that you quoted, they claim that:

Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used19. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone20.

But apart from "it would probably have been done in some way that we know about and we don't so it isn't" being a rather tenuous argument, their reference #20 for that claim predates the letter announcing the engineered virus. In a fast moving field such as molecular genetics, referencing the state of the art from more than half a decade ago as if representative for the current possibilities is ludicrous.

Nota bene, the main authors of the engineered corona virus are based at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. Not Wuhan, China. Although listed in the credits, Wuhan was merely the source of the bat virus base material.

In light of the above points, it looks like you made a false claim. I have no doubt that you did so in good faith, trusting the authors of a Nature article. I will not speculate on the good faith and due diligence of those authors, but I will ask you to correct your record on this issue.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 26 2020 14:10 utc | 633

We can't assume that the crisis is over in China:

http://shanghaiist.com/2020/03/27/urns-in-wuhan-far-exceed-death-toll-raising-more-questions-about-chinas-tally/

A single mortuary has more than double the number of urns as compared to the official number of deaths in Wuhan. That is just one of seven mortuaries in the city.

Posted by: Mark Sanders | Mar 30 2020 1:15 utc | 634

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.