Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2020

Debunking Some Ideas About The Virus

We still do not know for certain where the virus that causes the current pandemic has come from. China's first known Covid-19 case has now been traced back to mid November. While the virus is most likely a natural creation the U.S. State Department officials now point to alleged insecurities at the safety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan which did research on similar viruses. It spreads unfounded rumors that the virus escaped from there. But the U.S. itself has many such laboratories with long documented security issues and there is reasonable suspicion that the real patient zero case has happened in the U.S.

Science will eventually solve that conundrum. Until it does there is little to gain from further speculation about it.


There is a loose group of people who think that the current pandemic is some conspiracy with a nefarious purpose.

Some of them still compare the disease caused by the novel coronavirus to a flu. Some doubt that current restrictions of their personal liberties are legitimate and justified. Still others doubt the value of masks (Yesterday I deleted a comment that argued against masks.)

It is probably a waste of time to counter the arguments of such people. But I will give it a try.

The graphs show the normal mortality rates in the England and Wales and in New York City and the current deviations from it. The flu does not create such graphs. Nor do the lock-downs.

England & Wales - Weekly Mortality - Blue: historic range, Red: 2020

Source: Ed Conway / Skynews - bigger
New York City - Deaths by Month 2000-2020

Source: NY Times - bigger

A lot of the currently occurring death get misclassified. This happens in both directions. Death caused by an underlying disease may be classified as Covid-19 death if the person was tested positive. But the extreme increase of 'cardiac arrests' in New York City is certainly related to Covid-19 even as those deaths are not counted as such:

New Yorkers are making four times as many emergency calls about cardiac arrests as they did last year [...] about 200 of these heart-attack victims are being pronounced dead at the scene each day, up from around 30 this time last year.

 

New York, Cardiac Arrests

Source: Economist - bigger

Some people in 'western' nations fear for their freedom and mistrust their current governments when they order a lock-down. There must be some nefarious purpose behind it. But why have the governments of China, Iran and Russia ordered similar measures? Are they part of a global conspiracy? I don't think so. Lock-downs are simply a sensible method to slow the spread of epidemics. They have been used with more or less success for hundreds of years.

Personal freedom is not an unlimited right. Diana Johnstone has given a convincing argument for its limits. One's freedom and rights end where they infringe on the freedom and rights of others:

[V]irtually all key aspects of any civilized society go contrary to the absolutism of individual rights. Every civilized society has some sort of legal system, some basic rules that everyone is expected to follow. Most civilized societies have a public education and (except for the United States) a public health insurance system designed to benefit the whole population. These elements of civilization include constraints on individual freedom.

The benefits to each individual of living in a civilized society make these constraints acceptable to just about everybody. The health of the individual depends on the health of the community, which is why everyone in most Western countries accepts a single payer health insurance system. The only exception is the United States, where the egocentricities of Ayn Rand are widely read as serious thought.

It is without doubt that masks are helpful to limit the spreading of the epidemic. An infected person begins to spread viruses by breathing, talking, singing or coughing on day 2 after the infection. Only on day 5 or 6 will the symptoms of the disease set in. Some people will never feel symptoms but can still infect others usually up to day 10 after the infection.

Masks stop the viruses one sheds from reaching other persons. They do this effectively.

Without mask

Source: Flow analyses to validate SARS-CoV-2 protective masks
bigger

 

With mask

Source: Flow analyses to validate SARS-CoV-2 protective masks
bigger

The German government is currently evaluating when to lift the current lock-down. It's science advisors are pushing for making it mandatory to wear a mask in all public settings. It is likely that the government will follow their advice. The above pictures show that this makes sense.

 

 

 

Posted by b on April 14, 2020 at 18:12 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Research saying nCOV/COVID-19 is naturally occurring because it does something which existing science had no idea existed: source


Existing computer models predicted that the new coronavirus would not bind to ACE2 as well as the SARS virus. However, to their surprise, the researchers found that the spike protein of the new coronavirus actually bound far better than computer predictions, likely because of natural selection on ACE2 that enabled the virus to take advantage of a previously unidentified alternate binding site.

The hard core conspiracy theorists are just going to say that "weapons science is more advanced than public science", but whaddya gonna do?

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 14 2020 18:23 utc | 1


It is probably a waste of time to counter the arguments of such people. But I will give it a try.

You are right!

Waste of time = as it the "Billmon Comments" blog "Moon of Alabama"

Posted by: DM | Apr 14 2020 18:37 utc | 2

Prof. Sandro Giannini of the University of Bologna says the problem with Covid 19 is of a cardiovascular nature not respiratory (VTE or venous thrombo embolism).

Intubation is useless. The solution is anti-inflammatory drugs.

A doctor in Haute Savoie, France uses macrolide antibiotics combined with C3G, apparently very succesfully.

It is early days yet, but hopefully this is good news!

Posted by: Headache | Apr 14 2020 18:42 utc | 3

'b'

There you go making good sense out of a miasma of nonsense.

Rationality from a German. Use to be a standard in the world. Making a comeback at MOA.

We thank you for cutting out the crap and posting straight, sensible thoughts.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 14 2020 18:46 utc | 4

Thank you for your down to Earth good sense, b. It saves lives - and pours love on Humanity.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 14 2020 18:47 utc | 5

The day the shark was jumped...a blog questioning official narratives deleting contrarian ideas. Nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: mia | Apr 14 2020 18:48 utc | 6

thanks b!

Posted by: annie | Apr 14 2020 18:51 utc | 7

2 - "The question seems to be whether or not it's necessary to plunge the world into a depression to save a few thousand lives..."

That's a narrow argument. It's more accurate to state that a depression/recession is an inevitable feature of a pandemic and pandemic response. The option is suffering the pandemic/lockdown with a functioning system waiting dormant, or to fully collapse the system (i.e. crash the medical system) as well as endure the virus. The death and illness toll amongst medical personnel, public transportation employees, et al would be much wider distributed if there had been no response. A situation where people were forced/pressured to work and to risk bringing the virus back home where family members might have prexisting conditions which would put them in danger - that's not the type of decision a civilized society forces on people.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 14 2020 18:55 utc | 8

I object to policies that are cruel and ineffective, like banning family members from visiting elderly care homes while the regular staff who have much closer contact with residents are allowed to come and go. Instead of workable effective policies we have "Obey Or Else!" because that is the mindset of nation states built on a monopoly on violence.

Of course care home residents need protection, that means they need care workers who live on premises instead of coming and going. Those care workers could include volunteer family members, many of whom would very much like to help but are prohibited. There would need to be provision for the families of care workers and volunteers. Maybe this is too complicated, but maybe we should try it and find out.

The growing pool of recovered virus patients are an extremely valuable resource that is completely wasted. That is unlikely to change, because the biggest failure I see is the complete lack of imagination and inability to develop solutions that work. It's just so much easier for brain-dead leaders to make arbitrary but ineffective rules and bark orders. For modern bureaucrats, it's the rules that count; the results are irrelevant.

There seems to be little interest in what is the actually policy in the US and UK. For China and others, the policy goal is to eradicate the virus. For other nations, the stated policy is fuzzy but the actions clearly show the policy is to let it burn until some magic vaccine makes an appearance. Do other posters here think this is a good policy?

I support test, treat, and trace. That means "fever clinics" and corona sanatoriums. That does not mean huge fines for a person in the park by themselves after 5 PM.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 14 2020 18:59 utc | 9

jayc | Apr 14 2020 18:55 utc | 11

There is also the point that almost everyone seemed to be convinced before the word covid-19 became current, that the world was heading rapidly into a recession

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 14 2020 19:02 utc | 10

I don't think there's a philosophical or intellectual problem in the West about the COVID-19. The problem is political.

Trump’s empty promises meant for reelection, not to fight virus

But people like Trump only have such room for political maneuvre because there's an open air class war being waged in the West right now.

On one side, there's the petit bourgeoisie, to which two months of lockdown will mean devastation.

On the other side, there the capitalist class, to which the devastation of the petit bourgeoisie could mean the creation of new vital space for a new cycle of accumulation of capital.

The dominant classes are, therefore, divided.

And there's a simple, but deeper, reason for that: the anti-working class reforms after 2008 stopped working for capitalism. The working class came down to a stage where it was so exploited that even the extra surplus valued taken from them was not enough to valorize the preexisting capital.

In the abscence of the unviversal source of value (the working class) and a black swan event (the pandemic), the capitalists then turned one against the other, in a fraticide war.

This also split the working classes. The workers who are unionized or full-time, who have more consolidated rights and are much better paid, sided with the capitalist class (big business), because they simply don't want to die needlessly from COVID-19. They can afford to stay at home, so they are pro-lockdown.
The workers who are precarious (gig jobs, subemployed, non-registered) - also known as the lumpenproletariat - sided with the petit bourgeoisie, because they live paycheck to paycheck and don't have any rights or benefits, so they can't afford to stay at home: for them, hunger is a greater danger than the COVID-19.

All of this points to a situation in the West where there's a gigantic vaccum at the so-called left side of the political spectrum - the "socialist" side. It is the abscence of a revolutionary alternative that allowed big business to, at the same time, lock the whole capitalist society to a standstill and killing the petit bourgoisie slowly and with ease.

Long story short: it's not that many people - including many commenters here (most of which are Americans) - can't understand that masks reduce infections, that hydroxycloroquine is not a viable treatment, that the COVID-19 is at least ten times deadlier than the common flu, that there isn't an alien conspiracy or that China isn't to blame. It's that they don't have the option to understand that. They cannot afford to be rational. Class interests supplant everything.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2020 19:03 utc | 11

@Dave Thompson #10
I can't speak for England, but every other source I've looked at: New York, Italy, China, etc - it takes 2 years for the mortality stats to "finalize".
Trying to compare past years to 2020 is utterly pointless, if this is true.
One way would be to look at the revisions to the official numbers, over time.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 14 2020 19:05 utc | 12

Philosopher Larken Rose, in his ''manual'' on ''How to be a Successful Tyrant'', written 15 years ago: "Chapter 2 Exploiting fear. Almost all oppression via propaganda is based upon scaring people, and then presenting a false choice, where the people can choose either to do what you want them to do, or face some unknown, often purely fictional horror. This is not the method of the common thug, which can be summarized as ''do this or I will hurt you''. A successful modern tyrant never presents himself as the thing to be afraid of, as doing so would obviously create resentment and hatred in the peasantry, and that leads to resistance. Every ''thing to be feared'', with which you terrorize your peasants, must be presented as some separate, outside evil, that only you can save them from.

You must present the simple choice between obedience to you, and the threat of some unpleasant happening, which does not appear to be of your doing, and which you pretend to lament the existence of. In short, you must deceive and scare the citizens into voluntarily giving up their freedom. ''The people never give up their liberty but under some delusion.'' - Edmund Burke

A simple example would be making up a plague of some sort ;) , assuring people that millions are doomed to die, and then claiming that giving you a lot of money and control is the only hope of averting disaster. Or perhaps, instead of making up a disease, you can pick a real disease, grossly exaggerate the risk it poses to the peasants ;) , whip them into a frenzy, and then present yourself as their only hope for salvation. Which, of course, will require you to be given much wealth and power. Even the common flu ;) , can be used to spread alarm and panic in the peasantry.''
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4LtEciQUF8

Posted by: AlainJ | Apr 14 2020 19:07 utc | 13

@Trailer Trash #12
Well, the US is building a yuuuuge resource then. /sarc

But more seriously: while plasma transplants apparently work, how exactly would this valuable resource be used? For the public good? For profit?

Just curious as to your thinking.

I would also note that plasma transplants to confer antibodies is simply a very low scale way of vaccinating...

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 14 2020 19:07 utc | 14

@ #2 jayc

It's more accurate to state that a depression/recession is an inevitable feature of ... capitalism, which depends on repeated cycles of pump and dump to funnel money upward. Watch who benefits from "relief" and bailouts, and watch all the bankrupted businesses and properties get snatched up for pennies on the dollar by the 1%.

What the pandemic shows is exactly how fragile and completely unrelated to humanity this bullshit construct is.

Posted by: Noah Way | Apr 14 2020 19:12 utc | 15

Well documented and persistent Chinese mIsInfOrMaTioN CAAAAMPAIGN ! ! ! ! (just ask Gordon Chang)

How many times have we heard that we in the U.S. must fight this vicious attempt by the Chinese accusing us creating this virus? The funny thing is that outside of ONE tweet from ONE Chinese foreign minister, I don't recall the Chinese bringing it up after that. But this is being represented as the Chinese schwerpunkt.

Perhaps someone may find one or two other statements but I bet that we have mentioned it 100 times more than the Chinese because it suites the 'we are victims' narrative.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 14 2020 19:15 utc | 16

>But more seriously: while plasma transplants apparently work,
>how exactly would this valuable resource be used? For the
>public good? For profit?

I'm thinking about something much more practical, like a "Civilian Rescue Corp" whose members can't spread the virus so they can safely work with either vulnerable people or people who are potentially contagious.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 14 2020 19:17 utc | 17

The Taiwanese harvard boy that runs the SCMP might be telling a whopper on patient one.
Will wait for something more official on that. No intermediate host been found as yet.
https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/the-raffles-conversation/old-school-newsman

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 19:20 utc | 18

Tob Naissur 2 "plunge the world into a depression to save a few thousand lives, most of which were an illness away from dying anyways"

They are the people now dying in countries where the hospital system is not over run. Left to simply run its course, the lives would move back to include those with far lesser illnesses and far more years ahead of them.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 19:27 utc | 19

Do I believe that Iraq had weapons of mass distruction — no
Do I beleave that Russia used novachoc on the Skripals—- no
Do I beleave the Syrian army used chlorine on the rebels—— no
Do I beleave Trump and U.K. Tory’s would press the bio- button—-yes
Do I beleave that US @UK lie about Russia, Iran, China and the Middle East—- yes
Do I beleave the US @ U.K. want to reduce the world population by 50% —-yes
Ditto their own populations——-yes
We’re dealing with three viruses here —- coronavirus, internet/MSM misinformation and worse of all psychological denial.
The last of those is what is distroying society.
Two things spread this virus ———-
(1) How dense the population is.
And
(2) How dense the population is.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 14 2020 19:37 utc | 20

Has anyone been able to find the CDC data behind the NY Times graphic? The lack of data between the vertical red line and the prior observed data really needs some explanation.
TIA.

Posted by: CT | Apr 14 2020 19:37 utc | 21

@Trailer Trash #21
Ah, you mean just as warm body labor.
Well, why wouldn't these "safe" workers charge high rates for their "post-coronavirus" status?
Would they even need to be subsidized as part of some modern CCC?
I'm guessing you don't advocate forcing them to do the jobs that are actually needed: like processing meat, picking fruits and vegetables, etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 14 2020 19:40 utc | 22

I am still awaiting a sensible discussion (anywhere not just here) on whether suppression actually makes sense as a policy. As opposed to a null policy (which is what herd immunity is). Does the longer economic depression kill more people younger than the Covid lives saved from suppression, and does suppression just flatten the infection curve* or does it actually lengthen it so that just as many get infected and the opportunity costs of devoting hospitals to Covid for months and months become very high. (Closed health services, the psychology of unemployment = suicide, and just the known wealth effects on health all come with suppression).

The unit of such a discussion would be QALYs. If there are government science based comparisons of Suppression with the null policy, they are certainly calculated in terms of QALYs (quality-adjusted life years).

If you haven't heard of a QALYs analysis (and I haven't) you can be sure that no existing analysis supports current policies.
Either they haven't done one (unlikely) or it doesn't come out clearly on the side of suppression).

What we have instead is policy by Overton's window.
Gotta be seen to be doing something.


*b used to do a nice chart with suppression showing a flatter but much longer curve. We don't see that here or anywhere else now.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Apr 14 2020 19:41 utc | 23

Thank you Bernhard. It must be hard to take this stand, when obvious nutjobs like @3 "Hannibal" (LOL) overflood this bar.
Critical thinking is the opposite of believing one's prejudice and world view.
It is factual based thinking with a scientific method.

Now go and burn down a cell tower "Hannibal". Or MAYBE invest some time to learn even the very first thing about the science behind 5G (which is btw just and evolution of 4G, and all the tech behind it is open to examine.. IF one has at least a small level if knowledge in this field).

Alt. Media has become what MSM wants us to be. People believing 5G is somekind of bioweapon, or that Ncovid2 is a bioweapon, without a shred of credibel evidence, all the while disregarding each and every existing, hard evidence to the contrary.

People like this are MSM and the establishments biggest assests in the fight for the narrative, and easily the biggest factor, why many of new Alt-Media readers are thinking that Alt. Media is actually always as bad as MSM claims.

Bravo.

Just sheep following the official narrative, only always thinking the opposite, and believing to be "woke". Yeah. Unable to see the world behind a borderline black and white world view.

So, thanks Bernhard for staying true to your own intellect, instead of appeasing those, who obviously are beyond any factual, scientifially based thought process.

As you said, there may be no sense in reasoning with them.

Though many just are discontent with the official narrative, but unable to truely reflect and scientifially process information. So the get trapped by the very first Alex Jones type media they find.
Thats the reason you only see a small selection of those pseudo-theorys. It is always what their bubble told them.
Sadly there are still many of them, who are otherwise pretty intelligent, but because of underlying psychosis or other disorders are trapped in the rabbit hole. (Pun intended)

I just hope this is not beyond repair. They are a LOUD but SMALL minority. Most people just dont comment when they see a thread full of this pseudo-theorys that anyone who has high school degeree should know to be BS.
So it is important for the majority to speak up. And not let these small but loud people (who just scream for attention and HELP) destroy what Alt. media could have become.

They need help. And i say this with compassion. If you have someone close to you, who is trapped in this Alex Jones bubble, give him some attention. Most of those people i met just want to communicate how isolated, discontent, and offen psychologically broken they are.

But push back against these Alex Jones BS. Most even accept and admit after a few minutes, that these so called "theorys" are nothing but BS. A substitute for not being able to communicate what TRULY drives them mad.
Show them compassion for their underlying (psychologial) problems, and they will now only be grateful to you and even totally free themselves from such a psychotic state, but also give yourself a great experience:
That compassion can change a persons course completely.

THough compassion needs honesty. Not complicicy. And only honesty, often brutal honesty, can free oneselves and others.
Even it is hard. I know it is.

PS: Another thanks to you Bernhard, seeing that SST now spreads the theory and near fact, that China made this virus as a weapon, and on top of that in the US Universitys.
Unbelieveable. And that comes from a former long time intelligence analyst (NOT the colonel but Larry Johnson).
MoA looks now even better in comparison. ;)

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Apr 14 2020 19:42 utc | 24

LOL. My unconsiousness gave SST to much credit:
;)
"PS: Another thanks to you Bernhard, seeing that SST now spreads the theory AS near fact,...."

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Apr 14 2020 19:49 utc | 25

More evidence that "Stay Home Or Else" policies without an effective test, treat, and trace system is already a complete failure:


In perhaps the most sobering reminder yet of the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the San Antonio Food Bank aided about 10,000 households Thursday

Please look at the lead photo for the story. If that doesn't set one's hair on fire, then one must be an ice cube, or bald.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 14 2020 19:49 utc | 26

The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the UK has been rising at a steady rate since mid-March, with no big spikes in the graph (see https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/). In stark contrast, there's a huge jump in overall deaths in Britain in one week (between the end of March and the start of April) according to the official statistics released today.

Also, the number of these additional deaths in England and Wales for that week (6,713 more than the five year average) is about twice the official number of COVID-19 deaths (3475) in the same week for all of the UK.

Many of the recent deaths therefore do not appear to be caused by COVID, but the unprecedented rise does indeed indicate some kind of correlation with COVID.

This raises the question: Were the thousands of extra deaths caused not by the corona virus but as a result of the lockdown which began on 23 March? The sudden disruption of normal life could have had fatal consequences.

Posted by: Brendan | Apr 14 2020 19:49 utc | 27

What is SST? I have seen it referenced frequently.

Posted by: David F | Apr 14 2020 19:52 utc | 28

"While the virus is most likely a natural creation"
Stated without any supporting "evidence".

Would be cool to see a balanced analysis.

Apparently it is commonly understood technique by those who pursue such things that a biologically agent would be a modification of a naturally existing same. This then would be tested and refined on a test population (reservoir) - which gives it the features of being of natural origin. So what could lead someone to claim it is "most likely a natural creation"?

It is our nature that we prefer to hear explanation which confirm our beliefs.

Why it makes me uncomfortable, I would wish to pursue the truth.

Posted by: jared | Apr 14 2020 19:55 utc | 29

>I'm guessing you don't advocate forcing them to do the jobs that
>are actually needed: like processing meat, picking fruits and
>vegetables, etc.

Good pay, sure, but more important is their social status. During disasters, most people are eager to help, if given the chance. Force is not necessary. Is this not the biggest global catastrophe since 1945?

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 14 2020 19:57 utc | 30

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 14 2020 18:23 utc | 1

Existing computer models predicted that the new coronavirus would not bind to ACE2 as well as the SARS virus. However, to their surprise, the researchers found that the spike protein of the new coronavirus actually bound far better than computer predictions, likely because of natural selection on ACE2 that enabled the virus to take advantage of a previously unidentified alternate binding site.

This claim has already been debunked!


GOD OR MAN - WHO CREATED COVID-19?

I was about to write a long piece on why I believe COVID-19 was created in a laboratory. Or at least why the proof offered that it is "zoonotic" is bogus. Here is a draft, partly translated by Google from Finnish.

The closest known relative found in nature to the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes corona fever is the bat SARS virus "RaTG13" subsequently isolated from a Chinese bat collected in 2013. The lethality and virulence of the mew virus are caused by two "copy-paste" style edits or changes to the genome. For a simple presentation of the changes see this story by the Sydney Morning Herald from two weeks week ago: The perfect virus: two gene tweaks that turned COVID-19 into a killer.

  1. The adhesion of the viral spike protein to the human ACE2 receptor has been improved. Better infectivity has been obtained by replacing the RNA sequence of the receptor-binding domain with the corresponding RNA sequence of the SARS virus found in pangolin.
  2. In order for the virus to penetrate the cell, the spike protein must be cut into two parts. Coronaviruses often use host cell enzymes for this. MERS virus researchers found that effective penetration is obtained with the human enzyme furin. The motif recognized by furin is found in the MERS spike protein at the cleavage site. A four amino acid long sequence "PRRA" has been added to the cleavage site of the SARS-COV-2 peak protein, which causes furin to cleave the protein when it is attached to the ACE2 receptor.

Both changes are such that a malevolent weapons engineer could have done on the basis of the 2019 science and knowledge. It may also be that they were born through natural evolution, especially if the coronavirus has been able to spread in the human population for some time.

Conspiracy theorists have accused virus and weapons laboratories of developing and releasing COVID-19. The scientific community has had a need to prove and prove that the virus is the result of natural evolution. The most notable publication on the subject is the letter sent by Kristian G. Andersen and partners to Nature Medicine. See The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. The key conclusions of the publication had however already been proved wrong before they were even published.

Andersen & al. relies on a study published by a group at the University of Minnesota at the end of January: Receptor Recognition by the Novel Coronavirus from Wuhan: an Analysis Based on the Decade-Long Structural Studies of SARS Coronavirus.

The group attempted to improve the adhesion of the bat SARS spike protein to the ACE2 receptor with computer simulations. The simulations did not produce anything resembling the SARS-COV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Andersen et al. concluded that weapons engineers could not have created the virus in a laboratory, as computer simulations would unlikely have produced anything like SARS-COV-2.

Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation.

However, as early as February 16, the same research team from the University of Minnesota had produced another study found the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-COV-2 spike protein infection structure to be identical to that of a related SARS virus found in pangolins. See: Structural basis of receptor recognition by SARS-CoV-2.

The study was published on March 30 and it overturns the basis for the conclusion of Andersen et al.. SARS-COV-2 is however not derived from the pangolin SARS as it is more closely related to the 2013 bat SARS (RaTG13). There must have been a cut-and-paste crossover event in which a fragment of the pangolin virus genome has been implanted into the bat virus. The cut-and-paste operation is easy to do in the laboratory, but RNA viruses have been found to exchange genetic material in nature.

A group from the University of Minnesota also studied the adhesion of various spike proteins. Synthesized spike protein gene sequences for RaTG13, SARS, and SARS-COV-2 were ordered from the GenScript and then inserted into a Sf9 cell line using pFastBac plasmids. The monoclonal proteins obtained were mixed with human ACE2 receptor proteins in a test tube. The SARS-COV-2 spike protein adhered 4–10-fold more tightly than any of the other spike proteins.

It would therefore be very possible that findings similar to the studies now published would have been made out of the public in a virus laboratory even before the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. biological weapons program has several laboratories around Eurasia. The best known is a laboratory in Georgia named after Senator Dick Lugar. Presumably, U.S. laboratory databases have a much broader collection of forms of SARS virus found in bats and pangolins than is found in open databases. It is likely that the SARS-COV-2 strain and the receptor-binding domain of its spike protein have also been collected.

The other edit is the furin cleavage site. There is a large corpus of studies on the benefits of a furin cleavage site in MERS and SARS-like viruses published over the last 15 years, including studies where a furin cleavage site is artificially inserted into the SARS virus. See for example this study from 2006: Furin cleavage of the SARS coronavirus spike glycoprotein enhances cell–cell fusion but does not affect virion entry

To investigate whether proteolytic cleavage at the basic amino acid residues, were it to occur, might facilitate cell–cell fusion activity, we mutated the wild-type SARS-CoV glycoprotein to construct a prototypic furin recognition site (RRSRR) at either position.

None of the arguments put forward against the laboratory origin of COVID-19 convince me. The origin of COVID-19 is difficult or impossible to prove. The scientific community has however concluded that COVID-19 was not born from scratch in Wuhan in the fall of 2019.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 14 2020 20:02 utc | 31

"There is a lose group of people who think that the current pandemic is some conspiracy with a nefarious purpose."

You should not necessarily be so dismissive of "conspiracy" or alternative viewpoints, especially those concerning the establishment of a 'new world order'. The James Corbett video Episode 375 – Corona World Order does an excellent job of joining the dots to expose the agendas of those with a vested interest in leveraging this crisis. It is a fully referenced/cited video based on publicly available information, so falls the conspiracy smell test.

You ought to do yourself a favour and at least watch the video so you will not be surprised when you wake up one day to find you are living in the totalitarian police state.

Posted by: ajm | Apr 14 2020 20:06 utc | 32

I recommend reading what this smart and knowledgeable woman, who plays a very significant role in the 9/11 truth movement, has to say:
https://ahtribune.com/world/covid-19/3991-coronavirus-new-pearl-harbor.html

Posted by: JB | Apr 14 2020 20:06 utc | 33

It's not a matter of saving a "few thousand lives." If the the virus ran rampant and uncontained it could be more than 100 million.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Apr 14 2020 20:09 utc | 34

"...outside of ONE tweet from ONE Chinese foreign minister, I don't recall the Chinese bringing it up after that." --Christian J Chuba @20

One tweet is all that is needed when it has the power of truth behind it. It sometimes takes mountains of lies to bury the single utterance of the truth, which is why we see the frantic deflections and projections from the empire and its Mockingbird mass media.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 14 2020 20:14 utc | 35

> Posted by: JB | Apr 14 2020 20:06 utc | 38: "You ought to do yourself a favour and at least watch the video so you will not be surprised when you wake up one day to find you are living in the totalitarian police state."

Further to that, a most interesting article by Alexander Dugin: Pandemic and the Politics of Survival: The Horizons of a New Type of Dictatorship.

Posted by: Lohmann | Apr 14 2020 20:17 utc | 36

The Nature or Nurture debate should not be dismissed so easily !
It is the most important question of all, relivant as to the trust we can place, in those we are asking to solve the worse disarster mankind has ever known.
By their deeds ye shall know them !

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 14 2020 20:19 utc | 37

@24 Henry Brewer | Apr 14 2020 19:27 utc | 24

Henry, thanks for posting that excellent link.
Discusses that there is ongoing testing of on the subject of engineered virus and points out that it is somewhat controversial and benefits exist but have been limited, but does not go to any length to explain why it is needed.

Likely at this point, it cannot be stopped (only taken from view), but we should not be over surprised when the day comes that such a thing is released on us - is a matter of when.

In fact I suspect a bright and earnest guy such as gates would be seeking to vaccinate us by releasing a virus into the community.

Posted by: jared | Apr 14 2020 20:20 utc | 38

Wikipedia

In 2005, a group including researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology published research into the origin of the SARS coronavirus, finding that China's horseshoe bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses.[7] Continuing this work over a period of years, researchers from the Institute sampled thousands of horseshoe bats in locations across China, isolating over 300 bat coronavirus sequences.[8]

In 2015, a team including scientists from the Institute published successful research on whether a bat coronavirus could be made to infect HeLa. The team engineered a hybrid virus, combining a bat coronavirus with a SARS virus that had been adapted to grow in mice and mimic human disease. The hybrid virus was able to infect human cells.[9][10]

The relevant article https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

The authors https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283639823_A_SARS-like_cluster_of_circulating_bat_coronaviruses_shows_potential_for_human_emergence

Vineet D Menachery - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kari Debbink - Bowie State University
Lisa E Gralinski - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Rachel L Graham - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Xingyi Ge - College of Biology
Eric F. Donaldson - Food and Drug Administration
Scott H Randell - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wayne A Marasco - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Zhengli Shi - Wuhan Institute Of Virology
Ralph S Baric - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Boyd L Yount
Antonio Lanzavecchia
Trevor Scobey
Jessica A Plante
Sudhakar Agnihothram

The 2015 chimaera looks to have Made in the USA stamped all over it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 20:23 utc | 39

Yes.

In fact, the lockdown is actively saving lives, as there are fewer deaths from workplace, violence and car accidents:

Lives or livelihoods?

Because, let's get real: nobody is going to starve to death thanks to the lockdowns. This "we're going to starve" is pure petit bourgeois fearmongering. The essential services and goods are still circulating as normal - there's still water in your tap and electricity is still on. The supermarkets and grocery stores are still open. In fact, in many American states, many other services are deemed "essential" and still opened.

Like I said, the debate of lockdown vs herd immunity is purely political. Science is already strongly pro-lockdown.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2020 20:41 utc | 40

All very well for the German Gov't to make wearing masks obligatory, but i have been going to Chemists for over 6 weeks and cannot get one. In Turkey they are giving them out for free i hear. How can the German Gov't expect us to wear masks if we cannot even source one??

Posted by: EtTu | Apr 14 2020 20:44 utc | 41

"It is probably a waste of time to counter the arguments of such people. But I will give it a try."

That was your first (and probably only) mistake.

Which is why I'm not posting here any more. As I discovered years ago when I deleted my Twitter account, and why I only use Facebook as a login mechanism, and post only occasionally at Antiwar.com - too many assholes and morons (usually both in the same person.)

Thank you for your level-headed approach to and tireless research on this crisis.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 14 2020 20:46 utc | 42

AJM@37

I agree with you and superlative updates from James Corbett, Simon Dixon, John Titus and others on the web regarding the fleecing of humanity mentally physically and financially into a one totalitarian world state. Moon of Alabama is one source of fantastic news, views, and commentators. There are other voices and that what makes me glad, as viable other view points are considered. Me, my antenna are up and sense "nefarious" danger ahead!

Posted by: Taffyboy | Apr 14 2020 20:47 utc | 43

@bernhard

What part of we do not trust our government do you not understand? What part of we do not trust official or MSM or Alt information do you not understand?

In my case I was a political prisoner as a young man. Put behind bars by a bipolar informant who didn’t have squat to inform about so he made me a project. Beaten tortured raped by federal employees and I was one of the lucky ones. Walked out alive. Kept my nose clean for fifty years, no transgression weightier than a parking ticket. Which was paid in full. So now an old man and the keepers dredge up arcana so that there is no Medicare, no Social Security for me. And as previously stated I am one of the lucky ones. Worst is knowing so many who have died, so many murdered by the State. The State does not have the smallest particle of concern for citizens, the owners don’t care who dies so long as they win. Imagining that the owners are guided by science or are seeking a positive conclusion to an epidemic is just your fantasy. Living inside that fantasy looks good from here, no possibility of sharing that dream.

18257-149

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 14 2020 20:55 utc | 44

VK
@ 45
Says ‘’no one is going to starve to death ! ‘’ Really how about in Yemen or the rest of Africa ?
Can you be so obtuse ?
You rationalise it so easily with your ‘’ lockdown v herd immunity that’s really scary !
Would you lay down your own life as quick as you condem overs ?
Hitler had a similar view with eugenics.
People here in the U.K. are already running out of money, and food. You can’t predict how bad this will get.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 14 2020 20:59 utc | 45

Posted by: David F | Apr 14 2020 19:52 utc | 32 What is SST? I have seen it referenced frequently.

Sic Semper Tyrannis - Colonel Pat Lang's blog. Lang is a former high-ranking US Army Intelligence officer, very knowledgeable about the Middle East.

Also he's an asshole to the people to post comments on his blog. So fuck him on this Chinese thing.

I usually agree with Larry Johnson on the matter of the fake DNC "hack" and on the stupid attempts by the Democrats to link Trump to Russia - but in this case, Larry is just around the bend. Lang has not explicitly said he agrees with Larry, but he's attacking anyone who disagrees (as usual).

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 14 2020 21:00 utc | 46

The blue range in the graph is only since 2010. What was the mortality during the spanish flu?

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 14 2020 21:13 utc | 47

Mark2 | Apr 14 2020 20:59 utc | 50

Geez, man! Get a grip. How does a lock down in the US or UK have anything to do with people in Yemen starving? And haven't they been having food security issues for quite some time prior to lock down. Starving in the US or UK is ridiculous hyperbole. And Hitler! In my mind, once a person has played the hitler card, well that is when it is time to smile politely and walk away.

Richard

I was wondering where you had been, having read about your living situation I was hoping it wasn't something bad.

I am familiar with Pat Lang, I read a few of his posts quite some time ago and dismissed him as not worth reading. Not familiar with the name of his site, not that it matters.

I don't think you should stop posting just because of all the nonsense lately, pick and choose what to read and respond to. Personally, I usually make it a point to look for your posts when here.

Posted by: David F | Apr 14 2020 21:23 utc | 48

Very good posting on Z/H - actually rational and balanced.
But includes almost same line - that case "At this point it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural" Yet no evidence is given.

The US Military/Government is denying - is contraindicative.

Corona virus contageon spreads from area where-in a lab is doing research on corona virus. With reports months earlier of unsafe conditions at the lab. But I am the theorist.

Posted by: jared | Apr 14 2020 21:24 utc | 49

In California the policy is clearly not to eradicate the virus. Instead it will be slow strangulation while waiting for the magic vaccine:


[Governor] Newsom said it was an optimistic new phase where the state will move from its surge response, transitioning "into suppression, ultimately on our way to herd immunity, and ultimately to a vaccine."

It saddens me deeply to think of folks like @Richard Steven Hack forced to live under house arrest, with the prospect of possibly catching the virus, for probably many years, because there is no policy to eradicate the virus.

Test - Treat - Trace

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 14 2020 21:28 utc | 50

@Trailer Trash | Apr 14 2020 18:59 utc | 12

I agree with your statement. Cruel and ineffective policies shall not be supported. Laws protecting privacy are meant for difficult times, not only when everybody agrees.

B says "Personal freedom is not an unlimited right". This is a strawman, personal freedom has never been unlimited, and I don't know anyone claiming it is unlimited. It is more relevant to ask whether there is a lower limit to personal freedom and privacy. Should governments and corporations have unlimited rights to arbitrary surveillance?

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 14 2020 21:33 utc | 51

Petri Krohn @36--

Thanks very much for your research and resulting comment! As I noted at the outset, a society's response will inform all about its belief system, which I later modified to include it not mattering whether it was a natural or manmade event; what's important is China's Warning Cry and its subsequent level of response--all of which caught the West off-guard as proven by its behavior.

Also evident is the West's scramble to compose and implement a Plan B as its initial response and immoral gloating prove its guilt and render the virus manmade as now seems to in the process of confirmation. Thus we now see the further scramble to implement a panicked Plan C to place all blame on China, which will also fail. Meanwhile, the Kleptocrats continue their business plan of defrauding the world. Yesterday I envisioned this entire affair within a Mission: Impossible plot where Agent Ethan Hunt saves the world by blowing up the Kleptocrats as they met to further their plot thus decapitating the Hydra.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2020 21:34 utc | 52

jared 54

Have you looked at how much involvement the Wuhan lab had in the research that is attributed to them, namely the chimera corona virus..
One name added to the end of a list of US researchers. That name seemed added for the intent of attributing the man made virus strain to the Chinese lab.
This is the lead author of that paper.
https://microbiology.utmb.edu/faculty/vineet-d-menachery-phd

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 21:39 utc | 53

"....a blog questioning official narratives deleting contrarian ideas. Nothing new under the sun.
mia@8

But are these 'contrarians,' mia, actually questioning official narratives?

In many cases they are, and have been, backing the more extreme eugenicist positions taken by the UK and the US- the 'take it on the chin' 'it's just another 'flu', 'hardly anyone is dying' narrative that was designed to keep the system going, uninterrupted by public health exigencies and a sentimental attachment to the elderly, who are all corpses on furlough anyway.

The narrative that governments such as Italy's France's the UK's or the USA's were eager to insist on lockdowns and rush to seize the opportunity to enforce them, and that it was with great relish that the capitalists closed down their plants and laid off labour- that narrative is unsustainable in the face of what actually happened. Of the events that really occurred.

In each case it was with enormous reluctance that the governments of the "west" bowed to public opinion, guided by scientific advice and following the example of, for example, China and introduced the current policies of social distancing, closing unessential industries etc.
This is like a 9/11 conspiracy theory in which the Twin Towers are still standing in the background.

And, even now, particularly now, although the logic of continuing quarantine still holds, governments are doing all they can to reverse their decision to control the spread of the virus. In the UK for example, planes from other countries continue to arrive. And the exiting passengers are neither tested nor interviewed, making a mockery of the quarantine.

While Trump and his fellows, taking time off from promoting quack cures, are openly planning to get people back to the production of surplus value for their employers (the ruling class) quickly. And despite scientific advice.

But let us pause briefly to recognise the contrarian of all contrarians, not the editors of OffGuardian or any of the other misguided souls lamenting that the herd is not being properly culled, but President Bolsonaro of Brazil a trenchant and thorough critic of the "official narrative" and a real fascist chomping at the bit to introduce authoritarian measures and to put an end to all civil rights.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 14 2020 21:52 utc | 54

One obvious distortion in official statistics of Covid-attributed deaths is that most places count all *test-positive* victims as Covid deaths, regardless of whether they died from Covid, or if Covid was even a "co-factor". In other words, the dead *with* the virus are all counted as having died *of* the virus. That is obvious nonsense and in conflict with elementary epidemiology - but very helpful to stoke panic and fear.

With an infections virus such as SARS-CoV2 that spreads like wildfire (but only kills 0.1%, as per WHO and lots of other studies), increased testing shows (exponentially) growing numbers. The obvious solution would be to do a test on a representative sample - yet this obvious method is carefully avoided. Denmark has just done a test on a representative sample, testing 1500 blood samples, and concluded a 0.16% Covid mortality. Denmark will reopen schools and kindergartens tomorrow.

Germany, under instruction from the federal lead RKI institute, also miscounts Covid deaths in the above mentioned way. Only the city of Hamburg has decided to count correctly and numbers death numbers fell accordingly.

In the past years, decades and centuries, to determine the cause of death of a deceased patient, an autopsy would be performed. Not anymore in Germany. The RKI has spoken against autopsies of declared Covid deaths because the risk of infection would make that too dangerous.

Posted by: Leser | Apr 14 2020 21:57 utc | 55

The 'lockdowns' will kill far more people than they save.

The destruction of businesses, the decimation of incomes, the loss of Jobs and the crushing of pensions will, over tiime, lead to a massive increase in poverty and therefore disease, and theefore death.

In poorer countries fewer people will be able to afford intact mosquito nets - leading to more malaria and fewer will have access to clean water - meaning more typhoid.


Re. richer countries.In the City where I live in Germany, breast and bowel cancer Screenings have now come to a halt. For more than a few people that will be the difference between life and death.

This whole Covid-19 face is driven not by conspiracy, but by the stupidity of government driven by the hysteria of the people.


Governments, like bureaucracies everywhere, are full of intellectually lazy, incompetent groupthinkers.

Posted by: clickkid | Apr 14 2020 21:59 utc | 56

Posted by: mia | Apr 14 2020 18:48 utc | 8

So you are hear to enlighten us all? Or just dropped in to badmouth b?

Posted by: TominAZ | Apr 14 2020 21:59 utc | 57

Posted by: Dave Thompson | Apr 14 2020 18:54 utc | 10

Yeah. with 8 months left in 2020.

Posted by: TominAZ | Apr 14 2020 22:01 utc | 58

@44 Peter AU
wow. good find.

Joint US-Chinese work to make a more dangerous version of SARS. Go figure.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 14 2020 22:18 utc | 59

Here for example is an article which illustrates the eagerness with which the MSM and their bossdes want to rush everryone back to work
https://fair.org/home/is-the-coronavirus-peak-a-mirage/


"What part of we do not trust our government do you not understand? What part of we do not trust official or MSM or Alt information do you not understand?" oldhippie

It is a reminder that the information we have been getting from the government was, until popular opinion and a mass sense of impending doom intervened-until the people began to speak- most of the governments in question, none of which I trust, were actually arguing in favour of doing nothing and against quarantine. That is why they came so late. Why so many have died and why the disease continues to spread.
Except of course where quarantine and testing and treatment has been implemented on a massive scale.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 14 2020 22:22 utc | 60

@ Posted by: clickkid | Apr 14 2020 21:59 utc | 63

No. You're factually wrong: capitalist recessions, counterintuitively, lower death rates. There's enough historical data to demonstrate it.

The reason for this is that, while in their homes, people - specially men - will die less from violent deaths (including here car/road accidents) and workplace deaths.

Yes, during pandemics, life expectancy falls - but it falls because of the pandemic virus/bacteria, not because of the lockdown per se. The lockdown itself makes people live longer on average (in the capitalist system). Of course that, in more primitive economic systems - more dependent on agriculture - the story is completely different, as people within their homes don't cultivate the land.

--//--

@ Posted by: Leser | Apr 14 2020 21:57 utc | 62

No. You're factually wrong.

Autopsies are only done in cases where the doctors consider clinically relevant, in cases where the family of the deceased want to do and/or in criminal investigations. They are certainly not the rule, they are the exception.

The reason for this is simple: autopsies are expensive and take a lot of time.

And I would like you to link those studies that mention COVID-19 lethality rate is 0.1%. I literally watched live this morning the Italian chief doctor who's supervising the pandemic in the country to say the probable mortality rate is 1%.

He also defended a total lockdown.

--//--

@ Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 14 2020 21:33 utc | 57

Ah, yes, I forgot to mention people like you.

In the USA and Europe, there's also a group of people that is opting to blame China at any cost. They believe they'll be able to seize the Chinese assets around the world (financial or not) under the argument they are "reparation" for the pandemic.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2020 22:22 utc | 61

And the graph for England and Wales is showing weekly deaths of 16k in week 14? We are over by ~6k and the covid death count is at 12k. Either way, this is NO disaster.

Posted by: dubya | Apr 14 2020 22:37 utc | 62

Don Wills 61

You rattle on about people losing the plot then lose it yourself.

I posit that the fact that the Wuhan lab is less than a km away from where the CCP claimed it jumped from animal to human is HUGE circumstantial evidence. Plus, I can't find it now, but I seem to recall that the wet market in Wuhan DOES NOT deal in bats. Can anyone verify or refute that? And then there was the CCP claim that pangolins are the intermediary. Please. My money is on sloppy work by Chinese technicians in Wuhan who probably had no idea how much danger they were dealing with.

Straight up troll posting that. What do bats have to do with the Wuhan market. Where do the CCP claim pangolin as the intermediary.

http://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/id/e3c63ca9-dedb-4fb6-9c1c-d057adb77b57

On December 29, 2019, a hospital in Wuhan admitted four individuals with pneumonia and recognized that all four had worked in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market,...

. On January 7, this novel coronavirus was confirmed to be the pathogenic cause of this VPUE cluster, and the disease has been designated NCIP....

...Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market has western and eastern sections, and 15 environmental specimens collected in the western section were positive for 2019-nCoV virus through RT-PCR testing and genetic sequencing analysis. Despite extensive searching, no animal from the market has thus far been identified as a possible source of infection.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 22:39 utc | 63

@62 "One obvious distortion in official statistics of Covid-attributed deaths is that most places count all *test-positive* victims as Covid deaths, regardless of whether they died from Covid, or if Covid was even a "co-factor""

The *other* obvious distortion is when there are not enough test kits to test a victim for the virus, and since (by definition) such a victim hasn't "tested positive" then their death was not attributed to Covid-19.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/us/coronavirus-updates.html#link-7edf39e3
"A limited number of tests has been available, and until now, only deaths where a person had tested positive were counted among those killed by the virus in New York."

You are talking nonsense. But you knew that already, right.

The inadequacies in the official statistics have UNDERESTIMATED the death toll from Covid-19, as New York officials are now admitting.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2020 22:51 utc | 64

Has anyone else been struck by the very large number of never-before-seen posters in these articles, all attacking the author?

It almost seems...oh, I dunno …. coordinated....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2020 22:53 utc | 65

why is there even any confusion at all about what we should do?

b/c medicine is for profit. and, as iran and vz reveal, for war. same thing really.

there is not scientific confusion about prudent measures. unfortunately i live in a capitalist shithole w/a quacking mountebank for president who tells people not to wear masks but to take anti-malarial drugs. unfortunately my gd national legislature is insider-trading on virus-related info and Amazon, Boeing and a Starbucks-chugging Bill Gates own every word out of Gov Jay Inslee's mouth. monetary transactions are not essential activity. for any thing in this world. fed printing presses running night and day sure as hell aren't.

every public voice in this society is clearly 1) trying to scam the public in this crisis or 2) in mortal fear of losing their job for standing up to the people in category 1. #firefauci. (indeed, fire them all. in a certain kind of squad.)

probably our last chance to destroy this capitalist shithole society. auto shops, cars, ups, usps, monetary transactions for food or anything, none of this shit is necessary. ever. but b/c of this and our concern for our nukular carriers, I don't get to get too worked up about masks and stuff. never been enough for me and most people, so what else is new?

anyway, we have bred a generation unable to think scientifically at all. not an accident that covering a cough, being told one must do so, is viewed on par with, oh, taking away 2nd amendment rights.

people fed on pop tarts and Marvel movies won't easily put those down. people making pop tarts and hi-tech revenge fantasies and selling them to children of all ages will never simply stop doing that. or stop using a virus as another means to compete w/each other, including via positive aspects of healthcare in this crisis. (again, why is there even any question where this virus originated? whether from a lab or a market, the same source is ultimately to blame.) Successful outcomes against corona in, e.g., Germany and China will be measured by how quickly they return to the earth-killing economic normal.

due to capitalist competition, everyone else will be back to work the next day. no matter what.

Posted by: ron | Apr 14 2020 23:02 utc | 66

@31 Brendan "This raises the question: Were the thousands of extra deaths caused not by the corona virus but as a result of the lockdown which began on 23 March?"

The answer is going to be: No.

Those thousands of extra deaths are being caused by this virus, but because the number of test kits are limited then the victims weren't tested. And if they weren't tested then they could not have "tested positive", which meant that their deaths went into your "extra deaths" column, not into the "covid-19 deaths" column.

The authorities in New York understand this, which is why the number of Covid-19 deaths have just made a dramatic jump there.
It is actually explained reasonably well in today's New York Times.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2020 23:04 utc | 67


Deaths have been misreported, most of all in China. Does anyone believe that Beijing and Shanghai, megalopolis cities much closer to the epicentre in Wuhan had just deaths in single digits while far away NYC has (or will have) tens of thousands of covid19 deaths?

Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 14 2020 21:33 utc | 57

If you had bothered to read the link within b's post Deaths are also misreported by John Hopkins v. Worldometers.info.

The question of the day:
Where is patient zero?

And why today is the Pentagon attempting to also debunk? Found at ZH, the anti-China site. Do recall several months ago, they lost their Twitter account due C-19 postings.


Chairman Of Jt. Chiefs Admits US Intel Has Taken 'Hard Look' At Wuhan Lab As Origin Of COVID-19

"There’s a lot of rumor and speculation in a wide variety of media, blog sites, etc.," said Milley. "It should be no surprise to you that we have taken a keen interest in that, and we have had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that."

"At this point it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural, but we do not know for sure," Milley added.[.]
(emphasis added)

Miley contradicts boss who has been saying it's 'the China virus.'

========

Has anyone else been struck by the very large number of never-before-seen posters in these articles, all attacking the author?
Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2020 22:53 utc | 74

It's called shoot the messenger week. Bad manners from the ignoramus crowd.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 14 2020 23:20 utc | 68

Here comes operation let's rob China:

Trump halts WHO funding, accuses health body of conspiring with China to ‘cover up’ Covid-19 pandemic

The WHO is a stone in the middle of the path, but, with some luck, Trump will be able to bend them and make them turn against China. If it doesn't, however, it will be a problem for the anti-China narrative.

With or without the WHO, Trump will certainly order the USA to start seizing the Chinese assets everywhere they can, a la Venezuela. It will be interesting to see how the lackeys in Western Europe, S. Korea and Japan will behave.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2020 23:22 utc | 69

@51 Ricard Steven Hack: "Lang has not explicitly said he agrees with Larry,"...

You might want to look at Lang's latest post. He is definitely all-in on this nonsense.

…"but he's attacking anyone who disagrees (as usual)."

Oh, yeah, big time. There is no way on earth I am going to post anything in those two articles. It is utterly pointless doing so.

After all, by definition disagreeing will mark you as an "obvious troll", one amongst a veritable army of "China's flunkies".

Still, fear not: "SST will continue to press the china War story."

All a bit demented, if you ask me.

I mean, the retort is obvious: if the Chinese wanted to lay the USA low with a bio-weapon then what was the point of giving the USA two months advance warning via the Wuhan outbreak? Why not just infect a few (unwitting) USA citizens with this bio-weapon as they were boarding the plane at Beijing to fly home to Washington/NY/Los Angeles?

Then the initial outbreak would be in the USA, and the Chinese will be able to point the finger at the Americans.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2020 23:23 utc | 70

@59 Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 21:39 utc | 59

Peter, it is my understanding that the Wuhan lab had some involvement in research of corona virus obtained from various sourced primarily (I think) from samples obtained from animals (mostly bats) around China (although they also are said to have obtained virus samples - natural or modified I dont recall - from other labs including one in Canada which was run by a researcher who was said to be stealing samples from the lab). I have read that the Wuhan lab was doing their own research and research contracted by others in this subject area - which among other things involves this "gain of function" research, a typical government euphemism for modified to make it more dangerous. The US has been doing similar testing in the US and at other locations (likely partly so the testing would be outside regulatory each and would present less risk to US population). I suspect there may be many parties which have some culpability. Generally if you see a swirling shit-storm of waste and death it is highly likely the US military is somehow in the center of it. But to suggest it is "most likely of natural origin" (implying not the fault of the Chinese and their lab), is obtuse in the highest degree. And really the likelihood that it was release by the Chinese lab is really tangential to the point - the issue is that our governments are playing with these things and putting the public at risk. And then lying to cover their ignorant, incompetent, immoral asses.

Posted by: jared | Apr 14 2020 23:35 utc | 71

I am increasingly getting the impression we're not merely facing a novel virus alone. It seems we have stumbled onto a novel disease itself. Last month I fully watched a webinar (Learning with the Italian Experience), this will be an intro by an italian ICU intensivist followed by his portuguese colleagues' questions. The portuguese were looking for hindsight and advice on protocols dealing with covid, but I was surprised the italian mentions "no specific treatment" and "magical pills" (20m30s), "variability" in the response of patients to treatments and drugs, "testing hypothesis"...

Don't get me wrong, my take was not of incompetence at all and I am not even qualified, the italian actually mentions tight criteria for trials, regular multidisciplinary meetings... but this hints at very competent people still searching for a handle on the situation (see his response around the 42min mark).

Recently someone posted a link to the webarchive of a medium article advancing a rationale for why the classical treatments are not working, indeed making things worse if scaling up to high pressure ventilation, something related with the nature of the issue not being mechanical and more chemical: hemoglobin unable to do its part in the gas exchange (O2 <> CO2). Apparently there are preliminary papers giving credit to this theory. Apparently some success has been seen when treatments go along with the theory.

This does makes me think about how unprepared we are and the exorbitant expenses many countries are making to secure additional ventilator capacity when in fact that will be all for naught but the pockets of some opportunist corporations. Even considering the actual seriousness of Covid-19, this may turn out to become a Tamiflu 2.0 but in a much larger scale.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Apr 14 2020 23:37 utc | 72

How is C-19 transmitted?

Here is the very troubling findings on COVID-19 various transmission routes:
Dispatch Early Release-CDC reviewed

Aerosol and Surface Distribution of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Hospital Wards, Wuhan, China, 2020 - Volume 26, Number 7—July 2020 LINK


Abstract
To determine distribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in hospital wards in Wuhan, China, we tested air and surface samples. Contamination was greater in intensive care units than general wards. Virus was widely distributed on floors, computer mice, trash cans, and sickbed handrails and was detected in air ≈4 m from patients.[.]

The extremely fast transmission capability of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has aroused concern about its various transmission routes.[.]
In addition, as medical staff walk around the ward, the virus can be tracked all over the floor, as indicated by the 100% rate of positivity from the floor in the pharmacy, where there were no patients. Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive. Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers. The 3 weak positive results from the floor of dressing room 4 might also arise from these carriers. We highly recommend that persons disinfect shoe soles before walking out of wards containing COVID-19 patients.

The rate of positivity was also relatively high for the surface of the objects that were frequently touched by medical staff or patients (Tables 1, 2). The highest rates were for computer mice (ICU 6/8, 75%; GW 1/5, 20%), followed by trash cans (ICU 3/5, 60%; GW 0/8), sickbed handrails (ICU 6/14, 42.9%; GW 0/12), and doorknobs (GW 1/12, 8.3%). Sporadic positive results were obtained from sleeve cuffs and gloves of medical staff. These results suggest that medical staff should perform hand hygiene practices immediately after patient contact.

Because patient masks contained exhaled droplets and oral secretions, the rate of positivity for those masks was also high (data not shown). We recommend adequately disinfecting masks before discarding them.[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 14 2020 23:38 utc | 73


@Petri 36:
Thank you for your research. And I do mean thankyouthankyouthankyou. I am storing your post in its entirety, coimplete with all the citations, as a reference, to use to debunk the zoonotic origin of this virus. It deserves to be read widely, and again I cannot thank you enough. Be encouraged (if you need it); you are doing the right thing.

@karlof1 58:
Thank you sir, for this post, and in fact for all of your very level-headed and, above all, thoroughly rational posts. Yours in, in fact, one of the voices which I regularly search for here on moa. On a personal note, I have close friends in OR (in fact, they're the only friends I still have in the US, because I've been an expat for 20 years now) who have a cabin perhaps near you on the Coast, in a little town with a funny name, which I won't name explicitly here in public. I will say that this name is oft mispronounced, because its central consonant combination is unusual in that it indicates an aspirated sound (with the inital consonant completely silent) instead of the more obvious one that this combination usually denotes in English, and hence locals can easily identify newcomers. Hope that was sufficiently clear for you to understand, yet opaque enough not to give anything away in a public forum. In any case, thank you again for all your posts. I keep many of them as valuable references.

Posted by: Theophrastus | Apr 14 2020 23:43 utc | 74

offtopic but still virus news: how many in NYC have it?

an actual sample was drawn from the general population. 99% of pregnant women giving birth at a particular hospital were tested.

during 2 weeks immediately after the NY state stay-at-home order was put in place, 15% of the women giving birth tested positive. nearly all were asymptomatic (note, child breathing age obviously).

NEJM article, via NakedCapitalism

“Between March 22 and April 4, 2020, a total of 215 pregnant women delivered infants at the New York–Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center…. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from 210 of the 211 women (99.5%) who did not have symptoms of Covid-19; of these women, 29 (13.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Thus, 29 of the 33 patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 at admission (87.9%) had no symptoms of Covid-19 at presentation.”

Posted by: ptb | Apr 14 2020 23:46 utc | 75

Thanks for providing the last nail in the sceptics' coffin: all-cause mortality exceeding expected numbers by long, long shots. The sceptics can no longer hide behind the curtain of COVID-19 being just 'noise' without impact on overall mortality.

Posted by: Stephen Morrell | Apr 14 2020 23:46 utc | 76

Halfway down this thread I quit bothering to read any more. The only revelation is that everybody is hanging on like grim death to whatever idea, unsubstantiated theory or plain insanity they adopted at the beginning of the western coronavirus scare.

There is no point in reading it as so many are only considering those posts which support their point of view whilst attacking anyone, especially the blog proprietor whose POV doesn't align with their own.
Typically these types suffer from a sort intellectual superiority complex that makes a mockery of their claims to be 'of the people'.

Surely a true intellectual would leave themselves open to a reasoned argument based on all the evidence, not merely a carefully cherry-picked and curated selection of views which correlate with their own.
This is why I cannot understand the backwards & forwards rants about the virus' origin, even its lifespan - the lifespan of a molecule hmm, what is the best cure, the most likely route to a vaccine and all the rest of the poorly informed nonsense people shout at each other over.

Of course screaming, wailing, gnashing & abusing from the comfort of your desk is a lot less hassle than getting yourself involved with mitigating the effects of the pandemic in your community.
When the virus' effects have been dealt with & the panic is over it is insanely optimistic to expect that whatever epidemiologists describe exactly what did occur, will be accepted if that conclusion conflicts with a poster's own fervently held beliefs.

The paranoia which was driven by mugs accepting the propaganda attacks on climate change has over-topped the dam and has spread across all disciplines.
Most of the people who run with that tosh don't understand the scientific model, that science is not a particular result, it is a process, one that depends on publication and peer review for ever & ever.

The most recent, classic example of this process at work was the OPCW investigation of that the allegation the Syrian Government used gas on their population.
The investigation was completed, written up then totally rewritten in doing so over-turning the investigators' observations.
So then the actual investigators spoke out and destroyed forever the scientific credibility of an organisation england had invested hundreds of millions on to portray as being credible.

Last week the OPCW used the lockdowns to quietly put its compromised & disbelieved report to the UN. They had to dot the i's and cross the t's, cos that is what bureaucrats do, but there was no huge publicity designed to stain the Syrian government because any publicity must backfire on the OPCW,the report was presented as if by a gang of thieves in the night. IOW a total propaganda failure - damn those scientists and their principles! The only place you will discover the report was presented is at the MI6 knob polishers' hangout, the Guardian and its bottom, Bellingcat. And it was tough to uncover at the graun which currently promotes nothing but the conservative covid 19 agenda.

So I expect that just like USuk with the Syrian government, the purveyors of outlandish, disproved theories about coronavirus will never resile from their stated beliefs, no matter what evidence is presented. That makes so many of these 'debates' so pointless, I'm amazed the participants lack the insight to halt their nonsense now.
Not one post about what/who/why/where the coronavirus on this blog has been made by a human with the expertise and knowledge on the subject of viruses or epidemics, to be able to accurately judge which of the legion of knowledgeable experts is honest, who has been known to trouser a wedge from big Pharma, and who is a slave to his bosses.
The discussion on corona-virus minutiae is probably the most pointless debate I have ever seen at MoA.

Posted by: A User | Apr 14 2020 23:48 utc | 77

Yeah, Right

Considering the amount of research being done in the US, and that the 2015 chimera virus looks to have been put together and experimented with in a US lab, if China wanted to bring the US down with the coronavirus, it would just need planting near the University of North Carolina or the Galveston National Laboratory both of which were heavily into the coronavirus research and modification.

Vineet D. Menachery, PhD main author of the chimera experiment.
https://microbiology.utmb.edu/faculty/vineet-d-menachery-phd

Current Research
Utilizing severe coronavirus infections, the Menachery Lab seeks to define virus-host interactions that dictate disease outcomes taking advantage of three cutting edge platforms: 1) reverse genetic systems for virus generation, 2) a refined systems biology approach, and 3) diverse model systems for infection. Described below, the current projects provide insight into our approach and explore areas with implications for understanding infection and disease.
Examine the dynamics of host-virus interactions within and between diverse viral families. Employing uniform experimental platforms, these systems based studies seek to identify common host pathways induced and/or antagonized by various pathogenic viruses. The approach also leverages differences between wild-type and mutant viruses to identify key processes that drive pathogenic outcomes. The overall goal is to derive mechanistic insight and develop novel avenues for antiviral treatment.
Explore the pathogenic and emergence potential of novel CoVs. The outbreaks of both SARS and MERS-CoV underscore the need for continued surveillance of zoonotic viruses. While CoV sequences have been identified, minimal translational work has been undertaken. These studies evaluate the likelihood of emergence, pathogenic potential, and efficacy of current therapeutic platforms against existing coronavirus strains.
Define age dependent changes to host immunity via viral infection. Infectious disease in the context of aging represents an opportunity to explore changes to immunity as well as gain insights into a leading cause of death among the elderly. Importantly, both SARS and MERS-CoV induce more severe infection and increased mortality in aged human patients. This phenotype is recapitulated in young and aged mouse models, allowing exploration of host virus interaction that change as a product of aging. These studies seek to identify, confirm, and validate changes in pathway activation as well as develop treatments to mitigate disease in the aged hosts.
Examine the role of host diversity in susceptibility to infection. In addition to aging, host genetic diversity plays a critical role in the response to respiratory virus infection. Employing the Collaborative Cross (CC), a panel of recombinant inbred mice that captures genetic diversity similar to the human population, we observe a wide spectrum of phenotypes. These readouts can be dysregulated from each other, allowing fine mapping to define specific genetic components that drive phenotypic responses.

This looks to be his personal website.
http://www.themenacherylab.com/p/biography-and-cv.html

Biography
Research Experience
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology
University of Texas Medical Branch
May 2017- Present

Laboratory of Dr. Ralph S. Baric
Dept. of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Post-doctoral fellow
August 2010- May 2017

Once described to me as the "wild wild west", the Baric lab operates at the cutting edge science with research on coronaviruses (SARS and MERS-CoV), influenza viruses, noroviruses, and dengue viruses.

Using Ralph S. Baric as search in the scientific publication, many more research pieces come up.
Overall though, what they are researching could easily be used to construct a new pandemic type virus.

The 2015 chimera research is for whatever reason (most likely US narrative) always connected to Wuhan Lab. Acknowledgements contributions ect at the end of the piece. Wuhan lab contributed 'SHC014 spike sequences and plasmids. '

"V.D.M. designed, coordinated and performed experiments, completed analysis and wrote the manuscript. B.L.Y. designed the infectious clone and recovered chimeric viruses; S.A. completed neutralization assays; L.E.G. helped perform mouse experiments; T.S. and J.A.P. completed mouse experiments and plaque assays; X.-Y.G. performed pseudotyping experiments; K.D. generated structural figures and predictions; E.F.D. generated phylogenetic analysis; R.L.G. completed RNA analysis; S.H.R. provided primary HAE cultures; A.L. and W.A.M. provided critical monoclonal antibody reagents; and Z.-L.S. provided SHC014 spike sequences and plasmids. (Zhengli Li Shi) R.S.B. designed experiments and wrote manuscript."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 23:56 utc | 78

It is bemusing that while Johnstone gives the standard anarchist justification for restrictions on personal freedom, there is so much opposition to these measures, including from alleged anarchists. The mindset of this opposition is suggestive of authority (legal institutionalization of the combination of command power and freedom from responsibility/immunity from prosecution/impunity for one's own actions, e.g. sections 25 and 25.1 of the criminal code of Canada).

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Apr 14 2020 23:58 utc | 79

following up @84...

compare that 15% positive test rate to the NYC data for the age 18-44 group. Note that in the city wide statistics, "tested" in practice means "symptomatic".

nyc age 18-44 .... 1.2% tested positive (from today's city data) ...
it is roughly consistent with the article's other finding, that nearly 90% of the women treated were asymptomatic so therefore 10%+ of this age group would test positive if tested at the right time.


Posted by: ptb | Apr 14 2020 23:59 utc | 80

Likklemore @82--

It can also apparently be spread by the dead:

"A new study published Sunday reports that Thailand has seen the first case of a COVID-19 infection being transmitted from a dead patient to a medical examiner, raising concerns over the high exposure risk morgue and funeral home workers could face."

Imagine: An entrepreneurial virus collector amasses millions within several small vials. It them goes to the US Treasury Department building, locates the HVAC intake and releases the vial's contents into the system where it's then spread throughout the building. Other similar targets waging Class War on the People are also polluted.

The thought experiment illustrates how such an agent might be used. Currently, there are plenty of points where the virus could be harvested than grown to greater concentrations within a lab. Or perhaps that's not even needed as plenty ought to reside within the bodies of terminal victims.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 15 2020 0:03 utc | 81

Theophrastus @83--

Thanks for your reply! I'm humbled by your kudos, although I very much wish they weren't needed which would mean my comments weren't either. Lots of Native words describing small burgs along our Coast, mine included. If you'd like to communicate more privately, you can get to my VK Space by clicking my hyperlinked name at the bottom of this comment and also become a member as several have for communication purposes. You made a wise choice to leave the Outlaw US Empire as it appears the Kleptocrats have finally lost their minds.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 15 2020 0:18 utc | 82

For the bio-weapon angle the CDC closed the Fort Detrick Maryland Lab mid 2019 shortly thereafter a cluster of deaths recorded in nursing homes around the area followed by the military Olympic Games in October in Wuhan 200 countries were represented and flew home from there in mid-october. The American cyclist last name Benassi could possibly be patient zero and her brother is patient zero in Belgium he is a DJ that strangely enough works with Madonna. this same family is all nato and WHO

Posted by: Josh | Apr 15 2020 0:20 utc | 83

So some here are now taking NYT data as gospel. Sad. Try and verify the underlying data. Go on. One look at the graph and you know some liberties were taken at least for NYC.

That said, looking at the provisional data, something certainly is going on in NYC thats not apparent in the rest of the US. Excess deaths are happening.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm

About 5000 excess deaths (or perhaps accelerated deaths) in a population of 8 million. 1 person out of 1600. Not insignificant but its mostly in the elderly and those with other diseases like me (cancer, diabetes, kidney disease) and we are on borrowed time

Lets try and think for a moment though. Is it all due to the virus? As I mentioned sometime back, lockdowns should cause excess deaths by themselves
There will be a rise in deaths attributable to heart disease, cancer, and other manageable or treatable diseases simply because of deferred routine medical visits due to general anxieties among the population about seeing any medical professional in person, including going to the ER at first sign of heart attack or stroke. Moreover, as people lose their jobs , suicides will increase, and increased stress may precipitate a health crisis. People eat more, exercise less, drink more, worry more and then have heart attacks and strokes.

Outside of NYC reported deaths are 15% less than expected deaths since Feb 1. Part of thats a reporting lag but still. No reason for the country to be locked down except to create panic and conditions for the changes they are going to implement.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 15 2020 0:32 utc | 84

The graph used in this article is apparently not the original.

atreeon
@atreeon
·
10h

and
@EdConwaySky
ommitted the second line showing deaths excluding those linked to coronavirus have also increased above the line. It gives the impression the death rate from coronavirus is more dramatic than the original BuildPlace graph

2639: Maybe a bit on fire.
@asjmcguire
·
10h

Would you like to explain?
The pandemic causes indirect deaths too -
from people who couldn't get treatment for other conditions, or people scared to go to hospital, or operations being cancelled etc.
These are not deaths due to Covid19 officially.

atreeon

@atreeon
·
10h

yes, that's some of the detail I think he has missed by omitting the 2nd line from the diagram. To me having only that one line makes it look as though the increase is a result of just the virus. More detail is required in that graph

Posted by: DM | Apr 15 2020 0:46 utc | 85

Long story short: it's not that many people - including many commenters here (most of which are Americans) - can't understand that masks reduce infections, that hydroxycloroquine is not a viable treatment, that the COVID-19 is at least ten times deadlier than the common flu, that there isn't an alien conspiracy or that China isn't to blame. It's that they don't have the option to understand that. They cannot afford to be rational. Class interests supplant everything.

Bingo!
We have a winner

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 15 2020 0:58 utc | 86

Posted by: David F | Apr 14 2020 19:52 utc

Sic Semper Tyrannis - Colonel Pat Lang's blog. Lang is a former high-ranking US Army Intelligence officer, very knowledgeable about the Middle East.

Also he's an asshole to the people to post comments on his blog. So fuck him on this Chinese thing.

The most apt analogy to Colonel Lang is Captain Queeg.

Posted by: sleepy | Apr 15 2020 1:00 utc | 87

b, more important than countering conspiracy theories is whether the costs of shutting down the world economy outweigh the benefits in lives saved. Some models indicate that in the U.S. every 1% increase in the unemployment rate costs 40,000 lives. It is rapidly approaching 30%.

It is profoundly immoral to look at the world lockdown in a vacuum, as if it has no costs. And yet that is what I see, consistently, across the mainstream and progressive internet.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 15 2020 1:01 utc | 88

Thank you, b. Good points. Especially the lack of foundational health care in the US, which other civilized societies consider their duty to provide. It would be interesting to compare a fanatic devotion to ideas of some unsubstantiated persistence with the insecurity that living in such a system - the term 'precariat' springs to mind - makes all too prevalent. If we had not the constant worry of shunting off this mortal coil whilst leaving our dear ones in debt thanks to our unpremeditated illnesses, perhaps we could think more clearly, as most of the rest of the world seems better able to do.

Poor US us.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 15 2020 1:03 utc | 89

@Peter AU1

The following article is something of rebuttal of the Nature article:

https://harvardtothebighouse.com/2020/01/31/logistical-and-technical-analysis-of-the-origins-of-the-wuhan-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

Posted by: jared | Apr 15 2020 1:05 utc | 90

@ Posted by: fairleft | Apr 15 2020 1:01 utc | 98

Well, you didn't link your alleged studies.

But, assuming what you said is true, we have that unemployment in the USA is at 10%. You didn't stipulate the time frame - I'll assume one year, as those statistics are usually annualized.

Then 10% - 40,000x3=120,000 deaths

Mortality of the COVID-19 is 1% (most optimistic scenario, using Wuhan's data as the holotype). USA's population is 320,000,000.

Then 320,000,000/100=3,200,000 (3.2 million).

I'm not a mathematician, but I guess 3,200,000>120,000. Even in your apocalyptic scenario of 30% unemployment for one year you would have 360,000 - still well bellow 3.2 million.

I'm finding this "lives don't compensate for the economy" debate. This is coming from the same mouths who, some decades earlier, were condemning communism for killing its own people and hiding the figures.

Well, turns out the capitalists are now simply saying death is life.

Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2020 1:17 utc | 91

excellent post b.. thank you...

so many interesting and valuable insights from others.. thank you as well..

@ 14 vk.. good post! i live in canada and it is different as we are being covered financially and it helps a lot, but i think you say a lot of relevant things in your post @14 as well as later, so thanks for all that..

@ 86 a user... always fun to read your rants, so thanks for this one too.. i am not sure many are arguing the minuet, but maybe.. i find @ peter au's post of value and do go into interesting details that some appreciate... maybe some are arguing minor details, but i don't pay too close attention to that after a point...

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2020 1:22 utc | 92

An article at the WSWS reminding us that Trump and the neo-liberal ultras were calling the pandemic a hoax long before our "contrarians" ever thought of it.

Denying that there is a crisis and refusing to acknowledge that it is a crisis of the capitalist system-in which savings and surpluses are used for profit and future rainy days are unprovided for- these are the intellectual marks not of the critics of imperialism but of its ideological soulmates.

I am totally opposed to censorship but there is no excuse for those who lazily rehearse borrowed ideas without considering where they come from and whom they benefit.
However bad things are or become-they could be worse. And it is absolutely certain that, next time things will be worse, if those responsible for the inhumane and casual response in the United States do so with impunity.

"...warnings were repeated by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and even cabinet-level White House officials. Yet despite these warnings, the Trump administration failed to carry out the most basic measures to contain the pandemic. On March 2, nearly two months after Trump received initial warnings that the pandemic would strike the United States, less than 500 people had been tested for COVID-19 throughout the country. By that time, it had been spreading uncontrolled for over a month.

"In public, Trump deliberately downplayed the severity of the disease, falsely claiming the pandemic was no worse than the flu. He argued that it would go away by itself and declared that the disease was a “hoax.” On Sunday, Trump retweeted a posting urging him to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, his leading scientific advisor, who publicly stated that initiating measures earlier would have saved lives.

"Clearly unnerved by the exposure of his administration’s incompetence, Trump as usual lashed out wildly at the press on Monday, insulting reporters in another display of ignorance, brutality, backwardness and self-aggrandizement. As usual, Trump spent most of his press conference praising himself and denying all responsibility for the disaster now unfolding.

"While the Times’ report presents an important account of the Trump administration’s incompetent response to the pandemic, a very significant part of the picture is left out. It does not explain why the ruling class as a whole was so unprepared to deal with the pandemic.

"Trump’s disastrous series of mistakes flowed naturally out of policies adopted by the whole political establishment and prior administrations. After all, the Bush and Obama administrations gutted public health preparedness, slashing funding year after year. Despite warnings of the danger of a pandemic for at least two decades, no action was taken to build up stockpiles of necessary equipment.

"From January to the present, moreover, no section of the US political establishment seriously called for a major expansion of public health spending and a massive program of testing, quarantining and contact-tracing that could have stopped the pandemic and saved tens of thousands of lives. And yet, in a matter of just weeks, both parties were able to work together to secure a multitrillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and major corporations that sent the stock market soaring, even as millions lost their jobs...."
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/14/pers-a14.html

Posted by: bevin | Apr 15 2020 1:27 utc | 93

jared

A piece put together from the likes of news.com.au Zero hedge ect

a rebuttal..

First three links from your propaganda piece

OPINION
Don’t buy China’s story: The coronavirus may have leaked from a lab.

Coronavirus ‘lab leakage’ rumors spreading

And one link to zerohedge and scribd.com that I couldn't get to.

A pure propaganda piece that cites other propaganda pieces.


Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 1:30 utc | 94

@pft 94
One can treat deaths (raw count, not rates per capita) as a Poisson process. In a Poisson process, the variance equals the arithmetic mean, or equivalently, the standard deviation ("sigma") equals the square root of the mean. If you have a number (e.g. deaths in a given year) that is several standard deviations from the arithmetic mean (usual understanding of average, although average can refer to other quantities) of the number (e.g. arithmetic mean of death in other years), your deviation is likely mainly not due to random fluctuation. Six sigmas of deviation may occur from time to time when one gathers data. 20 sigmas of apparent deviation should tell you that your model is likely wrong (e.g. no longer valid).

In the red on blue graph in the OP, the blue is the range of previous years. Expect the standard deviation to be about one in twelve of that, corresponding to roughly the square root of the death rate (Poisson statistics). The red line jumps about 20-30 sigmas, changing in one direction. And it is not random. So we can be confident of excess deaths.

People who are living on "borrowed time" tend to live in a condition akin to lockdown when none is declared, so I fail to see how the pathology produced by lockdown would be novel to this population. Animals in captivity tend to live longer individually than animals in the wild (this is not a justification of lockdowns in general nor a denial of individually caused pathology, only a question regarding your suggestion of netto life expectancy lost due to lockdown).

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Apr 15 2020 1:30 utc | 95

To jared @ 100

More from HarvardToTheBigHouse "“No monkey ever reheated a frozen burrito” – What The Expanse tells us about the COVID-19 pandemic and serial passage gain-of-function research"

"And oddly, even though there is nothing even beginning to approach conclusive evidence that COVID-19 was a naturally emergent strain that made its way out of an intermediate animal host and into humans, the general consensus in the media and the public seems to be that exploring its origins is something only done by people who’ve yet to buy that the Earth is in fact round and that we actually did land on the moon. And everyone seems to be okay with the fact that the scientists crowing the loudest about a natural origin, are the ones directly involved with the type of research that likely spawned this virus: Gain-of-function, or “dual-use” research that meant to push Nature past her limits, so that humans can harness her to create monsters that would never occur naturally."
...
"So although the Chinese Communist Party deserves its share of the blame for attempting to cover the outbreak up, arresting the heroic scientists trying to warn us and issuing gag-orders and the destruction of evidence, this research likely wouldn’t have occurred at all if the NIH hadn’t lifted the ban on gain-of-function research in the first place. And it was funded directly by American tax dollars, by government officials willing to let others play god at their behest."

https://harvardtothebighouse.com/2020/03/23/no-monkey-ever-reheated-a-frozen-burrito-what-the-expanse-tells-us-about-the-covid-19-pandemic/

------------


Who Tried to Deceive Joe Rogan about Coronavirus? -- Special Report -- J.C. on a bike

(Many links to academic papers).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIW3TQpVJYs

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 15 2020 1:32 utc | 96

I believe that the source of the agitation over lock-downs and other safety measure is some mix of neo-liberalism and more simple profit motive.

Largely the owners need the little people to return to thier yokes.

Along the same lines, the food markets are literally running out of food. The meassage being that they will make things very uncomfortable if we dont return to work.

And the closing of parks which were respite from the tedium of remaining indoors - people were just taking walks. But they were enjoying the break from thier grinding lives.

So everybody back to work.

Posted by: jared | Apr 15 2020 1:32 utc | 97

@ 104 bevin.. i think sanders was calling for a major expansion of health care spending, but i guess that doesn't count as it was election platform... thanks..

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2020 1:34 utc | 98

@ Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 15 2020 1:23 utc | 103

I'm not a "HCQ + zinc" denier. I'm of the standard, scientific position. You're the conspiracy theorist, the burden of proof is on you, not me.

And yes, if I suspect the doctor wants to prescribe an overdose of hydroxycloroquine, I will refuse. Don't want to need a heart transplant (assuming I'll survive the first heart attack). If the dose is well within the safe levels (the same levels used to treat malaria and lupux) I may even accept, given the placebo effect.

--//--

Most of you must already know by now, but the IMF report on world economy came out this morning:

The IMF releases its latest World Economic Outlook at the virtual IMF-World Bank conference.

When I read this the first time, the first thing that came out in my mind was "this thing is way too optimistic". Glad I wasn't the only one.

But yes, the IMF's report is - as always - too optimistic. The world economy will fall much more than 3% (unless the USA and India cook their respective books - again).

Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2020 1:40 utc | 99

As a Chinese (overseas Chinese) I really dun give a shit. I sincerely believe China can stand on it own feet with or without Russia help. However, key points missing here - it means death sentences to the millions of Africans and 3rd World country, where healthcare is mediocre and corruption rampage and social practice not of Western standard like India.

Is Trump against the Black and Brown people, Nope. He's a die-hard Christian a racist determines to destroy the Chinese nations. It just happens WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus an Ethiopian crosses Trump paths. From my point of views, China is NOT against the Black, Brown or even White. They just wanna peace and treated equally with respect. What they (Chinese) believe is none of our business, and they’re not exporting their political ideology, except Confucius teaching. Confucius teaching may be considered a Chinese example of humanism - about love, kindness broader concept of etiquette and correct social interaction which china lacking due to years of isolation... Whereas the Western Democracy basically greed vicious corruptions etc..

The next stage of the game, the cure and covic19 vaccines. I really hope China able to find a cure Covin19 before the fucking Americans, Swiss or 5eyes. The 3rd world country will benefit most especially the poor and middle-class in the States.

While the Chinese economy opening up, Trump busy boasting his power about himself. I really have no sympathy for the Americans.. I'm not against MoA but their kindness for the chinese people. Thank you B!

Posted by: JC | Apr 15 2020 1:51 utc | 100

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