Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 13, 2020

How The Trump Administration Inserts 'Blame China' Propaganda Into Main Stream Media

Throughout the last month there have been a number of reports with headlines like:

All the above and many more hark back to a Washington Post opinion piece by Josh Rogin published on April 14 and headlined:

State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses.

Josh Rogin is a neo-conservative hack who carries water for the Trump administration. That administration has launched a 'blame China' campaign to distract from its failure to contain the epidemic outbreak in the United States. To that purpose they handed Rogin an old diplomatic cable and told him how to 'interpret' it. Rogin dutifully does as he is told.

He begins:

Two years before the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the world, U.S. Embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in the city of Wuhan several times and sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats. The cables have fueled discussions inside the U.S. government about whether this or another Wuhan lab was the source of the virus — even though conclusive proof has yet to emerge.

That sets the frame for describing the one cable that was given to Rogin. But when one extracts the facts from his reporting while eliminating the propaganda this picture arises:

  • The Wuhan Institute of Virology has a level 4 bio-security laboratory.
  • The institute is known for research on coronaviruses that occur in bats from south China.
  • Some of the research was done in collaboration with two U.S. universities and financed by the U.S. government.
  • The laboratory had asked to receive additional U.S. support for further studies.
  • The January 2018 the U.S. embassy in China sends two diplomats to visit the laboratory. Neither of them is an expert for laboratory safety or virology.
  • The diplomats are told that research on bat derived coronaviruses is important as such viruses, like SARS, can threaten humans.
  • They are told by the Chinese researchers that more work could be done if the laboratory had more trained technicians.
  • The diplomats travel back to their embassy. They write a cable using the researchers' arguments to recommend that additional U.S. support should be granted to the laboratory.
  • No additional funds are granted.

When described as above the story is one that occurs in publicly financed research institutions day in and out. Everyone research institution is always looking for new grants. It communicates with possible grant givers and emphasizes the necessity of its research and the need for further support.

But Rogin constructs a rather wild picture from those facts:

What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.

“During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” states the Jan. 19, 2018, cable, which was drafted by two officials from the embassy’s environment, science and health sections who met with the WIV scientists.

A real warning about safety issues at the lab would certainly be classified. What Rogin describes as "warning about safety" is a warning of a new SARS like pandemic. The "management weakness" is the desire to get the U.S. to finance more personnel at the laboratory. Rogin admits as much in his next paragraph:

The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations, but the Chinese requested additional help. The cables argued that the United States should give the Wuhan lab further support, mainly because its research on bat coronaviruses was important but also dangerous.

Rogin then introduces an additional scare factor by lamenting about 'gain of function' research on viruses. Such research attempts to manipulate viruses to give them additional features. He is trying to associate the Wuhan lab with such type of research:

As the cable noted, the U.S. visitors met with Shi Zhengli, the head of the research project, who had been publishing studies related to bat coronaviruses for many years. In November 2017, just before the U.S. officials’ visit, Shi’s team had published research showing that horseshoe bats they had collected from a cave in Yunnan province were very likely from the same bat population that spawned the SARS coronavirus in 2003.
The research was designed to prevent the next SARS-like pandemic by anticipating how it might emerge. But even in 2015, other scientists questioned whether Shi’s team was taking unnecessary risks. In October 2014, the U.S. government had imposed a moratorium on funding of any research that makes a virus more deadly or contagious, known as “gain-of-function” experiments.

The link Rogin provides goes to a Nature piece on a debate about a certain 'gain of function' research. The research in question was experiments at University of North Carolina, not in Wuhan. The paper describing that research, A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence, was written by Professor Ralph S. Baric who had also designed the experiment. The paper lists a total of fifteen collaborators. One of the listed authors is indeed Zhengli-Li Shi who leads the laboratory in Wuhan.

But neither Zhengli-Li Shi, nor her laboratory, were actually involved in any of the experiments. At the and of the research paper the contributions of each co-author are listed. About Zhengli-Li Shi it says:

Z.-L.S. provided SHC014 spike sequences and plasmids.

The Wuhan laboratory only provided specific gene sequences from its pool of bat viruses, the laboratory's and Zhengi-Li Shi's specialty, that the researchers in North Carolina wanted to use in their experiment.

To construe that furnisher function as involvement in 'gain of function' experiments is a unjustified exaggeration. I have found no evidence that the Wuhan lab itself ever engaged in such research.

Rogin concludes his scare piece by handing the microphone to the demagogue in the White House that is his source:

Inside the Trump administration, many national security officials have long suspected either the WIV or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab was the source of the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to the New York Times, the intelligence community has provided no evidence to confirm this. But one senior administration official told me that the cables provide one more piece of evidence to support the possibility that the pandemic is the result of a lab accident in Wuhan.

“The idea that it was just a totally natural occurrence is circumstantial. The evidence it leaked from the lab is circumstantial. Right now, the ledger on the side of it leaking from the lab is packed with bullet points and there’s almost nothing on the other side,” the official said.

Manipulated interpretations of diplomatic cables and evidence-free claims about allegedly existing evidence were also used in warmongering campaigns about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and chemical attacks in Syria. The neo-conservatives are now using the same old tricks against China.

The media echo shows that they have some success with this.

Posted by b on May 13, 2020 at 17:21 UTC | Permalink

next page »

This is a good example of how journalists are used to promote propaganda. They are well paid by the elites for lying to us.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | May 13 2020 17:30 utc | 1

I remember when that dude first got elected.
He was very nearly dancing whilst singing the, 'People let me tell ya bout my best friend!' song... about President Xi, and the Chinese.
Well, I guess he must have gotten tired of that tune, or something?

Posted by: Joshua | May 13 2020 17:42 utc | 2

Propaganda war is only successful when the target masses are predisposed to believe in them.

The American people is predisposed to swallow the anti-China propaganda because it is politically and economically beneficial to its own interests (i.e. the national interest):

US Senators Introduce Sanctions Bill to Hold China Accountable for COVID-19 Outbreak

The first point to note in this bill is that it is a declaration of war against China:

The senators added that the measure requires the US president to provide a certification to Congress within 60 days that China has shared a full and complete accounting to any COVID-19-related investigation led by the United States, its allies, or UN agencies, including the World Health Organization.

Even if such "certification" comes out, it has a failsafe:

The White House should also notify US lawmakers if China "closed operating wet markets that may expose risk to humans and released all Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates that were arrested in the post-COVID-19 crackdowns", the statement said.

As already posted in this blog, millions of Chinese depend on those wet markets to sell their products and buy their food. To impose a conditional on closing wet markets is the equivalent to condemning millions of Chinese to starvation. The CCP obviously won't do that, so the sanctions are guaranteed.

And the list of sanctions is very enlightening:

"Without certification, the president would be authorized to impose a range of sanctions such as asset freezes, travel bans, visa revocations, restricting United States financial institutions from making loans or underwriting to Chinese businesses and prohibiting Chinese firms from being listed on American stock exchanges"

Almost all those sanctions have exactly one thing in common: they're all financial in essence (even the travel bans and visa revocations, albeit more related to softpower, are also heavily related to finance, since they involve people working in the financial sector and IP).

These sanctions are one more piece of evidence that the USA has mutated into a purely financial superpower. It lost its capacity to directly impose its will to much of the rest of the world outside a nuclear threat. It still can impose its will to smaller and "hollow" countries whose prosperity/existence depend on the stability of the USD (specially the neoliberal "emerging countries" such as Brazil, Turkey and SE-Asia and the "welfare States" from Western Europe and Japan), but it cannot subjugate the "rest of the world" at the same time, let alone effectively. If we're to appeal to historic parallels, we could compare the USA post-2008 to the Roman Empire post-400s.

Posted by: vk | May 13 2020 17:44 utc | 3

thanks b... it is interesting how these bio labs are connected across different countries / cultures.. i agree with @1 ariusarmenian...

i am still trying to figure out the game that is being played out with regard to the fbi and Charles Lieber, the Harvard professor...
FBI arrests Harvard chemist; two others charged in Chinese research cases .. its a wapo story.. hopefully it comes thru properly... bottom line is there seems like some kind of weird game going on - set up, or whatever...

Posted by: james | May 13 2020 17:51 utc | 4

Thanks B.
Brilliant deconstruction. Most helpful.

Posted by: Ronald | May 13 2020 17:56 utc | 5

re my post @4... it appears the justice depts charging documents on lieber have nothing to do with the virus...see pdf here.. another conspiracy theory down the drain, lol...

Posted by: james | May 13 2020 18:03 utc | 6

The only real issue is whether Trump can use the accusations against China to win the election in November. It doesn't otherwise seem to me to have enough to justify a real economic war against them, or even a military war.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 13 2020 18:39 utc | 7

Forgive me if this has already been posted. However, is everyone aware how the us gov't is gonna handle this pandemic? Have y'all read house resolution 6666? (aptly numbered anyway)

They're apparently already training folks, with no experience necessary and twenty two dollars an hour plus benefits, to go into everyone's home to test for covid 19 and remove members who test positive. It's called the trace act for Testing Reaching and Contacting Everyone. The new normal for america and likely the rest of the world, if it goes thru here. Might be a wise time to contact one's representatives?

Posted by: aye, myself & me | May 13 2020 18:47 utc | 8

Operation mocking bird has never ended..Here in an european colony of the empire I clearly see how since 2 months the rethorical stream of anti china feelings has began and day by day gets stronger..the problem is that the masses follow MSM and then all lies repeated everyday become truths in average people.Obviously this starts from the need of ziontrump to distract american people from the real problems..and then it's carried out in the colony of europe.

Posted by: LuBa | May 13 2020 18:56 utc | 9

American capitalism is faced with accelerating economic decline and looming strategic debacles in Afghanistan (longest running war in US history), Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The Coronavirus pandemic has starkly revealed the fragility of the post-2008 financial ‘recovery’, as FED- created financial bubbles in all asset categories are all on the edge of blowing up, were it not for continuing multi- $ trillion bailouts from the Treasury/FED. The proverbial ‘next shoe to drop’ will be massive defaults on the $ 16 trillion outstanding US residential mortgage debt. The ruling elite have no solution to these structural problems, except to print more money to continue bailing out Wall St and engage in bellicose and reckless foreign policy that is going to lead to war with China and Russia. Corporate media represents the interests of the ruling elite and support Trumps foreign policy.

Posted by: Paul | May 13 2020 18:59 utc | 10

Someone should tell these Clowns China is not Grenada, Panama or Syria. The U.S. will not survive the consequences.

US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — TV report
TimesofIsrael-article published April 16, 2020. [for some strange reason direct link blocked. In comment preview it disappears]

White House was reportedly not interested in the intel, but it was passed onto NATO, IDF; when it reached Israel’s Health Ministry, ‘nothing was done’

US intelligence agencies alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in China already in November, Israeli television reported Thursday.

According to Channel 12 news, the US intelligence community became aware of the emerging disease in Wuhan in the second week of that month and drew up a classified document.[.]

recall discussions in D.C. were deemed classified.
Curiously, at the CDC they were recruiting;
Public Health Advisor (Quarantine Program) for 50 states and territories.
Job ID HHS-CDC-D3-20-10640010
OPEN PERIOD: 2019-11-15 to 2020-05-15
Serves as a project representative for a program responsible for preventing the importation and spread of communicable diseases.


"Assist in planning and implementing a program for preventing the importation of communicable diseases from abroad and spread of these diseases domestically.", "Monitor disease trends and consults with senior leaders to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent the introduction/spread of communicable diseases by travelers, etiologic agents or vectors.", "Provide [.] "Develop and present training to various governmental agencies and local partners on emergency response protocols, communicable diseases and quarantine activities." [.]

As if China has no one that reads English or monitors to push back. No, not at all. China kept it hidden.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 13 2020 19:03 utc | 11

Trump will be on his own in this.
The US needs China but hates it.
The rest of the world needs China and knows it.

Posted by: bjd | May 13 2020 19:10 utc | 12

Second week of November 2019. How could US intel have known that early?

Posted by: lysias | May 13 2020 19:11 utc | 13

I refer your blog as an example to my kid,friends how the task 'journalism' should be carried out. Thank you B for the immense effort you have put for this article.

Posted by: KD | May 13 2020 19:15 utc | 14

A stupendously massive failure by Trump personally in dealing with the pandemic ... the election is in SIX MONTHS! -- ALL HANDS ON DECK!! ... what is the most likely distraction that the public might buy? .......

Posted by: chet80 | May 13 2020 19:26 utc | 15

John Bolton, surprisingly, is not in favor of suing China for damages. He's not against the idea per se he just doesn't think it will work for various will take too long, China won't co-operate and they won't pay up anyway...

Posted by: dh | May 13 2020 19:31 utc | 16

@Likklemore, lysias

I had written about that November warning. It was likely about a bubonic plague outbreak in Mongolia:

See first item in Assorted Virus News.

Posted by: b | May 13 2020 19:38 utc | 17

Looks like the economic situation of the USA is worst than I thought. Here's a quick summary of today's Powell's speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics:

The speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell was truly shocking

And, to no one's surprise:

Some countries, including the United States, are reimposing lockdowns amid a resurgence of cases

Posted by: vk | May 13 2020 19:56 utc | 18

The Times of Israel report was that US intel became aware of coronavirus, not plague, in Wuhan, not Mongolia, in the second week of November 2019.

Posted by: lysias | May 13 2020 20:05 utc | 19

And since the Times of Israel reported that the DIA report had been given to the Israelis, the Times of Israel or at least its Israeli source had almost certainly seen the actual DIA report.

Posted by: lysias | May 13 2020 20:16 utc | 20

Thanks b. Always in your corner. One Love.

but, but, from that TimesofIsrael article cited at link 11 ["US Alerted Israel"] there is specificity: Check out the ABC News link below from quoted paragraphs.

The intelligence also reached Israel’s decision makers and the Health Ministry, where “nothing was done,” according to the report.
Last week, ABC News reported that US intelligence officials were warning about the coronavirus in a report prepared in November by the American military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence.[.]

Btw, I could not embed the TimesofIsrael https://

Posted by: Likklemore | May 13 2020 20:32 utc | 21

The earlier classified meeting of the Trump admin on coronavirus moist likely consisted of setting the anti China narrative, part of which is digging up all coronavirus related research and putting it down to the evil and or careless chinese. most shit being put out officially by the US government was first brought up in social media by bellingcat type operations.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 13 2020 20:56 utc | 22

Meanwhile, Spain seems to have had 5% of its population exposed to covid and with antibodies to prove it:
This means the fatality rate is at least 1.1% if we take official death numbers, and more like 1.5% if we rely on excess mortality.
This also means that even when the pandemic went out of control in some parts of a country, the number of exposed and immune people is still ridiculously low - less than 12% in Madrid, where it spread like wildfire. So much for herd immunity strategy.
Of course, this also means that you'd need to kill half a million Spaniards to possibly achieve said immunity.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 13 2020 21:01 utc | 23

Likklemore | May 13 2020 20:32 utc | 21

Say, wouldn't the "American military's Nat'l Ctr for Mil Intel" know if something was spreading and the exact time and place of the Wuhan mil games? .

Re whether or not bio-weapon: That Q is nonsensical until one understands that "bio-weapon" includes "Bio-weapon related".

All R&D connected with defense against bio-weapons and R&D to "better understand" bio-weapons and the broad activities included under the undefined rubric "Defense Threat Reduction Agency" and similar "Liars Poker" themes will make clear that this pandemic is bio-manmade affair, at least. To assume otherwise invites a nation's suicide...arrival date unknown.

Posted by: chu teh | May 13 2020 21:02 utc | 24

Methinks your characterization of HR 6666 is a bit of an exaggeration, but you have the general idea and it could end up as bad as you suggest. Does sound more like a police action than a medical service. In days of yore when contact tracer was a real job and public health was a real thing in US, I drank with a pair of tracers. Job required empathy, wit, ability to talk to people. Ability to talk with and draw out all kinds of people. And still it was not unusual to be greeted at the door by a man with gun in hand.

Also the time for tracing is mostly over. Does not make any sense as a rearguard action. Of course logic is out the window when the object is a jobs program combined with a police program.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 13 2020 21:06 utc | 25

None of this is true:

The Times of Israel report was that US intel became aware of coronavirus, not plague, in Wuhan, not Mongolia, in the second week of November 2019.

I read The Times of Israel’s November 2019 Article and it doesn’t mention in word of Covid or Wuhan.

Posted by: TimmyB | May 13 2020 21:54 utc | 26

chu teh @ 24

Overnight I read/watched an interview that is educative. The interviewee's uncle is a former WH tenant (in recent history) of the 1960 vintage. Link may be subject of censor because he wrote a forward to a book written by a researcher who is alleged to be a fraud, a conspiracy theorist.
But the discussion, as my grandpa taught, keep an open mind as every situation has four sides to the coin. As we wade through bad science; rushed science to find answers; lots of unknowns eventually the truth be told.

That said. Oh my. of the well known hazards[.....] big pharma, the Pentagon Study, two types of anti-bodies, Interferon, (now deployed) lots to chew - all food for thought; it's a long read. Educative of the liars club.
Btw, yesterday Dr. Fauci testified on Vid before the Senate Health Committee. He also had caveats on "safety concerns."

Scientific Reports:on a small area of planet earth. In history - bats and coronaviruses have been evolving together for millions of years.

Good luck developing a vaccine. We haven't yet for AIDS since 1985 still searching and failing.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 13 2020 21:58 utc | 27

I just looked again at the Times of Israel article. It mentions coronavirus in its first paragraph and Wuhan in its second.

Posted by: lysias | May 13 2020 22:06 utc | 28

The man whose revelations IMO provided the smoking gun evidence that Trump had a Do Nothing, treasonous, policy ordered in "response" to COVID-19, Dr. Rick Bright, has released his written testimony he'll deliver tomorrow before the House's Energy and Commerce subcommittee, which happens to dovetail with what China's been demanding Trump do for weeks--deploy a science-based approach to the pandemic:

"If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities ... Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history."

Yesterday, China announced it was going to test all 11 Million residents of Wuhan. That was reported in an article in USA Today opposite an article detailing the lame attempts to get a tracing program going in North Carolina. The linked article makes the following very important observation that many barflies have emphasized:

"He [Bright] added that 'our leaders must lead by modeling the behavior' needed to stop the spread of Covid-19, including mask-wearing—a likely reference to reports that new White House rules requiring masks do not apply to the president, and to images of Vice President Mike Pence visiting a coronavirus ward without a mask."

Oh if only--Regime Change via virus--even though Pelosi is certainly evil herself.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2020 22:24 utc | 29

@ b

Are you sure in Wuhan I. of V. they have never worked with GOF of SARS virus?

Starting in 2007:

"A MAb against p24 of HIV was generated by the HIV group of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (unpublished results). Rabbit polyclonal antibodies against ACE2 of the bat R. pearsonii (RpACE2) was generated using a recombinant RpACE2 protein expressed in Escherichia coli at our laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, following standard procedures."

All 10 scientists who are associated with this paper are also associated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology

"A group of SARS-like CoVs (SL-CoVs) has been identified in horseshoe bats. SL-CoVs and SARS-CoVs share identical genome organizations and high sequence identities, with the main exception of the N terminus of the spike protein (S), known to be responsible for receptor binding in CoVs. In this study, we investigated the receptor usage of the SL-CoV S by combining a human immunodeficiency virus-based pseudovirus system with cell lines expressing the ACE2 molecules of human, civet, or horseshoe bat. In addition to full-length S of SL-CoV and SARS-CoV, a series of S chimeras was constructed by inserting different sequences of the SARS-CoV S into the SL-CoV S backbone. Several important observations were made from this study. First, the SL-CoV S was unable to use any of the three ACE2 molecules as its receptor. Second, the SARS-CoV S failed to enter cells expressing the bat ACE2. Third, the chimeric S covering the previously defined receptor-binding domain gained its ability to enter cells via human ACE2, albeit with different efficiencies for different constructs. Fourth, a minimal insert region (amino acids 310 to 518) was found to be sufficient to convert the SL-CoV S from non-ACE2 binding to human ACE2 binding, indicating that the SL-CoV S is largely compatible with SARS-CoV S protein both in structure and in function. The significance of these findings in relation to virus origin, virus recombination, and host switching is discussed."

Then in 2015, 2017, 2019, similar kind of studies with different types of coronavirus, some of then with GOF.

1)The reason is that WIV is the only BLS4 lab in China, and this kind of GOF experiments need to be done in this kind of labs.

2)The oubreak of SARS in China in 2002 was in Guangdong, and the origin seems to be in bat from caves in Yunnan province (1.000 miles away from Wuhan), where the bat population is much higher and and in much more close proximity to the people than in Hubei (Wuhan); also the wet markets in Yunnan, Guangzhou or Guandong are much bigger than in Hubei;
statistically nobody could expect an outbreak of a transmisible bat coronavirus in Hubei for obvious reasons, except if you have a Virology Institute working day and night with infectious coronaviruses

Posted by: DFC | May 13 2020 22:31 utc | 30


You are superb! Thank you for the diligent research to clarify Rogin's work of "art", lighting the fuse of the InfoWar against China regarding the lab leak fiction.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 13 2020 22:41 utc | 31

Posted by: DFC | May 13 2020 22:31 utc | 30

The fact they were working on these kind of viruses doesn't mean it escaped from there..the fact that chinese discovered the virus before others doesn't mean it originated there.and then the fact that CIA is accusing China is the proof this virus was perfect to create a scapegoat.yanks method never changes.

Posted by: LuBa | May 13 2020 22:49 utc | 32

A couple of weeks ago (damn, wish I could find the link now) I read a MSM article about those diplomatic cables and there was an oblique sentence that had me thinking: heck, that sounds like the cables are complaining about inadequate staffing levels, not about safety issues.

Anyway, I thought enough about it at the time to look at the history of that P-4 lab, and found this:

So while wiki says (twice) that the lab was completed in 2015 that only relates to its construction. In terms of operations the lab was only certified in January 2017, and as of that Nature article (late Feb 2017) still was not operating.

So a visit by US diplomats in January 2018 would indeed be very likely to find a lab that was still understaffed at the lower levels (research labs typically recruit from the top-down, starting from the Director who then recruits other scientists to attract research grants, who then use the grants to hire lab technicians and research assistants).

I mean, it would be nice if instead of having their stenographers in the MSM tell us what they think is in those diplomatic cable, if the USA government actually released the text of those cables so we can all judge for ourselves.

But I think you are right: the diplomats really said something alone the lines of It's All Very Nice And Shiny, But They Still Need To Recruit More Staff If They Are Going To Carry Out US-funded Research As Well As Their Own.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 13 2020 22:58 utc | 33

@ 28 lysias... is this the article you refer to from times of israel? april 16 2020.. i am unable to post the link - but this is the title if others want to see it..

US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — TV report

with a quote from it below..

"US intelligence agencies alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in China already in November, Israeli television reported Thursday.

According to Channel 12 news, the US intelligence community became aware of the emerging disease in Wuhan in the second week of that month and drew up a classified document."

Posted by: james | May 13 2020 23:15 utc | 34

Well done, b!

You cannot unfuck what's been fucked, only blame somebody else. Expect the warmongering rhetoric against China to only increase in direct proportion to fuckedness of the economy, which is well and truly fucked already, and only due for more chaos as the next COVID-19 wave starts sweeping through a month from now.

Posted by: Trisha | May 13 2020 23:34 utc | 35


You need to do some reading up on pseudovirus before trolling. Though perhaps you have have but are paid to pump the china dunit shit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 13 2020 23:42 utc | 36

"In this study, a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-based pseudovirus system was employed to address these issues"

Pseudovirus (PV) belongs to the family of Pseudoviridae which consists of three genuses, Pseudovirus, Hemivirus, and Sirevirus. It is a viral genus that lacks certain virulence factors, making them significantly less dangerous to handle. Comparing to viable or attenuated viruses that mandate all operations to be performed in biosafety level (BSL) 3 and 4 laboratories, handling of Pseudovirus requires bio-contaminant level 2, which substantially enhanced its potential as an alternative to traditional methods.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 13 2020 23:46 utc | 37


Cell Therapy Institute , Wuhan, CHINA
37.49 ·
Doctor of Philosophy

He begins with this garbage
"2. Origin of COVID-19
2019-nCoV genomics indicated that it was a recombinant virus of SARS-CoV
and HIV origins. The two species of viruses had distinct and distance pedigrees,
and because of the different space and time of their existence, their recombinant
had never appeared in a natural setting [4]. Therefore, 2019-nCoV could not be
a product of nature, but rather a product of human genetic engineering."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 0:00 utc | 38

James, yes, that is the article in the Times of Israel.

Posted by: lysias | May 14 2020 0:06 utc | 39

I'm surprised you are posting stuff like that karlf1.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 0:06 utc | 40

yeah is that same gof paper over and over again. Yes, the researchers studied the spike protein, and figured out how to "improve it". The theoretical benefit is that we gain insight into how much genetic difference is required for that particular group of viruses to jump species. (not much as it turns out). That said, the implications are not reassuring.

At some point, researchers would be tempted to synthesize a "live" virus to use as an animal model - thinking it would infect humans ... but being mistaken. This seems to be what that Peter Law article is alluding to?

Did this actually happen or is it just speculation? Seems they did actually synthesize a live virus meant for mice but also compatible with human cells in vitro. Besides that they used the pseudovirus mostly, but really that is kindof a fig leaf, IMO.

We know that the stuff of conspiracy theories is possible and the techniques are documented. So far that's it, the rest really is just speculation.

Posted by: ptb | May 14 2020 0:22 utc | 41

typo... "thinking it wouldn't infect humans"

Posted by: ptb | May 14 2020 0:23 utc | 42

DFC #30

Why not at the BSL4 lab in Australia?

The published paper dated 2010 that I linked to in a much earlier post shows Australia, China and USA collaborating in an exercise to explore restraints and accelerators of infection.

Australia's CSIRO has a BSL4 lab in one of its states. It is not clear whether that was a simultaneous exercise over multiple labs or not.

Then there is a 2015 published paper by USA and China with possibly simultaneous experimentation in multiple labs.

Then there was report in an earlier post that I referenced with alarm at activities in Kazakhstan.

Scientists collaborate from many nations on all sorts of matters. Mostly to develop better things or preventative medications or the nature of the universe. This is not necessarily malign. But we do know that there are malign activities carried out by scientists in many countries. If you have actual proof of your BLAME CHINA then lets see it.

I see many more adverse reports from USA and Georgian labs. China built the Wuhan lab with French design and engineering. Perhaps the USA will never forgive them that heresy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 0:34 utc | 43

uncle tungsten

The piece linked by DFC was funded by China, EU and Australia. I read through some of it but mostly the discussion piece at the end. It was genuine research that did nit require level 4 or even level 3 lab.
The US labs around the world however do need looking at. US has both it military labs plus civilian but official US involvement in many countries all in the name of safeguarding US from emerging infectious diseases.
With the US being one of the countries hardest hit, it seems all official US infectious disease research must be into how to use them against other countries rather than protect US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 0:43 utc | 44

Added to my #45 responding to DFC

PLUS there are lots of beautiful bats in Australia and the Pacific Islands and many people in those islands chew on them. Small communities chewing on bats would seem risky eh? but they survive.

DFC, How many bats are left in the USA? Are they problematic like the Hendra Virus type in Australia?

Bats are among the most vital life forms in enabling reforestation and plant species distribution. Respect them and leave them alone is my motto.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 0:48 utc | 45

Peter AU1 #46

So much science - so little results for humans.

The USA couldn't protect a simple economy from plunder let alone a human from infection.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 0:52 utc | 46

Paul | May 13 2020 18:59 utc | 10

( going to lead to war with China and Russia)

Yes, I agree that's the probable, indeed I think inevitable next phase of the forces.

I also remember that our Brother Gospodin Putin has been absolutely clear that when a fight in inevitable, strike first.

This is to say that if, Friend, you and I see this affair in this way, so then will the putative "enemies"...

This in turn is liable to result in action by "Chine and Ivan" to screw up the war plan.

They have their backs to the sea. Sun Tsu teaches that when you want an army to fight no matter what and to the last, position them with their backs to the sea.

Wally doubts that Pomperx learned that kinna stuff at his second rate JC.

If Stumpy Zevon was alive Wally would place a long bet on "surprises" in the runup to war with China and Russia.

Whatabunch rubes. The "lockdown" has a purely coincidental effect of preventing any mass opposition to a suicidal war, or anything else. How Jolly! What a coincidence!

Posted by: Walter | May 14 2020 0:52 utc | 47

"Some of the research was done in collaboration with two U.S. universities and financed by the U.S. government."

This is the part I find amazing. With all the "China is a major threat", and "China steals our intellectual property", and "China Bad!" - the US was FINANCING this lab!

I mean, hypocrisy much?!

And yet, this is *never* mentioned or headlined in any story about the Wuhan lab, except perhaps in passing. If Trump wants to blame someone for this virus, blame the US government and fire everyone involved. But of course, that won't happen because the US hoped to get its own biowarfare weapons out of this research (and probably steal more from the lab as well.) I guarantee you the people from the US Embassy who went to that lab were "official cover" CIA assholes, not really State Department at all.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 1:04 utc | 48

uncle tungsten 49

China showed how science can be used to stop an epidemic.
I don't mind the genuine medical research that is public and published. It is the difference of the medical of today and that of a hundred years ago when there was no cure even for simple bacteria.

A lot of it though is what information that US would term as dual purpose. What I see happening is much genuine research carried out publicly can then be taken up by the US military and CIA to further develop into bio weapons.
They would have shown great interest in the coronavirus strains due to how easily it can mutate or be mutated or strains recommended into a human pathogen.
Know coronavirus strains possess all the required attributes tro make up the SARS-CoV-2 strain by recombination.

This was found in the research linked by DFC
"Considering the documented observations of coinfection of the same bat species by different CoVs, the same CoVs infecting different bat species (26, 29, 39), the high density of bat habitats, and the propensity for genetic recombination among different CoVs, it is not unreasonable to conclude that bats are a natural mixing vessel for the creation of novel CoVs and that it is only a matter of time before some of them cross species barriers into terrestrial mammal and human populations."

Something like that would be of great interest to the like of the US alphabet agencies and pentagon. Rather than genuine research in diseases and how to combat them being shut down, it is the US and their willingness to weaponise anything that can be weaponised that needs to be shut down.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 1:11 utc | 49

Posted by: aye, myself & me | May 13 2020 18:47 utc | 8 They're apparently already training folks, with no experience necessary and twenty two dollars an hour plus benefits, to go into everyone's home to test for covid 19 and remove members who test positive.

This is how it was done and is being done in every country that has controlled the virus. It's how it's been done in pandemics for centuries (albeit with less resources.) It's a bitch for people who are infected, but a "public health hazard" is a public health hazard. You spend two weeks in a hotel, get tested daily for another couple weeks after being sent home. Spend your time watching reality TV or soap operas (I assume the hotel room has a TV LOL.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 1:15 utc | 50

Pft #51

Thank you and I appreciate your effort in that comilation. Was there a similar exercise collecting bat borne virus data in other countries? Seems that after the civets came in for criticism re SARS I wonder if there has been a broad scan done of other mammals. I get the impression that irregular viral sharing and incubating has been the role of mammals for some millennia.

Thanks to all those scientists that are free to publish their efforts and those publishers that open share their publications. Clearly the Chinese and especially Shi Zhengli are public spirited in publishing on such a vital subject. Private financed work under the eye of vaccine chasing BIG PHARMA would be not rushing into print so fullsomely.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 1:23 utc | 51

B thanks for the counter for US propaganda directed to weak minded and lazy westerner who so incredibly ignorant and naive without realizing they are the ones being squeezed for their imperial overlords.

btw could you remove and block ppl who constantly post long copy paste instead of just posting the hyperlink ? i find it is another attempt to ruin the comment section by trolls and astroturfers as they tried agsin and again to smear MoA when their disinfo failed

Posted by: milomilo | May 14 2020 1:34 utc | 52

Peter AU1 #53

it is the US and their willingness to weaponise anything that can be weaponised that needs to be shut down.

Agreed. It is a precarious balance for our ethical nations and scientist sisters and brothers to negotiate.

I assume that all the published research to date has assisted pharmacologists to narrow the range of suitable products for intervention.

I recall that the the use of artemisia for assisting fevers was the recommendation written six centuries ago in a Chinese medicinal text. That included the method of extraction so as to get a functional remedy. Steam distillation destroyed its essential property so cold extraction was needed. All dutifully written down six centuries ago. It was re-discovered following a detailed reassessment of ancient Chinese medicinals as the Malarial remedy quinine was declining in effectiveness due to smart mossies and selection processes. We are grateful that the Chinese government and medical scientists made a dedicated effort to comb the literature that stretches back so far. Hence its inclusion in as one of the assistant responses to Covid-19 through Traditional Chinese Medicine. There was a Chinese Govt guide referenced in an earlier blog.

The utter disgrace of the USA behaviour is beneath contempt..

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 1:38 utc | 53

Ah, another Trump bashathon. Who would have figured. While your bashing Trump for his not supposed taking the virus serious or he had been warned earlier about the coming pandemic what about the Democrats who claimed Trump was overreacting when he shut the borders and other stuff and told people to go out and party. Oh, but he had these reports. Maybe maybe not. With the medias track record that may be all propaganda. Yet how many reports did he get contradicting those reports supposedly warning of disaster ahead. Just look at how many respected experienced medical people who have from the beginning and continue to say shutting things down was unnecessary and a mistake. So instead of bashing Trump put yourself in his shoes and decide what to do in the face of conflicting reports and experts. Have you seen a single prominent Democrat stand up there with Trump and say we're all in this together so let's put our differences aside and work together on this? Nope. Only obstruction, lies, and criticism as they raised partisanship to a new level while Americans who elected them suffered. At news conferences instead of working to get the news out and ask pertinent questions it's all about hey Trump what did you do in February so they can get a gotcha and write more partisan yellow journalism. Instead of reporting the news reporters want to make a name for themselves. Trump has rightly stomped on the press and it's about time someone stood up to their antics of misquotes, edited tapes, and outright lies that have now been laid bare.

Posted by: snedly arkus | May 14 2020 1:40 utc | 54

Richard Steven Hack #54

Spend your time watching reality TV or soap operas (I assume the hotel room has a TV LOL.)

Well I could only just hack that if it had internet, I had my laptop and MoA and zeroanthropology etc., to chat with.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 1:42 utc | 55

Trump keeps calling it the Chinese virus because that's what it is. Democrats, and Trump haters, and their water carriers in the media want it dropped so they can blame Trump for it when peoples memories fade by election time. Some outlets coined it the Trump virus months ago but it didn't stick. Pure politics and nothing to do with racism or China bashing. China and the lies it spread delaying any response by the rest of the world has made them lose face and they are doing the full court press to overturn it. No one would care if the Chinese got bashed over this if someone other than Trump was in the White House. Now the worlds media is pushing the Chinese, and the disgraced low life WHO, propaganda.

There are always wars of words between countries and nothing comes of it. The US bashed the daylights out of the once super powerful Soviet Union and continues now with Russia, mostly lies and propaganda, and yet no war. Now we get the ignorant who get herded by the propaganda into thinking war with China is inevitable unless Trump is removed and get all uptight. Relax and quit being a sheep being led to slaughter. You're pawns in a larger game.

The pandemic has shown one of the main reasons Trump has been going after China. We have to rely on them and not our more than capable selves to supply medicines and medical gear. Not to mention our and the US military's electronics are chock full of Chinese chips that many claim have back doors in them. Imagine a real war and someone pushes a button and the US military, and your electronic toys, grind to a halt. This is a tip of the iceberg. All so CEO's of American companies can get paid big bucks for doing less as they shoulder the outsiders with doing the heavy lifting of making things. Get paid big bucks for making a few phone calls. In the meantime it gives those CEO's plenty of excuses to buy company planes, need to visit China or wherever plants they claim, but spend most of their flight time going to sports venues and wifey uses the plane to go shopping when hubby isn't using it.

Posted by: snedly arkus | May 14 2020 2:09 utc | 56

Likklemore | May 13 2020 21:58 utc | 27

Thanks for those links. RFKjr article/video interview speaks sooth. Credibly and effectively so... knew 1st-hand of GE's dumping of toxic PCBs and poisoning of lower 70[?] mi of river and was amazed in 80s, when RFKjr took on battle to begin clean-up; utterly daunting job.

now to listen to his astute views on COVID-19/vaccines matter is indeed educational treat.

Your kink thankfully includes a transcript of RFK's words so its an east listed. Here is that link so others can enjoy:

If any trouble, goto Likklemore's links, in his post above.

A great man speaks.

Posted by: chu teh | May 14 2020 2:11 utc | 57

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 1:42 utc | 59 Well I could only just hack that if it had internet, I had my laptop and MoA and zeroanthropology etc., to chat with.

Agreed. If I didn't have Internet, I couldn't get my favorite TV shows (I download them, including stuff from England, and save some on the hard drive.) I don't own a laptop at the moment, so my old 7" tablet would be all I had to do that with (and my phone, of course, but watching TV on that small a screen...)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 2:14 utc | 58

@ 58 / 60 snedly arkus.. trump is a self absorbed freak show.. china bashing is exactly what it is and it has been non stop, similar to the russia bashing before it... russia bashing was a dem thing and china bashing is a rep thing.. frankly - both of these parties are tied at the hip... see the senate vote today for more clarity... they will screw the little people regardless of anything.. i don't give a shit for any of them, but thinking trump is anything other then an ignoramus is not borne out by the facts.. and fwiw, i live in canada, so i am not picking sides here.. i could give a rats ass about the stupid ongoing gong show south of the border, but for the fact they are like a 800 lb gorilla on the world stage that needs to be shot with a tranquilizer gun to stop the friggin madness... just thought i'd let you know some of us here don't see it like you!

Posted by: james | May 14 2020 2:27 utc | 59

Ironically, “The Plague.” by Albert Camus’ is being recreated in the form of the neo-feudal conquest of countries by financial capitalist master. The masters are the modern equivalent of the brown shirts that occupied France during WWI. The response to the COVID-19 epidemic appears to be designed to convert the people in sheep who will beg for order - no matter how totalitarian.

“Although written during World War II — and intended as an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France — this classic novel feels immediately relevant. A disease that spreads from animals to humans wreaks havoc on an unprepared population, one that is too wrapped up in itself and its economic dealings to take the threat seriously at first. Meanwhile, self-interested politicians delay making important decisions. Eventually, when denial no longer works, there are quarantines, supply shortages, fake remedies, issues with masks and, of course, mounting deaths. If not for the fact that the plague only ravishes a single town — instead of the entire world — it would seem almost perfectly prescient.”

Posted by: krollchem | May 14 2020 3:03 utc | 60

The wisdom of this virus is amazing. Accurate after the US election, it will disappear, according to forecasts.

Posted by: Mao | May 14 2020 3:20 utc | 61

The latest from Tomas Pueyo over at Medium...

Coronavirus: Prevent Seeding and Spreading

tl;dr Version:

The bad news first:

We will likely need to heavily slow down national and international tourism for months
Big events like business fairs or music concerts will need to remain closed for now

The good news:

We should still be able to travel for one-way or very long trips
There are ways we can accelerate the reopening of tourism
We can probably reopen schools
A clear order is emerging for which businesses should reopen. The most important to keep open are likely banks, grocery, and general stores, and the least important are likely cafés, dessert parlors, and gyms

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 3:34 utc | 62

chu teh @ 61

Thanks. FYI RFKjr is chairman of The Children Health Defense. he does good work.


Well, this did not take too long - 2 months. Trump openly disagrees with Dr. Fauci, and true to his character he gives a rebuke.

Trump clashes with Fauci over US reopening

[.] US President Donald Trump has pushed for reopening schools, against the advice of his chief epidemiologist. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus may become endemic and never really disappear.[.]

On Tuesday, however, his chief epidemiologist Dr Anthony Fauci argued before the Senate that opening the schools this fall might be premature, saying that children might be affected by the virus after all.

“He wants to play all sides of the equation,” Trump said when asked about Fauci’s testimony. “I was surprised by his answer, actually, because, you know, it’s just to me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”[.]


FDA orders Bill Gates-funded program to HALT at-home Covid-19 self-testing

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered a Seattle-based Covid-19 testing project funded by Bill Gates to stop screening for the virus, putting the program on ice as it provided hundreds of at-home test kits each day.[.]

Spearheaded by five Seattle-area healthcare organizations, the program, according to Gates, was meant to create a coronavirus surveillance system by testing “a sample of people in the Seattle region” – both sick and healthy – in hopes of gaining insight into how the illness is “moving through the community, who is at greatest risk, and whether physical distancing measures are working.”[.]

Billy G. There you go.
The guy has a mission and he is in great hurry. Say no more.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 14 2020 3:38 utc | 63

Sorry to mess up my reference. Should read:

"Your link thankfully includes a transcript of RFK's words so its an easy listen. Here is that link so others can enjoy":

Posted by: chu teh | May 14 2020 3:59 utc | 64

An explanation on Twitter from an American visiting South Korea on how they do things with travelers. Cited in the Tomas Pueyo piece I referenced above. Read the comments from the Americans - half of them can't comprehend this stuff.

Michael Kim @michaelvkim
As an American currently in South Korea, it’s very interesting to me the stark contrast of how different the two countries’ response to coronavirus is. I don’t think most Americans fully understand the lengths that South Korea has undergone, so I’ll try my best to explain.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 4:02 utc | 65

Posted by: Likklemore | May 14 2020 3:38 utc | 67 Trump clashes with Fauci over US reopening Fauci argued before the Senate that opening the schools this fall might be premature, saying that children might be affected by the virus after all.

Interesting. Tomas Pueyo suggests - he doesn't actually argue for - in the article I referenced above that schools might *not* be a big problem after all, comparatively speaking. Not sure if he is aware of some of the recent developments with children *possibly* having usually rare disease reactions. Also not sure he's aware of the asthma count of children - over six million.

I bet Trump wants all the big sports stadiums open to the public again - that would be a big election gain for him. And that ain't gonna happen - not without huge outbreaks. A sports stadium is about *the* worst place for containing a virus.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 4:09 utc | 66

At the bottom of the Tomas Pueyo piece, he mentions these facts...worth noting.

If the Transmission Rate R is 2.7, around 65% of the population might get infected, or around 214 million Americans. If the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is between 0.5% and 1.5% — which seems likely based on the most reliable seroprevalence studies — the death toll across the US could be between 1 and 3 million people.

On top of that, there might be chronic conditions that emerge from the effect of the virus on lungs, kidneys, blood, brains… Reaching herd immunity would take months, during which the economy would be depressed since people will not want to go out, catch an infection, and spread it to their loved ones. Around 45% of Americans have conditions that would make the coronavirus very dangerous, such as diabetes, obesity, or simply being older.

"45% of Americans have conditions that would make the coronavirus very dangerous, such as diabetes, obesity, or simply being older." - as I've pointed out before. And certain people are determined to ignore...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 4:15 utc | 67

Well why not blame China?=
So long as the Chinese (government, at least) understands that this is merely a political gesture, and not actually backed-up with any real consequences, nothing will actually change at all=

So the political blame game can be played for a long, long time=
It makes no difference where the virus really came from=
The political game must be played, and everybody understands the essential kayfabe=
Sometimes people even get snuffed=
Politics is not for the faint of heart=

Posted by: blues | May 14 2020 5:12 utc | 68


Not merely a political gesture on the part of the Trump admin. More the leading moves in a fight to the death between a fading US and a rising China. The rising China offering infrastructure and trade, the fading US offering war and destruction.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 5:26 utc | 69

Harvey 74
Check out the places US pentagon has labs. These are the places that are happy to have new bugs.
Pentagon does not do defence. Only offence.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 6:08 utc | 70

Morell - Iranians, Russians need to pay a price by killing them covertly.

That is not considered hate speech. I think the rest of the world should be making yanks pay a price, 'covertly', any yank working in an official capacity that is off its own dung heap (Contiguous USA, Alaska and Hawaii should be made to pay Morell's price.
These fuckers need to be eradicated like any feral animal.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 14 2020 6:49 utc | 71

DFC | May 13 2020 22:31 utc | 30

Insertions of amino acids at the junction of the S1 and S2 subunits of the virus's spike protein in a manner similar to SAR-CoV-2 are also present in the bat coronavirus RmYN02. While this virus is not related to SARS-CoV-2 there are likely other bat virus’ in the wild that are more similar.

While the spike protein binding affinity is necessary for binding to cell ACE-2 receptor sites it is not sufficient to gain entry into the cell endoplasm and replicate via the virus replicase. The virus must also contain the RRAR furin cleavage site. The bat coronavirus HKU9 contains this same cleavage binding site as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

I reality we know little about the virus diversity in bats or other potential carriers. See also my post on "The Plague" for a more critical issue of control of the sheep.

Posted by: Krollchem | May 14 2020 8:35 utc | 72

Richard Steven Hack #67

Frankly I think Tomas Pueyo is all hat and no cattle. Or if you prefer:- full of sh!t. Time will tell.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 9:45 utc | 73

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 14 2020 9:45 utc | 73 Frankly I think Tomas Pueyo is all hat and no cattle. Or if you prefer:- full of sh!t. Time will tell.

Indeed? I find his reasoning logical and his supporting evidence persuasive. I don't study his models that closely, so I have no idea if they're accurate (or even intended to be), but I don't think his arguments really depend on them.

Not entirely convinced by his argument that schools can be opened because any infections are limited to people in that school. It seems to me that since a good deal of new infections are spread within the family, letting the kids get infected - even if it's not necessarily serious for them - is still not a good idea. But then I think he's considering that with testing, tracing and isolating, that can be gotten under control. Personally, given that kids are hard to "keep clean", my guess is there will be tons of infectious kids as soon as the schools re-open and they'll end up being closed again.

His main argument is a cost-benefit one, however - the cost of new infections vs the cost of not re-opening the economy - always remembering that his point is that we wouldn't be in the economic mess we're in had we been prepared and had we done a fast lockdown early on rather than wasting two months. So basically he's trying to find a way to minimize the odds of losing control again while getting the economy back - what he calls the "dance". Because if we lose control again, another lockdown will be necessary which will make the economy loss worse.

Frankly, that is the outcome I expect. Trump is not capable of doing anything correctly. It's going to be like that old saying: "Cheer up, things could be worse. So I cheered up (re-opened the economy) - and sure enough, things got worse." Everyone baying for re-opening are myopic and talking out their ass. No surprise there. Business as usual in America.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 10:26 utc | 74

Posted by: snedly arkus | May 14 2020 2:09 utc | 56

Yes and yanks are good people..that's a good story maybe for rural minds..ziontrump demented joe or killary are all actors in a pathetic circus."China virus" is only the last attempt to manipolate the apathic americans..but the great years where the empire had to face lesser developed countries and could siege them stealing and looting are finished."china virus" is something like "iraq chemical weapons" or "iranian terrorism" or "devil maduro":lies for rural yanks minds indeed...

Posted by: LuBa | May 14 2020 10:34 utc | 75

Tomas Pueyo is Anderson Cooper in a Young Hip Ethnic mask. Spook markers everywhere. He is purveying official information period. Medium lets a little light through the cracks to build credibility but is basically CNN or NYT.

You claim 9 years higher education? I just stopped believing that story.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 14 2020 11:01 utc | 76

In addition, the human coronavirus HKU1 (discovered post sars1) also contains the cleavage site mentioned. HKU1 lacks the efficient ACE2 binding features of sars-cov-2, but still managed to infect a small fraction of a percent of humans with pneumonia.

The pangolin coronavirus dna perfectly matches the ACE2 binding section of sars-cov-2, but does not have the cleavage site.

(reference: Andersen 2020)

perhaps somewhere, an animal or human simultaneously got both the pangolin virus and one of the several variants with the cleavage site, and they combined?

Posted by: ptb | May 14 2020 12:01 utc | 77

Let's think about what happens if Trump has his way and "reopens for business" and then... the covid-19 numbers just explode across the USA.

It could happen, especially with this clown-car of an administration trying to pretend that it is in charge of things.

The point I would make is that if it did pan out that way then that would be a unique occurrence.

Sure, places like Italy, UK, Spain and now Russia have had their horror period when things look/looked very bad, but none of them have "relapsed", mainly because they've all had enough sense *not* to reopen for business until they have the situation under control.

If Trump reopens the US economy despite the fact that the USA hasn't got this under control - and as a result a 2nd wave of covid-19 washes over the USA - then it is inevitably going to be seen as a pestilence country. A place that just can't get its shit together and is incapable of learning from its mistakes.

It could even get to the ultimate indignity for the USA: American citizens banned from visiting anywhere outside their country because they are unclean.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 14 2020 12:03 utc | 78

to further explain this "furin cleavage site" vs the "ACE2 binding"...

The spike protein on the surface of the virus is called "S".
It determines how infectious the virus is.
It has multiple parts.

"S1" is a part of the protein that attaches the virus to human cells surface. This is where the ACE2 binding section is.

"S2" is responsible for the virus entering the cell once attached.

After S1 performs its function, S2 must be detached from S1 to actually let the virus into the cell.

In humans, this cleavage step is done by a human protein. The "furin cleavage site" is an evolution/ modification to common bat viruses etc, where the human protein is able to fits the viral S protein and cut it in the right place, sp that the viral S2 section able to function on a human cell.

Posted by: ptb | May 14 2020 12:42 utc | 79

It always strikes as odd that the Americans think that they can go to war with China. Everyone seems to have forgotten the last time they went to war with China, during the Korean War. At that time, America was at the very height of its industrial might vis-a-vis the rest of the world. China, by contrast, was a desperately poor country that had just emerged from a civil war, on top of a vicious occupation by Japan, on top of decades of being screwed over and literally occupied by various Western powers.

Despite that, China almost drove the Americans off the Korean peninsula entirely before their offensive stalled, and the end result, even according to the Americans themselves, was "a draw".

China now has the largest economy on Earth (PPP), and is just a breath shy of having the largest economy in nominal dollar terms. It is ahead in some technologies, and graduates huge numbers of scientists and engineers every year, as well as taking an ever-increasing share of new intellectual property.

If America couldn't defeat these people when they were vastly more powerful in the 1950s, how do they think they will manage it now?

The tragedy is that Americans have forgotten all this. They will be stupid enough to start a war with China, and when they straight-up lose the conventional phase in short order, they will spaz out and go full-retard nuke from shock.

And thus it's goodbye humanity, all because Americans believed their own poisonous bullshit.

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | May 14 2020 12:43 utc | 80

China plans to test the entire population of Wuhan. That's 11 million tests, and to be meaningful it has to be done in very short order.

To put that into perspective, the TOTAL number of tests conducted over two months across the ENTIRE United States is just shy of 10 million.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 14 2020 13:12 utc | 81

China sabotaging U.S. Coronavirus vaccine research
This version of the story is relatively benign where it reports accusations of China using espionage to steal U.S. intellectual property. I more or less believe this, all countries spy. Personally, the search for a vaccine should be an open source effort anyway.

The FOX version of the story
of course has to throw in Iran along with China as a menacing actor and twist an official saying, that spy SW could accidentally damage files, into an intentionally malicious event.

Surprisingly, I watched NBC news which reported this as a purely destructive effort rather than normal espionage.

The information war against China is off the charts. The Neocons know that the road to Tehran is through Beijing. Actually, that is lunacy but they realize that Iran will definitely not collapse as long as there is a China.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | May 14 2020 13:17 utc | 82

Yeah, Right @ May14 12:03 "Reopen" US economy

And we should also realize that the "economy" is already open.

Food markets, transportation, etc. are still operating. And many people are working remotely.

The risk of a relapse comes from places where people gather informally like restaurants, bars, salons.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 14 2020 13:21 utc | 83

as a final follow up to my prev. comment...

the very potent significance of the furin cleavage sites does not appear to have been appreciated by researchers prior to the outbreak of sars-cov-2, even though it did existed in nature.

SARS1 took a more complicated path into the cell, entering the cell wrapped in a bubble of cell membrane (endosome), which is a process that allows for more immune response, apparently. In that case, S2 presumably activated later (and a different protein was responsible for cleavage) to finally cross the membrane. I think the same is true for the SHC014 cov, a cousin of both sars-cov-1 and sars-cov-2, whose S protein was added to a different mouse cov resulting in something that could infect human cells, in 2015 in that GOF paper, and is the subject of some conspiracy theories.

ref: sars1 entry

ref: detail on sars2 entry, comparisons to other natural human cov's, related therapy research

Posted by: ptb | May 14 2020 13:29 utc | 84

Posted by: oldhippie | May 14 2020 11:01 utc | 76 Tomas Pueyo is Anderson Cooper in a Young Hip Ethnic mask. Spook markers everywhere.

Then you'll love this piece...

Tomás Pueyo, MBA ’10 on His Viral Post, “Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now”

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 13:33 utc | 85

Yeah, Right @ May14 13:12

China plans to test the entire population of Wuhan ...

Testing is not the only US/Western failing.

Currently, when someone is sick or tests positive then are told to self-isolate at home.

Even thought WE KNOW that every surface where an infected person stays for any length of time gets coated with virus-containing droplets.

Early treatment (HCQ, Zinc, Z-PAC, Vit-C, and other meds) at a separate facility for 7-10 days is necessary to quickly end the outbreak.

Contract tracing is also necessary.

<> <> <> <> <>

An aggressive, pro-active approach is known as "virus suppression" (as opposed to the US/Western "virus mitigation" strategy). We've known that suppression is the answer for weeks, if not months. But the US/West seem to be dragging their feet in changing strategy.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 14 2020 13:34 utc | 86

Posted by: vk | May 13 2020 17:44 utc

The White House should also notify US lawmakers if China "closed operating wet markets that may expose risk to humans and released all Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates that were arrested in the post-COVID-19 crackdowns", the statement said.

LOL at the time requirements as to "pro-democracy activists". Why didn't they just write "Release our pal Jimmy Lai"?

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | May 14 2020 13:34 utc | 87

My, my, my what a great thing state owned television is. Thanks to the BBC, I know what some poorly informed englander believes is the number & reasons for, many Spanish hospital staff to have become infected by covid 19.
I wonder if a) englanders will have to rely upon a Spanish public TV crew to tell englanders how many englander hospital staff have become infected with covid 19.

b) why it is that taxpaying citizens have to rely on foreign taxpayers to underwrite news about what is really happening in their nation & why the journos in their own country whose salaries they pay to tell 'em what is going on, prefer to give them the drum about what is alleged to be happening somewhere else.
Are they just too busy denigrating the efforts of other nations to be telling us all about what is happening at home where we all live?

Until we break the spine of self-obsessed wannabe's reflexive deceit, we cannot hope to get a handle on what is actually happening, we are all screwed.

Posted by: A User | May 14 2020 13:47 utc | 88

Wally @ 47

You are often hard to interpret, but I'm going to call you on the 'Putin first strike' nonsense. I knew it wasn't correct, but did go searching for a quote - and indeed in 2017 Paul Craig Roberts says pretty much the same thing about growing up in Lenigrad fisticuffs. However, the notable discussion that targets potential strikes of a more significant nature is in a documentary produced by Vladimir Soloyev, March 8, 2018:

Russian president Vladimir Putin has reiterated that his country will not strike first with nuclear weapons.

He noted that Moscow’s nuclear arsenal is not meant to be used because the alternative is a global disaster that would destroy Russia too.

“A decision on the use of nuclear weapons may only be taken if our ballistic missile attack warning system not only detects a launch but also predicts that the warheads would hit Russian territory. This is called a retaliation strike,” he said in an interview. “If somebody decides to destroy Russia, we are justified in such a response.”

Russia’s latest edition of its nuclear doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack against Russia or its allies, or a conventional attack that threatens the existence of Russia. Putin says the country’s existence is of paramount importance to him.

“Certainly it would be a global disaster for humanity; a disaster for the entire world. But as a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia? “he explained.

[My bolds]

I will add that it is my understanding that Russia now has missiles capable of a swift response to a launch, which indeed could arrive at their destinations earlier than the slower moving first strike attack, but that is a far different thing. The intent of revealing such missile capability is to deter, not to intimate first strike capability, as the quote above reveals.

Posted by: juliania | May 14 2020 14:00 utc | 89

Of course, Wally, you are almost right. IT was a head of state who proclaimed such a doctrine.

It was George W. Bush.

Posted by: juliania | May 14 2020 14:02 utc | 90

" The masters are the modern equivalent of the brown shirts that occupied France during WWI..."
You mean, I presume, World War II?

Posted by: bevin | May 14 2020 14:25 utc | 91

re: wuhan 10 million people tested...

oh and they're gonna try to do it in 10 days (src: BBC

that means mass deployment of automated 15 minute type test equipment and fully ramped up production of the consumables... like $5 per test at that scale. drops to like $1 at scale of 100MM. they will offer this to the world and the FDA will refuse it here :-(

Posted by: ptb | May 14 2020 14:27 utc | 92

@ uncle tungsten and Peter AU1

Yes, the research made in China with the bat coronaviruses were a joint venture with the NIH from USA, and I am NOT blaming China and defending USA or Trump or something like that, in fact I would like to see the end of the US Empire and the conversion of USA in a confederacy of smaller countries, but also I do not like at all the chinese government and also I would prefer China to be a confederacy of smaller countries; I have a left-anarchistic political view and do not consider chinese government any better than that of USA.

My main point is that I consider the GMO project (and I include in this category the genome editing of virus for medical purpose, or not) a delirant chimera in itself, a technology that endanger the health and/or the life of my two children, and I think the people should be afraid of it and ask the authorities to cancel the whole s**t now, it is a huge Pandora Box, in fact worse than the nuclear energy (civil or military), and I am quite convinced this pandemic is a first shot and it could be much worse.

China is the leading country investigating the bat coronavirus because was the hardest hit by the SARS, so nobody had more interest in investigating the disease and potential epidemic fo the future in that overpopulated country, and what they made was a self-fulfilling prophecy playing with fire to avoid the bonfire and then, by accident, they ignited the fire storm.

Luc Montagnier, the most prestigious living virologist, has no doubt about what happened, neither me

Posted by: DFC | May 14 2020 14:32 utc | 93

@72 & 77 Please let's have an end to all this talk about bats and pangolins. No wild animals are sold or consumed in China and Chinese wet markets are just like English farmers markets. I saw a video about it. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a racist.

Posted by: dh | May 14 2020 14:35 utc | 94

a lot of the comments here regarding how "reopening" the economy is madness or will lead to a second infection spike are missing the major reason why many people (not just the 0.1%) want to reopen the economy. Namely, that the US has virtually no safety net for people who lose their jobs, even due to this pandemic all the US elites would agree to give the impacted American worker was a one-off check (basically enough for a single month's rent) and a temporary ban on evictions (but only in some states). Prior to the pandemic, almost 40% of Americans had less than $500 in savings. That money has certainly been spent and now the American workers are being forced into even more debt to just survive. Neither political party has shown any interest in providing any of the following

1) Providing food or medical services to the American people who lose their jobs or access to health insurance from their jobs.
2) Debt relief or forgiveness for the millions of Americans forced into high interest debt peonage due to the shutdown
3) Providing a Federal jobs program for the newly unemployed or a federal payroll program to keep people employed
4) Providing a Federal Rental/MTG protection plan to prevent people impacted by the shutdown from losing their homes

If the government doesn't provide these guarantees / protections, then people will have to provide them for themselves and they need to work to do that, so either end the shutdown or provide these protections to the people. The US government has enough money to spend a trillion dollars per year on their military, nukes and intelligence agencies is it really impossible to find the money to feed their own citizens during a crisis, even the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt provided famine relief for their populous.

I live in Canada which has a far more generous social safety net, but it's still insufficient for the size of the issue and I'm shocked with how pathetic the US and Canadian political leadership's response to the crisis has been so far. I know for a fact that in my apartment building (about 380 units), roughly a third of the families have not paid any rent or have outstanding balances (normally it's around 8%). The eviction moratorium ends in July, which means people will start being kicked out in Sept (just in time for the next cold/flu season). I hope that in June governments will start recognizing how grave the situation is and they will start passing or extending these temporary protection measures. If governments don't do that (and they need to do it in June at the latest to get things in motion for July/Aug), then the US (and yes, even Canada) are in for massive political unrest in Oct and Nov as people turn against the existing establishment.

Posted by: Kadath | May 14 2020 14:38 utc | 95

@ Posted by: DFC | May 14 2020 14:32 utc | 93

Your point is moot for the simple fact that the virus didn't come from the Wuhan lab. The virus simply wasn't created there.

International cooperation is normal in modern advanced scientific research. Indeed, that's part of the ethical code of the scientist: always share your discoveries to other scientists (transparency). You're absurdly transforming the norm into the exceptional in order to criminalize China (by putting it on par with the USG). To exceptionalize (stigmatize, criminalize) the norm is one of the pillars of lawfare - the same fallacy was applied to criminalize and ultimately arrest, under absurd charges, ex-president Lula in Brazil.

So, the argument you're using against the USA and China you could be using against France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Russia...


This is very interesting. Is the West using its western weapons against itself?

A whistle-blower tells a House panel to expect the ‘darkest winter in modern history’ if changes are not made.

Posted by: vk | May 14 2020 14:40 utc | 96

Is that before or after you are self-sufficient; including financing your daily needs?

Words are bullets.!!!!

"We Could Cut Off The Whole Relationship" - War Of Words Between Trump And Beijing Is Heating Up"


[.]Asked about the US-China bilateral relationship, Trump replied "we could cut off the whole relationship," saying the US "could save $500 billion" by doing so. For those who don't understand the significance of this last remark, it's a reference to cancelling some of the massive pile of Treasury debt held by China. Rates have continued to drop even as China has dumped a large chunk of its US foreign-exchange holdings, which has prompted some economist know-it-alls to insist that the Fed could simply soak up the entire slug of debt held by China, dismissing the risk of a destabilizing spike in interest rates.

"There are many things we could do," Trump said, "we could cut off the whole relationship." explaining that if that happened "[US would] save USD 500bln if you cut off the whole relationship. At what point - and I said this for years...and I said it about other countries also. Nato, I was able to get them to pay hundreds of billions more. You know who is my biggest fan in the world? Secretary Stoltenberg [the head of NATO]."

Moving on, she pressed Trump about whether he's raised any of these complaints with President Xi, with whom he has reportedly spoken at least one time since the beginning of the year.

Trump waved away the suggestion, saying he hasn't spoken to Xi recently and seemed to suggest he doesn't plan to. He added that China had "called" about the trade deal today and yesterday (the two sides reportedly held a virtual meeting last week). But with China, unfortunately, "you can't have an even deal"...seeming to suggest once again that the "Phase 1" trade deal is as good as dead, even as China ramps up its agriculture purchases.[.] (emphasis added)

"the risk of a destabilizing spike in interest rates" Add, the demise of the USD reserve currency status.
Poor baby. He does not care to understand Chinese culture - 20 years is but a day - long on patience and like an elephant with long memory. For the reset U.S. will need to go begging for a loan and there will be no lenders.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 14 2020 14:42 utc | 97

Completely confirms what I said before. Why are you promoting this spook?

Posted by: oldhippie | May 14 2020 14:47 utc | 98

China loves the Yankee's Blame China daydream even more than I do. A couple of weeks ago China's Foreign Ministry spokesman said words to the effect "The USA is blaming China for its COVID-19 SNAFU because they bungled their response."

That's an evergreen response. The more they blame China, the stupider the Yankees look.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 14 2020 15:32 utc | 99

A stupendously massive failure by Trump personally in dealing with the pandemic ... the election is in SIX MONTHS! -- ALL HANDS ON DECK!! ... what is the most likely distraction that the public might buy?
Posted by: chet80 | May 13 2020 19:26 utc | 15

How about this one: 'The Biggest Political Crime': Does Obamagate Mean Treason, Sedition or Both?

Just a what-if. Years before the last presidential election Obama and his complex network of conspirators tried to set themselves up with permanent impunity for any and all crimes by secretively monopolising control of all branches of government under the single thumb of Obama himself. FBI, DoJ, CIA - all were playthings of the Obama administration to subvert every event in the political domain into their control. The elections were subverted at every level. Killery "knew" she would win, not because she fantasised that voters wanted her to win - it was always obvious she was so widely hated - but because she believed she had every facet of election fraud secured. Team Obama/Clinton had to win - as Clinton stated after Trump in fact won, "they'll hang us all" - they were so deeply mired in crime that they desperately had to madly cling to power to save themselves from the noose. That was the sole reason for Russiagate (and Ukrainegate etc) from the start and ever after.

Ever since Trump came to power there have been murmurings of collecting evidence, investigations, even rumours (unsubstantiated) of grand juries, small actions here and there, but everything seems to fizzle out. After three years, where are the prosecutions? Comey, Mueller, Brenner, Clapper, Strzok, Mifsud, and so many others, all still walking free and still sabotaging everything. Everything was starting to look like a show, just to make people think something was being done, while the noose around the ordinary people is furtively being tightened, and meanwhile all the elite criminals get off scot free. Are the elites ever going to clean out their own? Didn't seem like it would ever happen.

But then there was Covid-19. Trump screwed up monumentally. Just when it looked like he was almost guaranteed reelection with no viable opposition whatsoever and the Dems discredited by the collapse of Russiagate, along comes Covid-19 and Trump screws up big time.

Just supposing ... What if Trump were to suddenly bring out concrete and incontrovertible evidence that Obama plotted to subvert the elections, and when that failed plotted to overthrow the incoming Trump administration? Such evidence most certainly exists. And almost certainly is already in the hands of Trump administration executives [though, which side those executives are on is another matter].

Suddenly there is a flurry of rather surprising headlines. Like this one: However, Obama was immediately called out by The Wall Street Journal's editorial board for making a grave mistake.

"Mr. Flynn was never charged with perjury, which is lying under oath in a legal proceeding. Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty to a single count of lying to the FBI in a meeting at the White House on 24 January 2017 that he was led to believe was a friendly chat among colleagues", the editorial board stressed. [Cited in the above Sputnik article, but I couldn't read it because it is paywalled].

Eh? Wall Street Journal calling out Obama? Is something afoot?

I don't believe it will happen, but we can wish anyway ...

Or maybe if Americans got out and protested for prosecution against the Obama conspiracy to overthrow government ...

[But that's not going to happen either, anyway]

But if it did happen, Trump would be guaranteed a win, even after such a monumental failure in handling Covid-19.

Posted by: BM | May 14 2020 16:16 utc | 100

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