Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 01, 2021

Bezos' Blog And NATO Lobby Continue To Stir Anti-Chinese Sentiment

The neo-conservative editors of Bezos' blog want another investigation into the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic:

THE PANDEMIC is a global health calamity, with 3.1 million people dead in little more than a year. Yet almost nothing is known about how it began, and the first attempt to discover the origins went nowhere.

The last statement is a lie. The WHO report of its investigation into the pandemic outbreak was published in early April. While it has not come to a definite conclusion it has ranked the possible origins of the pandemic.

It sees it as highly likely that the virus developed naturally and was adopted by animal hosts before it infected humans and further optimized itself. There is historical evidence that this happened when other coronaviruses changed their hosts became endemic in humans. Other theories, that the virus was developed in and/or escaped from a laboratory, are inconsistent with the structure and functionality of the virus and therefore highly unlikely. The still open question is which animal hosts might have been involved in the evolution of the virus. Research into that will continue.

The reasons the WaPo editors reopen the issue has nothing to do with real concern about the origin of the pandemic. The sole purpose is to further incite hostility towards China. We can discern this from the author of the open letter which prompted the editorial:

A group of scientists, in an open letter released Friday, correctly called for a “full scientific and forensic investigation into all possible origins” of the virus, and provided a set of unanswered questions about the laboratory and its work.

The ten pages long letter lists a number of questions and makes unreasonable demands for free access to certain Chinese databases and forensic collections. It is signed by 26 'scientists' only half of whom seem to be from a related medical or biological field.

The main organizer of the letter a is one Jamie Metzl, who has a law but no science degree and is a fellow at the NATO lobby Atlantic Council:

He previously served as executive vice president of the Asia Society, deputy staff director of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, senior coordinator for international public information at the US State Department, director for multilateral affairs on the National Security Council, and as a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations in Cambodia.

The open letter is hosted at Metzl's personal site

The same organizer and many of the same signers had already published an open letter in early March. It pressed for an 'independent investigation' even before the WHO investigation in China was finished:

We have therefore reached the conclusion that the [WHO] joint team did not have the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses to carry out a full and unrestricted investigation into all the relevant SARS-CoV-2 origin hypotheses -whether natural spillover or laboratory/research-related incident.
For this reason, we believe it is essential that the contours of a full and unrestricted investigation be outlined to set a standard against which current and future efforts can be evaluated.

'Origin hypotheses' are not equal. Some make scientifically sense while other are just crackpot ideas.

No sovereign country, be it the U.S., Monaco or China, will allow a 'full and unrestricted investigation' into anything sensitive by an outside group. This especially not when the call for it comes from a hostile lobby and from a person who had previously argued against that country's interest. To ask for such an investigation is useless. It will simply never happen.

The letter writing, and its discussion by the Washington Post, are thus not serious. Their only purpose is to promote anti-Chinese sentiment by pushing a crackpot theory for which there is no hint of evidence.

Posted by b on May 1, 2021 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink

next page »

b - i agree with your conclusion and thanks for sharing your insights on the making of all this.. the focus on Jamie Metzl is particularly relevant...

on a related note a friend of mine sent me a video yesterday that is directly connected to this anti-china sentiment that is still being ramped up in the usa especially..

Why Are We Seeing So Much Asian Hate?

Posted by: james | May 1 2021 16:44 utc | 1

The US has already gone on record accusing China of accidentally leaking the virus, and even more implausibly, of creating a bioweapon from the virus. You can't now pretend that you're impartial and call for access.

Posted by: Les | May 1 2021 16:45 utc | 2

3.1 million dead is about 0.004078947368421053% of the world

Posted by: notlurking | May 1 2021 16:49 utc | 3

What are the names of the 19 Chinese scientists that flew the lab into the center of world trade? /s

Posted by: oglalla | May 1 2021 16:51 utc | 4

b says: "... want another investigation into the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic:"

When China opened the investigation to WHO and invites them to Wuhan Labs, many Chinese Internet users already foresaw that there will be MORE demands for ANOTHER investigation. The demands will not end until they reach their desired conclusion.

Chinese government still went ahead to let WHO team in. I think they decided that way because:
(1) They feel they have nothing to hide.
(2) Not inviting the WHO team will put them into even more defensive position.

Posted by: d dan | May 1 2021 17:12 utc | 5

@notlurking (3) You seem to be suggesting that 3.1 million people (surely a vast underestimate) dying prematurely in less than 1.5 years is a trivial matter. What if you or a loved one (assuming you have any) were amongst them? Also, what about the millions of Covid-19 survivors who are left with long-term symptoms and even disabilities? Probably, you think of them as meaningless statistics too.

Posted by: Rob | May 1 2021 17:25 utc | 6

Corrupted WHO is on Chinese payroll.

Posted by: Xpilgrim | May 1 2021 17:28 utc | 7

Whatever happened to the story that COVID patient zero was found in France?

Where are the calls for a full and unrestricted investigation of the French?

Posted by: Masahiro | May 1 2021 17:29 utc | 8

I follow the podcast (Dark Horse podcast) of Bret Weinstein (Evolutionary Biologist) and he is one of the proponents of the lab leak hypothesis. Their main argument, which I find very convinving, is that as soon as the virus broke out it was highly infectious. Most viruses which leap don't know that trick very well. This may point to the "gain-a-function" research that could be conducted at the lab in Wuhan.

Though still a hypothesis it has strong arguments and the amount of pushback leads me to believe it has a high probability of being true. Will we ever find out? Highly unlikely.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 1 2021 17:37 utc | 9

#9 convinving=convincing sorry for the typo

Posted by: Gehenna | May 1 2021 17:38 utc | 10

gee, why would the adult-sized fetus...oops - i mean "jeff bezos" have a problem with china? why indeed.

maybe he isn't a fan of how they treat their shady billionaires.

these are the ultimate beneficiaries of wars. it's not about the "shock and awe" - it's about the chicago school vulture bullshit these pricks depend on to stay relevant.

Posted by: the pair | May 1 2021 17:39 utc | 11

I might take this seriously if these scientists also demanded a comprehensive investigation of Porton Down, with regards to the "novichok" "exposure". That seems a likelier source than some drunken Russian tourists, assuming (huge assumption) that anyone was poisoned at all with such a thing.

Also--If such an investigation into COVID took place and somehow found the origin was in the US or France or such, it would immediately be buried and never mentioned again. I don't even bother to follow "investigations" of the OPCW or airplane crashes anymore, just so much overwhelming propaganda. Ridiculous!

Posted by: Hippo Dave | May 1 2021 17:45 utc | 12

this thing about investigating the "origins" of Sars-Cov-2 & its 3.1 million deaths looks similar to the judicial case open against Saudi Arabia for the 15 Saudis of 9/11. when a sea change happens, when China & Saudi Arabia become serious foes of the USA, then the "sleeping" cases get activated & all the Treasury bonds that hold those "foreigners" would be paying the pending compensations to deceased Americans. high roll gangsterism in the making.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | May 1 2021 18:05 utc | 13

After the Iraq WMD report, Libya and Syria I don't think any country with a minimum self-respect or, indeed, any instinct of self-preservation will ever give itself to Western "unrestricted investigation" on its facilities related to national security. It will only end up giving legitimizing powers to a certainly forged report.

But, on this specific case, I think there's another reason why the West revived this: the fall of India.

With India quickly crumbling, the USA will need a fresh narrative to keep it under its umbrella against China (Indo-Pacific doctrine). India was also a useful Western propaganda tool against China by giving some legitimacy to the "giant population thesis", i.e. that China only grew fast because it has 1.4 billion inhabitants. With the pandemic ravaging it, this "population is GDP" bullshit will also be thrown out of the window. Also, the myth that "democracy trumps totalitarianism" (i.e. that "India is the world's biggest democracy") would also be thrown out of the window; in this case, India could be excused from its failure in containing the pandemic by framing it as a Communist biological (Communist aggression) attack on the Liberal Democracy.

Let's make something very clear: the debate between "biological weapon vs natural pandemic" is strictly political. It is the difference between the redemption of capitalism vis-a-vis socialism and the realization of the complete failure of capitalism vis-a-vis socialism. Believing in one or the other narrative leads one to two polar opposite ideological/geopolitical conclusions. In the scientific field, the matter is already decided: the SARS-CoV-2 evolved naturally and happened in the foreseen time frame (see Obama-era next pandemic contingency plan after the Ebola outbreak, plus the WHO's report on "Disease X" from 2016).

Posted by: vk | May 1 2021 18:17 utc | 14

@9 gehenna The lab crackpot hypothesis is inconsistent with cases of SARS-Cov2 detected in France and Italy prior to November/December, 2019. There has also been a case of a New Jersey mayor who obviously contracted Covid19 in autumn of 2019 without ever having been even close to Wuhan, or China at all. The virus may well have been around for quite a time, infecting here and then, before gaining its higher infectiosity. And it is quite likely that such happened in an asian environment with high population density and air pollution. The "lab hypothesis" is just begging the principle. Sane scientists, from the US alike. deny that this kind of virus could have been created in a lab.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 1 2021 18:21 utc | 15

3.1 million dead is about 0.004078947368421053% of the world by: notlurking | May 1 2021 16:49 utc | 3 ... Tragically, the death toll has risen to 0.004078947368421056% in the last week.

Posted by: David G Horsman | May 1 2021 18:27 utc | 16

@ vk

>> Believing in one or the other narrative leads one to two polar opposite ideological/geopolitical conclusions.

Jackrabbit has suggested more than two possibilities.

For instance is it possible:
- it was created in a lab and maybe but not necessarily wuhan
- released intentionally inside of China

Who would benefit?

Posted by: oglalla | May 1 2021 18:27 utc | 17

Wuhan, China lifted its shutdown after 76 days April 7, 2020 <=origin of Covid 19 <= Five Top Chinese scientific orgs studied a published global db (created by inputs from 12 countries on 4 different continents the Covid-19 haplotype sequence) and found the origin of COVID-19 traces as follows):

(Covid 19)<= Father<====== grandparents<==great Grand parents
____ H1______<= H3______<=__H13 and H38______<== mv1

so there are four ancestors to Covid 19 virus.

COVID-19 virus of H1 variety was discovered in the Wuhan seafood market its father H3 was spotted in Wuhan but not in the sea food market and H13 and H38 are not known to have appeared in Wuhan.

This data suggests the H1 specimen was brought to the seafood market by some infected person, which sparked the epidemic. Genetic sequences lead to exact origins, its just a matter of time. some facts the comment made:

1. a married couple from Japan contracted Covid-19 while in Hawaii between Jan 28 and Feb.3, although the couple had not visited China or had not come into contact with any Chinese person. Husband symptomatic by February 3.
2. media reported Covid-19 in Lombardy, Northern Italy, as early as January 1
3. Giuseppe Remuzzi <=Covid-19 epidemic in Italy began spreading before it started in China. 
4. Virologist Robert Redfield — CDC (Atlanta, Georgia) speculated large numbers of flu deaths in US could have been caused by COVID-19, but the US did not test for Covid-19 at that time. (80,000 Americans estimated flu victims last winter) 
5. Italy request to exhume flu victims in the USA denied.        

Ambassador Zhang<=Covid-19 can and will be scientifically traced and its grandma, grandpa and great grandpa accurately identified, my notes from comment made by Thomas Turk, notguardian May 30, 2020 please confirm the accuracy of the information from the comment yourselves. .

Posted by: snake | May 1 2021 18:41 utc | 18

@ Posted by: oglalla | May 1 2021 18:27 utc | 17

The hypothesis that the SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Western lab still absolves capitalism, because, politically, the liberal propagandist could still claim that the Western elites are still in full control of the world affairs (it was not Mother Nature putting capitalism on its knees, but a deliberate social engineering operation of capitalism, therefore capitalism is still in control of the situation), and/or that capitalism can still be fixed by simple exchange of political parties and politicians and other institutional reforms (more transparency, fire some government/Pentagon/CIA employees etc. etc.).

Posted by: vk | May 1 2021 18:45 utc | 19

@ Posted by: Gehenna | May 1 2021 17:37 utc | 9

Bret Weinstein's hypothesis is false because the SARS-CoV-2 didn't adapt suddenly. The furthest we've detected COVID-19 cases was in October 2019, but that doesn't mean the virus simply popped up to the world at that moment in time. The evolutionary distance between the SARS-CoV-2 and the RATG13 - the bat virus that is its earliest ancestor - is at least 75 years (but most likely some 90 years). The virus didn't jump directly from the bat to humans, and we don't know how many intermediaries there are (only that the last intermediary must be a very common animal, probably a rodent, from the Southeastern China region).

Governments don't have a super team of epidemiologists monitoring every virus in existence. This is a children's worldview. In the real world, governments pay very little attention, and usually underfund research and investigation in the biological areas.

Posted by: vk | May 1 2021 18:51 utc | 20

"The ten pages long letter lists a number of questions and makes unreasonable demands for free access to certain Chinese databases and forensic collections. It is signed by 26 'scientists' only half of which seem to be from a related medical or biological field."

Well, for Crying Laughing out loud!? We had 15 years of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Trufe - hardly any of whom were Architects or Engineers. Are we now facing a stampede of Doctors & Scientists for Covid 19 Trufe, hardly any of whom are Doctors or Scientists?
It's beginning to look that way.
Who says History Histrionics doesn't repeat?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 1 2021 19:06 utc | 21

But how many of those 3.1 million deaths were in fact premature?

Posted by: lysias | May 1 2021 19:06 utc | 22

"correctly called for a “full scientific and forensic investigation into all possible origins” of the virus, and provided a set of unanswered questions about the laboratory and its work."

Well, if they work hard enough, may be they can also "correctly" find the Iraqi weapon of mass destruction (WMD) in Wuhan Labs, right?

Wait, I am confused. If they manage to do that, which countries should they invade: China or Iraq?

Posted by: d dan | May 1 2021 19:21 utc | 23

@ Posted by: lysias | May 1 2021 19:06 utc | 22

We can deduce almost all of them were premature by the very significant fall (between 1 and 2 years, depending on the country) in life expectancy.

Also every dead below 38 years by COVID-19 can be automatically be claimed to be premature, because the natural life expectancy (life expectancy "in the wild") of the homo sapiens is around 38 years.

Posted by: vk | May 1 2021 19:27 utc | 24

It's a fact that government bioweapons labs exist all over the world, including China. It's a fact that experiments to make more lethal, more transmissible viruses are taking place in these labs. It's a fact that accidents happen. If Covid 19 was not an accidental release, it's only a matter of time before an accident happens. These labs need to be banned from conducting gain of function experiments. The researchers conducting gain of function experiments have conflict of interest the investigation and a financial incentive to cover up an accidental release to prevent public backlash and protect their continued funding

Posted by: Willow | May 1 2021 19:32 utc | 25

3 & 16

When you can’t keep track of how many zeros are required stop trying.

Innumeracy matters.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 1 2021 19:34 utc | 26

Gehenna @9 says:

"lab leak hypothesis..., which I find very convinving [sic convincing], ...leads me to believe it has a high probability of being true."

And you realize the lab leak hypothesis could equally points to leak from the numerically many more, managerially much lax, and minimally supervised bio-labs ran by US military scattered throughout the world, including many poor and corrupted developing countries?

Posted by: d dan | May 1 2021 19:38 utc | 27

Urban Moving Systems has offered to transport the inquiry to the bat cave.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 1 2021 20:04 utc | 28

Normally I agree with b...and I state emphatically, that when it comes to the ridiculous accusations leveled at the Ruskies, b has been a beacon of light in a sea of black indigo. That said, I disagree here.

1] First off, the theory of a lab leak is not a "wacky conspiracy theory", bio lab leaks are a normal occurrence...we are talking about humans here, the Chinese, in spite of rumors to the contrary, suffer the same foibles as all other 2-legged hominids.

2] A lab leak, implicates a hell of lot more than the Chinese! Yep, that's right, it implicates the US Government who was funding "gain of function" research into bat viruses, in particular Fauci and his wife, [imagine that].

2a] A lab leak, implicates a hell of lot more than the Chinese! Yep, that's right, it implicates the entire field virology, micro-biology et al engaged in "gain of function" research. If the virus was found to be generated from a lab...any effing lab, it would be clear to all but the most starry eyed observer that "gain of function" research had killed far more people than nuclear weapons ever did.

The implications of 2a means that no group involved in "gain of function" research can be trusted to speak on the subject of a lab leak, any effing lab leak. Why? Because any revelation of C-19 leaking from a lab...any effing lab, would not only result in the termination of their career...they would become pariah, they would be seen as no better, nay, perhaps worse than Josef Mengele...after all, they would be responsible for a greater number of deaths. And ironically, using the same selection method employed at Nazi death camps. I can't see any group of professionals owning up to that. You might as well have Joseph Goebbels running the Nuremberg trials.

I speak as a survivor of SARS II/Covid-19. I say survivor because, it's not over when you are considered "recovered". The virus has altered your bodies immune system in ways that other viruses do not. I'd list the ongoing symptoms but...that would require a pamphlet long treatise. Since many "liberals" openly indulge in schadenfreude when it appears a non-Hillary/Biden voter is sickened with Covid-19, delighted with their moral-superiority and virtue, I think it's worth mentioning; I did everything to protect myself but in the end C-19 got to me before I could get vaccinated. I live in a state that was 47th out of 50 states for vaccination...and no, it's not a low tax red state, we just had a governor who's priority list was a long and winding roll with many of the chosen showing vaccine "hesitancy" while the hoi polloi were forced to wait while 20-40 somethings delayed and considered their options.

And I'll say again, for the umpteenth time, sending C-19 infected people home with no early medical treatment is effing stupid, we don't do that with any other disease that has this type of mortality or, long term disabilities. Those running FDA/CDC/NIH program to ban known antivirals should be dragged out and shot for dereliction of duties during a time of national emergency.

Posted by: S Brennan | May 1 2021 20:11 utc | 29

Strange how very few people seem to question the fact that the Chinese reacted swiftly and decisively, managing to nip the epidemic in the bud, to use a rather appropriate cliché. That allowed to save millions of lives, make sure the economy could restart as soon as possible, and... to publish exactly which measures were taken and what was done, so that others, even the deranged rulers of US and its slaves, could learn in advance and do the same!

Instead of hearing indictments of the Chinese, we should have been hearing a general cry for the judgment and punishment of all our rulers as criminals against humanity, just as in Nuremberg.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 1 2021 20:11 utc | 30

Masahiro | May 1 2021 17:29 utc | 8
Gehenna | May 1 2021 17:37 utc | 9
Hippo Dave | May 1 2021 17:45 utc | 12 Right on!

How about investigating the fact that Dr Fauci financed gof research in the Wuhan Lab, while the leader of the WHO group that went to China to investigate, actually worked there, on that project.(!)
How about all the reports of a lot of very SARS-2 type diseases that were affecting people in the USA before the outbreak was spotted in Wuhan?
How about the leak from the lab in Fort Detrick being investigated?
How about investigating the numerous biowar labs the US has, scattered around the World?
How about investigating the former mayor of New York who says he had Covid-19 before the Chinese knew about it and whose subsequent test showed that he had suffered from Covid-19 and not something else.
How about finding out what illness it was that the US (and other) teams suffered from during the World Military Games?
How about investigating the reports in the Israeli media that the US intelligence reported an epidemic of something nasty in Wuhan before the Chinese did?
Why did the CDC in the US make all its proceedings secret?
Truly, there do seem to be, in addition to the above, endless leads to follow that are, apparently, being ignored.

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 1 2021 20:14 utc | 31

I haven't read WaPo for a long while, but from indirect sources (blogs, references) I have the impression that compared to their typical neocon hate-mongering shit this piece is utterly unremarkable. Even somewhat reserved, perhaps.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 1 2021 20:28 utc | 32

@ Posted by: S Brennan | May 1 2021 20:11 utc | 29

We're analyzing this case, not every case that have ever happened. Just because one or two viruses leaked from a lab in the past doesn't mean that all subsequent viruses must necessarily come from a lab leak. That's an anti-scientific logic.

The WHO's report is clear: the SARS-CoV-2 wasn't in the log of the Wuhan lab. It didn't leak from that lab.

It is a fallacy the WHO team didn't investigate the Wuhan lab. They did. And they found nothing. What the Western propagandists want is for China to open everything they have to an unrestricted and unlimited investigation by a Western team - a la Iraq, Syria and Libya. This, of course, China won't allow, as they're a recipe for another Western WMD/Chemical weapons forged report.

Posted by: vk | May 1 2021 20:38 utc | 33

Mr. notlurking

3 things:

1. Nevertheless very important if one has lost someone dear.

2. Very very important to have in place measures for not repeating this disaster

3. The next pandemic, which will occur with empirical certainty, may have an agent with higher virulence.

Posted by: Fyi | May 1 2021 20:50 utc | 34

I believe the covid19 virus was man-made
So does Chris Martenson. He mentions it at the 6min mark in this video. In earlier videos he talks about a "cleave site" in the gene sequence of Covid19 and asks those who don't agree it is man-made to explain it.
That said I believe the most likely origin was Fort Detrick in the USA. This was a bioweapons facility conducting "Gain of function" research that was closed down by Obama following leaks of material into the wild.
The research was continued in China and amazingly Dr Fauci was involved. In the USA, around that time, there were strange cases of a new disease, expressed as bubbly lung damage and thought to be related to vaping.
Also just before the Chinese outbreak Military games were held in Wuhan, with participants including soldiers from Fort Detrick and Italy amongst others.
If one had created a dangerous pathogen and it had accidentally been released into the wild what would one do. I suggest it would have been a "no brainer" for TPTB in Washington to transfer it to China. This is supported by their penchant for deceit and lack of humanity in other contexts throughout the world,
If China was truly responsible I am sure the condemnation from the USA would be far greater than that which has been shown.

Posted by: Ike | May 1 2021 20:53 utc | 35

The timeline for covid starts way before 2019. When Obama was head puppit of the US he canceled all funding for bio weapons research. The by now well known Dr. Fauchi who was also part of the Obama administration gave not only samples of Covid 19 to China but dollars as well to continue research with Covid.

The samples were sent to labs in Wuhan and as chance would have it is where the military Olympics were being held last October I believe.
Then there was the immediate shut down of Ft. Dietrich bioweapons research facility after people started dying in Fredrick, Maryland of an unknown upper respiratory ailment last September that they blamed on vaping.
That is why there will be no big push to saddle blame for this on China, piss the sheep off yes, give cover for more sanctions, you bet. All roads lead back to the US period.

Max Blumenthal some time ago interviewed Pepe Escobar and they discusses some questions that need answers.

Posted by: Durlin | May 1 2021 20:53 utc | 36

Vk, Outside of you mentioning my name, what does your post have to do with mine? I ask because your arguments are but straw-men with my name attached.

And if you want to focus on one data point to the exclusion of all my guest, it's not scientific, it's the methodology that the Dominicans use in the "Spanish Inquisition" but whatever.

And these days, the politics of the "Spanish Inquisition" is "expected"...just as it once was, before the age of reason.

Posted by: S Brennan | May 1 2021 20:55 utc | 37

@ Piero Colombo | May 1 2021 20:11 utc | 30 who wrote
Instead of hearing indictments of the Chinese, we should have been hearing a general cry for the judgment and punishment of all our rulers as criminals against humanity, just as in Nuremberg.

Because those rulers you write about control the media and they know of the crimes against humanity that they have committed, they are quadrupling down with lies. I expect the lie to tie all this together is the one that say China has attacked empire with the virus and empire must defend itself by blowing everybody back to the stone Einstein predicted.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 1 2021 21:03 utc | 38

I misrepresented Einstein about nuclear war. He didn't predict it would happen but said that if it did the war after that would be fought with sticks and stone age inference

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 1 2021 21:05 utc | 39

It's funny.

The Russian special services uncovered the preparation of the assassination attempt on the President of Belarus and the participation of the United States in this, and immediately after that the Czech authorities (on their own, of course) suddenly found some Russian suspects in the explosions 7 years ago. The evidence is too secret and important to allow the public to read.

Russian officials (Lavrov & others) said that the EU should investigate murky schemes for the storage and supply of weapons through the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and immediately in Bulgaria they suddenly found some Russian culprits for explosions in warehouses for 10 years (2011 - 2020). Moreover, the time period purely by chance begins precisely in 2011 - the beginning of the war in Syria. Of course, this does not mean that Bulgaria has been engaged in the illegal supply of weapons to Syria to Assad's opponents since that time and now hastily trying to cover tracks. Just a coincidence.

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin admitted the origin of the COVID-19 as a result of a leak from an American biological laboratory and said that the Russian government should raise the issue of US responsibility for the spread of the virus, and immediately the American media again begin to indirectly hint at China's involvement...

What a cute way - instead of responding to claims, pretend that you don't hear and immediately put forward your accusations.

Posted by: alaff | May 1 2021 21:07 utc | 40

Mr. B

I would like to bring to your attention and those of this forum yhat there are scientific papers, available & accessible through a Google search, that tie the periodicity of previous pandemics to the low of the sun-spot cycle.

Life has evolved on the surface of this planet and is empirically seen to be tied to the diurnal cycles. It is also empirically verified that certain biological processes, at the cell level are tied to those cycles.

Furthermore, it is empiricalally verified that other processes among living beings are tied to the strength of the gravitational field at the surface of this planet (ovulation and gestation are 2 examples).

Empirically, there are evidence of the influence of magnetic and electrical field on biological system although the effects have been difficult to study and elusive.

It might be possible, I speculate, that the effects of the ebb and flow of the sun-spot cycle, known to influence the upper atmosphere and weather already, reach all the way down to the eath's surface, altering the electromagnetic environment in such a way that 1. Weakens our immune response, Or, 2. Makes patogens more virulent.

I would like to point out, in support of sun-spot hypothesis, that the Spanish Flu vanished by itself, as sun-spot activity continued on its variation.

Posted by: Fyi | May 1 2021 21:08 utc | 41

The virus appears to have originated in Wuhan, China. The result of the "pandemic" has been to see practically every western government turn to authoritarianism, just like the CCP. What's not to like about China?

Posted by: EoinW | May 1 2021 21:13 utc | 42

It’s a bit sad that more than a few people who figured out that Russiagate is nonsense are nonetheless prepared to believe all kinds of propaganda about China.

I guess some people just aren’t happy unless they have a scary foreign enemy they can blame for their own country’s shortcomings and to make the USA seem less toxic than it actually is.

The fact is no other country even comes close to the US when it comes to nefarious actions that harm innocent people around the world.

Posted by: Antibody | May 1 2021 21:13 utc | 43

S Brennan | May 1 2021 20:11 utc | 29

I am sorry you got sick. Seeing that you wanted to get the vaccine, your concern about Covid 19 altering your immune system doesn't make sense. mRNA vaccines are gene altering and designed to alter your immune system.

Posted by: EoinW | May 1 2021 21:19 utc | 44

Ike at #35

If the US sees China as an adversary, why are US and other NATO troops participating in war-games in China?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | May 1 2021 21:58 utc | 45

How many of the 3.1 million dead were less than 38 years old? Very few, I venture to guess.

How good is the evidence that life expectancy has dropped?

Posted by: lysias | May 1 2021 21:59 utc | 46

@ #42 EoinW

"The virus appears to have originated in Wuhan, China. The result of the "pandemic" has been to see practically every western government turn to authoritarianism, just like the CCP. What's not to like about China?"

|Posted by: EoinW | May 1 2021 21:13 utc | 42|

The so called authoritarianism measure also happen to be done by South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, etc etc with high compliance from their respective population.
The result ? They appear to have better control on their infection cases and faster reopening.

It's quite remarkable to have seen the western government and population in particular US and UK to have serious disorganisation, mistrust, and discord when pandemic disease does hit them. What's especially remarkable is how the global leading medical technology, expertise and research USA unable to organize and execute concrete planning to combat pandemic and protect their citizens.
Since it's quite impossible that they're incompetent in this case i think the blame falls on the unpopularity of their government and the distrustful population.

Anyway let's assume you're right that this is attack from China no matter how illogical that sounds when they are released on their own soil during high movement of domestic masses, how do you exactly expect to fight against pandemic be it attack or otherwise ? Do you have better plans than what they tried to do ? What will be it looks like if it can't be imposed strictly to the population ?

Posted by: Lucci | May 1 2021 22:33 utc | 47

@ Antoinetta III | May 1 2021 21:58 utc | 45

Ike at #35

If the US sees China as an adversary, why are US and other NATO troops participating in war-games in China? |

So should we forget everything else US do be it in South China Sea, Taiwan, Canada (Meng Wangzhou cases), Huawei case, Xinjiang/XUAR fake news just because they attended 'international' army games on China once that itself weren't quite publicized in comparison on all of the above ?

Posted by: Lucci | May 1 2021 22:45 utc | 48

Concerning the gain of function (GOF) contracted research on bat viruses in Wuhan, the parties entering into the contract (Fauci's NIAIH and EcoHealth Alliance, LLC) certainly had periodic status reports and other communications to identify progress of research (how it was meeting contractual requirements for the GOF research. (You need to do this to get paid from most gov't contracts).

I have not heard of anyone trying to get a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) copy of these communications. If Fauci's group tries to claim that those reports contain commercially confidential information, you know he is doing his best to hide essential information from American's and the world.

Posted by: naiverealist | May 1 2021 22:58 utc | 49

Well I agree with that, so who can answer the next obvious question, how did a casedemic get mistaken for a pandemic, and why 2020 and not the several previous failed atetmpts?

Posted by: Ben McDonnell | May 1 2021 23:01 utc | 50

@45 Antoinetta III asks if "the US sees China as an adversary, why are US and other NATO troops participating in war-games in China?"

Because War-Games do not equal ≠ military training exercises. They are akin to the Olympics and done in the spirit of competition.

Russia takes part in various War-Games with NATO powers and countries that are hostile to it such as Ukraine.

Posted by: Haasaan | May 1 2021 23:05 utc | 51

It would be a lie not admitting I'm silently cheering on it everytime the big shots and Media mouths in the US proceed all the way to slam China for everything.
Including the virus fingerpointing. They could hardly find a better shortcut for the demise of the empire.
However, on the other side of the coin,the global south should better celebrate Biden's internal policies as they surprisingly approach kind of a near miss walk on FDR's footsteps.
This if successful will be a lose-face for the whole breed of reaganomics media pundits and old chicagoboyish
thugs who still prevail in the southern hemisfere.

Posted by: augusto | May 1 2021 23:25 utc | 52

China together with Russia should point out how Covid was found to have been present in Europe in 2019 and demand an investigation of their own. And do it at the UN.
Why are CHina and Russia so bad at creating propaganda and being as nasty as the West is? They will lose, because the nastier liar always wins. Truth barely has gotten out of bed while the lie has already circled the globe as the saying goes. Come on CHina, step up on it, those guys arent kidding around!

Posted by: Zapekk | May 1 2021 23:38 utc | 53

aquadraht #15: The lab leak hypothesis does not speak of a "created virus".
With GOF research you take a natural virus and let it infect cells.
You do that numerous times and give evolution a bump. You speed it up.
The whole "created" fallacy is what makes people discount the lab leak a priori without giving it a proper chance.

d dan #27: I agree. Wuhan lab could be a coincidence while it escaped somewhere else. Point is that the bio labs engaged in GOF research could be a plausible explanation. Be that the lab in Wuhan or wherever else.

S Brennan #29: Amen points raised 1, 2 and 2a are what makes me think this is one of the more plausible theories.

foolisholdman #31: "How about investigating the fact that Dr Fauci financed gof research in the Wuhan Lab, while the leader of the WHO group that went to China to investigate, actually worked there, on that project.(!)"
Exactly one of the issues they raise. Dr Fauci and the american funded research is one incentive to sweep this one under the rug.

I doubt wether we will ever get to the bottom of this (natural vs accidental leak vs whatever else theories are out there) because there are too many actors with an incentive to sweep this under the rug.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 1 2021 23:43 utc | 54


Indian have low self esteem and they love being praised by westerners / western media. The current MODI administration made the whole thing worse.

For india it is all about optics , no matter how bad their nation is, as long as the media potray good things about india and great relationship with US , everything is fine

i fear there's no backtracking toward normalcy in india. I suspect the whole incompetent indian bureaucracy covered up covid casualties since last year because of the Optics of India the great.

they even have the IMF put out nonsense data on india glorious GDP increase this year

any news or info or post from india / hindutva troll army should be disregarded

one of the only indian source i recommend is MK Bardakumar indian punchline blog

Posted by: milomilo | May 2 2021 1:12 utc | 55

isn't there evidence that COVID was present in Europe in early 2019 from archival waste water samples? If so the Chinese were only the first people to find the virus -- because they had the necessary infrastructure to detect SARS like viruses. The Chinese are getting the blame because they efficiently isolated, sequenced and generated a PCR test for a virus that may have been in the western world for perhaps several years. They gave us several months of heads up and an efficient assay for the virus by the 11th Jan 2000 well before the main pandemic hit. The Chinese are being punished for discovering the virus in China when its origin is obviously elsewhere. As to manipulation of this virus I must say the finding of a pro-protein convertase site in the viral spike protein is suspicious as SARS viruses usually don't have one-- though other viral spike proteins do. The pro-protein convertase cleavage event occurs as the virus is infecting the cell and enhances infectivity by 10-100 fold. It is likely that the convertase site is a natural phenomenon acquired by natural mutation -- but it could have been inserted by someone. If so there is no evidence that the Chinese did it-- basically anyone could have done it and planted it in China. So the Chinese have a water tight defense and we should revisit all archival waste water samples in a global search for the origin of the virus. We may get a nasty surprise.

Posted by: cj | May 2 2021 1:19 utc | 56

S Brennan #29

And I'll say again, for the umpteenth time, sending C-19 infected people home with no early medical treatment is effing stupid, we don't do that with any other disease that has this type of mortality or, long term disabilities. Those running FDA/CDC/NIH program to ban known antivirals should be dragged out and shot for dereliction of duties during a time of national emergency.

Thank you for your post ++ and can I add that any medical authority banning the treatment of a disease through an innocuous dose of a long existing medicine or combination that appears to be very helpful in many cases, is equally a dereliction of duty by commission and a crime against humanity. To read of people needing to seek court orders for treatments is just infuriating.

Where do these criminal lunatics buy their license to practice medicine? The United States leadership has lost its mind.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2021 1:40 utc | 57

Mr. CJ

Perfectly reasonable to assume that this virus, if bred in a lab, could have been released in China, or anywhere else in the world, by its creators.

If bred in a laboratory, it is also perfectly reasonae to assume that its breeders were not aware of its lethality profile fot such parameters as age, obesity, and diabetes.

Or, the virus was released during a sunspot minima, making it more effective against mankind.

Posted by: Fyi | May 2 2021 2:50 utc | 58

"The result of the "pandemic" has been to see practically every western government turn to authoritarianism, just like the CCP."

Some people have eyes, as it said, but cannot see. How is that "just like the CCP"?
First, to your propagandistic poison spitting: one side, in your presentation, is the political party exerting political power, the other, though, is "governments"... where some political party does (or not?) exert political power?

Anyway, no, it is not "just like"; that is a monstrous propaganda lie. China has mobilized every resource in the whole country to do exactly what is required in cases of airborne epidemic which lethally threatens substantial high-risk groups among the population, managing to very rapidly control the epidemic, completely suppressing it within less than 2 months from the upward curve. Whatever your problem with it, the result is incontestable. The Chinese also published exactly what they were doing at each step, for all subsequent victims of the epidemic to learn from and be ready (fat chance.)

The other side of your comparison (the "West" but not only) has done every single thing wrong even though the lesson from the successful predecessor had been broadcast in time. Its governments have knowingly murdered hundreds of thousands of people for their material interests, political plans or sheer mental disability.

If you are insinuating that China not having the exact same system of governance as "democratic" countries (and where is the democracy in the War Party 1 + War Party 2 US, where I live?) means that the latter cannot impose coercive measures and mobilization as in China, wrong: just remember they did and continue to do when they declare war in the way of general silencing and mobilization.

The fact is all governments we are aware of, with probably no exception, have invoked the pandemic as an excuse to impose an (additional) unheard-of level of police state control over the population, very little of it justified by medical reasons (and what little medical reason there is is mainly distorted by the for-profit propaganda medical establishment...)

"What's not to like about China?"
I still did not hear what it is exactly that you dislike. Tell us, already.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 2 2021 3:48 utc | 59

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 2 2021 3:48 utc | 59

You see, true intellectuals in the West are defined by their ability to parrot loaded words.

2/3 of Americans support UHC yet their government always try their darnest to deny them this. Can we have EoinW elaborate how that isn't authoritarianism or undemocratic?

Posted by: J W | May 2 2021 4:14 utc | 60

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 1 2021 20:11 utc | 30
(Nobody talking about China's swift reaction to Covid outbreak in Wuhan)

Amusingly, or not, Oz's Chief Medical Officer in early 2020 praised China's decisive actions and I assumed that Oz's success (apart from early Aged Care glitches) in getting the outbreak under control was due to his recommendation that Oz should, more or less, follow China's lead.
BUT, since China-bashing became fashionable in Oz in mid 2020, he's been replaced by a more 'flexible' CMO willing to downplay China's Covid expertise and success.

Imo, there's a reasonable chance that the Bezos/Atlanticist tosh will backfire because many citizens of the West are aware that China dodged the Covid bullet whilst many, if not most 'Western leaders' stood around 'debating' it's seriousness whilst it ran rampant. I recall reports that UK airports were operating without Covid rules in mid-2020.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain why it's China's fault that the West is run by lazy, greedy, incompetent fools and liars.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 2 2021 4:24 utc | 61

@ Hoarsewhisperer .. i wanted to compliment sharing your sense of humour here at moa @21.. you and a few others on this thread made me laugh.. i appreciate that!

Posted by: james | May 2 2021 4:43 utc | 62

Blaming Covid on China is a wedge issue for empire.

If they can get folks to believe that Covid came from China then its sets the stage for
a) China's response was good because they created it and had inside knowledge
b) China's release of Covid is an aggressive action necessitating war/isolation/sanctions/tariffs
c) Empire must be forgiven for its response to the Covid attack causing so many deaths because the attack was aimed at the core of freedumb and dumbocracy cover for the global private finance elite behind the curtain.

The shit show will continue until it doesn't.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2021 5:24 utc | 63

Like building 7 is the smoking gun for 9/11 the smoking gun for China is the way they conducted a well coordinated plan to spread as much economic damage as possible. Not just by keeping open their international flights after closing domestic... did anyone see the grainy movie footage of bodies lying in the streets and people in hazmat gear scooping them up. Definitely fake and definitely done slick by a planned play.

Posted by: OJ B | May 2 2021 5:30 utc | 64

Both the zoonotic origin and the lab escape hypothesis have been neither proven nor disproven so far. Calling one of the two thesises "unlikely" is just a subjective opinion, not a fact.

The fact that the USA is waging a propaganda war against China doesn't prove or disprove anything in regards of the origin of the disease. It just proves that the USA is waging a propaganda war against China.

The longer it takes to find the intermediate host the more credibility the lab escape hypothesis will get. We are already witnessing this process.

Posted by: m | May 2 2021 6:26 utc | 65

Bat viruses can cause disease in humans. Simple fact. Either through direct contact or through intermediate hosts. Hendra virus was through the intermediate host of horses. It did not spread by human to human transmission, but possibly can. Even a dog was found to be infected with Hendra virus. Nipah virus used the intermediate host of pigs. Human to human transmission occurred. MERS is believe to have occurred as the result of a bat virus using the intermediate host of camels. SARS was through the intermediate host of civets. Zika virus, Swine flu etc. and of cause the Spanish flu (which originated in the US), are zoonotic diseases with different sources and hosts. Why go looking for a lab outbreak when nature already does such a good job?

Posted by: Peter Williams | May 2 2021 7:40 utc | 66

You really want a "full scientific and forensic investigation into all possible origins"?

Then why fixate on China?

Why not broaden to Europe and U.S. - where there is plenty of evidence of Covid-19 before Wuhan???

Why not start at Fort Detrick?

Posted by: Allen | May 2 2021 7:51 utc | 67

@66 Peter Williams
Because there are several pieces of circumstantial evidence that point towards a lab leak:

The virus is well adapted to human cells. That's unusual for a zoonotic origin. This might have very well emerged naturally - which would require further explanation and evidence - or it might be the result of genetic engineering wirhin the framework of gain-of-function research.

The zoonotic origin hypothesis requires an intermediate host. Such a host hasn't been posiively identified so far. This might just still take while - as b suggests - or an intermediate host might never be found. In the cases of MERS and SARS it took just a few months each to identify the internediate host. On the other hand, understanding the ful evolutionary development of SARS took until 2017 - 15 years.

Geography. The closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 is a bat virus that occurrs naturally hundreds if kilometers away from Wuhan in bats in south China and artificially in the Wuhan Institute of Virology right in the center of Wuhan. The zoonotic origin hypothesis requires an intermediate host that can bridge such a distance.

The zoonotic origin hypothesis stands and falls with the identification of the intermediate host.

Posted by: m | May 2 2021 8:58 utc | 68

@54 Gehenna
I am aware how gain of function works. Yet, there are no indications that the Wuhan virology lab people were working on GOF on bat coronaviruses though they undisputedly researched multiple kinds of bat hosted viruses, with professor Shi Zhengli 石正丽 being an expert on coronaviruses with world wide publications. That is hardly a surprise as bats constitute a very high share of mammal species and subspecies, and are cohabitating with an amazing number of virus species which do not harm the creatures.

Wuhan lab was not a military institution, it was and is a scientific institution where researchers from the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries regularly paid visits, discussed with their colleagues, and were in email contact.

Were the SARS-Cov2 virus species artificially created in that lab, and escaped by accident, no traces of that virus could have been found in other countries prior to a Wuhan outbreak. And, as vk correctly explained, the genetic distance of SARS-Cov2 to the next relative in rhinolophus ferrumequinum (greater horseshoe bat) is about 75 "years"/generations (meaning year is not indicative that it really took that time), with intermediate hosts, probably one or all of pangolin, mink, even cats. Even after becoming adapted to humans, some evolutionary steps and mutations were probably necessary to make it highly infectious.

There is simply no way how that could have happened in and around the Wuhan lab. It is even mostly unlikely that it happened that way in high secrecy "biodefense" aka illegal biological warfare research in Fort Detrick or other top secret labs of the US, UK, or NATO.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 2 2021 9:17 utc | 69

Posted by: Peter Williams | May 2 2021 7:40 utc | 66

Interesting you mentioned Hendra virus. I believe it came from bats and then a bat infected/ bit a horse. From memory, the first person to die from Hendra virus was Vic Rail, a horse trainer from Hendra, Queensland, a northern suburb of Brisbane.

Bats seem to love living in those big Morten Bay Fig trees.

Queensland University has conducted extensive research on Bat viruses since then. Because the issue has not been politicised there are no calls for a 'weapons inspector' grade inquiry. Qld. can rest easy, for now.

How about calls for 'weapons inspector' grade powers to demand access to the bandit state regarding MERS?

The bandit state publicly announced it was looking for an Arab genetic specific virus at the time MERS suddenly appeared. Of course the Khazars, been non Semitic, hoped they would be immune.

For further reading on the long history of Zionist biological warfare search for 'Traces of Poison' by Professor Salman Abu Sitta.

Posted by: Paul | May 2 2021 9:22 utc | 70

@m 65, 68
The GOF hypothesis is more than just a bit unlikely. Wuhan virology lab is not a clandestine, high secrecy, military institution like "biodefense" aka illegal biological warfare research labs like Fort Detrick and others in the US, UK, and other NATO and vassal countries.

Rather it is a scientific lab where researchers from the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries were visiting regularly, exchanging research findings, and staying in email, mail, and phone contact. Even journalists visited the institution more than once.

The GOF hypothesis would be consistent with a one point outbreak of Covid caused by SARS-Cov2. That was not the case, instead, Covid19 traces were found in France, Italy, and very likely in the US months before the Wuhan outbreak. That points towards a virus gaining human pathogenicity through several steps of mutation and adaptation. The genetic distance between bat Cov and SARS-Cov2 is at least 75 generations, and one or more other species hosts, most probably pangolin or mink, maybe cats. And it may have needed further steps of adaptation to become not only human pathogenic, but highly infectious too.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 2 2021 9:39 utc | 71

I think Raoult said something about green monkeys in Guinea as a possible intermediary between the bats and humans (some ppl eat monkeys too). It is in one of the interviews on the university hospital channel (IHU Marseille).

Posted by: Mina | May 2 2021 9:43 utc | 72

F'ing spell checker! Should read PCR is NOT a good screening tool!!

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | May 2 2021 9:44 utc | 73

@70 aquadraht
Gain-of-function research doesn't aim at creating bioweapons and it isn't illegal at all. In fact, we know that the Wuhan Institute if Virology had been involved with this kind of research because of scientific papers that had been published by researches in scientific magazines.

Nobody has ever claimed that anything illegal or "nefarious" took place at Wuhan. Just normal research with bat viruses.

The genetic distance between CoV-SARS-2 and other coronaviruses is only 75 generations when one assumes a natural evolution. A single genetic engineering event can easily bridge that distance in a day. In fact, the big genetic distance speaks rather -for- the lab escape thesis since such a natural evolution necessarily requires some kind of intermediate host as a natural reservoire - which hasn't been found yet.

The virus fragments that had been detected in European sewages is interesting and warrents further research. An early outbreak in Europe is however not consistent with the other evidence. There had been no health systems at the edge of capacity in Europe in mid 2019 (like in Wuhan at the end of 2019) nor had there been any heaps of corpses. My guess is that the findings in the sewages are the result of false positives and/or contermination during sample analysis in 2020y

Posted by: m | May 2 2021 10:27 utc | 74

#73 Gain of Function is not illegal unless it is deliberately used to make a weapon and scaled up. It comes under the concept of dual-use. The dual-use concept allows the study of pathogens and potential pathogens and is important in trying to develop diagnostics and counter-measures. The ethics of doing this are another matter entirely. There are institutional review committees set up to examine exactly this problem and Fauci bypassed that committee completely which indicates there were some ethical questions he would rather ask forgiveness than permission about. There was in place a Presidential directed moratorium preventing any gain of function testing without committee approval.

The ethics are important to consider and I am certain the WIV had them in place given it was designed under WHO supervision. The other laboratories in the US not under DoD or NIH control are very lax in these approvals and skirt the laws whenever possible sometimes with bad outcomes. We will never know the extent.

I will add that part of the Convention permits any signatory country to inspect on demand any facility they deem may be in violation. This is not frequently used and I think no US labs have ever had an on-demand inspection. The US has done it to Russia many times but not in reverse.

To skirt this issue the US has set up over 100 Biothreat containment labs in foreign countries that operate outside the rules. Most are legal and doing nothing more than endemic studies of diseases of interest. But several, seem to have sections that are classified Top Secret and not under the purview of the host country or even the hosting Federal agency (usually DoD). The lab in Tiblisis is one that has this problem. That lab was of interest to DoD because the origin of the 4th (and current) plague pandemic is Tiblisi and it was of interest to study the development of plague through the phenomenon of lost genes. Many of the former Soviet Union Republics (particularly in Central Asia) have endemic zoonotic diseases that are also on the Bioweapons threat list so interesting to monitor for changes. The lab also hosts the world's finest bacteriophage research facility, the George Eliava Institute which is extremely important in developing antimicrobial treatments. But there are sections in that lab that are compartmentalized and not under the supervision of the host country or the US Army (WRAIR in this case). But, because it is in the Republic of Georgia it falls under their legal purview. So, it becomes a can of worms to try and get inside these labs for an inspection. It is similar to Gitmo in this respect.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | May 2 2021 11:02 utc | 75

One problem with gain of function research as the source of pandemic is that it is not such a good method to develop a "super-virus". Lab research uses "models", that are either cell cultures or animal models. Ferrets were described as good animal models, but similar weasels are plentiful in China, and live close to humans, perhaps like raccoons in USA.

About the distance from Yunnan to Wuhan, yea, we all know that the basic mode of transportation in China is a bullock cart, and it takes a month from Yunnan to Wuhan, if not more. Alas, they introduced bullet trains too...

Finally, there is a profound problem with "inspections with unrestricted access". As we seen in Iraq, hostile inspections can keep insisting that they did not see everything, that some ton of yeast purchased a decade ago is not accounted for, that the presidential palace was not inspected, that president still has some other palaces not inspected yet, that there are biolabs in truck trailers roaming in the country (remember biolabs in trailers?). So until we inspect every truck trailer in China...

Western powers destroyed weapon inspection systems, converting them into generators of hostility that rely in placid acceptance among the Western population.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 2 2021 11:21 utc | 76

Wikipedia › wiki › Mobile_weapons_labo...
Mobile weapons laboratories are bioreactors and other processing equipment to manufacture ... Following the invasion of Iraq two trailers were found and initially described as the alleged mobile labs. ... was removed and one that he passed a lie detector added and as such became official evidence of mobile bio-labs even ...

Tips for the youngster not familiar with this menace -- lethally absurd claims. Swamps in lower Potomac valley are full of them, origins are disputed. Some claim that it is a unique feature of this ecosystems, and being endemic, it requires utmost protection of those wetlands.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 2 2021 11:27 utc | 77

How to make sure the virus spreads widely (wherever it comes from):
let it spread from Western Europe to Central Europe by refusing to control the borders in the name of a deity named Schengen,
once declining in Western Europe, allow it to come back by letting planes carry tourists (in the name of the same deity + another one named IATA)
in addition, suggest to southern Europe in the name of Mammon to incite tourism, and let tourists at different stage of the curve mix there,
rinse and repeat.
Control the populations who still have a job, including those doing the BS jobs, by refusing them any cultural activities, so as to break them morally (in the name of the gods Shock and Awe).

Posted by: Mina | May 2 2021 11:43 utc | 78

Posted by: Rob | May 1 2021 17:25 utc | 6

Before this covid thing since the beginning of time millions have died as you say "prematurely"...what's your point...

Posted by: notlurking | May 2 2021 11:49 utc | 79

Just factors for consideration here. I don’t know what happened.

Military people are dumb. Smart researchers do not want to work for military dopes. Military has limitless money. Someone can be found to take the money.

CRISPR got kinda simple. It is a toy. Boys with toys. Play with toys, make mistakes. Work on practice pieces.

All labs leak. Work in progress and fresh field samples leak just as much as completed masterworks. A lab can be a great vector for a field sample that would have lived and died in some remote corner.

One thing military is good at is covering their asses. If it is bad ask CIA and their media minions to spin up impenetrable webs of dead ends, false leads, bullshit. Make it complex, no one will ever figure it out. Few will want to go toe to toe with a military bent on hiding a mistake.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 2 2021 12:01 utc | 80

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 2 2021 3:48 utc | 59

I see the difference between China and the west to contain the virus as one of trust. It appears that the Chinese people trust their government to be on their side. Here in the west a lot of money has been spent promoting the distrust and the idea that anything done by the government is automatically incompetent. Stir in the fact that most of the governments are now owned by oligarchs and big business and the distrust and incompetence became fact.
People in China did not go out protesting and raving on the streets because of that trust, not because of any authoritarianism.

Posted by: arby | May 2 2021 12:04 utc | 81

What the article and surrounding discussion makes apparent, is that there is a need to establish new control mechanisms, among many in the field of bio-weapons. Currently, we're instead seeing the dismantling in the fields of strategic arms control, chemical weapons and peace-keeping initiatives. The international organizations and treaties, established during the era of bipolar power distribution, were either readjusted for the unipolar world model or were established with an inherent imbalance, and are no longer fit for purpose with the rise of new power centers. Even if a diverse group of observers were permitted to survey all potential bio-laboratories unhindered starting tomorrow, any findings or lack thereof would be put into question and any state or private actor implicated in wrong-doing would only be held accountable unilaterally within the block-politics of international relations, if at all. In short, this initiative may as well skip the investigation altogether and go straight for blame attribution, for all the good it will do, which seems to be the idea anyway.

The core argument of the article is accurate: there is no indication of any serious concern for the unhindered spread and use of bio-hazardous materials, virus research and so on. Any effort in that vain would by necessity carry a gesture of good-will in starting with opening ones own stockpiles and research to international scrutiny, enticing other states to get involved in similar action in a multilateral format and gradually working your way up to prejudiced states with the goal of regulating rather than punishing. Conversely, the proposed effort instead seeks to maintain the mask of a unipolar order and its primary feature is blame attribution -- all roads already lead to a verdict of guilt.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 2 2021 12:31 utc | 82

I have read through a couple of papers about GoF as well as genetic engineering of microorganisms and viruses. The ends of such research, at least outside military labs, was not increase of pathogenicity, much less turning them human pathogenic, rather mostly producing certain substances in higher purity or (and) quantity, e.g. citric acid, or certain peptides and hormones or other proteins. The target of transmissions regularly were animals and cell cultures, not humans.

Creating inadvertently a virus or bacterium which is both highly transmissible and highly pathogenic in a model not targeted (i.e. humans) sounds bit fantastic. "Bridging 75 generations", and creating a robust and highly transmissible specimen is so close to impossible that it can only called stupid.

Zoonoses ususally require not only generations, but scores (meaning hundreds of millions if not billions or more) of specimens to travel over the hosts, overcome their immune system and competing microorganisms and viruses, and gain stable conditions to procreate. It is just megalomania to claim one could have achieved that by a lab error.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 2 2021 15:12 utc | 83

Let's wrap up the discussion because many here are heavily uninformed and clearly didn't read the WHO's report:

1) the virus didn't come from the Wuhan lab. The WHO team did in fact visit it, and they had access to the relation of all the viruses contained in there. The SARS-CoV-2 was not one of them. One could claim it wasn't in the books, but then that's another level of conspiracy theory;

2) even if we were in a parallel universe where the WHO team was denied access to the Wuhan lab, and where the evidence it leaked from there was strong, we have to face the situation on the field where China will never crack itself open for unlimited and unrestricted access to the West. This fabled "thoroughly investigation" will never happen, it's a mere academic exercise. China is not Iran, Libya, Syria or Iraq; it's above the West's pay grade. A western team will never set foot in a Chinese high security installation and we should stop debating as though there was a chance they could.

If you're a Western and you're revolted with the whole pandemic situation, you should be angry and act against your own government, because, with China, all you can do is whine.

Posted by: vk | May 2 2021 15:50 utc | 84

@vk 84,
With all due respect, I happen to know a little bit about WHO and similar organizations. I've known people who work at WHO. All nice and decent people, but I wouldn't regard WHO as the highest authority.

WHO lives by contributions, and is therefore highly political. The staff is concerned most of all about extending their contracts, and about advancing their careers.

Imagine someone from, say, Central Asia, living in Geneva, being paid a good salary by Swiss standards. Zero taxes. Medical insurance. Home leave grant. Education grant, paying for your children private schools and universities anywhere in the world. Quasi-diplomatic status. And now imagine that you do something that annoys your bosses, and your contract is discontinued. And you're back to your -stan, living on $300/month. Now, that's the end of the world for you. Again: nice and decent people, but all-in-all not exactly the impartial authority.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 2 2021 16:48 utc | 85

@Gehenna | May 1 2021 17:37 utc | 9

This may point to the "gain-a-function" research that could be conducted at the lab in Wuhan.

If SARS-CoV-2 was a leak from Wuhan, how and why did it reach Iran at almost the same time? It's a long way from China to Iran. If the leak was accidental, why weren't intermediate countries heavily infected? If deliberate, why would China want to hurt an ally?

Posted by: Cyril | May 2 2021 17:00 utc | 86

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 2 2021 16:48 utc | 85

Except for the fact that every country pays for the WHO, not just China.

If any country tried to blackmail the WHO, it was the USA, which withdrew its financial contribution after it didn't get the report it wanted (i.e. one fully blaming China for the pandemic).

Posted by: vk | May 2 2021 18:07 utc | 87

vk @87 says:

"Except for the fact that every country pays for the WHO, not just China. If any country tried to blackmail the WHO, it was the USA, ..."

Precisely. Furthermore, the WHO team are not people living in Central Asia, but experts from mostly Western countries (US, Australia, Britain, Germany, Netherland, Canada) and Japan, Russia...

Therefore, Mao Cheng Ji (@85)'s concern is not really the problem:

"Imagine someone from, say, Central Asia, living in Geneva, being paid a good salary by Swiss standards, zero tax..."

Posted by: d dan | May 2 2021 18:36 utc | 88

Mao Cheng Ji | May 2 2021 16:48 utc | 85

That applies to WHO P (Professional) staff. The G (general) are not so well treated.

The presssure is not so much from within WHO itself, but from the way that it has been transformed from an independent body into another US/Corporate tool.

Originally the WHO was funded by contributions directly from the various Nations, which went into either the regular Budget or projects. One Senior P staff member (Scottish) I met, was on first-name speaking terms with at least two thirds of the African leaders. All he had to do was go to the country - have a chat with whoever, and it generally got done. Very friendly, very efficient. He didn't have to produce paper but he did produce results. He then retired. His successor had to work under a different system.

She then had to find "Sponsors" to complete her own budget for the project and pay for her own salary (or supplement it, not sure which). This meant that she spent half her time looking for money and the other half her time actually doing work on her health related project. Net loss - that halved the "output".

Now it has become customary for funds to be solicited for projects. Which is what Big Pharma and others of the same profit seeking corporations were waiting for. Since then, WHO has let the lobbies (that's what they are) gain access to meetings as "specialised "experts". Between having to rely on payment from lobbies and then having to meet them personnally in select meetings - what can they do? Which is why Big P now has more or less control over the output of WHO. The rest of your description is more or less correct, although I would say that now they have to avoid annoying their "sponsor" more than their direct "boss". (Unless he too has to kowtow to a lobby)

PS. The system changed as the WHO is surprisingly underfunded anyway. It gets no more than a mid-to large US hospital - which is supposed to be enough to cover the whole world. The US also stopped paying "dues" for many years and used that as blackmail.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 2 2021 19:02 utc | 89

I didn't say this is all about Chinese contributions. Or even the US contributions.

I'm just saying it's political, not entirely professional. Needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Who knows what kinds of political calculations get into the equation.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 2 2021 19:27 utc | 90

@d dan "Furthermore, the WHO team are not people living in Central Asia, but experts from mostly Western countries"

My acquaintances at WHO were not Westerners. Well, except for one Scottish guy, but he was in IT. Before they outsourced their IT to Malaysia (or whatever the place it is).

There's probably a high percentage of Westerners, but even for them it's a very, very good job. French and Spanish doctors, for example, aren't rich, especially the young ones.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 2 2021 19:42 utc | 91

M #65

Both the zoonotic origin and the lab escape hypothesis have been neither proven nor disproven so far. Calling one of the two thesises "unlikely" is just a subjective opinion, not a fact.

The fact that the USA is waging a propaganda war against China doesn't prove or disprove anything in regards of the origin of the disease. It just proves that the USA is waging a propaganda war against China.

The longer it takes to find the intermediate host the more credibility the lab escape hypothesis will get. We are already witnessing this process.

This is exactly my position. I do not discount out of hand a natural origin nor the lab leak hypothesis.

@Cyril #86
A lot of air traffic happens. From China to the rest of the world and vice versa. In case of an accidental lab leak (the lab leak hypothesis) rest assured that it will spread by all means available to the virus. The virus does not discriminate between allies and enemies or politics for that matter.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 2 2021 19:55 utc | 92

Not lurking is under the misapprehension that the world population is 77billion. That is the only way he can say that 3.1 million is 0.004% of the population

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | May 2 2021 20:02 utc | 93

@Gehenna 92, m 95
This is going boring.

TextBoth the zoonotic origin and the lab escape hypothesis have been neither proven nor disproven so far. Calling one of the two thesises "unlikely" is just a subjective opinion, not a fact.

It is also not proven that not a meteorite struck a bat cave causing the mutation, or God (another neither proven nor disproven hypothesis), or Satan, for a change, created the virus to punish the humans, or have a bit of fun.
As you wrote
Calling one of the .. thesises "unlikely" is just a subjective opinion, not a fact.

It is science to appraise the probability of an incident, outcome, or phenomenon, there is a mathematical theory about (ever heard of Kolgomoroff?). That something is possible does not mean it is likely. It is possible that a harmful, highly contagious, human transferrable germ is inadvertently created in lab experiments from a previously relatively harmless, non transferrable, non human pathogenic germ.

Genetic engineering of lifeforms most times disrupts parts of the natural ways a lifeform exists, survives, and procreates. Practically all genetically engineered or altered lifeforms are frail and degraded in their fitness in natural environments in the one or other way. This is partially intentional, mostly a side effect of the manipulations which do care for the intended function, not for the best of the manipulated germ. Often, decrease of survivability is even intended (e.g. bacteria creating lots of highly pure citric acid, insulin etc., then die).

Next improbability would be that such an unlikely germ escapes from its origin in security grade 4 biohazard lab out to the normal world, and there finds immediately enough hosts to procreate and spread. That would need susceptible hosts to carry (we know that actual SARS-Cov2 occurs and spreads not well among people under 70 which most of biolab people will consist of), then meet susceptible host for transmission.

And then this kind of malign germ would appear in other parts of the world, thousands of kilometres away, without causing major outbreak, just by chance, or equal or only slightly different variants appeared there without major transmission among the populace, just an unrelated sideshow.

Note that all these improbabilities are linked by logical and. Every step necessary multiplies to the reciprocal value of all constraints mentioned. In the end, God or Satan might be the better hypothesis under Occam's razor.

Ok, except the zoonosis hypothesis, where only the intermediate transmissions from bat origin to the human pathogenic form are not clear.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 2 2021 20:44 utc | 94

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 2 2021 19:27 utc | 90

If strictly political factors are taken into consideration, then the zoonotic hypothesis is stronger than ever: most countries are pressuring the WHO to declare the SARS-CoV-2 was created artificially in the Wuhan lab. Which means the opposite is true.

Posted by: vk | May 2 2021 21:50 utc | 95

"...most countries are pressuring the WHO to declare the SARS-CoV-2 was created artificially in the Wuhan lab. Which means the opposite is true."

The opposite, of course, being that the virus was created at Fort Detrick and released deliberately in Wuhan, no "leaks" involved at all.

It is interesting how so many posters shy away from facing up to what the US really is. They have used every class of WMD ever made already. Why is it so difficult to accept that they have done it again and will do it again until they are stopped?

Posted by: William Gruff | May 3 2021 0:09 utc | 96

vk @14

India is not crumbling and Covid-19 is not ravaging the population of India. India has a long, long way to go before it has anything like the accumulated death rate (%) of endemic countries (and the death % in those countries is not particularly high). Also, only Maharashtra State has high levels of cases/deaths (relative to other Indian states). It is being played up to keep you in a fearful state (and appears to be working). It is an utter psyops that is repeating the script worked out for New York (with fake photos and mass funeral pyres substituting for the Hart Island grave pits).

There is no "political choice" necessary for the origins of Sars-Cov2. There is NO EVIDENCE that it came from a BioLab; it's all unsubstantiated bullshit. That leaves anyone using their commonsense to have to accept that the origin of Covid-19 is most probably a normal (i.e. natural) event. What isn't normal is the reaction of countries (particularly western) to an event that isn't particularly deadly and should be well within the scope of western health services to cope with.

It is a possibility that when the West/US feel they are ready to launch a war on China they may well use Sars-Cov2 as a pretext, so it's best not to speculate about Biolabs when they is NO EVIDENCE that Sars-Cov2 came from a Biolab and when Covid-19 is not particularly deadly.

Posted by: ADKC | May 3 2021 0:23 utc | 97

William Gruff @96

There is NO EVIDENCE that Sars-Cov2 came from a BioLab anywhere in China or the US or, indeed, the world.

If you push the idea that it came from a Biolab (even in the US) you are halfway to placing the blame on China when there is NO EVIDENCE that Sars-Cov2 originated in any Biolab. If it looks like bullshit, if it smells like bullshit, then it's probably bullshit!

Posted by: ADKC | May 3 2021 0:35 utc | 98

ADKC @98

If there is no threat of the virus being exposed as artificial then why the urgency in the CIA's Mockingbird media to establish the narrative that it was released from the facility in Wuhan? This only makes sense if the zoonotic origin story is getting shaky.

It amounts to the CIA claiming that the virus is artificial here, and they should know as they are the ones who sprayed it on doorknobs and handrails in Wuhan. The only reason for them to be going ahead with the Wuhan artificial origin narrative, and thus allowing the narrative to stray closer to the truth in that at least the virus is artificial, is because there is growing difficulty in gaslighting the scientists researching the virus. Shouting "Conspiracy theory!!" ever louder is not going to hold the truth back much longer, so then need to get out ahead of the narrative.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 3 2021 1:12 utc | 99

vk @95

The zootonic hypothesis is totally unproven. Moreover, it is the predetermined outcome/prerequisite of all the research funded by Ecohealth Alliance (from grants awarded by NiH [US Goverment]) who awarded grants for research into bat viruses at Wuhan.

The predetermined outcome was in the 2011 film "Contagion" which was funded by the CDC; transmission of disease from bat faeces. The film is pure predictive programming from start to finish, pushing a narrative that prepares the public for a future event caused by "bats" that we would have to "learn to live with" and that we would "never know the cause".

There is no evidence that the virus came from bats or any zootonic source; it's all batshit and you would have to be crazy (batshit crazy) to believe it. It all just amounts to predetermined outcomes, flawed research, a bad predictive programming movie, and unsubstantiated rumour.

Posted by: ADKC | May 3 2021 1:14 utc | 100

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