Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 27, 2021

The 'Lab-Leak' Theory Is Not Of Equal Value - Promoting It Furthers The China Hawks

It is a sad experience to see that several writers I like and often agree with are now propping up a Russiagate like conspiracy theory about the origin of the novel coronavirus.

Let's start with Kit Klarenberg who, in a lengthy cherry picking 'lab escape theory' essay, quotes approvingly from a Technology Review piece:

[Computer modeling] generated a startling result: the spike proteins studding SARS-CoV-2 bound more tightly to their human cell receptor, a protein called ACE2, than target receptors on any other species evaluated. In other words, SARS-CoV-2 was surprisingly well adapted to its human prey, which is unusual for a newly emerging pathogen.

Huh?

BREAKING: Virus which predominantly infects humans is well adapted to predominantly infect humans!

Which proves exactly what?

On May 7 Michael Tracey pushed similar nonsense:

As New Evidence Emerges For COVID "Lab-Leak" Theory, Journalists Who Screamed “Conspiracy” Humiliate Themselves

Over and over again early last year, as the COVID pandemic was ramping up but hadn’t yet reached the US in earnest, journalists working at prominent national publications claimed to have conclusive knowledge about the origins of the virus. It was trafficking in a “conspiracy theory” that had been roundly “debunked” — they collectively declared — to suggest that the virus may have originated in a laboratory that specializes in experimenting on human infectious diseases in Wuhan, China.
...
These declarations look dopier than ever after a new article was published this week by the journalist Nicholas Wade, who for many years was a science correspondent for the New York Times. At the very least, Wade demonstrates that the “lab-leak” theory ought not to be discounted. But he also goes much further, showing that the theory is in fact highly plausible.

Is the 'lab-leak' theory as 'highly plausible' as Wade's earlier theory that racial differences in economic success come from genetic differences amplified by culture?

The fact that 140+ well established genetic scientists signed a public letter which rejected the earlier Wade theory as "guesswork" might tell us something?

Two days ago Glenn Greenwald jumped in:

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald - 0:09 utc · May 25, 2021

It's stunning how quickly, in mainstream sectors, this traveled from "insane unhinged conspiracy theory that must be censored from the internet as harmful disinformation" to "serious and plausible possibility for which rational evidence exists."
Let's learn lessons from this.

The Hill @thehill · May 25
Former FDA chief: Growing circumstantial evidence that COVID "could have come out of a lab" http://hill.cm/cYH8yN8

Then, under a similar mantle of 'media critique', Matt Taibbi furthered the 'lab escape' theory

When the Wall Street Journal came out with a story that a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report detailed how three Wuhan researchers became sick enough to be hospitalized in November of 2019, the toothpaste was fully out of the tube: there was no longer any way to say the “lab origin” hypothesis was too silly to be reported upon.

That’s not to say the “lab origin” theory is correct, at all. However, that’s irrelevant to issue at hand.

No, that is not irrelevant at all.

A few hours ago Jimmy Dore and Matt Taibbi again promoted that shit citing the dubious paper published on January 15 which was not, as claimed, an 'intelligence report' but stove piped speculation by a small group in Mike Pompeo's State Department and recently warmed up again by Michael R. Gordon(!) and others in the Wall Street Journal.

The Narrator has picked that shoddy performance apart:

TheNarrator @TheNarrator000 - 23:52 utc · May 26, 2021

I’m amazed to watch Matt Taibbi correctly note this issue is “highly technical” and requires arduous expert consideration, only to pivot to saying a fringe theory was suppressed in a form of “manufacturing consent.” Wow.
...

Since the virus emerged I have quite diligently followed the scientific discussions about the origin of SARS-CoV-2. I can authoritatively say that the Nicolas Wade theory is not 'plausible' and certainly not 'highly plausible' at all. Wade and other assert that two theses - 'the virus emerged naturally' and 'the virus was created in and/or escaped a Chinese lab' - have equal weight.

We know that trick. Back in 2002 the two claims - 'Saddam Hussein will soon have nuclear weapons' - and - 'Saddam Hussein does not have the means to develop nuclear weapons' - were promoted as equally likely even as they were not. Both of those theses were theoretically possible. But the first was obvious nonsense while the second was well founded in objective facts. The 'lab leak' theory is similar to the first WMD claim - evidence-free speculation long promoted by a neoconservative leaning administration that was extremely hostile to the 'guilty' country in question.

As a reminder here is what the very same Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller reported on September 8 2002:

More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today."

The same day Condoleezza Rice went live to further that nonsense:

On CNN on Sept. 8, 2002, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice infamously warned — incorrectly — that Saddam Hussein may be close to producing a nuclear weapon. When asked how “close” Saddam was to “developing a nuclear capacity,” Rice replied:

RICE: The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

As a push for action against Iraq, she added, “How long are we going to wait to deal with what is clearly a gathering threat against the United States, against our allies and against his own region?”

To see that writers like Tracey, Greenwald, Taibbi and Dore, usually considered to be adversarial to MSM nonsense, now cite such dimwits like Nicolas Wade and propagandists like Michael Gordon - who again quotes anonymous 'administration officials' - is beyond disappointing.

They encourage others like this BBC nitwit to follow Rice's path:

John Sudworth @TheJohnSudworth - 16:10 utc · May 25, 2021

There is no proof the virus leaked from a lab. But, of course, that’s the point. Without transparency we can’t rule it out either. I’m proud to have been part of one of the first MSM news teams to ask these crucial questions.

"There is no proof that Saddam will soon have nuclear weapons. But, of course, that’s the point. Without transparency we can’t rule it out either. I’m proud to have been part of one of the first MSM news teams to ask these crucial questions."

Yes, the sinophobe John Sudworth is again asking those crucial questions ...:

Hurry Up! Let's invade Iraq China!

Well then, how about these lab incidents:

From Jan. 1, 2015, through June 1, 2020, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported 28 lab incidents involving genetically engineered organisms to safety officials at the National Institutes of Health, according to documents UNC released to ProPublica under a public records request. The NIH oversees research involving genetically modified organisms.

Six of the incidents involved various types of lab-created coronaviruses. Many were engineered to allow the study of the virus in mice. UNC declined to answer questions about the incidents and to disclose key details about them to the public, including the names of viruses involved, the nature of the modifications made to them and what risks were posed to the public, contrary to NIH guidelines.

When and where has John Sudworth, or any of the other writers mentioned above, asked the "crucial questions" about the University of North Carolina research with lab-modified coronaviruses?

That he would never dare to do so tells you everything you need to know about the issue. This isn't just about an implausible, evidence free tale of a SARS-CoV-2 lab escape. It is a campaign launched to depict China as an enemy of humankind.

Said differently:

If the question is “are both hypotheses possible?” the answer is yes. Both are possible. If the question is “are they equally likely?” the answer is absolutely not. One hypothesis requires a colossal cover-up and the silent, unswerving, leak-proof compliance of a vast network of scientists, civilians, and government officials for over a year. The other requires only for biology to behave as it always has, for a family of viruses that have done this before to do it again. The zoonotic spillover hypothesis is simple and explains everything. It’s scientific malpractice to pretend that one idea is equally as meritorious as the other. The lab-leak hypothesis is a scientific deus ex machina, a narrative shortcut that points a finger at a specific set of bad actors. I would be embarrassed to stand up in front of a room of scientists, lay out both hypotheses, and then pretend that one isn’t clearly, obviously better than the other. 

Besides the hazy science, there is an undeniable political aspect to this argument. When violence against Asian people in the US is spiking, it’s naive at best and violent gaslighting at worst to pretend that supporting an evidence-free hypothesis that clearly adds fuel to the idea that China inflicted COVID-19 upon the world, that they did this to us, is noble scientific dispassion. There’s a choice being made here between two ideas — one that falls neatly within the world of biology, and the other that knots together conspiracy theory, political intrigue, and xenophobia.

To further baseless speculations about a 'lab escape' of SARS-CoV-2 has serious political consequences:

President Joe Biden said Wednesday he is ordering U.S. intelligence agencies to "redouble their efforts" to investigate the origins of COVID-19, including "specific questions for China."

Biden said an initial report he asked for earlier this month on whether the virus came from human contact with an infected animal or from a lab incident in China was inconclusive, so he's asking for a second report in 90 days to "bring us closer to a definitive conclusion."

"As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has 'coalesced around two likely scenarios' but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question," Biden said in a statement. "Here is their current position: 'while two elements in the IC leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other."

That cave in to the hawks of course only encouraged them to pile on:

"I think we should send a clear signal to China," [Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,]said, "which seems to be the source of a lot of pandemics, that if this did occur in the lab, expect something to happen 'cause if we don't, we're just going to reinforce this in the future."
...
"President Biden sides with China, WHO and the liberal media on Wuhan virus—joining the 'nothing to see here crowd' by shutting down State Dept. pandemic origin investigation I commenced," [former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] tweeted. "This isn't political. America must lead on this."
...
With the lab-leak theory getting new attention, [former President Donald Trump] released a statement this week, saying, "Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of COVID-19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus."

The claim that SARS-CoV-2 is men-created and/or escaped from a laboratory is a theory without any supporting evidence. On the other side there are in total hundreds of adenoviruses, rhinoviruses and coronaviruses of various types that have naturally evolved and eventually managed to infect humans. To see Tracey, Greenwald, Taibbi and Dore blaming mainstream media for giving more weight to the well known natural process than to the evidence free 'lab escape' theory is not only hilarious, it is sad.

This especially as they know that all their speculation does is to further warmongering China hawks.

Posted by b on May 27, 2021 at 7:33 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page | next page »

@ Posted by: William Gruff | May 27 2021 16:26 utc | 114

Ok, but you have to prove it came from an American lab. You can't just make up hypotheses out of nowhere. The objective situation must compel you to search for new hypotheses.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 16:32 utc | 101

thanks b... you really know how to pull folks out of the woodwork here.. even lizard stopped by - all to slag you for your viewpoint.. not sure why they bother, but they do!

i guess adding china to the bad list just doesn't make any sense to some... oh well.. forget about everything else...

@ Idiocrates | May 27 2021 13:25 utc | 58.. i am mildly curious... do you live in the usa? thanks..

Posted by: james | May 27 2021 16:33 utc | 102

Excellent post. There are two parts to this story. The biology of viruses and politics.
Virology
Anyone who has studied virology knows that viral genomes are constantly mutating- this is necessary to insure viral survival.
Background information.
1. Basal or background mutation rate in SARS coronaviruses is estimated to be circa 10-3/base/year (0.001 per base per year) (See- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC446188/
2. Humans infected with SARS-CoV-2 carry an estimated 109–1011 (one billion- one hundred billion) virions at peak infection. (See- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685332/).
3. Genome (RNA) size of SARS-CoV-2 virus is about 30 kB (30,000 bases).
This means that every year, there are on average 30 mutations in each SARS-CoV-2 viral genome. Considering infected patients carry at least 1 billion virions, this means that in a year, there are 30 mutations/virion x 109 viral particles or 30 billion mutations per year in this viral population.
The vast majority of these mutations are neutral or silent (have no effect on viral survival) or are deleterious, rendering the virus less fit or less efficient at reproducing. Occasionally, a mutation arises which gives the virus a selective advantage- such as being more efficient at infecting target cells (eg- binds ace2 receptor with higher affinity) or is better able to evade the host immune system.
Natural viral evolution is far more efficient at generating viral variants than are molecular biologists working in a laboratory. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID 19) variant obviously arose from natural selection in an animal or human host.
Political Aspects.
We are seeing the decline of late-stage American capitalism, which has progressed to the point where the very survival of the US Empire requires constant debt monetization (aka money printing) to prop up financial markets, overpriced real estate and support the military. Since Mar 2020, US government debt has increased circa $7.2 trillion; total US debt exceed $27 trillion. This is becoming increasingly tenuous as this orgy of money printing and debt is threatening to derail the dollars role as the world reserve currency. Once this happens the Empire will implode. Joe Biden and the ruling Kleptocracy he represents have no solution to the pervasive rot that infects every aspect of US society and view the China-Russia-Iran axis as an intolerable obstacle to US global power. The Pentagon and Corporate media (aka ‘ministry of propaganda’) are engaging in China bashing (such as the latest nonsense about COVID 19) to prepare the American public for war with China/Russia. If this happens, the US will be instantly incinerated by Russian hyper-sonic warheads.

Posted by: PaulB | May 27 2021 16:33 utc | 103

from the Seattle Times, via WaPo:

Fact check: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory for pandemic origin suddenly became credible

By Glenn Kessler
The Washington Post
The source of the coronavirus that has left more than 3 million people dead around the world remains a mystery. But in recent months the idea that it emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) — once dismissed as a ridiculous conspiracy theory — has gained new credence.

How and why did this happen? For one, efforts to discover a natural source of the virus have failed. Second, early efforts to spotlight a lab leak often got mixed up with speculation that the virus was deliberately created as a bioweapon. That made it easier for many scientists to dismiss the lab scenario as tin-hat nonsense. But a lack of transparency by China and renewed attention to the activities of the Wuhan lab have led some scientists to say they were too quick to discount a possible link at first.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., from the start pointed to the lab’s location in Wuhan, pressing China for answers, so the history books will reward him if he turns out to be right. The Trump administration also sought to highlight the lab scenario but generally could only point to vague intelligence. The Trump administration’s messaging was often accompanied by anti-Chinese rhetoric that made it easier for skeptics to ignore its claims....
-----

more Bollywood and less Revenger/Star Force fantasies. dancing? behind the movie screen? with Tom Cotton in front of the screen?

thanks to the great state of Texas, we can now all yee hah to this:
chamber full of bullets in my .45 ...
we don't care about no history no science neither...
everybody needs a pistol for a pillow
everybody needs a pistol...
and shooting...and hunting...with their .45s...

Posted by: jason | May 27 2021 16:41 utc | 104

Asia Times is connecting some past news reports on research lab collaborations between U.S., Canadian, and Chinese researchers.

https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/was-the-us-complicit-in-chinas-covid-research/

Posted by: Deskscape | May 27 2021 16:47 utc | 105

I agree with @16 Mao Cheng Ji
I read the Taiibi and Greenwald links, and they say exactly that - no matter what the topic, the MSM excuse for censorship/propaganda can pivot 180 degrees in a heartbeat and completely contradict itself (irrelevant of what the topic is).

what's with the demonization of this intelligent analysis? and what's with the statement that you can 'authoritatively' say anything yourself? I know what I think and believe, but I can't 'authoritatively' say god doesn't exist (or that he wants us to have many wives)...

Posted by: k | May 27 2021 16:48 utc | 106

vk @111: "...you have to prove it came from an American lab. You can't just make up hypotheses out of nowhere."

I don't have to prove anything. On the contrary, you have to prove that the virus is purely zoonotic, and I can assure you that you can never do that unless the transitional host species is identified. That, in turn, is also not going to happen because that species doesn't exist.

I am not trying to prove anything. The necessary details will present themselves in due time. What I am doing is observing an unfinished jigsaw puzzle and commenting upon what the finished puzzle will reveal. What is clear at this point is that none of the pieces not yet placed in the puzzle resemble our missing transitional host species for the virus. That is a dead end, and the longer people hold out hope for that mysterious animal to make an appearance the longer the "escaped a Chinese lab" narrative gets to solidify as perceived truth.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 27 2021 16:56 utc | 107

@ Posted by: jason | May 27 2021 16:41 utc | 106

But a lack of transparency by China and renewed attention to the activities of the Wuhan lab have led some scientists to say they were too quick to discount a possible link at first.

This is false. China is being extremely transparent. It's not the Chinese fault American journalists cannot read Chinese. Just a few days ago I linked here a Chinese article giving more evidence the virus evolved naturally. It's not easy to find the intermediates, this is not something you go out and find instantly CSI Miami style.

And by what does Kessler mean by "renewed attention"? By whom? A journalist must quote his sources, otherwise its just an opinion as valid as any other.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 16:58 utc | 108

So far, no pandemic virus has ever come out from a laboratory.
Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 16:18 utc | 100

Lol. Do cows count in that calculation. I mean... sure they were British cows... but they were cows nonetheless. Let's not decowitize them just because they're British.

Posted by: David G Horsman | May 27 2021 16:58 utc | 109

the 1st mistake people make attempting to understand the US is that they don't realize that

Marjorie Taylor Greene is the brain trust of this country.

i don't need to know anything about virology to be absolutely certain, as certain as one can be about anything of this nature, that the USG is lying about the Wuhan lab story. or maybe the missing viruses are in Tikrit? around Ramallah somewhere?

how quickly a virus spreads thru the media we have already seen. the age of masking is the age of unmasking. the question is how quickly the virus spreads thru the US populace and if people have been in the tiniest bit inoculated from capitalist warmongering from any one goddam thing in the last 25 years of US history, i.e., their adult lives. wonder why US Ed is so horrible? all that STEM knowledge just to turn oneself into a little cancerous cell in the machine? spend your life debating if bitcoin is "real" or not, while never asking yourself if the shit stuffed in your mouth is real, you little stem cell you.

on a more positive note, a fun google is "US nuclear techs drunk on the job." more Falstaff! less Malvolio! Dionysus may not be done with the US just yet. Help the repressed to return!

Posted by: jason | May 27 2021 16:58 utc | 110

‘Ridiculous' for Biden to customize a 90-day 'scientific' probe on virus origins

My guess a lot of people will instantly believe this report as absolute and conclusive scientific evidence... because it will tell them what they want to hear.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 17:01 utc | 111

Taibbi and some others seem to be engaging in right-tailism: tailing the far right in an opportunistic bet to win them over. This has never worked for anyone on the left, however. What ends up happening is that the left-wing tailists "go native" and typically enjoy their new status as right-wing propagandists and grifters.

It is much easier to be a right-wing propagandist than a left-wing one. Left-wing propagandists appeal to higher values and sentiments. Right-wing propagandists only have to appeal to a handful of God words and then indulge their audience in sadism: Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and so on, were masters of this. What the right-wing sadists want is to see Chinese people suffer. When the right-tailists understand this, if they understand this, they have to make their road back home, or adapt themselves and become what they hate.

So einfach ist das!

Posted by: Fnord | May 27 2021 17:05 utc | 112

@ Posted by: David G Horsman | May 27 2021 16:58 utc | 109

So, let's go straight to the point of that discussion you refer to: what do you think about the climate change hypothesis?

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 17:09 utc | 113

librul @ 84

WTF? What do you know about my birth year? How would you know my birth year? Without clarification am going to have to conclude you are stalking me. Which is a crap hypothesis that makes no sense. Again, WTF.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 27 2021 17:09 utc | 114

I do suggest reading the Global Times Editorial vk linked to on the previous page as Biden's move is seen as a revamp and escalation of Trump's Anti-China policy:

"The Biden administration may continue to place the blame on China over the pandemic as the Trump administration did. Maybe it will go even further. Rogue claims such as calling China to account and even asking China for compensation may not be ruled out as part of the Biden administration's practical policy. They may not expect to achieve their objectives, but they may use these hooligan-like approaches as an additional bargaining chip in its competition with China, in a bid to achieve indirect gains.

"We need to abandon any illusions. The Biden administration will not obey the rules. It will continue most of the Trump administration's ferocious moves. After repackaging them, they will roll out these tactics and the effects of these practices will be amplified. They are further waging their public opinion and political preparations to pass the buck of COVID-19 in the US and the West to China."

But it was the following passage I found very curious given the Belarus development:

"This is a big lie. German Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels once said: 'Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.' The US' radical political elites are engaged in a fever of intense competition with China. In a bid to achieve the goal, they are increasingly Nazi-like in their belief and can do whatever it takes. [My Emphasis]

To appreciate the bolded sentence, one must understand the entire context of the Post-WW2 world and the direction taken by the Outlaw US Empire--particularly its actions in Latin America--and its vassals in their adoption of what's called Neoliberalism, especially its Anti-Human and eugenic aspects.

As I suggested on the newest Belarus thread, there's much to be learned indirectly from this article when considering the overall global context.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2021 17:13 utc | 115

vk @ 108
i posted that to mock it. do i look like someone who wants Tom Cotton to do anything other than go down in history, period, the sooner is still too late? i mean, i don't want him in my own compost heap of the future...not being a meatasaurus and all i wouldn't feed his carcass even to worms.

Posted by: jason | May 27 2021 17:20 utc | 116

paulb @ 103:
i'm w/you till your last sentence.

"If this happens, the US will be instantly incinerated by Russian hyper-sonic warheads."

uh, can we come up with a better plan than that please? that's not going to work out well for anyone. we are not going to come up with technological solutions to why we use technology to arm ourselves, why USonians are so butthurt that they can't just shoot the virus w/one of their many private or public guns. neither are the Arctic-plundering Rooskies.

Posted by: jason | May 27 2021 17:38 utc | 117

As other commenters are pointing out, there is a third possibility: a lab-created bioweapon was deliberately released on Wuhan in an act of warfare, with the Wuhan lab acting as cover. There is strong circumstantial evidence suggesting this is what happened. Why be so dismissive about a lab-created origin for the virus, when you probably do not understand the science that well?

Posted by: Sprewell | May 27 2021 17:55 utc | 118

So why is Biden now rushing to do a Covid origin report in 90 days?

For the same reason that they did the Warren commission report and the 9/11 report!

Posted by: dh-mtl | May 27 2021 18:01 utc | 119

Well, well, well... b's militant propagation of the theory that the CCP is innocent, absolutely innocent, of the covid crisis is back. I was betting on it. In fact, the b's receipt of payment last year from his Chinese paymasters guaranteed it. They also supply b with a lot of posters filling up the board with the nonsense about fort detrick. and about how xi is innocent, oh so innocent!!

C'mon even someone like b, who seems to exhibit an IQ of 80 on this topic, should know that a viral epidemic starting from a city that also has the largest virology institute in the country was too much of a coincidence. but hey, you won't see the truth if you got paid to not see it!

Posted by: ancientarcher | May 27 2021 18:12 utc | 120

Biden team resorts to confrontation to 'cover declining confidence, failed governance'

Let's go to one of the favorite questions here in this forum: cui bono?

The theory that the SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab (no matter its variants: if it was the Wuhan lab, an American lab, or a bioweapon) only benefits the West and its middle classes (petty bourgeoisie and white collar):

1) it exempts the capitalist system from a natural failure (if this was man-made or a bioweapon, then capitalism is the victim, therefore it doesn't have any inherent failures);

2) it exempts the governments in the West (because they could claim they did their job - it was the Chinese that didn't and they trusted them);

3) indirectly and unconsciously, it fits the pandemic in the Western supremacist narrative (the Western elites were behind all of that, therefore the West is still, ultimately, in control of the world), thus preserving the confidence of the Western peoples they're still superior;

4) it creates a situation where laws and regulations that would benefit the working class in the West would not be deemed necessary (only a curb on the laboratories around the world and the destruction of China would be necessary), because it would make this pandemic an even more extraordinary event (and not a once in a century event), therefore not the fault of capitalism or, for that matter, lack of labor protection regulations (see #1);

5) for the American left-wing, it props up the Biden government and the Democratic Party (as it propped up the Trump government and the GOP in 2020), therefore it advances the liberal agenda without the need of going further to socialism (see #4);

6) either way, it would hurt Chinese softpower, therefore socialism, around the world (because "totalitarianism"/communism creates lack of transparency and unscrupulous, evil scientists etc. etc. etc.);

7) it could create - if #6 is successful - a situation where the USA could even glue the rest of the world together (at least the non-aligned with China countries) so that it could sue China in American and European courts and thus create a situation where it would find legitimacy to charge multi-trillionaire lawsuits/reparations against China, therefore bankrupting China and preparing the terrain for an IMF-led Shock Therapy, which would then create a nice synergy with #3 (the "self-licking ice cream cone" dilemma);

8) for the libertarian Westerners, it would, at the same time, create an argument for the destruction of the State and an assurance a hypothetical perfect libertarian society could exist forever, without the need of any kind of centralized institution.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 18:19 utc | 121

https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

Worth reading. Takes a couple of hours. I concluded that circumstantial evidence points to the lab. Very unusually I don't agree with B!

Thanks to all contributors for the polite comments.

Keep positive and smile.

Posted by: Oldengineer | May 27 2021 18:25 utc | 122

@ vk | May 27 2021 18:19 utc | 121

Regarding your no. 7: I've long thought (and have suggested this in other fora) that regardless of the virus's origins, the reason the USA is so obsessed with pinning it on China one way or another is to give the USA the opportunity and "legal" means to declare its debts to China null and void, and to confiscate Chinese assets wherever the USA can get its grubby little paws on them. Think of it as "compensation for damages" or "reparations."

Posted by: corvo | May 27 2021 18:27 utc | 123

After reading about 25 comments and scanning the rest I don't have a lot to add here. Good job folks. GlobalResearch.ca has 3 articles on Covid today.
On this but also ivermectin as a highly effective preventive treatment. Not off topic considering it is about media and Pharma censorship.
F William Engdahl has a piece on the alarming death figures due to the vaccine. If the numbers are 10x what's reported that would be a deadly as the flu in total deaths per year from the sound of it. I will check.
Nonetheless, Engdahl points out that is more deaths from vaccine than the entire history of vaccination. Moving on...

While my suggesting there are prion and other down stream risks to this is not supported by studies, leading experts in virology have expressed concerns about this. Per my earlier comment to VK, a cow would horrified at thought. Humans? Not so much.
The "conspiracy" angle around this is of course the hand of big Pharma in assuring our ignorance, discouraging study of the risks and promoting their own junk science. This may be a low risk but that doesn't mean we should ignore the evidence as of today.

Returning to the question here? Both options are at a minimum, equally possible. It's absurd to suggest that a lab couldn't, wouldn't, or in my view, hasn't already developed this and other variants. Germ warfare isn't typically intended to kill everyone.

I don't think it matters in this case. The certain risks do. So we should be enthusiastically cracking open this can of worms and finding out what we can. I shall return to reading this excellent commentary. Thank you.

Posted by: David G Horsman | May 27 2021 18:34 utc | 124

@ Posted by: Oldengineer | May 27 2021 18:25 utc | 122

From your linked article:

Natural emergence was the media’s preferred theory until around February 2021 and the visit by a World Health Organization commission to China. The commission’s composition and access were heavily controlled by the Chinese authorities. Its members, who included the ubiquitous Dr. Daszak, kept asserting before, during and after their visit that lab escape was extremely unlikely. But this was not quite the propaganda victory the Chinese authorities may have been hoping for. What became clear was that the Chinese had no evidence to offer the commission in support of the natural emergence theory.

This was surprising because both the SARS1 and MERS viruses had left copious traces in the environment. The intermediary host species of SARS1 was identified within four months of the epidemic’s outbreak, and the host of MERS within nine months. Yet some 15 months after the SARS2 pandemic began, and a presumably intensive search, Chinese researchers had failed to find either the original bat population, or the intermediate species to which SARS2 might have jumped, or any serological evidence that any Chinese population, including that of Wuhan, had ever been exposed to the virus prior to December 2019. Natural emergence remained a conjecture which, however plausible to begin with, had gained not a shred of supporting evidence in over a year.

This is an outright lie. The Chinese did present evidence of zoonotic origin. Indeed, we only know the virus has an ancestor that came from bats (RATG13) because of the Chinese scientists.

The pangolin is an intermediary. I literally linked here a Chinese article on these findings a few days ago. We also know the last intermediary was probably a rodent.

We've found intermediaries. The difficulty lies in the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 probably had many intermediaries. The task is to identify all of them and in which order (because there also probably were "boomerang" effects, i.e. the virus infecting humans many times and reinfecting the last intermediary, thus "perfecting" itself to infect humans on a pandemic scale).

Another difficulty lies in the fact that patient zero was never found and Wuhan may in fact not even be the true ground zero of the pandemic. That's why Wade, Klarenberg and this other non-scientist "journalists" don't seem to understand: the virus didn't come out of nowhere; it may have existed in more isolated populations in Southern China before finding, by pure chance, its springboard in Wuhan. Indeed, Wade indirectly admits it, as he mentions isolated cases were found in December 2019. The pandemic only broke out at the end of January, 2020.

The zoonotic theory is not just strong: it is very strong.

Comparison with SARS1 and MERS1 are absurd. Those two were never a pandemic, and never reached the level of infectiousness the SARS-CoV-2 reached. If memory doesn't fail me, at least the SARS1 originated in a specific humanly controllable environment (chickens) and ground zero was identified. It's a lot easier to find the origin of a virus when ground zero is found.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 18:42 utc | 125



Seems this virus is capable of jumping to different species

Russia launches vaccination of animals against COVID-19

Posted by: arby | May 27 2021 18:50 utc | 126

@Posted by: oldhippie | May 27 2021 17:09 utc | 114

You posted it a few days ago. I just did a quick search and was unable to locate exactly where.
Believe me, I am not a mind reader nor a stalker.

You are definitely not a nice Taurus.

Posted by: librul | May 27 2021 18:52 utc | 127

Found it, oldhippie
Chill and move on. No offense intended, just curious if we were switched at birth :-)

Why are we discussing this here? Anyway I know rather a lot about lead having spent a lifetime in coatings and living in a city where lead paint was comparatively common. At age 10 I even made a few gallons of the stuff while working with my great uncle. That would have been 1962 and while it was still legal the number of craftsmen using it was very small.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/05/the-moa-week-in-review-ot-2021-033.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef026bdecf4039200c#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef026bdecf4039200c

Posted by: librul | May 27 2021 19:04 utc | 128

@ vk | May 27 2021 18:42 utc | 125

I think I understand your angle, not sure though. You seem to be worried about 'blame China' and hence you see the non-zoonotic origin hypothesis as dangerous from a political point of view.

That's fine, but I don't care about blame. I care about facts and these are not forthcoming.

You wrote (emphasis mine):


The Chinese did present evidence of zoonotic origin. Indeed, we only know the virus has an ancestor that came from bats (RATG13) because of the Chinese scientists.

The pangolin is an intermediary. I literally linked here a Chinese article on these findings a few days ago. We also know the last intermediary was probably a rodent.

Ok that's useful, but...still 'probably' is a leap of faith. May I ask you to repost the article link you mention.

And the problem is that knowing the virus 'came from bats', unicorns or other flying rats makes no difference to this discussion. The lab from which it leaked or was spread from intentionally might have sourced from said rodent (and probably did).

Anyway, once the gap we so desperately try to plug is filled, we can sleep easier. Until such time, we discount all other explanations at their peril.

Elementary logic, even for someone as scientifically illiterate as me ;-)

Also, I will be the first to admit that I do not trust the Chinese gov any more than I trust the US gov in this matter. I am resigned to the possibility of never knowing the truth.

The only thing keeping me from latching on to the zoonotic hypothesis with all my energies is that nasty problem of belief coz 'if we get that wrong we are doomed'. We could be doomed anyway, but in this case hope dies last.

Also,

Posted by: Idiocrates | May 27 2021 19:07 utc | 129

>>>Asia Times is connecting some past news reports on research lab collaborations between U.S., Canadian, and Chinese researchers.<<< (picking this at random to make a point)

Are we reading each others posts? I've often wondered about this when a thread goes berserk.

Wuhan's collaboration undermines leak speculation
The WHO report tells us that Wuhan lab informed them that they did NOT have any samples of CoV-2. That the closest sample they had was a 96% match (close but no cigar). IF the scientists at the Wuhan lab were lying wouldn't the fact that they were sharing research with so many other foreign Labs make that very, very, very difficult? Yet somehow this has been spun to condemn them.

Natural origin unproven the WHO report explains that they did not have time to examine every single farm of every single supply chain of the Wet Market. That work is ongoing. No doubt when China does find the intermediate they will be accused of staging the evidence.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | May 27 2021 19:12 utc | 130

People forget how USA has been operating for decades. USA has been creating false flags and using them to justify their actions for as long as history has been recorded. A few false flags off he top of my head:
The Red Scare(Indians attacking peaceful settlers), Pearl Harbor to have a reason to get into WWII, The Gulf of Tonking to start the Vietnam war, Saddam's solders taking babies and leaving them to die on the cold floor (to attack Iraq), 9-11, Saddam's weapons of mass distraction, Colin Powell infront of UN, brazenly lying, Iran 6 months from developing nuclear weapons, Russia interfering into US elections, etc, etc, etc.
Simply put none of the facts people have listed will matter to USA and its "partners", they will declare China responsible and demand it pays. Problem is China isn't Putin and it doesn't roll on its back and beg to be friends the way Putin does.

Posted by: Hoyeru | May 27 2021 19:15 utc | 131

Ecohealth Alliance. Peter Daszak. Was he involved in the WHO investigation into the origins of the virus? Was he involved in the February 2020 published paper stating it was certainly zootonic? Was he involved in funding coronavirus GOF research at the WIV? That is a busy man right there. Daszak December 2019 interview

Posted by: goldhoarder | May 27 2021 19:24 utc | 132

@ vk | May 27 2021 18:19 utc | 121
+
@ corvo | May 27 2021 18:27 utc | 123


the reason the USA is so obsessed with pinning it on China one way or another is to give the USA the opportunity and "legal" means to declare its debts to China null and void, and to confiscate Chinese assets wherever the USA can get its grubby little paws on them. Think of it as "compensation for damages" or "reparations."

That's interesting, but it seems to me this strategy needs no proof, all it requires is an idiot to say its highly-likely and bob's your uncle, as far as current judicial standards go. I agree that some ground preparation would be nice, but I can't see this in this case since a lot of horses have escaped from a lot of barnes and the US is not that important anymore, however exceptional they think they are. Even if they default on their debts and confiscate Chinese assets it just delays the inevitable...but stranger things have happened.

I mean people are queuing up for a vaccine developed in two shakes of a lambs tail with no testing.

Posted by: Idiocrates | May 27 2021 19:25 utc | 133

"...even someone... who seems to exhibit an IQ of 80 on this topic, should know that a viral epidemic starting from a city that also has the largest virology institute in the country was too much of a coincidence."

Indeed, far too much of a coincidence. And starting just in time to coincide with the country's biggest travel day of the year, and in the country's domestic transportation hub where an outbreak can quickly reach all corners of the country.

Yes, far too many coincidences, and they all point to a US bioweapon attack on China.

On the other hand, if your IQ is under 80 then you might imagine that a virus from a large public research institute for which there were no records somehow did a quantum leap to infect American athletes competing at the 2019 Military World Games nearby such that they somehow displayed symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization immediately after arrival in China.

There's your "leak" theory, adjusted to fit facts on the ground as close as possible, but somehow I don't think it'll hold water

No, the US athletes were infected a week to two weeks prior to arriving in Wuhan for the Military World Games.

By the way, does no one else think it was a little strange that Moderna (linked to the US military) had a vaccine for the virus ready for testing two short days after the Chinese published the genome for the virus? They are just so smart and industrious!

Posted by: William Gruff | May 27 2021 19:44 utc | 134

There is plausibility for a coronavirus leak from the lab since it was collecting bats and virus samples and analyzing them to see where the next outbreak might occur.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/29/847948272/why-the-u-s-government-stopped-funding-a-research-project-on-bats-and-coronaviru

The problem with the theory is that the lab didn't have any strains that match the SARS-COVID-19 virus. Hence, the accusation is that one of them had to have been modified. The problem again is the number of genes that would have to be manipulated to an exact match is far too many (thousands) to have been done in one or a few research projects. They would have to have recombined somehow.

The probability of it coming from the lab or from nature is very low. The culling of wet markets and the farms that supplied it may have also destroyed any potential matches.

Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 19:47 utc | 135

Conspiracy theories are one of life's luxuries, like sugar - addictive and ultimately rot the brain.

With regard to the Coronavirus pandemic, my advice is:

When your house is on fire you don't stand around wondering how it started; you save yourself (and those around you) and then try and put it out

There are those that believe that there is no fire ('it's only the flu', 'it's a scam', 'there's another agenda', 'it's a plandemic', etc. etc.) and those who are confident that the fire has already been extinguished ('vaccinated').

Everyone, especially politicians and journalists, needs to ask themselves whether they can afford to continue with this self-indulgent luxury whilst the world goes up in flames.


The Virus and the Parasite

Posted by: Hemiola | May 27 2021 19:59 utc | 136

The work was in both US and China. USAID had inspectors at the lab at Wuhan.

"The U.S. intelligence community on Thursday acknowledged its agencies had two theories on where the coronavirus originated, with two agencies believing it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals and a third embracing a possible laboratory accident as the source of the COVID-19 pandemic."

China has responsibility whether the virus came from the lab or from the farms. The possibility is that it was found in nature for which Daszak's group found the closest match in 2013.

https://www.ecohealthalliance.org/2013/10/new-sars-like-coronavirus-discovered-in-chinese-horseshoe-bats

Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 19:59 utc | 137

https://www.rt.com/news/524936-china-usa-covid19-biden-detrick/

Well, if there is a smoking gun here it is pointing from Fort Detrick, not Wuhan.

"The Maryland-based US Fort Detrick center hosts a biolab which has become a hot topic on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to issue a 'cease and desist order' to halt operations at the germ lab over safety concerns.

Zhao’s comment comes after US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he was giving intelligence agencies 90 days to pinpoint the origins of Covid-19. Biden said his administration would continue to push China to “participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence."

Reinforcing a statement from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC on Wednesday evening, Zhao called on the US to stop 'ignoring facts and science' and refrain from 'repeatedly clamoring to reinvestigate China.'"

Posted by: Bluedotterel | May 27 2021 20:07 utc | 138

Les @ 138
"China has responsibility whether the virus came from the lab or from the farms."

i'll take china's response any time over the US response. There is at least some semblance of life, namely concern, about the virus in China. none at all in the US. the only concern in the US is the disruption of the routine. zero adaptive capacity in a corpse.

Posted by: jason | May 27 2021 20:08 utc | 139

"China has responsibility whether the virus came from the lab or from the farms."

Even if that lab is Fort Detrick, Maryland? And University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill? What odd ideas about responsibility some people have.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 27 2021 20:11 utc | 141

Anyone with a serious Twitter Account, including this Greenwald, must not be taken seriously as a discussion partner, image or even idea of a human of freedom.

Posted by: Peter Kanzler | May 27 2021 20:22 utc | 142

So, let's go straight to the point of that discussion you refer to: what do you think about the climate change hypothesis? Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 17:09 utc | 113
Hi vk. First, I find your fairly unique analysis to be of great value.
Climate change? To start, it shares something in common with Covid. Models and data. I have a background in IT and study cognitive science. My focus is on the dangers of AI and how to mitigate that. Another dire OT subject.

Models:
While we have seen a really bad model (technically) that caused early alarm in the medical community regarding Covid. And for good reason. Thankfully this spurred others to work on better models.
But let me be clear. ALL models have serious limitations. It would be very off topic to me bring in the limits of perceptions and cognition. Even good data is dependent on good modeling certainly but good interpretation as well.

Which brings me to your question about the climate hypothesis. This is a new science in one respect. It wasn't until 20 years ago we could even begin to handle the amount of data we were getting and the vast amount we would need. They speculated if we could make sense of it if we had it even.

I haven't check up on the latest climate models but will keep an eye out for it and do a few searches when I can. But I think we can put the models aside, and the history dating back to the 1950's and before. That's your area of expertise. I see another commonality with Covid. Basic science.

CO2 and methane:
Even if we lack a good grasp and data on the macroscopic effects of greenhouse gases the laboratory proof that CO2 and Methane shows this effect that settles it for me.
Yes. Here again we don't precisely know everything. But there is enough data to suggest that we should be (and are) ringing a 3 alarm fire. We should dedicate all the resources needed to settle this question. We should make sure that ideology and geopolitics do not succeed in hijacking the science. A guaranteed thing they invariably do. Whoever "they" might be. It varies. Again that's your area of expertise.

The climate date.
You can expect this data to be reinterpreted and revised (for use in models) going forward, as it was previously. This should be carefully reviewed to eliminate confirmation bias and ideological corruption.

So while it is a fallacy to use this as evidence of a conspiracy it absolutely could be. If it is corrupted that will not survive years of examination by scientists across the globe. I read an article by a spook called "The half-life of Secrets". While propaganda is highly effective, fake science and covert behavior are becoming increasingly difficult to pull off.

I suggest that is central to controversy around climate data. Personally I believe we have been having a major effect on the climate not just going back a few hundred years, but it turns out it could be 10,000. We shall see.

So... we don't know how much we are causing the recent changes in climate but there is no doubt we will ultimately make it much worse. For example, . Methane and clearing land (and dessertification) are areas we should have serious concerns. We need to find out what is going on and why, whatever the cause.

And... all of this applies equally to that grand conspiracy theory... wait for it...
5G is dangerous.
Pffft. Duh. Yes. We know RF (and radiation generally) is dangerous. This has been demonstrated both in culture and in the few studies that have been done.

Should we be rapid reducing oil and coal consumption?
We need only bring pollution into the discussion to see that's a good idea. But how? Lithium batteries? Nope. Solar panels? They need to improve a lot in terms of the carbon footprint needed to product them. Wind has issues too. At present, geothermal, wave, small nuclear and hydro are our best options. Storage is the issue mainly.

A note about science.
There's a researcher in China that has created a carbon based battery. However all such discoveries go through a process where you have to have a means to produce it at scale or you don't really have a solution. To be repetitive, we need more research.

I think we will see improvements needed to make wind and solar a better option and have seen a number of promising tech around this issue.

Is it alarmist to switching over quickly?
Sorry, I forget your view on climate. I believe you were very alarmed by it??? Does anyone here have a take on the rapid melting of the land ice? If that melts, and it likely will, we are looking at 9 meters of sea rise. I have memory issues... it could have been more than that. Would it matter? Maybe we should find out. If that requires a model then I all for it. ;-)

Have said all that, I make a point of searching for rebuttals on all of these topics. My main focus is on studying my own personal bias. For example, my former membership in science as a religion. Which it is.

Summary? sort of:
VK, I am far more interesting in discussing the root causes of the problems you analyze socially and historically. I am far more interested in your (and my) specific (often hidden) ideology and biases. I am not prepared at this time tho.

Spoiler. I see corruption (in the most general sense,) aggression, emotion driven cognition and tribal/pack behavior as the core issues. I, without judgement, try to view us all a simple animals.

I find the whole of philosophy and much of science to be useful tools of examination and study but largely failing by over extension. Further, reliance on canonical examples as proof of these (lol) cults seems to be the common failure.

So, speaking as a project manager, and only that. That is the results of the analysis I did. Beyond the certainty that AI will ultimately end us, or make us irrelevant. That is assuming we get nailed by a dozen other existential threats, but I have to keep my focus limited. It's an infinite data problem.

Posted by: David G Horsman | May 27 2021 20:27 utc | 143

librul @ 128

OK, I requested an explanation and that will suffice. It could happen. My mind is an endless rubbish bin of facts and factoids with no perceptible cause for why some stuff sticks, never goes away, while what I wanted to remember disappears. But please, citing personal details is creepy. Just don’t.

Two stories why this stuff makes me jumpy. My best friend from ages 14 to 17 was the informant who sent me to the big house. Not the only one he conned. 2) A hacker who had no ill intent gave me a demonstration of his stingray about twelve years back. Had nothing to go on but the phone in my pocket. Took seconds before he was scrolling through megabytes of personal info. And he said I was a ghost, because most would generate far larger files with far juicier leads. My assumption would be that twelve years later much more could be found.

Posted by: Oldhippie | May 27 2021 21:12 utc | 144

@ Posted by: Idiocrates | May 27 2021 19:07 utc | 129; @ Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 19:47 utc | 135

The entire theory that the SARS-CoV-2 came out from the Wuhan lab rests on one assumption and one assumption alone: the the Wuhan lab is "opaque".

Thing is: the Wuhan lab is not opaque. It did not hold any information from the WHO team who visited it. The WHO team had full access to the catalogue of the lab, and it didn't find any CoV virus that could be the ancestor of the SARS-CoV-2.

This Wade guy is fabricating the information that the Wuhan lab is some kind of secret lab hosting a bunch of evil scientists. This is simply not true. Read the WHO report: they had full access to the Wuhan laboratory.

Dr. Daszak is not the only scientist involved in the WHO investigation team. Indeed, both chief expert investigators are American (Dr. Ryan and Dr. Kerkhove); they are both working closely with the Chinese researchers in Wuhan.

The fact that the Wuhan lab works with CoV viruses means nothing. CoV is a very important class of virus, worthy of investigation. We know the SARS-CoV-2 most ancient known ancestor is the RaTG-13 because of the Wuhan lab (because it mapped its genome) investigated it and released the information. If Wade himself knows this, how can he be claiming it is withholding information from the public?

The problem with Wade's article is that he has already decided the virus came out from the Wuhan lab and is cherry picking - on the internet and by phone contacts (but not by flying to Wuhan to investigate it himself) - the doctors and the articles and the OSInt that will fit in his predetermined hypothesis. If I wanted to write an article that claims high blood cholesterol doesn't cause heart diseases, I too could easily find some ten or even twenty doctors that could give substance to my "theory" - they do exist. However, he is ignoring the vast source of investigation happening on the zoonotic origin hypothesis. This is the antithesis of investigation. This is the antithesis of science. Wade is ignoring the scientific consensus and living in a world where only articles about the "lab hypothesis" exist.

Last but not least, there's an enormous piece of dishonesty by the architects and propagandists of the "lab theory": the reason finding the intermediaries of the SARS-CoV-2 is being very difficult lies in the fact that Wuhan is very likely not to be the ground zero of the virus. The WHO's report is very clear in this: the virus probably came from a population of bats south of Wuhan. Wuhan just happened to be the nearest urban condensate. The lab origin theorists are using evidence that proves their theory is wrong as evidence their theory is right. This is beyond Goebbels.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 21:14 utc | 145

The accusations are holdovers from the Trump administration.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/26/a-dodgy-dossier-how-news-corp-hyped-a-us-government-reading-list-into-a-china-coronavirus-bombshell

It's now being pushed since the WHO issued a preliminary report and left open all possibilities, although the favored one is one of natural origin. There is too much difference between closest lab sample and COVID virus that it probably occurred through random chance of the virus combining with a pangolin's DNA before it infected a human. The pangolin carries the spike protein. Intentionally engineering the permutations in the genes required to match the final result is too far-fetched.

There is a group of scientists that were being funded by a pro-Trump PAC to push these accusations for the past year.

https://thegeyser.substack.com/p/conspiracy-leaps-from-zenodo-to-maher

Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 21:22 utc | 146

Very short so that people might read this. I apologize if it has already been said.

Oldhippie wrote:

"The only evidence that would matter would be genetic sequences that cannot appear naturally."
There is no such thing, no such sequence.

It might not be viable ie. capable of being reproduced/copied in it own context and this is common: most mutations are like that somewhere on a very long or detailed scale from instant local failure (cell death and similar) to evolutionary disadvantage (species extinction as an extreme). However all combinations are possible ie. able to appear entirely on their own in nature.

I cut out all the rest but remember that physics on its own can cause mutations (as opposed to biological or other chemistry). Of course everything is physics but I'm using the simple/silly physics = atoms and below (forces) vs. chemistry = molecules and above (lego bricks) shortcut.

I also didn't read much past Oldhippie because too much of the debate is tantamount to torture. Sorry for being arrogant :)

This topic attracts bad faith actors like nothing else; they must really fail hard at gaining any support for war against China etc.

Back to drinking! :D Replies by snail mail please.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 27 2021 21:31 utc | 147

Without wading into the debate over the lab leak vs. natural zoonotic jump theories, I've noticed a recent trend with Greenwald, Taibbi, Tracey and most Substack authors.

In the case of Greenwald, he's really managed to acquire a large audience of pro-Trump, right-leaning, anti-woke, but more importantly conspiracy-minded individuals and it's paying off handsomely. I've seen figures (and posted them here) that he's making a minimum of $1M/year (after fees and whatnot) off Substack alone. Granted, the way in which he writes about COVID, which is the same angle he takes with almost everything (and always has) - is that of a media critic. In that piece, he was merely pointing out the way that corporate/mainstream media treated the lab leak hypothesis then vs. how they do it now after outlets like the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and others have published (sometimes) lengthy articles probing the possibilities that it happened. Taibbi and Tracey are following the same model, but they tend to discuss a wider range of topics (Wall Street corruption, policing, criticism of the right, etc.) than Greenwald, who it seems now carefully hews to a perspective that never really acknowledges that even if the media is obviously hypocritical and monolithic in their narratives, he rarely points out that in many cases they're actually correct and the "other side" isn't. That's a contrived approach to growing his audience, IMO (and if anyone can tell me how to contribute to b without ending up on some sort of watch list, I need to do that - I appreciate his work much more than Greenwald's now not to mention Tracey).

I'm going to do a deeper dive into the merits of the lab leak theory before I comment again, but I did notice a comment from William Gruff (and in the past, jackrabbit) that I think bears just as much weight - the idea that it DID in fact "escape" from a lab, that lab being Fort Detrick or another of the USSA's chemical/biological weapons laboratories. More on that later after I've had a chance to digest "both sides."

Posted by: _K_C_ | May 27 2021 21:33 utc | 148

Addendum: To Gruff and rabbit,

If I got your stance on this wrong, I apologize, but I do recall several discussions over the past year or so in which it was postulated that the USSA might very well have been the source of this virus.

Posted by: _K_C_ | May 27 2021 21:35 utc | 149

The WHO report is garbage and it isn't going to age well. They didn't do an investigation.

Posted by: gold | May 27 2021 21:36 utc | 150

Interesting how the crowd is jumping on the Wuhan lab leak bandwagon. Ok, some prefer to stay on the footboard, with the backdoor of "ok, maybe not Wuhan". At least they are not that desperately at odds with the fact that traces of Sars-Cov1, and covid infections, have appeared in Italy, France, Spain, even the US, months before the outbreak in Wuhan.

As to the "unlikely zoonotic origin", practically all newly appearing epidemics during the last 40,000 years have been of zoonotic origin, and the full extent of hosts from the main hosts to humans has been established, if at all, in at best a handfull of cases. We know, for example, that Sars-Cov1 in its recent mutations, can travel between humans and cats, humans and dogs, and back. It is known and established that the virus can rest on frozen food for longer periods.

As to Wuhan lab: It was never a closed place. Bioscientists from all over the world visited it, even stayed there working for extended periods of time, Lab researchers published in national and international science papers and internet resources. The GoF research, there and elsewhere, may be criticized, but what has been researched, should be known to their international partners, foremost the US. There is not the least indication that Wuhan virology lab covered up and destroyed something. The openness of their research has yet to be proven for other bioscience research centers, public, and even more, military "biodefence" ones.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 27 2021 21:38 utc | 151

I'm surprised Canada hasn't been mentioned yet. It was identified as a co-conspirator with Wuhan at the start of this. (Who mentioned FOIA requests? naiverealist @90 - it seemed to help in this case.)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/canadian-scientist-sent-deadly-viruses-to-wuhan-lab-months-before-rcmp-asked-to-investigate-1.5609582

This is a difficult subject. As with nuclear weapons, it seems that the world's most dominant powers in this field need to accept responsibility for disarmament.

Background involving Canada for those interested:
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/06/26/canada_played_key_role_in_us_uk_biological_weapons_programs_walkom.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news2/background/bioweapons/winnipeglab.html

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 27 2021 21:40 utc | 152

How could I have forgotten. FAIR.org has done several very thorough rundowns on the U.S. warmongering media's reporting on COVID-19 and the attempt to blame China -AND- paint them as "not transparent."

https://fair.org/home/evidence-free-lab-leak-speculation-boosts-trumps-xenophobic-approach-to-coronavirus/

https://fair.org/home/corporate-medias-leaked-chinese-documents-confirm-china-didnt-hide-covid-19/

https://fair.org/home/no-china-didnt-stall-critical-covid-information-at-outbreaks-start/

There are others and very much worth reading.

Posted by: _K_C_ | May 27 2021 21:43 utc | 153

and @vk 90, thanks a lot for that summary. I forgot to mention minks as highly susceptibles to Sars-Cov1, the virus also traveling back and forth. Weasels and other mustelidae highly likely as well. That is quite normal for a large number of viruses, bacteria, and fungi, that the transmission base is fairly broad, and in no way an indication for a "manufactured" germ.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 27 2021 21:46 utc | 154

m | May 27 2021 9:04 utc | 11

Yes, CoV-SARS-2 predominantly infects humans because it is well adapted to predominantly infect humans. Nobody doupts that.. But how did the virus acquire that ability? A virus of zoonotic origin should be very well adapted to infecting it`s intermediate host or natural reservoir host - bats, pangolins or whatever - but innitially not particular well adapted to infeting humans. That`s a skill that according to evolutionary theory the virus should have acquired only over time.

Lurk | May 27 2021 8:35 utc | 8, may have provided the explanation for that:
Blood donations tested for signs of CV19 suggest that 300,000 USAmericans may have been infected before the "Pandemic" started to be "noticed" in the USA. That should have been enough to provide the virus with time to adapt to humans!

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 27 2021 21:58 utc | 155

A couple words in defense of our host. He is in Germany. Population 83 million. Last data says 156 covid dead per day, average of past seven days. This is somewhat worse than US. Either country is running a per million rate around 55% of what India is experiencing and the high rate has persisted far longer than it has been present in India.

For a look at what the social environment is like in Germany try CJ Hopkins at consentfactory.org. Not possible for someone to live in that environment and not be affected at all. Hopkins job is being funny, he hasn’t made me laugh in a while now.

Locally in my town of 73,000 the Department of Public Health would have it that 99% of over 65s are fully vaccinated and 107% have at least one jab.(2020 census still not fully available. But 107% is happening because DPH can’t count.) For ages 12-64 the town is over 80% vaccinated. And the children have only been eligible a few days. If you got vaccinated and believe the narrative this should be an extremely safe place. The level of fear, panic, 24/7 preoccupation with covid has not gone down at all. If anything the fear is more palpable. What panics me is that 99% of my neighbors are of one mind. And yes, the process of going after the fearsome Other has begun. (Also fearful because DPH cannot count and yes those politically hired dweebs have power.)

Posted by: oldhippie | May 27 2021 21:58 utc | 156

Recommend watching this video. Just 2 minutes long:

[VIDEO] Efforts of tracing the coronavirus should not be only fixed on Wuhan

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 22:04 utc | 157

there is a teapot orbiting the sun

Posted by: Rae | May 27 2021 22:06 utc | 158

German researchers tie cold viruses used to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to rare blood clot risk

German researchers on Wednesday said that based on laboratory research, they believed they have found the cause of the rare but serious blood clotting events among some people who received COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson.

The researchers, in a study not yet reviewed by experts, said COVID-19 vaccines that employ adenovirus vectors - cold viruses used to deliver vaccine material - send some of their payload into the nucleus of cells, where some of the instructions for making coronavirus proteins can be misread. The resulting proteins could potentially trigger blood clot disorders in a small number of recipients, they suggest.

In other words, Gamaleya was right all along: AstraZeneca (and J&J) are just bad products.

Nothing wrong with the concept and technology of vaccine. Just take the good stuff (i.e. Sputnik V) and you're good to go.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 22:08 utc | 159

Posted by: AnonymouseMOA reader | May 27 2021 11:22 utc | 26

"They are simply pointing out that MSM condemns a theory, tries to cancel anyone promoting it, tries to squash and ban any articles contrary to their original assertions, and then, when their CIA handlers feed them new info, dis- or mis-info, they now promote the original theory that they tried to ban, cancel, etc."

And by CIA handlers do you mean Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui?

https://www.tbsnews.net/world/politics/steve-bannon-caused-study-china-creating-covid-133495

Of course, the CIA was involved in the spread of certain COVID origin stories, but not the ones you seem to think. Mike "we lied, we cheated, we stole" Pimpeous has long been pushing conspiracies to the media starting way back before there was any "evidence".

https://www.businessinsider.com/pompeo-enormous-evidence-covid-19-originated-in-a-chinese-lab-2020-5?op=1

The China lab leak conspiracy theory has long been pushed by the Trumpist right, and only now has it gained a thick enough veneer of "credibility" to go "mainstream."

https://thegeyser.substack.com/p/conspiracy-leaps-from-zenodo-to-maher

Posted by: _K_C_ | May 27 2021 22:30 utc | 160

@foolisholdman | May 27 2021 21:58 utc | 157

Lurk | May 27 2021 8:35 utc | 8, may have provided the explanation for that:
Blood donations tested for signs of CV19 suggest that 300,000 USAmericans may have been infected before the "Pandemic" started to be "noticed" in the USA. That should have been enough to provide the virus with time to adapt to humans!

Oh but it was noticed, and swiftly misrebranded as "mysterious vaping disease" (EVALI).

EVALI, which appeared in the summer of 2019, shares a lot of symptoms with COVID-19, up to the unusual "ground glass" appearance of pulmonary x-ray images. No other disease does, apart from EVALI and COVID-19, what a coincidence, huh?

Nota bene, "EVALI" was very deadly when it first appeared. It did not need to acquire many mutations tomturn into a much more lethal COVID-19. It was as lethal from the start.

Posted by: Lurk | May 27 2021 22:32 utc | 161

Sunny Runny Burger @ 149

Genetically Modified Organisms do exist. You seem to be saying that any and all GMOs might and could arise naturally. But they didn’t and they don’t. Extreme examples as tomatoes with pig genes are not going to occur in nature. Ever. For a very long time selective breeding performed by humans has created plants and animals that nature will never produce.

Would it be possible to detect a GMO simply by looking at the genetic sequence? Possibly. How hard would that be? Or, better question, would you or I be able to detect the authority with the correct answer?

Forces, lego bricks, humans.

Totally agree about bad faith actors. Totally agree about the pain. If you were reading on you might try vk’s latest Reuters/Global Times link and sigh some more about the state of science reporting. And reading ability.

Totally agree about the drinking.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 27 2021 22:45 utc | 162

Ridiculous ass-covering by b here. You ain't going to find shit if you don't look and no one gives a fuck if it is in China or North Carolina or Greifswald.

Most sane people care about the crazy shit they do in all of these labs all over the World.

People like b here hand-wave away our concerns with thoughts similar to "trust the people most concerned with covering up their mistakes with uncovering their mistakes" and "you have no proof that the NSA is recording all of your details because we only have that one guy saying they do and we have HUNDREDS of people - good people, the best people - saying "no way".

I call bullshit.

Posted by: seedeevee | May 27 2021 22:47 utc | 163

B you seem to have a short memory. You didn't mention the anthrax attack after 9-11. The investigation determined it was from a strain produced in the US, and used against political opponents of the planned invasion of Iraq. The anthrax attack achieved the result of getting the support of these political opponents to back the war in Iraq and keep people in fear.

So there is a precedence for someone in our country to use a bio/warfare agent outside the lab against people to achieve political goals. Is there any coincidence that it was China and Iran which suffered first from the pandemic? Not to mention the fact military intelligence and Israel warned about a deadly pandemic back in Nov '19 before China even knew there was a one.

Why do you discount that the corona virus might have come from a lab leak? A leak produced by an agent of the US whether in Wuhan or maybe someplace else?

Posted by: 10 to 1 | May 27 2021 23:07 utc | 164

I only read the start of the Wade article. I've seen the Qusay 'analysis'. They all make the assumption that all of the genetic differences between the horseshoe bat SARS virus RaTG13 and COVID were done by the lab. That's called cheating. You know the end result and assume that all the actions leading to the end result were taken. Qusay claims the Chinese were working on a live Covid virus since 5 military men were in the military hospital at the same time. No. They don't use live or inactive Covid virus. They insert the spike protein into the adenovirus vector to create the vaccine. There are a lot of hypothesis/observations that he assumes are of 100% certainty in infering that the virus was leaked from the lab.

Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 23:13 utc | 165

Coronaviruses mutate slowly unless they jump species and combine with that species' DNA. You can see in the mutations for Covid that almost all of the changes have occurred about the spike protein. That's why it's very unlikely to have come from a lab. They would have to have been experimenting with Malaysian pangolins.

Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 23:18 utc | 166

We know that SARS-CoV-2 didn't escape from a lab because Nicholas Wade is a racist, Condoleeza Rice lied us into a war and Trump's a buffoon who hates Chyna. Maybe evidence for a lab leak is as sparse as you suggest, but your rebuttal is a long list of irrelevancies.

Posted by: Martin Nathaniel Bro | May 27 2021 23:24 utc | 167

@Lurk, 163

Regarding the mysterious vaping disease which appeared in the summer of 2019, I always wondered how so many residents and staff in the one nursing home became ill from vaping. https://www.mcknights.com/news/mystery-grows-as-3rd-resident-dies-from-still-unidentified-respiratory-illness/. The symptoms of the respiratory illness included fever, coughing and body aches. Although they typically receded in five to seven days, some cases progressed to pneumonia and death. Sound familiar?

This nursing home is an hour's drive from Fort Detrick which was closed down by the CDC in July 2019 because of deficiencies in waste disposal https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/08/08/the-cdc-shut-down-an-army-lab-thats-working-on-an-ebola-vaccine/

Posted by: cirsium | May 27 2021 23:27 utc | 168

AnonymouseMOA reader | May 27 2021 11:22 utc | 26
Tracey, Greenwald, Taibbi and Dore are not promoting any lab-leak theory. They are simply pointing out that MSM condemns a theory, tries to cancel anyone promoting it, tries to squash and ban any articles contrary to their original assertions, and then, when their CIA handlers feed them new info, dis- or mis-info, they now promote the original theory that they tried to ban, cancel, etc.

Exactly! Don't know why B picks on lefty journos, Glen G is a bit iffy but Jimmy Dore is a comedian and just trying to get the word out on some home truths. Isn't a journalist strictly speaking.

bob sykes | May 27 2021 11:13 utc | 24
Yes Chinese FM got it in one sentence.

Seems to me that this is a topic for open consideration, can't see why its so weird to consider germ warfare considering the countries who are involved here. Note that the US and European allies were and still are some of the hardest hit except for Australia and maybe Canada....this is interesting to me but If the virus was deliberately released by those who routinely do such things, it makes sense that the least densely populated countries with lots of sunshine and fresh air won't succumb as easily. Its not a theory just an observation

Posted by: K | May 27 2021 23:29 utc | 169

They've had coronavirus leaks at the UNC Chapel Hill.

https://www.propublica.org/article/near-misses-at-unc-chapel-hills-high-security-lab-illustrate-risk-of-accidents-with-coronaviruses

The problem is that they didn't test for infections and most people don't show symptoms even if they're infected. Still, there was no outbreak in the surrounding community. The researchers aren't working with a large quantity of the virus individually. The body's immune system will fight it off successfully.

Posted by: Les | May 27 2021 23:36 utc | 170

VK @ 81:

Kit Klarenberg is right to point out that Peter Daszak and possibly others in the WHO team that visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other labs in Wuhan have conflicts of interest that have the potential to discredit the team's investigation and report, no matter how little or how much the investigation adhered to proper protocols and procedures in its work. One could even say that the inclusion of Daszak in the team constitutes a set-up to deliberately discredit the team's findings. This then gives fuel to critics to push for blatant foreign interference under the cover of "further investigation" into science and medical laboratories in China.

What Gaytandzhieva does in visiting or trying to visit US biolabs in western Asia and collecting first-hand information is one aspect of investigative journalism; another aspect is to make sense of the information, interpret it, analyse it and see if something pops up that is worth further pursuing. This is what Klarenberg is doing, in calling attention to Daszak's conflicts of interest, and is no less important than what Gaytandzhieva does in finding first-hand evidence.

Posted by: Jen | May 27 2021 23:39 utc | 171

@ Posted by: oldhippie | May 27 2021 22:45 utc | 164

GMO is a different technology from gain of function, if I'm not mistaken.

In GMO, you use atoms of gold or silver to splice genes from one species into another. So, for example, you would be able to see pig DNA sequences within a corn.

Gain of function is selective breeding for viruses, although with viruses it is easy to accelerate the process with some manipulation if you know what you're doing, I guess.

Nobody here is doubting the Wuhan lab is not doing gain of function with CoVs. My point is that the WHO had access to the Wuhan lab and saw nothing that could have resulted in the SARS-CoV-2, therefore it is unlikely to be the source of the virus (the only chance being some sort of leak from an uncatalogued flask, which is borderline impossible). Even if that was the case, the SARS-CoV-2 would still have been a natural, not an engineered, virus, the lab merely serving as the means of transportation to a heavily populated urban center.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 23:41 utc | 172

@ Oldengineer | May 27 2021 18:25 utc | 122

https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

Worth reading. Takes a couple of hours. I concluded that circumstantial evidence points to the lab. Very unusually I don't agree with B!

Are you sure? I highly doubt the claim that natural origin and lab leak are equally likely. I think a zoonotic origin is far more likely. As for Wade, his furin cleavage theory (#3) is debatable at best:

The SARS-CoV-2 furin cleavage site is yet again in the news - this time because of a quote by Nobel laureate David Baltimore.

The site is not a "smoking gun", nor does it "make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin".

Quite the opposite, so a little science

https://twitter.com/K_G_Andersen/status/1391507230848032772

Posted by: difficult bird | May 27 2021 23:44 utc | 173

@ Posted by: Jen | May 27 2021 23:39 utc | 173

If Kit Klarenberg wants to investigate Dr. Daszak, be my guest.

However, it's important to highlight the fact that Daszak is not the only specialist in the WHO. In fact, he's not even a leading one. And that, in the WHO team that went to the Wuhan lab, there were 17 doctors of many different nationalities, Daszak not even being in the team if memory doesn't fail me.

Dr. Daszak gained some notoriety because, of the WHO high echelon of experts, he happens to be the one whose field of expertise is precisely this kind of virus. The WHO naturally asked him for his expertise. If Daszak is involved, then either he's being somewhat being able to fool a lot of smart people at the WHO or the entire high echelon of the WHO is also involved in his scheme.

But I don't think there's such a scheme. Not wanting to rain over Mr. Klarenberg's parade, but I think it's very unlikely Dr. Daszak has any power over what happens in China. For the theory to make some sense, you would have to assume he is some kind of Al Capone in the Wuhan lab. That's not how the Communists operate, I think it's very unlikely the CPC simply let some random gringo do some evil experiment on behalf of American biochemical warfare interests.

I don't think there's a Resident Evil scenario going on in the Chinese laboratories, let alone the Wuhan laboratory, which has been so cooperative and so transparent to the WHO.

Gaytandzhieva's work is legit because, unlike Klarenberg, she's doing real investigative journalism.

P.S.: I've read somewhere that Dr. Fauci was heavily involved in the USG's research on mRNA vaccine technology, and that, after the program essentially ended, he essentially privatized the results and founded the laboratory Moderna, which is producing one of the main course COVID-19 vaccines in the USA. Why aren't Western journalists investigating him, instead of the much less promising Dr. Daszak?

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 23:57 utc | 174

Thanks to b for raising questions about the origin of the covid virus. Some important ground is being covered in this thread.

I apologize for being more interested in a point raised by David G. Horsman midthread. He alluded to an article at Global Research by F. William Engdahl on vaccine related deaths. I tracked the article by a link there to the below given source:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/05/19/
alarming-casualty-rates-for-mrna-vaccines-warrant-urgent-action/#

[Also apologies if this has been looked at on the open topic forum]

Posted by: juliania | May 28 2021 0:18 utc | 175

We haven't even mentioned Dr Baric. Lol. Vk... nobody ever said Dr Daszak is a genius. He was the idiot bragging about Wuhan GOF research in December 2019. Lol.

Dr Baric lol

Really... nothing to see here :)

Posted by: Goldhoarder | May 28 2021 1:07 utc | 176

Jen | May 27 2021 11:15 utc | 25

BTW all this concentrated effort on blaming China for the SARS-CoV-2 looks very much like that old ploy of "Don't look over here! Look over there!" projection that the US is always playing ... because we keep falling for that trick.

Exactly.

The mRNA vaccine is more and more perceived as a real bioweapon. Check out the rapidly growing adverse response figures. No vaccine in the past that generated those responses would be permitted to remain in use.

A hefty professional resume is no protection against career cancellation for taking this position.

Posted by: pogohere | May 28 2021 1:24 utc | 177

I have no idea if the virus was created in a lab. It’s kind of suspicious that no one found the intermediary animal.

But the issue here is how this will be used. Nothing good can come from the press pushing this theory even if it was true.

Posted by: Alaric | May 28 2021 1:54 utc | 178

That spike protein: what is its evolution, considering it's essential function in SARS-CoV-2?


COVID-19 Is a Vascular Disease: Coronavirus’ Spike Protein Attacks Vascular System on a Cellular Level

5-2-21


In the new study, the researchers created a “pseudovirus” that was surrounded by SARS-CoV-2 classic crown of spike proteins, but did not contain any actual virus. Exposure to this pseudovirus resulted in damage to the lungs and arteries of an animal model—proving that the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls.

The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2. This binding disrupted ACE2’s molecular signaling to mitochondria (organelles that generate energy for cells), causing the mitochondria to become damaged and fragmented.

Previous studies have shown a similar effect when cells were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this is the first study to show that the damage occurs when cells are exposed to the spike protein on its own.

“If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID,” Manor explains. “Further studies with mutant spike proteins will also provide new insight towards the infectivity and severity of mutant SARS CoV-2 viruses.”
. . .


Structure, Function, and Evolution of Coronavirus Spike Proteins

Sept 2016


EVOLUTION OF CORONAVIRUS SPIKE PROTEINS

The structural and functional similarities between coronavirus S2 and other class I viral membrane fusion proteins are profound. These proteins all exist in prefusion and postfusion conformations. Their prefusion structures can be triggered in a number of similar ways, undergo similar conformational rearrangement, and transition to highly similar postfusion six-helix bundle structures with exposed fusion peptides. Although it cannot be completely ruled out that the same membrane fusion mechanism evolved independently in these viruses, the complexity and intricacy of this mechanism indicate that class I viral membrane fusion proteins likely share a common evolutionary ancestor.

Which function evolved first for coronaviruses: receptor recognition by S1, membrane fusion by S2, or both simultaneously? Because coronaviruses must enter cells for replication, membrane fusion is the central function of coronavirus spikes. Receptor recognition, though, can specifically attach coronaviruses to host cell surfaces and position the spikes within striking distance of target host membranes. The spike of neurotropic strain MHV-JHM can mediate receptor-independent virus entry into cells that do not express its receptor, suggesting that receptor binding can be circumvented under some extreme situations. Therefore, the primordial form of coronavirus spikes might contain S2 only (Figure 8b). Such a primordial spike might function inefficiently because the ancestral virus would have to diffuse nonspecifically to the close proximity of target cells so that membrane fusion could occur. Later, the spike would evolve a galectin-like S1-NTD through gene capture, which would enhance its efficiency in mediating virus entry. Next, the spike would evolve an S1-CTD through gene duplication of its S1-NTD or some other mechanism, further strengthening its receptor recognition function. Understanding the structure and function of coronavirus spikes and their evolution can enhance our understanding of the origin of viruses and the evolutionary relationship between viruses and host cells.


Posted by: pogohere | May 28 2021 1:57 utc | 179

About Facts :
How the media transforms "seeking hospital care" into "being hospitalized".... and what that means for the perception of the reader...

1_____________
Intelligence on Sick Staff at Wuhan Lab Fuels Debate on Covid-19 Origin

"Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report... "

in WSJ. By Michael R. Gordon, Warren P. Strobel and Drew Hinshaw May 23

2_____________
Researchers at Wuhan Institute of Virology Hospitalized in November 2019: Report

"Three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) were hospitalized in November 2019, around the time that coronavirus may have begun spreading in Wuhan, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
The assessment appears to confirm a State Department fact sheet, released by the Trump administration, which said that researchers at the WIV fell sick “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness.”

in National Review. By Zachary Evans May 24

3_____________
"Fact-Checking" Takes Another Beating

"When the Wall Street Journal came out with a story that a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report detailed how three Wuhan researchers became sick enough to be hospitalized in November of 2019, the toothpaste was fully out of the tube: there was no longer any way to say the “lab origin” hypothesis was too silly to be reported upon. "

Matt Taibbi. May 25

4_____________
Biden Panics After CNN Reveals He Canceled COVID Origins Investigation, Orders 90-Day Report From US Intel Agencies

"The revelation that Biden shut down the inquiry is awkward at best, after the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were so sick in November of 2019 that they sought hospitalization, citing the intelligence report that Biden rejected."

Zerohedge. By Tyler Durden Wednesday, May 26

_____________
The facts :
To visit a doctor in China you go to a hospital. This is the common practice. Doctors in China don't practice from a private office.... See how the media references the WSJ's words dated 2021-05-23 : "Three researchers ... sought hospital care"

1. 2021-05-24 : NR references this WSJ article writing : "Three researchers ... were hospitalized"

2. 2021-05-25 : Matt Taibbi references this WSJ article writing : "three Wuhan researchers became sick enough to be hospitalized"

3. 2021-05-26 : Zerhedge references this WSJ article writing : "three researchers ... sought hospitalization"

To those knowing how the medical practice operates in China the words "Three researchers ... sought hospital care" means seeking the advice of a doctor while the words "... were hospitalized", "... be hospitalized", or "... sought hospitalization" mean more than seeking the advice of a doctor. These words mean "being hospitalized for a period of time" which implies that the condition of these 3 researchers was quite serious...

Even Matt Taibbi was failing at his own fact check...

Posted by: laodan | May 28 2021 2:05 utc | 180

Les | May 27 2021 23:13 utc | 167

Re my 181 above

"They don't use live or inactive Covid virus. They insert the spike protein into the adenovirus vector to create the vaccine."

Posted by: pogohere | May 28 2021 2:16 utc | 181

Fort Detrick steam effluent treatment system fails August 2019. Strange 'vaping deaths' with 'popcorn lung' in redneck USA, no real cause found. It is in the wild in USA, in California Nov/Dec 2019. American soldiers travel to Wuhan Nov 2019...

Posted by: David Ross | May 28 2021 2:24 utc | 182

The lab leak theory is not inherently anti-Chinese; applying it only to the lab in Wuhan is. As you mention, "incidents" have occurred at our labs, too. You can bet we are doing coronavirus-related, gain-of-function research at the US Army biolab (USAMRIID) at Ft. Detrick, MD, a site which should be included in any discussion of the COVID-19 virus leaking from a lab. (see

Posted by: Ken Meyercord | May 28 2021 2:47 utc | 183

pogohere@181, thank you for your links & info. i had covid in sept 2019 & b/c it was so early was basically on my own...your links have confirmed & encouraged me to continue with my regime. yes, as rjpjr@81 has made clear the effects can be wide ranging & lingering. again, thank you.

Posted by: emersonreturn | May 28 2021 4:04 utc | 184

The argument is that it`s an unusual feature of CoV-SARS-2 to emerge already highly adapted to human hosts. In fact, more adapted to humans than to any other species.
Posted by: m | May 27 2021 11:46 utc | 30

And because of that unique adaptation to humans, and only humans, Danes destroyed hundreds of thousands of farmed minks. Cats were infected, a tiger in a zoo, etc. Just because these stories drown among millions of human-oriented stories does not mean that "species jumping" did not happen. Actually, mink epidemic corroborates the possibility that animals from weasel family were an intermediate host.

Let's faced it. Once an issue is politicized, there is no way to "disprove a claim" with such mundane methods like investigations. Apart from a generic claim that Saddam hides weapons of mass destruction (I nearly misspelled "mass distraction") there were several specific weird claims that you can find under "yellow cake from Niger", "aluminum pipes" and "mobile bioweapon labs". They were virtually immortal, although once Iraq was occupied, within a year of intense rummaging through the country and mass arrests it was reluctantly, and very motto voce, admitted that alternative explanations (falsified documents about yellow cake, pipes to be used for conventional short range missiles, and trailers to fill hydrogen balloons are actually true).

But the meta-hoax, that "all the best intelligence agencies believed in WMD in Iraq" was never killed, but kind of slowly faded. Used to the logical conclusion, intelligence agencies have many uses, but getting facts or honest assessments out of them is impossible. So now we have a revival of the faith in intelligence agencies that inform us about terrifying origins of computer hacks, Catalonian separatisms, Brexit (which is a good thing, strangely enough) and so on.

Political struggle in USA and the vassal zone acquired forms that I did not see before, creating enemies ex nihilo and accusing political opponents as not "taking the enemies as seriously as they should be" and purging infidels from social media. Virus that escaped from Wuhan and disabled Colonial pipeline (or two separate viruses? but using Occam raiser, only one!) are firmly in that quasi-real universe. Ca. 1700 years ago folks waged wars to defend the truth of the true nature of Christ (which could be purely divine, purely human and several possibilities in between, with exactly one being true). Now we can start a war to defend the one and only true theory on the origin of a virus.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 28 2021 4:08 utc | 185

I really don't know if any pangolins were involved with the covid virus. How would scientists know this anyway? Here's my real point: the USSA will not be going to any war with China, period. The USSA is no more capable of doing that (with anything remotely resembling victory) than it is of landing astronauts on the planet Jupiter. So what could be the real purpose of baiting Russia and China when it can't do anything about them? I say this is all just theater. All merely for show. So much hell is breaking lose that far more Americans now stand to die of thirst and starvation than will ever be taken by covid.

To begin with, its moribund 'economy' appears to be on the brink of total collapse. Also, we are about to enter the first Grand solar cycle minimum in over 200 years, which will combine with a major La Nina now forming in the Pacific ocean. Also, there is a drought/dust bowl rapidly forming in the West:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~//
Drought continues to plague crops nationwide ~~

Published: May. 19, 2021

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - It’s dry around the country. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of the west and southwest as well as the northern plains are in extreme to exceptional drought. California is one of the states hardest hit by drought as farmers are reporting they’re plowing up fields of vegetables and taking out nut trees as well since their reservoirs are at less than half of their normal water capacity because of a lack of runoff following a winter of very poor snow packs in the mountains. In cattle country from North Dakota to Texas, the spring slaughter is up over past years because pastures aren’t greening up and the high cost of grain is also forcing farmers to liquidate some herds. Economists say the bottom line is higher prices at the grocery store as the year goes forward.
//~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Virtually endless numbers of homeless people in grubby tenets line sidewalks of cities of the West Coast. Riots are everywhere.

So of course the corporate media moan and despair at fake 'dastardlyness' of Russia and China. Which they can't do anything about. I think it's all just foolish drama.

Posted by: blues | May 28 2021 4:31 utc | 186

I think this posting below from Xinhuanet is relevant to the discussion

"
BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday urged the United States to immediately work with the World Health Organization (WHO) on COVID-19 origin tracing in a science-based way like China did.

Since the United States has repeatedly asked China to be part of a comprehensive, transparent and evidence-based international investigation, the United States should likewise fully respond to the concerns of the international community, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.

Zhao said a research report of the joint WHO-China study had presented authoritative, formal and scientific conclusions, which stressed it is "extremely unlikely" that the virus was leaked from a Chinese laboratory.

The international expert team has made positive comments on China's open and transparent attitude on many occasions, he added.

However, some people in the United States have repeatedly called for a reinvestigation of China, ignoring the facts and science, as well as the questions surrounding their own traceability and their tragic failure in the COVID-19 fight, Zhao said.

This fully shows that the U.S. side doesn't care about the facts or the truth at all, and is not interested in serious scientific origin tracing, he added.

"Instead, they want to use the epidemic to stigmatise and engage in political manipulation, and to shift the blame," Zhao said.

They are being disrespectful to science, irresponsible to people's lives, and counter-productive to concerted global efforts to fight the virus, he added.

Pointing out that with over 33 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, both the highest in the world, Zhao said the United Stated, instead of examining its own behavior, attempted to scapegoat China. "What are they up to? Can they sleep at night with a troubled conscience?" he asked.

"What secrets are hidden in the suspicion-shrouded Fort Detrick and the over 200 U.S. bio-labs all over the world? In July 2019, there were reports on the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in northern Virginia and on the subsequent EVALI outbreaks in Wisconsin. What's hidden there? When will the United States release detailed data and information on relevant cases? " the spokesperson said, adding the United States owes an explanation to the world.

"The United States keeps saying that it wants 'China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation'. Then we ask it to follow China's example and immediately start science-based cooperation with WHO on study of origins, conduct a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation in the United States, fully respond to international concerns, and contribute to mankind's early victory over the pandemic and better preparedness in the face of future public health emergencies," Zhao said.

Stressing the motive and purpose of the U.S.-driven "investigation" relying on its intelligence apparatus is crystal clear, Zhao said U.S. intelligence has a notorious track record, as the world has learned a long time ago.

Zhao noted that its masterpieces include the test tube of laundry powder which was cited as evidence for weapons of mass destruction and the staged "White Helmets" video. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even boasted, "I was the CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment."

"How can anyone trust the findings from an 'investigation' conducted by such an intelligence organ with no credibility to speak of?" Zhao added.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 28 2021 4:36 utc | 187

Posted by: laodan | May 28 2021 2:05 utc | 182

it could be.a linguistic issue. In Japan, Korea and China, if you have a medical problem, you go to a "hospital". I guess it is like going to a hotel to have a drink -- you just visit the bar without paying for a room. And there is the same word for "hotel with a bar" and "just a bar", you may get an idea that folks in that country go to a hotel on the way home from work.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 28 2021 4:36 utc | 188

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 16:32 utc | 101

Ok, but you have to prove it came from an American lab. You can't just make up hypotheses out of nowhere.

Nonsense. Nobody here is qualified to "prove" anything. The most we can do here is make an educated guess, and in the case of Covid-19 the only truth that we can be sure of is that the US intel agencies have engaged in a vicious, sustained campaign of FUD regarding the origins of the Covid-19 virus--while at the same time the highest levels of US government have steadfastly refused to provide any of the evidence they demand of China, nor to do any backtracing of the virus to see:

A) When it first arrived in the US, and
B) Where and in which patients it first arrived in the US.

There was that scattered "strange flu" that was killing vapers early in the US summer; those cases were simply declared "Not Covid!" even before the US had developed a reliable testing mechanism to identify the virus. I'm willing to wager that such testing for Covid-specific antibodies still have not been done on any of those corpses, and certainly such backtrace testing hasn't been done on any other odd cases that may have developed between then and early January, 2020.

Stop your puffed-up pontificating about "proof." B doesn't deal in "proof"--that's what investigative journalists like Sy Hersh specialize in (or Matt Taibbi, for the banking industry; or Greenwald, for the Snowden files). That's what actual "proof" is. The most any of us here can do is secondary analysis of what proof actually exists, and @William Gruff | May 27 2021 16:26 utc | 100 is in no way wrong to speculate that it may well have come from a US lab. The fact that we have no evidence of that means nothing; past experience (The Korean War, for instance; Operation Sea Spray, Tuskegee Experiments, the Rumsfeld-Hussein deal during the First Persian Gulf War, etc) has proven that the US is often an enthusiastic and always clandestine user, developer, and supplier of chemical- and bio-weapons, and considering the fact that no other country since WWII has been actually caught using them (at least, not to my knowledge), then it stands to reason that this may well be one more instance of the US trying to foist blame for its own failures (if they were actual failures) on another country, for political purposes.

What is clear is that the public world-at-large will likely never know the true origins of Covid-19.

And for all you "Nobody's been able to find the crossover species that made the virus able to jump from bats to people!"--yeah, well, we've never found the crossover species for any of the pandemic influenzas, coronaviruses, poxes, or plagues that have affected humanity up to this point. All we know is that what once was a disease that exclusively affected, say, pigs somehow mutated into a disease that infects humans. It did so with the help of other, intermediate species where the original virus could mutate and then develop increased infectiousness for humans.

"Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence."--it is highly unlikely that such a species will ever be discovered simply because it isn't really all that scientifically meaningful except to accused countries like China, which--if they were to find such a likely intermediate species--would in turn be accused by Western Inel of manufacturing that as "planted evidence," and then the entire panoply of paid PhD clowns would be trotted out to pick it apart on details none of us understand.

The likelihood is that this thing naturally evolved; statistically, we've been long overdue another pandemic of this sort. In recent years, potential candidates for such plagues have been popping up all over the place--South America, Asia, Africa, even in the Global North.

This one was just slightly worse than those, in that it was far more infectious but far less deadly. There remains the strong possibility that it could evolve into something just as infectious, but far more deadly. The myth of "herd immunity" was the language of snot-licking idiots from the start.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 28 2021 5:07 utc | 189

The denial of zoonotic origin is as ridiculous as the overstatement of GoF research. As vk explained, GoF research basically means breeding germs in captivity selecting variations and mutations. There are of course sound reasons to doubt such practice due to biohazard, but that is what usually happens in animal hosts anyway. And humans, from the perspective of germs, are just another animal host.

The frantic lab leakers generously ignore proven zoonotic transfer from human hosts to several other animal species, cats, dogs, rodents. They are in denial that such transfer on the way from bats (the hosts of estimated 75% of the world's virus species) to other animals could or would have happened. Instead, they insist that the germ must have been engineered directly from bat to human ... cat, dog, mink, mustelidae. Of course, no zoonosis? Gimme a break.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 28 2021 5:27 utc | 190

it could be.a linguistic issue. In Japan, Korea and China, if you have a medical problem, you go to a "hospital". I guess it is like going to a hotel to have a drink -- you just visit the bar without paying for a room. And there is the same word for "hotel with a bar" and "just a bar", you may get an idea that folks in that country go to a hotel on the way home from work.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 28 2021 4:36 utc | 190
------------------------------
I was just going to bring this up. I do Japanese to English translation and the characters for hospital and clinic are the same. I checked Chinese and they are not the same characters, but even in Japan, it is common for me or anyone to visit a specialized department inside a hospital for a medical problem, mostly because they can send for other tests, scans etc. right away.

I have no problem with Dore and Taibbi pointing out the inconsistencies of the US mainstream press swallowing USG propaganda, but why not devote some time to easily debunking with someone like Mike Davis, who basically predicted Covid, instead of just letting the Pompeod BS to sit there. I watched Dore's first video on the Bulletin article and he just seemed very pious, oblivious to the purpose of this blame China campaign. Even before the genetics connection, the author of Bulletin piece has credits from NYT and Nature (lolz).

Posted by: Eddie D | May 28 2021 7:55 utc | 191

Posted by: aquadraht | May 28 2021 5:27 utc | 192

Thank you for your comment. I think the point is that this sort of outbreak is to be expected in the best of circumstances, and we are far for the best circumstances. So there us no problem to explain.

And people who claim to know the intracies of what happens between DNA and the cell it occupies don't. If it was code, software, it would be called spaghetti code, it is all ad hoc. I'm not saying we know nothing, we are learning a lot, but we are far from being able to assign causes and effects for most of it.

There will be an investigation. Meanwhile we can speculate, but lets stay calm about it.

And thank you for mentioning Mike Davis, well worth anybodies time.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2021 8:28 utc | 192

There is a chance that a premature vaccine has escaped the lab as well.

NEO reports:

Note that these are only the most serious injuries related to those two genetically manipulated mRNA vaccines. The EMA also notes that it is believed that only a small percent of actual vaccine deaths or serious side effects, perhaps only 1% to 10%, are reported for various reasons. Officially more than 10,000 persons have died after receiving the coronavirus vaccines since January, 2021 in the EU. That is a horrifying number of vaccine-related deaths, even if the true numbers are far greater.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2021 8:51 utc | 193

I mentioned Davis ~ but yes, well worth the time and a stalwart leftist who has gotten his hands very dirty.
"Investigation" is an interesting concept. By who or WHO? Any serious investigation of the virus must have every single affected nation as a stakeholder.
If China is found "guilty", then what? You can't hold China responsible for millions of deaths around the world with a simple Olympics boycott, so what's next? More "economic sanctions" that will only push China faster to find alternatives among the many nations more than willing to work with them, like Russia. China has been really investing heavily around Vladivostok, massively increasing their soy bean farming capacity over the last few years, as one example...

Posted by: Eddie D | May 28 2021 8:51 utc | 194

I think one reason that Greenwald, Taibbi et al go along with the lab leak Russiagate-style propaganda against China is because their monetized blogs/YT show are their primary income source and their audience contains a significant number of Trump/MAGA right wing types who still fall for American exceptionalist and neocon propaganda targeted against “foreign enemies” if it’s packaged in a way that appeals to their biases.

Simply put Greenwald and co. are catering to their audience and don’t want to lose the clicks. Money apparently comes before integrity for these guys. Or maybe their just not that bright ;-)

Posted by: Antibody | May 28 2021 9:03 utc | 195

Posted by: Eddie D | May 28 2021 8:51 utc | 196

There will be an investigation, no guarantee it will be well done well. I think it is as with the Chemical Weapons, everybody has to participate, no outsiders. I knew they were not serious about curbing chemical weapons when they corrupted OPCW to abuse Syria. Still, in the past, it has been done pretty well.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2021 9:06 utc | 196

If COVID19 had originated in Taiwan or South Korea or Japan would the MSM go all in with the lab leak “theory” that Steve Bannon, Tom Cotton and various neocon twits and think tanks have been pushing since the pandemic began? I don’t think so.

The MSM and the USG and its sycophants in NATO countries and down under see this as a way to cause trouble for China and smear its reputation.

Posted by: Antibody | May 28 2021 9:11 utc | 197

See? The Chinese continue to not ignore facts, like that the virus was around before the Wuhan outbreak:

India Supports Calls For Renewed Probe Into COVID Origins, Urges Cooperation From All Sides

China has rejected that the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in a Wuhan wet market, instead arguing that the COVID pandemic is the result of “several outbreaks” across the world, including in the US.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also dismissed the lab-origin theory, arguing that the pandemic was likely caused by “separate outbreaks” in multiple places across the world. Wang has further fended off allegations that China hid the extent of the outbreak, stating that Beijing “raced against time” to report the first case to the world.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2021 9:26 utc | 198

The 'exceptionals' want probe in Xinjiang,
The 'exceptionals' want probe in Wuhan,
The 'exceptionals' want.......

An endless demands from the world's most unaccountable nation. [1]

'I want a rule based system for everybody, except me'

Russia/China should push for UN resolution...
, FUKUS to close down all foreign
gof virus weaponisation labs and..open up all domestic bio weapon labs for investigation by foreign team of experts.'

The greatest danger to all of humanity are the secret bases, testing grounds, and “civil” biolabs of the Pentagon. They are usually not subject to official records and actively work on the creation, testing, and storage of biological weapons (BW). “Civil biolabs” are new, veiled military bases born in response to the ban on biological weapons and bypassing the biological weapons convention.
[2]

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

[1]
https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2020/03/25/the-unaccountable-nation/

[2]
https://www.stalkerzone.org/former-deputy-defence-minister-of-kazakhstan-before-his-death-warned-about-us-bio-developments/

---------------
PS
Amirbek Togusov 'died of covid' soon after that revelation'.
Somebody should do a autopsy on him,.

RIP

PS
P & I close its comment section.
Enjoy yourself while it last.

Posted by: denk | May 28 2021 9:37 utc | 199

@Antibody 197 "...their audience contains a significant number of Trump/MAGA right wing types who still fall for American exceptionalist and neocon propaganda..."

Oh dear. Where have you been in the last 5 years, missing the russiagate, liberal mccarthyism, all that? The neocons are firmly in the anti-Trump liberal-democratic camp; have been for years now.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 28 2021 9:47 utc | 200

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