Origins of SARS cov2

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  • This topic has 133 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 year ago by Clark.
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  • #88572 Reply

      It’s a bit like a lever, or a see-saw. Two kids half way out from the centre balance one kid right at the opposite end. The fulcrum is the truth. The establishment position is just wrong enough that the 80% of the population who cluster around it balance the 20% of conspiracists who are five times more wrong in the opposite direction.

      #88634 Reply

        “We contend that although the animal reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 has not been identified and the key species may not have been tested, in contrast to other scenarios there is substantial body of scientific evidence supporting a zoonotic origin. Although the possibility of a laboratory accident cannot be entirely dismissed, and may be near impossible to falsify, this conduit for emergence is highly unlikely…………..”

        An extract from the conclusion in this paper: “The origins of SARS-CoV-2: A critical review.

        In it they review the various threads of evidence for zoonotic and lab leak propositions. Worth a read.

        ps. This is a second try to post this, not sure what happened the first try. It just didn’t post.

        #88652 Reply

          ET, thanks for that link.

          To its credit the paper does actually address the issues of concern that I have heard of, notably the furin cleavage site and the laboratory use of transgenic mice.

          Clearly, nothing in the paper is conclusive of either hypothesis. It’d take me a long time to assess the evidence sections because they are based on so many citations, many of which would also need to be assessed for the soundness of their relevance to this paper. The Conclusions section however seems to over-interpret, suggesting a preference for zoonotic origin among the authors. The final sentence of the first paragraph seems particularly glaring:

          “Although strong safeguards should be consistently employed to minimize the likelihood of laboratory accidents in virological research, those laboratory escapes documented to date have almost exclusively involved viruses brought into laboratories specifically because of their known human infectivity.”

          But (1) as I understand it “strong safeguards” weren’t being employed, and that’s part of the criticism of the US-sponsored work being done at Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV); viruses known or suspected of airborne transmission were being handled under mere biosecurity level 2 (BSL2) safeguards despite these being hopelessly inadequate and international recommendations being higher, and (2) the viruses collected in Yunan Province were “brought into” [WIV] “specifically because of their” suspected and/or potential human infectivity, and, according to publicly available contracts and grant applications, WIV was keen to modify such viruses to make them more infective to humans.

          Another possible bias is all the detailed epidemiological tracing of spread within Wuhan while completely neglecting the 1500 kilometres to the habitat of horseshoe bats – though I’m sure bats do get about. It’s also interesting that the paper resurrects the “wet market hypothesis” which I thought had been pretty widely abandoned early in the pandemic.
          – – – – – – – –

          A piece of research I have not yet heard of would be to look for transgenic genes in the wild mouse population of Wuhan. Maybe the virus escaped in a mouse; mice are exceedingly good at escaping.

          #88657 Reply

            U.S. Right to Know recently published an interesting timeline with relevant snapshots of the available emails. Of course, the whole blog on the origins of Covid-19, gain-of-function research and biolabs is extremely interesting.

            Incidentally, some interesting research based on a social network analysis of individuals and groups related to the Covidian event was also published [ English version (Google Translate) ] and may prove useful. It is a German website, but the pdf is in English.

            #88680 Reply

              Last year while protesting with Extinction Rebellion I got chatting to a scientist [1]. We were on the train out of central London back to our semi-legal camp site [2], all wearing masks, of course.

              I then mentioned that I thought that SARS-CoV-2 had probably escaped from WIV. This scientist dismissed the idea as conspiracism and politically motivated China bashing [3]. I said to look at Nicolas Wade’s articles in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists [4]; that it wasn’t China bashing because the research programme it had escaped from was US funded, so covid was probably a result of outsourcing. “Outsourcing? Now I believe you” said the scientist without a moment’s hesitation, and we all cracked up laughing.

              [1] – These days there are lotsofscientists in XR, engaging in civil disobedience and encouraging the public to join them; you can find over 1600 signatories including over 260 professors or assistant professors here.

              [2] – A fairly rebellious Greater London council had said they wouldn’t move us on – but the police had cleared such camps before.

              [3] – If you want something to be dismissed as nonsense, just get Donald Trump to say it 😉

              [4] – Nicolas Wade is a prominent science journalist and has been a staff writer for both Nature and Science, no less. The Bulletin maintain the famous Doomsday Clock, now at 100 seconds to midnight.

              #89432 Reply

                I don’t know whether SARS-CoV-2 is a natural spillover virus or a synthesised chimera, but it is certainly unhelpful when people try to obfuscate the issue. The review of Breathless – David Quammen’s book on the outbreak – demonstrates just how some writers attempt to re-write history, but for what reason?

                Friends in Viral Places, by Nicholas Wade (City Journal, 21 Oct 2022)

                #89436 Reply

                  The review of David Quammen’s Breathless is by science writer Nicolas Wade, whose story has remained consistent since published in May 2021 by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

                  The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? By Nicholas Wade | May 5, 2021

                  How COVID-19’s origins were obscured, by the East and the West By Nicholas Wade | Aug 17, 2021

                  #89438 Reply

                    Oh. Shibboleth a sock?

                    I found the review; it’s in City, October 21, 2022.

                    #89440 Reply

                      Hi Clark

                      Shibboleth’s comment was suspended for investigation a few minutes after it appeared, because it was posted via an anonymous VPN which has been used to evade moderation in the past.

                      After the lengthy unattributed quotation was identified, those 1,400 words were removed from Shibboleth’s post and replaced with a link – unsurprisingly to the same source and author you identified in the meantime.

                      — Update: Shibboleth is not under suspicion of sockpuppetry, having used that name with a genuine email address some years ago.

                      #89443 Reply

                        Thank you for providing the links to Nick Wade’s earlier papers on the origins. What is startling is that there is no criminal investigation into the activities of Daszak, Andersen or any of the co-signatories of the Lancet letter, who attempted to deflect proper enquiry at the start of the outbreak. Almost seven million people have died from Covid so far, yet these individuals are still at liberty and undertaking/funding GoF research.

                        Appreciate the complexity and sensitivity, given the role of NIH, NIAD and WIV and the various jurisdictions – but don’t the UN or WHO have authority to launch a global investigation, or is there a degree of complicity there too?

                        We are only three years into this pandemic and given the viral evolution and antigenic nature, we may never see an end to recurring infections. Nick is correct – the outcry from the public would be so severe that gene editing and virology would be consigned as a criminal enterprise.

                        #89455 Reply

                          “What is startling is that there is no criminal investigation into the activities of Daszak, Andersen or any of the co-signatories of the Lancet letter…”

                          Since when has pollution from outsourcing resulted in criminal investigations?

                          #89479 Reply

                            Since when has pollution from outsourcing resulted in criminal investigations?

                            A bit too cryptic and cynical for me but I take your point. Good discussion on the main blog though.

                            #89480 Reply

                              Sorry. I get terse sometimes, apparently watching the end of the world from within.

                              Covid looks to be by far the most highly leveraged pollution disaster of all human history, but something like it was bound to happen eventually because it’s the direction industrialisation is heading in. Covid is just the most technologically advanced edge of a vast wedge of less potent but proportionally more abundant pollutants. Until we change course or industrialisation collapses it’s bound to be exceeded, by a similar factor, as we continue attempting to march up the ever steepening curve of economic growth.

                              #89528 Reply

                                Hello Clark

                                Have you read any of the papers by Karl and Dan Sirotkin? They published an early paper claiming SARS-CoV-2 was a live attenuated vaccine (LAV) that escaped from the lab in Wuhan. Dan’s substack is an interesting read – his articles on covid origins particularly. If his assertion that the virus is undergoing deattenuation to its original state is correct – like the polio OPV, then we are in for a difficult time in the next few years.

                                The microbiologist JC on a bike, covered Dan’s papers recently on his YouTube vlog. Worth a watch.

                                #89547 Reply

                                  Shibboleth, thanks. I hadn’t encountered that Sirotkin paper. I’d followed a link to one article at harvard2thebighouse, and I think I had a bit of a browse there, but that was months ago. I had elsewhere heard mention of the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 might have some sort of evolutionary ‘destination’ but I hadn’t followed it up. It might be a while before I have enough time to concentrate upon reading that paper but I’ll take a look at the YouTube link now.

                                  #89548 Reply

                                    Shibboleth, many thanks for the link to JC’s vid; he’s certainly been doing his homework, and this could well explain why China is still following a zero covid policy.

                                    #89551 Reply

                                      You’re welcome.

                                      #89561 Reply

                                        For me, what is most disturbing, is the conspiracy between the principal authorities in compiling the Lancet letter in early 2020 that denounces the possibility of a lab leak from an engineered chimeric virus. It’s taken two and a half years to uncover the paper trail of emails between Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, Patrick Vallance, Jeremy Ferrari, Kristain Andersen et al., that clearly show a concerted effort into framing a ‘natural origin’ narrative for the virus.

                                        Clearly this was meant to influence the public and media into dismissing the ‘conspiracy theorists’ at a stage – in late January 2020 – when it was impossible to determine accurately where the virus originated, unless these individuals had prior knowledge. So much for keeping an open mind.

                                        Obviously there is a great deal at stake. If it were established that the pandemic was a result of scientific experimentation and gain of function research, the backlash would be substantial. Aside from reputational damage, the industry itself would be financially devastated. What is equally concerning is the emergence of various patents for vaccine technologies by some of the major companies, like Moderna, which target this particular virus but predate the emergence by many months. Was it just luck?

                                        When I think back to all those Covid advisories with Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson and Patrick Vallance, it makes for uncomfortable reflection to think the Chief Scientific Officer might have been personally involved in manipulating public opinion into believing something he couldn’t possibly know, but at the same time as having undisclosed financial interests in the vaccine technology. If nothing else, it just erodes public trust at a time when we really need some honest voices.

                                        No doubt the truth will out eventually, but almost 7 million have died so far and we’re a long way from the finishing line.

                                        #89563 Reply

                                          “What is equally concerning is the emergence of various patents for vaccine technologies by some of the major companies, like Moderna, which target this particular virus but predate the emergence by many months.”

                                          I am unlikely to get time to follow up the papers cited by J.C. in the video linked earlier to see just how specific these patents were to SARS-CoV-2 (sorry, there is also the climate and ecological crisis to be addressed), but the ones I have looked at were certainly relevant, though not specific.

                                          There is a video (hopefully still on YouTube) of an interview of the above-mentioned Peter Daszak – who coordinated the “conspiracy theory” letter to the Lancet while falsely claiming to have no conflict of interest – describing his EcoHealth Alliance project to develop a vaccine against the original SARS.

                                          It seems to me that the US and Chinese governments are the biggest and most powerful economic entities that have ever existed, and both have extremely powerful motives to cover up a lab leak, as do many very senior scientists in virology and closely related fields.

                                          Some may argue that SARS-CoV-2 was developed and released deliberately to create a market for vaccines, but I find this unlikely. The vaccine development projects were not secret, and the publication of the aforementioned video and papers would make no sense in that context. And who would deliberately release such a thing into their own environment? It is not credible that some more effective vaccine was developed secretly prior to release; upon what human population could such a vaccine (and therefore, necessarily, the virus) have been tested?

                                          #89564 Reply

                                            Something which puzzles me is that in various videos leaked from China in the early days of the pandemic, we occasionally see people lying apparently dead in the streets, suggesting very sudden death as people went about their business. This is very different from the deaths we have seen everywhere else since then; covid kills by gradual debilitation over the course of a week or more.

                                            #89719 Reply

                                              [ Mod: Relocated from the thread ‘Covid-19 in 2022‘. ]

                                              I just wish our politicians had taken it more seriously in early 2020 and we had followed a zero-covid policy with enhanced mitigations across the entire planet. Some hope, huh? The problem is that the leading actors had a good idea what we were facing at the outset. From Jeremy Farrar’s book, he describes the circumstances in January and February 2020”

                                              After the genetic sequence of the virus was published, people began noticing something peculiar about its molecular structure. In the last week of January 2020, I saw email chatter from scientists in the US suggesting the virus looked almost engineered to infect human cells. These were credible scientists proposing an incredible, and terrifying, possibility of either an accidental leak from a laboratory or a deliberate release.

                                              …This was a brand-new virus that seemingly sprang from nowhere. Except that this pathogen had surface in Wuhan, a city with a BSL-4 virology lab which is home to an almost unrivalled collection of bat viruses.

                                              ..It seemed a huge coincidence for a coronavirus to crop up in Wuhan, a city with a superlab. Could the novel coronavirus be anything to do with ‘gain of function’ (GOF) studies?

                                              Jeremy then goes on to describe what GOF is and how it works before discussing the pros and cons, concluding that “GOF research can furnish scientific findings that are ultimately useful [and] bans are often unworkable in practice.”

                                              He then questions whether it was even novel at all. “It might have been engineered years ago, put in a freezer, and then taken out more recently by someone who decided to work on it again. And then, maybe, there was…an accident?

                                              It sounded crazy but once you get into a mindset it becomes easy to connect things that are unrelated. You begin to see a pattern that is only there because of your own starting bias. And my starting bias was that it was odd for a spillover event, from animals to humans, to take off in people so immediately and spectacularly – in a city with a biolab. One standout molecular feature of the virus was a region in the genome sequence called a furin cleavage site, which enhances infectivity. This novel virus, spreading like wildfire, seemed almost designed to infect human cells.

                                              Due to his concerns over a lab leak, he told his colleague at Wellcome, Eliza Manningham-Buller. Eliza was the former director general of the UK intelligence agency MI5. She advised that everyone raise their guard, security wise. “We should use different phones; avoid putting things in emails; and ditch our normal email addresses and phone contacts”.

                                              This begs the questions, when we read released emails between Farrar and Fauci, are these the only emails? What emails was he sending on his new email address?

                                              The burner phone, mentioned above, started to be used. He rang his brother who “could hear the fear in my voice”.

                                              Towards the end of January 2020, Jeremy reports on a call between Kristian Andersen from the Scripps Research Institute in California and Eddie Holmes, a virologist at the University of Sydney.

                                              During the call, Kristian confessed to Eddie that three things bothered him about the new virus. The first was the receptor binding domain, the bit of the spike protein in the virus that attaches to the host cell to infect it, looked too good to be true – like a perfect ‘key’ for entering human cells.

                                              The second klaxon was that this ‘key’ was accompanied by a short genome sequence known as a furin cleavage site, seen in highly contagious flu viruses….we had never seen it before in these coronaviruses. If someone had set out to adapt an animal coronavirus to humans by taking a specific bit of genetic material from somewhere else and inserting it, this was what it might end up looking like.

                                              And then Kristian delivered his denouement: he’d found a scientific paper where exactly this technique had been used to modify the spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-1 virus….At first glace, the paper Kristian had unearthed looked like a how-to manual for building the Wuhan coronavirus in a laboratory. The pair knew of a laboratory where researchers had been experimenting on coronaviruses for years: the Wuhan Institute of Virology. ‘Fuck, this is bad’ was Eddie’s first reaction.

                                              But then, a few weeks later, Jeremy Farrar was one of the signatories to the infamous Lancet letter that opined the “natural origins” and decried an engineered or lab leak as “conspiracy theory”. There’s nothing in his book that explains the volte face. Perhaps we can now guess why.

                                              #89723 Reply

                                                “Malone and McCullough, that you mention – they nust be highly credible scientists who publish papers for peer review…”

                                                Not even doing the bare minimum of homework Glenn? Malone and McCullough have several thousand citations AND several hundred science papers between them while Yeadon has probably forgotten more about viruses than you ever knew.



                                                #89725 Reply

                                                  J, are there any peer-reviewed papers by those authors relevant to SARS-CoV-2 and/or COVID-19?

                                                  #89728 Reply

                                                    Yeaden in particular seems to have forgotten everything he once know about viruses. In fact, he seems to have gone completely batty – possibly as a result of catching a modified bat virus too many times.

                                                    #89730 Reply

                                                      J, this is an important point; scientists must present their ideas in the scientific literature of the relevant field, to subject them to the scrutiny of the appropriate scientific community. Science requires both adversarial and collaborative processes.

                                                      When scientists present their ideas directly to the public as the authors you name have done, and as Wakefield did regarding MMR vaccination, they’re bypassing scrutiny by the rest of their field, and that’s suspicious.

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