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Why we should welcome the lab leak hypothesis Plagued by fear, scientists have failed to protect us

A laboratory in China's Liaoning province (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

A laboratory in China's Liaoning province (STR/AFP via Getty Images)


June 5, 2021   7 mins

When the term “novel coronavirus” entered the public sphere in January last year, it swiftly became clear that, regardless of whether Covid-19 emerged from a lab in Wuhan or directly from nature, it ultimately came from horseshoe bats.

As a graduate student, I had spent years studying tropical bats in Central America, handling hundreds of animals, with no protective gear. That wasn’t my choice; it was research policy. Bat wings are fragile, and in order to free them from nets unscathed, you need as much dexterity as possible, and it can’t be done well with gloves.

So when the news broke that Covid-19 had leaped from bats to people, my first thought was: Was I at risk of causing something like this? Could I have been Patient Zero in a deadly global pandemic? The answer, I now believe, is that it would have been exceedingly unlikely. And the logic behind that conclusion gives us substantial insight into the question of Covid’s origins.

I was not alone in studying bats back in the 90s. At any one moment, there are hundreds of biologists doing so all over the world. And yet novel global pandemics are not a regular event, and bat research conferences are not characterised by participants dropping dead of mysterious pneumonias. Bat research isn’t even unique; biologists work on every conceivable viral host: birds, monkeys, rodents — you name it.

So if deadly zoonotic pandemics are accidents just waiting for contact between infected wildlife and people to happen, why are they so rare? To answer that question, we must put to one side the tropes and niceties that have so far constrained mainstream discussion on the matter. After months of telling us that SARS-CoV2 most likely came to humans from a natural source, the establishment media is finally waking up to the plausibility of a lab leak.

That’s progress of a sort, even if the admission lags well behind the evidence, and the motivation behind this grudging acknowledgement is political rather than scientific. Having lost the battle to push a natural Covid-19 origin story into the public consciousness, and now thoroughly embarrassed by a grassroots effort to surface the truth, the press, the scientific establishment, governmental regulators, and the titanic social media platforms of Silicon Valley are now desperately seeking a new narrative that will restore business as usual. Damage control is in full swing.

For now, though, allow me to be the bearer of good news, hidden among all of this scrambling and obfuscation. As the public has become ever more aware of in the last few weeks, the concept of a lab leak is, based on the actual evidence, the most compelling hypothesis to explain the origin of SARS-CoV2.

That presentation will, of course, seem counterintuitive. How could anyone think that lab origin is a good thing? Well, consider each of the two proposed scenarios:

If SARS2 — the virus that causes Covid-19 — came from nature then, logically, it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens again. And again. And again. And next time, it could all too easily be worse. Our best recourse, then, is clearly to study potential zoonotic pathogens in the lab. It could even be argued, as it has been by many researchers, that we should enhance these infectious agents to discover their vulnerabilities so that next time, we’ll know just what to do.

How else could we discover what we’re up against? After all, if SARS2 came from nature, then the biologists who were furiously studying its close relatives were, if anything, too slow and too cautious to protect us. The straightforward lesson of the pandemic would be to simply face up to the clear risk of studying dangerous, novel infectious agents in the lab. Indeed, we would be forced to redouble our efforts before SARS3 catches us off-guard.

If, on the other hand, SARS2 emerged from a lab, then the lesson is the opposite. Covid-19 would be, at the bare minimum, the direct result of our failure to heed prior warnings about the possibility of such an accident. Lab leaks are not uncommon, so making already dangerous viruses even more dangerous is a recipe for disaster. If, therefore, we want to avoid a pandemic from happening again, obviously we would need to curtail this research.

And that’s why we should hope that Covid-19 was caused by human error. As terrible as the implications of that are — millions dead, incalculable suffering and loss; all caused by scientific misjudgement — at least it tells us how to make ourselves safer going forward: we should stop doing the thing that creates that danger. If, on the other hand, Covid-19 is Mother Nature’s handiwork, then logically we are condemned to a sequence of pandemics; some natural, others accidental, some better and others far more deadly. Not a happy scenario by any stretch.

Still, some will point out, restricting lab research isn’t a fool-proof way of preventing further pandemics. Pathogens do jump to humans; in fact, most — if not all — viral diseases in humans will have arrived by jumping from some other species. So we won’t be safe if we just stop collecting and turbo-charging viruses in the lab. In this telling, the best we can hope for is to eliminate the part of the danger that is man-made.

And that is true to a point. There are innumerable unknown viruses in nature, a tiny fraction of which have some potential to infect people. But I strongly suspect that we, collectively, have an exaggerated sense of how likely we are to face novel zoonotic pandemics of the scale of Covid-19 or worse in the future.

For ultimately, in order to create a human pandemic, an animal virus has to accomplish two very difficult things. First, it has to successfully infect a person, and then it needs to jump from one person to the next rapidly enough to get ahead of the rate at which sufferers recover or die. SARS2 is a master of this trick, but the closest wild relatives seem to be neutralised, with spike proteins built to invade horseshoe bat cells, not human cells. To trigger a pandemic in people they need substantial evolutionary retooling.

SARS2 did, of course, get that retooling. The question now is where did that rewiring happen? Is it more likely that it occurred in a lab, with researchers altering the spike protein to make a human pathogen, and then passaging that modified virus through ferrets or “humanised mice” with the aim of creating a vaccine or a model for pandemic research? Or did it infect some wild animal or remote human population, circulate for a while, eventually evolving into a more infectious virus?

Either is possible. Yet despite incredible pressure for the Chinese government to find it, so far there is no evidence of a plausible ancestor virus having circulated in an intermediate population. When SARS2 first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019, it was, from the very first moment, pre-adapted to spread through the human body and from one person to another. That’s all but impossible — a major evolutionary mystery.

Indeed, the reason I believe I was exceedingly unlikely to be Patient Zero in a zoonotic spillover pandemic all those years ago is that, though the bats I handled likely had viruses, there was almost no chance they would get into my cells intact. And if they somehow had and were able to move from cell to cell, there is a chance I could have become sick and perhaps died, but there is almost no chance I could have infected anyone else. And, for the sake of argument, even if that did happen, the disease would probably have moved too slowly to generate an epidemic, or been too devastating to its victims to spread very far.

So if Covid-19 did come from the lab, what can we learn from the past year? The most important lesson is actually not about pathogens and pandemics at all, though it is about evolution of a sort. Science is an astonishing process that is capable of liberating us and making us both wiser and safer. But wisdom and safety are not guaranteed. Everything about the conduct of science depends on the incentives around it; if we want wisdom, insight and safety, then those are the values that must be rewarded in our scientific establishment.

But as it stands, science is plagued by a system of perverse incentives in which scientists are condemned to constantly compete for jobs and grant money just to stay in the game. The repercussions of this have been clear for decades, as scientists exaggerate, distort and mislead in order to get their own work (or their field’s work) funded.

If we are mostly safe from devastating zoonotic spillover pandemics, why were we told otherwise? The answer is simple: because the scientific method has been hijacked by a competition over who can tell the most beguiling stories. Scientists have become salesmen, pitching serious problems that they and their research just so happen to be perfectly positioned to solve. The fittest in this game are not the most accurate, but the most stirring. And what could be more stirring than a story in which bat caves are ticking pandemic time-bombs from which only the boldest and brightest gene experts can save us?

This failure of the scientific community would be easier to fathom if it were built on actual lies. But I don’t believe that is the case. In order to win at the funding and prestige game — in order to deliver a really great pitch – -you have to be a true believer. Indeed, I suspect the “Gain of Function” research community really thought they were racing against the clock to save the world; experimenting in a reckless manner was a risk they were willing to take. But they were like drunks behind the wheel, with the rest of the world unwittingly along for the ride.

Remedying this will not happen overnight. So in the meantime, we should concentrate our efforts on fixing the small list of places and activities that actually do increase the risk of another pandemic. The trade in exotic animals, both as pets and as food, seems an obvious place to start. Yes, Covid-19 did not begin in the Wuhan Seafood market, but many initially thought that it did because the story makes a great deal of sense.

HIV very likely came from a chimpanzee who fell victim to the bushmeat trade. It was a worst-case scenario; the pathogen had plenty of opportunities to jump to humans due to the blood inevitably splattered in the process of butchery, while the required retooling of the virus was minimal owing to the close evolutionary relationship between people and chimps.

The bushmeat trade is barbaric, and endangers the many to the benefit of the few. And we can say exactly the same about the trade in exotic pets. If you want the biggest bang for the pandemic prevention buck, ending these markets would be far more effective than creating superbugs in the lab — and far less dangerous.

But the biggest danger exposed by Covid-19 comes from our universally corrupted institutions. If SARS2 emerged from the lab, then the failure of our institutions is the root cause, and fixing them should be our top priority.

That will no doubt be a Herculean task. Our virologists, the press, the international regulatory bodies and all the major social media platforms are already dragging their feet, doing everything in their power to avoid learning the lesson the virus’s likely origin. And in doing so, they are preventing us from learning it, too. In the coming years, if the world needs saving from anything, it is surely that.


Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist, host of the DarkHorse Podcast, and co-author of the best-selling book A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

BretWeinstein

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

‘So if Covid-19 did come from the lab, what can we learn from the past year?’
That all the governments, the authorities, the scientific community and the the vast majority of the media are are as grotesquely incompetent and corrupted as each other. Also, that most people are ignorant, mindless sheep with no understanding of statistics, risk or freedom. Of course, we knew much of this before the past year.
On the plus side, I have learnt that Bret Weinstein is probably the nicest man in America, and his brother Eric might be the smartest man in America.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fraser Bailey
CL van Beek
CL van Beek
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

And also, if you want to create a global pandemic, set up a research lab in a densely populated city, preferably close to an airport. Don’t build it in some closed remote area, where scientist must quarantine first before getting back into the world.

Cynthia Neville
Cynthia Neville
2 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

Except Manitoba, of course, which 99% of people have never heard of.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Eric is genius, but I don’t think Bret is that far behind!

Sam
Sam
2 years ago

What Bret has going for him is that he’s infinitely more likeable and warm than Eric.

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

Agreed. If Bret’s Unity Party ever got going you could imagine him winning elections. His brother, not so much. Eric would make a great behind-the-scenes adviser.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

Eric Weinstein is a behind the scenes advisor to Thiel – Facebook and Pay Pal. And those guys are up to some serious ‘Crypto, dispersed ledger, block chain’, stuff.
The future is very scary indeed, not from nukes or global warming, but from a massive systemic change in money, debt, and tracking of all spent.

Once the first Central Bank Crypto gets accepted the entire need for banks dissappears as the gov will now hold your money that is in your ‘Wallet’. No need for bank accounts, no need for Pay-Pal clearing houses, all finance will be FED, Central Bank. The world economies tumbled.

Naturally Pay-Pal will be smoked – so it has to create its own Block-chain crypto, and run that as a independent money, one they can tell you is annonomious and works with all National, Central Bank cryptos. (Wile doing the facebook spying to a whole new level)

Facebook/Pay-Pal teamed up in the age of electronic money will make them the post powerful force in the world. Eric Weinstein is one of their mathematical geniuses, and we are about to be owned by them..

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

True!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

He is just so spiritually a Portlandia Liberal though, and so I find this implied whiff of teargas and burning cop car tires tints how I feel about him.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I think we should be mindful of not subscribing to the odious progressive groupthink. Bret has frequently distanced himself from and spoken out against the riots in Portland and the authorities enabling it. He also does not support wokeism, which is why he got fired from Evergreen.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
kamgilkes
kamgilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

LOL… I can tell you’re not a frequent watcher of DarkHorse…

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  kamgilkes

Like Leninist fought Trotskyites to the death, I suspect this guy and the woke mob are oppisite sides of the same coin.
Or do you think he is a Patriotic, Conservative, American?

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The progressive left became what it has become not because of liberalism, but because it has rejected liberalism.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Liberalism is giving credence to many sides of issues, it is not taling a stance bound by traditional values, it is Moral Relativism and Situational Ethics, it is the slippery slope where belief is in nothing, so anything may be believable. It is the path to anarchy and self destruction. Modern Liberalism will inevitably become what we see as it has no moral base, no good and evil, just ‘Correct and Incorrect’.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Liberalism is about letting people verb as much as possible without negating the rights of others to verb, and not forcing people to verb against their will. That doesn’t mean you have to approve of the verb, or endorse the verb. It just means you are willing to respect the rights of others to choose for themselves.

Not all traditionally left wing causes are liberal, and not all traditionally right wing causes are conservative. Free markets are a liberal value (the verb here being “run a business”), and so are gun rights (verb being “own a firearm”). Thes are distinctions made between right and left politically, but both wings are a mix of liberalism and conservatism.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

“to verb”? What does that even mean that it cannot be said in actual English?

My guess is you are a youngster who is so inoculated in Trotsky influenced thinking you cannot even see through the haze. Trotsky used a system which now runs the popular world, one Liberalism enables:
“Entryism”
It is a simple system, the best example if you are British is Millitant Tendencies, who used entryism to radacialize the left Labour, till Foot had to crush it – it then aroze as ‘Momentum’ and enabled Corbyn to become leader, again through ‘Entryism’

And this simple device has utterly hijacked ‘Liberalism’ and taken the education, entertainment, MSM, political parties, social media, and all else based in Liberalism – BECAUSE LIBERALISM HAS NO FUNDAMENTAL MORAL BASE. A liberal cannot explain how a left subgroup is not as valid as other left groups, and so the most aggressive and devious sub group can manipulate its way to the positions of power.
Conservatives believe in right and wrong along traditional 10 commandments, so fringe groups get weeded out as there is a universal standard. It is called morality – and all morality is relative and situational to a Liberal, so they cannot defend themselves against internal attack.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

What is a verb? If you can answer that question all should become clear.

Terry M
Terry M
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I assumed Charles was using ‘verb’ in place of ‘do’ to be cute.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

To be cute, to be broad enough to allow for greater coverage, AND to reference the Apollo program’s computer that used a verb-noun interface.

Scott Powell
Scott Powell
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, the biggest ‘discovery’ throughout this man-made disaster has been made by the governments of the world–that they now KNOW what they can get away with, in the name of ‘public safety’. The game is now on, and they are only going to get bolder and more abusive.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Powell

They needed something to control us and by happy chance along comes the virus. Can’t argue with a lockdown done using medical reasons for our our own good.Make sure lots of people benefit from lockdown-public employers who continued to draw their salaries-in some cases for no work at all. Make sure the multi-nationals make a profit .Make sure those who lost out had no voice or worse were treated as greedy or irrational-can’t you see theres a pandemic here & you’re complaining about losing your business & your home-some people are so selfish! As they seem to wish to continue this experiment , while now telling us they created this crisis themselves , means whatever they hope to achieve hasn’t happened yet-so look forward to a plethora of virus strains yet to come..

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Almost all the Trillions printed ended up in the hands of Billionaires, and in inflating equities (stocks) commodities, and hard assets. Never in the history of man has such a vast amount (which is paid back by devaluing currency (inflation, but not as measured by the CPI, and so is paid by the citizens)
(those trillions are redistributed from you to the pockets of the super rich by government policy on covid money, fiscal and monitary, supply)) Some one pays for those trillions the super rich just harvested – and it is you by the tax called ‘Inflation’ – as the debt is inflated away (it could never be paid by tax, too big) it also inflates away your savings. Zero interest in your savings account, 5% inflation! That is how it is paid back! Your money redistributed to the super wealthy, that is what Covid response was!

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yep, let’s release a low-fatality epidemic for money and power. The perfect plan.

I believe someday someone will uncover the smoking gun – bribe money paid to some poor schmuck lab worker.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

That low fatality epidemic just shut down Europe, Canada Australia, UK for a year, and USA from zero to a year depending on which party was governor. This is economic suicide, but it did make a lot of super rich more super rich, and gave politicos huge powers, and has altered the entire Global Balance of Power – from the least African Nation to the Superpowers.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“That low fatality epidemic just shut down Europe, Canada Australia, UK for a year, and USA from zero to a year depending on which party was governor.”

Actually, the VIRUS did nothing of the sort. Again, IMHO you are invoking “political coincidence” – a theory I do not ascribe to. The decisions were made by leaders at different levels in different countries. In our country, President Trump did NOT mandate a shut-down, nor did some governors. In hindsight, there seems to be little or no correlation between shutting down and slowing the disease. The only strong correlation we DO see is that countries in which the use of such drugs as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin is ubiquitous show death rates 3-4x lower than ours – which raises further questions about why our Democrats spent so much political capital censoring information about and banning trial and use of these drugs (not perfect, but they may have reduced our deaths to the point it would no longer have been a pandemic). Furthermore, the data shows ZERO correlation between use of masks and slowing the spread – so the masks are more a symbol of submission and obedience than a prophylactic. It’s as if someone said to you, “as long as everyone wears swimsuits, you will be safe as long as people only pee in the designated peeing part of the pool.”

The rest of your post, I wholeheartedly agree with except for this – to the rich, it was not economic suicide at all, and in fact our market is stronger now than before the plandemic.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

The democrats wanted the affects to be as bad as possible in their cities & then blame Trump. As the media was complicit this seems to be the message the average democrat voter received. This average voter should wonder why their politicians dislikes them so much , but instead seem to feel comfortable with seeing their cities destroyed as a political ploy

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Why do you believe it was chance? What evidence do you have in 5,000 years of recorded human history of such a thing as a “political coincidence?” Particularly since, beginning in the summer of 2019, so many prominent Democrats were on public record literally praying for “something like an epidemic” to stop Trump’s fantastic economy?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

‘happy chance’ was ironic. The reason seems to be economic. They always say ‘follow the money’ and now the authorities know exactly where & what money we are using as we have to pay electronically not by cash. I think they wanted to stop Trump as he was going against their plans.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

“‘happy chance’ was ironic.”

Yeah, I did get that. I was helping to exaggerate it. Your conclusion is spot-on. It was always about stopping Trump, and a few million in collateral damage is nothing to people who think only of power. Machiavelli was a genius.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

What you replied to is now waiting approval-I wonder why? Interesting living in a police state isn’t it?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Why do these people keep trying to book holidays? Its inevitable they will have to rush back , pay a fortune , quarantine etc-probably more fun walking behind a muck-spreader.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

Wasn’t it Fauci that said President Trump would see a pandemic during his years as President? Maybe it was all perfectly planned.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Powell

Precisely. It’s all about power. This was no accident, and in politics there are no coincidences.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

Governments can always print more money. In the past they use to reduce the size of coins ( sometimes just clip bits off ) or make them of cheaper metal. If they did that now ÂŁ2 coin would be about size 5p piece to show its worth and all notes would have large holes cut out of the middle as now in what-super-inflation? At least credit cards mean you don’t have to physically take large quantities of notes to the shops just to get a loaf of bread.The last time they let that happen ended well didn’t it?

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It is strange how Bret’s leaving Evergreen was the best thing that could have happened to him and to us. . He now has a platform and an audience that reaches into the millions – and he and Heather live in Portland. It just goes to show that you can – if you try – make lemonade out of lemons. Meanwhile, Evergreen is losing staff and students something I am sure neither Heather nor Bret want to see happen. Maybe they learned a lesson about the dangers of letting the WOKE students run the place.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

pass the sick bucket….

David Boulding
David Boulding
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

More likely China was working aginst the truth. It is, after all, a Communist state

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I looked him up to see why you said that, and found he is probably the most woke man in America.
I did not find the article had anything to say other than ‘gain of function’ needs banning – although the Wuhan Lab was Military as well as civilian research – so it may then just be driven deeper underground rather than stopping. But I think you do not need a few thousand, beating around the bush, words from an ‘Evolutionary Biologist’ to say that as I imagine his is not a controversial position.

Eric Weinstein is now a Theil man, (Facebook and Paypall), so fills the position of the guys in the white coats running about in the background as a James Bond super villain is busy conquering the world.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Why did Democrats in the US Government (Fauci) and US industry (Bill Gates, George Soros, many others) contribute so much money to a lab in China? I’d say it was because they knew exactly what was being done, which is illegal in the United States, and they wanted to be able to use what was produced to further their political agenda.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

Is gain-of-function research really illegal in the US? But US organisations funded specifically this type of research?

Liz Adams
Liz Adams
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Obama banned it, money shifted to China, Trump later lifted the ban.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Adams

And with the help of Fauci.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

As Francis Urquart in House of Cards said ‘You might very well think that. I couldn’t possibly comment’

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

They are both incredibly intelligent… watch them both on youtube… very refreshing talks….and like you say… nice and decent….

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Thank you; an interesting reply. Why do you think it has taken 18 months to find the source/cause of the pandemic?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Hey Fraser, did you catch Trump’s wonderful speech last night? An hour and a half of truth and reason – but a huge point was the response to the CCP for covid-19. Check it in full on youtube, It made me want to stand up and wave a flag.
Trump says CCP owe USA 11 Trillion and all debt China has to US, all wealth they have in USA needs canceling and taking. He says the entire world needs to do the same. A global ‘Get Out Of Debt Free’ day!

Fiona E
Fiona E
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The past year has certainly highlighted how incompetent some people/ institutions are but how is that going to change if competent people don’t want to be ‘in charge’. I’d love people like Bret Weinstein, Jordan Peterson or Douglas Murray to be politicians or run institutions but I suspect they’re too nice to want to. And even if they could be convinced that it’s their ‘duty’ I suspect more ruthless, power hungry people would prevent them.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Fiona E

Even if the people you are mentioning are ‘nice people’ – most people do not see the truth behind this plandemic. So these people most likely would not get the votes to win. Crazy stuff going on.

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Hopefully we have been reminded that our governments will lie to us. This lesson needs to be relearned every generation or so. We are learning now that calling something a “conspiracy theory” does not necessarily make it so. We have learned that independent fact checkers are neither. We have hopefully learned that when lawyers tell you to “follow the science”, you have every right to be suspicious. We have learned again the wisdom in old lessons. Occam’s razor comes to mind.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Jennings

You are so right Tom! Too many people do not have critical thinking skills anymore. Too many want to be saved and told what to do. 🙁

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fraser, I always look for comments from your good self. Cheers

Alan T
Alan T
2 years ago

“the scientific method has been hijacked by a competition over who can tell the most beguiling stories. Scientists have become salesmen, pitching serious problems that they and their research just so happen to be perfectly positioned to solve. The fittest in this game are not the most accurate, but the most stirring. ”
It is not just scientists who have become salesmen, everyone successful has to be. New ideas and narratives around mental health, diversity and inclusion, sexual and gender identity etc are largely cooked up by our administrative bourgeois class so that they can employ themselves in the *necessary* interventions required to solve those “problems”. Activism itself is now an industry. Advanced capitalism, innit; the marketisation of every sphere of life.

Scott Powell
Scott Powell
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan T

Yes, and their work/activism doesn’t have to respond to market forces, like price signals. It is ‘immune’ to reality.

Greg Maland
Greg Maland
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Powell

But reality isn’t immune to it.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg Maland

Antibodies are developing.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

But are they quick enough?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg Maland

And yet we still have to trust them when they want to vaccinate yet more people. The call is for all 12-15 year olds ( who are least likely to suffer from covid) to be vaccinated this summer. Presumably to protect the teachers? However if the teachers aren’t protected by having the vaccine themselves , how will a class full of vaccinated students help? Are we sure it won’t harm these children? What is the science on this? Its whatever a lot of people who have proven to be unreliable/compromised ( if finances involved) tell us

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Wouldn’t it be easier to give the worried teacher a full protective suit to wear?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

I would give them the sack. The teachers, led by the teaching unions, those anti-West Ma5rxist organizations, have done more harm to the young of this world than anything ever has. When the majority of teachers set out to destroy the students you know the society has indeed become pathological.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yep. Universal school vouchers payable to whoever educates the child (including parents) is the way to break the monopoly on indoctrination AND get rid of teachers to frightened of a disease with a 99.9% survival rate to actually do their jobs.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

I agree with you Sanford and Jonathan. These children are being taught what to think but not how to think. Indoctrination is absolutely what is going on. Many teachers are just whiners too and will get their way because the unions back them and the school boards are useless.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

It would be easier still to mandate universal school vouchers, payable to whoever educates the child – including the parents. However, that would eliminate the Democrats’ monopoly on indoctrination, err, education.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

So, don’t get the vaccines. 99.9% of the people who actually contract the disease (about half are immune) survive.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

The authorities might not let children go to school if not vaccinated. I hope & pray that there are no long term side affects to these children-infertility has been mentioned.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

So? Demand Universal School Vouchers, payable to WHOEVER educates the child – including parents. Why are we letting politicians hold our children hostage? The suicide rate for young women is 3x what it was 10 years ago, clearly what we are doing now is a failure.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

A lot of people seem intimidated by authority. They don’t want to annoy the school or they might take it out on their child. The parents at each school should just band together & refuse the vaccine for their children-however the children can be pressured by the school itself to agree without consulting the parents.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

But hopefully children and youth won’t give in to the coercion if the parents have talked to their children about this whole fiasco.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Yes infertility but many other issues as well. Many youth now have heart problems since the jab. I will not call it a vaccine. It clearly isn’t. My question is; why are we nearly forcing everyone to get this, even those who got the virus and have antibodies? I am afraid it is for a darker reason.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

It is criminal to be using these experimental jabs on children. Period! Teacher unions are too powerful and there are too many dumb and fearful parents ready to let their children receive these without any common sense used at all. There is NO science used here whatsoever. Many doctors and scientists who fully support vaccines are speaking out against this.

David Boulding
David Boulding
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan T

Rather people with vested interest like the scientist who was denying that this could be a man made virus had his own interests in Wuhan.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

And, one has to wonder how active that interest was – as in, did he bribe a lab worker to let it out?

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan T

Yep. There’s nothing really new, you have to package it in a story to make it shiny.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

As usual an excellent read from a great mind. One who on the big stage of his life is not afraid to swim against the tide, no matter the consequences.
I would urge people to view Bret’s latest podcast on the crime of the century – the concerted smear of the drug Ivermectin which could wipe Covid from the face of the planet. Cheaply and safely. It is surprising that the majority of people and media in the US and the UK remain ignorant of this.

Ruth L
Ruth L
2 years ago

Yes indeed. The Ivermectin discussion with Pierre Kory is probably the best thing I’ve come across on this whole charade in the past 15 months. It’s devastating and uplifting at the same time. I have feel so much better for watching it. Thank you Bret.
I’d also recommend Ukcolumn. Outstanding, honest, clear headed investigative journalism.

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago
Reply to  Ruth L

Weinstein tried to get a centrist ‘third party’ off the ground in the run-up to the last US presidential election.
The party advocated bipartisanship and evidence-based policy; it was pragmatic, anti-ideological and anti-totalitarian.
Social media banned it.
It’s hard to feel any optimism that there is hope for the US and for the western Enlightenment generally.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

a Centrist Third Party where each position is held by two opposing members – wow, now there is an idea a Critical Theorist could get behind.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
2 years ago

I doubt they are ignorant; those most in a position to act are determinedly set against it lest it reduce Interest in vaccine take-up. I concede that the lay public may well be unaware because it suits the government/pharma/media alliance to keep them that way.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I say ignorant of this because I go to comments on a lot of the UK press and I have not seen this as a frequent topic of discussion. In South Africa people made it their business to find out and spread the word and it became so widespread that a court case was mounted against the state and the state lost. The drug was unbanned. I must add that the mainstream SA herd remain ignorant, but luckily there were enough of us watching and listening.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
2 years ago

It is an excellent, if maddening, listen.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago

MSM keep stories like this away from the public because it is against the narrative they have been spreading for the last 15 months.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

Outstanding essay from Bret Weinstein.
This part of his final paragraph is most telling:
Our virologists, the press, the international regulatory bodies and all the major social media platforms are already dragging their feet, doing everything in their power to avoid learning the lesson the virus’s likely origin. And in doing so, they are preventing us from learning it, too.
Too many institutions, journalists, politicians, etc have a vested interest in not fully investigating the origins of SARS2. That’s why I think we’ll never know the true origin for sure, or at least not for decades when no one in authority cares too much.
What I want to know is whether the US really was funding viral gain-of-function research in the Wuhan virology institute?

8sxh9znd8z
8sxh9znd8z
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

And if the rumours about Fauci’s investment in said research turn out to be true, we deserve to know that as well…

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  8sxh9znd8z

They are not rumours, they are facts. And they were in the public domain over a year ago, before being suppressed by Big Tech and the MSM etc.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It would seem the US was funding via the back door. Anyway, anyone else enjoying the fall from grace of Gain of Function Fauci?

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago

I doubt that Fauci ever read the story of Icarus.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago

I am Lesley! I want to see Lord Fauci fall flat on that face!

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Maybe not for sure, but it’s clearly “beyond reasonable doubt”, as you can conclude from the article that get the bal rolling (on the origin of COVID).
https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

In answer to your final paragraph I would think the US is almost certainly involved in all this.

It would also be helpful if we stopped referring to the Wuhan virology institute, and started calling it what it really is: ‘The Wuhan Germ Warfare Establishment’.*

So, as Cicero would have asked “who benefits”? Is this an unholy alliance between China and the US, despite all the all too obvious sabre rattling? And to what end?

(* The UK one is Porton Down.)

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago

Many people in Canada believe Canada is involved too; looking straight at the Prime Minister.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

There is no doubt that gain of function research was going on in a number of places. Obama stopped it in the USA and in order to do the research they needed a virus. The USA and China could have developed a virus independently or have collaborated. Is it likely that either country will tell us the truth.

Nick Bernard
Nick Bernard
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I believe you meant UNlikely

Eloise Burke
Eloise Burke
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The US is a free society to such an extent that we will be constantly getting bad actors and stupid people in positions of authority, and doing more or less harm to the rest of us. We’re simply going to have to get smarter. And learn the Citizen’s Philosophy of Government: Watch The Bastards.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Watching Fauci being grilled by the senate was rather enjoyable. A lot less smug our dear Doctor.
Why is he still standing at President Biden’s side is a wonder. I remember reading him saying he was soooooo scared of the virus that he left his mail laying on the table a couple of days before opening it. This was last summer if I recall and I though then « the guy is mental Â» the snake knew then what he was maybe up against. It makes sense today,
The man should already be in orbit
I almost forgot…….fantastic piece

Last edited 2 years ago by Bruno Lucy
Peter LR
Peter LR
2 years ago

Thanks, Bret. And thanks to UnHerd for amplifying ‘voices crying in the wilderness’. The perversion of Science through political expediency and financial gain are a danger to us all.

Last edited 2 years ago by Peter LR
Peter LR
Peter LR
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter LR
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter LR

Science cannot be perverted. Only people can be perverted.

Alan B
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

The king has two bodies, eh?

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago

Superb article and spot on. The extent of group think among the scientific community is truly astounding (and I say this as a practicing scientist). The majority are like sheep and simply incapable of critical thinking. And indeed are incapable of taking the time to critically evaluate anything outside their very very narrow area of specialization.
With regard to the origins of SARS-Cov2, it should be evident to anyone that the most likely and simplest explanation (Occam’s Razor) is a lab leak. Yet in the US, we have the great Dr. Francis Collins, head of the NIH, proclaiming only last week on national TV and quoting Carl Sagan (who nobody born after 1970 has probably heard of) that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Actually the extraordinary claim was the natural origin/wet market hypothesis: the wet market in Wuhan didn’t even sell bats, the nearest wet market that did was hundreds of miles away, and the bats lived in caves thousands of miles away. So why in Wuhan. Well their is a lab there conducted what effectively amounts to germ warfare research – a large part of the lab is devoted to the same type of research being conducted at Porton Down in the UK and USAMRIID at Fort Detrick.
I might also add that everybody in Wuhan knew back in January that this originated from the Wuhan Lab. Indeed a staff scientist in our lab was in Wuhan for the Chinese New Year in Jan 2020 and just managed to get back to the US before flights were shut down. He said at the time there was no doubt that this came from the Wuhan lab.
Then we have the serial confabulators like Fauci going on national TV and proclaiming that if one looks at the sequence of the virus it is clear that it has been naturally evolved. This is partially true but not completely true. Of course if one looks at the virus genome as a whole it looks as if its naturally evolved from known coronaviruses – but it only takes a few base pairs change to introduce a furin cleavage site within the Spike protein. So in effect any changes related to gain-of-function, involve tiny tiny changes that would be impossible to detect if one simply look at the sequence from a global perspective.
Finally, we have the conspiracy of our public health officials both in the US and UK to suppress any form of potential cheap treatment prior to hospitalization, claiming that said drugs such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are unsafe. Yet these drugs have been around for well over 50 years and been given to millions upon millions of people in the third world with no ill-effects. Whether they have any real impact early on at the first onset of symptoms, I don’t know. But surely it’s better than doing nothing and just wait at home until one either recovers or has to be rushed to hospital. Likewise simple things like vitamin D and zinc to boost one’s inane immune system weren’t pushed. Why, because all these public health officials, and especially the NIH and Fauci with their link to Moderna, were only interested in pushing the vaccine strategy.

And now they are still pushing hard vaccination for individuals who don’t need to be vaccinated and where the risks of vaccination are really significant. Sure vaccinate everybody over say the age of 50. But does one really want to risk getting blood clots with thombocytopenia (so rare that one learns about it in med school but is unlikely to ever see a case in an entire career) in women between the ages of say 20-50, or myocarditis in males between the ages of 12 and 25. And as time goes on the frequency of these rare side-effects are becoming increasingly more common as they can no longer be hidden. Young marines in the US and soldiers in the IDF simply don’t get myocarditis under normal circumstances.
Finally the vaccines are claimed to be as safe as drinking milk, yet the number of severe side-effects reported in the US VAERS exceeds that of all other vaccines over the last 10 years combined. Indeed, and this is purely anecdotal, I know of very few people who have had the Moderna shot (in contrast to the Pfizer one) and not experienced very severe side-effects following the second dose. No doubt due to the fact that the amount of RNA in the Moderna vaccine is close to double that in the Pfizer one (the two vaccines being essentially identical in all other respects).
All I can say is that this is a total mess.

Last edited 2 years ago by Johann Strauss
Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“With regard to the origins of SARS-Cov2, it should be evident to anyone that the most likely and simplest explanation (Occam’s Razor) is a lab leak.”

Not to pick nits, but that is TWO explanations. One is an accidental release, the other is an intentional release.

Continuing with Occam’s excellent analytic tool, one might be aware that in 5,000 years of recorded human history the evidence of such a thing as a “political coincidence” is vanishingly rare – and, one might even go further and suggest that those few counter-examples might simply be a case that the smoking gun was never uncovered.

Following that line of reasoning, then, we have the summer of 2019 – when hundreds of prominent Democrats (some of whom, including Bill Gates, George Soros, and a host of other major DNC donors had provided sizeable donations to this otherwise obscure lab) were publicly praying for “something like an epidemic” to stop or at least slow Trump’s amazing economy and his other accomplishments. What a marvelous bit of “good fortune” it must have been when – “Son of a b***h!” – a low-lethality but highly infectious disease miraculously appeared? I wonder how much it costs to bribe one lab worker?

I for one do not believe in coincidences. If the smoking gun ever does appear, doubtless they will have arranged to make it look like the work of a lone fanatic…

Last edited 2 years ago by Johnathan Galt
Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

This my 5th comment. The other four concern the impossibility of containing SARS-CoV-2 with herd immunity, and the need to get everyone’s circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D above 50ng/ml so their immune system can work properly.
Thanks for mentioning the site at which the furin enzyme cleaves the proto spike protein to create its final form. I found an article explaining the unusual CGG codon used to specify the two arginine amino acids which are part of the furin cleavage site and how Romeu et al. (preprints dot org 202102.0264) conclude that this could not have occurred from random insertion mutation or recombination (the CGG being rare among the six codons which specify arginine – see Wikipedia DNA_and_RNA_codon_tables) which leaves laboratory insertion as the only remaining explanation.
The summary article is by Liji Thomas MD, who over the years has written hundreds of similarly astute summaries of recent research articles. You can find it by searching for the title “The origin of SARS-CoV-2 furin cleavage site remains a mystery”.
For links to and summaries of the most pertinent research on vitamin D and COVID-19, please see my site which you can find by searching for “vitamindstopscovid”.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

So many of your comments I agree with. When I found out in Feb 2020 that this virus started in Wuhan and that there is a Level 4 Lab there just outside the city, I just knew.

Nick Baile
Nick Baile
2 years ago

The repercussions of this have been clear for decades, as scientists exaggerate, distort and mislead in order to get their own work (or their field’s work) funded.
If we are mostly safe from devastating zoonotic spillover pandemics, why were we told otherwise? The answer is simple: because the scientific method has been hijacked by a competition over who can tell the most beguiling stories. Scientists have become salesmen, pitching serious problems that they and their research just so happen to be perfectly positioned to solve. The fittest in this game are not the most accurate, but the most stirring.
Would Dr. Weinstein be alluding to the great Thunbergian scam of the age which is inevitably simply in abeyance waiting for the CV-19 scare-du-jour to recede: climate change?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  Nick Baile

Ah yes! The end of the world is nigh.
In all the excitement over C-19 I had forgotten that, thank you for reminding me.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago

A teenager told me, and they seem pretty on-the-ball!

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago

I think we should be very brave and volunteer to live in all those beach-side mansions of the rich and important, malibu that sort of place, as they say the water level is going to rise so high . They can move to our smaller inland homes to keep them safe.

Rick Schmidt
Rick Schmidt
2 years ago
Reply to  Nick Baile

The climate crisis is proven by all the coastal cities now under water. We live in a post-truth global civilization.

David Pritchard
David Pritchard
2 years ago
Reply to  Nick Baile

As I was reading this article I was thinking the very same thing. Substitute climate change for Covid and the same thing is going on. I’m so tired of hearing “97% of climate scientists agree“. Yes they agree alright, they agree so that the funding can keep coming. One of the biggest perversions the world has seen, a multi variable problem, complex in nature being boiled down to one thing only supposedly being a problem, an increase in the already very small percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Pritchard
rolf_herman
rolf_herman
2 years ago

Yes, science do not progress through majoritarian voting …

Nick Baile
Nick Baile
2 years ago
Reply to  rolf_herman

…and any true scientist would agree with that.

Rag Marrss
Rag Marrss
2 years ago

… as a German Biochemist Ph D – I am depressed and sick to the Bone – that this kind of “research ” can even be conceived…it is absolutely Impossible to contain anything in any laboratory- no matter at which super high level you may work. By principle impossible. The scientific community is rotten all over – as there is no career opportunity as in any industry- you have to work to total exhaustion in absurd environments – and to trick to get your salary and funding. This is like the scenario at Chernobyl. The same structure. It is bound to happen again anywhere – and it will be concealed at all cost. Satanically to urge for much more funding to study it even more in depth – creating the next chain reaction. How long will it take – until terrorists learn about that stuff… then no science can do anything anymore. NOAH Event. I built my boat…this is the ouverĂŒre of things to come, many more to come – H G Wells…

Neil John
Neil John
2 years ago
Reply to  Rag Marrss

Properly constructed and run Class 4 bio-labs with multiple stages of entry and exit (and NO Fire Escapes) are relatively ‘secure’, it’s from the lower level labs where the probability of escape grows exponentially. Anyone working in Porton Down at ANY level has to give their details to the ‘security’ operation as a matter of course for their employment, and the details of their intimate personal contacts (BTDT), so if there’s any suspected accidental release/exposure they can be retrieved ASAP (and you don’t argue with the bio-haz suited MoD Policemen pointing a guns at you).

The bat virus work I hear was being carried out in class 2 labs in Wuhan, barely secure at the best of times, and if those working there had the same bad habit of not labelling samples clearly, not autoclaving samples when finished with them and dumping contaminated stuff in normal bins as the Chinese students I’ve had to clear up behind in class 2 labs here in the UK…

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rag Marrss

Cannot have green energy without baseline nuke generated power! I bought a bunch of uranium mine stock because of this – because of people with your inbuilt agenda ran uranium mining down although it needs doubling. Germany decommissioning – nuke and building coal fired – wow, that was wild.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

If nothing else comes of this clusterwotsit, I hope at least all those idiot Karens who’ve spent the last year going around screaming “follow the science” will finally get it through their thick skulls that “science” does not exist outside the people who are supposed to be practicing scientific method, and those people are as flawed and fallible as the rest of us.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
2 years ago

I hope at least all those idiot Karens

Can you not just write “idiots”?
“Karen” is a racially tinged and gendered insult: I’ve never seen it used to refer to anyone but white women. Like “gammon” is always used to refer to white men. Unless the people’s race or sex is of central importance, just call them idiots.

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
2 years ago

Bret Weinstein is too modest to say so but he made much of this argument in his podcast well over a year ago.

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael Hobson
Peter Jenks
Peter Jenks
2 years ago

As a Fellow if the Royal Society of Chemistry I cave come to the conclusion that most research is subject to most of the issues, mostly ego driven, that damage the political process in the west. From early 2020 I argued that this pandemic was caused by an inadvertent release of a modified SARS Virus and was universally dismissed as a crank. It is good to see that the truth is leaking out.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Jenks

The worrying thing for the layman – or this layman, anyway – is that you were universally dismissed as a crank, not that everyone else got it wrong.
Because one day someone like you is going to say: “Don’t do that, you will make a black hole if you do that, so please don’t” and then that someone is going to be universally dismissed as a crank by his peers who absolutely know what they are doing. And then we are never going to have to worry about anything else ever again.

bnabirder
bnabirder
2 years ago

I remain dumbfounded by those that say they don’t care about the source or the virus, that it’s water under the bridge, and that searching for the answer is a political witch hunt. It’s like not being interested to know why an airplane crashed. How can we prevent or mitigate future such events without knowing or finding a likely cause.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  bnabirder

We know the cause now, even if the Chinese government refuses to acknowledge it. That government can maintain the pretence of unknown origin all it likes, it is fooling nobody.
The question is how to move forward with what we know. We can’t expect China to admit it happened on their turf (after all, they can’t even admit Tibet was a foreign country they annexed by force, and everyone knows that’s what they did. I mean, EVERYONE), but as long as China is party to a serious attempt to maximise lab security across the globe it doesn’t really matter. What matters is stopping it happening again.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Sam
Sam
2 years ago

The “acceptance” by the MSM of the lab leak hypothesis happened so suddenly and ostensibly at a random time. Why now?
Has anyone considered why seemingly overnight it became acceptable to think this way, when just a month or two ago it was an off limits topic?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

Trump proposed the lab-leak hypothesis over a year ago based on credible intelligence. It was therefore necessary for Big Tech and the media to shut it down because Trump could not be seen to right. Essentially, it’s an extreme form of TDS, and it has probably caused hundreds of thousands of subsequent deaths. But they don’t care about that. All they care about is that Trump is no longer in office.

Hammer Klavier
Hammer Klavier
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Spot on.
The scientific establishment appeared to take as their starting point “Trump is wrong”, and then proceeded to cherry pick the evidence to support that position. It has had a terrible effect on objectivity, and not just in connection with Covid.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Frazier, Trump is thinking of running for Congress in 2022 when it gets its elections! Wonderful! ‘My first agenda, Mr Speaker, is to introduce a bill of Impeachment against President Biden’ HAHa Haaa

Last edited 2 years ago by Galeti Tavas
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

I think the Nicholas Wade article had great interest because it, like this Weinstein article, was a carefully reasoned analysis. It seemed to trigger the Science article suggesting more investigations were important and was signed by many important virologists. Then the press was free to reconsider. And, oh yes, the evil politician was safely out of the way.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

The website Redstate has an article that says the Defense Intelligence Agency has a high ranking Chinese defector with extensive knowledge of the Chinese bioweapons program. The speculation is that the timing of this shift to allow people to discuss the lab leak was triggered by the defection. According to the article, the DIA debriefed this defector secretly, on their own, without any other agency being involved, over the last several months. It’s possible that the DIA can prove the lab leak theory, based on the information they got from the defector. It’s possible that the timing of the release of Dr. Fauci’s emails was forced by the information from the defector. The release of Dr. Fauci’s email triggered the reconsideration of the lab release theory.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

Here’s my own working hypothesis: It really is random. Almost everyone could see that the lab leak theory was more than plausible. They might deny it, because Orange Man Bad, but they know that the theory makes sense. So, the theory suddenly becoming accepted amounts to everyone coming to know that efforts to dismiss the theory with cheap and easy incantations of “conspiracy theory” are a joke. And, then, once everyone comes to understand that everyone thinks the efforts to dismiss the theory are a joke, then it’s just a matter of when the whole lie falls apart.
So, one can connect dots with the idea that things fall apart in a deterministic way. But, one can imagine that any number of sequences of dots could lead to the same result. It just becomes a matter of when. Basically, when everyone knows the system is a joke, and everyone knows that everyone knows, then the system becomes susceptible to collapse. It just becomes a matter of flipping a coin on a given day.
The process is stochastic, not deterministic. Connecting dots ex post merely amounts to an ex post rationalization. It doesn’t really mean much once it becomes common knowledge that the Big Lie is not longer tenable.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
2 years ago

Wow. In swoops Bret, right on target.
You’ve been holding out on us, Bret! But, no worries. We understand that politics is about when and where to pick battles and about assembling (or joining) coalitions.
This lab leak business is looking like an example of the kind of thing Vaclav Havel wrote about in his 1977 essay, “The Power of Powerless”.
The main proposition in that essay is (I think): When everyone knows the system is a joke, and everyone knows that everyone knows that the system is a joke, then predicting the collapse of the system amounts to flipping a coin on any given day. It looks like the Fauci regime is collapsing.
Everyone could understand that the lab leak hypothesis was imminently plausible — even likely. Like, (1) there’s a lab right there doing research on coronaviruses. (2) These coronaviruses were extracted from bats. (3) Lab technicians were falling ill in 2019. And, then (4) we are astonished to learn that American agencies had been subsidizing this research and (5) had been warning us about infirmities in the Wuhan lab’s processes since 2018 or so. And, yet the establishment dismissed the lab leak hypotheses as a “conspiracy theory” because Orange Man Bad.
Note, further, what the proposition implies: One can go back and connect the dots of how the system fell apart, but really the falling apart bit is stochastic. It’s a matter of chance. Connecting dots is useful, but the stochastic process is not deterministic. An uncountable number of trajectories of connected dots could have yielded the collapse of the system. It is (was) just a matter of when.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Bret is a terrible writer on this issue. at one time Unherd had some real scientists speaking on covid – not an soft science evolutionary biologist rambling on now it is the topic de-juor. And why does Unherd refuse to address the economic issues of the covid response? They are greater than the health ones.

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

This is my 6th comment. Sanford, your broadbrush criticism has no specifics and you cite no better analyses of the situation. I deployed the thumbs down button.
The economic, social and health consequences of the lockdown are extraordinarily severe and I would not want to have to argue that in total they are less than the direct consequences of the disease. However, those consequences are extreme, including lasting harm and disability. I do not go along with the numerous COVID-19-avoidniks who portray the direct health problems as less than they are.

Mike Ferro
Mike Ferro
2 years ago

Perhaps also worth noting that the requirement for scientists to tell a good tale in order to gain funding is probably why the global warming lobby has gained such universal traction despite being based on dodgy science

Neil Wilson
Neil Wilson
2 years ago

Faucism – when you believe something based upon who said it rather than the actual evidence for what was said.

It is Faucism we need to defeat – the tyranny of the technocrat.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

His Eminence Cardinal Fauci. The Very Model of a Modern Major Bureaucrat.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

Amen to that!

Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
2 years ago

If the lab accident scenario proves true (and I think it will for a number of objective reasons), we really have to ask ourselves how many more people died because the media and the elites simply hated Trump? I understand their animas, I really do, but to completely discount something based solely on the fact that you don’t like the person positing it is childish, unscientific and, in this case, extremely dangerous. How many elites will bring themselves to utter the words, “Trump was right”? How many people died because hydroxychloroquine, a viable treatment, was falsely labeled quackery simply because Trump supported it? Trump didn’t invent the treatment, he just suggested it as an option. But that didn’t stop the elites from shutting down even a discussion of it. So, ask yourselves, how many thousand of people died needlessly so our elites could stick it to Trump?

Neil John
Neil John
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Mason

C4 ‘news’ has an item smearing Trump on right now, complete with the racial disparity issue, and attempting to shut down the ‘lab-leak’ line too…

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Mason

The politics of personal destruction have been useful. But the practitioners risk similar attacks on them.

Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
2 years ago

Yes, but China engaged in a cover up and deliberately did nothing to stop the virus spread beyond its boarders.

Fauci, Gates, US military and intelligence communities, the WHO – to name just a few – knew this and colluded in the cover up.

The same actors have done their utmost to prevent use if cheap, safe effective therapies ie non vaccines.

Raising an eyebrow, yet?

We should be.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gilbert

They should all be charged and imprisoned – honestly, that is the least that should be done.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago

What an interesting article. As a layman I have to say it is encouraging to read such an article, which at least at first glance seems to be mercifully free of self-serving narrative.
I’d also like to point out to any scientist reading the comments section here, that when laypeople like me have their trust in scientists undermined, trust in science itself (as practised) is undermined.
If a scientist behaves like a politician he is going to be equally mistrusted. And deservedly so.

With a bit of luck it will be possible to adopt a ‘no-fault’ attitude to the Chinese lab leak.
It should surely be recognised that this leak could have occurred at any lab, at any time, anywhere in the world.
For the sake of us all it is also surely imperative that – at the bare minimum – there is a global collective effort to improve the security of these labs to the point where a leak becomes as close to impossible as humanly possible.
It is all too serious for the blame game this time.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kremlington Swan
joeharris86
joeharris86
2 years ago

I disagree with your comments around “no blame”. Whilst the leak was accidental, the cover up was criminal. The Chinese Communist party have the blood of 7- 10 million deaths on their hands. For any other government that would be a terminal event. We know from other authoritarian regimes they will lie and obfuscate through crises to save themselves (see USSR and Chernobyl). When the facts are known re the lab leak the entire world should come together and demand justice. For me this cover up would have been authorised from the top. Would we see the likes of Chairman Xi at the dock at The Hague possibly not but we need to press for justice.

George Wells
George Wells
2 years ago

A deep exploration of this question (lab vs natural) should have been headline news for over a year, whatever the truth. As Bret so clearly states, the fact that it was not is an indictment of the relevant institutions.
In the UK an enquiry into ‘the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic’ has been announced (to start next year!). An important question, but not the most important.
If we don’t know what has happened, we can’t expect our responses to be much use.

Last edited 2 years ago by George Wells
Stephen Rose
Stephen Rose
2 years ago

Excellent article, that a even a dumb layman like me can follow. Thankfully, authoritative people like Bret Weinstein and Matt Ridley, who aren’t easily impugned and dismissed, are asking the question.

Deepak Natarajan
Deepak Natarajan
2 years ago

The issue is not whether the virus sprang from nature or from a lab; the issue is when will the American government stop outsourcing dangerous gain of function research (surreptitiously).

The recent flurry of clever articles on passaging and GOF are just that .. attention seeking but also a ploy to deflect attention from the truth that such experiments will gallop on.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago

Gain of function should stop no matter what country is involved. These are disasters in waiting.

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
2 years ago

Excellent article. The situation was made orders of magnitude worse because it was politicized and used as a political tool to force an agenda. Power hungry politicians in the USA actually announced that the pandemic was “their opportunity” to promote their agenda. Their political deceit has bankrupt the nation and probably killed more people than the virus.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Burns

UK, USA, Canada – their leaders have all used the words “Build Back Better” in reference of this pandemic. As many claim this was put into motion to achieve world control.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

This is a very interesting piece especially about the scientific method. It isn’t the scientific method that is corrupt, it is the scientists. They are lying and the lies started years ago with the lies needed to claim that humans are causing climate change. Once lies become generally accepted they effectively become the truth. The corrupt scientists (and media, because they promote the lies) are not the problem, it is the scientifically ignorant masses that are the real problem. It is hardly surprising with our dumbed down education systems and the propaganda pumped out by the TV. How many have watch and accepted Attenborough claiming that climate change is resulting in walruses climbing cliffs and then falling off? How do they think a walrus is able to climb a cliff?

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Flippers and tusks of course. Simples.

David NebeskĂœ
David NebeskĂœ
2 years ago

“But as it stands, science is plagued by a system of perverse incentives in which scientists are condemned to constantly compete for jobs and grant money just to stay in the game. The repercussions of this have been clear for decades, as scientists exaggerate, distort and mislead in order to get their own work (or their field’s work) funded.”
I am afraid that this is how the climate panic was created and continues to be fuelled.

Vasiliki Farmaki
Vasiliki Farmaki
2 years ago

I do agree with most of your brilliant comments, however that is no longer enough.
Is it not the right time to demand stopping messing with such violence, irresponsibility and disrespect for our planet, the life on it, and of course humans.. Is this science at all? Those who for more than a year now, are asking from us to be responsible citizens (?!) whereas they are increasingly becoming violent and corrupt and indeed they are the same who have come up with the climate change and great reset scam.. Throwing one of them to the lions, will only serve to save the rest .. that is a common method of theirs anyway. It is the time to demand and propose our laws, coming directly from real people and persons. No more complains.. no need for shouting.. it is the time deciding for our lives and future, because it is our future..how we even have done such a huge mistake allowing mobs to decide about us..
                     

Last edited 2 years ago by Vasiliki Farmaki
Alison Newell
Alison Newell
2 years ago

Since April 2020 Dark Horse and other similar excellent resources have supplied me with knowledge, educated & erudite discussion and confidence that I’m not alone (or , in fact, potty ) as so much seems obvious to me, and I’m hardly an intellectual!
I agree with all that’s being said here ( I’ve not spotted any negative posts yet so
) what it shows above everything is these are the people who should be in charge of our world, or should be advising those who are.
Those that currently hold power and wealth are demonstratively unfit to hold their positions. The real irony is that they [mostly] know this. That’s the point. And all the Herded can’t, don’t, won’t see it.
We are living in and through a watershed era of history. It’s bluddy serious. Im 61, I’ve known better. I know better. I’m going to fight for all I’m worth for my children and grandchildren. I must. We must.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Newell

I think its because people assume change will be very sudden like the films The Day the Earth caught Fire or various 1950’s the aliens have landedstories. Wheras things get nibbled away. Books are banned , but as they don’t interest the average person they don’t care & don’t see it as a loss of freedom .Twitter has just banned Naomi Wolf for life ‘for tweeting myths about Covid’.She used to be a darling of the left on programmes and covers of magazines-now she is a none person.We can’t do certain things that used to be part of our lives but people assume this is temporary & normal life will resume soon. Perhaps this is what people told themselves in Russia in 1917? Perhaps it is part of human nature to be passive & accepting as we live in homes- wheras the animal kingdom is always on the lookout for danger?

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
2 years ago

‘The bushmeat trade is barbaric, and endangers the many to the benefit of the few. And we can say exactly the same about the trade in exotic pets. If you want the biggest bang for the pandemic prevention buck, ending these markets would be far more effective than creating superbugs in the lab..’
How important this is. But who is going to do anything?

Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
2 years ago

Great article. Elephant in the room is whether the leak was an accident or…?

Last edited 2 years ago by Bob Bepob
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Bepob

Probably an accident with a prototype, I expect considerably improved performance with the next one.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago

A Russian scientist or doctor ( don’t remember which) claimed last year it had to be manmade as it had two components never linked or found in nature. The common SARS with a twist-some are suggesting AIDS. It obviously works on the respiratory function-but does it appear more serious than it is ie people feel like they are choking call for an ambulance etc , fills up hospitals , overwhelms system ,media starts over-reporting, politicians start panicking? As mortality rate not especially greater than usual-obviously just a theory.Anyway doesn’t look like opening up in June does it?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

I gather the D*for Death variant is a more efficient killer.
Then off course there is Epsilon for exterminate just over the horizon.

So goodby June! And let’s look foreword to the great Cyber attacks predicted for July.

(* formerly called the Indian one, but renamed to avoid charges of racism etc etc.:

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago

Yes they are now calling them by Greek names-won’t that offend the Greek-anyway its all Greek to me.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Ancient Greek, now long for forgotten.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Todays daily mail summarizes a paper by Dr Stephen Quay & Richard Muller which seems to say something similar

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Bepob

If it were deliberate, the only party who could have launched it where it started would be the CCP. They would not be so stupid as to launch an attack starting on their home ground, where they’d court the risk of being blamed. A deliberate Chinese attack would have appeared to originate elsewhere, like Porton Down, so that not only does the target get the damage, it also gets the blame.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

It is possible they have nothing to do with this & as their system is unwieldy are unable to find a way out predicament have been put in. As they need to make lots of goods to sell , its an odd sales technique to annoy your main customers. If they want to bankrupt the West -again who are the new customers?, Also why have they bought so much property , business etc -as if we go bankrupt it will be worthless to them The green/build back better lot might be a separate lot of power-crazed billionaires.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Bepob

Accident. A bioweapon that proves fatal mainly for the elderly and those with pre-existing health issues isn’t an effective bioweapon.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

It was an economic weapon.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Financial Armageddon (FA) in fact.
“Lock & !oad” as you lot say Sanford!

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Possible but those were self-inflicted wounds in the West. You would have to assume the Chinese are that prescient. I lean toward the Chinese firedrill exegesis.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

A false flag that those who know it isn’t that serious can nevertheless exaggerate it via the media to be the equivalent of black death-under cover of which they can enact policies without usual surveillance.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

Hey I am not so confident it was by accident. And attacking the aged and sicker members of society will mean less people, less burden, less costs. Sad to say so.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

Just to clarify, I do not feel this way about the aged and ill.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
2 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

I did not assume you did.

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
2 years ago

Let’s scrutinise another great assumption that almost everyone in the world has totally bought into.  It is from the same so-called experts who suppressed discussion of lab-leak, Ivermectin and vitamin D:
Herd immunity.
Almost everyone thinks that the only way to end the pandemic is herd immunity, from some mix of infection-acquired and vaccine-induced immunity. (For simplicity, “vaccine” here includes the mRNA and adenovirus vector gene therapies most people wrongly consider to be vaccines.)
At the same time, almost no-one, MDs included, understands that blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D need to be at least 50ng/ml 125nmol/L for the immune system to work properly. Search for the phrase “25OHD requirements for immune cell autocrine” to find the Quraishi et al. 2014 article link and graph. 
This is needed for full, rapid anti-viral innate and adaptive (antibodies) immune responses and to avoid the pro-inflammatory immune dysregulation, such as that caused by Th1 lymphocytes being stuck in their pro-inflammatory start-up program, and failing to transition to their anti-inflammatory shutdown program.  McGregor et al. showed that this occurs in the Th1 lymphocytes from the lungs of hospitalised COVID-19 patients, solely due to lack 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Search for “the most important COVID-19 article of all”.
This and likely other similar hyper-inflammatory immune dysregulation mechanisms cause severe COVID-19, by attacking the pulmonary endothelium, which leads to hypercoagulative blood and so all organs being damaged by microembolisms and larger clots. The same thing happens with sepsis, Kawasaki disease and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
Without robust supplementation (such as 0.125mg 5000IU D3 a day for 70kg bodyweight) most people’s blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are between 5 and 20ng/ml, at least in winter – or all year round with melanin-rich skin.
These same experts who push nothing but Vaccines to regain Normality via Herd Immunity suppress, ignore and misrepresent information about Ivermectin, other treatments and especially about vitamin D.
Herd immunity cannot be attained with viruses which mutate.  The entire Vaccines for All global campaign is based on a fantasy that SARS-CoV-2 is stable, like the measles, polio or smallpox viruses.  It mutates rapidly – far faster than influenza.
Please search for Alex Selby’s page “Measuring growth in the UK in Variant of Concern B.1.617.2”. There you will see the formerly dominant Alpha variant with a halving time of 4 weeks, being overtaken by the Delta variant doubling ever 10 days.
In the UK, vaccine and infection acquired immunity, to earlier variants, is high and growing slowly. Vitamin D levels are rising with summer, and this is suppressing Alpha, as it did the mid-2020 variants last year.  In this setting Delta is doubling every 10 days!.
Whether or not the summer peak of vitamin D (whites ~25ng/ml, BAME, much less) will contain Delta, in the current highly vaccinated environment, remains to be seen.  Come winter, immunity won’t be much higher, vitamin D will drop, and all Hell will break lose with Delta, or any subsequent variants which outperform it.
There can be no herd immunity with COVID-19. So vaccines are a waste of time.
It is unknown whether getting everyone’s vitamin D to 50ng/ml will suppress the SARS-CoV-2 variants of the day.  It is the best chance we have.  Vitamin D will be the real star of this show. Ivermectin is the opening act.
Since D3 needs liver conversion to the 25-hydroxyvitamin D needed by immune cells, even bolus D3 is too slow for the medical emergency of COVID-19. A single 1mg oral dose of calcifediol (the pharma name for 25-hydroxyvitamin D) will do this in 4 hours (70kg bodyweight).  If every newly diagnosed person took this (and it is now non-prescription in Canada, the USA and Australia) then they would recover rapidly and very few would need hospital care. Search for “All people suffering from COVID-19, sepsis, ARDS, Kawasaki disease, MIS”.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

It’s not correct to say that vaccines are a waste of time. We are seeing now that they do protect people from infection, and they protect the infected from severe symptoms. Why in UK is the resumption of COVID since mid-May focused on the under-40’s? Because that age-group has not been vaccinated yet. The evidence is that vaccination does enable a normal existence to be led, even if vaccination may have to be done once or twice each year, at least for the time being. This is not herd immunity, but it’s close enough to work.

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

Hi Giles Chance,
This is my 3rd comment. You advocate vaccinating the entire country, probably including children, once or twice a year, without a care that their blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are typically 1/10th to 1/2 of what is needed for full, fast immune responses against the virus itself and to protect against cytokine storm hyper-inflammatory immune dysregulation?
Perhaps you didn’t see the Quraishi et al. graph. I can’t put URLs in these comments, so please search for: the phrase “25OHD requirements for immune cell autocrine” and have a good look at the graph. The link to the article is there.
Are you happy to vaccinate away like this, while most people in the UK have such weak and pro-inflammatory immune responses as shown by the high graph between 5 and 20ng/ml (12.5 and 50nmol/L)?
With the AstraZeneca or any other adenovirus vector vaccine, the body develops immunity to the vector virus, weakening the ability of subsequent vaccinations to work as well as the first. This will likely also cause greater ill effects with subsequent vaccinations.
The narrow immunity generated by mRNA and adenovirus vector so-called “vaccines” is only to the spike protein, not the nucleocapsid protein, which is less likely to mutate. Only true inactivated virus vaccines raise immunity to both proteins.
Still, any kind of vaccine raises narrow immunity, as does prior infection. This cannot cope with a virus which is mutating so rapidly as to create a rocket-ship Delta variant in 18 months.
5000IU D3 a day may sound like a lot, but it is a gram of D3 every 22 years, and, ex-factory, in 1kg lots, it costs about UKP2.00 a gram. You only need to take it every week. My wife Tina and I take 0.125mg 50,000IU a week and our levels are probably in the 60 to 90ng/ml range (150 to 225nmol/L). The average UK doctor would need to take a Xanax if they were told this. They have not read the pertinent research, which is pointed to by my website.

Last edited 2 years ago by Robin Whittle
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

I challenge the assertion that there can be no herd immunity with covid_19.
Every other viral outbreak in human history has been overcome via the mechanism of herd immunity.
It must be so, because none of he treatments you mention have been available for more than a half of one second on the evolutionary timescale.

There was no other means of defeating the virus before modern medicine was finally able to develop treatments.

If human beings were not able to defeat viruses by developing herd immunity, which have been around for a lot longer, the human race would have died out long ago.

The whole tenor of your assertion suggests to me scare-mongering disinformation. If that’s it, God alone knows why.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
2 years ago

This is my 4th comment. Kremlington Swan: You haven’t read the research. Flu vaccines do not overcome flu. High vitamin D levels in summer, plus having no winter indoors hot, dry, air, strongly suppress both COVID-19 and influenza.
There is no vaccine for HIV.
I suggest you should follow the search terms to find the research I link to before being too sure of your own knowledge or negative assessment of my attempt to describe the situation.
Have you seen the Quraishi et al graph? Have you seen the graph of Delta doubling in prevalence every two weeks. Take a look. I can’t argue the details here. My aim is to get you to read the research and decide for yourself.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

So called Spanish Flu killed millions, in several waves, after the first world war. If there were no resistance (ie, no herd immunity) it would eventually have killed everyone.
Instead it has retreated into the background along with who knows how many other viruses that were once a significant threat.

I’m sick to death of this hysterical sh(te that plagues the airwaves.

Left untreated and unopposed, covid_19 will still retreat into the background following herd immunity…sooner or later.

People talk as if the body was some kind of passive machine that always needs to be fixed rather than a dynamic organism with millions of years worth of evolution behind some highly developed defence systems. It is dynamic, which means it reacts until it overcomes.

As I said before, if it did not have this capacity it would have been all over for the human race before we had barely got going.

Peter Branagan
Peter Branagan
2 years ago

Read Robin Whittle’s comment again as you obviously have not understood what was written.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

Ok, fair enough. I tend to be arrogant, and given my layman status I have no reason to be.

G Harris
G Harris
2 years ago

I’ve said this before on here but it bears repeating.

Someone whom I know who works at Surrey University was out in China on university business in September 2019 and she noted that officials were regularly testing people with infrared thermometers at the airport she flew into.

Understandably she thought very little of it at the time, and she told me this in around May 2020, many months after the news broke.

Anecdotal sure, but it certainly suggests that Chinese authorities knew something was amiss and this was nigh on three months before PRC first let the world know about what was unfolding in Wuhan.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I remember reading that around January 2020, Chinese companies (state owned, of course) were quietly buying up, indeed buying back, PPE in other countries for transfer to China. This has no bearing on the source of the virus, but does on the way in which the RoC regards its relations with the rest of the world. I also wonder what Taiwan may know.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago

The value of this article is not that it tells the observant COVID watcher anything that he/she does not already know, but that it is COMPLETELY HONEST, without scientific in-house bias, or any other bias. We need more honesty in our public servants, just telling the truth. Most of the scientific ‘establishment’ comes very badly out of this. Can we trust them ? Question.

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
2 years ago

“…then passaging that modified virus through ferrets or “humanised mice” with the aim of creating a vaccine or a model for pandemic research?”
This will be the new “official truth”. Just as the anthrax produced by the bio-warfare lab at Fort Detrick Maryland was only done to develop an antidote.
We need to know: What percentage of the project was funded by the NIH? and was the NIH fronting for some other body wishing to remain anonymous?

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago
Reply to  robert scheetz

Good questions, to which we will never know the true answer.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

We might, if the media can dig up the fossilised remains of investigative journalism.
How this might be accomplished I do not profess to know, but what we need is for every single politician and every single expert involved in dealing with this pandemic to be turned upside down so that all their pockets are emptied.

The expression ‘follow the money’ has never had more relevance.

Every single expert, and every single politician, who is shown to be guilty of concealing the truth, in any way, should be prosecuted and incarcerated for treason in those countries which have a judicial process that is relatively independent of the state.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago

Another great analysis the focuses on solutions. I think you are too kind though on the collaboration between Big Tech and government. Dr Shiva has proved in federal court there exists a special set of manuals that outline that the actions of Big Tech to censor actually come via government SWAMP creatures. The Times magazine article in January 2021 “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election” outlines clearly the collusion between global companies, government bureaucrats, unions and big tech to manipulate the communications of the public. A true attack on free speech. So in the analysis the first action must to be to remedy the impediment to free and transparent communication. Without this all other efforts are impeded and corrupted.

Bernard Couvreur
Bernard Couvreur
2 years ago

Bret Wenstein’s article made a stimulating and refreshing read !
As a lab virologist myself (now teaching) I have been taught safety measures both for myself and colleagues as weel as for the environnment and the general public. I worked with vaccine (moderate) strains of animal virus of veterinary importance in the context of improving animal vaccination. We were very careful, sometimes over-prudent maybe, to take all possible measure to avoid our little friends evolving into dangerous critters. Another big lesson to be learned is about freedom of information and political sincerity.

Rod
Rod
2 years ago

Horrible to contemplate that the virus was weaponized and then released after an “accidental” leak. Worse is that the US scientific establishment funded it, and then chose to obfuscate, censor, and ban others from discussing it. I expect little from the PRC and the WHO who seem to be eating out of the same bowl, but I did expect more skepticism from the so-called experts, and I am beyond forgiveness for American politicians who used the virus to win an election by inflating Covid deaths, shutting down the economy and spreading pandemic porn. Not sure we will ever know whether it was released on purpose or by accident, but what we should find more horrifying is that America’s institutions are for sale, and the Chinese are buying.

Sanjay Banerjee
Sanjay Banerjee
2 years ago

As I understand, it is a matter of time before the truth comes out in public domain; thanks to the efforts of a few committed amateurs working incognito to mine the web and the efforts of a few scientists who chose to swim against the current.
But after that, what? Will there be any accountability and who will orchestrate it?

John Standing
John Standing
2 years ago

Next up: A cyber-attack (blamed, of course, on China and/or Russia), shutting down the energy and communications sectors, among many critical sectors, and curtailing food supply. Likely timing: within two months of the WEF’s wargame Cyberpolygon, scheduled for July. Winter starvation?
Well, that’s Brandon Smith’s fear:
https://alt-market.us/cyberpolygon-will-the-next-globalist-war-game-lead-to-another-convenient-catastrophe/

Last edited 2 years ago by John Standing
Ian nclfuzzy
Ian nclfuzzy
2 years ago

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

Obviously extremely scary because humans, it seems are directly responsible. This could so easily have been caused by malign forces rather than accident. The nightmare science fiction scenario. As always, human beings are the most dangerous, potentially destructive living beings. But also of course, the most creative and restorative.
If there is something in what the more rational sceptics are saying – as in this case: identifying ‘Science’s’ reckless record, demonstrated in the need to ‘stay in the game’ and therefore create even more deadly things than exist already – shouldn’t they have more faith in ‘Science’s’ more purely benign restorative intentions behind developing vaccines? Truism: not all of ‘Science’ is ‘bad’; not to be trusted. And in an emegency desperate situation trust that Big Pharma are a benefit?
No doubt like many others here, I am probably out of my depth.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
2 years ago

This is my 2nd comment. Search for “SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England Technical briefing 14”. Page 46: The Delta B.1.617.2 (VOC-21APR-02 in the sobering graphs) variant had ~2.61 times the number of hospitalisations in England within 14 days of PCR diagnosis than the formerly dominant Alpha B.1.1.7 (VOC-20DEC-01) variant, which out-competed the others in December.  Some of this may be earlier onset and not reflect total long-term average disease severity. For emergency attendance and hospitalisation combined, the factor was ~1.67.
Overall it shows this new variant, which is causing so much death and suffering in Mumbai and Delhi – where there are younger people being infected, with earlier, more gastro-intestinal symptoms – is a higher performance virus than previous variants.  Some of its advantage will be from avoiding, to some extent, immunity which arose from infections or mRNA / adenovirus vector (both program our cells to produce spike proteins) “vaccines” since these responses were developed after contact with different spike protein structures.  Mostly, I think, it is just a more efficient virus. See its green rocket-like line on page 14.
COVID-19 vaccines started off looking like a cat-and-mouse game, with the mice quickly outrunning the cat. It then became whack-a-mole with the sheer number of variants a few with generally higher performance and presumably some capacity to evade current immunity.  We don’t yet know to what degree current vaccines protect against Delta. They surely protect to some non-trivial degree. 
However, even now in the UK, assuming that a significant number of those infected with Delta were previously infected by earlier variants and/or have been vaccinated (it is too early to know this) then the currently high level of immunity to previous variants is not at all effective against Delta, even with vitamin D levels rising. 
Whack-a-mole turns into whack-moles but watch out for MOLE: Alpha in December, now trounced by MOLE with super powers: Delta.  Everyone was lead to believe that THE (singlular) vaccine would securely box in THE (singular) virus and we would all soon be back to Normal. That was never possible. Delta proves that herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2 is completely impossible.
This UK sequencing research is brilliant. If only the MDs and public health authorities had spent the last decade or so supporting robust vitamin D supplementation.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

I haven’t looked at the information you reference, but I guess I will if it signifies any serious change in direction.
As far as I can see now there is no possibility whatsoever of eliminating new variants, and there is no way of knowing whether a new variant will prove more or less dangerous than the last three or four hundred.

What is known, however, is that the health costs of over-extended lockdown are at least as serious as exposure to this virus, and that those costs will increase the longer lockdown extends.

There is serious physiological damage, which will lead to deaths in the UK alone in the range of tens of thousands, and maybe hundreds of thousands long term, if lockdown persists, and there is unquantifiable psychological damage – traumas which develop and from which people may never recover.

If Satan himself were to be put in charge of the covid _ 19 response he would very soon walk away, telling those already in charge that they were doing a fine job and there was nothing he could add.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kremlington Swan
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

So time for a name change NOT D for Delta, but D for DEATH?
Is that the sum of it?
Or is there E for Epsilon, but really E for Extermination just over the horizon?

Keith Mills
Keith Mills
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

“This is my 2nd comment … This is my 3rd comment …This is my 4th comment … This is my 5th comment” (see your above and subsequent comments)
To say this is boring, tedious and arguably pompous.

“However, even now in the UK, assuming that a significant number of those infected with Delta were previously infected by earlier variants and/or have been vaccinated (it is too early to know this) then the currently high level of immunity to previous variants is not at all effective against Delta, even with vitamin D levels rising.”
Your conclusion is necessarily true from your premise. It is thus a meaningless truism. It’s like saying: if a=b, then b=a.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago

The US is almost certainly involved in all this, it’s plain as a pike staff!

. It would also be helpful if we stopped referring to the Wuhan virology institute, and started calling it what it really is: ‘The Wuhan Germ Warfare Establishment’.*

So, as Cicero would have asked “who benefits”? Is this an unholy alliance between China and the US, despite all the all too obvious sabre rattling? And to what end?

(* The UK one is Porton Down.)

Last edited 2 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago

Bret should consider moving away from Portland before “mostly peaceful prostesters” visit his home. Not to mention his ather work, this article alone might be considered anti Peoples Republic of China and pro Trump, because a lab origin for Wuhan virus means the PRC is more responsible for Covid-19 deaths than Trump. Nothing draws “mostly peaceful protesters” more than positions that are anti PRC and pro Trump. Boise, or even Missoula, are safer places to live. The rule of law is over in Portland.

Last edited 2 years ago by Douglas Proudfoot
Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago

Scientiffic method is barely understood by what I call the “yay science!” crowd, which includes most journalists who report on Scientiffic matters. They are the ones who eat up the most beguiling stories because what interests them is the promise of science, not the practice of it.

Abhay Abhyankar
Abhay Abhyankar
2 years ago

This NEWSWEEK article describes a brilliant piece of detective work joining the dots that now points in only one direction (with many interesting hyperlinks): https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-how-amateur-sleuths-broke-wuhan-lab-story-embarrassed-media-1596958?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

That’s all very well. But Newsweek and the MSM should have been on to this over a year ago. They are despicable frauds who acknowledge and disseminate the truth only when it suits them to do so.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s a pretty good article. Interestingly, the article makes a specific claim that Newsweek did not automatically rubbish the lab-made theory while other media organisations did.
I have no idea whether that’s true or not.

Liz Adams
Liz Adams
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Interestingly in the very beginning of the pandemic Newsweek published an article pointing to the Wuhan lab as a possible culprit and explained that Fauci had directed funding there through the NIH. Then I think they went silent on the issue. But it was out there in a mainstream publication right at the beginning.

tyche g
tyche g
2 years ago

A lot of arm-chair virology wisdom in the discussion here.
Maybe a more general question, not requiring so much (absent) specialist knowledge: if as Bret says, one should not award funds for research by a competitive process (as any competitive process has as a consequence the drawbacks he mentions), how should one award funds?
And are the real examples of funding being awarded successfully in the manner proposed?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  tyche g

It’s a good question. Bankers who wreck their banks, or directors whose financials turn out to have been wrong, can now have their pay and bonuses from previous years clawed back. Could scientists who publish unrepeatable or unverifiable science likewise have their funding from previous years taken back? I.e. their institutions would be liable to return the money, and if the institution didn’t have enough, they’d be personally liable, as bankers are?
The problem is that you’d still need an objective test of quality they had to pass. At the moment it’s so-called peer review, which is in fact done by your pals not your peers, and in the case of climate science is just a check that you have given the orthodox answer. So this process is broken, but whatever scientism replaced it with be broken as well. If the litmus test were the repeatability of your results, corrupt scientists would just matily claim to have repeated each other’s result. The locus of the corruption would change but not the fact.

simon taylor
simon taylor
2 years ago

Great piece, and I am fully signed up to the lab leak theory- but I struggle with the concept that the USA would fund this, it would be like funding the Iranian nuclear program.

Abhay Abhyankar
Abhay Abhyankar
2 years ago
Reply to  simon taylor

It was not the USA Govt. that funded this directly: National Institue of Health (U.S. finding body like a UK research council) to Fauci -to -Peter Dascak who had research collaborations with the WIV. A major wheeler-dealer in this murky episode is Peter Daszak – who has a PhD from the University of Westminster in the UK.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago

IOW, the US Government spends so much money, it has no idea what it’s paying for, including possible biological weapons research in Wuhan, China. Also, Dr. Fauci lied under oath about gain of function research.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago

University of Westminster is a titular oxymoron. It is mainly renowned for producing corrupt and fantastical ‘journalists’.

Hammer Klavier
Hammer Klavier
2 years ago

A superb essay. Thank you.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago

What has happened to J Bryant’s excellent comment of this morning?
It had received more that 30 upvotes but has vanished into the ether. Anyone know why?

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago

“So if deadly zoonotic pandemics are accidents just waiting for contact between infected wildlife and people to happen, why are they so rare? “
Almost every infection plaguing mankind was initially a zoonotic spillover event – anthrax, bovine tuberculosis, malaria, influenza A, giardiasis, lyme disease, ringworm, strep sepsis, zoonotic diphtheria, ebola, yellow fever, HIV the list goes on and on. Rare ? I don’t think so.
“If we are mostly safe from devastating zoonotic spillover pandemics, why were we told otherwise?”
Who told us ? I must have been out that day shopping or something.
If SARS (2003 CFR aprox 10%  horseshoe bats via Asian palm civets) and MERS (2013 CFR aprox 34% dromedary camel reservoir) hadn’t been spotted early and stamped on the results would have been much, much worse than that which we have experienced with Sars Cov 2
“experimenting in a reckless manner was a risk they were willing to take.” 
The writer seems to know absolutely nothing of how this research is carried out in the US at least – nothing about the degree of oversight while this research was going on nor the checks that are in place to stop such work in its tracks. I recommend that he educates himself by listening to Ralph Baric on This Week in Virology # 364. However, certainly plenty of anecdotes (not evidence) that working practices in the Wuhan lab were intermittently questionable.
“If you want the biggest bang for the pandemic prevention buck, ending these markets would be far more effective than creating superbugs in the lab — and far less dangerous.”
Absolutely agree but how one would effect such a change in China I have no idea given that this sort of animal trade / consumption is so deeply ingrained in the culture
There is a well known and well documented extensive, established food chain originating in domestic wildlife animal farms in Southern China (including Yunnan where these coronaviruses of interest were first spotted).
These are mixed domestic / wild animal farms breeding civets, bamboo rats, coypu, water rats, ferret badgers and racoon dogs (to mention a few). These are the same animals that were infected during the SARS outbreak notably ferret badgers, civets and raccoon dogs.
These farms generally have dense populations of animals and are not biosecure. Swaps occur between farms. The animals are sold alive because they are deemed fresher that way. Animals that are left unsold at the end of the day go straight to restaurants at night so plenty of local butchery going on. (See BBC Radio 4 Inside Science 11.02.2021)
If anybody thinks someting like this is not going to happen again then they really haven’t been paying attention. SARS 2003, MERS 2013, Sars Cov 2 2020, Son of Sars before 2030 would be my bet even with the increased genomic surveillance that all good scientists are clamoring for right now.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
2 years ago

The other reasons to welcome the uncovering of the obvious is that we can now pursue two more facts far more important than merely the origin point’s location. We can 1) come to recognize it was a bio-weapon of low lethality, perhaps available for over a decade – the exact sort of thing unscrupulous people would historically be delighted to release to accomplish a merely political goal, and 2) search for the money trail that probably exists between whoever made the decision and whoever released the virus, if in fact (as history suggests is far more probable) it was an intentional release, not an “accident.”
Why do I say it was probably an intentional release? Because most students of history recognize there is little or no evidence in 5,000 years of such a thing as a “political coincidence.” There are in fact a few such instances for which no smoking gun was ever found, but their very rarity suggests it was more likely that it WAS a case of simply never finding it – not that it didn’t exist.
Following that trail of thinking (mere probabilities, lest the culprits try to sue me for slander), there are two most likely candidates. First is the Chinese, but given how much value their politicos place on saving face it seems unlikely – this was a big bloody nose for the ChiComs. The other most likely organization is the DNC (or their affiliates, or possibly simply an over-zealous supporter – but the latter would not only require a screw loose, but also access to the knowledge the virus existed and the capability to reach a lab worker to bribe them). Coincidentally, over the summer and fall of 2019, hundreds of prominent Democrats were on public record literally praying for “something like an epidemic” to appear and stop Trump’s amazing economy.
I do not believe in coincidences.

Jorge Toer
Jorge Toer
2 years ago

A foolish racists &intolerants &brainwashed charge Israel in the beginning,,a conspiracy to finish with Arabs,,Turkish demonic president,Iran,,others,voice that.
What’s their said about China dictatorship, the some cowards, I can’t hear anything.

7qfk7vqqkq
7qfk7vqqkq
2 years ago

Bret, always astute with his analysis of the situation. Incentives for the scientific community need a “retooling”, to use the word in a different space.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
2 years ago

If SARS2 was lab made, which I personally find persuasive, in what sense is it a failure of “our” institutions? The Wuhan Virology Institute is a Chinese institution, under the control of the CCP, which rejects any culpability. It won’t even cooperate in corroborating or disproving the theory. If the Institute in question were Porton Down, the author would be on stronger ground. But it wasn’t. Unfortunately, the world’s population will continue to be taken for a ride by individuals and bodies entirely beyond their control.

Cynthia Neville
Cynthia Neville
2 years ago

Interesting. As to ‘how to prevent this again’, i direct readers – once again – to the couple – avowed CCP members! – who worked at Canada’s virology centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Keep using public money to fund research in a home lab by enemies of democracy (just how many CCP members are welcomed, and funded, at labs all over the world?). There’s your solution. Yours, at least, since we here in Canada are still suffering the fallout (pardon the pun) of a Sinophile Trudeau family.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
2 years ago

We sure are suffering the fallout from the Trudeau family.

Jorge Toer
Jorge Toer
2 years ago

In fact in our planet born children that becoming Hitler’s, or becoming Einstein’s ones who are nobles humans & others a monsters,the more notorious sintoms in our day’s are cowardy,,to faund the truth will be difficult,China becoming a dangerous entity, most of the elites richer have rural houses or big boats to be far away from cities.
So the affected are not priority for eny.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Thank you, Bret, for your analytical report.