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Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
10 months ago

The “virology movement” finally got its provoked pandemic outbreak after more than 20 years of trying to get attention for its cause, like so many other lobbying movements. Now that it has happened, and it looks like it came about through “gain of function” laboratory experiments, the credibility of virological research is at stake. To make matters worse, scientists should not be making policy decisions or telling people how to live their lives, much less giving advice on closing down economies. They lack the ability to differentiate and consider the collateral damage involved, and they are not held accountable for their actions. This was a very poor decision making process by a political establishment that failed to do its job of scrutinizing experts in the field or seeking a second opinions on the measures to be imposed. Honest science has been undermined, and good, solid debate has been suppressed by factions of specialists who have become dogmatic, and by the media who have played along from the very beginning. When will people wake up? Probably never.

Last edited 10 months ago by Raymond Inauen
R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

I’m honestly baffled as to how anyone would be stupid enough to believe that a virus coincidentally appeared in a market instead of the virology facility a handful of miles away.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

It certainly doesn’t accord with the principle of Occam’s razor.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

I know. It’s such desperately obvious deflection, and it’s persistently done by bad actors in the science sector (reminds me of diehard Remainers still fighting for us to rejoin).
I saw these articles with some surprise and read the reasoning, and it didn’t sound convincing to me – they seemed to leap from initial points to their conclusion with no connecting logic.
I’d like to see these bad science actors revealed and put in metaphorical stocks for the charlatans they are.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Stewart
Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
10 months ago

Has the NYT rushed into print to report research by K. Balamurali et al (‘MSH3 Homology and Potential Recombination Link to SARS-CoV-2 Furin Cleavage Site’) suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 virus contains ‘proprietary (i.e. patented) sequences’?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Tell us more!

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
10 months ago

Hi Lesley, apologies for this late response. Computer problems. Perhaps the quickest reply is to point you to Jessica Rose’s Substack post entitled: ‘It does incorporate into human DNA. And it’s probably messing up embryogenesis’ (link below – if permitted), in which she discusses the Balamurali paper, which found 100% correlations between SARS-CoV-2 sequences and earlier patents held by Moderna et al, and a second paper by Alden et al which speaks to how mRNA reverse transcribes into the DNA of liver cells within six hours of insertion/injection.

Link >> https://jessicar.substack.com/p/it-does-incorporate-into-human-dna?r=520ll&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&s=r 

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Thanks will have a look!

Peter LR
Peter LR
10 months ago

Thanks, we need more frank journalism like this. For a brilliant explanation of the lab leak , this interview with Matt Ridley, co-author with Alison Chan, is perfect:
https://www.spiked-online.com/podcast-episode/the-case-for-the-lab-leak-theory/
The kind of ‘science propaganda’ which this article highlights emanating from what were once respected media sources is proving very corrosive to public trust. I no longer respect BBC journalism, for instance, even though I am a subscriber (alright, I admit it’s a state-enforced subscription)!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter LR

“Science….can be co-opted by politics and even used as an instrument of state propaganda”
I think we have seen little last for the last 2 years.
I asked my cat (she’s not the brightest) where did the virus come from. Her response “the Wuhan lab, stupid”. now that is definitive.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago

“Science reporters, unlike political reporters, have little innate skepticism of their sources’ motives,”
This is true, sad and also rather ironic, when one considers the role of skepticism in the scientific method itself. I say ‘method’ rather than institutional science as it is practised today.

Christopher Elletson
Christopher Elletson
10 months ago

And what about the continuing scandal around the rubbishing of ivermectin both as a prophylactic and treatment against the virus? Outrageous that we were and are denied access to this drug: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfyOihhAD4A

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago

‘Outrageous’ is one way of putting it. ‘Criminal’ is another.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Suppressing information about, and outright forbidding distribution of, promising early treatments is something like a war crime, or genocide. There is no term I can think of that expresses the enormity of this obscenity. Millions of people are dead and millions more permanently injured; the world has been BROKEN by the response to this pandemic. What if early treatment had been vigorously pursued?

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
10 months ago

New reports that it was given to the Queen when she got COVID. Can’t validate it though.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
10 months ago

Given the size of the scientific enterprise at the disposal of the CCP, if the CCP wanted to determine the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus AND that information was not too embarrassing to the CCP we would have it now in the West. The fact that no good animal vector evidence exists implies that all the CCP actions to block Western scientists had an intention to hide some embarrassing fact. Barring leaked, credible, secret Chinese research docs we likely will never know the virus source with any certainty so we will need to apply Occam’s Razor – another dangerous virus release from a poorly run Chinese facility.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago

Exactly. But it’s amazing how highly credentialed trained scientists refuse to apply Occam’s Razor to what is really a very simple set of circumstances.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Your point shows that scientific research in biology has become very corrupted, though we already knew that in the climate change science sector.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago

I would phrase the issues as follows. Namely that the “ScienceTM”, the media and the government agencies (including people such as Collins and Fauci who should have a good deal more common sense) have failed the simplest test of good detective work. In other words, if you find somebody’s wife murdered at home (or even not at home), the most likely and first suspect is the husband or another family member. The same goes for the origins of SARS-CoV2. When a pandemic/epidemic originates in the very close vicinity of a lab working on Corona viruses and has a collection of thousands of infected bats, the likelihood that the outbreak originated in the lab by a lab leak is very high indeed. The same would be true if the first cases of some other viral infection just happened to occur in Frederick Maryland – then the most likely suspect would be USAMRIID at Fort Detrick. As for gain of function research, we know that the Wuhan lab was conducting such research. Whether NIH funded this research directly or indirectly is immaterial. NIH should have known better given that all funding moneys to a lab are co-mingled. In other words, it wouldn’t have mattered what research NIH was funding, and it may have been completely innocuous, the fact that the lab itself was conducting gain-of-function research, that they were passaging coronaviruses through humanized mice, and on top of that there was a Chinese military component associated with the Wuhan lab, it follows that the most likely and simplest explanation is a lab leak. And it’s not like lab leaks don’t occur, especially when most of the lab was operating under P2 conditions when these should have been P4 ones.

D Oliver
D Oliver
10 months ago

Too many science journalists see their role as being to report for science, not about science. In other words, it is a tribal matter for them. Unfortunately the truth is only a secondary consideration in these circumstances.

Tommy Abdy
Tommy Abdy
10 months ago

Obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that it was a laboratory accident. The research originated in America but was so controversial because it involved ethnic minorities, that it could not continue there. It was handed over to the research laboratory in Wuhan where it could secretly continue. That laboratory was funded by the French and originally operated by the Americans. Because of this it had a grounding in safety procedures which were thought to still be in place. One might note that the Principle was replaced some months before this virus became known. One wonders whether there was any connection. Probably there was and the accident actually happened a while before it became known outside the laboratory. Obviously this was such a large, widespread and damaging problem to so many individuals and organisations that it had to be kept quiet. There would have been some very widespread ramifications if the history of the research and reasons for its continuation were to become common knowledge. We live in a complicated world and we are where we are. Periodically there will be odd emergencies such as the pandemic and now we have Putin who is terminally ill and stuffed full of steroids surrounded by pathetic sycophants. He looks ill and I’m sure any doctor would agree his face has the hallmarks of steroid effects.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
10 months ago

It is increasingly difficult to perceive the New York Times as a credible journal. It fits stories to its predefined narrative.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
10 months ago

Very good article, which does weaken the credibility of those new preprints.

There is one point still to consider: The Chinese article reports that two different COVID strains were found at the market. The other preprints make the point that this would require two overspill events, which makes it less likely that the cause was a laboratory leak. It also makes it less likely that the source was far away, since that would require two transport events to get it to the market.

We clearly do not know what happened, and it would indeed take a thorough investigation to try to find out. Regrettably all the crucial information is under the control of the Chinese authorities, and they have even more to lose and less credibility than the international virology community. In fact, one could wonder if a Chinese article would deliberately downplay the likelihood of transmission within the market, because they want to keep open the possibility of the disease emerging far away from China, e.g. in Laos or in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

But do we trust a Chinese article in the first place.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
10 months ago

Not necessarily, that is the problem. But we cannot have it both ways. The preprints used the Chinese data to conclude the evidence pointed to the market, but are being blamed for going against the conclusions of the original ChInese authors. If we chose to rely on the Chinese conclusions, we can hardly at the same time refuse to believe their data.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

With China though (as opposed to countries with democracies and relative freedom of press – Canada obviously excluded), it is reasonable and logical to believe things critical of the government stance, as opposed to those views parroting the government stance.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
10 months ago

Just because the government is totally untrustworthy it is not necessarily wrong *every* time – just like just because you are paranoid it does not mean some of your enemies are not real. My guess is that they would have slapped the lid on, pulled the databases off line, etc. just beause they would not risk anything that might possibly make them look bad – without even knowing or caring if there was anything there to find. There might be a lot of damning evidence for a lab leak, or proof of spreading through the wet market, or nothing at all, but since they would likely hide it anyway there is no way of knowing.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Your point is well made. I would like to know from where it came, because it is important for prevention of new/similar outbreaks. I’m not interested in any sort of “blame-game” though, and this is where the problem arises, for as long as the Chinese government resists any true investigation suspicions will always remain, especially among those who are interested in playing the “blame-game”.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

The ‘blame game’ to you, is ‘the truth’ for many others. Unless you know the truth, you cannot mitigate against this happening again. Logic 101.

Fred D. Fulton
Fred D. Fulton
10 months ago

You think that the Chinese would be more truthful if somehow “blame” was not on the table?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Fred D. Fulton

I actually don’t know, but it might be worth a try.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The fact is that just as in a murder investigation where the chief suspect is the spouse, the same is true here. The chief suspect is the Wuhan lab until proven otherwise. That is by far the simplest explanation given that they were working on corona viruses, had a collection of 1000s of infected bats, were passaging those viruses using humanized mice, and were conducting gain-of-function research. As for the NIH involvement, it makes no difference whether the NIH grant was for gain-of-function research or not, because all incoming funding is co-mingled, and hence can and will be used for all projects within the lab. In addition, we also know that there was a military component present in the Wuhan lab. So, from my perspective, anybody who comes up with some alternative, far-fangled, complicated explanation involving natural transmission in the wild or in the Wuhan wet market displays a complete and total lack of common sense and street smarts. Indeed, it defies belief how apparently credentialed people can fall for some rubbish, unless those people are involved in some sort of cover-up of their prior activities.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

Whether the virus escaped from a lab, or from a wet market, China is equally to blame. Actually, I can see a case for why the latter is worse: wet markets, with live and wild animals, are highly hazardous, and highly unnecessary – and an easily remedied situation.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

This is simply a question. i realize it’s been asserted that wet markets are highly hazardous. Do we really know this and is there any actual real evidence that they are indeed hazardous. That they are inhumane towards the animals is not in question.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I am not an expert, but I suppose that intermingling peoples and animals, hitherto separated, is how communicable diseases get transferred. Whether it’s the conquistadors in Americas, zoos, or markets.

D Ward
D Ward
10 months ago

Well, this explains the BBC podcast earlier this week which confidently asserted that it was now definitely proven that it was the wet market wot done it.

I was confused at the time, having not much more recently listened to another excellent podcast with Matt Ridley.

Needless to say, the BBC programme did not mention the preprint.

Keith Dudleston
Keith Dudleston
9 months ago

While it is very likely true that lockdown was not the best policy response to the first wave, it was an understandable reaction to the presence of a new virus that many feared was an artificial pathogen that would kill a significant proportion of our population.
The scandal here is the suppression and vilification of actors that raised contradictory opinions: the authors of The Great Barrington Declaration; the proponents of lab leak theory; the voices saying that vaccines would not suppress virus spread, that lockdown was not associated with a reduced overall death rate, that the virus would naturally become more infectious but less deadly, that school closure would cause more harm than good and that rudimentary cloth and paper masks were unlikely to reduce viral spread.
The censorship (or resulting self-censorship) caused by the actions of OFCOM, newspaper regulators, and social media owners is very concerning.
So many YouTubers announced they were limiting their comments as they feared cancellation or were leaving the platform because of this issue. So many of these opinions have turned out to be broadly correct -although some remain controversial. Ivor Cummings and Professor Sunetra Gupta are good examples of such suppressed voices. Their views can still be found on uncensored platforms.

Last edited 9 months ago by Keith Dudleston
Tom Heisenberg
Tom Heisenberg
10 months ago

Important piece, although I take issue with one point at the outset:

“But this virus has now killed over 6,000,000 people across the planet”.

No, 6m have died with Covid, not of Covid. Those who have died with it have an average of four co-morbidities.

That’s why it’s reasonable to state the most damaging effects of the pandemic has not been the virus but the policy response to it: lockdowns and mass vaccinations, which will have huge long term impacts.

And that’s why the fact that it originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology – and that there is an attempt to deny this – is so important.

Something is not right. At all.

Anyone interested the lab leak evidence, I recommended Joe Rogan episode #1640 with Josh Rogin.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
10 months ago

You guys are misusing poor Occam. His razor means that if you have two equally good, comprehensive explanations, you should prefer the simplest. It does not mean you should jump to conclusions on the basis of a single striking coincidence when you do not know what happened. It is certainly important evidence that the outbreak happened to be in Wuhan. It is also important evidence that other outbreaks – recently – have been through direct animal-human transfer, that the first cluster was around the market, etc. My personal guess is about 5:1 against the lab hypothesis. Your mileage may vary, but you can hardly get out of the fact that we do not know and there are at least two plausible alternatives.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yeah, a lab in a secretive autocratic country with no freedom of press, studying coronaviruses with some dodgy funding, gain of function research and questionable safety protocols – next to a wet market. It must be the wet market.

Last edited 10 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Rick Fraser
Rick Fraser
10 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Given the documented history of leaks from labs and bio weapons facilities, it seemed unreasonable to dismiss, as was done, a possible leak from the very start. And given instances of cover ups that were later exposed, it also seems unreasonable now.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
10 months ago
Reply to  Rick Fraser

The original dismissal was indeed unreasonable. It did not help the cause that it was championed by known conspiracy theorists, or that people (probably deliberately) were blurring the distinction between a lab accident, a bioweapon development accident, and a bioweapon release. But still. My current estaimate is about 5:1 against the lab leak, and it has been higher. That is not dismissing it.