Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Covid-19: "The Lab-Leak Hypothesis"

A bit late for mainstream media to be getting onto this.

From New York Magazine's Intelligencer:

For decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if …?

What happened was fairly simple, I’ve come to believe. It was an accident. A virus spent some time in a laboratory, and eventually it got out. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, began its existence inside a bat, then it learned how to infect people in a claustrophobic mine shaft, and then it was made more infectious in one or more laboratories, perhaps as part of a scientist’s well-intentioned but risky effort to create a broad-spectrum vaccine. SARS-2 was not designed as a biological weapon. But it was, I think, designed. Many thoughtful people dismiss this notion, and they may be right. They sincerely believe that the coronavirus arose naturally, “zoonotically,” from animals, without having been previously studied, or hybridized, or sluiced through cell cultures, or otherwise worked on by trained professionals. They hold that a bat, carrying a coronavirus, infected some other creature, perhaps a pangolin, and that the pangolin may have already been sick with a different coronavirus disease, and out of the conjunction and commingling of those two diseases within the pangolin, a new disease, highly infectious to humans, evolved. Or they hypothesize that two coronaviruses recombined in a bat, and this new virus spread to other bats, and then the bats infected a person directly — in a rural setting, perhaps — and that this person caused a simmering undetected outbreak of respiratory disease, which over a period of months or years evolved to become virulent and highly transmissible but was not noticed until it appeared in Wuhan.

From early 2020, the world was brooding over the origins of COVID-19. People were reading research papers, talking about what kinds of live animals were or were not sold at the Wuhan seafood market — wondering where the new virus had come from.

The new disease, as soon as it appeared, was intercepted — stolen and politicized by people with ulterior motives. The basic and extremely interesting scientific question of what happened was sucked up into an ideological sharknado.

How Did It Get Out? 1. The Tongguan Mine Shaft in Mojiang, Yunnan, where, in 2013, fragments of RaTG13, the closest known relative of SARSCoV-2, were recovered and transported to the Wuhan Institute of Virology; 2. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Shi Zhengli’s team brought the RaTG13 sample, sequenced its genome, then took it out of the freezer several times in recent years; 3. The Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which first reported signs of the novel coronavirus in hospital patients; 4. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, an early suspected origin of the pandemic, where the first major outbreak occurred. Illustration: 

Even so, in January and February of 2020, there were thoughtful people who were speaking up, formulating their perplexities.

In the spring, I did some reading on coronavirus history. Beginning in the 1970s, dogs, cows, and pigs were diagnosed with coronavirus infections; dog shows were canceled in 1978 after 25 collies died in Louisville, Kentucky. New varieties of coronaviruses didn’t start killing humans, though, until 2003 — that’s when restaurant chefs, food handlers, and people who lived near a live-animal market got sick in Guangzhou, in southern China, where the shredded meat of a short-legged raccoonlike creature, the palm civet, was served in a regional dish called “dragon-tiger-phoenix soup.” The new disease, SARS, spread alarmingly in hospitals, and it reached 30 countries and territories. More than 800 people died; the civet-borne virus was eventually traced to horseshoe bats.

Now let’s take a step back. AIDS, fatal and terrifying and politically charged, brought on a new era in government-guided vaccine research, under the guidance of Anthony Fauci. A virologist at Rockefeller University, Stephen S. Morse, began giving talks on “emerging viruses” — other plagues that might be in the process of coming out of nature’s woodwork. In 1992, Richard Preston wrote a horrific account of one emergent virus, Ebola, in The New Yorker, which became a best-selling book in 1994; Laurie Garrett’s The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance appeared that same year and was also a best seller. The idea seemed to be everywhere: We were on the verge of a wave of zoonotic, emergent plagues....


Back in 2011 - 2012 we saw something similar with:

"Dutch Scientists Have Genetically Altered the H5N1 Bird Flu Virus to Make it More Contagious" (could kill half humanity)   

Psychotic Dutch Scientists: "Killer flu doctors: US censorship is a danger to science"