Lab leak update

This is a useful article in Al Jazeera giving an update on the non investigations into the origins of Sars-Cov-2.

It continues to amaze me just how little interest Western political and media circles have shown in getting to the bottom of the question of where this virus, which upended the world (in fact much of the upending was due to misplaced government responses, but that is a different matter) came from. In the US the Democrats have blocked all Congressional enquiries. Extraordinary. As the MIT scientist interviewed by Al Jazeera says – there is unmistakably a cover-up.

Al Jazeera – doing balanced journalism – reports that there has been a slew of recent studies which claim to locate the origins in the Wet Market. (The Wuhan Wet Market seems to fall in and out of favour as the putative origin). What strikes me about this is that it is a fact (as reported e.g. by Colin Butler a Professor at Australian National University in Canberra and UN Contributor) that China has not supplied researchers with all the required data. Indeed, as the article reports, China has removed useful information about the genetic sequences of early cases from the Internet – and the actual Wuhan lab database was hidden back in September 2019. So – these researchers who are loudly proclaiming “Wuhan market” (and therefore it seems “not lab”) are doing so despite a deliberately controlled and restricted evidence base. This is hardly objective science. Indeed it is extraordinary. But the media is often (not in this case) using these studies to once again dismiss the lab-leak theory.

Continue reading “Lab leak update”

Outbreak?

This is Dr Fauci suggesting that vaccine mandates be called vaccine “requirements” – an even more chilling lexis. Since it paves the way for the state to issue any “requirements” it wants. That is; a “mandate” is something which is “mandatory” – you have to do it because the law says you have to even if you don’t especially want to. That at least is clear. Whereas “requirements” is much more sly – it hides the fact that the government is ordering you to do it. As Foucault pointed out power likes to disguise itself.

I really posted a link to this clip however because of Fauci’s interesting use of the word “outbreak” to describe the pandemic. Linguistically “outbreak” means “break out” – the same semantic groove. Now where exactly did it break out from Dr Fauci?

Also notice how Fauci really believes that everyone needs to be vaccinated. Since the vaccines start wearing off after about three months [1] especially in terms of controlling transmission [2] and since you need (it seems) at least three shots to be even reasonably protected against the current and latest variant then what is he actually proposing is a world in which everyone is vaccinated every three months. Theoretically that is possible but it seems unlikely (barring a large socialist initiative by wealthy nations to organise this in the developing world).

The much more realistic scenario is that the people who should take vaccines are those who are at risk. That is people over 70 and those with existing health conditions. For the others, for whom Covid is not more dangerous than flu in terms of mortality, [3] natural immunity may be a more rational choice. Fauci is not the only Public Health official who is still operating to an unrealistic schema of total vaccination.

Update: after writing the above I came across this in the Independent:

Robert Dingwall, professor of social sciences at Nottingham Trent University, said, however, said that regular boosters may not be the best route forward. “I have heard respected immunologists say privately that it may be better in the long-term to be exposed to infection as an infant and develop a lasting immune response, which is topped up by periodic mild reinfections,” he explained.

Yes. I think, realistically, this is the way forward. What I find interesting about this is that the “respected immunologists” can only allow their view to be known anonymously via a friend. (Maybe they didn’t even intend that much). Why are they afraid of expressing a professional opinion which is counter to the current line from the Health Bureaucracy? Presumably they are afraid of being shot down – (by the media as much as by the Health Bureaucracy) – and the negative affect on their careers. This is certainly a sign that “free speech” does not exist in the UK.

One caveat. Unfortunately, it seems that natural immunity may be strain-specific at least for Omicron; preliminary data suggests that Omicron is highly infectious for those who have already been infected with other versions. Three or four doses of an RNA vaccine may be better. But I don’t think that fundamentally alters the logic here. Unless we accept a regime of a vaccine every three months (and for the vulnerable that may well be the best idea) we are, basically, going to have to get used to this.

Notes

  1. https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/how-long-will-coronavirus-vaccine-last
  2. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/10/13/do-coronavirus-vaccines-prevent-transmission-of-the-virus
  3. https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3883/rr

The false basis for dismissing the lab-leak theory

I don’t know if the original source of this ploy is Dr Fauci himself but I’ve certainly seen this line as one of the primary ‘arguments’ against lab leak. It goes like this – previous pandemics, such as Sars-Cov-1, have come from nature and zoonotic spill over so it is likely that this one does too. This is a video of Dr Fauci explaining this in May 2021:

As Senator Marco Rubio points out in the video the intermediary animal for Sars-Cov-1 was found in 4 months. (I’ve seen the 4 months figure for Sars-Cov-1 quoted by some researchers e.g. here. I’ve also calculated a longer timeline of 11 months – see my post here and note 1, still less than the current 22 months and counting for Sars-Cov-2). As the Senator says despite China’s huge interest in finding the intermediary animal now – about 22 months after the start of the pandemic it has not yet been found.

The idea that previous pandemics have come from natural spill over so this one must too really seems to be one of the main ‘arguments’ for the natural emergence theory. But it is not scientific. 1) It simply ignores the coincidence of the epicentre of the pandemic being within a few Km of a lab conducting risky experiments with precisely this type of virus 2) if natural emergence happens then so do lab leaks; if a lab leak has not yet led to a pandemic that isn’t proof that it won’t. This line breaks the basic rules of probability. If you toss a coin ten times and you get heads 10 times what are the odds you will get tails on the eleventh toss? Still 50-50. The fact that previous pandemics have emerged from natural spill over does not mean that this is what happened in this case. Nor does the fact that previous lab leaks have not led to pandemics mean that this is not what happened in this case. – Further; this view does not take account of the specifics of what was happening in Wuhan; sustained handling of bats, playing with viruses which had already infected humans, (the one from the mine), and mutating viruses in the lab specifically to see how infectious they could be to humans. Ironically – one of the other arguments which is deployed against the lab-leak theory goes like this: “ok; the genetic structure of Sars-Cov-2 is a little unusual for nature but hey we are talking about natural selection and there is a first for everything.” (See this argument reported by Wade here: in the section ‘Comparing the rival scenarios of SARS2 origin’). On the one hand the argument is “unusual events tend not to occur” and then on the other hand “unusual events even very rare ones can and do occur”.

Fauci has two threats. 1) A serious Congress or Senate (I don’t know exactly which it would be) investigation taking all the evidence including subpoenaing key players from Eco Health Alliance concluding that the lab leak was almost certain and 2) some unexpected leak from China confirming the lab leak. The latter is unlikely. One imagines that if it was a lab leak all the forensic evidence has long since been cleaned up and a defector would only have their word and could be dismissed as unreliable. It is interesting that the Democratic party is blocking all enquiries. (Who wouldn’t want to find the origins of a world-wide pandemic?) But that might not last for ever.