Lab leak – background reading

3 articles / interviews by credible mainstream scientists with relevant professional expertise and long track-records:

Nicholas Wade (former editor of Nature): https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

Dr. Richard H. Ebright, PhD, molecular biologist at Rutgers University: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/an-interview-with-richard-ebright-anthony-fauci-francis-collins-systematically-thwarted/

Dr. Steven Carl Quay, MD, PhD – pharmaceutical entrepreneur: https://drquay.com/el-imparcial-interview/

All sorts of uncontested facts. Just one: the Chinese have sampled tens of thousands of animals to find Sars-Cov-2 and have drawn a blank. But with Sars-Cov-1 the zoonotic transmission animal was found within 4 months. [1] And then there were multiple confirmations. Nothing proves the lab leak – but the weight of evidence points very heavily in that direction.

Notes

  1. Wade gives 4 months. But the source may be contested. Let’s take a more conservative estimate: WHO was reporting the link to civets in January 2004. And Sars-Cov-1 started in February 2003 – so on this timeline about 11 months. So far for Sars-Cov-2 at least 15 months and no animal source identified. At least we can say that the longer this goes on with no intermediary species found the more unlikely is the zoonotic theory.

Lab leak – evidence of the cover-up mounts

We may never have evidence of the lab leak (assuming it happened, which is seeming increasingly likely). As the ex-head of MI6 recently commented China will have long since destroyed all the records and evidence at the lab.

However – we are receiving proofs by a roundabout way. The evidence of an organised cover-up is increasing. It is established that China has not been forthcoming with data and records from the Wuhan lab. One year + into a global epidemic and in the context of a WHO investigation. Come on! Plus the other material about false trails – the virus was transmitted into China on chilled food, the fictitious link to Pangolins which has failed to stand up.

This serious article by ex Nature editor Nicholas Wade asked the question about how much the US Chief Doctor Anthony Fauci knew about possible gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab. He has denied that there were any – in work funded at the lab by the US NIH – but does this denial depend on semantics? Either way the NIH was funding the work of Shi Zheng-li (Dr. Bat) and if this irresponsibly conducted work (much of it was conducted in labs at a low level of security) did indeed lead to the pandemic then one can see why Dr Fauci might be part of the cover-up. Nicholas Wade characterises it amusingly:

One can imagine the behind-the-scenes conversation in which the Chinese government says, “If this research was so dangerous, why did you fund it, and on our territory too?” To which the US side might reply, “Looks like it was you who let it escape. But do we really need to have this discussion in public?”

It now turns out that in a private email Dr Fauci was keener on the lab leak theory than he has been in public. “not convinced”. A second email released under US FOI has been fully redacted according to the BBC. [1] What part of the truth concerning a global pandemic which has killed millions do the US authorities not want us to see? It is hardly a military secret. – It looks like Nicholas Wade’s amusing imaginative sketch is rather close to reality.

Today Dr Fauci is reported as saying: “I don’t remember what’s in that redacted [email], but the idea I think is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.”

But. Hold on. This is not what people are saying. People are suggesting that the virus (already ready-to-go and attach with optimal efficiency to human respiratory tracts from the moment it started circulating in Wuhan) was released accidentally as part of research that Shi Zheng-li was doing into how to make coronaviruses more infectious. He must know she was doing precisely this work because it was funded by the NIH. [3] So – his denial is strange. Is he denying this charge about a deliberate bioweapon (which is a conspiracy theory) to avoid responding to the very much not a conspiracy theory – accidental leak from dangerous research funded by his organisation? Is it like his denial about “no gain of function experiments at Wuhan” – it is a game with words?

We may indeed never find the hard evidence that that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab but the evidence of a cover-up – not just from the Chinese authorities – but also from the US Health establishment – is growing fast. And why cover up something which didn’t happen?

Notes

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57336280
  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/dr-fauci-emails-white-house-b1859288.html
  3. https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

Lab leak theory is being suppressed for a solid reason

This is probably the reason why the (highly likely) scenario that Sars-Cov-2 was the result of a gain-of-function experiment which leaked from the lab in Wuhan is being suppressed by a concentred effort of the Western media and political classes. If established as true there will be difficult to manage public demand for sanctions and reparations which could lead to a collapse of the global economy.

At the same time – there is enough of a tendency left in the West (in the US) to base policy on something resembling the truth and it may yet be that the US administration is willing to face the (highly likely) reality that Sars-Cov-2 leaked from the lab and China has been engaged in a monstrous cover-up.

Of course the last year has seen massive control of populations by the State in the ‘free’ West – people have been deliberately frightened into ‘giving up their freedoms’ and then accepting that freedom is a gift of the state; rather than the idea that the function of the State is to guarantee freedom, which resides in free relations between people. People in this cowed stated may be willing not to demand reparations and may well be willing to accept a very muted response. It is not inconceivable that this is a planned strategy. At any rate having a submissive and cowed population is the dream of any state apparatus which works for a small private interest group but which requires mass acquiescence in its plans – as is the case with the states of the West. Once they have such submissive acquiescence they can do whatever they want. E.g. tell the people that the lab leak theory is a crazy conspiracy theory or tell them it is true but for various reasons we should not be too hard on China.

I think that the lab leak theory is highly likely – it looks to me about 95% for the lab leak theory and 5% for the evolved naturally via an intermediary animal theory at the moment. On the question of how likely – the more evidence emerges of concerted efforts by China not only to block and impede an investigation but also to spread ‘fake news’ in relation to the matter the more the likelihood of the lab leak gains ground: they stymied the WHO investigation [1], blocked journalistic investigations [2], released an obviously hoax theory about cold-food as a transmission vector [3], faked science about Pangolins as the source [4], and apparently prevented scientists speaking out [5]. All of which is difficult to connect with the idea that the virus emerged naturally.

Update

This seems to be a very serious piece discussing the two competing theories. The author is a respected Science Writer. Particularly interesting is the section exposing as bad science the view that the genetic evidence is that Sars-Cov-2 cannot have been produced artificially. This view which has been much parroted by the media appears to simply not take account of the full range of techniques available to produce artificial viruses. Note that this specific point has been made previously by virologists (and reported on this website) – however it has been reported as an outlying view. It seems it is in fact mainstream. The article also points out that British scientist Peter Daszak who is linked to the Wuhan lab though a funding body has been a key player in spreading the notion that the pandemic cannot be traced to the lab.

The whole of the above linked article by science writer Nicholas Wade makes compelling reading. There are multiple threads in it each one of which alone would point more towards the lab leak theory than the natural evolution in the wild theory. Just as a highlight I rather like this:

“Steven Quay, a physician-researcher, has applied statistical and bioinformatic tools to ingenious explorations of the virus’s origin, showing for instance how the hospitals receiving the early patients are clustered along the Wuhan №2 subway line which connects the Institute of Virology at one end with the international airport at the other, the perfect conveyor belt for distributing the virus from lab to globe.”

He also points out that the Coronavirus research at the Wuhan lab was being funded by the US NIH. (It doesn’t seem to be clear if they knowingly funded gain-of-function experiments). This is also quite fun:

One can imagine the behind-the-scenes conversation in which the Chinese government says, “If this research was so dangerous, why did you fund it, and on our territory too?” To which the US side might reply, “Looks like it was you who let it escape. But do we really need to have this discussion in public?”

In short; if the US was funding work which led to the pandemic (and they were certainly funding research into Coronaviruses and how they could infect humans) this would appear to be a very solid reason as to why they might be keeping quiet.

I’m also relinking to this: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/18/1021030/coronavirus-leak-wuhan-lab-scientists-conspiracy/ which is another more balanced piece (from March 21).

See also: https://thenewobserver.co.uk/tag/lab-leak/

Notes

  1. https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-who-rebukes-china-for-blocking-investigator-entry/a-56131087 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-56054468
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-55404485
  3. https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-pushes-alternative-theories-about-origin-of-covid-19-11607445463
  4. https://www.cnet.com/features/the-complex-messy-hunt-for-covid-19s-origin-and-the-lab-leak-theory/
  5. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/covid-19-coronavirus-wuhan-virus-lab-scientist-thought-to-be-patient-zero-still-missing/VA4TIO726U7P36ZQG2WLHDDTNA/

Lab leak

This website has consistently argued that the idea that Sars-Cov-2 leaked from the lab in Wuhan is a serious theory. This web site has queried why a reasonable theory has been dismissed by the mainstream media as “a conspiracy theory”. This “conspiracy theory” line is strange. A “conspiracy theory” is something which has no evidence to support it and is inherently unlikely – such as the Pentagon organised 9/11. But there is nothing inherently unlikely about the lab leak theory for the origin of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. The Chinese Communist Party is a secretive and untrustworthy organisation so official denials carry no weight. There is a lab in Wuhan where gain of function experiments have previously been carried out on Coronaviruses. The lab is just a few kilometres from where the outbreak is said to have started – in a food market; an amazing coincidence considering the natural location for these viruses is in bat populations some hundreds of kilometres further south. The evidence to support the alternative theory – transmission via an intermediary animal and then an infection source at the food market has looked less likely over time because no evidence has emerged to support it. China has not provided the WHO team (which they stalled for months and then loaded with favourable scientists) with all the data such an investigation normally gets. [1] Journalists investigating the outbreak in China have been blocked by state security. [2]

All the above makes it very strange that until the last few days the mainstream liberal media has consistently called the lab theory a “conspiracy theory”. The only credible basis on which to discount the lab leak theory is that the majority of virologists who have studied the genetic composition of the Sars-Cov-2 virus have said that it looks natural and not man-made. But even so there have, for some time, been several exceptions – perfectly credible mainstream scientists who have said “it could have been engineered”. Some of these are mentioned in the DM article linked below. [3]

The DM article [3] anticipates a paper by two scientists who have studied the virus and who claim that based on its structure it is unlikely to have occurred naturally. These scientists previously published a paper in which they discussed the virus and asserted that it looked man-made. In that paper the question of the origins of the virus was not the main theme of the paper and at the time they promised to produce a paper which would focus on this question. The new paper is, according to the DM, due to be published in The Quarterly Review of Biophysics Discovery shortly.

It is extremely interesting to observe how the liberal press has flip-flopped on this. Until recently the lab leak theory was dismissed as a “conspiracy theory”. (E.g. this piece in the Guardian by a scientist who is financially linked to the Wuhan lab by being a member of something called the Eco Alliance which funded work at the Wuhan lab – described as ‘partnering’ in the article. Or this piece aiming to discredit an Australian journalist who has been researching and arguing for the lab leak theory). In the last few days with no new information the media narrative has flipped. Suddenly it is ok to consider the lab leak theory. All this is a nice illustration of how what passes for news and objective reporting in the liberal press is really just ideologically-driven narratives. When Trump was promoting the lab leak theory it was ‘fake news’. It appears to have become respectable because it is now being investigated and considered seriously by the Democrat Biden.

This web site has previously questioned why the liberal press is has been so keen to supress the perfectly credible lab leak theory. Apart from a kind of reflex desire to oppose anything which Trump backed there are probably other drivers. One is probably an affinity amongst Western liberals for China. They might not like to admit it but they are probably attracted to the Chinese model of efficiency and political repression. As to why there has been a ‘consensus’ amongst scientists in the West to dismiss the lab leak theory the authors of the new paper reported in the DM [3] have a suggestion; in defending their Chinese colleagues these people are defending their own discipline (no doubt with many lucrative business links). They are worried that if the lab leak is established their own research projects into viruses may come under scrutiny. – And, perhaps, it is in part just an instinctive reaction to back colleagues no matter what.

At any event it looks like the new paper by Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen will make interesting reading.

Notes

  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-china-idUSKBN2AD090
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-55404485
  3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9629563/Chinese-scientists-created-COVID-19-lab-tried-cover-tracks-new-study-claims.html