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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:06 PM   #2761
Skeptic Ginger
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From the link I posted:
Quote:
The emails, uncovered in a Freedom of Information Request by the US-based White Coat Waste Project, suggest that viral DNA from “bats and other high-risk species” were sent to Wuhan between June 2017 to May 2019.
Kind of hard to say you are going to do something 2 years after you propose to do it.

We need to see the actual emails.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 22nd November 2021 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:18 PM   #2762
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Get over it. It's not a CT, I'm not developing a conspiracy.

It has nothing to do with some secret discovery. Good grief!

Daszak and crew are searching out SARS like coronaviruses. It is their stated mission, published, in print! The emails are evidence that search included specific bat species in Laos caves which he then shipped to the WIV: also in print in the emails! Documented, you know that little thing that supports evidence based conclusions.

But now Echohealth Alliance is claiming the email only said they were going to collect those samples and that they never did so.

This story needs to ripen a bit. I'm waiting to see the actual emails.

Your claim is that they had found BANAL-52, but the researchers who found it are not affiliated with EcoHealth as far as I know.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:47 PM   #2763
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Excuse me while I think out loud.

I remember that EcoHealth Alliance doesn't do the work directly.

From 2018 this was an overview of the broader plan: Bat Research Networks and Viral Surveillance: Gaps and Opportunities in Western Asia
Quote:
To fulfil this regional gap, EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), a global non-profit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and public health, formed the Western Asia Bat Research Network (WAB-Net, “wah-bee-net”) in collaboration with key regional stakeholders in Western Asia in 2018.
Quote:
WAB-Net aims to: conduct on-the-ground research to bring together regional experts from a variety of disciplines (e.g., bat ecologists, conservationists, virologists, public health officials); strengthen scientific capacity via research exchanges, data sharing platforms, in-region laboratory testing, and annual workshops; and promote the development and leadership of local scientists and officials.
So maybe for 2+ years the WAB-Net didn't get around to looking for CoVs in bats in Laos caves even though looking specifically for bat CoVs is mentioned multiple times in the document.

The WIV isn't mentioned in the document but references to utilizing experts including those in other countries is mentioned numerous times in the plan.

Daszak is on the Scientific Advisory Board that was/is to oversee the WAB-Net.
Quote:
Additionally, WAB-Net has formed an initial Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to help guide and oversee the network, comprised of a group of global experts with backgrounds in bat ecology and conservation, virology and laboratory diagnostics, and wildlife disease ecology. The SAB was formed to review proposed scientific activities, provide expertise during annual data sharing and capacity building workshops, monitor the network’s growth and communication, and help liaise with regional and global stakeholders.
Kind of hard to believe the emails weren't talking about work already done, though that is possible. Whether the work was done might depend on the dates on the emails and the wording.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 06:51 AM   #2764
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With highlighting as in the original:
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Again, where is the source and why has it not been found in 2 years? Yes there is a lot of territory to search. But it would not have been the immaculate infection. There should be some semblance of an outbreak on the way to Wuhan. That is epidemiology 101.
Upon wondering whether that highlighted claim would be made by anyone who had actually passed Epidemiology 101, I looked up the curriculum recommended for that course by the Faculty Development Program of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Epidemiology 101 is
Quote:
An introductory course illustrating the scientific method and designed to fulfill a science requirement, including the option for an "epidemiology laboratory," integrating such skills as quantitative thinking, inquiry and analysis, and teamwork.
According to APTR and AAC&U, the course is designed to have no prerequisites at all. One of the most popular textbooks for that course is said to be "Perfect for those with no prior familiarity with health-related fields or statistics".

So yes, it is plausible that someone who has passed that course would make the claim highlighted by Skeptic Ginger. I'm not sure we should give much weight to that, because it is also plausible that such people had "no prior familiarity with health-related fields or statistics."
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Old 23rd November 2021, 07:20 AM   #2765
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Excuse me while I think out loud.

I remember that EcoHealth Alliance doesn't do the work directly.

From 2018 this was an overview of the broader plan: Bat Research Networks and Viral Surveillance: Gaps and Opportunities in Western Asia



So maybe for 2+ years the WAB-Net didn't get around to looking for CoVs in bats in Laos caves even though looking specifically for bat CoVs is mentioned multiple times in the document.

The WIV isn't mentioned in the document but references to utilizing experts including those in other countries is mentioned numerous times in the plan.

Daszak is on the Scientific Advisory Board that was/is to oversee the WAB-Net.


Kind of hard to believe the emails weren't talking about work already done, though that is possible. Whether the work was done might depend on the dates on the emails and the wording.
How about this a Toursist came from Laos to Wuhan urinated and the Urine was washed into an underground cave, where bats live since the limestone Wuhan is built on, allows this to happen.
Then a Bat is infected that has another Covid Virus infecting it, the Laos Virus Mutates into Covid 19, and then the bat goes out to feed over a wet Market.
It Urinates on Patient Number one and starts a world wide pandemic?
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Old 23rd November 2021, 12:11 PM   #2766
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Again, where is the source and why has it not been found in 2 years? Yes there is a lot of territory to search. But it would not have been the immaculate infection. There should be some semblance of an outbreak on the way to Wuhan. That is epidemiology 101..
Questions ignorant of "epidemiology 101" or the contents of this thread. No one expects to find the source of a spillover event 100% of the time or within just 2 years. It took 15 years to find the source of SARS as pointed out several times in this thread. If we never find the animal reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, that is not evidence against zoonotic origin or for a lab leak.

The most likely pathway is from bats to an intermediate host to humans and then popping up in Wuhan. That means we need to sample all the mammals around the bat caves including humans and then analyze these samples. Probably ditto for Wuhan. There no reports of thousands of people collecting hundreds of thousands of samples.

Last edited by Reality Check; 23rd November 2021 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 12:27 PM   #2767
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
But now Echohealth Alliance is claiming the email only said they were going to collect those samples and that they never did so.

This story needs to ripen a bit. I'm waiting to see the actual emails.
It is a pity she did not wait for the actual emails before spreading the tabloid rumor that Laotian bat samples were sent to Wuhan.
The EcoHealth Alliance would know exactly what was in the emails because they wrote them!
https://twitter.com/EcoHealthNYC
"The emails between EcoHealth Alliance and the NIH cited by Matt Ridley do not show, as he claims, that we were sampling bats in Laos and sending the results to Wuhan."
"It is true that EcoHealth Alliance requested permission from the NIH to conduct work in Southeast Asian countries, including Laos, and that the NIH did grant permission to do such work."
"However, we considered it a higher priority to continue our focus on China, and no work was ever conducted in Laos as a part of this collaborative research project."

This emphasizes a danger of relying on tabloids. More reputable or competent news sources would do fact checking rather than blindly reporting what Mat Ridley said. They would read the emails. They would contact the EcoHealth Alliance and the NIH. They would ask contacts in Laos whether the EcoHealth Alliance was active there.
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Old 1st December 2021, 03:14 AM   #2768
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For me, the new variant blows apart claims that viruses like SARS-CoV2 need a long time to mutate such impressive transmissability.

Link

In my opinion, it is nice to see Andersen back on Twitter.
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Old 1st December 2021, 01:19 PM   #2769
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NIH Director Francis Collins has made a statement

https://twitter.com/i/events/1465787805309685763

No, COVID has nothing to do with the coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 05:53 PM   #2770
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Origins of Covid

I looked and hadn’t seen this one here. An Arizona researcher thinks that he found “not patient zero” at the wet market.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news...ey/8721978002/


Quote:
The female seafood vendor identified in the paper, Wei Guixian, became ill on Dec. 10 and was likely infected via respiratory transmission from an animal host, Worobey said. His original article said Dec. 11.

"The seafood vendor got sick on Dec 10 not 11," Worobey wrote in an email this week. "This will be corrected in the print version of the paper. I only pinned this down after the early release version was posted."


He noted that his research does not confirm that Guixian was ‘patient zero’ of the pandemic — that is, the very first case of COVID-19 ever in a human — but rather that she is the first known case researchers can identify, he said.

Since only about 7% of those infected with the novel coronavirus end up in the hospital as the vendor did, it’s unlikely she was the very first case, he said, although she may have been among the very first.

Last edited by carlitos; 2nd December 2021 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 11th January 2022, 08:14 PM   #2771
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Time for a bump.

Scientists believed Covid leaked from Wuhan lab - but feared debate could hurt ‘international harmony’
Quote:
Leading British and US scientists thought it was likely that Covid accidentally leaked from a laboratory but were concerned that further debate would harm science in China, emails show.

An email from Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, on February 2 2020 said that “a likely explanation” was that Covid had rapidly evolved from a Sars-like virus inside human tissue in a low-security lab.

The email, to Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins of the US National Institutes of Health, went on to say that such evolution may have “accidentally created a virus primed for rapid transmission between humans”.

But a leading scientist told Sir Jeremy that “further debate would do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular”. Dr Collins, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, warned it could damage “international harmony”. ...
Collins has always maintained the lab leak was most likely. Fauci has denied it but one cannot help but consider his conflict of interest given the emails that surfaced, along with the EcoHealth Alliance grant proposal both implicating the NIH of indeed funding the GoF research at the WIV.

I don't think more discussion of the semantics what is and is not GoF is of any use at the moment. Neither is Rand Paul's focus on calling Fauci a criminal for lying to Congress. All of that is a distraction from the origin issue.


Quote:
Later emails showed that by February 4, Sir Jeremy had revised his estimate of a laboratory leak to 50:50, while Professor Eddie Holmes, of the University of Sydney, gave a 60:40 estimate in favour of an accidental release.

The emails also show that Bob Garry, of the University of Texas, was unconvinced that Covid-19 emerged naturally.
I'm skeptical the 'science' is why Garry changed his tune but it's again a distraction from the origin question.


I have some more stuff from Chan, the other co-author of Viral: the search for the origin of Covid after her testimony to the UK Parliament Science Committee. A citation on Chan was posted upthread.
Quote:
Viscount Ridley, co-author of Viral: the search for the origin of Covid, said: “These emails show a lamentable lack of openness and transparency among Western scientists who appear to have been more interested in shutting down a hypothesis they thought was very plausible, for political reasons.”
I was working on more evidence surrounding the furin cleavage site. I recall from early in this thread that Capsid very cynically said something like, "Not the furin cleavage [thing] again." So I wanted to pursue this more and haven't yet.
Quote:
In the emails, Sir Jeremy said that other scientists also believed the virus could not have evolved naturally. One such scientist was Professor Mike Farzan, of Scripps Research, the expert who discovered how the original Sars virus binds to human cells.

Scientists were particularly concerned by a part of Covid-19 called the furin cleavage site, a section of the spike protein which helps it enter cells and makes it so infectious to humans.

Wuhan Lab Leak "More Likely" Origin Of COVID-19, Says Researcher
Quote:
London: A Canadian molecular biologist on Wednesday told cross-party members of Parliament (MPs) on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan region of China is now the “more likely” origin of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Dr Alina Chan, specialising in gene therapy and cell engineering and co-author of ‘Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19', told the Parliament panel's evidence session on scientific research that the pandemic was being caused by the unique feature of the coronavirus called “furin cleavage site”, which has been linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Asked by the panel about the probability of a lab leak as the origin of the pandemic, Chan said a “lab origin is more likely than natural origin at this point”.
I don't think I addressed Worobey sufficiently yet. His 'analysis' remains in the 'nice hypothesis but not anything to hang one's hat on' category. He has yet to account for a number of things like actual evidence the pandemic began in the Seafood wet market. If it was an animal host and spillover event, where is the animal trail? Even if the animal evidence at the market was destroyed there should still be a trail somewhere.

Claiming patient zero was infected by an animal spillover event when there is no evidence anywhere of that is simply making up facts to fill in the blanks sections (missing evidence) of his hypothesis.

From Chan's testimony:
Quote:
“We all agree that there was a critical event at the Huanan Seafood Market, that was a superspreader event caused by humans. There is no evidence pointing to a natural animal origin of the virus at that market,” she noted.
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Old 11th January 2022, 09:02 PM   #2772
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Respectfully, you came back and posted an article from the Telegraph and some news channel from India? Isn’t the science subforum normally more sciencey in terms of source material?
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Old 11th January 2022, 09:15 PM   #2773
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Respectfully, you came back and posted an article from the Telegraph and some news channel from India? Isn’t the science subforum normally more sciencey in terms of source material?
Who gives a ******* rip what source I cited? Are you claiming the emails are fakes? Do you have an issue with the information in the emails or in the articles?

If all you have is to rip on the cited sources and nothing addressing the actual content, then you got nothing.


BTW, Chan's testimony in the Parliament was Dec 16, 2021. The last post here before mine was yours on Dec 2, 2021 so news on the Parliament testimony couldn't possibly be old in regards to the thread.

And while the emails were from circa Feb 2020, the new information came to light only this month:
Quote:
The new details came to light after members of the US Republican House Oversight Committee were granted access to the documents, after complaining that their content had been heavily redacted when released under Freedom of Information requests.

The emails were sent in response to a teleconference between 12 scientists including Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific adviser, on February 1.
Looks to me like you didn't even look at the sources I cited before you hand-waved them away. Pretty consistent will the bulk of rebuttals in this thread, dissing the sources while not addressing the content, and not presenting any evidence supporting the spillover origin other than the claim it is somehow more likely historically. And that argument turns a blind eye to all the lab accidents documented in the thread.

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Old 12th January 2022, 01:14 AM   #2774
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The fact is that all of this stuff IS old news. DRASTIC had these emails unearthed months and months ago. I think I mentioned about Jeremy Farrar and his emails, and the fact that many scientists including Kristian Andersen, Patrick Vallance, Andrew Rambaut, Robert Garry, and Eddie Holmes initially believed that the virus was from a lab. The fact that they then changed their mind could be seen as science in action or of course it could be seen as a conspiracy between the US, UK and China’s entire scientific community.

“ Collins has always maintained the lab leak was most likely”.

I’m pretty sure that is NOT true but would be interested in seeing your evidence for it.

Apparently Ridley and Chan’s book largely makes a case based on the idea that there is something very fishy about RaTG13, and then the whole thing was blown out of the water with the Laotian viruses.

Also, Richard Dawkins recently got excited about Ridley and Chan’s book suggesting to me that he might be losing it a bit. Most virologists think Ridley’s book is a joke.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 12th January 2022, 02:00 AM   #2775
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Skeptic Ginger claims "Collins has always maintained the lab leak was most likely".


This clip from Lex Fridman interviewing Francis Collins absolutely refutes that claim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRZE-SJShkE&t=78s
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:43 AM   #2776
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Skeptic Ginger claims "Collins has always maintained the lab leak was most likely".


This clip from Lex Fridman interviewing Francis Collins absolutely refutes that claim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRZE-SJShkE&t=78s
That's from Nov. There's more political pressure than ever on all these guys to quit saying it was a lab leak. He does not deny it here; he only opines that the evidence for a natural event hasn't been found.

Collins: "I can't exclude [the lab origin]. It seems unlikely. I wish we had more ability to ask more questions of the Chinese government and learn more about what kind of records might have been in the lab that we've never been able to see."

"We might know if we ever find that intermediate host...."

He goes on to claim it was 14 years with SARS to find out it was the civet cat. That's false. Even the bat origin before the intermediate species was found by 2007, 5 years from the epidemic.

He admits "With MERS it was quicker ..."

CBC News
Quote:
November 23, 2006
Chinese scientists say they can prove that the virus that causes SARS jumped from civet cats to humans, but the World Health Organization is not convinced.

An official from the Guangzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said genetic testing has shown that the virus that killed more than 800 people, including 44 in Canada, came from civets.

"Our research has shown that the SARS coronavirus found in human victims is the same as the SARS coronavirus found in civet cats," said Wang Ming, China Daily reported.
2007 Bats, Civets and the Emergence of SARS
Quote:
Early epidemiologic investigations suggested an animal origin for SARS-CoV. Virological and serological studies indicated that masked palm civets ( Paguma larvata ), together with two other wildlife animals, sampled from a live animal market were infected with SARS-CoV or a closely related virus. Recently, horseshoe bats in the genus Rhinolophus have been identified as natural reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Here, we review studies by different groups demonstrating that SARS-CoV succeeded in spillover from a wildlife reservoir (probably bats) to human population via an intermediate host(s) and that rapid virus evolution played a key role in the adaptation of SARS-CoVs in at least two nonreservoir species within a short period.
Re the emails, they were released and posted in the thread. They were redacted and what is new is the redactions were removed.

Re Chan's book, what is new is her testimony before Parliament.

Do you have anything new to report re the spillover? Anything more about how the origin coincidentally occurred in Wuhan yet no animal source has been identified anywhere including in the bat caves in Laos and in the mine or caves in Yunnan?

There is no trail. There was a trail found in SARS 1 within a couple of months after the first cases. There was a period of time when the SARS 1 circulated in the humans and became better adapted before the virus spread out of Guangdong. All evidence points to the fact SARS 2 emerged ready to go in humans. And we see how variants are popping up right and left, yet no variants have been found that precede the Wuhan outbreak.

If there was any evidence of a spillover there is no reason in hell China would be sitting on that evidence.

In case you needed reminding.
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Old 12th January 2022, 01:31 PM   #2777
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Time for a bump. ...
Time for some nonsense from a newspaper and an Indian TV web site.
An article from The Telegraph on an email exchange almost 2 years ago . A “likely explanation” was an origin in what looks like a SARS-like virus infected worker in a low security lab. Includes a close to conspiracy theory opinion that the lab leak explanation was shut down for political reasons.
Here in 2022 the most likely explanation is spillover.

The New Delhi TV web site mirrors the opinions of Dr Alina Chan and Lord Matt Ridley (from a syndicated feed) stated in testimony to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
This is Alina Chan.
She misleads the committee that the furin cleavage site is unique: Furin cleavage sites naturally occur in coronaviruses (Jan 2021).
She misleads the committee that this site "has been linked to Wuhan Institute of Virology".
She is ignorant about the burden of proof. When she makes a claim, it is up to her to support it with evidence, not the WIV to debunk the claim.
Matt Ridley misleads the committee. It took 14 years to find the original bat colony that was the origin of SARS. After 2 months we found the market that was the main source of the SARS outbreak which is the current case with SARS-2.

Last edited by Reality Check; 12th January 2022 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 12th January 2022, 02:58 PM   #2778
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Seems like yesterdays "bump" has added little of substance to the discussion, and added nothing that moves the actual origin of Covid 19 closer to a conclusion.
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Old 12th January 2022, 03:36 PM   #2779
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Seems like yesterdays "bump" has added little of substance to the discussion, and added nothing that moves the actual origin of Covid 19 closer to a conclusion.
And from my POV the evidence for the lab origin has accumulated and accumulated while not much has happened on the natural spillover origin except more and more political pressure to pretend the lab wasn't the source.

The last 'new' thing posted was the Worobey paper that was full of holes.
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Old 12th January 2022, 03:55 PM   #2780
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And from my POV the evidence for the lab origin has accumulated and accumulated while not much has happened on the natural spillover origin except more and more political pressure to pretend the lab wasn't the source.

The last 'new' thing posted was the Worobey paper that was full of holes.
No need to "pretend" a lab is not the source when there is no compelling evidence that a lab is, in fact, the source. Actually, in spite of all the discussion in thread, there is no compelling evidence presented for any particular source.
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Old 12th January 2022, 04:14 PM   #2781
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And from my POV the evidence for the lab origin has accumulated and accumulated while not much has happened on the natural spillover origin except more and more political pressure to pretend the lab wasn't the source.

The last 'new' thing posted was the Worobey paper that was full of holes.
Huh!?

Who is applying political pressure to "pretend the lab wasn't the source"?

I disagree with what you say. In fact, what I would say is that there have been numerous claims for the lab leak, many of which are mutually contradictory (it could be the result of gain of function, or it could be from poor safety methods in collecting wild viruses, but it cannot be BOTH), and many of which seem to have run into dead-ends. In particular, the RaTG13 theory that apparently forms the basis of Ridley and Chan's book, Viral, seems dead and buried to me because... a) no serious virologist believes that RaTG13 was the progenitor virus (although some lab leakers seem to hint at it while never fully committing), and b) we now know that there are viruses in Laos that are closer to SARS-CoV2 and which even have the receptor binding domain.
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Old 13th January 2022, 07:35 AM   #2782
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
In particular, the RaTG13 theory that apparently forms the basis of Ridley and Chan's book, Viral, seems dead and buried to me because... a) no serious virologist believes that RaTG13 was the progenitor virus (although some lab leakers seem to hint at it while never fully committing), and b) we now know that there are viruses in Laos that are closer to SARS-CoV2 and which even have the receptor binding domain.
The timing of that book was unfortunate. It was published 16 November 2021. Worobey's paper "Dissecting the early COVID-19 cases in Wuhan" was published in the 18 November 2021 issue of Science. The viruses in Laos had been discovered in September, which was apparently too late for the authors to revise their claim “That the closest relative of SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, came to Wuhan via scientists shifts the burden of proof.” If we accept their belief that "the closest relative of SARS-CoV-2" determines the burden of proof, then the Laotian viruses shift that burden back onto the authors, whose book is unable to support that weight.

Some of the book's arguments for a lab leak amount to criticism of sources that have argued against a lab leak. Much of that criticism simply observes that some sources have enough at stake for us to discount the idea that their opinions are dispassionate. We've seen a bit of that criticism in this thread as well:
Quote:
...more and more political pressure to pretend the lab wasn't the source.
Quote:
There's more political pressure than ever on all these guys to quit saying it was a lab leak.
Quote:
Collins has always maintained the lab leak was most likely. Fauci has denied it but one cannot help but consider his conflict of interest given the emails that surfaced, along with the EcoHealth Alliance grant proposal both implicating the NIH of indeed funding the GoF research at the WIV.
Quote:
From there Daszak, and I assume Shi as well, were interested in finding (or creating) a coronavirus they could then use to make a generalized vaccine to be ready for the next SARS CoV spillover event. It's all in the Ecohealth Alliance and Daszak's paperwork. Topped off with Daszak's podcast interview at the Nipah Virus convention just before the pandemic emerged where he said outright that was his goal and that coronaviruses were easy to manipulate in the lab....

Here's an off the cuff speculative hypothesis explaining the Chinese genome data purge in Sept 2019: Shi with or without Daszak were disturbed to discover they had created a dangerous SARS CoV while the work was being done in a level 2 biosecurity lab. They were not trying to do this and did not expect it to happen.

Whoops! Quick, destroy the virus (or maybe freeze and save it; you never know if you'll need it) and cover up the genetic segment data that was open access online to many other researchers. It could have been as benign a motive as to not want other researchers to copy the data.
Confirmation bias and related biases are not unheard of, so it is worth noting when someone may not be an entirely disinterested observer.

It is therefore worth noting that Matt Ridley, the science writer who co-authored Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19, has a history of discounting natural origins:
Originally Posted by Matt Ridley
The "natural transfer" theory simply does not deserve the confidence placed in it by most scientists. The burden of proof has been shifted.
Ridley wrote that in 2000, offering support for Edward Hooper's argument that HIV originated in a lab. In November 2021, Ridley said exactly the same thing about SARC-CoV-2.

Inasmuch as some have decried the possible influence of politics, politicians, and financial interests on discussions of this thread's topic, it should also be noted that Matt Ridley is a member of the House of Lords, has a financial interest in coal mining, and touts the benefits of anthropogenic global warming.

Alina Chan, Ridley's co-author, was a postdoc at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts when she became interested in the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 had entered the world at large through a lab leak.
Originally Posted by MIT Technology Review
A friend told Chan the paper should “put to bed” all conspiracy theories. But when she read it, she could already see a problem. In debunking the possibility that the virus was the product of extensive genetic engineering, they’d ruled out other, simpler scenarios. For instance, a normal virus collected from bats in the wild, if brought to Wuhan, could have somehow slipped out.
(I myself consider that possibility to be more likely than a lab leak, even as my uneducated opinion continues to regard a lab leak origin as possible but less likely.)

Originally Posted by MIT Technology Review
“I think my goal has been achieved,” says Chan. “I just wanted people to investigate, take it seriously. My job is done, and I want to go back to a normal life.”

....She told me that after the book is published, she plans to change her name and try to quietly continue her scientific career.
I wish her luck.

Last edited by W.D.Clinger; 13th January 2022 at 07:36 AM. Reason: minor corrections to accidental premature submission
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Old 13th January 2022, 01:13 PM   #2783
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
T...
Alina Chan, Ridley's co-author, was a postdoc at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts when she became interested in the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 had entered the world at large through a lab leak.
The reporter made some interesting points about Chan in that June 25, 2021 article.
Quote:
The obvious problem with the lab-leak theory, though, is that there remains no concrete evidence for it. Chan has no particular view about how exactly an accident might have happened—whether a student got sick in a bat cave, say, or secret research to infect mice with a novel virus went awry. After reading Chan’s posts, I noticed that many of her claims don’t even relate to direct evidence at all; more often, they revolve around its absence. She tends to point out things that Chinese researchers didn’t do or say, important facts they did not quickly reveal, the infected market animal they never found, or a database that’s no longer online. She’s plainly suggesting there is a cover-up—and, therefore, a plot to conceal the truth.
Chan is arguing for a conspiracy with no evidence to base this on.

Chan had a "pre-adaption" theory where a lab leak had the virus "growing in a lab somewhere, perhaps multiplying in human cells or in transgenic mice that had had human genes spliced into them". However, probably the first person to suspect a lab leak was Shi Zhengli at the WIV and she found that they had no samples with SARS-2. That should have included samples from any transgenic mice.

Chan thinks her preprint was not published "because of censorship due to her raising the lab-origin possibility". This is debunked by the published papers raising the lab-origin possibility!

Some nit-picking about 4 papers describing viruses in the same batch of pangolins. "Maybe, she thought, researchers were now laundering data" because some of them did not make this clear or "relabeled" the data.

The Wuhan Institute failed to note the furin cleavage site in its February 2020 description of the virus and "Chan sees the omission by the world’s top bat virus experts as damning" as if the site was being hidden. But two "other prominent papers that were among the first to describe the virus also failed to mention the furin cleavage site", the genome was public, and other researchers immediately described it.
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Old 13th January 2022, 02:52 PM   #2784
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Huh!?

Who is applying political pressure to "pretend the lab wasn't the source"?

...
It was right there in the headline of the article I cited.

Scientists believed Covid leaked from Wuhan lab - but feared debate could hurt ‘international harmony’

In addition, just looking at the emails released under the FOIA shows these guys privately spoke up about the lab origin but publicly maintained the natural event hypothesis was the only viable option.

Political pressure has been mentioned repeatedly in multiple sources cited in this thread that described scientists reluctant to say anything about the lab origin for fear of being called CTers by other scientists.

Note that Daszak's initial dishonest successful push to deter any investigation into the lab origin occurred before any investigation of a lab accident was done (per the head of the WHO). Scientists addressing the lab origin were accused of sullying the reputations of 'scientist colleagues' (per the Lancet's second op ed after it came to light Daszak had manipulated the signatories on the letter in the first op ed).

After a year more and more scientists started speaking out that the lab origin had not been investigated, let alone ruled out.

The least you could do is stop turning a blind eye to Daszak's manipulation and the reluctance of many to speak up against China's coverup. And yes, a few scientists have been speaking up since the beginning and now after as year more of them openly discuss these two topics: the lab origin and the Chinese coverup.

Any reference to "most scientists believe it was a natural origin" is meaningless given the initial push to lump the lab origin into the "highly unlikely" and CT categories.

And yes, Dump and his merry band of right-wing cult followers muddied the water. You guys more often than not attack the sources of my citations rather than the content because of this muddied waters.

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Old 13th January 2022, 03:32 PM   #2785
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It was right there in the headline of the article I cited.

Scientists believed Covid leaked from Wuhan lab - but feared debate could hurt ‘international harmony’

In addition, just looking at the emails released under the FOIA shows these guys privately spoke up about the lab origin but publicly maintained the natural event hypothesis was the only viable option.

Political pressure has been mentioned repeatedly in multiple sources cited in this thread that described scientists reluctant to say anything about the lab origin for fear of being called CTers by other scientists.

Note that Daszak's initial dishonest successful push to deter any investigation into the lab origin occurred before any investigation of a lab accident was done (per the head of the WHO). Scientists addressing the lab origin were accused of sullying the reputations of 'scientist colleagues' (per the Lancet's second op ed after it came to light Daszak had manipulated the signatories on the letter in the first op ed).

After a year more and more scientists started speaking out that the lab origin had not been investigated, let alone ruled out.

The least you could do is stop turning a blind eye to Daszak's manipulation and the reluctance of many to speak up against China's coverup. And yes, a few scientists have been speaking up since the beginning and now after as year more of them openly discuss these two topics: the lab origin and the Chinese coverup.

Any reference to "most scientists believe it was a natural origin" is meaningless given the initial push to lump the lab origin into the "highly unlikely" and CT categories.

And yes, Dump and his merry band of right-wing cult followers muddied the water. You guys more often than not attack the sources of my citations rather than the content because of this muddied waters.
The emails have been around for a while. I don’t know why you consider them new?

Besides, Jeremy Farrar actually wrote a book about these discussions by scientists about whether or not the virus had leaked from a lab. The book is called Spike. You can look it up!

As usual, right-wing media reheats the same old stuff over and over again and somehow it filters out to other news stories that suddenly there is big news on the covid origins front.

Also, scientists aren’t politicians. The claim that “political pressure” was applied to “pretend” the lab was not the source is incorrect.

1.) scientists aren’t politicians!
2.) politicians have actually been applying pressure to pretend a lab WAS the source (remember Pompeo and Trump? Rand Paul? The House Republicans etc…?)

How it is that you could claim that there is political pressure by scientists to cover up a lab leak is beyond me. It completely inverts reality.

All you keep pointing to is a letter by Peter Daszak in the Lancet! A single letter FFS!

Don’t you understand that the Lancet publishes letters from all kinds of people including from lab leak proponents and from anti-vaxxers.

You have an extremely low opinion of scientists and an extremely weird understanding of the way the world works if you theory is that the world’s scientific community all read a single letter in the Lancet, and were somehow coerced into agreeing with Peter Daszak as a result.

Oh, and besides that, I notice you haven’t even acknowledged my correction of your claim that Francis Collins has always claimed the lab leak is the most likely. Did you not watch the video of him saying he thinks it came from nature?
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Old 13th January 2022, 09:26 PM   #2786
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The reason the emails were in the news was the GOP members of the House Oversight Committee released not yet seen including unredacted versions.

Jan 11, 2022: We've released never before seen emails showing Dr. Fauci may have concealed information about #COVID19 originating from the Wuhan lab & intentionally downplayed the lab leak theory.

Per a reply to the Tweet:
Quote:
Those emails were released by @BuzzFeed on 1 June 2021, and were endlessly scrutinized at that time. And considering the heat @Jim_Jordan is under right now by @January6thCmte, I’ll reserve judgment on the quality of the transcripts your committee is releasing.
No doubt there was political motivation here. I'm not afraid to point that out. 'Gym' Jordan has a lot to cover up. And as I've said numerous times, the alt-right faction of the GOP has tainted lots of the evidence. But one can look at the evidence directly, ignoring the news sources containing the evidence.

Here is the Buzzfeed article from June 1, 2021. It's clearly a data dump with 3,234 pages of emails. Switching to plain text so the emails are searchable, I cannot find that the following emails in Appendix 1 below were included.

If you search those 3,234 pages of emails for the word, origin, you find it 23 times, a couple are not about the virus origin. The rest are much less incriminating than the emails released a couple days ago.

The Congresspersons want a a hearing with Fauci under oath to discuss:
Quote:
Excerpts of emails we are making public today (see enclosed Appendix I) reveal that Dr. Fauci was warned of two things: (1) the potential that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute Virology (WIV) and (2) the possibility that the virus was intentionally genetically manipulated. It is imperative we investigate if this information was conveyed to the rest of the government and whether this information would have changed the U.S. response to the pandemic.

Despite Dr. Fauci claiming otherwise on multiple occasions, he was, in fact, aware of the monetary relationship between NIAID, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), EcoHealth Alliance Inc. (EcoHealth), and the WIV by January 27, 2020.1 Dr. Fauci also knew that NIAID worked with EcoHealth to craft a grant policy to sidestep the gain-of-function moratorium at the time.
2 This new policy, designed by EcoHealth and agreed to by NIAID, allowed EcoHealth to complete dangerous experiments on novel bat coronaviruses—with very little oversight—that would have otherwise been blocked by the moratorium. 3 In January 2020, Dr. Fauci was also aware that EcoHealth was not in compliance with the terms of its grant that funded the WIV.4 ...

... On February 1, 2020, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Collins, and at least eleven other scientists convened a conference call to discuss COVID-19.7 It was on this conference call that Drs. Fauci and Collins were first warned that COVID-19 may have leaked from the WIV and, further, may have been intentionally genetically manipulated ...

On April 16, 2020, more than two months after the original conference call, Dr. Collins emailed Dr. Fauci expressing dismay that the Nature Medicine article—which they saw prior to publication and were given the opportunity to edit—did not squash the lab leak hypothesis and asks if the NIH can do more to “put down” the lab leak hypothesis.10 The next day—after Dr. Collins explicitly asked for more public pressure—Dr. Fauci cited the Nature Medicine paper from the White House podium likely in an effort to further stifle the hypothesis COVID-19
leaked from the WIV. 11
The letter goes on to say the GOP committee members want more emails they believe have not yet been released.

Quote:
Appendix I
These emails were originally produced redacted via the Freedom of Information Act and subsequently to Committee Republicans. At the request of Committee Republicans and pursuant to the Seven Member Rule, the Department of Health and Human Services made unredacted versions available for an in camera review but not available to the public. Committee staff, to the best of their ability, hand transcribed the contents of the emails and excerpts of those
transcriptions are reproduced below. Unless otherwise noted, emphasis is added.
So according to the GOP letter, Appendix 1 shows the original redacted emails followed by the unredacted versions in larger font below each redacted section. I'll copy excerpts from the unredacted emails in a subsequent post knowing how many people here don't read tl:dr posts.

The unredacted sections of the emails not released until a couple of days ago make it clear directly and incontrovertibly that Fauci, Collins, and even Garry believed the evidence favored the lab leak for numerous reasons. A couple of days later they quit speaking about the lab origin and began downplaying it. They just shut up. There is nothing that indicates some scientific revelation as to why they shut up.
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Old 13th January 2022, 09:53 PM   #2787
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Before I get to the unredacted email excerpts, there are a couple more things here I want to address.
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
....

Also, scientists aren’t politicians. The claim that “political pressure” was applied to “pretend” the lab was not the source is incorrect.

1.) scientists aren’t politicians!
"Political" does not only refer to legislators and politicians. Political can also refer to academic politics, professional group politics and so on.

Quote:
2.) politicians have actually been applying pressure to pretend a lab WAS the source (remember Pompeo and Trump? Rand Paul? The House Republicans etc…?)
No one paid much attention to Dump and his cult members' accusations against China. Rand Paul is more interested in some Fauci gotcha. So none of that is relevant to the actual origin debate.


Quote:
All you keep pointing to is a letter by Peter Daszak in the Lancet! A single letter FFS!

Don’t you understand that the Lancet publishes letters from all kinds of people including from lab leak proponents and from anti-vaxxers.
Do I really need to list all the ways Daszak quashed the lab origin investigation again? Even fellow members of the WHO team and the head of the WHO pointed out Daszak's interference in the investigation wasn't objective. And it wasn't just a letter to the Lancet. Daszak hid the fact he had a direct hand drafting the letter from the scientists he asked to cosign it.

Quote:
You have an extremely low opinion of scientists and an extremely weird understanding of the way the world works if you theory is that the world’s scientific community all read a single letter in the Lancet, and were somehow coerced into agreeing with Peter Daszak as a result.
They weren't coerced, they were misled.

This ad hominem attack and your hyperbole is pure bull ****. Yes, many members of the scientific community have said publicly they believe and sources are posted upthread that the lab leak hypothesis was dismissed too early and without an investigation. Many of them have said and sources are posted upthread that they felt is was professional suicide to discuss the lab accident hypothesis until recently.

Quote:
Oh, and besides that, I notice you haven’t even acknowledged my correction of your claim that Francis Collins has always claimed the lab leak is the most likely. Did you not watch the video of him saying he thinks it came from nature?
I did address it. And you've gone on for several paragraphs opining about my use of the term 'political pressure' in my addressing it.

Congressional Record; Tuesday, June 15, 2021:
Quote:
Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. President, last week's conversations about our own government's role in the COVID coverup reflected over a year of refusal on the part of my Democratic colleagues to accept that the novel coronavirus may not have spread via natural transmission from a Chinese wildlife wet market. As the theories of the pandemic's origins evolved, one remained, until very recently, off limits. This is, of course, the lab leak hypothesis, or the theory that the virus somehow escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Now, this theory didn't come out of nowhere. In early January 2020, alarm bells were already ringing at the CDC, the State Department, and in the scientific community over problems with the natural origin theory of transmission....

... Even NIH Director Francis Collins hadn't ruled it out. In a March
2020 interview with the Atlantic, he said that while natural
transmission was the likely culprit, ``the possibility that such a
naturally evolved virus might have also been under study at the Wuhan
Institute of Virology and reached residents of Wuhan--and ultimately
the rest of the world--as the result of a lab accident has never been
adequately excluded.'' ...
Collins still hasn't ruled it out, only downplays it now is all. And it's easy to see the political pressure on him to do so.

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Old 14th January 2022, 04:05 AM   #2788
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I guess there are a couple of ways of looking at this:

In early February, after being alarmed at the RBD and furin cleavage site, and suspecting it looked like it could have been engineered/passaged in a lab and then released into the wild (with their priors perhaps being skewed by the fact that they knew full well about the Wuhan lab), Fararr, Fauci, Garry, Rambaut, Holmes, Andersen and others either:

1.) set about looking at the virus more carefully and, on inspection, decided that their worst fears were not confirmed, and that the virus showed no signs of having been manipulated in the way you might expect it to have been done in the lab, and then reported their findings in a paper in Nature.

2.) Decided that, yes, it had indeed leaked from a lab but decided that the best thing to do was to cover it up by writing up a report and publishing it in Nature.

One scenario takes the assumption that the scientists involved are honest, the other assumes they are all liars and have some vested interest in appeasing China.

I think that (1) is the most likely.
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Old 14th January 2022, 04:24 AM   #2789
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Collins still hasn't ruled it out, only downplays it now is all. And it's easy to see the political pressure on him to do so.
This is completely different from what you claimed...

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Skeptic Ginger claims "Collins has always maintained the lab leak was most likely".
From what I understand he has never claimed, at least not in public, that the lab leak was most likely, nevermind "has always maintained"!

Again, you could argue it either way:

1.) He thinks natural origin is more likely based on scientific reasons.

Or

2.) He secretly thinks lab origins are more likely but has to maintain (contrary to what you said) that the natural origin is likelier - but he's a liar.

Again, I think number 1 is most likely.

As for the idea that he still has it on the table. That is pretty much what most scientists think. It is on the table, but less likely than a natural origin.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 14th January 2022, 05:04 PM   #2790
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Who gives a ******* rip what source I cited? Are you claiming the emails are fakes? Do you have an issue with the information in the emails or in the articles?
Quote mining leaked e-mails is suspect methodology. CF the "climategate" e-mails where out of context quoted were presented as "evidence" for a global conspiracy among climate scientists to "fake" the climate change data.

In your own post you even acknowledge that Bob Garry who the article says was "unconvinced it's spillover" is in fact solidly on the side of it being a spillover. This could be true of others as well, we just don't have as well documented record of what they actually think.
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Old 14th January 2022, 05:18 PM   #2791
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
There is no trail. There was a trail found in SARS 1 within a couple of months after the first cases.
SARS-CoV-2 wasn't even identified until 2 months after the first human cases. The fist clusters of unknown pneumonia didn't showed until 6+ weeks after the first human cases.


Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
There was a period of time when the SARS 1 circulated in the humans and became better adapted before the virus spread out of Guangdong. All evidence points to the fact SARS 2 emerged ready to go in humans.
Delta and Omicron show us what a "ready to go" version of Covid-19 looks like. With what we know now it's clear the early strains in China were nowhere near "ready to go".
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Old 14th January 2022, 05:27 PM   #2792
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
No need to "pretend" a lab is not the source when there is no compelling evidence that a lab is, in fact, the source. Actually, in spite of all the discussion in thread, there is no compelling evidence presented for any particular source.
I disagree

History of zoonotic spillovers in China suggests wildlife markets are a prime risk

Location of the earliest know cases cluster near just such a market

Covid was found in the environmental samples from that market, not only that it was found in the part if the market that housed the wildlife.

All that is really missing is the identity of the intermediate host, something that was a lucky find for SARS-CoV.
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Old 14th January 2022, 05:36 PM   #2793
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I disagree

History of zoonotic spillovers in China suggests wildlife markets are a prime risk

Location of the earliest know cases cluster near just such a market

Covid was found in the environmental samples from that market, not only that it was found in the part if the market that housed the wildlife.

All that is really missing is the identity of the intermediate host, something that was a lucky find for SARS-CoV.
A number of scenarios have been suggested. Suggestions are not compelling.
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Old 14th January 2022, 10:47 PM   #2794
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
A number of scenarios have been suggested. Suggestions are not compelling.
A scenario becomes compelling when it's predictions pan out. The early cases appear exactly where you'd expect them to occur for a spillover at a wildlife market. The market itself shows all the environments samples you would expect if it were the epicenter for the pandemic. I'll also add that the virus itself shows is now known to be characteristic of a family of naturally evolving viruses.

When all the facts start to line up behind what started as the most likely scenario it is very compelling, and a lot of positive evidence is going to be required to argue for anything else. At this point, not only is there no positive evidence for any other scenario, the facts simply don't fit any other scenario. The early cases are in the wrong place for a lab leak, the lab was sampling in the wrong place to have the progenitor virus for Covid 19, There is no record of the lab having a virus sufficiently closely related to SARS-CoV-2, there is no evidence for the virus having been engineered (just the opposite in fact), there is no evidence for any early cases of Covid among lab workers or other close contacts.

In short we have 2 scenarios. One that fits all the data gathered thus far and one that fits none of the data gathered thus far. Why would we ever paint them as equivalent or similar in any way.
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Old 14th January 2022, 11:44 PM   #2795
The Great Zaganza
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I'm thinking about the SARS-COV-19 origins like a flow chart:

what would need to be different at the top for us to do anything different than what we are doing now?
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Old 15th January 2022, 12:36 AM   #2796
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It's politically untenable to come out with any conclusion that lays the blame with China. With Dump gone, Biden could manage that better.

The scientific community needs to address the facts, not the politics.

I don't believe the Chinese government is responsible for the lab accident. They are responsible for withholding data (aka a coverup) which is unfortunate. But as to how the WIV and other labs in Wuhan were run, the US doesn't have the best record of lab safety either. A lab in the US shipped anthrax out that was supposed to be killed, it wasn't. The UK let smallpox and hoof and mouth disease leak out of their labs.

I wish we could separate out the country from the issues in the lab. And I'd love to see Daszak get his share of the blame because I think he was directly involved, though EcoHealth Alliance doesn't do the lab work themselves.
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Old 15th January 2022, 12:41 AM   #2797
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I don't think it's untenable.
It's just pointless.
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Old 15th January 2022, 11:18 AM   #2798
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I don't think it's untenable.
It's just pointless.
Accusing China: absolutely pointless and worse, the consequences are entirely negative.

But where the science is involved, evidence for a lab accident vs a natural event that resulted in a >2 year long pandemic, the deaths of millions, long term medical issues for millions, is of critical importance.

Currently there is concern by some scientists that a finding this pathogen was enhanced in a lab with inadequate biosafety control threatens what they believe is important research. Frank Zappa's 'it can't happen here', comes to mind.

The distraction about what is and isn't GoF is stupid and a 100% politically motivated semantic argument. The discussion should be about how are we protecting against PPPs, potential pandemic pathogens, that are being studied in labs around the world now.

Allowing that hazard to be buried under a blanket that it was an impossible to prevent natural event prevents any investigation and recognition of the problem. And this isn't a problem we should allow to be buried under a blanket.
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Old 16th January 2022, 10:47 PM   #2799
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's politically untenable to come out with any conclusion that lays the blame with China.
Blaming an international rival for anything and everything that goes wrong whether they had anything to do with it or not has always been a very successful political strategy in highly nationalistic countries. I fail to see what makes it "politically untenable" now.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post

The scientific community needs to address the facts, not the politics.
The scientists are addressing facts, it's the people calling them liars and conspirators who are bringing in politics.
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Old 16th January 2022, 10:52 PM   #2800
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The distraction about what is and isn't GoF is stupid and a 100% politically motivated semantic argument. The discussion should be about how are we protecting against PPPs, potential pandemic pathogens, that are being studied in labs around the world now.
So you want to stop studying viruses with pandemic potential in the hopes that will somehow make you safer? Do you realize how ridiculous that is?
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