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Old 16th August 2022, 03:08 AM   #3121
angrysoba
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When it comes to lab leak, again, is it a conspiracy theory?

Answer: It depends, OR not necessarily.

A virus could have leaked from a lab.

Some variations on the lab leak are conspiracy theories:

1.) It was a bioweapon! (this has been relegated to conspiracy theory territory; I am sure everyone will agree).
2.) It was engineered from RaTG-13 taken from sick miners and GoF'd into SARS-CoV2. This is popular with Matt Ridley, for example, and others toy with it. This has almost completely been debunked due to the existence of BANAL-52.

At this point, most of the scientific evidence suggests the virus emanated from Huanan Seafood Market in December, with possible emergence being November, and much less likely earlier.

The challenge: Could someone come up with a lab leak scenario that is consistent with the known scientific evidence and does not rely on large amounts of conspiracy theorising to paper over the cracks?
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Old 16th August 2022, 02:58 PM   #3122
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
When it comes to lab leak, again, is it a conspiracy theory?

Answer: It depends, OR not necessarily.

A virus could have leaked from a lab.

Some variations on the lab leak are conspiracy theories:

1.) It was a bioweapon! (this has been relegated to conspiracy theory territory; I am sure everyone will agree).
2.) It was engineered from RaTG-13 taken from sick miners and GoF'd into SARS-CoV2. This is popular with Matt Ridley, for example, and others toy with it. This has almost completely been debunked due to the existence of BANAL-52.


At this point, most of the scientific evidence suggests the virus emanated from Huanan Seafood Market in December, with possible emergence being November, and much less likely earlier.

The challenge: Could someone come up with a lab leak scenario that is consistent with the known scientific evidence and does not rely on large amounts of conspiracy theorising to paper over the cracks?
3) Scientists are covering up evidence for a lab leak. While a coverup isn't impossible any large scale coverup is going to leave a lot of evidence, and in this evidence doesn't exist. Such claims of large scale coverups that leave no convincing evidence are pretty much the defining characteristic of a conspiracy theory.
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Old 18th August 2022, 12:52 AM   #3123
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
3) Scientists are covering up evidence for a lab leak. While a coverup isn't impossible any large scale coverup is going to leave a lot of evidence, and in this evidence doesn't exist. Such claims of large scale coverups that leave no convincing evidence are pretty much the defining characteristic of a conspiracy theory.
Correct, but if there had been a lab leak, the few who actually had evidence on the virus being held or developed in the lab would be in the lab itself and they wouldn't be telling anyone. Simple fear that it might have been a lab leak would be enough to bias the scientific community involved in virus research towards a different scenario.
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Old 18th August 2022, 01:09 AM   #3124
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Correct, but if there had been a lab leak, the few who actually had evidence on the virus being held or developed in the lab would be in the lab itself and they wouldn't be telling anyone. Simple fear that it might have been a lab leak would be enough to bias the scientific community involved in virus research towards a different scenario.
Hereís where conspiracy theories always fall down. Any major conspiracy, like the covid lab leak one, would involve a large number of people who have networks surrounding them. To imagine so many people keeping quiet is fanciful.
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Old 18th August 2022, 03:11 AM   #3125
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Here’s where conspiracy theories always fall down. Any major conspiracy, like the covid lab leak one, would involve a large number of people who have networks surrounding them. To imagine so many people keeping quiet is fanciful.
So you already biased your comment with your assumption that the idea of a lab leak coverup is a conspiracy involving thousands. I'm pointing out that those who actually know what was being worked on in the labs would be a small number. Hence there would be no need to keep a large number quiet. Also remembering that this is China, where keeping quiet is a way of life.
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Old 18th August 2022, 03:21 AM   #3126
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
So you already biased your comment with your assumption that the idea of a lab leak coverup is a conspiracy involving thousands. I'm pointing out that those who actually know what was being worked on in the labs would be a small number. Hence there would be no need to keep a large number quiet. Also remembering that this is China, where keeping quiet is a way of life.
I did not say thousands. I did say more than a few. You have no basis for your opinion of a few knowing. You are making the claim only a few would have known. The onus is on you.
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Old 18th August 2022, 03:26 AM   #3127
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I did not say thousands. I did say more than a few. You have no basis for your opinion of a few knowing. You are making the claim only a few would have known. The onus is on you.
Actually I said a small number. in the post you responded to. How many would be working in the lab? Less than a large number I suspect. Small enough to control? Probably.

Stop quibbling. I'm sure you can understand my point that the coverup need not involve thousands.
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Old 18th August 2022, 03:30 AM   #3128
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Actually I said a small number. in the post you responded to. How many would be working in the lab? Less than a large number I suspect. Small enough to control? Probably.

Stop quibbling. I'm sure you can understand my point that the coverup need not involve thousands.
Er, I quoted you saying ďthe fewĒ. And to repeat I did not say thousands. Please stop lying.
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Old 18th August 2022, 07:08 AM   #3129
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Er, I quoted you saying ďthe fewĒ. And to repeat I did not say thousands. Please stop lying.
Oh good grief, fine, I said the few and then said a small number, and you didn't say thousands. My point still stands and your quibbling over numbers does nothing for your argumant.
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Old 18th August 2022, 11:49 AM   #3130
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It should also be pointed out that in China it would mean severe punishment if you spilled the beans and admitted there was a lab leak.

I am not saying there was a lab leak, even though I donít think it is impossible. I just think that if there were, it would be highly unlikely that one of the Chinese working in the lab would say so.
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Old 19th August 2022, 04:37 AM   #3131
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Hereís where conspiracy theories always fall down. Any major conspiracy, like the covid lab leak one, would involve a large number of people who have networks surrounding them. To imagine so many people keeping quiet is fanciful.
This.The "lab leak" theory is and was nonsense. But the cranks supporting it are threatening and abusive.
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Old 19th August 2022, 08:18 AM   #3132
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
It should also be pointed out that in China it would mean severe punishment if you spilled the beans and admitted there was a lab leak.

I am not saying there was a lab leak, even though I donít think it is impossible. I just think that if there were, it would be highly unlikely that one of the Chinese working in the lab would say so.
Theres that, and the fact that until a virulent killer was identified elsewhere no one in the lab would have any idea that one of the multitude of viruses they had been working on in the past was in any way responsible.

Consider the workings of such a lab. Viruses are sampled from all sorts of places and brought to the lab. I assume they are then analysed categorised and stored. Perhaps some are brought out, subjected to experiment and the results of that experimentation would also be analysed categorised and stored.

Assuming for a moment that one of the researchers gets contaminated and carries a virus outside the lab. Given the ability of covid to transmit without symptoms or with minor symptoms, unless the researcher got sick enough for hospital where their illness would be analysed they would have no idea they had carried a virus outside the lab.

So at that point, the lab itself would have finished with the virus and be continuing with its work in total ignorance.

Then a virus is found spreading near the lab. The lab researchers might wonder if their lab could somehow be the cause, but no more than that. Finally the virus is analysed well enough that a trawl through the lab databases might find a match to the new killer virus. Now, how many of the lab researchers have the access and the time to carry out that trawl off their own bat and would they dare? and if they do find a match? Are they really going to go to the press? or are they more likely to report to the lab director?

Personally I consider that the numbers of people who would actually know for sure that a match for the killer virus had been found in the lab databases would be very small indeed and eminently controllable. Lots of others might have suspicions, but a concerted programme of disinformation and intimidation would easily convince them to reign in their ideas.

Do I think it happened that way? Meh, who knows, I wouldn't put money on it myself, but then I'm not that enamoured of the alternatives either. Case unproven for the whole thing.

However, the above is why I object to the "But they must have had to silence thousands who knew the truth to hide it" claims frequently made on here. this wasn't a few thousand emails saying "Capitol Hill, next Sunday - bring pitchforks and AR15s" this was a few people looking over databases and in fear of their livelyhoods and even lives.
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Old 19th August 2022, 08:35 AM   #3133
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Theres that, and the fact that until a virulent killer was identified elsewhere no one in the lab would have any idea that one of the multitude of viruses they had been working on in the past was in any way responsible.

Consider the workings of such a lab. Viruses are sampled from all sorts of places and brought to the lab. I assume they are then analysed categorised and stored. Perhaps some are brought out, subjected to experiment and the results of that experimentation would also be analysed categorised and stored.

Assuming for a moment that one of the researchers gets contaminated and carries a virus outside the lab. Given the ability of covid to transmit without symptoms or with minor symptoms, unless the researcher got sick enough for hospital where their illness would be analysed they would have no idea they had carried a virus outside the lab.

So at that point, the lab itself would have finished with the virus and be continuing with its work in total ignorance.

Then a virus is found spreading near the lab. The lab researchers might wonder if their lab could somehow be the cause, but no more than that. Finally the virus is analysed well enough that a trawl through the lab databases might find a match to the new killer virus. Now, how many of the lab researchers have the access and the time to carry out that trawl off their own bat and would they dare? and if they do find a match? Are they really going to go to the press? or are they more likely to report to the lab director?

Personally I consider that the numbers of people who would actually know for sure that a match for the killer virus had been found in the lab databases would be very small indeed and eminently controllable. Lots of others might have suspicions, but a concerted programme of disinformation and intimidation would easily convince them to reign in their ideas.

Do I think it happened that way? Meh, who knows, I wouldn't put money on it myself, but then I'm not that enamoured of the alternatives either. Case unproven for the whole thing.

However, the above is why I object to the "But they must have had to silence thousands who knew the truth to hide it" claims frequently made on here. this wasn't a few thousand emails saying "Capitol Hill, next Sunday - bring pitchforks and AR15s" this was a few people looking over databases and in fear of their livelyhoods and even lives.
This is possible, of course. However, this scenario misses the point that nearly every posited lab leak theory has argued that the virus was itself manipulated in some way. If what you are saying is that a lab worker went off into the wild, got contaminated and then spread the virus, maybe with only one or two people knowing it was in the database OR maybe it never getting to the database stage, this is all possible. BUT in addition to the claim that it was engineered, the claim it may have accidentally got out now seems to be undermined by the evidence that it probably came from the Huanan seafood market. This is in addition to the, maybe slightly less solid, claim that there were multiple lineages (at least two apparently) that came from two spillover events. This kind of evidence makes the lab leak less obvious UNLESS you start trying to explain the scientific claims supporting lab leak as some kind of collusion among many scientists and their reviewers.
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Old 19th August 2022, 08:49 AM   #3134
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is possible, of course. However, this scenario misses the point that nearly every posited lab leak theory has argued that the virus was itself manipulated in some way. If what you are saying is that a lab worker went off into the wild, got contaminated and then spread the virus, maybe with only one or two people knowing it was in the database OR maybe it never getting to the database stage, this is all possible. BUT in addition to the claim that it was engineered, the claim it may have accidentally got out now seems to be undermined by the evidence that it probably came from the Huanan seafood market. This is in addition to the, maybe slightly less solid, claim that there were multiple lineages (at least two apparently) that came from two spillover events. This kind of evidence makes the lab leak less obvious UNLESS you start trying to explain the scientific claims supporting lab leak as some kind of collusion among many scientists and their reviewers.
Hmm, I've included the possibility of manipulation but haven't assumed it. The researcher I mention could have picked it up in the lab either during first analysis or during any further work on the virus (GOF being only one possibility) and then gone outside (I'm assuming they were allowed to go home at the end of the day )

Understand I am not fixated on this scenario, nor am I fixated on the whole lab leak theory, I am just using it to explain my reluctance to accept the usual "it has to be a conspiracy theory because they would have to have silenced so many people" statements that abound both here and elsewhere.
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Old 19th August 2022, 10:39 AM   #3135
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Actually I said a small number. in the post you responded to. How many would be working in the lab? Less than a large number I suspect. Small enough to control? Probably.

Stop quibbling. I'm sure you can understand my point that the coverup need not involve thousands.
I believe the number of WiV staff working in the lab is ~300. All were tested for Covid early on and the test results came back negative, which further extends the conspiracy to people who performed the testing.

Of course since that lab is far removed from where all the early cases are the "lab leak" have since moved on to saying it wasn't the WiV at all but the Chinese NiH who have a lab that is much closer but still several Km from where all the early cases occurred. Of course this doesn't stop them from claiming it's still a conspiracy of scientists working with WiV covering everything up.
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Old 19th August 2022, 10:46 AM   #3136
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
It should also be pointed out that in China it would mean severe punishment if you spilled the beans and admitted there was a lab leak.

I am not saying there was a lab leak, even though I donít think it is impossible. I just think that if there were, it would be highly unlikely that one of the Chinese working in the lab would say so.
nah. Dr Shi has challenged the official government line in the past. She was the one who tracked down the Origin of SARS when the Chinese government was insisting it wasn't spillover due to wild animal trade.

Also worth noting is that zoonotic spillover is a direct challenge to Chinese culture, so the Chinese government is more apt to cover that up then a lab leak. In fact China is still pushing the idea that it was US lab leak at US military level 4 lab that was closed due to safety issues just before military personnel went to China for the military games.
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Old 19th August 2022, 10:54 AM   #3137
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Theres that, and the fact that until a virulent killer was identified elsewhere no one in the lab would have any idea that one of the multitude of viruses they had been working on in the past was in any way responsible.

Consider the workings of such a lab. Viruses are sampled from all sorts of places and brought to the lab. I assume they are then analysed categorised and stored. Perhaps some are brought out, subjected to experiment and the results of that experimentation would also be analysed categorised and stored.

Assuming for a moment that one of the researchers gets contaminated and carries a virus outside the lab. Given the ability of covid to transmit without symptoms or with minor symptoms, unless the researcher got sick enough for hospital where their illness would be analysed they would have no idea they had carried a virus outside the lab.

So at that point, the lab itself would have finished with the virus and be continuing with its work in total ignorance.

There is a catalog, Covid was not it.
There are preserved samples, no Covid was found in them
The staff were tested for Covid and Covid antibodies, no evidence of Covid infection was found
The lab is nowhere near where the early cases occurred. It would be roughly comparable to blaming a lab in Hoboken New Jersey for a disease outbreak in central park.
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Old 19th August 2022, 11:00 AM   #3138
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
It would be roughly comparable to blaming a lab in Hoboken New Jersey for a disease outbreak in central park.
??? That would be completely plausible. Looks them up on Google Maps.
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Old 19th August 2022, 02:35 PM   #3139
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
??? That would be completely plausible. Looks them up on Google Maps.
How is that plausible? Does a virus just drift 20 miles through the air not infecting anyone in between?
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Old 19th August 2022, 04:15 PM   #3140
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
How is that plausible? Does a virus just drift 20 miles through the air not infecting anyone in between?
In a person in a car ? Easily.
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Old 19th August 2022, 04:53 PM   #3141
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
In a person in a car ? Easily.
I think lomiller is assuming to much about what the testing he mentioned can accomplish.

It was a mistake for me to get in to this thread.
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Old 19th August 2022, 06:32 PM   #3142
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
In a person in a car ? Easily.
If you had a person driving around in a car spreading a virus you'd expect an outbreak at every location they stop, not a single outbreak 20 miles away and no outbreaks anyplace else, not even the lab where they contracted it in the first place.
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Old 20th August 2022, 05:03 PM   #3143
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So, how's the work of finding the presumed natural zoonotic origin of Covid-19 coming along? Are large numbers of additional species/samples still being tested monthly? Given the importance of the question and the massive effort required to answer it, is this still a major priority of virology and health authorities in China and around the world?

Or has it morphed into more of an "OJ Simpson still searching hard for the real killer" kind of thing?
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Old 20th August 2022, 05:37 PM   #3144
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
So, how's the work of finding the presumed natural zoonotic origin of Covid-19 coming along? Are large numbers of additional species/samples still being tested monthly? Given the importance of the question and the massive effort required to answer it, is this still a major priority of virology and health authorities in China and around the world?

Or has it morphed into more of an "OJ Simpson still searching hard for the real killer" kind of thing?
There clearly should be a lot more animal and serological testing along the wildlife route.

I donít know if anyone really knows how much is being done. From what I gather, most western scientists cannot get into China to do the research.

Some has been done in countries bordering China where viruses similar to SARS-CoV2 have been found.

The main problem is that Chinaís semi-official position is that the virus came from abroad (Italy or America), and NOT from the wildlife trade, so they donít want to look too hard into that.
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Old 21st August 2022, 01:43 AM   #3145
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The main problem is that Chinaís semi-official position is that the virus came from abroad (Italy or America), and NOT from the wildlife trade, so they donít want to look too hard into that.
Of the possible explanations, that one is the most bat****-crazy of them all.
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Old 21st August 2022, 01:48 AM   #3146
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
There clearly should be a lot more animal and serological testing along the wildlife route.

I donít know if anyone really knows how much is being done. From what I gather, most western scientists cannot get into China to do the research.

Some has been done in countries bordering China where viruses similar to SARS-CoV2 have been found.

The main problem is that Chinaís semi-official position is that the virus came from abroad (Italy or America), and NOT from the wildlife trade, so they donít want to look too hard into that.
Wasn't there something about it escaping or being brought from a lab in the US via a military games or somesuch? I'm sure the US haters are still slavering over that one.
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Old 21st August 2022, 05:32 AM   #3147
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The problem has always been that pandemics go from animal to people not via a lab. The 1917 A1H1 Flu pandemic spread from birds to US pigs to people (and this virus still circulates). The 1957 AH2N2 flu pandemic which mutated into the 1968 AH3N2 pandemic strain originated from Geese in China. HIV 1 originated from chimpanzees and HIV 2 from monkeys, there may also have been transmission events from gorillas which have not spread worldwide. SARS came via bats and civets to humans, although failed to become pandemic. Monkeypox likewise originated by spread from rodents. Smallpox probably arose from camels about 2 -3 Kyr BP, measles probably originated from cattle about the same time.

So pandemic viral events routinely occur by contact between humans and animals; so to justify a case for a non-animal origin you really need to disprove an animal origin; exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.
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Old 21st August 2022, 06:55 AM   #3148
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The problem has always been that pandemics go from animal to people not via a lab. The 1917 A1H1 Flu pandemic spread from birds to US pigs to people (and this virus still circulates). The 1957 AH2N2 flu pandemic which mutated into the 1968 AH3N2 pandemic strain originated from Geese in China. HIV 1 originated from chimpanzees and HIV 2 from monkeys, there may also have been transmission events from gorillas which have not spread worldwide. SARS came via bats and civets to humans, although failed to become pandemic. Monkeypox likewise originated by spread from rodents. Smallpox probably arose from camels about 2 -3 Kyr BP, measles probably originated from cattle about the same time.

So pandemic viral events routinely occur by contact between humans and animals; so to justify a case for a non-animal origin you really need to disprove an animal origin; exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.
Most scenarios I heard about lab theory are animal origin, except the transfer happened in the lab, or in the lab workers outside the lab, like during sample collection. Even if you improve the virus in the lab using natural methods, like simple selection of the fittest .. you have to test the virus in an animal .. and if it leaks, it will still be animal origin.
I think the question is if the lab or lab workers assisted in the virus introduction in any way. In other words, if the lab intended to prevent new pandemics didn't actually helped to create one.
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Old 21st August 2022, 08:08 AM   #3149
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The problem has always been that pandemics go from animal to people not via a lab.
But this is not really an argument against a lab leak is it? Lab leaks have occurred, and people have been infected from them with fatal outcomes. They just have not resulted in a pandemic, because people are already vaccinated against the disease - a specific example is poliomyelitis.
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Old 21st August 2022, 11:14 AM   #3150
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While I understand the reasons for dismissal of the "lab leak" hypothesis, but what changes if conclusive evidence is found for intentional or unintentional leak from the Wuhan bio lab?
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Old 21st August 2022, 03:53 PM   #3151
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
So, how's the work of finding the presumed natural zoonotic origin of Covid-19 coming along? Are large numbers of additional species/samples still being tested monthly? Given the importance of the question and the massive effort required to answer it, is this still a major priority of virology and health authorities in China and around the world?

Or has it morphed into more of an "OJ Simpson still searching hard for the real killer" kind of thing?
The problem is that Covid jumps species so readily, if you find it in a wildlife population it's difficult to know if this was a human variant that spread to that animal population.

That said, one close Covid relative has been identified that has a spike protein that diverged from Covid less than a decade ago. The trail of close Covid relatives seems to point to SE Asia somewhere near the Thailand China border. Not only have a number of close relatives been found there. but Covid reactive antibodies have been found in wild populations as well.

Most virologists seem to be assuming raccoon dogs were likely an intermediate host, but again Covid jumps species so readily that it could be any of the dozens of animals present in the Huanan Seafood market. Environmental samples suggest Covid was widespread in the animals kept there, so narrowing it down to a single species may not even make sense.
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Old 21st August 2022, 04:10 PM   #3152
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
There clearly should be a lot more animal and serological testing along the wildlife route.

I donít know if anyone really knows how much is being done. From what I gather, most western scientists cannot get into China to do the research.

Some has been done in countries bordering China where viruses similar to SARS-CoV2 have been found.

The main problem is that Chinaís semi-official position is that the virus came from abroad (Italy or America), and NOT from the wildlife trade, so they donít want to look too hard into that.
Blaming the wildlife trade calls Chinese cultural practices into question, China really does not want Covid to be a result of this. They did the same thing with SARS, effectually trying to blame it on anything else until Dr Shi positively identified the exact cave SARS originated it.

Keep in mind that most of the lab leak CT's try to insinuate Dr Shi is one of the principles involved in the supposed cover-up when in fact history shows she is more than willing to engage in research the Chinese government would prefer not to come to light.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Wasn't there something about it escaping or being brought from a lab in the US via a military games or somesuch? I'm sure the US haters are still slavering over that one.
A level 4 US military lab in Virginia was closed due to safety violation just prior to the military games. That version of the lab leak hypothesis posits that the violation in question was the accidental release of Covid which was then carried to China by US military personnel.

This is yet another "early Covid" hypothesis that would require Covid to be circulating much earlier than the earliest identified cases and earlier than genetic clock studies typically say Covid jumped to humans. It also doesn't account for the fact there were 2 distinct Covid lineages right from the start, something best explained by multiple crossovers from a wild population rather than a single lab leak.
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Old 21st August 2022, 04:25 PM   #3153
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
Most scenarios I heard about lab theory are animal origin, except the transfer happened in the lab, or in the lab workers outside the lab, like during sample collection. Even if you improve the virus in the lab using natural methods, like simple selection of the fittest .. you have to test the virus in an animal .. and if it leaks, it will still be animal origin.
I think the question is if the lab or lab workers assisted in the virus introduction in any way. In other words, if the lab intended to prevent new pandemics didn't actually helped to create one.
This would necessitate a very closely related virus not only being present in lab samples but actively being studies. No sufficiently closely related virus exists either in retroactive analysis of samples or in any database.

It would also require lab staff to have been infected, but tests show no sign of Covid antibodies in any lab workers.

And again, he early infections are all in the wrong place for a lab leak, but exactly where you'd expect to find them for zoonotic crossover due to the wildlife trade.

In terms of lab experimentation, the discovery of closely a whole range of related Corona viruses in various stages of evolution, strongly point to something that evolved naturally. Furthermore, the Covid RBD actually contains sequences that are out of frame, meaning you don't expect it to work at all. No lab experiment would do this.

There is also the fact that the furin cleavage site that allows Covid to infect so many creatures is only a partial cleave site. A full furin cleavage site would be much more efficient, and any lab would have used that instead, or would have if anyone had know what the effect of such a site was. Prior to actually studying Covid, however, no one knew the importance of this feature so there would have been no reason to play around with it.
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Old 21st August 2022, 05:21 PM   #3154
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Blaming the wildlife trade calls Chinese cultural practices into question, China really does not want Covid to be a result of this. They did the same thing with SARS, effectually trying to blame it on anything else until Dr Shi positively identified the exact cave SARS originated it.

Keep in mind that most of the lab leak CT's try to insinuate Dr Shi is one of the principles involved in the supposed cover-up when in fact history shows she is more than willing to engage in research the Chinese government would prefer not to come to light.
Indeed. The Chinese authorities even reprimanded Li Wenliang when he connected the virus to the seafood market right at the beginning of the pandemic:

Quote:
Dr Li Wenliang, who lost his life to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, became the face of the threat of SARS-CoV-2 to frontline workers, the clinicians taking care of patients. Li, 34, was an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital. On 30th December, 2019, when the Wuhan municipal health service sent out an alert, he reportedly warned a closed group of ex-medical school classmates on the WeChat social media site of ďSeven cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) like illness with links with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale MarketĒ at his hospital. He was among eight people reprimanded by security officers for ďspreading rumoursĒ. In a tragic turn of events, he subsequently contracted SARS-CoV-2 and, after a period in intensive care, died on the morning of Friday 7th February, 2020
Link

The idea that the "official Chinese government" story is that it spilled over from the market is completely wrong.
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Old 21st August 2022, 05:24 PM   #3155
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This would necessitate a very closely related virus not only being present in lab samples but actively being studies. No sufficiently closely related virus exists either in retroactive analysis of samples or in any database.

It would also require lab staff to have been infected, but tests show no sign of Covid antibodies in any lab workers.

And again, he early infections are all in the wrong place for a lab leak, but exactly where you'd expect to find them for zoonotic crossover due to the wildlife trade.

In terms of lab experimentation, the discovery of closely a whole range of related Corona viruses in various stages of evolution, strongly point to something that evolved naturally. Furthermore, the Covid RBD actually contains sequences that are out of frame, meaning you don't expect it to work at all. No lab experiment would do this.

There is also the fact that the furin cleavage site that allows Covid to infect so many creatures is only a partial cleave site. A full furin cleavage site would be much more efficient, and any lab would have used that instead, or would have if anyone had know what the effect of such a site was. Prior to actually studying Covid, however, no one knew the importance of this feature so there would have been no reason to play around with it.
Actually, I don't think that the highlighted is true. It does seem that this was a feature that virologists were looking for or had warned could increase a virus's pandemic potential.
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Old 21st August 2022, 06:27 PM   #3156
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Originally Posted by Tony99 View Post
While I understand the reasons for dismissal of the "lab leak" hypothesis, but what changes if conclusive evidence is found for intentional or unintentional leak from the Wuhan bio lab?
It would be an absolute PR disaster for China, as the entire pandemic could be completely and utterly blamed on them.

So, they would literally do anything to cover that up, if it were true. The idea that in modern China, such a conspiracy would be bound to come out is frankly laughable.

If it were true, anyone who tried to break such a story would be disappeared, their families threatened and disappeared. Any coverage in media or the web would be suppressed in minutes or even seconds.

China under Xi is not like any other country you know. It really isn't.
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Old 21st August 2022, 10:11 PM   #3157
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
It would be an absolute PR disaster for China, as the entire pandemic could be completely and utterly blamed on them.
Why are you so interested in blaming China for the pandemic?

Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post

So, they would literally do anything to cover that up,
On the contrary, zoonotic crossover via wet markets are the wildlife trade are much bigger problem for China because it directly impinges on Chinese cultural practices.

Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post

China under Xi is not like any other country you know. It really isn't.
Not liking the Chinese government isn't evidence of a conspiracy, and remember there are (or at least were) western scientists working in these labs so the conspiracy wouldn't just be limited to Chinese scientists.

Also it's worth remembering that Chinese scientists are more or less just like western scientists and simply want to get to the truth. This includes looking into things like the wildlife trade that the Chinese government wants to protect.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 07:03 AM   #3158
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I mentioned Jeffrey Sachs, earlier, claiming that Covid-19 came from a US lab.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post

Jeffrey Sachs of the Lancet Study Group is now suggesting it came from a US lab. But scientists say he is talking out of his arse as he is not a scientist and seems to be speculating. Link.
How credible is Sachs?

Looks like you can tune in and listen to him on a podcast hosted by... anti-vaxx campaigner, Robert Kennedy Jr...

https://anchor.fm/rfkjr/episodes/Ori...-Sachs-e1mob9s

Seriously...?!
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Old 22nd August 2022, 07:10 AM   #3159
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
It would be an absolute PR disaster for China, as the entire pandemic could be completely and utterly blamed on them.

So, they would literally do anything to cover that up, if it were true. The idea that in modern China, such a conspiracy would be bound to come out is frankly laughable.

If it were true, anyone who tried to break such a story would be disappeared, their families threatened and disappeared. Any coverage in media or the web would be suppressed in minutes or even seconds.
Li Wenliang is an example of someone who was silenced, but the news got out.

Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
China under Xi is not like any other country you know. It really isn't.
I have been to China and I have also been to North Korea. I would say North Korea is easily more repressive than China is.

In fact, I have students from China who will sometimes tell me their views on Chinese policies and how social media is supressed (and a few of the ways people sort of get round those restrictions). Of course there are many ways China will shut down anything they don't like, but even then there are limits.

It was claimed on this thread that the Wuhan Military Games in October of 2019 was a superspreader event of Covid-19, and that the whole city was locked down while the athletes were there (and how they got Covid anyway). That level of locking down being completely scrubbed from all media and reporting is impossible. There are embassies and foreign students who would notice, as well as those with families abroad who would be able to pass on the messages.

Yes, China is repressive. Far more than any European country, but that fact doesn't mean we get to make up the origin carte-blanche in defiance of what scientific evidence we do have.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 07:28 AM   #3160
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Actually, I don't think that the highlighted is true. It does seem that this was a feature that virologists were looking for or had warned could increase a virus's pandemic potential.
I don't remember the episode but I remember a discussion TWIV that said the importance of the furin cleavage site wasn't know until after scientists had seen Covid.
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