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Old 22nd August 2022, 07:38 AM   #3161
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
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.
You could be right. I may have been thinking of the receptor-binding domain, which I suppose is Virology 101.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:27 AM   #3162
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So the next step in the saga, is that some of the lab leakers such as Deigin and Quay and a few others, are arguing that Pekar et. al got it wrong when they claimed that lineage A and B are separate spillover events.

One of the authors of the paper has written a tweet thread explaining the process.

I honestly have no idea about this.

My thinking here, however, is that while the lab leakers seem to believe that spillover proponents (or what they call zoonati) are funded by this kind of research and are therefore desperate to protect it at all costs, it seems to me that these virologists presumably believe in what they are doing otherwise why would they be digging themselves in so deep.

Anyway, here is the thread:

Link

The lab leakers? Well, maybe they will destroy their own reputations in virology but they never had any so it is no loss for them. It is the BS asymmetry problem.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 09:45 AM   #3163
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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.
I know you have said this before, but I donít think you can be sure that you know what the Chinese government would accept or not. There is a difference in claiming wild animals in China have produced a dangerous virus that has spread to humans, and claiming that sloppy practice in a Chinese lab caused a dangerous virus to spread to humans - quite aside from the fact that if this had happened in Dr Shiís lab, publishing it would have severe repercussions on her own research.

On the other hand, I know nothing about Dr Shi, and I canít possibly know for sure if she would risk her career in this way, or if her status in China is essentially untouchable, so she can publish whatever she likes.

I am content with the fact that weíll never get to the bottom of this. I think that lab leak or not, all labs working with such viruses will tighten up their practices after Covid, and wet markets will probably be monitored in some fashion in the future, or at least the reaction will be faster next time a novel virus appear in a city with a wet market.
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Old 27th August 2022, 10:10 PM   #3164
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Why are you so interested in blaming China for the pandemic?
Because China is to blame for the pandemic, obviously.

It is to blame because it had full information about the Wuhan spread and that it could be transmitted between humans, yet they sat on that information for weeks until it was too late, precisely because it knew that admission would make China look bad.

The Chinese authorities knowingly and deliberately tried to cover it up for around 6 weeks, knowing full well it was transmissible between humans by mid December. Xi himself by his own admission knew all about it by 5th Jan. The government only admitted human to human transmission in their announcement in late January. They lied about it to the world for over a month.

Just before that late Jan announcement Wuhan went ahead with a 40,000 strong communal dinner, trying to set a world record, and a day or so after held a Chinese New Year festival. God knows how many people were infected just from those events.

Only when it was obviously spiralling out of control and they couldn't keep a lid on it any longer did they act meaningfully, going for the lockdown, but even then it was badly handled, allowing 5 million to leave the area before the lockdown occurred, and spreading throughout China and onwards.

In summary, both local and national governments knowingly and deliberately covered it up once recognised, lied that it was not human transmissible, and denied the scale until the news reports that were getting out were too prevalent to ignore. And even then they applied the shutdown badly, allowing it to spread globally.

China is not to blame for other countries responses, of course, but that they are to blame for its global spread is not remotely in doubt.

This is entirely separate from the lab leak theory, which may or may not be true. If it has a zoonotic origin, China is still to blame for the pandemic.

I was merely pointing out that if it were a leak from a government lab, there would be nothing that they would not do to stop that getting out. That is not a conspiracy, that is fact. That the whistleblower was eventually able to get out information about the early cases once they were in the community has no bearing on the likelihood of a lab leak being suppressed, as he was not talking about the origin.

Xi's China is not the China from 3, 5 or 10 years ago. Its a completely different beast. China spends many time more on its internal security and censorship than it does on its military, and we know how big China's military is.

Does that mean a lab leak is more likely? Not in the slightest. But if China doesn't want something to get out, it wont get out.
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Old 27th August 2022, 11:52 PM   #3165
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
Because China is to blame for the pandemic, obviously.

It is to blame because it had full information about the Wuhan spread and that it could be transmitted between humans, yet they sat on that information for weeks until it was too late, precisely because it knew that admission would make China look bad.

The Chinese authorities knowingly and deliberately tried to cover it up for around 6 weeks, knowing full well it was transmissible between humans by mid December. Xi himself by his own admission knew all about it by 5th Jan. The government only admitted human to human transmission in their announcement in late January. They lied about it to the world for over a month.

Just before that late Jan announcement Wuhan went ahead with a 40,000 strong communal dinner, trying to set a world record, and a day or so after held a Chinese New Year festival. God knows how many people were infected just from those events.

Only when it was obviously spiralling out of control and they couldn't keep a lid on it any longer did they act meaningfully, going for the lockdown, but even then it was badly handled, allowing 5 million to leave the area before the lockdown occurred, and spreading throughout China and onwards.

In summary, both local and national governments knowingly and deliberately covered it up once recognised, lied that it was not human transmissible, and denied the scale until the news reports that were getting out were too prevalent to ignore. And even then they applied the shutdown badly, allowing it to spread globally.

China is not to blame for other countries responses, of course, but that they are to blame for its global spread is not remotely in doubt.

This is entirely separate from the lab leak theory, which may or may not be true. If it has a zoonotic origin, China is still to blame for the pandemic.

I was merely pointing out that if it were a leak from a government lab, there would be nothing that they would not do to stop that getting out. That is not a conspiracy, that is fact. That the whistleblower was eventually able to get out information about the early cases once they were in the community has no bearing on the likelihood of a lab leak being suppressed, as he was not talking about the origin.

Xi's China is not the China from 3, 5 or 10 years ago. Its a completely different beast. China spends many time more on its internal security and censorship than it does on its military, and we know how big China's military is.

Does that mean a lab leak is more likely? Not in the slightest. But if China doesn't want something to get out, it wont get out.
I agree with all your points about China's ultimate responsibility one way or another.

I think, however, that the actions taken by both the national and local governments seem more in line with a zoonotic disease than a lab leak - particularly if we are talking about a virus that has been engineered for greater spread.

One of the problems seems to be their duplicitousness regarding the wild-life trade. It is clear that they were speaking out of both sides of their mouth by claiming they had clamped down on wild-life sales, while also turning a blind eye to it except to occasionally hand out slaps on the wrist fines.

The theory, not original to me, that sounds most plausible is that after botching the swine flu response, which resulted in such a massive culling of pigs, wild-life farms ended up making up the short-fall increasing the likelihood of spillover.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:00 AM   #3166
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
Because China is to blame for the pandemic, obviously.
The evidence doesn't support that.

I will say that the people responsible for the next Corona virus pandemic are the ones attacking science and scientists researching these viruses. Most of this necessarily involves Chinese scientists, so stop blaming China and maybe take a look at your own actions.


Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
It is to blame because it had full information about the Wuhan spread and that it could be transmitted between humans, yet they sat on that information for weeks until it was too late, precisely because it knew that admission would make China look bad.
This isn't true. You can't just say "there are multiple cases so it must be spreading person to person" not only is this bad science it's completely irresponsible and 9 times out of 10 will create unnecessary panic.

Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post

The Chinese authorities knowingly and deliberately tried to cover it up for around 6 weeks, knowing full well it was transmissible between humans by mid December.
Again completely false. Chinese hospitals stared identifying clusters of an unknown respiratory disease around Dec 20. Nothing was known and nothing could be known about it at that time, not the cause not how it spread.


Chinese scientists tracked down the virus causing the illness and published it's genome 10 days later on Dec 30. This is an acceptable, perhaps even speedy response to tracking down and sequencing a completely new virus. From this point on research was global, so trying to blame China is nonsensical.

Obviously it would be impossible to know if it was human to human transmissible before this, but in practice you also need to be able to test for the presence of the virus before you make conclusions on how it spreads, and tests were not available until Jan 14.


Once you know who's infected you can start looking at how they got infected, and the WHO started looking at the data immediately, and a weak later concluded it was spreading person to person.


Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post

Just before that late Jan announcement Wuhan went ahead with a 40,000 strong communal dinner, trying to set a world record, and a day or so after held a Chinese New Year festival. God knows how many people were infected just from those events.
So? The rest of the world continued to hold sporting events even though they had full access to all the research on the virus. The fact that it was a true respiratory virus and initial estimates on fatality rates wouldn't be available until February so it's only natural scheduled events would continue.



Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post


Only when it was obviously spiralling out of control and they couldn't keep a lid on it any longer did they act meaningfully, going for the lockdown, but even then it was badly handled, allowing 5 million to leave the area before the lockdown occurred, and spreading throughout China and onwards.

Covid had spread beyond Wuhan before it was even possible to test for it's presence and long before any of it's key properties were know. China acted far more aggressively to contain Covid than any western nation would have but containing to to Wuhan was impossible from the outset.


Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post


In summary, both local and national governments knowingly and deliberately covered it up once recognised, lied that it was not human transmissible, and denied the scale until the news reports that were getting out were too prevalent to ignore. And even then they applied the shutdown badly, allowing it to spread globally.
The facts and timelines produced by the WHO not only do not support this, they definitively refute it.




There are more than enough real things to criticize China for, I suggested you stick to those instead of listening to "news" outlets with an axe to grind.
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Old 28th August 2022, 09:01 AM   #3167
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The evidence doesn't support that.

I will say that the people responsible for the next Corona virus pandemic are the ones attacking science and scientists researching these viruses. Most of this necessarily involves Chinese scientists, so stop blaming China and maybe take a look at your own actions.

This isn't true. You can't just say "there are multiple cases so it must be spreading person to person" not only is this bad science it's completely irresponsible and 9 times out of 10 will create unnecessary panic.

Again completely false. Chinese hospitals stared identifying clusters of an unknown respiratory disease around Dec 20. Nothing was known and nothing could be known about it at that time, not the cause not how it spread.

Chinese scientists tracked down the virus causing the illness and published it's genome 10 days later on Dec 30. This is an acceptable, perhaps even speedy response to tracking down and sequencing a completely new virus. From this point on research was global, so trying to blame China is nonsensical.

Obviously it would be impossible to know if it was human to human transmissible before this, but in practice you also need to be able to test for the presence of the virus before you make conclusions on how it spreads, and tests were not available until Jan 14.


Once you know who's infected you can start looking at how they got infected, and the WHO started looking at the data immediately, and a weak later concluded it was spreading person to person.

So? The rest of the world continued to hold sporting events even though they had full access to all the research on the virus. The fact that it was a true respiratory virus and initial estimates on fatality rates wouldn't be available until February so it's only natural scheduled events would continue.

Covid had spread beyond Wuhan before it was even possible to test for it's presence and long before any of it's key properties were know. China acted far more aggressively to contain Covid than any western nation would have but containing to to Wuhan was impossible from the outset.

The facts and timelines produced by the WHO not only do not support this, they definitively refute it.


There are more than enough real things to criticize China for, I suggested you stick to those instead of listening to "news" outlets with an axe to grind.
You are wrong.

Everything I have said is a fact, is not disputed by China, and was reported in the South China Morning Post, a Chinese owned newspaper, based on Chinese state press releases.

Nothing I have said is incorrect. I knew about what would become Covid by late December, because it was reported in said newspapers.

The fact that things like the existence of the 40,000 person dinner in January, and that they knew about human transmission by mid-December are not widely known outside China doesn't make it incorrect, it just means you didn't know about it because it wasn't reported in the western press. It was reported in China and in Hong Kong.

They didn't just make up the idea of human transmission based on the fact that there were many cases, their scientists had studied the patients in hospital and in the lab and had detected human to human transmission, published scientific papers to that end (which is how we know they knew), then the government sat on that knowledge, and lied and said there was no human to human transmission. This is a fact, again reported in South China Morning Post, amongst others.

That they were able to lockdown China and Wuhan so effectively once the horse had bolted shows they had the capability at the time to do so, but simply didn't want to and preferred to cover it up.

There are indeed plenty of things to criticise China for, some that are not justified, and many that are entirely justified. This is one of those in the latter category.

China is to blame for the pandemic.
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Old 28th August 2022, 09:10 AM   #3168
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I agree with all your points about China's ultimate responsibility one way or another.

I think, however, that the actions taken by both the national and local governments seem more in line with a zoonotic disease than a lab leak - particularly if we are talking about a virus that has been engineered for greater spread.

One of the problems seems to be their duplicitousness regarding the wild-life trade. It is clear that they were speaking out of both sides of their mouth by claiming they had clamped down on wild-life sales, while also turning a blind eye to it except to occasionally hand out slaps on the wrist fines.

The theory, not original to me, that sounds most plausible is that after botching the swine flu response, which resulted in such a massive culling of pigs, wild-life farms ended up making up the short-fall increasing the likelihood of spillover.
Yep, this seems likely.

I agree, in general their actions do point more toward a zoonotic spillover.

My point has always been that the lack of evidence of a lab leak in pretty much any other country in the world (ok, outside North Korea!) would indicate that a lab leak was unlikely. This is just not the case in China.

Does that help us in any way? Unfortunately not. We are still left guessing, and looking for evidence that is not yet forthcoming.
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Old 28th August 2022, 02:06 PM   #3169
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
You are wrong.

Everything I have said is a fact, is not disputed by China, and was reported in the South China Morning Post, a Chinese owned newspaper, based on Chinese state press releases.

Everything I said is well documented fact generated by western scientists working either independently of for the WHO, not speculation or rumor that may or may not have been published in a Chinese newspaper of indeterminate journalistic quality.


When the first know cases were reported is not in doubt (Dec 11)
When hospitals first suspected they were seeing a cluster of related cases is not in doubt (Dec 19-21)
When the genetic sequence of the virus responsible was released to scientists worldwide isn't in doubt (Dec 31)
When German scientists developed the first PCR test for Covid is not in doubt (Jan 10)
the WHO was looking into whether it was human to human transmissible, On Jan 18 they said there was insufficient evidence and that they needed another week to study the question. On Jan 21 they announced that it was in fact human to human transmissible. Before this all you had was people speculating and guessing but little actual evidence.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:29 PM   #3170
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Everything I said is well documented fact generated by western scientists working either independently of for the WHO, not speculation or rumor that may or may not have been published in a Chinese newspaper of indeterminate journalistic quality.


When the first know cases were reported is not in doubt (Dec 11)
When hospitals first suspected they were seeing a cluster of related cases is not in doubt (Dec 19-21)
When the genetic sequence of the virus responsible was released to scientists worldwide isn't in doubt (Dec 31)
When German scientists developed the first PCR test for Covid is not in doubt (Jan 10)
the WHO was looking into whether it was human to human transmissible, On Jan 18 they said there was insufficient evidence and that they needed another week to study the question. On Jan 21 they announced that it was in fact human to human transmissible. Before this all you had was people speculating and guessing but little actual evidence.
President Xi knew, as reported in Chinese state media, by January 5th, by his own admission.

Sure, it is correct the WHO did not know on January 18th whether it was human transmissible, because China, who already knew it was, refused to tell them.

That is a fact.

This is also not something I have just cooked up, it was reported in newspapers in March 2020, and I posted about it at that time in the main Covid science thread, e.g. http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=995

To show how apalling their attempts were to control it:

"Two days after they finally admitted it was human transmissible, they continued to hold a Lunar New Year dance performance attended by senior officials from all across Hubei. Amazingly, state media reported that the performers, some with runny noses and feeling unwell "overcame the fear of pneumonia, winning praise from the leaders.""

Xi knew, China knew, they failed to tell the WHO, and allowed it to spread because they were trying to cover it up first.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:36 PM   #3171
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Everything I said is well documented fact generated by western scientists working either independently of for the WHO, not speculation or rumor that may or may not have been published in a Chinese newspaper of indeterminate journalistic quality.


When the first know cases were reported is not in doubt (Dec 11)
When hospitals first suspected they were seeing a cluster of related cases is not in doubt (Dec 19-21)
When the genetic sequence of the virus responsible was released to scientists worldwide isn't in doubt (Dec 31)
When German scientists developed the first PCR test for Covid is not in doubt (Jan 10)
the WHO was looking into whether it was human to human transmissible, On Jan 18 they said there was insufficient evidence and that they needed another week to study the question. On Jan 21 they announced that it was in fact human to human transmissible. Before this all you had was people speculating and guessing but little actual evidence.
The South China Morning Post is not some unknown newspaper of indeterminate quality, it is Hong Kong's newspaper of record, and still considered authoritative and independent.

And in this case, was simply reporting facts from Chinese state media, facts that reflected badly on China, so were extremely unlikely to be reported by said state media if they could get away with not reporting them, and impossible to be reported if they were false.
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Old 28th August 2022, 08:23 PM   #3172
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
President Xi knew, as reported in Chinese state media, by January 5th, by his own admission.

Sure, it is correct the WHO did not know on January 18th whether it was human transmissible, because China, who already knew it was, refused to tell them.

That is a fact.

This is also not something I have just cooked up, it was reported in newspapers in March 2020, and I posted about it at that time in the main Covid science thread, e.g. http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=995

To show how apalling their attempts were to control it:

"Two days after they finally admitted it was human transmissible, they continued to hold a Lunar New Year dance performance attended by senior officials from all across Hubei. Amazingly, state media reported that the performers, some with runny noses and feeling unwell "overcame the fear of pneumonia, winning praise from the leaders.""

Xi knew, China knew, they failed to tell the WHO, and allowed it to spread because they were trying to cover it up first.
Indeed, but the fact we now know about this cover-up and the initial cover-up when Li Wenliang was warning about about spread from the Huanan seafood market CANNOT be seen as evidence that covering up a lab leak would be easy. If anything, both points again, undermine a lab leak and suggest the Chinese government instead tried (and failed) to cover up a wild-life born spillover, and have been muddying the waters ever since.

Many times in this very thread, I've been told by lab leaker(s) that the Huanan Seafood Market has been completely refuted to the point that it is no more likely than coming from space. Yet, the initial and most plausible hypothesis, that it DID come from the wildlife trade and emerged from the Huanan Seafood Market is becoming more plausible, rather than less, and the lab leak theory is looking less plausible without some very far-fetched and far-reaching theorizing necessary to paper over the cracks.
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Old 31st August 2022, 06:25 AM   #3173
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I think the chapter on HIV in Spillover is quite good. It goes pretty deeply into the OPV theory of AIDS (which was that oral polio vaccine used a form of the simian version of AIDS which then led to the HIV and then AIDS) and also Worobey's involvement in initially accompanying W. D. Hamilton (a prominent proponent of the theory) to Congo to find blood samples in order to see if it contained SIV. Apparently Hamilton contracted malaria on the trip and later died, and the blood samples showed no SIV.

Regarding Worobey's theory here, the TWIV team don't really ask many questions because, as they say at the end, Worobey basically answers all the ones that they planned to ask, and they apparently had a lot that they wanted to ask.

Regarding the wild animals, I don't think Worobey thinks they came from near Wuhan, as far as I remember. They could have been farmed many miles away.

I also don't think he is arguing it spilled over in multiple markets. Just one.

How did it get adapted to humans? Well, presumably there is a survivorship bias. Lineage A was not as adaptive as B, and maybe there were others that fizzled out. We know it was adapting all the time as he even mentions another variant that completely took over.

And we can hardly say he is "ignoring" the proximity of the labs. It was the very proximity of the labs that got him and Jesse Bloom to write a letter to Science saying that the lab leak theory needs to be taken seriously.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the peer reviewers make of it.
I think I may have forgotten to point out that Matt Ridley was one of the proponents of the theory that AIDS had come from the oral polio vaccine and not a spillover.

Well, here he is going back to that theory now. I think when we see these kinds of thought processes then it becomes pretty clear why lab leak is thought of a conspiracy theory....
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Old 23rd November 2022, 05:30 AM   #3174
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I'm going to necro this thread, a little, as one of the contentious suggestions about the origins of Covid has been that all the top scientist guys - Fauci, Andersen, Farrar, Vallance, Holmes, etc... knew that the virus had come from a lab and then tried to hush it up.

Then some redacted emails came out in which it was thought that they had admitted the origins, or of making the virus, and had decided to redact those bits.

I think I may have had a bit of fun with those claiming that this is what lay under the redactions.

Anyway, now the unredacted emails have been released.

I have not read them all, but here is a thread by Angie Rasumussen in which she argues that what is going on here is a group of scientists initially wondering in horror if the virus had indeed been engineered, and then changing their mind the more they looked into it.

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