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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:00 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
There are a lot of possibilities. I just don't think it's CTish to not rule the lab out until the origin is definitively identified.
Not ruling it out, just suggesting an explanation for the earlier scattered infections (assuming they really were a form of covid).
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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:08 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Ron Obvious View Post
I'm not sure how relevant this is, but when I was at Newark International airport in May last year, they kept playing an announcement from the mayor of Newark telling us that "this virus" came to the US from Europe (Italy presumably) and NOT China!

That may well be true, because there's a well-known link between Wuhan and Northern Italy, but I did wonder at the time why he felt the need to tell us that several times an hour. Also, it was apparently extremely racist to refer to the virus as Wuhan Flu, but I don't recall any complaints ever about e.g. Spanish Flu, Hong Kong Flu, Ebola, and Marburg.

It made me wonder just how much Chinese influence there is on our media.
I seem to recall that the actual infection path to the eastern US was from europe, whilst the west coast was infected from Asia.

As to calling it Wuhan flu, supposedly it's racist to blame China for the flu but the international media have no problem calling the infectious variants UK Variant, Brazil Variant, South Africa Variant etc. Eh, that's where they were identified, so what's the problem?

That said, I seem to recall there were fears of attacks on people of Chinese origin at the time.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:09 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Has that been narrowed down? I thought there were one or more possible animals besides the pangolin.
This isn't something I have followed closely for a while so there may be newer research but Covid-19 appears to have arisen from a recombination event involving a coronavirus that infects bats and one that infects Pangolins.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450963/

Most of the virus is closely related to the bat virus, however the spike structure of that virus is unlikely to infect humans. The spike protein of covid-19 is very closely related genetically and structurally to one found in Pangolins but the rest of the Pangolin virus is considerably more distant from Covid-19.

Pangolins were in the market where the first major outbreak started so the simplest answer is that's where the recombination occurred, and then it jumped to humans. There may be other potential places the recombination occurred but they appear more complicated and unlikely
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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:39 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So let's look at this: The WHO said so.
The one researcher in the SA article said so.

Have you seen anything else?
He is the WHO mission leader there. Peter Ben Embarek gave a pretty frank interview here in the link below, some highlights:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021...ing-covid-19-s

"Q: At Friday’s press conference in Geneva, Tedros seemed to contradict you by saying that with respect to the origins of SARS-CoV-2: “All hypotheses are on the table.” Was it a mistake to call the lab origin hypothesis “extremely unlikely”?

A: No. We first developed a pathway of all the possible ways the virus could be introduced into the human population in late 2019. A lab accident is one hypothesis, another is the direct introduction from an animal host, and the others are different versions of intermediary hosts.

For each hypothesis, we tried to put facts on the table, look at what we had in terms of arguments, and then make an assessment of each. It was already a big step to have Chinese colleagues assess and evaluate such a hypothesis based on what we had on the table, which was not much. Yes, lab accidents do happen around the world; they have happened in the past. The fact that several laboratories of relevance are in and around Wuhan, and are working with coronavirus, is another fact. Beyond that we didn’t have much in terms of looking at that hypothesis as a likely option."

"Q: But my question is whether you learned anything new in China. Now that you’ve been there, do you have more reason to say it’s “extremely unlikely” than before?

A: Yes. We had long meetings with the staff of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and three other laboratories in Wuhan. They talked about these claims openly. We discussed: What did you do over the past year to dismiss this claim? What did you yourself develop in terms of argumentations? Did you do audits yourself? Did you look at your records? Did you test your staff?

And they explained how they worked and what kind of audit system they had. They had retrospectively tested serum from their staff. They tested samples from early 2019 and from 2020. There were a lot of discussions that we could not have had if we had not traveled to Wuhan. We also did not have evidence provided by outsiders to support any of the claims out there. That could potentially have tipped the balance. What we saw and discussed gave us much more confidence in our assessment. The consensus was that this is an unlikely scenario."

"Q: Would it have been better to project less certainty at the press conference in Wuhan? The way most journalists understood it, the way I understood it, was that this has been ruled out.

A: Let me be clear on this: The fact that we assessed this hypothesis as extremely unlikely doesn’t mean it’s ruled out. … We also state in the report that all these hypothesis assessments will be reviewed on a regular basis. We may pick that one up again if new evidence comes up to make it more likely. It’s work in progress."
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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:51 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
If I may, I assume you mean that was the main reason for the thread...
The main reason for the thread is to get it out of the main Covid thread.

I couldn't care less where it came from; it's of historical relevance only, while the Covid thread is about the ongoing pandemic and science related to it.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 02:08 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
it's of historical relevance only,
I disagree with that. Any research into the origins of a virus can only be useful.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 02:36 PM   #47
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Edited by zooterkin:  <SNIP>
Reply to off topic post removed.


Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Both the location and the intermediary animal are unknown. That it "probably crossed over to humans from bats" doesn't seem the exclude the Institute of Virology, since they were studying bat-derived coronaviruses there.
Except that same link that you snippeted from has the same scientists saying that this scenario was "extremely unlikely".
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Old 22nd February 2021, 07:52 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Not ruling it out, just suggesting an explanation for the earlier scattered infections (assuming they really were a form of covid).
This:
Originally Posted by Lplus
One might postulate that an earlier variant with much less transmissability occurred first - maybe starting closer to the bats - which only became more infectious after mutation in one of the human population of Wuhan?
Is speculation. That's fine.

This:
Originally Posted by Lplus
an explanation for the earlier scattered infections (assuming they really were a form of covid
Says something different.

What earlier "scattered infections"? If you mean the cases they found in Aug, we don't know yet if those originated in Wuhan or "closer to the bats".
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Old 22nd February 2021, 08:17 PM   #49
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The first SARS outbreak was covered up by the Chinese government (or as Fox News likes to say, the CCP) until it was no longer possible to keep the world quiet about it.

Similar story in this outbreak. It was well known to virologists that SARS-like coronaviruses existed among the bat populations and probably other mammals in southern China and probably elsewhere at some level.

I won't rule out that it escaped from a lab but I don't see any good reason to favor that hypothesis and I don't see any reason to blame Bill Gates or invoke some cynical conspiracy theory about that. Researchers HAD to study SARS like they study any new and emerging disease and efforts were made shortly after the epidemic to do that.

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Old 22nd February 2021, 08:33 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This isn't something I have followed closely for a while so there may be newer research but Covid-19 appears to have arisen from a recombination event involving a coronavirus that infects bats and one that infects Pangolins.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450963/

Most of the virus is closely related to the bat virus, however the spike structure of that virus is unlikely to infect humans. The spike protein of covid-19 is very closely related genetically and structurally to one found in Pangolins but the rest of the Pangolin virus is considerably more distant from Covid-19.

Pangolins were in the market where the first major outbreak started so the simplest answer is that's where the recombination occurred, and then it jumped to humans. There may be other potential places the recombination occurred but they appear more complicated and unlikely
But keep in mind the wet market was not the original source of the pandemic.

Newsweek 04-27-20
Quote:
In the early days, the prevailing theory of the virus' origins was that it, like SARS, arose in bats, passed to some other mammal such as a pangolin, and ultimately entered the population through the wild-animal markets. ...

The DIA report, however, cites U.S. government and Chinese researchers that found "about 33 percent of the original 41 identified cases did not have direct exposure" to the market. That, along with what's known of the laboratory's work in past few years, raised reasonable suspicion that the pandemic may have been caused by a lab error, not the wet market.

Sidenote:
Quote:
This is no nefarious secret program in an underground military bunker. The Wuhan lab received funding, mostly for virus discovery, in part from a ten-year, $200 million international program called PREDICT, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and other countries.
Needed clarification because the issue of US funding the lab keeps coming up.


And this was an issue just as digging up samples of the 1918 flu virus from dead people buried in the permafrost was.
Quote:
Some of this research involves taking deadly viruses and enhancing their ability to spread quickly through a population—research that took place over the objections of hundreds of scientists, who have warned for years of the program's potential to cause a pandemic.

A point I brought up earlier:
Quote:
In the years since the SARS outbreak, many instances of mishaps involving the accidental release of pathogens have taken place in labs throughout the world. Hundreds of breaches have occurred in the U.S., including a 2014 release of anthrax from a U.S. government lab that exposed 84 people. The SARS virus escaped from a Beijing lab in 2004, causing four infections and one death. An accidental release is not complicated and doesn't require malicious intent. All it takes is for a lab worker to get sick, go home for the night, and unwittingly spread the virus to others.
And this should put an end to the argument the Wuhan lab was perfect:
Quote:
The Wuhan Institute has a record of shoddy practices that could conceivably lead to an accidental release, as officials at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reportedly warned in a cable on January 19, 2018. "During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory," states the cable, according to the Washington Post.
There's a lot in this Newsweek article, more than usual for a news magazine. The whole next section is worth a read.


Moving on to this:
Quote:
By the time the current pandemic hit, animal-passage experiments had become commonplace. Scientists in many of the more than 30 BSL-4 labs around the world had used them to enhance the transmissibility of respiratory-tract pathogens. ...

... The [Wuhan] Institute began a program of gain-of-function research into bat coronaviruses in 2015. ...

... The lab got its first BSL-4 lab in 2018, which is now considered a requirement for this kind of work (though some work proceeds in BSL-3-enhanced labs). It's possible that researchers started animal passage work in the BSL-4 lab but didn't finish it in time to publish before the current pandemic, when China tightened up on publications.
One argument against the lab origination source was that lab manipulation could be spotted genetically. But passing the virus through other animal species would not be visible.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 08:41 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
He is the WHO mission leader there. Peter Ben Embarek gave a pretty frank interview here in the link below, some highlights:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021...ing-covid-19-s

"Q: At Friday’s press conference in Geneva, Tedros seemed to contradict you by saying that with respect to the origins of SARS-CoV-2: “All hypotheses are on the table.” Was it a mistake to call the lab origin hypothesis “extremely unlikely”?

A: No. We first developed a pathway of all the possible ways the virus could be introduced into the human population in late 2019. A lab accident is one hypothesis, another is the direct introduction from an animal host, and the others are different versions of intermediary hosts.

For each hypothesis, we tried to put facts on the table, look at what we had in terms of arguments, and then make an assessment of each. It was already a big step to have Chinese colleagues assess and evaluate such a hypothesis based on what we had on the table, which was not much. Yes, lab accidents do happen around the world; they have happened in the past. The fact that several laboratories of relevance are in and around Wuhan, and are working with coronavirus, is another fact. Beyond that we didn’t have much in terms of looking at that hypothesis as a likely option."

"Q: But my question is whether you learned anything new in China. Now that you’ve been there, do you have more reason to say it’s “extremely unlikely” than before?

A: Yes. We had long meetings with the staff of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and three other laboratories in Wuhan. They talked about these claims openly. We discussed: What did you do over the past year to dismiss this claim? What did you yourself develop in terms of argumentations? Did you do audits yourself? Did you look at your records? Did you test your staff?

And they explained how they worked and what kind of audit system they had. They had retrospectively tested serum from their staff. They tested samples from early 2019 and from 2020. There were a lot of discussions that we could not have had if we had not traveled to Wuhan. We also did not have evidence provided by outsiders to support any of the claims out there. That could potentially have tipped the balance. What we saw and discussed gave us much more confidence in our assessment. The consensus was that this is an unlikely scenario."

"Q: Would it have been better to project less certainty at the press conference in Wuhan? The way most journalists understood it, the way I understood it, was that this has been ruled out.

A: Let me be clear on this: The fact that we assessed this hypothesis as extremely unlikely doesn’t mean it’s ruled out. … We also state in the report that all these hypothesis assessments will be reviewed on a regular basis. We may pick that one up again if new evidence comes up to make it more likely. It’s work in progress."
I did not know there were other labs in the area.

An open discussion with the staff is not as strong given the Chinese culture of secrecy and face saving. But I'll put it up there with said researcher verified it wasn't close to the virus genomes they were working with. Reasonably strong but not conclusive evidence.

But I'd like it better had the WHO verified those serologies themselves.

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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:15 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Reasonably strong but not conclusive evidence.
I think the only way they can 100% rule out the lab being the source is if they actually find the source of the outbreak.

Bit hard to 100% prove something didn't come from somewhere otherwise.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 05:38 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
If you mean the State Department page, monitoring for bioterrorism is clearly one of their functions. So you would expect that to be the focus. Doesn't mean the information on the page should be dismissed out of hand. I cited it because it was clearcut and easy to read, unlike my link in the last post and Chris H's link. Some of this stuff is more clear when it's in lay terms and not the genetic science terminology.


Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
No, it doesn't. If this was BS manufactured by Trump it would not look this sophisticated. All that moron knows how to do is demonize China in a crude way. He certainly has not appointed scientists with actual expertise to investigate.
Going back to this webpage. It is from the State Department:

Quote:
US politicians began spreading the conspiracy theories, including GOP Senators Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Marsha Blackburn especially President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.[
Look at the wording. Do you consider this to be "sophisticated"?

Quote:
For more than a year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemicís origin, choosing instead to devote enormous resources to deceit and disinformation.
I don't think it was written by Trump, but it is totally Trumpian in its tone. Whoever wrote it probably did so with Mike Pompeo's guidance.

Okay, now, back to this....

Quote:
1. Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):

The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengliís public claim that there was ďzero infectionĒ among the WIVís staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
Have you found anything more about this?
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Old 23rd February 2021, 06:32 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This isn't true. The intermediary is almost certainly a Pangolin. The spike protean for Covid-19 has characteristic who's only known natural counterpart is found in several Coronaviruses that infect Pangolins. It's not out of the question it exists elsewhere and we just haven't found it yet, but Pangolins as the intermediary fits everything else as well.
So the WHO is wrong?

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/2021...om-pangolins#1

Quote:
Importantly here, we've shown two key things. Firstly, that this bat virus would unlikely be able to infect pangolins. And secondly, that a pangolin virus could potentially infect humans," Wrobel said in an institute news release.
So, it came straight from pangolins to humans then? (not from bats to pangolins to humans?)
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Old 23rd February 2021, 07:08 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
So the WHO is wrong?

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/2021...om-pangolins#1



So, it came straight from pangolins to humans then? (not from bats to pangolins to humans?)
The bat virus is Covid-19's closest know relative, it's significantly more closely related to Covid-19 than the Pangolin virus. Only the spike protein came from the Pangolin virus.

It's possible the recombination event joined the two happened in yet another species, but given Pangolin's presence at the epicenter of the original outbreak the simplest solution is that it occurred in Pangolins. Either way Pangolins are involved because that is the apparent source of the spike protein.

Don't follow the red herring of reports that the Pangolin virus could jump directly to humans on it's own. Given that the spike protein in that virus does a good job or attaching to human ACE-2 receptors that was always likely to be the case.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 10:51 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Lots of people saw those planes with their own eyes, and we all saw it on TV.

It's in a whole different category of implausible. We know who the hijackers were. There's just overwhelming evidence of what actually happened there.

Here, they don't really have anything nailed down. They are even considering imported frozen food.
If "highly implausible" is part of the definition of "conspiracy theory" you're applying, then you're using it in the pejorative sense more than the descriptive sense. If you're using it in the pejorative, dismissve sense, then there's not much use in discussing the thing or having a forum area for it.

I think the descriptive sense of "conspiracy theory" simply requires that a theory heavily involves a significant number of people wielding power and working together in secret in a way that's contrary to their public statements.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 11:02 AM   #57
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Mod WarningSeveral off-topic posts moved to AAH.

There are other threads for discussing the general medical situation regarding Covid-19 or the political responses to it, and another for conspiracy theories.

For this thread to remain open, you need to confine your posts to discussing the origins of Covid-19.

Thank you.
Responding to this mod box in thread will be off topic Posted By:zooterkin
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Old 23rd February 2021, 12:25 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
I think the only way they can 100% rule out the lab being the source is if they actually find the source of the outbreak.

Bit hard to 100% prove something didn't come from somewhere otherwise.
Genetic trail can lead to a conclusive source. It takes a while to test animal sources.

They can also get back to patient zero with a bit of detective work.

Doesn't mean that will happen.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 12:37 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Going back to this webpage. It is from the State Department:

Look at the wording. Do you consider this to be "sophisticated"?

I don't think it was written by Trump, but it is totally Trumpian in its tone. Whoever wrote it probably did so with Mike Pompeo's guidance.
That was typical state department wording in a public information page and like I said, one can ignore things that aren't relevant like the militarized stuff. Yes, I said this was during Trump's 4 years

Just use these sources as part of the whole. There are sources claiming it was the lab and other sources saying it wasn't. We don't have a definitive answer, IMO. Though there is some good evidence coming out in this thread that it wasn't the lab.

If you don't buy any information coming from the US defense agencies, can you believe anything coming from China? There are issues with both.

Quote:
Okay, now, back to this....

Have you found anything more about this?
Not yet. There is the evidence posted elsewhere that through satellite images there was activity around the Wuhan hospital and an uptick of net searches for pneumonia and other related terms in August of 2019 suggesting COVID began spreading that month. The wet market was a super-spreader event but not the source.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 12:40 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Genetic trail can lead to a conclusive source. It takes a while to test animal sources.

They can also get back to patient zero with a bit of detective work.

Doesn't mean that will happen.
This has been achieved to a relatively high degree. It's possible there are still some missing steps, but what we already know is more than enough to say it's unlikely it would have been in a lab in the first place.

Covid-19 is very much a new virus. How would a lab even get hold of it before it started circulating? It's a very infectious virus that can infect many different animal species. I don't find it credible that it was just sitting around waiting for a laboratory to pick it up and study. It's infectious enough that it would have begun circulating widely among animals almost the moment it came into existence and found it's way into humans shortly after. If it were not so infectious than the "escaped from a lab" story wouldn't make sense either.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 01:16 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post

There is the evidence posted elsewhere that through satellite images there was activity around the Wuhan hospital and an uptick of net searches for pneumonia and other related terms in August of 2019 suggesting COVID began spreading that month.
An uptick in the number of searches for pneumonia right at the start of flu season isn't exactly a remarkable occurrence.

That's not to say there was no connection at all to Covid-19. Most estimates I've seen say it started circulating is a Septemberish time frame.

This doesn't change the fact that market was the epicenter making it the most likely place for the jump to humans to have occurred. It would have had to have been spreading in and around and away from the market for a couple months before there 1000 infections, with 20-30 hospitalizations and a handful of deaths. It's in the third month that you'd see a real explosion of cases.

We know local officials dropped the ball and delayed identifying the outbreak by up to a month. Identifying the outbreak and mid Dec and isolating the virus in late Dec pushes the first case back to late August or early September. This leaves lots of time for it to spread elsewhere but would still have most of the early cases having some connection to the market.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 02:07 PM   #62
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A few things while a have some time now since this thread was is response to my 'conspiracy' about the outbreak being related to scientists traveling to the 'bat caves' area (likely Yunnan) and returning to Wuhan.
And given the collaboration of the team, not all of the members go back to work in the lab.

I posted a link back to an NPR article back in April (pub in Feb '20)

New Research: Bats Harbor Hundreds Of Coronaviruses, And Spillovers Aren't Rare
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsan...ers-arent-rare

Quote:
So the researchers started taking blood samples from villagers in China who lived near some of the bat caves they'd been studying.

Hongying Li is an ecologist with EcoHealth Alliance. She says there were any number of ways these people seemed at risk of inadvertently coming into contact with bat saliva, urine or poop.

Each time, says Li, "we found coronaviruses that had already spilled over into the human population."
These were multiple mini-outbreaks that had gone undetected.


Olival says this discovery was a huge red flag: "The signal is there that these SARS-related viruses were jumping into people even if they weren't causing any noticeable disease."
Indeed, people might have even had symptoms, but health authorities simply never picked up on it.
Though these viruses are not exactly Covid-19 (or at least no proof of it), there were hundreds of variants residing there at any given time. Also note that no intermediary animal was required for these infections to be passed to villagers from bats.

Quote:
Scientists had thought spillovers were rare — that bat coronaviruses weren't generally capable of infecting humans, so it took complicated steps.
"What we showed was that SARS-related viruses in these bat populations have the potential to go directly into human cells and do not need that extra mutational step [of] infecting another host."

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Old 23rd February 2021, 03:27 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
There is the evidence posted elsewhere that through satellite images there was activity around the Wuhan hospital and an uptick of net searches for pneumonia and other related terms in August of 2019 suggesting COVID began spreading that month. The wet market was a super-spreader event but not the source.
Like lomiller, I dismissed that idea when it was first mooted, and I still do.

There was a spike in searches for "flu symptoms and diarrhea at the start of the influenza and norovirus seasons, around September.

Hmmm.

Satellite images, which may or may not be correct, showed full carparks in August/September as well.

To buy the idea that Covid was circulating widely enough to impact both searches and hospitals by September would require the disease to have stopped replicating for two months, despite no measures being taken.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 03:29 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This has been achieved to a relatively high degree. It's possible there are still some missing steps, but what we already know is more than enough to say it's unlikely it would have been in a lab in the first place.
I don't see how you can say that.

Quote:
Covid-19 is very much a new virus. How would a lab even get hold of it before it started circulating? It's a very infectious virus that can infect many different animal species. I don't find it credible that it was just sitting around waiting for a laboratory to pick it up and study. It's infectious enough that it would have begun circulating widely among animals almost the moment it came into existence and found it's way into humans shortly after. If it were not so infectious than the "escaped from a lab" story wouldn't make sense either.
What the heck do you think the lab is studying, how to make bat soup?

A lot of these genetic changes that allow a species jump are not that involved. What does matter is if the changes allow the pathogen to easily enter and reproduce in the human body (usually respiratory track). A poor match might mean the individual gets infected but doesn't shed enough virus to sustain human to human spread. The lab was looking at what changes are needed to make these viruses adapted to humans.

They did similar research with the HPAI H5N1 virus and found it only needed two more mutations to become adapted to the human respiratory track.

Just jogged my memory, when the H5N1 human infections did occur, they were deep in the lung, fewer viruses shed from these cells. But the upper airway was a different matter. Viral replication in these cells would likely mean more viral shedding. There are papers on this but it's getting too far OT.

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Old 23rd February 2021, 03:39 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
An uptick in the number of searches for pneumonia right at the start of flu season isn't exactly a remarkable occurrence.
Flu season in the northern hemisphere typically starts in Dec, not Aug.

Quote:
That's not to say there was no connection at all to Covid-19. Most estimates I've seen say it started circulating is a Septemberish time frame.
No. They've found blood specimens with antibodies that document cases at least as far back as Aug.


Quote:
This doesn't change the fact that market was the epicenter making it the most likely place for the jump to humans to have occurred. It would have had to have been spreading in and around and away from the market for a couple months before there 1000 infections, with 20-30 hospitalizations and a handful of deaths. It's in the third month that you'd see a real explosion of cases.
The wet market in Wuhan has already been ruled out as the place the virus originally jumped species.

Quote:
We know local officials dropped the ball and delayed identifying the outbreak by up to a month. Identifying the outbreak and mid Dec and isolating the virus in late Dec pushes the first case back to late August or early September. This leaves lots of time for it to spread elsewhere but would still have most of the early cases having some connection to the market.
The problem with this hypothesis is that there were many cases with no connection to the market, even remotely.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 03:48 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Like lomiller, I dismissed that idea when it was first mooted, and I still do.

There was a spike in searches for "flu symptoms and diarrhea at the start of the influenza and norovirus seasons, around September.
And you make the same mistake with this confirmation biased assumption. Flu season in the northern hemisphere rarely starts before Dec. The 2009 variant was an exception, but we did not have an exception in 2019.


Quote:
Satellite images, which may or may not be correct, showed full carparks in August/September as well.

To buy the idea that Covid was circulating widely enough to impact both searches and hospitals by September would require the disease to have stopped replicating for two months, despite no measures being taken.
You are welcome to support this rebuttal with a source.

And stopped replicating for 2 months? I don't think it did but even if it had, we also had a lull for no good reason between the first and second waves.

SARS circulated for several months in Guangdong before breaking out into the world. HIV circulated for years (or at least many months) in rural West Central Africa before it broke out into the rest of Africa and then to the world. This is not an argument for the origin being in Sept.

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Old 23rd February 2021, 05:26 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And stopped replicating for 2 months? I don't think it did but even if it had, we also had a lull for no good reason between the first and second waves.

SARS circulated for several months in Guangdong before breaking out into the world. HIV circulated for years (or at least many months) in rural West Central Africa before it broke out into the rest of Africa and then to the world. This is not an argument for the origin being in Sept.
Agree. This sort of argument also assumes the variant and how contagious or serious the illness becomes remains stable from when it first enters a human population and that infections also remain stable throughout seasons.
Well, we know that is not true.

If it just hit some small rural village near the source without many hosts or much ability to travel, then we likely never hear of them, unless you follow the research that found infections/antibodies in people there.

But what happens when it hits a larger, denser population with many more hosts? Is it not reasonable to think it has much more opportunity to mutate over time into a more virulent form? And doesn't that usually take many weeks or months?

After all, this is what we have seen happen in different locations globally.

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Old 23rd February 2021, 07:28 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And you make the same mistake with this confirmation biased assumption. Flu season in the northern hemisphere rarely starts before Dec. The 2009 variant was an exception, but we did not have an exception in 2019.
Oh, that is pure gold. You call me out for making assumptions, while making an enormously erroneous one yourself.

Quote:
In southern China, influenza is prevalent throughout the year; it has a clear peak in the summer and a less pronounced peak in the winter.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321959/

(Shoulda checked before assuming China reflects what happens in USA)

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You are welcome to support this rebuttal with a source.
Like the one I just posted that shows your response to be factually incorrect?

Sure. Consider it done.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And stopped replicating for 2 months?
Have you been asleep for the whole pandemic? It has exponential spread and if hospitals were full of Covid in August/September, most of the population would have been infected by January.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't think it did but even if it had, we also had a lull for no good reason between the first and second waves.
Utter nonsense. You had a minor drop (nothing like a lull) after introduction of extreme measures in NY, which held the pandemic up until it took hold elsewhere. Numbers didn't start rising again for four whole months. Even then, the reduction in USA was all of about 20%, and if you don't think Covid is at least somewhat seasonal, you haven't been watching, and it was the middle of summer.

In Wuhan, no measures were taken until January, and the numbers do not support an earlier outbreak at all.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
SARS circulated for several months in Guangdong before breaking out into the world. HIV circulated for years (or at least many months) in rural West Central Africa before it broke out into the rest of Africa and then to the world. This is not an argument for the origin being in Sept.
That's not even a goalpost shift - you're trying to change the entire game by talking about entirely different diseases, one of which is impossible to catch for most people. The other infected all of 8000 cases worldwide.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 07:47 PM   #69
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From your link:
Quote:
Whereas a regular winter pattern is noted for northern China (similar to that in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere)
Wuhan is far enough north that flu season is consistent with the northern hemisphere:

Seasonal influenza activity in young children before the COVID‐19 outbreak in Wuhan, China
Quote:
we also found a peak of influenza A in early January, coinciding with the start of the COVID‐19 outbreak. It is interesting to note that the winter peak of seasonal influenza in Wuhan appeared in early January 2020, nearly one month earlier than those in 2017–2018 and 2018–2019.
Tag, you're it.
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Old 24th February 2021, 01:45 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
From your link:

Wuhan is far enough north that flu season is consistent with the northern hemisphere:
Incorrect.

Holy crap, even though I gave you the instructions, you still failed.

Let's unpack it so you don't get it wrong yet again.

The link clearly states:

Quote:
For influenza surveillance purposes, mainland China was divided into northern and southern parts, basically following the Qinling Mountain range in the west and the Huai River in the east.
Wuhan is south of Huai. Here's a handy map so you can't possibly go wrong this time:

https://www.semanticscholar.org/pape...00676/figure/1

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Sure.

You are terrible at this, and you'd save yourself an enormous amount of embarrassment if you tried reading the link more carefully next time.

From the link...

Quote:
The prominent influenza peaks in the winter in the north and summer in the south were clear for adults and for children (Figure, panel A); the level of ILI was 3–5◊ for children.
Children aren't even relevant - the link gives you the child and adult data separately, and even then you missed it. Southern China has a peak in August. The data is all there.

The end.
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Old 24th February 2021, 05:38 AM   #71
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So you think adults get flu at a different time of year than the kids?

If anything, adults get flu later as it spreads in schools then to adults from their kids.

My link was specifically about influenza IN WUHAN. To repeat:
Quote:
we also found a peak of influenza A in early January, coinciding with the start of the COVID‐19 outbreak. It is interesting to note that the winter peak of seasonal influenza in Wuhan appeared in early January 2020, nearly one month earlier than those in 2017–2018 and 2018–2019.
From the graph, influenza positive cultures in the two previous years don't match the summary and I'm not sure why that is, but regardless it is the 2019-2020 season that we are discussing.

It did not peak in Aug-Sept and was not responsible for the increased activity in the Wuhan hospitals or for the related net searches.

And from the charts, there is little flu activity in from July to Nov in 2019. And from the text:
Quote:
The retrospective laboratory tests in the specimens from these ILI patients to January 2020 showed that an outbreak of seasonal influenza attacked the ≤30 age group in October–November 2019,
Still not Aug-Sept.




Interesting side note from the graph, the 2018-19 and 2019-20 flu seasons are back to normal, peaking Jan to Mar. That is the same flu season we see here in the US with the earliest cases showing up in Dec. In the 2017-18 seasons things are different. After the 2009 variant flu, the flu seasons were irregular for several years after that here as well.

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Old 24th February 2021, 09:06 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What the heck do you think the lab is studying, how to make bat soup?
Covid-19 isnít a bat virus anymore. Itís spike doesnít attach well to the receptors in bats so at best itís minimally infections to bats. Itís unlikely that it could even spread from bat to bat. Someone studying bat viruses is very unlikely to encounter Covid-19.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
They did similar research with the HPAI H5N1 virus and found it only needed two more mutations to become adapted to the human respiratory track.
The spike structure that allows Covid-19 to infect humans is completely different than itís bat predecessor. Itís certainly NOT just one or two mutations. The bat virus

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The lab was looking at what changes are needed to make these viruses adapted to humans.
This fails for the same reason ďit was created in a labĒ conspiracy theories fail.
Essentially you are suggesting that someone took pieces from 2 random viruses, neither of which was thought to be able to infect humans, in the hopes that the result would somehow be able to infect humans. This isnít how human researchers work, it IS characteristic of how of how recombination in RNA viruses works in the wild to occasionally produce something entirely new that can spread jump species easily.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:45 AM   #73
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Summary of bat Coronaviruses in China (Pub Mar 2019)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466186/

Published many months before the outbreak.

Quote:
It is generally believed that bat-borne CoVs will re-emerge to cause the next disease outbreak. In this regard, China is a likely hotspot. The challenge is to predict when and where, so that we can try our best to prevent such outbreaks.

It was strongly suggested that SARS-CoV most likely originated from Yunnan Rhinolophus bats via recombination events among existing SARSr-CoVs.
...
(on SARS-related viruses)
The S protein in certain strains is capable of using human ACE2 as a receptor and thus poses a direct threat to humans [69]. Interestingly, all the SARSr-CoVs that are capable of using human ACE2 were found in R. sinicus in Yunnan Province
..
These studies revealed that various SARSr-CoVs capable of using human ACE2 are still circulating among bats in China, highlighting the possibly of another SARS-like disease outbreak. Certain areas in Yunnan Province are hotspots for spillover. To support this hypothesis, we provide serological evidence of bat SARSr-CoV infection in humans in Yunnan Province where no prior exposure to SARS-CoV was recorded
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:49 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post

My link was specifically about influenza IN WUHAN.
Your own link shows a clear uptick in Influenza BEFOR Covid-19 hits. It also shows the premature end to flu season due to social distancing required to combat Covid-19. If, as you speculate Covid-19 was circulating in Aug, the spike in Covid cases would have been much sooner because itís more infectious than the Flu and case counts increase much more rapidly. Furthermore flu tends to all but disappear when people are responding to Covid and that didnít happen until Jan.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It did not peak in Aug-Sept and was not responsible for the increased activity in the Wuhan hospitals or for the related net searches.

You are telling us this metric as an early response indictor for Covid, but then saying it can be the Flu because the Flu season Doesnít peak at that time. Why would it be a leading indicator for one but not the other? If itís a valid metric it should start to rise as soon a flu cases start to rise, which occurs much sooner than when the peak case loads occur.
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Old 24th February 2021, 10:36 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Summary of bat Coronaviruses in China (Pub Mar 2019)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466186/

Published many months before the outbreak.
Pretty much bang on except for the fact that the recombination event that provided the spike protein came from a previously unstudied Pangolin virus rather than a virus from another bat.
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Old 24th February 2021, 01:22 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Covid-19 isnít a bat virus anymore. Itís spike doesnít attach well to the receptors in bats so at best itís minimally infections to bats. Itís unlikely that it could even spread from bat to bat. Someone studying bat viruses is very unlikely to encounter Covid-19.

The spike structure that allows Covid-19 to infect humans is completely different than itís bat predecessor. Itís certainly NOT just one or two mutations. The bat virus

This fails for the same reason ďit was created in a labĒ conspiracy theories fail.
Essentially you are suggesting that someone took pieces from 2 random viruses, neither of which was thought to be able to infect humans, in the hopes that the result would somehow be able to infect humans. This isnít how human researchers work, it IS characteristic of how of how recombination in RNA viruses works in the wild to occasionally produce something entirely new that can spread jump species easily.
So many false assumptions here about what I know and what I'm thinking.

I know all about the middle animal in the chain (bat-animal x-human) and why it is thought the mutations have to go through that middle animal before adapting to humans.

I said bat soup sarcastically because a wide collection of coronaviruses were obtained in the field by the researchers in the Wuhan Institute. That is what they are studying.

No CT is needed and frankly, trying to dismiss a viable possibility of a lab accident as a CT is so typical of this forum. People are so quick to label something as a CT after new evidence surfaces if they first went with the CT. Unfortunately it doesn't move the discussion forward.

And if you look at sherkeu's link above, it is about more than one coronavirus species being found in the people around the caves in China suggesting it is possible that a direct infection from bats can occur, no pangolin intermediary necessary. Maybe you missed this sentence:
Quote:
To support this hypothesis, we provide serological evidence of bat SARSr-CoV infection in humans in Yunnan Province where no prior exposure to SARS-CoV was recorded
If it is at all like the influenza virus, people close to infected birds get infected but the virus is not in an efficient state, thus no sustained human to human transmission occurred. But it is worth noting that those needed mutations could occur in a human as easily as in the intermediary animal.

The point is the Wuhan lab was studying multiple strains of bat coronaviruses.

Nature 2015: A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence
Quote:
Affiliations: ...
Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens and Biosafety, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China

Xing-Yi Ge & Zhengli-Li Shi
Not a big deal, just saying this is the kind of research that was going on in Wuhan.


As for the flu peaking before COVID in 2019, that has nothing to do with the conversation. The issue was, is the spike in cars in Wuhan hospital parking lots explained by natural flu season?

Flu did not peak in Aug in Wuhan.

Now that that is cleared up, you'll all be happy to see the BBC rebuttal to the satellite and search engine evidence: Coronavirus: Fact-checking claims it might have started in August 2019


Moving on.

Evidence against it being a lab leak:
The WHO and the top researcher in the Wuhan Institute says it was not.
There no genomic evidence it was a manufactured virus, something one would expect to see. (No one here is claiming purposefully manufactured.)
The evidence for it being a lab leak:
The initial outbreak was in Wuhan which is hundreds of miles from the bat caves.
China is known to cover things like this up.
If it was a lab leak the researcher would be fired or maybe worse, IOW the lab people have sufficient motive to lie.
There are probably more on those lists, I'll add them as we go.
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Old 24th February 2021, 01:27 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Pretty much bang on except for the fact that the recombination event that provided the spike protein came from a previously unstudied Pangolin virus rather than a virus from another bat.
Really? That has not been clearly established. It remains an hypothesis.

NIH: COVID-19: Time to exonerate the pangolin from the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans

I'll let you read it yourself.
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Old 24th February 2021, 02:10 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I know all about the middle animal in the chain (bat-animal x-human) and why it is thought the mutations have to go through that middle animal before adapting to humans.
Recombination not mutation.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I said bat soup sarcastically because a wide collection of coronaviruses were obtained in the field by the researchers in the Wuhan Institute. That is what they are studying.
Again, Covid-19 doesnít readily infect bats, so ďstudying batsĒ is not a satisfactory explanation for why it would be in the lab in the first place.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
No CT is needed and frankly, trying to dismiss a viable possibility of a lab accident as a CT is so typical of this forum. People are so quick to label something as a CT after new evidence surfaces if they first went with the CT. Unfortunately it doesn't move the discussion forward.
I said it fails for the same reason as the CT, but when you suggest scientists modified the bat virus ďto see what would make it infectious to humansĒ you are tilting well into CT territory. The fact remains that this isnít how human researchers work, but it is how recombination events work.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And if you look at sherkeu's link above, it is about more than one coronavirus species being found in the people around the caves in China suggesting it is possible that a direct infection from bats can occur, no pangolin intermediary necessary. Maybe you missed this sentence:If it is at all like the influenza virus, people close to infected birds get infected but the virus is not in an efficient state, thus no sustained human to human transmission occurred. But it is worth noting that those needed mutations could occur in a human as easily as in the intermediary animal.
Again. Recombination not mutation. The spike from the Pangolin virus efficiently attaches to human ACE-2 receptors, so itís infectious to humans right out of the gate. The same link also suggest something very similar happened with SARS, but with the spike protein coming from another bat virus. SARS was also infectious to humans right form the start.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Flu did not peak in Aug in Wuhan.
Neither did Covid, yet you expected us to believe it was causing an increase in online searches.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
As for the flu peaking before COVID in 2019, that has nothing to do with the conversation.
Covid spreads more rapidly the Flu. There is no credible way it could have started spreading sooner and peaked later.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The evidence for it being a lab leak:
The initial outbreak was in Wuhan which is hundreds of miles from the bat caves.
Again, not an issued because Covid-19 isnít infectious to bats.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
China is known to cover things like this up.
If it was a lab leak the researcher would be fired or maybe worse, IOW the lab people have sufficient motive to lie
Thatís not evidence for anything.
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Old 24th February 2021, 02:19 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Really? That has not been clearly established. It remains an hypothesis.

NIH: COVID-19: Time to exonerate the pangolin from the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans

I'll let you read it yourself.
I read it the other day and didn't find it compelling. they offer no explanation for why the spike protein so closely resembles the one found in the Pangolin virus and they handwave away the evidence for the what that spike protein can and can't attach to. Subsequent finding that the Pangolin virus can directly infect humans directly contradicts their claim that spike protein cannot.
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Old 24th February 2021, 03:46 PM   #80
Skeptic Ginger
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@lomiller: No it is not all recombination. That is playing a role with COVID, but it is not the only thing going on.


How do you know COVID 19 can't reinfect bats?

It hasn't been found yet but it also hasn't been ruled out. Researchers are still looking.

Phys org news Jan 2021: Is COVID-19 infecting wild animals? We're testing species from bats to seals to find out


@everyone else:
If you aren't aware the Chinese cover things up for political reasons and to 'save face' I recommend you do more reading on the subject. Start with the ophthalmologist who was told to keep quiet before he himself died from COVID?


Then go here: The Lancet 2015 editorial: China's medical research integrity questioned.


This is what happened with SARS back in 2003:

RFI (request for information):
Quote:
Date: 10 Feb 2003
From: Stephen O. Cunnion, MD, PhD, MPH <cunnion@erols.com>

This morning I received this e-mail and then searched your archives
and found nothing that pertained to it. Does anyone know anything
about this problem?
"Have you heard of an epidemic in Guangzhou? An acquaintance of mine
from a teacher's chat room lives there and reports that the
hospitals there have been closed and people are dying."
The government said don't worry, we have this under control.
Quote:
Commenting on the problem of pneumonia on the Mainland, Dr Yeoh said
the Department of Health has already touched base with the Guangdong
authorities to learn more about the type of infection prevalent
there. The department will also determine whether there is any
particular risk of that infection coming to Hong Kong.
He assured the public that the Government is always on the alert, as
the Department of Health has a very good communicable disease
surveillance system.
Coupled with the network of reporting sources both from the public
and private sectors, as well as communication channels with
authorities on the Mainland and Macau, the Government is informed of
any infections that may spread to Hong Kong.
He called on the public not to be unduly concerned.
"We'll certainly be doing our part as the health authorities, but
individuals should always take precautions when they travel aboard,"
he added.
And then came the downplaying which the BMJ bought.
Quote:
The past 2 weeks have seen the province of Guangdong in southern China
become victim to a serious pneumonia epidemic that seized its people with
fear and caused major temporary economic damage, but that eventually turned
out to have relatively slight medical impact. By last week, there had been
8 deaths.
However, considerable anxiety was created by an "epidemic of rumours."
During the first week of February 2003 the public became aware of a
mysterious respiratory illness which apparently had a very high mortality
and caused death within hours. Symptoms included cough, fever, and
breathing difficulty....

People spread their fears and new-found information by telephone,
mobile phone, text messages, email, and word of mouth. In the absence of
public statements and official information the media communicated very little....

The rumour spread that many of the victims of the illness were hospital
staff and that a number of them had died. As a result outpatient
departments almost emptied.
That rumor turned out to be true and the one reason ProMed professionals were so concerned was that their colleagues were reporting the deaths of health care workers in the hospital.

Then came this report
Quote:
WHO issues a global alert about cases of atypical pneumonia

Cases of severe respiratory illness may spread to hospital staff

Since mid February 2003, WHO has been actively working to confirm
reports of outbreaks of a severe form of pneumonia in Viet Nam, Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region (SAR), China, & Guangdong province in
China
It evolved over time when it was no longer possible to hide.


The point is, people in China from local mayors to party officials are motivated to 'save face'.

There are dozens of papers on it, this is one: Of all the idiosyncrasies of Chinese culture, the concept of “face” is perhaps most difficult for Westerns to fully grasp.

Because “saving face” is such a strong motivating force in China, it’s also one of the most important concepts in understanding the Chinese Mind....



Too bad Wolfman isn't around, he knows the Chinese culture very well.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 24th February 2021 at 04:01 PM.
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