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What a Wuhan lab leak would really mean Scientists and the media eagerly denounced credible evidence as a conspiracy theory

A lab worker in China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

A lab worker in China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)


May 26, 2021   8 mins

It has taken 17 months since the new coronavirus supposedly erupted, but the lab leak hypothesis has finally come in from the cold. At first it was dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theory promoted by ranting right-wingers and nasty Sinophobes; a stance inflamed by some of the wilder claims made about the deliberate release of bio-weapons and the determination of some scientists to assist the Chinese cover-up. But now an increasing number of credible scientific voices are calling for a full investigation into whether  this global catastrophe was the result of some kind of human error at a Wuhan laboratory.

The ground began to shift late last year when Stanford microbiologist David Relman published a superb paper setting out why we should investigate seriously the possibility of a lab leak alongside natural zoonotic transmission, backing the small handful of brave scientists who had been making this case to the scorn of the medical establishment. In recent weeks several more leading experts — including Nobel-winning virologist David Baltimore, influential Cambridge geneticist Ravindra Gupta and Ralph Baric, the US epidemiologist who carried out controversial experiments on coronaviruses with Wuhan researchers — have gone public with similar demands. Even Anthony Fauci, the top US expert on infectious diseases heading its pandemic response, now concedes the virus could have come from a laboratory spillover event.

It is depressing it has taken so long for the world of science, supported by most journalists and politicians, to start accepting the basic truth that no theory should be discounted without evidence — especially given the seriousness of the issues at stake and history of leaks from laboratories. A spate of strong articles seems to have suddenly changed the media narrative, despite mostly reheating material familiar to those of us who have been tracking this story for months. The latest Wall Street Journal story, for example, about three Wuhan researchers allegedly falling suspiciously sick in November, builds on facts revealed by David Asher, former lead investigator for the State Department, in interviews two months ago with both the Australian journalist Sharri Markson and myself.

But what would it mean if the lab leak hypotheses proved correct? The result would be uncomfortable not just for the Chinese Communist Party, which would be guilty of overseeing arguably the biggest cover-up in history of an event that caused economic chaos, millions of deaths and misery around the world. It would shake science to its foundations for carrying out risky research despite clear warnings of the dangers, and then collaborating in an epic whitewash. And it would challenge a media that meekly accepted the establishment view rather than doing its job of asking difficult questions — a failure even more serious than the Iraq War intelligence debacle. Indeed, much of science and the media already look sadly tainted by their failures on this front, regardless of the outcome.

We still have no hard proof how this wretched pandemic emerged in that central Chinese city. We do know, however, that determined efforts in both China and the wider world to prove that Covid-19 had a natural zoonotic origin have failed so far to find an intermediate host animal that might have turned a bat virus into such a lethal, well-adapted pathogen for human beings, despite testing 80,000 samples. We know that Chinese officials were guilty of an initial cover-up that inflamed the impact of the disease with devastating global consequences, and that Beijing promoted false theories, smeared critics and expelled foreign reporters. We also know that the World Health Organisation’s collusion with the Communist regime has undermined its credibility.

On the flip side, there is also a body of circumstantial evidence and strange events pointing to a possible accident. These range from the sudden removal of a key virus database in mid-September through to admissions of serious safety concerns in Wuhan’s labs and a hastily censored paper by two Chinese scientists blaming a lab leak. There is also, of course, the coincidence that this pandemic began in a city that is home to Asia’s biggest bat coronavirus research at Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as several other key research centres, yet hundreds of miles from the southern Chinese caves where samples are collected from the creatures. Occam’s Razor certainly points to one of the labs.

Given that so many months have passed, and the Chinese state is so ruthless in its efficiency, it is probable we will never obtain a definitive answer to the question that is so important for protection against future pandemics. If we could ignore the cover-ups, it would almost be more comforting to know these events were caused by human error rather than another new disease sparked by interaction between animals and people on our crowded planet.

Yet let us imagine there is a document, a whistleblower or some kind of scientific breakthrough that proves there was a laboratory accident. What then? Clearly the biggest issues would confront the Chinese leadership. There were signs it was rattled early in the pandemic: first by the outbreak itself, then by the outburst of public fury — even among state officials — after the death of Li Wenliang, the Wuhan ophthalmologist detained for trying to warn his students over emergence of a new disease in their city.

Some analysts believe the shocks could be so seismic that President Xi Jinping would be deposed in a bid to recover face — and possibly that the entire Communist apparatus of control might crumble amid intense public anger. These views highlight the geo-political importance of the debate over the origins issue. Yet Bill Bishop, publisher of the daily newsletter Sinocism, argues that Beijing would blur the debate sufficiently to repress dissent among both its citizens and — armed with its immense economic power — the wider global community. “Would it make China a pariah state? Probably not because they are too big and powerful,” he said.

Bishop — an agnostic on the origins debate — is probably right. We live in a post-truth world, after all, in which Russia denied its invasion of the Crimea when its troops were visible on the ground, the US president denied he lost an election and even Rwanda can fool much of the world by manipulating the truth about its looting and repression. If so many Americans can fall for the nonsense of QAnon in a free society, then it is likely a sustained Chinese propaganda campaign could convince enough of its own citizens to disbelieve the truth. We have seen also how the Communists use their financial muscle to silence criticism around the world on issues such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

No doubt there would be sanctions, sabre-rattling, some talk of consumer boycotts and loud demands for reparations — before the arguments drag on fruitlessly for many years. “China will do whatever it can to deny it,” said Lianchao Han, a leading dissident and former Chinese government official. “Xi will mobilise his massive propaganda machine to fabricate stories and facts to shake off his responsibility and liabilities. We already passed the point to depose him for mishandling the pandemic if it’s proved to a lab leak.”

But what would be the repercussions for science if some practitioners were found to have sparked a pandemic in their quest for knowledge, whether for benevolent or malevolent reasons? There would be a clampdown on the sampling of viruses in the field without far greater biosecurity, along with severe impositions on the wilder frontiers of “gain of function” research that creates chimeric diseases and forces the evolution of viruses out of scientific curiosity. Some experts have long warned of the risks of such work causing a pandemic. There was even a three-year ban in the United States under the Obama administration, although the work was simply outsourced to labs in other nations.

Bear in mind researchers in Wuhan were combining snippets from strains of bat coronaviruses to increase virulence, injecting viruses into “humanised” mice, testing how diseases can jump the species barrier and creating chimeric diseases using cloning techniques that show no sign of human manipulation. There are also links in Wuhan between civilian and military research labs in this field, as in so much of the country’s academic life. It should be stressed, of course, that similar experiments, often highly secretive and sometimes also linked to biodefence, take place in other labs around the world, devoid of adequate controls and despite the scale of risk.

Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, has been a fierce critic of such work, arguing that the only impact “is the creation, in a lab, of a new, non-natural risk”. He raised fears over a possible lab leak last year. Now he believes discussions over safety must become a priority since the world has seen the carnage that can be caused by a new virus. “Irrespective of whether Covid-19 originated in a natural accident or a lab accident, the risk of a future pandemic originating in a lab accident is real,” he said, adding that people needed to focus on “the inadequacy of biosafety and biosecurity standards worldwide and the essentially complete absence of biosafety regulation worldwide.”

Such views seem reasonable, although any new rules will only work with global inspection programmes and more effective biosafety alert systems. Yet Ebright’s stance has led to attacks from other prominent scientists; one described him to me last year as “a madman”. Such arrogance was demonstrated as early as February last year when 27 “experts” published a landmark letter to the Lancet which sought to stifle debate by attacking “conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin”. A freedom of information request later exposed this influential statement was secretly organised by Peter Daszak, a British charity chief who channelled funding from US health authorities to his friend and research colleague Shi Zhengli, the infamous “Batwoman” expert at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Other signatories included Jeremy Farrar, the highly regarded director of the Wellcome Trust.

Since then, Daszak has expended considerable efforts on denouncing the lab leak theory. Yet despite this clear conflict of interest, he was invited to join the WHO investigation in China into the virus’s cause and to head up a 12-strong group for the Lancet on the same subject alongside five of his fellow signatories.

These events highlight three significant scientific issues exposed by the pandemic that need tackling regardless of the origins: a dismal WHO leadership and structure not up to the task of protecting public safety; the collusion of a scientific establishment that sought to shut down debate rather than follow evidence; and the shredding of the reputations of some key journals that failed to promote free debate based on facts.

It is vital to regain trust of these institutions. Yet my own profession of journalism has fared little better. Perhaps this was a result of Donald Trump insisting the virus originated in a Wuhan research lab in his savage attacks on China, yet refusing to detail supporting intelligence. Certainly when I started to investigate these events in April last year, I was deeply sceptical and trod cautiously for fear of promoting conspiracy theories.

This dissolved only when I saw the extent of Beijing’s cover up, and then discovered last May a pair of ground-breaking studies by free-thinking scientists. The first, co-authored by Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute, helped demolish the market theory while the second, by Nik Petrovsky, professor of medicine at Flinders University in Adelaide, argued the new virus was ‘”uniquely adapted to infect humans” and behaved differently to other zoonotic diseases. Both stressed the need to properly investigate a lab leak possibility and have spoken out courageously on the issue for a year.

It is a grim sign of the times that so many in the media — with a few noble exceptions — felt more inclined to believe a highly repressive Communist regime rather than an elected US president. The Mail On Sunday stood alone in this country from the start in challenging the conventional wisdom. Yet it is unforgivable that as more and more crumbs of evidence challenging the consensus began to emerge — mostly prised out by a small group of digital activists — journalists continued to dismiss “conspiracy theories” about a lab leak, to suggest the virus began in a Wuhan market after even Beijing had binned the idea and to ignore the clear conflict of interests when promoting Daszak’s views.

The worst offenders include some self-righteous organs that see themselves as bold crusaders for truth and justice. The failures of both new and traditional media, coalescing around the comfort blanket of the scientific establishment and their loathing of Trump, should provoke serious reflection. We have seen yet again how specialists prefer to parrot the views of their contacts rather than pursue rigorous investigations that might counter the prevailing opinion in their field. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to block articles conflicting with the “correct” view, as I found to my cost with a previous piece on UnHerd.

When Prof Relman wrote his paper for the journal of the US National Academy of Sciences last November, he began by stating that ten months into the pandemic, “disturbingly, we still do not know how it began”. He went on to say it was even more troubling that despite the critical importance of this question, efforts to investigate the origins of Covid-19 “have become mired in politics, poorly supported assumptions and assertions, and incomplete information.”

We are still no closer to knowing how this nightmare started. And if the lab leak theory is ever proved true, politics would become even more of a swamp. But at least we can give thanks that, finally, some of the assumptions and assertions are being challenged — and reflect on the lessons that can already be learned.


Ian Birrell is an award-winning foreign reporter and columnist. He is also the founder, with Damon Albarn, of Africa Express.

ianbirrell

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

This is hardly news. Those of us who have been paying attention have known for over a year that the lab-leak hypothesis was highly plausible. (See yesterday”s the ‘see the smoke’ article). We have also known that Fauci arranged for the gain-of-function research, using various shenanigans to get around the US ban on the funding of this research.
Moreover, those of us that can ‘see the smoke’ have known for some decades that we cannot believe a word that is uttered by any government, the MSM, any arm of the state, any international body (EU, UN, IMF, WHO etc), or any corporate organization. Of course, it is because he told the truth (on the big things) that all the aforementioned conspired and collaborated to take down Trump.
In a sense it’s quite ‘freeing’, for want of a better word. You simply go into what people in the Soviet states called ‘internal exile’. You know they are lying to you all the time so you just ignore them and on with your work, see your friends, enjoy your pastimes and have nothing to do with any of them.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s worth being aware of M. Barnier’s involvement” The construction of the Chinese laboratory at the centre of mounting suspicion over the source of the Covid-19 pandemic was signed off by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier – despite warnings by French intelligence services.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8351091/Top-vaccine-scientist-says-coronavirus-come-animal-freak-nature.html

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

It is certainly worth being aware of Barnier’s involvement, and thank you for bringing it to my attention. I am not saying that one does not make oneself aware of what these people are saying and doing. As someone who spends about eight hours a day on sites like Unherd and following all the political/cultural podcasts I am usually aware of what is happening. It is just that one does not believe any of the official sources, or have anything to do with any official or political body.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fraser Bailey
kathleen carr
KC
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The timing was jolly useful as well-just at the beginning of election year-surely Dr Fauci ( with his love letters to Hilary ) didn’t help arrange this? I notice this article gets a bit muddled with its ‘post-truth’ argument. Crimea voted ( about 95%) to stay with Russia-they don’t feel invaded. Trump may have lost the election but there was a lot of strange things happening-the democrat cities suddenly lost control to riots etc to make people suspicious of the results. . The media either omitted or was a complete stranger to truth. The universal reaction stems from their all believing or claiming to believe the original source. Which country wants to act by itself & risk trouble? It has been a completely new way of enacting authoritarian change by using emergency powers.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Biden is now having an enquiry look into the idea of the lab leak , after cancelling the Trump one.. So has the virus played its part & will it be taking its final bow pretty soon?

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Even this writer uses his article to get a couple gratuitous digs at Trump – which shows How DEEP in the weird psyche of Journalists and MSM the virus of TDS lurks.

We live in a post-truth world, after all, in which Russia denied its invasion of the Crimea when its troops were visible on the ground, the US president denied he lost an election

Aside to the fact vote harvesting did give the Presidency to Biden, and the reason for the Lab escape may have, just possibly, been to get Trump out of office, and that this guy’s fellows, from Day One, made covid to be all about Trump (remember Hydroxychloroquine?), this is just agenda smeared on top of ‘The Science’ like it has been on every covid article since the First One Written.
Stop making everything about Trump!

Jim McNeillie
JM
Jim McNeillie
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

My read of it was that it wasn’t about Trump’s politics, but about his toxicity. Perhaps it was his superpower but it was also his downfall. He ended up under a radioactive cloud, like his mentor, Cohn.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jim McNeillie
David Brown
David Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

In one respect it is about Trump, as the Trump Derangement Syndrome of some people is so deep that anything the former POTUS says must immediately by dismissed. Frankly, if he said “My name is Donald Trump,” some “journalists” would comment that the statement was patently false.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Indeed. The delay has likely lessened our ability to investigate properly and allowed China precious time to conceal and destroy evidence. A huge failure.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

There has been informal reporting that millions in China no longer collect their pension , that phones are switched off -the suggestion being that millions have died there. Even in their country there might be different political groups and one linked up with the western build back better plan which they thought they could enact under cover of dealing with virus. Two other scientists Dalgleish & Sorensen are named as attempting to go against the general consensus that virus had a natural source. This last year hasn’t put the scientific or medical professions in a good light-being more concerned with having their own way rather than considering other suggestions.

JohnW
J
JohnW
2 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

And Snopes wiuld rate it ‘partly true’.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I have figured it all out.

Biden is printing so much money he will destroy the West economy, and lose the Reserve Currency Status for USA – AND THUS: will blame China (truthfully, but flip-flopping on his ‘excuse China’ previous stance) in order to charge them the 11Trillion he is wasting – and then when they refuse to pay, freeze their assets in USA, and get the world to do the same.

THEN, after Biden destroyed USA, he will have stopped China taking over as he will have wrecked it too!

We all think he is just a White hating, leg hair stroking, fool – but it seems there is a Machiavellian streak still lurking in his senile old head.

kathleen carr
KC
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

There is obviously a bit of a sea change going on , as they suddenly are very keen on this virus being man-made ( which surely any fool guessed last year)-so perhaps you’re right.

esoteric888
E
esoteric888
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

the election was stolen. any dummy knows that!

I also noticed this gratuitous aside. that added no value.

Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fraser, it is a sad indictment of the World in which we live. But there is an awful lot going wrong and the general “Go-to” defence, from officials, is “Plausible Deniability”, and if that fails, they resort to bare-faced lies.
So Yes, I entirely agree with you!
The moral of the story being; “Never take anything at face-value!” – Careful analysis of your own research has to be the only safe method of finding the truth!

Franz Von Peppercorn
MB
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

Why would the EU need to sign off on a Chinese lab? Seems nonsensical.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

When has the EU ever done anything that made sense except in terms of its own lust for power and control? Remember, the reprehensible goons in Brussels do not see China as a threat to freedom and humanity, but as a model to emulate.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The sheer hysteria in Britain post Brexit. The EU is a largely powerless institution without an army. China takes no notice of it, neither does the US (see the colour coup in Ukraine ). The Turks won’t even give the head of the commission a seat.

Although it will have fallen down the memory hole in Britain’s controlled press it was only 5 years ago that Britain wanted to be china’s best friend in Europe.

Also I asked why would the Chinese need the EU to sign off on an internal lab?

Last edited 2 years ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Frank Nixson
FN
Frank Nixson
2 years ago

Why do the Chinese need the EU to sign-off? The Chinese don’t. The EU / FR firms building the lab do. Otherwise the Chinese are on their own — which can have both positive consequences (prevents/delays construction or technology transfer) and negative consequences (loss of access, business, insight, control).

Ann Ceely
AC
Ann Ceely
2 years ago
Reply to  Frank Nixson

The EU paid for work on virus’ – as did the US!

kathleen carr
KC
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Ann Ceely

And the Australians I think.This is the scientific or academic world not necessarily a government contract-money gets sent to enable study , they claim it was never meant for gain of function research.. I notice Dr Fauci is rowing back like mad, claiming he trusted Chinese scientists who he feels are separate from their country’s politics. You really think anyone would risk disobeying?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
2 years ago

Power does not just come from the barrel of a gun. The “signing-off” process is normal in any government where the guy/gal at the top gives formal approval for the allocation of funds. It does appear that at least one Wuhan lab was co-financed from the West.
I think it was George Osborne, the Tory Toff and then Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was making eyes at China. I cannot remember him asking the British people what their views were.
But on the EU, we ARE on firmer ground. We had a vote – the outcome of which you plainly dislike. Tough t*t, as we say over here.

Neil Mcalester
N.
Neil Mcalester
2 years ago

If the EU is ‘largely powerless’ how has it managed to practically annex N. Ireland?

Robin Bury
Robin Bury
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Mcalester

Yes with the hepl of Sinn Fein/IRA and their threats of violene of the so called ‘hard border’ So what about the border between Norway and Sweden? And Johnson dumped Northern Ireland.

Ann Ceely
AC
Ann Ceely
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Mcalester

By breaking the Trade Agreement and dirty tricks.

Steve Wesley
SW
Steve Wesley
2 years ago

By the tone of your opening line, the post ‘Brexit hysteria’ you refer to inevitably seems to emanate from people like you who didn’t want it. As for a controlled press, that’s poppycock. Controlled by whom? Press barons, the government? If that’s so, they’re not controlling it too well. Had you suggested that a lazy, timid and often incompetent media, I’d be more inclined to agree. Simply because the likes of Cameron spent far too long brown nosing China doesn’t prevent the questions being asked. He is, thankfully, very much yesterday’s man.

Simon Baseley
SB
Simon Baseley
2 years ago

It was a joint initiative between France and China aimed at combatting SARS. France part funded the project and provided some technical know how. Barnier signed it off over the protests of his own intelligence chiefs. The idea was that French companies would participate in and benefit from work carried out there. As soon as the Chinese got what they wanted, the agreement collapsed. Quelle surprise.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

All of the knowhow was from France which is what the Chinese wanted.

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Well, the EU set a rule on how much curve a banana can have, that was pretty useful to us who like them straighter.

Jonathan Ellman
IS
Jonathan Ellman
2 years ago

Not sure it was specifically the EU. It was a French built lab and I think Barnier was working for the French at the time. But it brings the lab leak issue into the EU’s ambit through Barnier’s later career, at least insofar as it’s in the EU’s interest to avoid embroilment in this scandalous cover up, if only by its disinclination to investigate, along with all the other global bodies.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago

The EU didn’t. It was a lab funded by France and intended to be used by the French as a cheaper alternative to labs in France, and to take advantage of Chinese expertise. The EU warned against it on security grounds. France backed out and the Americans stepped in.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
2 years ago

Read the article above about Barnier signing it off. The French thought they would gain access to the ‘benefits’ of the research done in the lab e.g. patents and technology. But as soon as the lab was built, they were kicked out and the 50 experienced French scientists never wetn to the lab to show them how to run it.
When you realise how much the CCP has infiltrate the scientific institutions and the press in the West then you realise we need to wake up and sort this mess out. Doing any business with the CCP is a dangerous game that you won’t win.

Ann Ceely
AC
Ann Ceely
2 years ago

because the EU paid for it …

Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago

Again, if you watch the video on the link i provided, France had the contract to build this lab and provided the architects, money, everything. Until the Chinese government stepped in and took it over. Also, US researchers shared their new drug, Ivermectin, before patenting it so the Chinese government promptly patented it themselves.

Mike Smith
MS
Mike Smith
2 years ago

The CCP didn’t step in since any contract with Chinese organisation is, in reality,with the CCP which controls all of the industry in China.

CL van Beek
CV
CL van Beek
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

those of us that can ‘see the smoke’ have known for some decades that we cannot believe a word that is uttered by any government, the MSM, any arm of the state, any international body (EU, UN, IMF, WHO etc), or any corporate organization.” 
Indeed, see for example how the author of this article includes all kinds of conspiracy theories, but failed to include the mother of them all, the Russian Conspiracy hoax. if all the media believed and spun this hoax non-stop for three years onwards, what is there left to believe of anything they say or write?
Unherd columnist Bret Weinstein explained a year ago in the Joe Rogan podcast that the virus has certain characteristics that show it was probably created in a lab. He is an evolutionary biologist, so he does not say such things lightly.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

The author is obviously producing his own conspiracy. And remember he is full on establishment, a writer for Cameron around the time of the Libya fiasco but also the left wing Independent. He represents an increasingly out of touch elite.

I stopped reading unherd as much when he turned up.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago

I stopped reading unherd as much when he turned up.
I wonder why. I frequently disagree with writers and commenters here. That’s exactly why I read Unherd – I want to understand other viewpoints, and sometimes I’m persuaded to change my own.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

BECAUSE UNHERD REFUSES TO HAVE EVEN ONE ARTICLE OR INTERVIEW ON ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM COVID – WHICH IS 10X MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OTHER ISSUE.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

my guess is every two office workers supported one worker in transport, food, building maintenance, security, supplying, and on and on. Half of these are now obsolete because Work From Home, as well as it seems BUSINESS TRAVEL is now a thing of the past, taking vast numbers of jobs, and the youth lost a year of education, and many small business lost, and thus owners lives destroyed, and commercial buildings (most owned by pension funds) are going bankrupt, and the Trillions printed increased M2 in USA by 40% in ONE YEAR, and MMT is going to destroy the $ and all fiat currencies, and most Work From Home jobs will likely off-shore like the making of TVs did, and increased assets prices, and stock equities have inflated 20 – 40%, hard assets like housing, have absorbed all that created money making the rich SUPER rich (almost all the created money has gone to the super rich and rich).

Unskilled jobs price inflation will have crazy ramifications, and hyper inflation OR a Deflation Depression may devastate the globe, AND……. But Unherd will mention NONE of this. It here is all women’s issues, Woke, Blm, Genderism, and such silliness wile Rome is catching alight Unherd fiddles.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I think the economic impact on many developing countries is probably even more devastating. Despite all you point out, the USA and EU remain wealthy, and capable of at least feeding their citizens if they so choose. The same is not true everywhere, most certainly not to the same extent. I’ve seen reports and warnings from the likes of the UN to that effect, as I expect you have too, or I’d dig a few out.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Is that really true – not one article or interview on COVID’s economic impact? If it is, then I’d agree it’s a glaring omission.

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

With the MSM being merely lie factories, Thank God youtube, Facebook, and Twitter employ ‘Fact Checkers’ to protect us from their misinformation.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I assume you are joking about the ‘fact checkers’ because ‘fact checkers’ are really there to reinforce the lies.

Ferrusian Gambit
SS
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It should be added anyone with actual experience of repressive authoritarian states might well conclude the Chinese government itself doesn’t properly know what happened as its own citizens are undoubtedly too scared to tell it the truth: but it damn well sure wants to stop anyone finding out. Stability of the system in paramount.
It is entirely possible local authorities destroyed and covered up much of the evidence for fear of what their superiors in Beijing would do to them. Remember this is a country where public failure can be punished with a show trial and being bundled off into a van and executed by lethal injection over afternoon tea. See the poison milk scandal a few years ago. My suspicion is that many local authorities buried the evidence and it then became convenient to the Chinese govt’s narrative to pretend this didn’t happen, as overlooking their mendacity would be geopolitically less damanging than a very public showtrial.
It might be worth watching what happens to local power elities in Wuhan in the years after the crisis though, to see if they mysteriously vanish from public life.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ferrusian Gambit
Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

This must add to the fog, but most of the fog comes from CCP Fog generators intentionally.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
2 years ago

It started as an accident and people undoubtedly covered things up to save themselves from their CCP overlords. But once the CCP understood the issue, they used it against the west by allowing their citizens to go back to wherever they had settled in the west, knowing that it would spread the disease. Hence the outbreaks in cities in Northern Italy where chinese-owned leather factories are.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

.So, you are saying that

we cannot believe a word that is uttered by any government, the MSM, any arm of the state, any international body (EU, UN, IMF, WHO etc), or any corporate organization.

On the other hand we can, apparently, believe just about anything said by (now ex-) President Trump. If those are the alternatives, believing the MSM (etc.) and discounting Trump sounds like a much better bet. You would be right more often that way

How about offering us a better choice, if you actually want to convince anybody?

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Stuart McCullough
Stuart McCullough
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

A rather distorted interpretation of what he wrote I think. He pointed out that Trump told the truth “on the big things” which he did tend to do. The fact that he was an incompetent political operator and that his boundless ego dominated everything he did and said is another matter altogether. Trump was something of a man-child, but in that context the saying “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings” seems to have more than a ring of truth.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

That, at least, is within the bounds of reason. But I would like someone to give me, sometime, a list of those big things Trump told the truth about, because I honestly could not generate it myself.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I am not surprised that people disagree with what I say. But could not someone give me that list of big things Trump told the truth about? Please? I might actually learn something.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Virtually everything Trump said was true. There is a massive Swamp, he was draining it slowly as the Swamp beasts lashed out in fury – there was an open border criminals and drugs streamed across and he was plugging that, and China was out to steal all it could from USA and he was trying to stop that…. and on and on.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Does not sound very falsifiable to me.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Maybe you did not read the MSM about Trump – EVERYTHING they wrote about him was False.

Mike Smith
MS
Mike Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Including the Russian story including ‘p**sgate’ – all of it made up by an ‘ex-MI6’ operative in London (and there is no such thing as an ex-spook). Which is another issue that has yet to hit the fan i.e. what was our intelligence services doing trying to bring down Trump.

kathleen carr
KC
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

There are several whistleblowers from dominion machines agreeing they transferred 3 million votes to Biden. As you say Steele who seems to have worked with highest levels of British government ( Mrs May?) to discredit Trump & drag out the Mueller inquiry. They don’t seem to realise by leaving these suspicions in people’s minds , its like the corset on the fat lady , it still has to come out somewhere.

Jonathan Weil
JW
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago

What bigger thing could he have lied about than the election result? (Or do you think he was telling the truth about that?)

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

Trump Won. Bidden got in by vote harvesting, this is proved, yet buried.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

If it is proved, presumably you have got a link? I am willing to be convinced by a well-supported argument (like Wades article on the lab leak).

Helen Moorhouse
HM
Helen Moorhouse
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is an organic chemist called Douglas Frank making videos about election data. He’s not difficult to find.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

I started with text rather than video – more informative on the details: You will no doubt have seen this, and this. From these – admittedly adversarial – accounts, I note that
1) the main (or only) evidence presented is a statement that the vote totals fit too well with a function Douglas Frank calculates. Note: if you look long enough for an arbitrary function to fit a set of data, you can generally find one.
2) Douglas Frank has not shown his detailed numbers or formulae openly so that nobody else has been able to check them for errors *).
3) For his theory to work it is not enough to assume a hack at the level of vote counting or voting machines. To foil the procedures that check results looking at actual paper ballots, there would have to be a massive effort to falsify the paper record – and no one has pointed to witnesses, or traces in the record that could confirm this.
If this is all you have it is not proof – it is wild speculation.
If you have more, could you please point to it – in text form? It is very hard to double check details and assumptions if all you have is a video – and anyway the links I clicked on to all pointed to videos that were removed, somehow.

*) This is what Ferguson did, for his notorious model calculations. A hostile examination concluded that his modeling calculations were correct – in so far as the results followed logically from the formulae that Fergusaon had given, and the assumptions that Ferguson had made (and said he made). Whether they were the right assumptions or the model was sufficiently detailed may be another matter, but the calculations stand. If Douglas Frank wants credibility – and trusts his own calculations – he needs to do something similar.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Helen Moorhouse
HM
Helen Moorhouse
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think I heard Dr Frank’s rebuttal of this rebuttal. You might benefit from listening to him. He pointed out that the census data which gave a 0.999 correlation with the election results was from 2015, not from 2019. He created an algorithm working with whole state data. He then checked it out against each county. Because these are relatively small numbers you would not expect high correlations. Human behaviour isn’t that predictable. Which is why he suspects fraud.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

All, right, I checked. Near as I can see, he is making three points:

  • There are more people on the voting list than in the October database. Obvious answer: Late registration, which is legal in Michigan. If he wants to prove anything he needs to go through the voter registration audit. He has not even tried.
  • There are more people on the voting lists than there are inhabitants. Obvious answer: it takes a while to remove people when they move away. Again, if he wants to prove anything he needs to go through the registration audit.
  • Finally, his famous ‘key’. It is hard to be sure, but he seems to be saying that he can make a smoothed curve of voter participation by age that fits extremely well within each state, but is different in different states. Obvious answer: so what? If you play around with numbers long enough you can make all kind of things fit. To prove anything, he first needs to make his data, calculations and formulae public so they can be checked. Instead he puts ‘Proprietary, requires prior written permission’ on his slides. Next he needs to show how well those calculations fit; that they are not just fiddled to match the data; that you cannot make something that fits just about as well across states, if you try, … Finally he needs to do the same kind of calculation in states that Trump won, in previous elections, in congressional elections etc. and show that the results for this election are clearly different from other elections, which presumably were not stolen.

Sorry and all, but this proves nothing. You would need more proof than this to shoot a dead dog.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Mike Smith
Mike Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

The recounts now going on will show whether Trump really won the election or not.

Jim Jones
MJ
Jim Jones
2 years ago

Just because one is later proved correct it does not mean they were telling the truth as such. If I don’t look at evidence and merely say what I think or want to be true then I’m not telling the truth.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

You took the pill washed down with the Kool-aid it seems. TDS is very strong in you. I am sure your man Biden will fix all Trump’s mess, Right?

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Now it seems that Fauci is saying that the virus may not have a natural origin. One comment about this said he is only doing it to protect his own backside. The money trail seems to implicate him in the work at Wuhan.
Also, important are the lies about the effectiveness of the vaccines. This is a link to an FDA document about the Pfizer vaccine: http://www.fda.gov/media/144245/download. It gives the outcome of the trial results and says “Among 3410 total cases of suspected but unconfirmed COVID-19 in the overall study population, 1594 occurred in the vaccine group vs. 1816 in the placebo group”. The claimed efficacy is nowhere near the 90% being claimed and these figures are not even based on proven cases.

Richard Waterborn
Richard Waterborn
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I have followed the link to the fda document. Its a lengthy and typically dense and obstruse document. Can you point me to the page or index reference where the quoted passage is included please.

ian k
IK
ian k
2 years ago

Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting
December 10, 2020

Page 42

Carlos Danger
CD
Carlos Danger
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Alan Thorpe,, you linked to the FDA report on the Pfizer vaccine and claim that it does not show 95% effectiveness. Your claim is false.

There were 3410 cases of suspected Covid-19 disease that turned out to be negative on PCR testing. These people had Covid-19 disease symptoms but tested negative for the disease. They were rightfully not included in the efficacy figures as there is no evidence that they had Covid-19 disease rather than some other illness.

The real world experience with the Pfizer vaccine also shows very high effectiveness. Remarkable effectiveness. Essentially, those who have the vaccine just don’t get sick. It’s only one in a million. The FDA isn’t hiding anything.

Last edited 2 years ago by Carlos Danger
Christiane Dauphinais
Christiane Dauphinais
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Those of us who can ‘see the smoke’ have known for some decades that we cannot believe a word that is uttered by any government, the MSM, any arm of the state, any international body (EU, UN, IMF, WHO etc), or any corporate organization. In a sense it’s quite ‘freeing’, for want of a better word. You simply go into what people in the Soviet states called ‘internal exile’. You know they are lying to you all the time so you just ignore them and on with your work, see your friends, enjoy your pastimes and have nothing to do with any of them.”
That’s precisely where I’ve been since March 2020, and where I will remain. I didn’t know “internal exile” was the term for it. Thanks,

Dave Smith
DS
Dave Smith
2 years ago

When I heard in late January 2020 from a contact in Taiwan about the virus I took the precautions I thought necessary. I realised the spread would be by aerosol and that as it was already loose in Europe nothing could stop it. I did not know how dangerous it was then so kept my head down. . I also was told it was probably not a natural event.
The rest is history and I have never taken any notice of this government’s words. When they emptied out the old and sick into the care homes I decided I had done with them for good. Internal exile sound about right to me. I am not at all surprised at the hospital acquired infections and deaths. Aerosol spread means that our modern buildings are purpose built spreaders. Admitting this would be a start. Then somebody is going to have to account for the deaths of our old people. I am not hopeful so exile it will be for a long time.

David Nebeský
David Nebeský
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Off topic: internal exile in communist countries was something different. You were ignoring “them” and tried to enjoy your private life not because “they” lied to you. Since late 70s, everybody knew “they” lied. To be in an internal exile meant you tried to cooperate with “them” as little as possible and you tried to be as invisible as possible. You didn’t pursue any career (it was only open to those who actively cooperated), but you found a hobby or you had a cottage and you spent all weekends since Friday afternoon to Sunday late night there etc.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  David Nebeský

Well that more or less describes my life in ‘internal exile’. I don’t think my description was too far wrong.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It is a mighty stretch to compare the laboratory-created Wuhan Flu with QAnon. I consider myself reasonably well informed, but I don’t know what QAnon is except a punching bag for the legacy media and its corporate masters. This is the same combination plus the corrupt WHO that kept the evidence of Covid 19 (its other name) swept under the rug. On the other hand, I have stood in lines twice to get an inoculation for a disease created in China to enfeeble its military rivals and commercial competitors. As for the stolen election, perhaps the author is unaware that the question is still slogging its slow way through the courts. Something happened in the early hours in key states the day after the election to take votes from Trump through computer manipulation. To judge from the frantic efforts of the federal government to stop the vote certification in Maricopa County, Arizona, there is a smoking gun somewhere.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Smoking HOT gun, one the MSM and Social Media Anti-Fact-Checkers, along with 90% of covid stuff, are trying to hide, very successfully.

Susan
Susan
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, agreed. But nevertheless Ian should be congratulated on an informative and thoughtful article which has obviously stimulated a lot of debate and will hopefully convince more people to be sceptical about the propaganda which is (still) being fed to them.

Michael L
ML
Michael L
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey
Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I am sorry Fraser but, respectfully, whatever good you believe Trump has done – has to be balanced against those unfortunate Americans who have died, quite unnecessarily, from the effects of COVID-19 directly caused by Trump’s reckless, and irresponsible reaction to the Covid-pandemic!
Trump was not alone, as Johnson, in the UK, and Bolsonaro in Brazil were every bit as a bad! Had all three taken the virus seriously and taken strictly-applied precautions, right from the start, then anywhere between 60 and 75% of the total number of Covid-fatalities would never have caught COVID-19 in the first place!
I am not stupid enough to believe that anyone could have prevented the ingress of Covid-19, into any of the 3 aforementioned nations, as it is one of the most communicable airborne respiratory viruses known to mankind! But it certainly caught our leaders with their proverbial pants down! And that directly led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of good people, and you cannot feel good for Trump about that. Can you?
Yes, Trump taught me to doubt all News broadcasts and to be less trusting and more analytical of “Facts” appearing via our computers and ‘phones, and in mainstream TV and Newspapers. So I applied this to everything I ;learned about the pandemic and, as a consequence of that, I have spent most days, when I have watched BBC-1 TV, in the UK, jumping up and down and shouting at my TV-set either; “That is a lie!” or “They cannot possibly say that!”
In truth, I have lost all faith in BBC-News reporting, which set particularly low standards during the first phase of the pandemic within the UK.
Trump certainly didn’t create this dreadful virus – as that is China’s responsibility. But failing to wear a mask and calling COVID-19 “Kung-Flu” set a terrible example, trivialising a disease which he knew, from intelligence in Europe, was killing large numbers of people before it reached the US, And that, by any definition, is serious incompetence which directly caused much suffering and death!

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

So incompetent and causal that he pulled all the stops to get a vaccine developed in record time. Given that the current occupant gave up on schools opening to avoid offending a donor union, who treats what casually? But one involves profit the other our children, so unfair comparison.

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
2 years ago

Saying it’s from China is racism, said the MSM, Trump was just irritating them because they are stupid, because as you know, the British, Brazilian, South Africa and India variants are not racism.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago

Once Covid got out of China it was horribly difficult to deal with – everything was a guess. Remember that MERS and SARS had already happened without the COVID like infection rates. Insitutes like Gate’s Pandemic preparation team (from Nov 2019) had recommended not closing borders. When Trump blocked flights from China, Democrats hollered racism. Should he have closed the US to everyone (the NY outbreak looks like it came in from Europe via Italy)? By the measure of previous diseases that would have looked extreme.
Contrary to the Democrat spin-meisters, Trump did act. Testing was accelerated (however the CDC facility was contaminating testing kits). Remember the hullabaloo about US sequestering PPE supplies? Or the hospital ships in NY? And obviously the vaccine drive. Comparatively, very few places did well – those able to shut their borders possibly – though they’re still not out of the woods yet – how do they open up? The rest of the world struggled and struggled with no easy answers, even with hindsight.

James Newman
James Newman
2 years ago

Just a couple of points:
Responsibility for public health in the United States is split between State and Federal government and politics was always likely to play a part with Democrat controlled states.
As of a week ago, the UK has the 14th highest death rate per thousand in Europe. Undoubtedly Johnson made mistakes but almost all governments in the West did.

dean edge
dean edge
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The ever funny Babylon Bee (and its come to something when an overtly Christian website is one of the most reliably satirical) has introduced a new category of fact check for Snopes and the other propaganda abteilungen “False For Now”. It was all about Trump and its fascinating watching them impaled on their own dishonesty, now theyve got rid of him and are planning to imprison him.

James Newman
James Newman
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fauci, who has been known to ‘not engage brain before opening mouth’ in the past, was more careful here, in what can only be an exercise in PYA. He said that NIH funds were only authorised for non gain of function research. That only opens up other questions on how spending was policed, given the highly sensitive research.

esoteric888
E
esoteric888
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You simply go into what people in the Soviet states called ‘internal exile’. You know they are lying to you all the time so you just ignore them and on with your work, see your friends, enjoy your pastimes and have nothing to do with any of them.

QUITE SO

And stop talking about “political issues” to one’s erstwhile friends…

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

I think the most damning of all is how the media has quietly changed their tune and are praying people will not notice and they never change their tune unless they have to.

Barry Coombes
Barry Coombes
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Isn’t that what they always do, though? Papers and TV channels who were cheerleading for Blair’s attack on Iraq to get rid of the WMD’s (yes, I’m looking at you, BBC) shifted to pretending to be appalled at the lies they themselves had spread.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Barry Coombes

Never forget that the New York Times believed the WMD lies and supported the invasion of Iraq.

Scott Carson
Scott Carson
2 years ago
Reply to  Barry Coombes

Absolutely. They were positively wallowing in the jingoism and nationalistic fervour, ramping up the lies to the point where I consider them and Blair’s government to be equally culpable for the crimes committed.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

The bombing of Libya during Cameron’s term was equally based largely on nonsense, happily regurgitated by most media.

Starry Gordon
SG
Starry Gordon
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

And this is why we’re unlikely to get the truth about COVID-19. Just about everything published is a politicized quest for tribal power, and what people are told and believe is what serves that interest. But this is hardly anything new. I wonder if anywhere in the world there are more than a small minority who are actually interested in the truth.

Last Jacobin
LJ
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

Yep. It was shocking. Worth noting 60% of Labour MPs voted for it and 88% of Tory MPs. Well done the Lib Dems for opposing.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thanks for that. There is nothing like the ‘facts’ to hammer home the utter disgrace of that barbaric war.

In a perfect world all those MP’s deserve to be crucified in the traditional manner.*

(* ie not like that ‘Woke’ Pontius Pilate, letting the Nazarene off with an all too brief 3 hour Friday afternoon job.)

Alan T
Alan T
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

They will change their tune only as much as they have to, and under-report as much as they can. The BBC are one of the worst culprits. They’ve finally acknowledged latest “developments” today on their website, before that they published a grossly biased piece on 31 March, 2021 with the headline “More work needed to rule out China lab leak theory says WHO” which stretched comments from WHO Dr Tedros beyond what was true. Meanwhile Wikipedia still lists “Wuhan lab leak theory” as culprit number one on their long page of Covid-19 Misinformation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_misinformation#Wuhan_lab_leak_story

steves9404
SS
steves9404
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I don’t support censorship, and I support freedom of the press, but lately I’m of the opinion that most MSM journalists should be shot and pissed on for the lies, the deliberate dispensation of disinformation and misinformation and alarmism they’ve been spewing out over the last year or so.
The irresponsibility and outright evil on their part beggars belief.

Christine Massot
Christine Massot
2 years ago
Reply to  steves9404

Well said…have to agree on that…truly disgusting

Scott Powell
SP
Scott Powell
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Yes. There’s a local TV news program which has a new ad for themselves, where a reporter is aggressively asking a ‘tough question’ to the camera, about why our premier (Andrews) needs ’emergency powers’. And this never happened. At the time that this was a gross overstepping of power, the media were silent cowards. In their own retelling, they’re already painting themselves as the ones who ‘asked the tough questions’. It’s all bullshit.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
2 years ago

The evidence for a lab leak, and indeed specifically for a leak from that Wuhan lab, is so overwhelming when you read it, that at some point those people like Daszak, Fauci and others will be faced with a choice between saying goodbye to their credibility in their own countries, or continuing to kowtow to pressure from you-know-where.
‘We are still no closer to knowing how this nightmare started.’ Well, anyone reading the article by Nicholas Wade in the Bulletin of Atomic Sciences ‘Origins of Covid’, will be a lot closer to knowing what almost certainly is the truth, and why. IMHO he puts it beyond reasonable doubt. Rather like the virus itself, this information is now out of the lab so to speak, and once it starts spreading, will be very hard to ignore.
This has affected everyone on Earth, and almost entirely adversely. I don’t think a nothing-to-see-here approach will wash on this one. This is one issue the public does have enough attention span to follow, and it will become increasing difficult for individuals or organisations to stick to a position that can only become more untenable.

Last edited 2 years ago by Seb Dakin
CL van Beek
CL van Beek
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

quote: “In disjointed style, Daszak is referring to the fact that once you have generated a novel coronavirus that can attack human cells, you can take the spike protein and make it the basis for a vaccine.”
So that is why we have a vaccine so shortly after outbreak, work was already underway.
edit:
Thank you for pointing to that super article, everybody here should read it. Explosive material on many levels.

Last edited 2 years ago by CL van Beek
Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

So that is why we have a vaccine so shortly after outbreak, work was already underway.
Conceivably. But the RNA and adenovirus vaccines were basically ready to go, only waiting for the genetic code. And the two main Chinese vaccines, which took about as little time to develop and roll out, rely on whole, inactivated virus, not just the spike protein.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Perkins
Nick Bernard
NB
Nick Bernard
2 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

That might explain the speed of the Chinese vaccine. However the CCP did not share their data from the virus source with the 130+ other global covid vaccine development teams. The speed of the development in the west is more a result of numbers; governments allocating huge resources to the labs which incentivised and paid something like 130 companies to allocate huge staff numbers and resources in the attempt to make a vaccine. Of those 130 most have not succeeded, or at least are still unproven, but there are a half dozen successes which thankfully are now in the arms of billions.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
EG
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Nick Bernard

Eight complete genomic sequences of 2019-nCoV were deposited in the China National Microbiological Data Center and the China National GeneBank in mid January for all to see.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago

And those genomic sequences were the basis for the Western vaccines, while the two main Chinese vaccines, Sinovac’s and Sinopharm’s, went a different route, not relying on the spike protein alone or the genetic sequence of this virus.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

They are both based on inactivated Sars Cov 2 viruses gleaned from various Chinese patients aren’t they ?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago

Inactivated whole Sars Cov 2 viruses for sure, and I’d assume from Chinese patients.

Scott Powell
Scott Powell
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

yes, the Wade article really does, for me at least, put it in the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ category. This was man-made.

stgerje
JG
stgerje
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Really feels like the “academic” version of Enron. Corruption and lies are lies regardless of “intent”. It seems that denying the knowledge that would suggest a high probability of a lab source is incredibly immoral action by Fauci & Daszak – among others.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I note that Wade says towards the end of the article :
“Neither the natural emergence nor the lab escape hypothesis can yet be ruled out. There is still no direct evidence for either. So no definitive conclusion can be reached.”
I think he has been a bit selective in some of his evidence :
a) “You would need a longstanding population of bats in frequent proximity with an intermediate host, which in turn must often cross paths with people”
There is an extensive, well established food chain originating in domestic wildlife animal farms in Southern China (including Yunnan where these coronaviruses of interest were first spotted).
These are mixed domestic / wild animal farms breeding civets, bamboo rats, coypu, water rats, ferret badgers and racoon dogs (to mention a few). These are the same animals that were infected during the SARS outbreak notably ferret badgers, civets and raccoon dogs.
These farms generally have dense populations of animals and are not biosecure. Swaps occur between farms. The animals are sold alive because they are deemed fresher that way. Animals that are left unsold at the end of the day go straight to restaurants at night. (See BBC Radio 4 Inside Science 11.02.2021)
b) Humanised mice and passaging. Passaging cannot guarantee an outcome of viral evolution. The life cycle of a virus and infection efficiency depend on more than just receptor binding, and adaptation to one type of receptor may come at the expense of reduced ability to spread to other cells, reduced shedding, reduced pathogenicity etc.
There are 3 transgenic mouse models. Two of these were developed in 2007. When infected these mice develop a very nasty encepahalitis – not a feature of Covid (thankfully). The third model wasn’t developed until 2020.
Experimental virology wisdom : Monkeys exaggerate, mice lie and cells give fake news.

c)  “All the other viruses have their S2 unit cleaved at a different site and by a different mechanism”
From : “Furin cleavage sites naturally occur in corona viruses” Yiran Wu January 2021
Furin cleavage sites are common in Betacoronavirus
Furin cleavage sites also occur in other genera of coronavirus
The analysis exhibited furin cleavage sites at spike S1/S2 occurred independently several times in coronaviruses. Consequently, natural occurrence of the site in SARS-CoV-2 is highly possible.

d) “So how did SARS 2 acquire a pair of arginine codons that are favored by human cells but not by coronaviruses? ”
Through blind chance as calculated by Xia in “Domains and functions of spike protein in Sars Cov 2 in the context of vaccine design”

e) “For the lab escape scenario, the double CGG codon is no surprise. The human-preferred codon is routinely used in labs” 
But how would they know where to put it to have a useful effect ?
I have more questions relating to both Wade’s and Segreto and Deigin’s hypotheses and also Jonathan Latham’s copper miners in 2012 but this is already too long and involved.
I also note that most of Mr Birrell’s citations come from that fount of all medical and scientific knowledge – The Daily Mail

Charles Elliston
Charles Elliston
2 years ago

Elaine, you seem to have an impressive understanding of these processes. My discomfort regarding its origins came about when I read the paper published in Nature 9/10/2015 “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence”. My understanding is v limited on the subject but it seems they had produced chimeric viruses which infected human cells both in vivo and vitro and expressed the then current concerns of the risks involved. As far as the circumstantial and coincidental evidence goes, all the major suspects are mentioned and involved – the Wuhan Virology lab, the EcoHealth Alliance (the Peter Daszak/Fauci/Wuhan connection), the GOF research halted in the US due to the concerns of a possible leak but obviously continued and funded by the above mentioned in China. How far has such research progressed since then? Not to mention the apparent attempted cover-up and denials notably by Peter Daszak (the Lancet article and later appearing as a member of the WHO investigative team and appearing on the BBC and mainstream media).
In my ignorance, how can I express my justifiable fears and anger that even a 50/50 chance of the virus escaping from a lab and potential (actually real) havoc that this can cause has passed scrutiny till now? The failure of the mainstream to even consider this as a possibility over a year ago when the evidence was there to see, because we were told this was “ridiculous” by the scientists who were knowledgeable and involved in this research, that Trump said it and therefore dismissed using the lazy argument of conspiracy theory.
We have little control or knowledge over the type of research carried out nor whose interests this might serve. If the checks and balances in society fail us – one of which is allowing and encouraging open and wide discussion within the mainstream media, then we will always be at the mercy of a science superficially understood.

andrew harrison
AH
andrew harrison
2 years ago

Now can we have some in depth analysis and argument into the climate change narrative which seems to suffer from the same lack of scrutiny from the media and politicians and could end up being far more damaging.

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
2 years ago

Yes yes YES! Much of this article is equally true of the climate change narrative – I can’t call it the climate change debate as a debate it certainly is not. I look forward to Ian Birrell’s article on this even-greater coverup.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fennie Strange
Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fennie Strange

Complete with his required, gratuitous, digs at Trump as tossed out asides.

David Pritchard
David Pritchard
2 years ago

Thanks for bringing this up! I was thinking very much the same thing regarding climate change. How a one variable solution to an obviously multi-variable issue has been accepted by our non thinking society defies comprehension. And we are about to dismantle our society to ‘fight climate change’.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
2 years ago

“Meanwhile, Facebook continues to block articles conflicting with the “correct” view, as I found to my cost with a previous piece on UnHerd.”
yes but what will they do with Fauci after he admitted that he wasn’t sure that it had not escaped from a lab? Will he be de-platformed?
He is still trying to cover up NIH funding that supported the Wuhan Virology lab by playing word games. It depends on what the word “funded” means apparently. If it was funded as a pass through from another agency, Fauci doesn’t believe that amounts to US funding. In any case, it’s all coming out, just a matter of time.

Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago

In the aforementioned documentary, the major tech platforms’ position is discussed, as is their censoring of comment and why.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
2 years ago

I think we all know who was being censored and why. My point is that Fauci won’t be de-platformed for the same comments that others who were de-platformed made.
And that much of the de-platforming was an attempt to cover up US funding for the virology lab in Wuhan.

Last edited 2 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago

True

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“And that much of the de-platforming was an attempt to cover up US funding for the virology lab in Wuhan.”

100% WRONG, it was to cover up which people and organizations directed the Funding. It was to maintain the agenda!

Annette Kralendijk
AK
Annette Kralendijk
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

No, the funding itself was the problem, regardless if who okayed it. But at least we now know why Fauci was so negative about Trump, he knew he would likely be exposed sooner if Trump were re-elected.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
2 years ago

I hope that the whole coronavirus hiatus will lead to some examination of how tech platforms acted to block the free exchange of ideas regarding something that truly ought to be beyond politics.
Who knows, if the mainstream media hadn’t lost the plot so completely in their, literally, blind fury about Trump they might have done a better job of at least asking whether blocking of that sort should have been taking place.

Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I totally agree with you. Not being American, i don’t understand how censoring content is allowed under thee 1st Ammendment.. Or is it because these are private company platforms? Yet, weren’t companies/corps
legally defined as ‘people’?

Alan B
AB
Alan B
2 years ago

NB– The 1st Amendment constrains government (“Congress shall make no law…”), not “people”. So the US government may not, say, force FB to remove content. Social media firms are private “persons,” legally –but there never has been a privately owned agora like today’s social media.

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan B

Free speech and assembly always applied to ‘The Town Square’ as a concept where people assemble to exchange ideas – and as FB and Twitter are the modern Town Square their censoring is 100% in violation of the spirit of the Constitution. A private business must serve all, this is the law, but these slime-ball companies run by the 5 evil guys are too powerful to be made to do the right thing.

Alan B
AB
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m inclined to agree with you, certainly regarding “the spirit of the Constitution.” However, I’d note that the requirement for businesses to serve all comes from provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which apply to “public accommodations” (main street businesses), and when challenged those were upheld under Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. This is quite opposed to the way government treats print media, which is barely regulated on account of 1st Amendment constraints. If regulation of social media follows the path of civil rights legislation, then government (rather than FBs “Supreme Court,” or whatever,) would be authorized to determine what it means to “serve all” on social media and its hard to imagine this won’t involve some degree of speech regulation. …I say all this by way of emphasizing the thorniness of this question.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alan B
joeharris86
JH
joeharris86
2 years ago

Likewise I’ve been slapped with a ban on Facebook for sharing previous articles by Ian and others. The part of this story that concerns me the most is how easily western media and politicians bought the Chinese propaganda, and the likes of Facebook and others were doing the CCP’s bidding of shutting down the debate.

My only hope is that the likes of Ian, Drastic, Jamie Metzl and others finally break through this Omerta and convince the rest of the western world that this is the most serious of allegations against the Chinese government and must be taken seriously.

Maybe one day we get to uncover the truth. A line in HBO’s Chernobyl comes to mind:

“Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid”

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  joeharris86

Your one chance is Trump getting through the vote rigging Democrats, otherwise an Iron Curtain will descend for ever on the freedoms of the citizen!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
2 years ago
Reply to  joeharris86

Totally agree Joe. I suppose we should be grateful that FB and its ilk cannot stop the sharing of information on site like Unherd.

Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams
2 years ago

Yet.

Stuart McCullough
Stuart McCullough
2 years ago

As always in democratic politics, it’s always the cover-up that brings them down.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
2 years ago

Most cover-ups are successful. Pearl Harbor was the biggest if you don’t count the mass poisonings by the tobacco industry that went on for decades.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
2 years ago

Yup, Fauci should have retired at the end of last year. No way he goes out on a high note now.

C Troedodo
CT
C Troedodo
2 years ago

It is a case of Covid-22. Everything that Trump says must be wrong. Trump blamed a Wuhan Lab leak, therefore it cannot be a Wuhan Lab leak.
‘Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.’

Fraser Bailey
FB
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  C Troedodo

Yes, but the Trump clock told the right time pretty much all day. Sure, the hand that indicates the seconds might have gone a bit crazy sometimes, but the two important hands were always correct.

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Covid-22. If you do not call Trump Crazy, then you are Crazy too. If you do call him Crazy, well then he is Crazy.

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
2 years ago
Reply to  C Troedodo

It was always both shocking and amusing to watch the Americans get themselves in a twist over Trump. Everyone, except those who voted for him, thought he shouldn’t be allowed to exist. So they disallowed him. Although I can’t quite stretch to believing the election was stolen, I can’t quite understand why I can’t…..is it because I am gullible?

Nick Whitehouse
NW
Nick Whitehouse
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

Yes.
Although the word stolen might not be entirely correct.
There was changes to the postal vote, that should have need the state “parliaments” to pass. It was done by a mixture of Governors and judges.

Annette Kralendijk
AK
Annette Kralendijk
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

Each state with issues had a slightly different problem. Presidential elections are state run elections rather than federally run elections. But states must still abide by their constitutions and some did not. It is actually quite easy to commit voting fraud in the US. Ballot harvesting is the best and easiest way. Changing the rules at the last minute is also a great tactic if you want to cast doubt on an election.

Michael Kirkpatrick
Michael Kirkpatrick
2 years ago
Reply to  C Troedodo

Science-22. To do research you need funding. To get funding your prior research needs a “tight bomb pattern”. So your future research will also need a tight bomb pattern, to ensure future funding for future research…

Alan T
MT
Alan T
2 years ago

To an extent, we no longer need proof of the “what if” question anymore. It is already established beyond reasonable doubt that it MAY have been a lab leak, and for this reason, it is extremely doubtful whether virus research of this kind should ever be permitted again; certainly not in a busy metropolis like Wuhan. Even Anthony Fauci and leading coronavirus scientist Ralph Baric now concede that a lab leak may have occurred, and Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology said last year in Scientific American that she had  “not slept a wink for days” when she first heard of the outbreak, fearing the outbreak originated in her lab. We know about the repeated warnings and the lax security at Wuhan. We know all the circumstantial evidence, and the science that points that way as well.
The whole thing is a shit-show from start to finish, from the authorities who allowed it and then tried to cover it up, to our compliant, incurious, ideological mainstream media (including the BBC, The Guardian, even bloody Private Eye) who went along with and participated in the denunciation of the lab leak hypothesis.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alan T
David Jory
David Jory
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan T

The Mail also did. I remember an article last year condemning those who argued for the possibility of a lab leak.
About the only honest sources have been the ones branded as extremist, conspiracy theorist websites.
If the Establishment lies about this, then we need to look sceptically at everything else it pushes. Pride of place goes to climate change.
For a bit of honesty the wattsupwiththat website is worth reading.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan T

Private Aye went to the dark side as soon as that toxic little clown Hislop took over. It is the authentic pure voice of the London left.

Lee Floyd
DM
Lee Floyd
2 years ago

The Orange Man was responsible. Just by continuing to breathe, he provided the rationale for blind opposition; for wilful inversion of the truth; for circumspection, anxiety or fear among people not connected to Woke; for egregious behaviour, in all public spheres of utterance, of action, or of intent, on the part of zealots. 2016 was an historic node, just not for the reasons Republican Trumpists hoped. Instead, the full force of a home grown fascism emerged, driven by activists yet protected, supported and encouraged by the media across the West. The capture of the commentariat by the Left has produced a monster. Not by design, perhaps, but simply because once challenged by the people in Flown Over America, the threat of dissent from the post War consensus of left of centre social, economic and cultural policy had to be rebutted. But rebuttal it wasn’t. Crushing is what it was, and so anything Orange Man said – anything – even though he received the CIA, NSA and State Department briefings before anyone else – was a lie.

J Bryant
JB
J Bryant
2 years ago

Thank goodness for Ian Birrell and other brave and tenacious journalists and scientists for finally bringing us close to an answer to this question.
I very much doubt, however, there will be serious consequences for anyone if the evidence strongly supports a lab leak origin of the coronavirus. The cover-up goes too high and involves too many key players and institutions in politics, science and journalism. There will be a token commission, vague talk of ‘lessons to be learned’ but that’s it.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Which will also be the case when the climate change scam unravels – “everyone else bought it too”.

Nick Whitehouse
NW
Nick Whitehouse
2 years ago

The reason that the possibility of the virus coming from a Chinese lab was dismissed by the media is quite simple.
The media is controlled by the left wing, who hated Trump. So anything he said was/is hated.
Now that Trump is no longer the President, the media can actually begin to look rationally at the facts.

David Pritchard
DP
David Pritchard
2 years ago

Rationally? I doubt it. All I have seen is the media censoring themselves in what they report since Trump left. I still see the same myths being perpetuated, BLM good, Biden good, Antifa good. Using hydrocarbons bad. Being white bad…

Susannah Baring Tait
SB
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago

I posted this late yesterday on Tom Chivers’s article:
Very early on in the pandemic, I happened upon a YouTube documentary by a journalist who literally followed the clues and concluded it was indeed the Wuhan Lab from which it escaped. I believe he was actually filming in and around the area. (I haven’t re-watched it since so my memory of the details is not good.. ) He discovered that the female bat researcher had been disappeared and documents he had found had also subsequently been removed. He also noticed the Dr Fauci connection etc. It was a totally convincing piece of research. I wonder if the video has been taken down.
I actually sent the link to CNN at the time but heard nothing back. Unsurprisingly.
I find it so strange that only now are people coming around to the idea. Or thinking the idea is new.

Last edited 2 years ago by Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
SB
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago

This is the documentary : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bXWGxhd7ic
This is a chilling history of the virus’s probable origin. Complete with documents etc. I am currently rewatching, and I am finding it extremely alarming all over again. It was made over a year ago.
“Join Epoch Times senior investigative reporter Joshua Philipp as he explores the known facts surrounding the CCP virus and the global pandemic it caused. In his investigation, Philipp explores the scientific data, and interviews top scientists and national security experts. And while the mystery surrounding the virus’s origin remains, much is learned about the CCP’s cover-up that led to the pandemic and the threat it poses to the world.”
“In this documentary, we present viewers with the known scientific data and facts surrounding the origin of the virus along with experts’ opinions. We don’t draw conclusions, but we point out that serious questions remain about the origins of the virus as well as the CCP’s handling of the outbreak. 
Some of our viewers felt the #documentary was taking a position on the origin of the virus, which was not our intent. The documentary has been slightly updated as of April 14 to better reflect our position, which is not to provide a definitive answer, but rather to present the known facts. #virusorigin #wuhan
He was ‘got at’!
PS: I could swear it was in the original documentary that Dr Fucci’s role was thoroughly discussed (perhaps I’m confusing it with another one). If so, it has since been deleted.

Last edited 2 years ago by Susannah Baring Tait
Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Whatever the facts, just by calling it ‘the CCP virus’ he is proclaiming himself as a biased, unreliable conspiracy theorist. I will assume that anything he says is at best misleading, just like I would for anyone talking about transphobia or structural racism. That does not prove him wrong, of course, but unless he gets out of his little sect of true believers he will be hard put to convince anybody.

Starry Gordon
SG
Starry Gordon
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“Whatever the facts, just by calling it ‘the CCP virus’ he is proclaiming himself as a biased, unreliable conspiracy theorist.”
Try to find people who are not. The first question, and often the only one, is ‘What story enhances the power and interests of me and mine?’ Never mind the truth.

Susannah Baring Tait
SB
Susannah Baring Tait
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Instead of assuming why not watch. He interviews top scientists, both US and Chinese. BEFORE they were ‘got at’.

Gary Baxter
Gary Baxter
2 years ago

A clear and thorough sum-up of the struggle to understand the origin of this terrible pandemic, this excellent article exposes some dark corners in the political, scientific and journalistic world of today. The human world is on a slippery slope to Distopia. I see it looming ahead. People of good conscience must stand up to stop it before it’s too late.

Adam Bacon
AB
Adam Bacon
2 years ago

Let’s hope that, with this shift in assumptions and assertions about the origin of the virus, a similar honest analysis will start regarding the efficacy of lockdowns and face masks.

Similar assumptions are made to support these policies and any research or data challenging the consensus of the scientific establishment and political elite is immediately dismissed. Worse still it is often censored by our social media overlords, in the same way open discussion of the origin of Covid has been.

Jeremy Poynton
JP
Jeremy Poynton
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Any number of statistical studies on a global scale and at the state level in the USA demonstrate that Lockdown did nothing to slow the virus down. The collateral damage of course we will be paying for for years, never mind the ever-increasing assault on our liberty.

Don’ tread on me.

Ferrusian Gambit
SS
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago

““gain of function” research that creates chimeric diseases and forces the evolution of viruses out of scientific curiosity”

This statement seems a little bizarre, like stating the Manhatten project was driven by pure scientific curiosity.

The research is done for a military edge should the new cold war get hot and for that reason as long as the Chinese (and probably Russians) are doing it so should we.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ferrusian Gambit
Fraser Bailey
FB
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

Which makes it all the more bizarre that the US and, it seems, the EU, were funding this research in China. Well, it’s not so bizarre when you consider that the reprehensible goons in Brussels and Washington do not see China as an appalling threat to freedom and humanity, but as a model to emulate.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Which makes it all the more bizarre that the US … were funding this research”
I think you may have it the wrong way round. It’s bizarre if you cling to the idea this research was being conducted to acquire a military edge. If you accept it was done to be better prepared for a pandemic, US and EU funding make sense.

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

if it was for a pandemic, why couldn’t the US and EU fund their own research? China is no ally, and there is no lack of research capability in America or Europe. Both places managed to have a vaccine ready in a very short time. Maybe not everything should be outsourced.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The US (and perhaps the EU, I’m not sure) had legislation around gain of function research. I guess they thought it easier to do it in China, hoping it would fly under the radar, which it probably would have done were it not for this pandemic and the explosion of interest in these matters. I can’t imagine why China, the US and EU would be jointly conducting such experiments ‘for a military edge’. Can you suggest a reason? And a military edge over whom?

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Perkins
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Jointly, no. Individually, it’s not hard to imagine. I am under no illusions that my own govt is somehow above that sort of thing.
I’m just questioning why the US/EU would not fund their own research. Both have capable people. I could see working with Taiwan, but not China. That’s just my opinion, which clearly no one requested.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Even individually, I have strong doubts, as anyone capable of conducting such research would be well aware such a virus couldn’t be confined to attacking, say, Chinese and not Europeans, and there’d be every chance a weaponised virus could mutate and ‘outwit’ a vaccine. In other words, a coronavirus bioweapon would be pretty indiscriminate and uncontrollable once released.
But my comments were about Ferrusian Gambit’s “The research is done for a military edge,” and it appears the research was not being done individually by the US, EU(?) and China, but collaboratively, which is why I wonder – military edge over whom?

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

You raise an interesting question. Whoever the perceived enemy is, I suppose. Talk of bio weapons is not necessarily new, though that has typically meant Anthrax and the like from some terrorist group, not a disease incubated by a state.
I agree about what a released virus might do, but we’re talking about people who fancy themselves the smartest in every room.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Political leaders may well fancy themselves the smartest, but I think most virologists would consider nature and evolution effectively smarter.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

As for why the US/EU would not fund their own research, they had legislation around gain of function research, and perhaps feared something similar to previous SARS outbreaks, which mostly affected countries in the region and did not reach pandemic levels. I guess they found it convenient to take advantage of the very same laxer regulatory conditions in China which are now under such scrutiny, and hoped any adverse consequences would remain in east Asia.

Saul D
SD
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If you look at biological sciences, some US universities have a habit of using China as a way of off-shoring experiments that might not be able to get ethical approval in the US itself, or which might run into political heavy weather in the States – eg around embryonic stem cells. Gain-of-function would probably fit in this category.

David Fitzsimons
David Fitzsimons
2 years ago

The rationale of the virologists was something like ‘to be better prepared for future pandemics’. Quite ironic really. Unless this was actually a test rather than a mistake.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago

Well this pandemic wasn’t as bad as it could have been with a more deadly virus with the same virulence. We might actually be grateful sometime in the future to be primed for caution when a really nasty virus does arrive, even as an act of war.

David Fitzsimons
David Fitzsimons
2 years ago

But the virologists, who were doing this work to be better prepared, have not helped.
PS. I did not intend to add my own conspiratorial twist to this tale in my original comment. I was being flippant.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
2 years ago

Mistake or not, we know where this is heading

“Chinese scientists discussed weaponising SARS coronaviruses in 2015: ReportA document written by Chinese scientists and health officials before the pandemic in 2015 states that SARS coronaviruses were a ‘new era of genetic weapons'”
https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/chinese-scientists-discussed-weaponising-sars-coronaviruses-in-2015-report-121050900612_1.html

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago

This is what happens when a virus becomes politicized. Orange McBadman could have said anything and the media horde would have instantly denounced it. Now, those same skeptics find themselves going back and quietly editing past pieces about this theory under cover of darkness hoping no one will notice.
The worst offenders include some self-righteous organs that see themselves as bold crusaders for truth and justice. 
Well, yes, and they continue to see themselves in the same manner. These people are genetically capable of saying “we were wrong.”

Cycle Calves
Cycle Calves
2 years ago

So, wait, what..?!

The MEDIA failed to perform basic journalism with regards to a possible lab leak..? Not only refuting the theory outright, but excoriating people who posited it? What happened to the heathen Chinese eating raw foods from wet markets?!

The media lied..? And you people are only now surprised to find that out…

Like when they falsely reported:

A) Candidate Trump called all Mexicans murderers and rapists

B) Trump said some Nazis are good people

C) Trump said to drink bleach

D) No proof it is Hunter Biden’s laptop

E) Bill Clinton hardly knew Epstein

Heck, the Media puppets have been sycophants for the Dem Party for decades, and people are still surprised to find out about their Agenda?

In the age of #MeToo – how is Cuomo still governor of NY? For acts he committed as Gov Cuomo, compared to SC Justice Kavanaugh and a vague party in high school.

In the age of BLM – how is Northam still governor of VA? His blackface photos were appalling.

Oh, wait – they are Democrats.

President Trump’s mistake was to label it FAKE NEWS … that failed to show the depths of bias, and the heights of hypocrisy.

john dann
john dann
2 years ago

Rather like the Skripals poisoning so near Portan Down, the coincidence of the bio lab in Wuhan was hushed up by the media. However, I recall it was openly discussed in February 2020, there was also some attention given to a possible connection with a few Chinese scientists who left a Canadian bio lab under odd circumstances in late 2019 and returned to Wuhan. If it has taken 15 months to begin to look seriously at this strong possibility, one may be forgiven for wondering if in another year we will ask, “Was it intentional?”

Andrew Harvey
AH
Andrew Harvey
2 years ago
Reply to  john dann

Thanks for the perfect example of how the Chinese will muddy the waters to deflect blame.

john dann
JD
john dann
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

Yes, the Chinese will says that it could not possibly be a leak, we did it on purpose. Yet if you are fixated on blaming the Chinese it seems to me you miss the point. These bio labs, born of the bio weapon industry, no matter where they are, in Canada, the US, Asia, EU…. are an obvious threat to us all.

Pete Kreff
PK
Pete Kreff
2 years ago
Reply to  john dann

Rather like the Skripals poisoning so near Portan Down, the coincidence of the bio lab in Wuhan was hushed up by the media.

You mention the “coincidence” of the nearby Porton Down, while failing to mention the “coincidence” that two senior operatives of the GRU just happened to be on holiday in Salisbury at the time of the poisoning, that Salisbury just happened to be the home town of a Russian former spy and defector, and that Putin just happened to have a bee in his bonnet about traitors.

john dann
JD
john dann
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

There is not room on this site to mention all the coincidences, the roof, the ducks, the boys, the hotel, the simultaneous illness, the lack of fatality, the chief nurse of Porton Down finding them, their disappearance afterward, the lack of protocol in the inquiry the refusal to allow RU to participate, or see their citizens… oh yes and the coincidence that Putin did it, that inept, incompetent, fool, who can’t even kill someone with a nerve agent that ought to have wiped out the whole town.. But that’s why we’re better at political kills, we don’t mess with parfum bottles, or door knobs, we just put people like Julian Assange in jail forever to die, slowly, inexorably and alone.

Niobe Hunter
NH
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  john dann

Someone did die.

Sam Cel Roman
SR
Sam Cel Roman
2 years ago

this whole thing was covered up by Peter Daszak, the freakazoid who has spent the past 20 years appearing on any and every TV show in the world to shout “we’re all gonna die from a virus!” Seriously, search his name on pre-2020 videos in YouTube, and you’ll see this guy is completely bonkers.
And that, of course, is exactly who the WHO hired to “investigate” the Wuhan lab!

steves9404
SS
steves9404
2 years ago

Perhaps the one thing that supports the lab-leak theory, and which has not been discussed in the media or anywhere else, is the fact that the Chinese imposed severe lockdowns after detecting just 17 cases of COVID.
Whenever a new and unknown pathogen sparks an epidemic, it takes time for most public health authorities to figure out the nature and effect of the pathogen and how to respond to it before implementing a plan of action.
The fact that the Chinese government responded so quickly and drastically indicates that they knew exactly what they were dealing with, and where it came from.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  steves9404

Did they impose lockdowns after just 17 cases?

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  steves9404

No reply to my previous question, so I checked for myself. According to Wikipedia (which confirms my rather vague memory of that time), “By 22 January, the novel coronavirus had spread to major cities and provinces in China, with 571 confirmed cases and 17 deaths reported. Confirmed cases were also reported in other regions and countries, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.”
So far from ‘detecting just 17 cases’, they had confirmed 571, no doubt suspected many more either undetected or unconfirmed, and were aware of confirmed cases in several other countries.
You say Chinese authorities responded ‘quickly and drastically’, and ‘they knew exactly what they were dealing with, and where it came from’, but you’re surely aware many others have criticised them for not acting sooner. Quite apart from the number of domestic cases, the fact it had by then spread so far should have caused alarm worldwide, not just within China.
As for health authorities taking time to figure out a response, Taiwan began screening passengers from Wuhan on December 31, 2019, when they were still far from sure what was going on there, and soon instituted further measures.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Perkins
Andrew Baldwin
AB
Andrew Baldwin
2 years ago

This is a fine piece as far as it goes, once you get past Ian’s Trump Derangement Syndrome. Is it really necessary for Ian to assert his credentials as a voter fraud denier in each and every piece he writes, no matter how irrelevant to the existing topic? He only mentions Trump accusing the Chinese of possibly releasing COVID-19 from a lab to criticize him for not providing enough supporting documentation. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate, considering what has happened since, to praise him for being the only major Western leader at the time, to show any spine?
If, as now seems more probable than not, the PRC did release the virus from a lab, and the thuggish Communist cadres devoted their efforts to punishing Chinese whistleblowers and providing disinformation to the world about the seriousness of the threat, then it is only fair that the PRC should pay reparations to the rest of the people on the planet for what they have done. Oddly enough, this doesn’t even come up in Ian’s piece. For me, one lesson of this is that it is time for the world to get rid of the farce of the Hague international war crimes tribunals. We know that President Xi will never be prosecuted as a war criminal, although it looks like he was responsible for the death of millions of people all over the world. The Hague tribunals are just a mechanism for strong countries like the US to force their will on weak countries like Serbia, a display of power, not a search for justice.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

The Hague is a farce. Well said Sir!

I’m also surprised that the Dutch ever tolerated it. Have they no shame after their atrocious behaviour in the East Indies, 1945-48.*

(*Helped by us!)

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

the PRC should pay reparations
Why not too the USA, which helped fund and conduct this research, arguably hoping that if anything went wrong, it would be China that suffered, and not themselves?

Paul Goodman
PG
Paul Goodman
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Because whether it was deliberate or just normal CCP F**k up like the HIV blood plasma scandal, it is down to them.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

I see. The USA didn’t want this research done on its own soil, fearing (but perhaps underestimating, given the scope of the SARS outbreaks before) the risks, so outsourced it to China, so it’s all down to them.

Niobe Hunter
NH
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

TDS is his Danegeld. Once he’s written that, his credentials as a member of the club who are allowed to speak are assured.
for now, at any rate.

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
2 years ago

I wonder whether Facebook et al could be legally challenged on the definition of ‘conspiracy’ which in my dictionary is a plot or a scheme. An explanation based on an accidental lab leak cannot therefore by definition be described as a conspiracy theory, whether or not it is accurate.

Mark Gilbert
MG
Mark Gilbert
2 years ago

Perhaps I have misunderstood, but it does seem to me that little, if any, attention, is paid to speculating about the possibility that the Media and Big Tech, as well as much of the scientific establishment, may have wilfully pushed a narrative that would not harm China because of its vested interest in doing so.
It seems that Trump has become a central excuse for this happening, which would not say much for the intellectual, if not moral, robustness of the purveyors of such obviously anti-scientific propaganda.
My overwhelming impression is that politics has all but defined our science in several crucial ways over the last year in particular, and the Media has been the bullhorn and Protector-In-Chief not for the pursuit of truth but, rather, for the protection of a partizan political line.
This will not be undone merely by changing tack – with all its subsequent spin to minimise the resulting fall out – on one particular theory when, even at the initial stage of “revelation”, is very quickly and conspicuously blamed to help ease the pain.

Sidney Mysterious
SM
Sidney Mysterious
2 years ago

The road is clearly marked and has been for eons. It is heralded in song and story.
“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
“Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”
An inexpensive proven treatment has no value. A concerned active president that offers real solutions, public awareness and economic security is vilified. Corrupt political puppets are extolled, lionized and elevated. CYA is the new electoral currency.
Welcome to World History 101.

hayden eastwood
HE
hayden eastwood
2 years ago

Great article. As long ago as 2001 I was warned by my then Virology professor that China was a biohazard and in danger of unleashing hell on the world. Looks like his premonition may have come to pass.

Simon Neale
SN
Simon Neale
2 years ago

an increasing number of credible scientific voices are calling for a full investigation into whether this global catastrophe was the result of some kind of human error at a Wuhan laboratory.

Is anyone calling for a full investigation into whether it was a deliberate release? I mean, whatever the potency of the virus, China got their act together a lot faster than the West did. Their manufacturers will benefit from that. And their intelligence services will now know how we react if something really dangerous were to fly over here on a bat.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Taiwan got their act together a lot faster than mainland China did, so by that logic they were behind it all.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

That is because the Taiwanese know what the CCP is like and were prepared.
Wuhan by the way is in China not Taiwan.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

I see. So Taiwan’s early response (starting December 31, 2019) was due to their knowledge of mainland China’s perfidy, whereas the CPC’s delayed response indicates they deliberately released the virus. Makes perfect sense. And Taiwan had direct flights to Wuhan, so a deliberate Taiwanese release can’t be ruled out on the grounds of geography – not that I think that is what happened at all, but it seems to fit your logic, that quick response implies responsibility, better than a deliberate release by the CPC.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Perkins
Henry Barth
Henry Barth
2 years ago

Has anyone considered that the release of this virus was deliberate? Why bother making bioweapons if you’re not planning to use them.
“As of Oct 4, 2020, China had confirmed 90,604 cases of COVID-19 and 4739 deaths, while the USA had registered 7,382,194 cases and 209,382 deaths. The UK has a population 20 times smaller than China, yet it has seen five times as many cases of COVID-19 and almost ten times as many deaths. All of which raises the question: how has China managed to wrest control of its pandemic?”
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30800-8/fulltext

Jacques Rossat
Jacques Rossat
2 years ago

A “scientific breakthrough that proves there was a laboratory accident. What then?” Nothing, first because, as you very rightly say, China will crush and ridicule every effort to publish the fact and, second, nowadays any hard proof is disparaged in the social media and the traditional press by any Average Joe whose opinion is valued on par with that of a Nobel prize winner. Nevertheless, the potential consequences on the scientific community are brilliantly surveyed. Congratulations.

Malcolm Ripley
MR
Malcolm Ripley
2 years ago

There is another reason for the lack of investigation by journalists and that is the consequence of showing it was indeed an engineered mutation in Wuhan.
There would be two strains (sorry) of investigation. One would be the money trail and the other would be the genetic trail. 
The money trail leads to documents that clearly shows funding from US organisations to the Wuhan lab and to researches such as Daszak and others. Those connections amongst the researchers spreads to videos where said researches admit to the manipulation of Coronavirus. The funding approval leads to heads of organisations and this leads to people like Fauci. That’s a big ooops because it then invalidates EVERYTHING he has stated about how to tackle this crisis. This manufactured crisis that is caused and being covered up by people like him. Then you go down the rabbit hole of Kary Mullis (and his very unfavourable opinion of Fauci), PCR testing, HIV years ago etc etc OMG…
The genetic trail would identify what had they done to the Coronavirus. The gain of function includes HIV related proteins that increase infectiousness, genetic sequences that are patented by the US government (big OOPS) and the biggest worry, prion like protein folding. God help us if the prion thing is real because it will be 18 months or so before we find out for sure in the vaccinated. You then go down the rabbit hole of pre-prepared vaccines. The virus itself is not the problem it’s the spike protein on the surface. OMG we have human spike protein factories walking around.
Bill Gates suddenly needs to go in hiding because he’s getting divorced years and years after Melinda knew about his sexual activities…yeah right. Fauci’s future behaviour will be key, especially if Rand Paul keeps pursuing him.
Are we seeing the cracks of this coordinated Hunger Games like takeover of western society.

Jorge Toer
JT
Jorge Toer
2 years ago

Thanks for the delicate piece of information,,
Im proposed to boycott China products all over the world,,,and ask for the truth .
At the some time our governments to provide the best possible support to citizens to ensure be effective,this is a very serious issue, must be a world publicly enquiry.
For our kids future we can’t live that in hands of corrupt people,
To start nowadays .
No to do that ,will show a extremely cowardy from politicians they are in charge.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Toer

Why stick to boycotting Chinese goods? The research had funding and collaboration from the USA, and I think the EU, so why reserve your ire for the country where it took place? The others are at least as culpable, and if anything more cowardly, as the worse anyone probably expected in the event of a lab leak was another SARS, which mainly affected east Asian countries, barely touching Europe or the USA.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
2 years ago

I think everyone with a brain has known it came from the lab from the very beginning. Many credible scientists were saying early on that the Spike protein had to have been inserted in a lab. It was not natural.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
EG
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  John Ottaway

All Coronaviruses have spike proteins – alpha, beta, delta and gamma subgroups.
All perfectly natural.

geringjr
ES
geringjr
2 years ago

Great analysis on the origin…not so much on the election. Same issue, different game. The bigger issue is the pandemic of suppression and censorship.

Lindsay Gatward
LG
Lindsay Gatward
2 years ago

Surely simple observation of the CCP’s initial and immediate overreaction to Australia’s suggestion of researching the source of the virus is just as convincing of guilt as a whistle blower with video of Wuhan Lab shenanigans – The subsequent weasel words of the WHO and of our own ever more Marxist Mainstream Media and of course the Social Media Oligarch’s Censorship are the cherry on the cake of obvious CCP instruction intended to hide their guilt but actually making it even more obvious – Seems weird that everybody does not see this …it just seems so blatantly obvious – Why else would you be inspired to so overreact and particularly why else would you censor?

Last edited 2 years ago by Lindsay Gatward
Jorge Toer
JT
Jorge Toer
2 years ago

Impressive article,,thanks for you honesty.
I ask my self,,it’s possible to declare publicly boycott to China dictatorship, in case that probe be a laboratory imprudent behaviour.
The organisations that boycott Israel all this year’s, brainwashed people’s ,or China is for them to Big and powerful????

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
2 years ago

The problem is today’s western media engages in Chinese style censorship of any ideas promoted by conservatives, even when that conservative is the president of the United States with access to the most sophisticated intelligence in the world.
But then the writer is a believer in the fair elections hoax, and probably man made climate change too.

mike otter
MO
mike otter
2 years ago

I friend of mine is doctor or pharmacology and has kept up to date with scientific papers on his chosen area of business: Respiratory ailments and their cures. He compared SARS CoV 2 in evolutionary terms as follows. Its like seeing Eohippus and its contemporary early horses, about the size of a whippet, eaten by large birds of prey etc then no visible evolutionary steps until all of a sudden you see a thoroughbred race horse. However, because he is a genuine scientist he realises 1. It will be all but impossible to prove SARS-CoV2 was an escaped “pet” 2. there is a chance, albeit statistically remote, that such an advanced SARS virus did develop naturally but unfortunately remained undetected for years, possibly decades. The takeaway point here is that “scientists” dancing around around the greasy pole of academia or WHO etc are too embroiled in their own personal, financial and political schemes to have any time or respect for the Mertonian Norms. Successful businessmen who run pharmaceutical manufacturers and earned a PhD back in the 70s when it meant something have no such skin in the game: Mortgage paid off, plenty of investments, money in the bank – no motivation to HARK, Salami Slice or do a bit of Texas sharpshooting, let alone tell bare faced lies motivated by greed, political ideology or racism. The idea of the Lamarkian Firm ambushing the Darwinists outside the ground is amusing, as is the current String Theorist Man Dem-V- Quantum Boys feud. However when lives are lost and livelihoods ruined by these people its time the grown ups stepped in.

yemarb
Y
yemarb
2 years ago

I saw a video that got banned on Youtube that said exactly the same thing, back in MARCH 2020

Michael L
Michael L
2 years ago

There is no need to go to China to investigate, at least at this stage. Any investigation into the lab leak must start from Peter Daszak and Anthony Fauci. They are both in the USA, at least now.

Ian Perkins
IP
Ian Perkins
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

Quite. Many commenters are seizing on this as proof of China’s inherent evil, and calling for boycotts and so on. It could just as well be seen as the USA outsourcing dangerous research to China, hoping any untoward consequences would stay there, unaware of just how dangerous they would turn out to be.