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Covid Origins: Lab leak hypothesis

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  • #46


    I have alot of respect for Scott and how he conducts himself. His expertise/experience crossesf the scientific, business and bureaucratic/political sides so he usually has a balanced and useful take on complex issues. He is very cautious on what he says so interesting to see him lean in on this.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by tantalus View Post
      This isnt my take on the chinese approach but perhaps I have it wrong. From the outside its seems they did insane city wide lockdowns multiple times last year including Bejing. They would then test the entire city and pool tests, test 10 people, put them into single tube and test it, if positive ten go back and test all 10, only works when majority test negative, as in over 90%, realistically over 99%. Batch testing also captures asymptomatic.The key for China was they consistently exceuted this strategy upon first case detected, no excuse , no delays. Given what the aussies achieved I dont find it hard to believe that China achieved even more with autocratic advantages. Countires like India didnt try to control covid when they detected a single case or tiny cluster.

      I cant rule out the ccp have been lying since the first wave. But its plausible to me that they executed the reported approach and that it has been largely as successful as reported.
      China can restrict information flows in certain ways on certain issues, but that has limits. I can believe that they might have been able to cover up small outbreaks or some aspects of a big one, but they can't hide a large outbreak. Too many people involved, too many ways for information to leak out.

      China worked out a way to stop small outbreaks getting big. We have done the same in Australia, with one exception, and we seem to be getting better at it (fingers crossed). Obviously we have the advantage of being able to limit incoming numbers more easily than some places, but significant numbers have returned since we 'closed' the border.

      As you suggest, no need to look to conspiracy theories to explain something for which there is an obvious explanation. Sadly that won't stop the simple minded, but such is the world we live in.
      sigpic

      Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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      • #48
        Originally posted by tantalus View Post
        This isnt my take on the chinese approach but perhaps I have it wrong. From the outside its seems they did insane city wide lockdowns multiple times last year including Bejing. They would then test the entire city and pool tests, test 10 people, put them into single tube and test it, if positive ten go back and test all 10, only works when majority test negative, as in over 90%, realistically over 99%. Batch testing also captures asymptomatic.The key for China was they consistently exceuted this strategy upon first case detected, no excuse , no delays. Given what the aussies achieved I dont find it hard to believe that China achieved even more with autocratic advantages. Countires like India didnt try to control covid when they detected a single case or tiny cluster.

        I cant rule out the ccp have been lying since the first wave. But its plausible to me that they executed the reported approach and that it has been largely as successful as reported.
        Does not explain the lack of a second wave. If you let people work they move around and that's how the virus spreads. All we see were small outbreaks. Containment zones.

        They can't cover those up and if there was a larger spike that would be known. Cheating with numbers only comes back to bite them because then people take it easy.

        Their mask policy was strict at the start. Get caught without wearing one they would put you away for two weeks. Wuhan rules.

        I don't think other countries were as strict. In my city you got a hefty fine.

        They had the QR code system. So to enter any place you had to scan your phone which holds your travel & health history.

        That's an access control system we did not use. I don't know of any other country that used QR codes like that for access. Too cumbersome and impossible to enforce after a point consistently every where.

        Restricts transmissions indoors in public places. Can't enter any public buildings or transport unless you score green.


        Most of their cases are reported as imported. So any one flying there has quarantine for a certain period. Same for other countries.

        HK was not quiet last year and they had loads of flooding in the summer.

        What is their secret if there is one. Why does the virus not mutate and become more virulent in China like it does in S.Africa, UK, India and who knows elsewhere. CCP can't control how this virus mutates.

        What spiked the cases in India is this local variant that seems to have sprung up from nowhere. We beat the last one by Dec end and then got hit by a mutation.

        Most populated country on the planet yet the pandemic seems to have all gone for them.

        Something isn't adding up.
        Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 19:00.

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        • #49
          Dated Jan 31. Trump's out of the way, now all of a sudden it becomes PC to talk about lab leak in the US



          Wieinstein has pretty much nailed everything there is to know about this virus so far.

          Couple of points for lab leak which seem obvious now when you think of it

          Two aspects of the Covid-19 virus, in fact, strengthen the theory that it originated in a lab.

          The first is the fact that the virus, from the beginning, was already well adapted to indoor transmission. As American biologist Bret Weinstein said on the Real Time with Bill Maher show, “This virus attacks so many different tissues in the body, it does not seem natural. The fact that it does not, at least at the beginning did not seem to transmit outdoors nearly at all is very conspicuous. I mean, after all, most animals live outdoors. So, a virus that seems to be adapted to indoor transmission is a bit conspicuous.” Outdoor Covid-19 transmission still remains rare.

          The second aspect is the transmission efficiency of the virus. The virus, from the beginning, has been transmitting efficiently across all geographical and climatic zones, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender and age.

          Dr Redfield, in the CNN interview, said a naturally occurring virus normally takes a while to figure out how to become “more and more efficient” in transmission. But a lab experimenter, he explained, would seek to make the virus grow better and more efficient in order to learn more about it. “I have spent my life in virology. I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human, and at that moment in time, the virus…became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human-to-human transmission,” Dr Redfield added.
          Did China Get Away with Creating a Pandemic? | Open Magazine | May 21 2021
          Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 18:45.

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          • #50
            This is Fauci back in 2011 advocating for gain of function research

            A flu virus risk worth taking | WAPO (op-ed) | Dec 30 2011

            By Anthony S. Fauci, ,Gary J. Nabel and Francis S. Collins

            December 30, 2011

            Anthony Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Gary Nabel is director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Francis Collins is director of the National Institutes of Health.

            A deadly influenza virus has circulated widely in birds in recent years, decimating flocks but rarely spreading to humans. Nonetheless, because of its persistence in bird flocks, this highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has loomed as a major public health threat. Seasonal influenza kills less than 1 percent of the people it infects. In contrast, human infections with H5N1, though exceedingly rare, are fatal in more than half of cases. Should this virus mutate in a way that allows it to be transmitted as efficiently among people as seasonal influenza viruses are, it could take an unprecedented toll on human life.

            A number of important scientific and public health questions regarding this virus remain unanswered, including the likelihood of such mutations arising and the mechanisms by which they may occur. Two recent studies co-funded by the National Institutes of Health have shed light on how this potentially grave human health threat could become a reality. Working carefully with influenza viruses they have engineered in isolated biocontainment laboratories, scientists in Europe and the United States have identified several mechanisms by which the virus might evolve to transmit efficiently in the ferret, the best animal model for human influenza infection. This research has allowed identification of genetic pathways by which such a virus could better adapt to transmission among people. This laboratory virus does not exist in nature. There is, however, considerable concern that such a virus could evolve naturally. We cannot predict whether it or something similar will arise naturally, nor when or where it might appear.

            Given these uncertainties, important information and insights can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory.
            The bolded bit has been since edited by WAPO the original line went like this

            "Despite these uncertainties, much good can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory."

            That's it. That one line is used to advocate for gain of function without mentioning it.

            While the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention provide excellent public health surveillance for novel influenza strains, influenza outbreaks still occur suddenly and in unexpected places. The recent H1N1 pandemic exemplifies the problem: In 2009, a new influenza virus emerged. It was shown to have originated from an animal reservoir, and it spread so rapidly that it strained the pharmaceutical industry’s capacity to prepare vaccines fast enough to blunt its spread. We do not fully understand the underlying factors that allow influenza viruses to be transmitted efficiently in humans after they emerge from different species. The ferret transmission studies were intended in part to fill these important gaps in knowledge.

            Understanding the biology of influenza virus transmission has implications for outbreak prediction, prevention and treatment. In defining the mutations required for mammalian transmission, public health officials are provided with genetic signatures that, like fingerprints, could help scientists more readily identify newly emergent, potentially harmful viruses, track their spread and detect threatening outbreaks. The ability to identify such viruses even a few months faster than by conventional surveillance provides critical time to slow or stop an outbreak. For example, the CDC implements public health protective measures and stockpiles antiviral drugs. Identifying threatening viruses can also facilitate the early stages of manufacturing vaccines that protect against such a virus in advance of an outbreak.

            In addition, determining the molecular Achilles’ heel of these viruses can allow scientists to identify novel antiviral drug targets that could be used to prevent infection in those at risk or to better treat those who become infected. Decades of experience tells us that disseminating information gained through biomedical research to legitimate scientists and health officials provides a critical foundation for generating appropriate countermeasures and, ultimately, protecting the public health.

            The question is whether benefits of such research outweigh risks. The answer is not simple. A highly pathogenic bird flu virus transmissible in humans could arise in ways not predicted by laboratory studies. And it is not clear whether this laboratory virus would behave in humans as it does in ferrets. Nonetheless, new data provide valuable insights that can inform influenza preparedness and help delineate the principles of virus transmission between species.

            Along with support for this research comes a responsibility to ensure that the information is used for good. Safeguarding against the potential accidental release or deliberate misuse of laboratory pathogens is imperative. The engineered viruses developed in the ferret experiments are maintained in high-security laboratories. The scientists, journal editors and funding agencies involved are working together to ensure that access to specific information that could be used to create dangerous pathogens is limited to those with an established and legitimate need to know.
            A decade later, the comments (only a handful given the op-ed came out at the year's end) posted at the time are prescient,

            scottwilliams1
            12/31/2011 9:45 PM GMT+0530
            Dude -- Are you familiar with the Greek word hubris? The arrogance of thinking you can control either the super-germs you're creating or the knowledge of how to do it is astonishing.

            KDPLSP
            1/1/2012 2:45 AM GMT+0530
            So it comes down to we know that we're working with dynamite but we must do it to learn how to defuse it if it gets out into the world, which it might in one way or another in one form or another. It's a matter of getting ready, just in case, and we're being as careful as we can about it. So. Okay. I don't like it, but I'm persuaded. Scary times these are.

            alance
            1/2/2012 9:33 AM GMT+0530
            Germ warfare is still germ warfare. It has a potential to wipe our species off the face of the earth. We can't risk this. It is insane.

            IEGrosz111
            12/31/2011 10:56 PM GMT+0530
            Only the future will show if the risk was worth taking...
            The supreme irony here is souping up viruses in order to learn how to counter them and avert the next big pandemic but if there is a leak you just caused what you wanted to prevent (!)
            Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 19:21.

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            • #51
              Global Virome Project

              They want to study all the unknown viruses. So they can do more GoF research to prevent the next pandemic.

              I'm so glad the Eco health alliance is a part of it.

              Their last project was a global block buster

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

                Does not explain the lack of a second wave. If you let people work they move around and that's how the virus spreads. All we see were small outbreaks. Containment zones.

                They can't cover those up and if there was a larger spike that would be known. Cheating with numbers only comes back to bite them because then people take it easy.

                Their mask policy was strict at the start. Get caught without wearing one they would put you away for two weeks. Wuhan rules.

                I don't think other countries were as strict. In my city you got a hefty fine.

                They had the QR code system. So to enter any place you had to scan your phone which holds your travel & health history.

                That's an access control system we did not use. I don't know of any other country that used QR codes like that for access. Too cumbersome and impossible to enforce after a point consistently every where.

                Restricts transmissions indoors in public places. Can't enter any public buildings or transport unless you score green.


                Most of their cases are reported as imported. So any one flying there has quarantine for a certain period. Same for other countries.

                HK was not quiet last year and they had loads of flooding in the summer.

                What is their secret if there is one. Why does the virus not mutate and become more virulent n China like it does in S.Africa, UK, India and who knows elsewhere.

                Most populated country on the planet yet the pandemic seems to have all gone for them.
                So ya its a good point they had other advantages like being able to track peoples movements, great for tracking close contacts and ensuring people are compliant. Personally I think its likely there were very serious penalities for non compliance so local populations effectively had no choice. And culturally they dont see as much value in the individual personal freedoms we cherish here in the west. Had less, had to give us less.

                My position more broadly would be it doesnt matter how much internal movement there is, if you keep it at zero you wont see spread.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by tantalus View Post


                  I have alot of respect for Scott and how he conducts himself. His expertise/experience crossesf the scientific, business and bureaucratic/political sides so he usually has a balanced and useful take on complex issues. He is very cautious on what he says so interesting to see him lean in on this.
                  One argument i've heard for those three lab workers is why wasn't there an outbreak at the hospital they went to. This would be in Oct. At that time the hospital would have been unsuitably prepared to handle it.

                  Dr. Li only puts out the message of inexplicable lung infections towards the end of Dec.

                  There have been instances in India of hospitals having to be shut down because of inadequate handling of infected patients.

                  It's likely these 3 did not have Covid in that case.
                  Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 19:44.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

                    One argument i've heard for those three lab workers is why wasn't there an outbreak at the hospital they went to. This would be in Oct. At that time the hospital would have been unsuitably prepared to handle it.

                    Dr. Li only puts out the message of inexplicable lung infections towards the end of Dec.

                    There have been instances in India of hospitals having to be shut down because of inadequate handling of infected patients.

                    It's likely these 3 did not have Covid in that case.
                    I am confused how do we know there werent outbreaks in the hospital...

                    Also no reason why the CCP couldnt prevent a hospital outbreak with just 3 cases brought in...one would think that workers from viral research labs would be carefully managed under security SOPs.

                    Early on covid outbreaks are super subtle. In takes time for outbreaks to become noticeable.

                    Remember it was very difficult for the USA to detect the size of their outbreak in early 2020 as they relied on the flu survelliance network but covid was tricky to spot and didnt generate enough severe cases in the early phase and their methodology failed along with their testing systems.

                    So I have no problem believing there was no hospital outbreak, or there was an undetected hospital outbreak, or a detected hospital outbreak. All plausible.

                    Interesting to hear there are rumours that there is a split within the biden admin. Some want to move on, ignore it, and work with china on other issues like trade and climate. Others arguing USA should go for a USA investigation and hold China accountable. Leaving this go sounds like the kind of idea that makes sense at a glance but turns out later to be both a terrible idea and not a practical one.

                    edit. Also outbreaks are often mutli seeded. Hospitals getting seeded by multiple infections and workers also getting infected outside of work. These kind of hospital outbreaks occur in the middle of a pandemic when rates of infection are high in the community, not at the beginning.
                    Last edited by tantalus; 25 May 21,, 20:04.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                      Nuclear retalliation. We equate chemical and biological attacks on par with nuclear strikes.
                      If we are going to respond with nuclear then we need to treat this like we do nuclear.

                      What about intermediary steps.

                      - Update or rewrite the Bio weapons convention of 1972 as advocated in this program. To include the possiblity of genetic manipulation which was not feasible back in 1972.

                      - To address rogue operators that can exploit this method of warfare. A fingerprint or genome of the virus won't pinpoint which lab in what country a virus came from.

                      - Should rogue states face automatic scrutiny.

                      - Given the WHO failed to properly investigate and warn the public do we need an IAEA style organisation that can conduct inspections.

                      - Should virology labs come under sanction and scrutiny like nuclear sites across the world.

                      - Should suspect virology labs be open to a global inspection regime under an IAEA style organistaion.


                      Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                      Nobody starts a war they don't at least have a chance of winning. This thing hurt China as much as anyone else.
                      Shut down the world pretty well.

                      Whether China is winning remains to be seen. It looks like it so far.
                      Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 20:18.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                        If we are going to respond with nuclear then we need to treat this like we do nuclear.
                        We do. We warned Saddam that if he used Biochems, he would be nuked.

                        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                        I- Update or rewrite the Bio weapons convention of 1972 as advocated in this program. To include the possiblity of genetic manipulation which was not feasible back in 1972.
                        Why are you watching this garbage? The Black Death is bubonic plague spread by rats as the intermediate spieces. Well documented through DNA research of Black Death corpses. The Mongols spread the Black Death alright. They were the dying ones who spread it to the rats. Not this garbage about 1347 Mongols.

                        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                        - Should virology labs come under sanction and scrutiny like nuclear sites across the world.

                        - Should suspect virology labs be open to a global inspection regime under an IAEA style organistaion.

                        Shut down the world pretty well.

                        Whether China is winning remains to be seen. It looks like it so far.
                        Again, this ain't a weapon. If this was lab leak, it was accidental. You called this China winning? Trade shut down and the world pretty well demonstrated that they could live without Chinese trade.
                        Chimo

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                          I am confused how do we know there werent outbreaks in the hospital...
                          No, but word would get out. There's a ready audience for such material. Been over a year now and i've yet to see anything to the effect from Chinese social media making it over to the english speaking world.

                          Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                          Also no reason why the CCP couldnt prevent a hospital outbreak with just 3 cases brought in...one would think that workers from viral research labs would be carefully managed under security SOPs.
                          Why would they ? these are just 3 out of over a hundred workers there.

                          To do so implies they suspect a leak. That means people in white suits. Again something that would not go unnoticed.

                          Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                          Early on covid outbreaks are super subtle. In takes time for outbreaks to become noticeable.

                          Remember it was very difficult for the USA to detect the size of their outbreak in early 2020 as they relied on the flu survelliance network but covid was tricky to spot and didnt generate enough severe cases in the early phase and their methodology failed along with their testing systems.

                          So I have no problem believing there was no hospital outbreak, or there was an undetected hospital outbreak, or a detected hospital outbreak. All plausible.
                          If there was an outbreak it would take 5 to 10 days to show up. These would then manifest as cases around the city. Starting November. And as the weeks go on the cases show up raising alarm with the Wuhan doctors. This we know.

                          Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                          Interesting to hear there are rumours that there is a split within the biden admin. Some want to move on, ignore it, and work with china on other issues like trade and climate. Others arguing USA should go for a USA investigation and hold China accountable. Leaving this go sounds like the kind of idea that makes sense at a glance but turns out later to be both a terrible idea and not a practical one.
                          Letting it go means people in the US that made decisions get off the hook. It spares the scientific community a witch hunt. This in turn helps them keep whatever credibility they have left.

                          Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                          Iedit. Also outbreaks are often mutli seeded. Hospitals getting seeded by multiple infections and workers also getting infected outside of work. These kind of hospital outbreaks occur in the middle of a pandemic when rates of infection are high in the community, not at the beginning.
                          very good, then undetected hospital outbreak is the plausible scenario in the early days in Wuhan.

                          Detected outbreak would leave a record.

                          No hospital outbreak is not possible given how easily transmitted the disease is.
                          Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 21:19.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                            Why are you watching this garbage? The Black Death is bubonic plague spread by rats as the intermediate spieces. Well documented through DNA research of Black Death corpses. The Mongols spread the Black Death alright. They were the dying ones who spread it to the rats. Not this garbage about 1347 Mongols.
                            Don't you think the points brought up are valid.

                            Nobody is going to be taken to task over this pandemic. The scientists are going to continue as is. The tech & knowledge is out there and its easier and cheaper than nuclear.

                            Undetectable until much later and no way to trace the source. Complicating factor. Bio is harder than nuclear.

                            The only fix is a vaccine and that isn't going to come unless enough people are affected.

                            Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                            Again, this ain't a weapon. If this was lab leak, it was accidental.
                            Talking about future to prevent it being used as one. Putting safeguards in place. There are very strict protocols in place for nuclear. None exist for bio.

                            Harvard prof wanting to work in Iran isn't possible but fine at Wuhan. Loopholes exist.

                            So there's two points here preventing it being used as a terror weapon AND preventing the next accident.

                            What is the world doing about that ? When are we having this conversation ?

                            Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                            You called this China winning? Trade shut down and the world pretty well demonstrated that they could live without Chinese trade.
                            In narrow terms of damage to the economy. They're the only country to show growth. So they got their people back to work and kept the virus at bay.

                            No doubt these are CCP figures but they can't be too far from reality.

                            How many others could do that ?

                            https://ourworldindata.org/covid-health-economy

                            Taiwan is second best then Lithuania. After that every one experienced a contraction greater than 5% and quite a few in the double digits.
                            Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 22:14.

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                            • #59
                              The one thing that has come out of this discussion is I fear a natural pandemic less than before.

                              A natural pandemic takes time for the virus to adapt and work its way through the population. In doing so it leaves a trail that can be picked up and can be realistically contained.

                              The odds of a regional pandemic becoming global are much lower. We see this with SARS, MERS, Ebola, Various bird & swine flu's. In spite of global travel were not able to break out the regions they originated from.

                              The flu pandemic of a hundred years ago isn't comparable today because we lacked the knowledge to handle it adequately so it spread globally. Until we knew this one was man made the comparisons were being made with the flu pandemic. They are no longer valid.

                              Man made viruses that speed up the evolutionary process are more dangerous. Spread faster and affect all age groups.

                              There have to be adequate safeguards in place that are ironclad with penalties if such research is to continue in the future.
                              Last edited by Double Edge; 25 May 21,, 23:30.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                                Don't you think the points brought up are valid.
                                Tom Clancy's EXECUTIVE ORDER. Read.

                                Chimo

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