Thursday 21st of January 2021

an uncomfortable notion: the coronavirus is an escaped/released bioweapon...

nixon

The war on terror has gone cold…



The only place terrorism is still significant is in Central Africa (Mali et al)… where the Wahhabi Jihadists are still active. 

Russia and China have managed to escape the clutches of the Empire — and not only this, China is also influencing many third world countries to be more independent economically.

For various reasons, especially trying to avoid the “Yellow Peril” and the “Reds under the Bed”, the Empire helped China to develop its economy, hoping that consumerism would turn this communist country into a more bourgeois affluent space where greed, thus capitalism, takes over the psyche of the people. This was also a very convenient way for multinational (read USA) corporations to make money, reduce pollution in their developed world and prevent their own local workforce to unionise and thus be “powerful” — a power that Bernie Sanders is trying to relaunch. Meanwhile the gigantic US military machine would keep an eye on "maintaining the peace” and the subservient status of the rest of the planet.

But Putin came along. Without him, Russia was going to disintegrate — not into a vassal of the Empire, but even worse, into a third rate country that would have been fractured in a thousand pieces. Pravda is still harping on how Siberia is going to be sold to the USA, like Alaska was on March 30, 1867. Pravda is not a Putin lover. RT and Sputnik are… One wonders if this once “communist” news network, Pravda, has not been infiltrated by the CIA and the likes of MI6. 

The Chinese media is like all media around the world. It is part of the disinformation/information system. China Daily is distrusted in the West, mostly because of the weight in importance about good China is. China had its revolution in Hong Kong recently and due to the “pandemic” a lot of this has gone quiet. Will the Yellow Vests carry on with their protests in France? People around the world are individually fearing for their life, en masse. Curfews, isolation, quarantine are the new tools to control populations. The cost is enormous on government budgets but worth it. The war on terror having “gone cold”, the Wahhabi threat has been subdued by the Western police and the “intelligence agencies”, the new message in order to avoid a repeat of population unrest is for everyone to "fight the virus together”. We have now our common enemy for the entire planetoid: an accidental mutant from nature...

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is also disintegrating under a little despot. It has lost its prestige. It has been degraded in the mind of people in the West as an annoying tinpot country that makes them pay too much at the petrol pump. Russia saw through the game being played: Under instruction from the USA, the Saudis were going to cut production to keep the price of oil high, to satisfy the US’s own shale oil industry, while demanding that Russia cut its own production as well like a good cartel member they were. Russia refused and the price of oil tumbled, bleeding the US shale oil industry — an industry that was not profitable even at $65 a barrel… The US shale oil industry has been mostly developed as an economic weapon against Russia. Meanwhile Russia has enough reserves of cash to last a decade or so, while loosing money on the oil market.

Trump, trying to avoid traditional wars which are costly, unpalatable (even by proxies) and unwinable in today’s world environment, has gone bezerk with sanctions on this and that country, here and there and everywhere — Russia, Iran, Syria, China — even threatening his own “friends”, the Europeans and the Turks. Economic sanctions had nothing to do with disparity of exchange, but trying to bring an economic and manufacturing superiority back to the USA. Mexico, China, Korea had taken many jobs from US workers. Trump’s plan has been to destroy this imbalanced “globalisation” to get his own people back at work. Things are a bit more complicated that this, as we also should look at "regime change" such as in Venezuela, but this has been the underlying method of the Donald — and there are other issues from pollution to global warming which is pseudo-denied by the present administration, because the reality of global warming has an undeclared effect on it. Greta was getting traction. Meanwhile we were becoming too carefree and less inclined to believe in governments, especially the US's. 

The world needed to tighten its butt. Enters the coronavirus… Annoyingly convenient...

MORE TO COME.

 

 

GL.

Biological warfare: an emerging threat in the 21st century...

NEWS RELEASE

1/11/01 

Mark Shwartz, News Service (650) 723-9296; e-mail: mshwartz@stanford.edu 

Biological warfare: an emerging threat in the 21st century 


Why is biophysicist Steven Block so concerned about smallpox? 

After all, more than 20 years have passed since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the eradication of this highly contagious and incurable disease. 

"Simply put, smallpox represents a direct threat to the entire world," says Block, a professor of biological sciences and applied physics at Stanford. 

He points out that, although the disease has been eliminated in the wild, frozen stocks of smallpox virus are still maintained by the governments of the United States and Russia. 

If rogue politicians or terrorists were to get hold of the remaining supplies, "the consequences could be disastrous," he warns.

But Block is haunted by more than the threat of a smallpox attack. 

He points to some two dozen conventional biological agents -- including anthrax, Ebola and typhus -- plus an unknown number of genetically engineered organisms that terrorists could unleash on an unsuspecting public. 

"We're tempted to say that nobody in their right mind would ever use these things," he says, "but not everybody is in their right mind!" 

Block paints a disturbing picture of the international bioterrorist threat in an article published in the Jan./Feb. issue of American Scientist magazine. 

His expertise in biological warfare stems from his work with JASON, an organization of primarily academic scientists who dedicate a portion of their time to solving national security problems. Members of JASON often serve as consultants to the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies 

"In my opinion," he writes, "the terrorist threat is very real, and it's about to get worse." 

Block argues that the United States and other developed countries should be doing more to prevent the spread of biological weaponry, which he calls "a serious threat to peace in the twenty-first century." 

He saves his harshest criticism for his fellow biologists, most of whom have remained silent on the issue. 

"Where are the biological scientists willing to go on the record about bioweapons?" he asks. 

Anthrax

Biological weapons are "the poor man's atom bomb," writes Block in American Scientist. 

He argues that bioweapons offer terrorist groups and "rogue states" (such as Iraq and North Korea) an affordable way to counter the overwhelming military superiority of the United States and other nuclear powers. 

The agent of choice for most biological warfare programs, writes Block, is anthrax. Anthrax bacteria produce extremely lethal spores, and breathing in large numbers can lead to inhalation anthrax -- a disease that usually is fatal unless treated with large doses of a penicillin-type antibiotic immediately after exposure. 

Anthrax spores are easy to produce and can remain viable for more than 100 years if kept dry and out of direct sunlight. 

Their long shelf life makes them "well suited to weaponization in a device that can deliver a widespread aerosol," Block notes. 

Anthrax also is relatively easy and safe to handle. 

"Airborne spores remain infectious until they fall to the ground, where most become inactivated by sunlight," Block writes. 

"Anthrax is not very communicable," he adds, "thereby reducing the risk that it will spread beyond the intended target. Moreover, a well-established vaccine exists that can prevent the onset of the disease, allowing it to be used safely by the aggressor." 

"Black biology"

If anthrax, smallpox and other "conventional" biological agents aren't frightening enough, Block also raises the specter of "black biology" -- a shadowy science in which microorganisms are genetically engineered for the sole purpose of creating novel weapons of terror. 

"The idea that anybody can brew this stuff in their garage vastly overstates the case," he says, "but any technology that can be used to insert genes into DNA can be used for either good or bad." 

Block points out that genetic maps of deadly viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms already are widely available in the public domain. Last summer, for example, a leading scientific journal published the entire genetic code for the cholera pathogen. And legitimate researchers are now in the process of mapping the genomes of more than 100 other microbes -- including the bacteria that cause anthrax, the plague and typhoid. 

Any scientist bent on destruction could use this information to attempt to clone extremely virulent strains of bacteria and viruses, Block contends. 

He also points out that there are plenty of underpaid microbiologists in the world who might be eager to work for unscrupulous clients -- producing incurable "designer diseases," such as penicillin-resistant anthrax, or "stealth viruses" that infect the host but remain silent until activated by some external trigger, such as exposure to a normally harmless chemical. 

History lessons

Biological warfare is as old as civilization, observes Block, but it was international revulsion over the widespread use of poisonous mustard gas during World War I that finally led to a 1925 treaty banning bioweapons during future wars. 

"Disappointingly," Block writes, "neither the U.S. nor Japan ratified the treaty before the advent of World War II, when anthrax and other bioweapons were secretly being developed by both countries -- as well as by Germany, the U.S.S.R [now Russia] and Great Britain." 

During the Second World War, the Japanese military killed thousands of Chinese prisoners by subjecting them to experimental doses of anthrax, cholera, plague and other pathogens. Evidence also exists of a deliberate tularemia -- or rabbit fever -- attack by Soviet forces against German troops in 1942, although some experts say the incident never occurred. 

After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union launched full-scale bioweapons programs, which included the development of aerosol sprays capable of delivering bacterial and viral agents by plane or ballistic missile. 

"Both sides also stockpiled plenty of anthrax," adds Block. 

In 1969, President Richard Nixon issued an executive order unilaterally and unconditionally ending America's bioweapons program, and all U.S. stockpiles were destroyed by 1972. 

That same year, 160 nations signed a treaty banning all use of biological and chemical weapons. And 143 countries eventually ratified the treaty, including the United States, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea. Fifty-two nations have not signed on, including Israel, Egypt and Somalia. 

Failed treaty

Despite its noble intentions, says Block, the 1972 treaty lacks any significant provisions for enforcement or verification. As a result, a number of signatories to the treaty have maintained active bioweapons programs. 

"I'm fairly confident that the U.S. has stopped producing biological weapons," he says, "but the Soviet Union carried out ultra-secret bioweapons work right up until it collapsed in 1990." 

In 1979, 100 people and countless livestock died following the accidental release of anthrax spores from a bioweapons plant in the Russian city of Sverdlovsk -- one of 40 such facilities that operated in the former Soviet Union. 

Russia's dismal economic situation raises the question of how out-of-work bioweapons scientists are managing to find gainful employment now, observes Block. 

"Some experts contend that a low but significant level of bioresearch still exists today," he adds. 

Block's ultimate nightmare is that terrorists could somehow get access to the smallpox viruses being kept on ice at the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology -- a fear bolstered by the testimony of a former official in the Russian biowarfare program, who claimed that smallpox-based weapons were being manufactured there as recently as 1992. 

Iraq also has violated the 1972 bioweapons treaty by mass-producing weapons-grade anthrax and conducting research on a wide variety of other biological agents -- including botulism, rotavirus and gangrene-inducing bacteria. Details of the Iraqi bioweaponry program only came to light in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. 

All told, Block estimates that about a dozen countries are believed to have active bioweapons programs. 

Terrorist threat

Although Block is concerned about the bioweapons buildup in Iraq and other nations, he believes a greater threat comes from terrorist groups willing to risk an out-of-control epidemic and eager to suffer casualties for the good of "the cause." 

A recent example was the 1995 sarin gas attack inside the Tokyo subway by the Japanese apocalyptic cult Aum Shinrikyo. The widely publicized assault, which killed 13 people and hospitalized thousands, had been preceded by a series of failed botulism and anthrax assaults near the Imperial Palace, a Tokyo airport and two U.S. military bases. 

"Groups like Aum Shinrikyo are willing to use biological agents inefficiently just for the terror and propaganda value," Block contends. 

"If anthrax were released haphazardly in a major U.S. city and produced only a handful of cases, the public fear and disruption that would ensue might alone bring about the intended effect," he adds. 

Solutions

During fiscal year 2000, the Clinton administration allocated $1.4 billion to combat both biological and chemical warfare -- a good beginning but not enough, according to Block, who believes more should be spent beefing up America's anti-terrorist intelligence effort and its emergency response capability. 

Block also supports the development of hi-tech devices capable of instantaneously detecting lethal bacteria and viruses in the environment, and he encourages the production and stockpiling of new vaccines ­--a hot-button issue in Washington, D.C. these days. 

The anthrax vaccine has stirred the most controversy. The U.S. military wants to inoculate all 2.4 million active and reserve troops, but no one knows if the current vaccine will provide immunity against inhalation anthrax ­ the type commonly used in bioweapons. Questions of safety, along with a scandal involving the corporation that distributes the anthrax vaccine, have led to a sharp reduction in the military's vaccination effort. 

As for smallpox, routine vaccinations in the United States ended in 1980, the year the virus was officially eradicated, so few Americans still have immunity today. The Centers for Disease Control will make 40 million new doses of the vaccine available beginning in 2004, but critics say that, in the event of a multi-city terrorist attack, hundreds of millions of doses will be needed to prevent the often fatal disease from spreading throughout the country. 

On the diplomatic front, Block argues in favor of strengthening the 1972 bioweapons treaty -- "giving it some 'teeth,'" he says, by requiring reciprocal international inspections to assure treaty compliance. 

"Embarrassingly," he notes, "the United States itself has steadfastly resisted certain attempts to establish provisions for inspections" -- in part to protect the interests of large American pharmaceutical and biotech companies against industrial espionage. 

"As the world's remaining superpower," Block maintains, "the United States bears the unique responsibility to take the moral high ground in this process, assuming a leadership role in support of meaningful weapons treaties." 

He also makes a strong plea to his fellow biologists to break their silence and take a stand against the proliferation of biological weapons. 

"Some folks simply do not take the threat seriously," he observes, "but they should. Others worry about provoking a widespread public backlash against biotechnology in general that might have a chilling effect on their own legitimate biological research." 

None of these excuses stands up to close scrutiny, Block contends, adding that the time to act is now before disaster strikes. 

"We should not have to wait for the biological equivalent of Hiroshima to rally our defenses," he concludes. 

-30- 

By Mark Shwartz 

 

-----------------

 

This article was published nearly 20 years ago....

a few questions need to be asked, including WHY THE CORONAVIRUS NOW considering that the Chinese have been eating "bat soup" and use Pangolins for centuries?

 

Remember also that in order to attack Saddam, anthrax was released in the USA from an AMERICAN LABORATORY...

More to come...

a convenient inconvenience...

 

Whatever the origin of the coronavirus, it is — and has become — a bioweapon. Way before Bill Gates warned us in 2015 about biological pandemics, biological warfare — an emerging threat in the 21st century — was the topic of the article above in 2001...

We also have to realise that four years ago Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said at the Council on Foreign Relations that “advances in genome editing pose a threat to national security and may be used to create biological weapons"...

"Nowhere are the stakes higher for our national security than in the field of biotechnology," Brennan stated. "Recent advances in genome editing that offer great potential for breakthroughs in public health are also a cause for concern because the same methods can be used to create genetically engineered biological warfare agents.


The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs Acting Director Aaron Firoved had also testified in Congress that synthetic biology and gene editing offer terrorist organisations potential to modify organisms for malicious purposes such as manmade pathogens that can rapidly cause disease outbreaks.  Subnational terrorist entities such as Daesh would have few compunctions in wielding such a weapon, Brennan noted.


Brennan called on the international community to create national and global strategies to counter such threats, along with the consensus of laws, standards and authorities that needed to counter the threat.



This was a huge admission and a proposal for a massive reset and implementation of controls… The biolabs weaponry had never stopped. New pathogens were developed in order to "find antidotes”… 

The United States biological weapons program had officially began in spring 1943 on orders from U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Research continued following WW2 as the U.S. built up a large stockpile of biological agents and weapons. Over the course of its 27-year history, the program weaponised and stockpiled the following seven bio-agents (and pursued basic research on many more):

• Bacillus anthracis (anthrax)

• Francisella tularensis (tularemia)

• Brucella spp (brucellosis)

• Coxiella burnetii (Q-fever)

• Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE)

• Botulinum toxin (botulism)

• Staphylococcal enterotoxin B


Throughout its history, the U.S. bioweapons program was secret. It was later revealed that laboratory and field testing (some of the latter using stimulants on non-consenting individuals) had been common. The official policy of the United States was first to deter the use of bio-weapons against U.S. forces and secondarily to retaliate if deterrence failed.

In 1969, President Richard Nixon ended all offensive (i.e., non-defensive) aspects of the U.S. bio-weapons program… But was this the end of US biowarfare?


In September 2016, Russia exposed the US claim that Russia was a "major threat" not only to the USA but to its "European allies”, and had used this as a pretext for the deployment of many NATO troops alongside Russia's borders. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thus reminded that Washington opposed the idea of tightening international control over biological weapons.


America's staunch opposition to Russian efforts to create a monitoring mechanism for the execution of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) indicated that the US may be conducting biological research that is "not entirely peaceful.

Lavrov added that Russia was developing a supervisory mechanism for the observance of the BTWC, stressing that most countries support this move, while the US actively opposes it.

"It is known that the US has a number of joint research programs with our neighbouring countries in the field of biological research..." Lavrov .

We need to remind ourselves of the anthrax affair as an addition to motivation for war against Saddam, in Iraq, a war that led to much grief in the Middle-East today. Some letters containing Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) were sent to various people across the United States. Some people died of a horrible death. Saddam was blamed for this. But the FBI, probably too eager at the time to search for the origin of this Anthrax spread, soon discovered that the Bacillus anthracis was American… The Americans had supplied Saddam during the 1980s with Bacillus anthracis, but even at the time before extended “genomic” knowledge, the Saddam Anthrax had a recognisable imprint. The FBI knew that the Anthrax used in the letters were not from Saddam, yet the US government still blame Saddam for the deed. Eventually, the FBI traced the origins to a man in a pathogen lab, Ivins. Bruce Ivins, deemed a patriot, conveniently killed himself before being arrested. Or was he killed?… We’ll never know.

Question: What has been one of the main priorities of the USA, recently? A priority that the US has also tried to make the Europeans do the same, somewhat secretly? 

Answer: close borders to immigrants and refugees. stop the Islamic spread

What is the main objection to being so ruthless? Compassion, guilt, anti-racism and “globalisation”.

How do you achieve “closed borders” without being racist, guilty and non-compassionate?

You know the answer: you’re now confined to your house, the police roam the streets — and so far, there has been less than flu death in the USA (more than 10,000 in the last three months), than death from the coronavirus worldwide (10,000).
But data from China shows that each coronavirus (Covid19) case seems to infect around 2 to 2.5 additional people. That's higher than the flu. The average patient spreads the flu virus to about 1.3 others. Meanwhile the flu is also a corona virus (type A and B).

So, we’ve been ordered to shut down. Borders closed.

There will be a massive economic reset. The US is going to spend $1.5 trillion to make sure people survive… This is on top of regular $1 trillion deficit for the yearly budget. 

Health precautions are paramount. Increasing the level of fear is essential…

Now, where did the coronavirus come from?

This is the million dollar question which we will answer in the next instalment, for free…

GL.

why now?

The religious nuts are going nuts about their power to heal the sick and bury the dead… You need the professional paternoster-pushers, here, to pray for redemption in a time of crap, on this natural planet...

And not only the Christian loonies, but let’s start with them...:

Folks, this is a wake-up call from God Almighty if I have ever seen one. It’s time to pray.

I don’t mean casual prayer. I am talking about fervent, storm-the-gates-of-Heaven type of prayer that calls out to God in desperation and urgency.

We need God in America today. We need him to eradicate what President Trump has called, “An invisible enemy”.

In the Bible, prayer stopped storms, calmed waves, healed the sick, raised the dead and even stopped time. Scripture reminds us, “With God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

https://www.christianpost.com/voices/america-its-time-to-pray.html

——————————

Here come the islamists:

Pandemic or no, Muslim sages and scholars will continue to remind those they advise and counsel that the importance of drawing closer to God remains paramount and unimpeded. Indeed, at a time when we are all called upon to be more aware of our responsibilities to one other, doing so in ways that recollect God’s Immanence and Transcendence, His Compassion and Subtle Love — well, the pandemic may well bring out aspects of spiritual wayfaring that we might never have realised before.

Dr H.A. Hellyer is senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a visiting professor at the Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation in Kuala Lumpur. He is currently on the steering committee for a multi-year EU-funded project on ‘Radicalisation, Secularism and the Governance of Religion’, which brings together European, North African and Asian perspectives with a consortium of 12 universities and think-tanks.


https://www.abc.net.au/religion/islam-drawing-near-to-god-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic/12077014

——————————————————

Both of these opportunistic religious writers are beyond the pale… But religion is about deceit and the promise of something that can NEVER BE VERIFIED. We can be grateful that they did not use yet that this pandemic was the work of god to test our resolve and belief in Him (godot is male). Gus is a fierce atheist....

So let’s investigate the caper, without fear of favour. This from the ABC:

Coronavirus has been the topic of conversation for months, but when you stop and think about it, how much do you actually know about the virus?

There may be some things you don't know, but feel like it's too late in the piece to ask about. 

But they aren't dumb questions and you're not the only one asking them.

Here are some of the questions people are asking Google right now. 

Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap
What is a coronavirus?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by just one type of coronavirus.

Coronavirus is the name for a big group of viruses that cause illnesses.

These range from the common cold and gastrointestinal infections, to more severe diseases including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). 

The "corona" part of their name is for the corona, or crown, of surface proteins that the virus uses to penetrate the cells of its host.

Some coronaviruses can infect humans and others can infect animals like bats and camels. 

That's what happened in the case of SARS and MERS.

Civet cats transmitted SARS to humans, while MERS was passed on via dromedary camels.

How did coronavirus start?

It's thought it originated in bats.

But the thinking is the virus could have infected humans through another animal. 

The first human cases of coronavirus were linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, in China's Hubei province.


Read more:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-19/how-did-coronavirus-start-how-long-will-it-last-google-questions/12068500

"The first human cases of coronavirus were linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan?"

Where did the information come from? Doctors? Chinese doctors? Chinese officials? Sick people? Chinese media? Do we trust the Chinese media on this subject when for the past few years, the West has poopooed the said media for being a bearer of false news and/or being slanted? Was there an official from WHO to record patient zero and verify the information? 

We need more sciences and less godot. We need to take information with a grain of salt, a spoonful of vinegar and sugar to smooth our hiccup...

Wuhan’s bio lab:
Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world's most dangerous pathogens


Maximum-security biolab is part of plan to build network of BSL-4 facilities across China.

 

Editors’ note, January 2020: Many stories have promoted an unverified theory that the Wuhan lab discussed in this article played a role in the coronavirus outbreak that began in December 2019. Nature knows of no evidence that this is true; scientists believe the most likely source of the coronavirus to be an animal market.

22 February 2017 Updated: 

A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.

Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world’s greatest biological threats.

“It will offer more opportunities for Chinese researchers, and our contribution on the BSL‑4-level pathogens will benefit the world,” says George Gao, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology in Beijing. There are already two BSL-4 labs in Taiwan, but the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, would be the first on the Chinese mainland.

The lab was certified as meeting the standards and criteria of BSL-4 by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in January. The CNAS examined the lab’s infrastructure, equipment and management, says a CNAS representative, paving the way for the Ministry of Health to give its approval. A representative from the ministry says it will move slowly and cautiously; if the assessment goes smoothly, it could approve the laboratory by the end of June.

BSL-4 is the highest level of biocontainment: its criteria include filtering air and treating water and waste before they leave the laboratory, and stipulating that researchers change clothes and shower before and after using lab facilities. Such labs are often controversial. The first BSL-4 lab in Japan was built in 1981, but operated with lower-risk pathogens until 2015, when safety concerns were finally overcome.

The expansion of BSL-4-lab networks in the United States and Europe over the past 15 years — with more than a dozen now in operation or under construction in each region — also met with resistance, including questions about the need for so many facilities.

The Wuhan lab cost 300 million yuan (US$44 million), and to allay safety concerns it was built far above the flood plain and with the capacity to withstand a magnitude-7 earthquake, although the area has no history of strong earthquakes. It will focus on the control of emerging diseases, store purified viruses and act as a World Health Organization ‘reference laboratory’ linked to similar labs around the world. “It will be a key node in the global biosafety-lab network,” says lab director Yuan Zhiming.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences approved the construction of a BSL-4 laboratory in 2003, and the epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) around the same time lent the project momentum. The lab was designed and constructed with French assistance as part of a 2004 cooperative agreement on the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases. But the complexity of the project, China’s lack of experience, difficulty in maintaining funding and long government approval procedures meant that construction wasn’t finished until the end of 2014.

The lab’s first project will be to study the BSL-3 pathogen that causes Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever: a deadly tick-borne virus that affects livestock across the world, including in northwest China, and that can jump to people.

Future plans include studying the pathogen that causes SARS, which also doesn’t require a BSL-4 lab, before moving on to Ebola and the West African Lassa virus, which do. Some one million Chinese people work in Africa; the country needs to be ready for any eventuality, says Yuan. “Viruses don’t know borders.”

Gao travelled to Sierra Leone during the recent Ebola outbreak, allowing his team to report the speed with which the virus mutated into new strains1. The Wuhan lab will give his group a chance to study how such viruses cause disease, and to develop treatments based on antibodies and small molecules, he says.

The opportunities for international collaboration, meanwhile, will aid the genetic analysis and epidemiology of emergent diseases. “The world is facing more new emerging viruses, and we need more contribution from China,” says Gao. In particular, the emergence of zoonotic viruses — those that jump to humans from animals, such as SARS or Ebola — is a concern, says Bruno Lina, director of the VirPath virology lab in Lyon, France.

Many staff from the Wuhan lab have been training at a BSL-4 lab in Lyon, which some scientists find reassuring. And the facility has already carried out a test-run using a low-risk virus.

But worries surround the Chinese lab, too. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. Tim Trevan, founder of CHROME Biosafety and Biosecurity Consulting in Damascus, Maryland, says that an open culture is important to keeping BSL-4 labs safe, and he questions how easy this will be in China, where society emphasizes hierarchy. “Diversity of viewpoint, flat structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important,” he says.

Yuan says that he has worked to address this issue with staff. “We tell them the most important thing is that they report what they have or haven’t done,” he says. And the lab’s inter­national collaborations will increase openness. “Transparency is the basis of the lab,” he adds.

The plan to expand into a network heightens such concerns. One BSL-4 lab in Harbin is already awaiting accreditation; the next two are expected to be in Beijing and Kunming, the latter focused on using monkey models to study disease.

Lina says that China’s size justifies this scale, and that the opportunity to combine BSL-4 research with an abundance of research monkeys — Chinese researchers face less red tape than those in the West when it comes to research on primates — could be powerful. “If you want to test vaccines or antivirals, you need a non-human primate model,” says Lina.

But Ebright is not convinced of the need for more than one BSL-4 lab in mainland China. He suspects that the expansion there is a reaction to the networks in the United States and Europe, which he says are also unwarranted. He adds that governments will assume that such excess capacity is for the potential development of bioweapons.

“These facilities are inherently dual use,” he says. The prospect of ramping up opportunities to inject monkeys with pathogens also worries, rather than excites, him: “They can run, they can scratch, they can bite.”

Trevan says China’s investment in a BSL-4 lab may, above all, be a way to prove to the world that the nation is competitive. “It is a big status symbol in biology,” he says, “whether it’s a need or not.”

Nature
 
542,
 
399–400
 
(23 February 2017)
 
doi:10.1038/nature.2017.21487

https://www.nature.com/news/inside-the-chinese-lab-poised-to-study-world-s-most-dangerous-pathogens-1.21487

——————————————

Question: why did the virus appear in Wuhan, not in Beijing or Shanghai, considering that the only biolab in China is in WUHAN? 
Answer: coincidence, my friend…
Question: and by the way, did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield mentioned that some of the troops had the virus back in America, before it was made public in Wuhan, after the Wuhan Military Games?…

Answer: coincidence, my friend… who knows...

Question: How can the virus jump from Pangolin to Bats? And from Bats to people?

Answer: coincidence, my friend… plus bat soooouuuup!

How long have the Chinese eaten bat soup? Like 1000 year-old eggs, probably more than 1000 years?

Answer: coincidence, my friend… A naughty bat that had pissed on a pangolin, etc... Here in Aussieland we know that bats, especially the big flying foxes, carry germs that can kill you. and we love them but stay clear...


Meanwhile in Pommyland:

Porton Down is a science park in Wiltshire, England, just northeast of the village of Porton, near Salisbury. It is home to two British government facilities: a site of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) – known for over 100 years as one of the UK's most secretive and controversial military research facilities, occupying 7,000 acres (2,800 ha)[1] – and a site of Public Health England.[2] It is also home to other private and commercial science organisations, and is expanding to attract other companies.
21st century[edit]
Until 2001 the military installation of Porton Down was part of the UK government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) when it was split into QinetiQ, initially a fully government-owned company, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Dstl incorporates all of DERA's activities deemed unsuitable for the privatisation planned for QinetiQ, particularly Porton Down.
In 2013 Dstl scientists tested samples from Syria for sarin, which is still manufactured there, to test soldiers' equipment.[1]
Public Health England have planned since September 2015[7] to transfer their Porton Down staff to Harlow, and in July 2017 it had bought a vacant site from GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), aiming to consolidate operations there in 2024[8]
Site names[edit]
The location's government use has been split into two separately controlled locations since 1979: the original military establishment under the Ministry of Defence, and the site to the south under the Department of Health, which had been opened in 1951 for the Microbiological Research Establishment, then in 1979 transferred to the Ministry of Health to focus on public health research, with the Defence aspects returning to the then-titled Chemical Defence Establishment.[9]

Porton Down has been involved in human testing at various points throughout the Ministry of Defence's use of the site. Up to 20,000 people took part in various trials from 1949 up to 1989:[18]


From 1999 until 2006, it was investigated under Operation Antler. In 2002 a first inquest and[19] in May 2004, a second inquest into the death of Ronald Maddison during testing of the nerve agent sarin commenced after his relatives and their supporters had lobbied for many years, which found his death to have been unlawful.[20] The Ministry of Defence challenged the verdict[21] which was upheld and the government settled the case in 2006.[22] In 2006, 500 veterans claimed they suffered from the experiments.[23]


In February 2006, three ex-servicemen were awarded compensation in an out-of-court settlement after they had claimed they were given LSD without their consent during the 1950s.[18][24] In 2008, the MoD paid 360 veterans of the tests £3m without admitting liability.[1]


Secrecy[edit]

Most of the work carried out at Porton Down has to date remained secret. Bruce George, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told BBC News on 20 August 1999 that: 


I would not say that the Defence Committee is micro-managing either DERA or Porton Down. We visit it, but, with eleven members of Parliament and five staff covering a labyrinthine department like the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, it would be quite erroneous of me and misleading for me to say that we know everything that's going on in Porton Down. It's too big for us to know, and secondly, there are many things happening there that I'm not even certain Ministers are fully aware of, let alone Parliamentarians.[25]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porton_Down

—————————

US Military Bio-labs in Ukraine, Production of Bio-weapons and “Disease Causing Agents”

 

Ukraine turned into the proving ground for the new generation of US biological weapons, European mass media report.

 

In 2015, American alternative media outlet InfoWars accused the Pentagon of developing new types of biological weapons in secret military laboratories in Ukraine. The facilities were constructed under the terms of the bilateral agreement signed between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Department of Defense in 2012.

Today thirteen American military bio-labs operate in Ukraine, The International Mass Media Agency reports. They employ only American specialists being entirely funded from the budget of the Department of Defense. Local authorities have pledged not to interfere in their work. These military labs are reported to be mainly involved in the study and production of disease-causing agents of smallpox, anthrax and botulism. The facilities are located in the following Ukrainian cities: Odessa, Vinnytsia, Uzhgorod, Lviv (three), Kharkiv, Kyiv (four), Kherson, Ternopil.

The network of military bio-labs in Eastern Europe gives the hawks the opportunity to avoid the Geneva Convention of 1972 on the prohibition of development, production and stockpiling of biological and chemical weapons the US Senate ratified in 1973. So we witness the blatant violation of international laws.


Local media in Ukraine have frequently reported about splashes of contaminant diseases in that country since the beginning of the 2010s, the time American military facilities were opened. Western European media also express concern over splashes of contaminant diseases in that country this summer and point at American bio-labs as pockets of infection.

 

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/ivendurepos/blog/200817/la-menace-biologique-creee-par-washington

 

Experts warn this kind of weapon may be captured by terrorists due to the lack of security measures in Ukraine, the country being suffered from frozen conflict with pro-Russian rebels in its Eastern part and ongoing political turmoil after the flee of the Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in February, 2014. Latest terrorist acts in Europe show the jihadists are looking for new methods of attacks. Use of bio-weapons in densely populated regions will bring catastrophic consequences.

 

Chemical and biological weapons may be dangerous for the whole world because of their infectious effect. Modern diseases can travel through countries and reach any continent with just one plane passenger. And that is the big problem. Despite the remoteness of potential objects of infection from the territory of the United States, viruses still can reach the North American continent.

 

Goran Lompar is a free journalist and postgraduate at University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro.


https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-military-bio-labs-in-ukraine-production...

——————————

So far, if you wiv mee, a bat that had fucked a pangolin ended up in a soup sounds like a holiday-maker's tent on the far side of the moon… That removed? Oh yes. Not impossible though. My next door neighbour says he’s been there a few times — the moon that is, not Wuhan. But we’re gullible people, aren’t we? We rather believe that the virus jumped the nature strip a couple of times, rather than it be manufactured by nasty people, in labs that are so watertight that nothing leaks out… Nothing! Rubbish, effluents, pockets? I know my pockets despite being washed, turned inside out, still carry hundred year old fluff in these impossible corners…

NO-ONE IS GOING TO ADMIT THAT THE VIRUS HAS ESCAPED from their labs. 

———————

So far in a region of about 20 million people, 11 million in Wuhan, 3,130 death have been attributed to the coronavirus (Covid 19) with 1.4 per cent death in proportion to infected people. BUT THE REGION WAS PLACED IN QUARANTINE EARLY. No-one in, no-one out. 

As of Friday 20 March, COVID-19 has sickened 245,000 globally and led to 10,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

https://fortune.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-death-rate-wuhan-china/


Pray the gods of monkeys that a more virulent pathogen does not appear on the horizon (yet)… (I guess it won't for a while). It's a pity the news on the internet cannot be used like newsprint as toilet paper...


Read from top.


Read also:
http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/38406

from the american enterprise institute...

Thanks to Beijing’s censorship, news about the coronavirus came too little too late in order to successfully contain the outbreak. Even though the coronavirus has to date been far less lethal than the flu, its long incubation period has ensured its spread as asymptomatic carriers spread around the globe. The Chinese government’s silence has at best created uncertainty and raised many questions. At worst, the silence has bred conspiracy.

After Tom Cotton raised questions in a Fox News interview about whether the coronavirus originated in a Chinese biological warfare or military laboratory, the press criticized the Republican Arkansas senator for allegedly dabbling in conspiracy. However, with so many unanswered questions, a bit more caution might be warranted on the part of the press.

It is just as irresponsible to trust any information put forward by the Chinese government as it is to voice theories absent evidence.

After all, there have been Cold War corollaries to what Wuhan now experiences that remain relevant today. In the Wall Street Journal, Yaroslav Trofimov offered a highly personal account of living through Chernobyl as rumor spread that the accident was far more serious than the government acknowledged. Trofimov’s essay was useful to understand the nature of a government that would not hesitate to lie in order to save face, but Chernobyl may not have been the most relevant example to Wuhan.

The ignoble honor belongs instead to Sverdlovsk, today’s Yekaterinburg, in Russia’s Ural Mountains.

In January 1980, reports surfaced of an “outbreak of disease” in the city. U.S. intelligence reports suggested that an anthrax outbreak originated at a biological weapons facility located nearby, and American assessments placed the casualty account above 1,000. Satellite imagery showed that a building in the suspect military complex was abandoned after the incident. The Soviet government blamed tainted meat, and many of those critical of U.S. foreign policy worried that the truth (a Soviet violation of the Biological Weapons Convention) might undercut any chance for Cold War detente. However, evidence pointed to inhalation anthrax rather than the less contagious gastric variety. Witnesses and emigres reported quarantines, something necessary for spread-through-inhalation disease rather than foodborne disease.

It took glasnost and the subsequent fall of the Soviet Union to learn the truth. In 1990, the Russian press exposed the KGB cover-up at Sverdlovsk and, two years later, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged that the Soviet Union had maintained a biological weapons program.

Back to China. However the coronavirus began (perhaps natural mutation or man-made assistance), only two things are certain. First, autocrats lie. Journalists are foolish to take any Chinese (or Russian, or Iranian, or Turkish) statement at face value. Second, China may have ratified the Biological Weapons Convention back in 1984, but there is substantial evidence that it is in violation of that commitment.

The events in Wuhan, regardless of the truth about the coronavirus, put Chinese laboratories in the limelight. For those who believe it important to gauge policy to reality rather than wishful thinking, that is positive. Indeed, while the press piles onto Cotton, it seems that political animus and point-scoring may be obscuring a far more important story.

 

Read more:

https://www.aei.org/op-eds/was-coronavirus-a-bioweapon-we-dont-know-but-...

 

Read from top.

 

Note: Journalists are foolish to take any Chinese (or Russian, or Iranian, or Turkish) statement at face value? Yep, and these include the Western media — a media that spread the "Saddam has Weapons of Mass Destruction" mantra with the zeal of liars, forgers and porkyists — or naive idiots, if we want to be generous... The Western media would not know anything about the dark conspiracies in which they were (are and will be) the clarion for.

US war biolabs near russia...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia is concerned by how close Pentagon-funded biological warfare labs are to its borders at the same time as it battles the coronavirus, a Foreign Ministry source told reporters on Sunday.

The official slammed US authorities for blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic and manipulating its data on the virus, and in turn, accused the United States of spinning the global health crisis into political attacks.

"We do have questions for the US. It would be nice to hear its justification for placing so many labs near Russia and China, instead of its playing propaganda games with the coronavirus", the official said.

He admitted that Russia had no credible information on a US role in the emergence of the deadly virus, which was first reported in China last December, but said globalisation made transmission of viral diseases "a matter of hours".

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/russia/202003291078751261-russia-concerned-by-pr...

 

US labs

Note: This map was originated in the USA, and Crimea is still marked as Ukrainian. It is Russian despite what the West is harping on about. There is no way to verify the bonafide of this map which does not come from the article above, but from Mark Shwartz (see at top).

 

Read rom top.

the weight of evidence...

The Pentagon’s top general has said that US intelligence has looked into the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could have started in a Chinese laboratory, but that the “weight of evidence” so far pointed towards “natural” origins.

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Mark Milley, was speaking on the day of a Washington Post report about state department cables in 2018 in which US diplomats raised safety concerns about the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) which was conducting studies of coronavirus from bats.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/covid-19-origin-lab-genera...


The weight of evidence from the Pentagon is not worth a rabbit's digested salad ball... (you thought I was going to write "fart" didn't you?)... The Pentagon boffins are the geezers who brought you the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" rubbish, the Anthrax affair, the destruction of Libya (then one of the most advanced country in Africa), the regime change in Syria (until the Rooskies decided there was enough carnage), Yemen by supporting a little tinpot under false pretences, and many other crudities where guns and bombs are involved. 

So yes, we don't believe the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Mark Milley any more than god created man and woman from dust and an "entrecote"...

Read from top.

escaped from a biolab somewhere...

US officials are reportedly looking into the possibility that the coronavirus did not originate in a wet market in Wuhan but actually escaped from a lab experimenting on the deadly illness.

There is “increasing confidence” among officials that the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is the original site of the virus after a report said Embassy officials warned in January 2018 about inadequate safety there, according to Fox News.

President Trump did not directly address the “theory” during a White House press conference on Wednesday.

“It should be no surprise to you that we have taken a keen interest in that and we’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that,” Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fox about the Wuhan lab.

“I would just say at this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural, but we don’t know for certain.

 

Read more:

https://nypost.com/2020/04/15/us-officials-investigating-whether-coronav...

 

We've be on this for a while now... The bet is 80 per cent for the biolabs and 10 per cent for the "wet markets". The other 10 per cent is unknown. In regard to the biolabs the bets are 35 per cent from US biolabs (including Ukraine), 60 per cent from the Wuhan biolab and 5 per cent from an unknown biolab in Pakistan.

 

Read from top... Read also and note the date: 

some controversies, fake news or targeted double-cross...

a right-wing nut-job conspiracy theory — may be not...

It’s been billed as a right-wing nut-job conspiracy theory: the idea that the coronavirus accidentally escaped from a virology facility in Wuhan, China. Originally the virus was thought to have originated in Wuhan at a so-called wet market.

In fact, those who have dared to discuss such a possibility—a seemingly logical one, as not just one but two virology centers are in the Wuhan area—such as Senator Tom Cotton and Fox News Host Tucker Carlson, have been ridiculed in just about every way imaginable.

But the idea might not end up being such a grassy knoll after all. A growing body of evidence, some circumstantial, some more concrete, suggests that at the very least, the theory warrants an investigation.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-if-the-coronavirus...

 

Read from top.

 

I will repeat Gus' betting odds:

We've be on this for a while now (on this site)... The bet is 80 per cent for the biolabs and 10 per cent for the "wet markets". The other 10 per cent is unknown. In regard to the biolabs the bets are 35 per cent from US biolabs (including Ukraine), 60 per cent from the Wuhan biolab and 5 per cent from an unknown biolab in Pakistan.

the virus may have started somewhere else...

The novel coronavirus may have first passed to humans somewhere in southern China months before the outbreak in the city of Wuhan, a new study found, cutting against widely held theories about the origins of the pandemic.

Mapping a “network” of coronavirus genomes and tracing mutations over time, a team of researchers led by a Cambridge University geneticist determined the first Covid-19 infection may have come as early as September in a region south of Wuhan, noting the pathogen could have been carried by humans well before it mutated into a more lethal form.

“The virus may have mutated into its final ‘human-efficient’ form months ago, but stayed inside a bat or other animal or even human for several months without infecting other individuals,” geneticist Peter Forster told the South China Morning Post. He leads the ongoing yet to be peer-reviewed research, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Then, it started infecting and spreading among humans between September 13 and December 7, generating the network we present in [the study].

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/486194-study-coronavirus-southern-china/

 

Read from top.

 

Could this study be designed to steer us away from the "getting hotter" theory that the virus started in the Wuhan lab? One has to be prepared for anything... Be alert, keep distancing, wash your hands with soap every 20 minutes... (I used to wash them every 30 minutes and was thinking I was a compulsive mad nut)...

the disinformation channels makes us go the other way...

The West’s wish to pin the blame on China (and probably the bill too) for the Covid-19 pandemic has been reportedly incarnated in a 15-page dossier compiled by intelligence agencies, which has now leaked, according to reports.

The document, described by the Australian newspaper the Sunday Telegraph, was prepared by “concerned Western governments.” The publication mentions that the Five Eyes intelligence agencies are investigating China, pointing to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

The authors of the research found some pretty strange ways to paint China’s response to the outbreak in a negative and even sinister way. For instance, despite a presumed requirement for brevity in such a short paper it refers to a study which claimed the killer coronavirus had been created in a lab.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/487661-china-covid-dossier-leaked/

 

 

Okay... Now we know the virus did NOT come from China. Why? With the professionals of disinformation, MI6, the CIA and the Murdoch media (the Sunday Telegraph of all toilet paper), telling us it came from the Wuhan lab in China, it has to be believed it came from somewhere else.

MI6, the CIA and the Murdoch media were the principal actors of disinformation on the Saddam has weapons of mass destruction mantra. They feed on rubbish and dish out porkies. THEY CANNOT BE BELIEVED. 

 

Thus the alternative is the "wet markets" which is vaguely plausible but the better alternative is the virus came from a warfare bio-lab in the West. There could be many explanations of purpose for this. We shall leave them for another time.

 

 

Read from top.

manufacturing fear...

 

From Catte Black

 

Now, dear reader, I know you’re not a member of an institutionally sociopathic elite caste, trying to extend your power back to the good old days of supreme monarchs ordained by God himself.

But imagine you were.

Imagine you were one of the richest people to ever exist, and your vast network of wealth and influence was based on some imaginary money and the widely cultivated belief that “there is no alternative”.

Now imagine the lies which secure your position are suddenly and violently challenged. Imagine Yellow Vested protests in the streets of Paris, an independence referendum in Catalonia. Anti-globalists, on the left and right, surging in popularity all around the world.

Imagine Brexit and Bitcoin and PirateBay and the myriad tiny ways people won’t do what they’re told.

What you’re suffering from is a loss of control of the narrative. What you need, really, is a new story. Something to instil everyone with a sense of common purpose. To frighten them, and distract them and keep them busy. 

You need a threat, something that will make everyone “come together”. To put aside “divisions” and “hate” and all work together to face a “common enemy”

And enemies, like cakes and lemonade, are always far more satisfying when you make them yourself.

Here are the 10 steps you should employ, if you want to turn an unthreatening virus into a global power grab.

 

  1. Start with a poorly defined virus, add an inaccurate test for it, and encourage as many terminally or critically ill people as possible to be repeat testeduntil they test positive.
  2. Report your inevitably very high death rates and get vague about whether these people died OF the virus or simply WITH it.
  3. Create a ‘response’ to the ‘crisis’ that rolls out a vast network of authoritarian measures, some of which have been in planning for a long while, and only a minority of which have any possible application to pandemic-prevention. (Make sure to cancel elections until further notice and to hugely increase police powers of arrest and surveillance)
  4. Shut down your hospitals to all but ‘covid cases’. Cancel elective surgeries, kidney dialysis, cancer treatments, normal GP consultations and all “non-emergency healthcare”. Thus inevitably increasing all-cause mortality.
  5. Change your laws in numerous ways to allow almost all of these new deaths to bypass normal checks and balances and be easily diagnosed as ‘covid-19 related’, either with the inaccurate test or simply by ‘clinical presentation’.
  6. In case some attending medics are reluctant to go along with this, change the law to allow a single MD, who may never even have seen the patient in question, to diagnose covid19 at his/her own discretion. 
  7. Report the startling numbers of ‘new cases’ you find as a result of these various manipulations, as evidence for how essential the new authoritarian measures are for ‘saving lives’.
  8. With no sense of irony introduce mandatory Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)s for any demographic you consider useless eaters. (If challenged talk about human suffering, limited healthcare resources and ventilators)
  9. Don’t forget to add any ensuing deaths to the covid19 totals. 
  10. Make sure the media calls anyone who questions any part of this a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

 

Not only will these ten steps allow you to create a quasi-fascist police state, but the chattering classes will actually criticise you for not being enough of a police state and beg for more.

No doubt some will say this is excessively cynical, maybe even ‘conspiratorial’. But is it?

Since February 2020 we have dedicated this site to bringing you the factual reality of the entity called the “covid19 pandemic”. We have done this using official statistics and data, and the ignored testimony of experts in the field.

What has the orthodox story brought, in the same time frame?

The claim for this being a unique pathology requiring unique levels of intervention is being made every day, in virtually every mainstream outlets, many alt news outlets and by virtually every major government and health-related NGO.

It’s a deafening cacophony, a 24/7 bullhorn of fear and certitude, a fog of headlines and speculation and ‘what ifs’ and ‘some experts claim’ and forests of unsourced or unexplained numbers.

But what is it based on? What data, what statistics, what observations are forming the basis of this narrative?

Is there anything solid behind the noise?

Despite the atmosphere of panic being generated, and despite frequent usage of epithets like ‘deadly virus’ in the popular press, no one is claiming covid19 kills a lot of people.

In fact quite the opposite, as we pointed out recently. The very same sources that are promoting the need for unique action over this virus will tell you in the next breath that there is nothing uniquely dangerous about it at all. 

According to the UK’s chief medical officer, 80% of those infected will get no symptoms or a mild cold, only a tiny minority will even need treatment in hospital, and even of those, the vast majority will survive.

So, what, in actual real-world terms, is being claimed? If the problem isn’t that this virus kills a lot of people, what is the problem? 

The only response to that is to talk about health services being overrun due to the ‘R0’. As if you can take that number in isolation and have it mean something. 

It’s nonsense. A high R0 is not concerning if the virus is harmless to most people who encounter it. The common cold has an R0 of between 2-3, pretty much the same as SARSCOV2. It also can kill vulnerable people, sometimes in large numbers. 

So, if this argument makes sense we should be locked down permanently for fear of catching a sniffle.

The R0 argument used to get additional cred from referring to the Imperial model and its prediction that the health service would be overrun if some kind of lockdown was not enforced.

But this is more than problematic. The Imperial model has now been widely discredited, and its author, Neil Ferguson, exposed as a serial incompetent, or serial data-fudger for the govt or the Gates Foundation. It can no longer be used to support either the claim for uniqueness or the argument for lockdown. There is nothing to show it does either very well if at all.

Which means the entire ‘flatten the curve’ meme is also discredited, by the way. Far from being overrun, the NHS is virtually shut down, apart from those almost empty covid19 wards. Yet apparently it’s going to take the UK govt 12 months to get elective surgeries back

Because, you know, reasons. 

Covid19 reasons. 

NOT an opportunistic bid to finally shut down and privatise or otherwise commandeer the NHS.

That’s definite.

Seriously though, people. If you think there is any coherence, rational thought or data behind the global, Gatesian official position – please tell me where it is.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/19/10-steps-to-turn-a-pandemic-into-the...

 

 

Read from top.

 

Gus: Methinks that the slow reopening of the societies around the world has nothing to do with the number of Covid19 cases increase or reduction. It is most likely that some leaders, under instruction from the string-pullers behind the scene, see that "what was this all about?" could start to infect the mind of the mobs.  These power guys (and girls) want to avoid the next stage of populace fear: despair that overtakes submission. Despair can instil far more trouble than fear, as it can lead to more deaths or more "real" revolutions. The system leaders and their string-pullers are very aware of this, from having studied history books.

So reopening the system SLOWLY is the only way as not to show the whole charade was a FARCE, as if being cautious was still part of the treatment. Social distancing will stay on for a while, despite your ability to enjoy the sun with 10 people at 1.5 metre, on the terrace of a nearly bankrupted restaurant... Meanwhile the arts are dead, awaiting for a complete revival through the fog of inane decoration... We shall see... 

 

pub test

 


the questions we have to ask...

Investigative journalist Sam Husseini has had a storied career asking world leaders questions they would prefer to dodge, on subjects ranging from missing weapons of mass destruction to very real nuclear stockpiles. Now he takes on the “elephant in the room”: the extreme dangers posed by bio-research facilities not just in China, but all over the world…

The Intervieweee: Sam Husseini is a Jordanian-Palestinian writer and political activist. He is the communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a Washington DC-based nonprofit group that promotes progressive experts as alternative sources for mainstream media reporters.

The Interviewer: John Kirby is the director of FOUR DIED TRYING, a feature documentary and series on the major assassinations of the 1960’s and their calamitous impact on the country. To join the struggle for justice for Dr King, Malcolm X, and John and Robert Kennedy.

Follow Journeyman Pictures on youtube or visit their website for more of their award-winning factual content.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/30/watch-perspectives-on-the-pandemic-7/

 

Read from top.

an accident?...

A new peer-reviewed study shows that the Covid-19 outbreak started as a faulty experiment in China, the ex-head of MI6 says. The paper he cited was reportedly “watered down” to remove accusations against Beijing.

“I do think that this started as an accident,” Sir Richard Dearlove, who led Britain’s top spy agency, MI6, from 1999 until 2004, told the Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast.

It raises the issue, if China ever were to admit responsibility, does it pay reparations? I think it will make every country in the world rethink how it treats its relationship with China and how the international community behaves towards the Chinese leadership.

Dearlove suggested that the virus was not released deliberately, but rather accidentally leaked when Chinese scientists were experimenting on bat coronaviruses. To back up his claims, he cited a recently-published peer-reviewed study by a British-Norwegian team which claimed to have found “inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike surface” that allow the virus to come into contact with human cells.

The ex-MI6 chief told the Telegraph that the study was rewritten several times. The research paper originally said that the novel coronavirus should be called the “Wuhan virus” – the name of the Chinese city where it was first recorded – and claimed to have proven that the virus was “engineered,” the newspaper reported, citing an earlier draft of the study.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/490714-mi6-china-lab-coronavirus/

 

Read from top.

 

A Red Herring?... see also:

conspiracy of competitors? in If a door isn’t bolted, is it properly shut? ...

 

This does not mean that it came from Wuhan, but has been a "manufactured" virus and that the Poms are trying to blame the Chinese for it... though it could have come from any of the many warfare labs around the globe...

not "man-made"...?

Sir Richard Dearlove, former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), earlier cited a scientific report suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic had originated due to the respiratory virus “escaping” from a laboratory in China.

UK government officials have dismissed as “fanciful” earlier claims by former head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Sir Richard Dearlove that the coronavirus was man-made at a Chinese lab before accidentally escaping it due to biosecurity flaws and setting off a global pandemic, reports The Sun.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman slammed Dearlove’s Richard's comments, saying:

“We've seen no evidence the virus is man-made.”

A government official was quoted as adding:

“These are fanciful claims. World leading scientists in the UK, US, and the World Health Organisation have said numerous times... the virus was natural in its origin and likely moved into the human population through natural transfer from animals – not through a specific accident or man-made incident.”

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock echoed the statements regarding Sir Dearlove's claims, saying there was "no evidence" to support the theory that the COVID-19 virus originated at a laboratory.

Key Elements ‘Man-Made’

Sir Richard Dearlove, who led MI6 from 1999 to 2004, previously claimed during The Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast that a peer-reviewed scientific report published by a Norwegian-British research team suggested the COVID-19 pandemic had been sparked by the novel respiratory virus “escaping” from a laboratory in China.

Dearlove cited the research as saying clues had been discovered in the genetic sequence of the virus that seemed to suggest its key elements were man-made.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/uk/202006051079525460-downing-street-shoots-down...

 

Read from top.

gain-of-function research...

 

...

In the U.S. the person most visibly in charge of the COVID-19 response is Anthony Fauci, who is the long-time director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Like Redfield, Dr. Fauci is a Catholic and has said that values he learned in his Jesuit education continue to guide him.

After weeks of Fauci having led the coronavirus response in the U.S., it was learned that his NIAID had funded “gain of function” research at the Wuhan laboratory where the SARS-COV-2 virus is suspected of having originated. Fauci’s response to questions about that inexplicable coincidence was simply to denounce “conspiracy theories” rather than addressing the questions directly, much as others did when questioned about 9/11 foreknowledge.

Whether SARS-COV-2 was genetically engineered in a laboratory, like the NIAID-funded Wuhan lab, is a subject that has become of interest to many scientists. The Wuhan laboratory is not the only place the U.S. supports work like this, however, as the Pentagon funds such labs in 25 countries across the world. Located in places such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa, these labs isolate and manipulate viruses like the bat coronaviruses from which SARS-COV-2 originated. This bat-research program is further coordinated by a group called EcoHealth Alliance.

 

Read more:

https://digwithin.net/2020/06/03/coronavirus-scare/

Note: 

Gain-of-function mutation: a mutation that confers new or enhanced activity on a protein.

Loss-of-function: mutations, which are more common, result in reduced or abolished protein function.

 

Note:

Dr. Anthony Fauci "is" an adviser to President Donald Trump (who wants Fauci to get sacked) and something of an American folk hero for his steady, calm leadership during the pandemic crisis. At least one poll shows that Americans trust Fauci more than Trump on the coronavirus pandemic — and few scientists are portrayed on TV by Brad Pitt.

But just last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.

Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.

SARS-CoV-2 , the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab. (At this point most scientists say it's possible—but not likely—that the pandemic virus was engineered or manipulated.)


Read more:

https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741

 

Read from top.

 

Note (written by Gus March 23 2020, see: a convenient inconvenience...): 

Question: What has been one of the main priorities of the USA, recently? A priority that the US has also tried to make the Europeans do the same, somewhat secretly? 


Answer: close borders to immigrants and refugees. stop the Islamic spread...

somewhere else... great...

The novel coronavirus may have first passed to humans somewhere in southern China months before the outbreak in the city of Wuhan, a new study found, cutting against widely held theories about the origins of the pandemic.

Mapping a “network” of coronavirus genomes and tracing mutations over time, a team of researchers led by a Cambridge University geneticist determined the first Covid-19 infection may have come as early as September in a region south of Wuhan, noting the pathogen could have been carried by humans well before it mutated into a more lethal form.


“The virus may have mutated into its final ‘human-efficient’ form months ago, but stayed inside a bat or other animal or even human for several months without infecting other individuals,” geneticist Peter Forster told the South China Morning Post. He leads the ongoing yet to be peer-reviewed research, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.


Then, it started infecting and spreading among humans between September 13 and December 7, generating the network we present in [the study].

 

virus mutations and origins

 

Though the virus is thought to have transmitted from bats to another host animal – pangolins are a popular candidate – and finally to humans, the new findings could overturn prevailing ideas as to precisely how, when and where it made the interspecies leap. Initial theories posited the jump to humans took place at a wet market in Wuhan, but the new study has called that into question, suggesting Covid-19 might have originated south of the central-Chinese city.


If I am pressed for an answer, I would say the original spread started more likely in southern China than in Wuhan.


Any solid conclusions, however, could only be made after analyzing more bats and other potential host animals, as well as tissue samples from early patients, Forster cautioned.


“But it is the best assumption we can make at the moment, pending analysis of further patient samples stored in hospitals during 2019,” the researcher told Newsweek in a separate interview.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/486194-study-coronavirus-southern-china/

 

 

Read from top.

 

 

Here, one must be aware that a study of this kind is yet unconclusive... This study would help dispel the lab theory which to say the least is abit too close for comfort. Please note that Fauci's organisation paid the chinese lab to do gain-of-function research...

 

See also: 

of conspiratorial sheep...

is this our saddam/covid19 moment?...

Donald Trump’s ex-adviser Steve Bannon has doubled down on the man-made nature of the coronavirus, claiming that Chinese “virus experts” have defected to the West and are now cooperating with intelligence agencies.

The explosive allegations were made by Bannon in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail. Describing the Wuhan outbreak as nothing less than a “biological Chernobyl,” he pointed the finger at the city’s secretive laboratory as the source of the virus.

The facility has been “horribly run and terribly mismanaged,” Bannon claimed, adding that “it’s not that hard for these viruses to get out.”

“I know that certain defectors are working with the FBI here to try to knit together what happened” he said, referring to the Wuhan institute. And Western spy agencies “have electronic intelligence, and … have done a full inventory of who has provided access to that lab,” he claimed.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/494542-bannon-wuhan-lab-coronavirus/

 

Is this our "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" Covid19 disinformation or has this got any legs?

 

Read from top.

 

no conspiracy from bats...


One of the conspiracy theories that have plagued attempts to keep people informed during the pandemic is the idea that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory.


But the vast majority of scientists who have studied the virus agree that it evolved naturally and crossed into humans from an animal species, most likely a bat.


How exactly do we know that this virus, SARS-CoV-2, has a “zoonotic” animal origin and not an artificial one?


The answers lie in the genetic material and evolutionary history of the virus, and understanding the ecology of the bats in question.

 

An estimated 60 per cent of known infectious diseases and 75 per cent of all new, emerging or re-emerging diseases in humans have animal origins.

SARS-CoV-2 is the newest of seven coronaviruses found in humans, all of which came from animals, either from bats, mice or domestic animals.

Bats were also the source of the viruses causing Ebola, rabies, Nipah and Hendra virus infections, Marburg virus disease, and strains of Influenza A virus.

The genetic makeup or “genome” of SARS-CoV-2 has been sequenced and publicly shared thousands of times by scientists all over the world.

If the virus had been genetically engineered in a lab there would be signs of manipulation in the genome data.

This would include evidence of an existing viral sequence as the backbone for the new virus, and obvious, targeted inserted (or deleted) genetic elements.

But no such evidence exists.

It is very unlikely that any techniques used to genetically engineer the virus would not leave a genetic signature, like specific identifiable pieces of DNA code.

The genome of SARS-CoV-2 is similar to that of other bat coronaviruses, as well as those of pangolins, all of which have a similar overall genomic architecture.

Differences between the genomes of these coronaviruses show natural patterns typical of coronavirus evolution.

This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 evolved from a previous wild coronavirus.

One of the key features that makes SARS-CoV-2 different from the other coronaviruses is a particular “spike” protein that binds well with another protein on the outside of human cells called ACE2.

This enables the virus to hook into and infect a variety of human cells.

However, other related coronaviruses do have similar features, providing evidence that they have evolved naturally rather than being artificially added in a lab.

Coronaviruses and bats are locked in an evolutionary arms race in which the viruses are constantly evolving to evade the bat immune system and bats are evolving to withstand infections from coronaviruses.

A virus will evolve multiple variants, most of which will be destroyed by the bat’s immune system, but some will survive and pass to other bats.

Some scientists have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 may have come from another known bat virus (RaTG13) found by researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The genomes of these two viruses are 96 per cent similar to one another.

This might sound very close, but in evolutionary terms this actually makes them significantly different and the two have been shown to share a common ancestor.

This shows that RaTG13 is not the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2.

In fact, SARS-CoV-2 most likely evolved from a viral variant that couldn’t survive for a long period of time or that persists at low levels in bats.

Coincidentally, it evolved the ability to invade human cells and accidentally found its way into us, possibly by means of an intermediate animal host, where it then thrived.

Or an initially harmless form of the virus might have jumped directly into humans and then evolved to become harmful as it passed between people.

Genetic variations

The mixing or “recombination” of distinct coronavirus genomes in nature is one of the mechanisms that brings about novel coronaviruses.

There is now further evidence that this process could be involved in the generation of SARS-CoV-2.

Since the pandemic started, the SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to have started evolving into two distinct strains, acquiring adaptations for more efficient invasion of human cells.

This could have occurred through a mechanism known as a selective sweep, through which beneficial mutations help a virus to infect more hosts and so become more common in the viral population.

This is a natural process that can ultimately reduce the genetic variation between individual viral genomes.

The same mechanism would account for the lack of diversity seen in the many SARs-CoV-2 genomes that have been sequenced.

This indicates that the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 could have been circulating in bat populations for a considerable amount of time.

It then would have acquired the mutations that allowed it to spill over from bats into other animals, including humans.

It is also important to remember that around one in five of all mammal species on Earth are bats, with some found only in certain locations and others migrating across vast distances.

This diversity and geographical spread makes it a challenge to identify which group of bats SARS-CoV-2 originally came from.

There is evidence that early cases of COVID-19 occurred outside of Wuhan in China and had no clear link to the city’s wet market, where the pandemic is thought to have begun.

But that isn’t evidence of a conspiracy.

It could simply be that infected people accidentally brought the virus into the city and then the wet market, where the enclosed, busy conditions increased the chances of the disease spreading rapidly.

This includes the possibility of one of the scientists involved in bat coronavirus research in Wuhan unknowingly becoming infected and bringing the virus back from where their subject bats lived.

This would still be considered natural infection, not a laboratory leak.

Only through robust science and the study of the natural world will we be able to truly understand the natural history and origins of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19.

This is pertinent because our ever-changing relationship and increasing contact with wildlife is raising the risk of new deadly zoonotic diseases emerging in humans.

SARS-CoV-2 is not the first virus that we have acquired from animals and certainly will not be the last.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2020/07/15/coronavirus-came-from-bats/

 

Read from top.

 

https://theconversation.com/heres-how-scientists-know-the-coronavirus-came-from-bats-and-wasnt-made-in-a-lab-141850

 

 

Read from top...

 

 

READ FROM TOP...

not escaped from the wuhan lab...

 

The coronavirus pandemic has thrust virologist Shi Zhengli into a fierce spotlight. Shi, nicknamed “Bat Woman,” heads a group that studies bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), in the Chinese city where the pandemic began. Many have speculated that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19, accidentally escaped from her lab—a theory promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump. Some have even suggested it could have been engineered there.

China has forcefully rejected such claims, but Shi herself has said very little publicly—until now. On 15 July, Shi emailed Science answers to a series of questions about the virus' origin and her research. In them, she hit back at speculation that the virus leaked from WIV. She and her colleagues discovered the virus in late 2019, she says, in samples from patients who had a pneumonia of unknown origin. “Before that, we had never been in contact with or studied this virus, nor did we know of its existence,” Shi wrote.

“U.S. President Trump's claim that SARS-CoV-2 was leaked from our institute totally contradicts the facts,” she added. “It jeopardizes and affects our academic work and personal life. He owes us an apology.”

Shi stressed that over the past 15 years, her lab has isolated and grown in culture only three bat coronaviruses related to one that infected humans: the agent that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which erupted in 2003. The more than 2000 other bat coronaviruses the lab has detected, including one that is 96.2% identical to SARS-CoV-2, are simply genetic sequences that her team has extracted from fecal samples and oral and anal swabs of the animals. She also noted that all staff and students in her lab recently tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, challenging the notion that one of them triggered the pandemic.

Shi was particularly chagrined about the 24 April decision by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), made at the White House's behest, to ax a grant to the EcoHealth Alliance in New York City that included bat virus research at WIV. “We don't understand [it] and feel it is absolutely absurd,” she said.

Shi's responses—available in full at scim.ag/ShiZhengli—are “a big contribution,” says Daniel Lucey of Georgetown University, an outbreak specialist who blogs about SARS-CoV-2 origin issues. “There are a lot of new facts that I wasn't aware of. It's very exciting to hear this directly from her.” The answers were coordinated with public information staffers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, of which WIV is part, and evolutionary biologist Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research suspects they were “carefully vetted” by the Chinese government. “But they're all logical, genuine, and stick to the science,” he says.

Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, who has long urged for an investigation into the possibility that a lab accident spawned the pandemic, is unimpressed, however. “Most of these answers are formulaic, almost robotic, reiterations of statements previously made by Chinese authorities and state media,” Ebright says.

Shi's responses come at a time when questions about how the pandemic originated are increasingly causing international tensions. Trump frequently calls SARS-CoV-2 “the China virus” and has said China could have stopped the pandemic in its tracks. China, for its part, has added an extra layer of review for researchers who want to publish on the pandemic's origins and has asserted that SARS-CoV-2 may have originated in the United States. Calls for an independent, international probe into the origin are mounting, and two researchers from the World Health Organization are now in China to discuss the scope and scale of a possible mission. Lucey says Shi's answers to Science's questions could help guide the investigation team.

PETER DASZAK of the EcoHealth Alliance, who has long worked with Shi, describes her as social, open, and something of a goodwill ambassador for China at meetings, where she converses in both French and English. (She's also a renowned singer of Mandarin folk songs.) “What I really like about Zhengli is that she is frank and honest, and that just makes it easier to solve problems,” he says.

Shi studied at Wuhan University and WIV, then earned a Ph.D. at the University of Montpellier II in France. She returned to WIV in 2000, initially focusing on viruses in shrimp and crabs. A turning point in her career came in 2005, when she published a study in Science with Daszak and other researchers from China, Australia, and the United States. The paper reported the first evidence that bats harbored coronaviruses closely related to the lethal virus that jumped from civets to humans and caused the worldwide outbreak of SARS in 2003.

Daszak has continued to work with Shi and her WIV team to sample wild animals and hunt for more coronaviruses. They have published 18 more papers together. Shi “is extremely driven to produce high-quality work,” Daszak says. “She will go out in the field, and gets involved in the work, but her real skills are in the lab, and she's one of the best I've worked with in China, probably globally.”

Shi told Science her lab was thrust into the pandemic on 30 December 2019, the day her team first received patient samples. “Subsequently, we rapidly conducted research in parallel with other domestic institutions, and quickly identified the pathogen,” she wrote.

It didn't long take for suspicions and rumors to arise, first on China's social media sites and then in Western media. On 2 February, Shi posted a note on her own social media site saying SARS-CoV-2 was “nature punishing the uncivilized habits and customs of humans,” and that she would “bet my life that [the outbreak] has nothing to do with the lab.” Partly as a show of support for Shi, Daszak and 26 other scientists from eight countries published a statement of solidarity with Chinese scientists and health professionals in The Lancet in February. In a March Nature paper that analyzed SARS-CoV-2's genetic makeup, Andersen and other evolutionary biologists argued against it being engineered in a lab.

In her written answers to Science, Shi explained in great detail why she thinks her lab is blameless. WIV has identified hundreds of bat viruses over the years, but never anything close to SARS-CoV-2, she says. Although much speculation has centered on RaTG13, the bat virus that most closely resembles SARS-CoV-2, differences in the sequences of the two viruses suggest they diverged from a common ancestor somewhere between 20 and 70 years ago. Shi notes that her lab never cultured the bat virus, making an accident far less likely.

Some suspicions have focused on a naming inconsistency. In 2016, Shi described a partial sequence of a bat coronavirus that she dubbed 4991. That small part of the genome exactly matches RaTG13, leading some to speculate that Shi never revealed the full sequence of 4991 because it actually is SARS-CoV-2. But Shi explained that 4991 and RaTG13 are one and the same. The original name, she says, was for the bat itself, but her team switched to RaTG13 when they sequenced the entire virus. TG stands for Tongguan, the town in Yunnan province where they trapped that bat, she said, and 13 for the year 2013.

That's “a very logical explanation,” says Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney. Shi's reply also clarified to him why 4991 held such little interest to her team that they didn't even bother to sequence it fully until recently: That short genetic sequence was very different from SARS-CoV, the virus that caused the 2003 outbreak. “In reading this the penny dropped: Of course, they would have been mainly interested in bat viruses closely related to SARS-CoV … not some random bat virus that is more distant,” Holmes says.

Shi mentioned other factors that she says exonerate her lab. Their research meets strict biosafety rules, she said, and the lab is subject to periodic inspections “by a third-party institution authorized by the government.” Antibody tests have shown there is “zero infection” among institute staff or students with SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses. Shi said WIV has never been ordered to destroy any samples after the pandemic erupted.

Labs that presumably had strict biosafety rules have had accidents: The SARS virus escaped from several labs after the global outbreak was contained in 2003. And even if everyone in the institute tested negative for the virus today, an infected person could have left WIV months ago. Still, Holmes says, the answers are “a clear, comprehensive, and believable account” of what occurred at WIV.

BUT THEN where did the virus come from? Shi concurs with the scientific consensus that it originated in bats and jumped to humans either directly or, more likely, via an intermediate host. Her lab tested samples from Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which Wuhan officials initially fingered as a possible origin because some early patients had links to it, and found RNA fragments from the virus in “door handles, the ground and sewage,” she wrote—but not in “frozen animal samples.” But the market's role was called into question when two papers revealed that up to 45% of the first confirmed patients—including four of the five earliest cases—did not have any links to it. “The Huanan seafood market may just be a crowded location where a cluster of early novel coronavirus patients were found,” Shi says.

Researchers from WIV and Huazhong Agricultural University didn't find the virus in farmed animals and livestock around Wuhan and in other places in Hubei province, she wrote. Years of surveillance in Hubei have never turned up bat coronaviruses close to SARS-CoV-2, she said, leading her to believe the jump to humans happened elsewhere.

Shi provided few details on China's efforts to pin down the origin. “Many groups in China are carrying out such studies,” she wrote, using multiple approaches. “We are publishing papers and data, including those about the virus's origins.”

Daszak supports the push for an international research effort—which he cautions could take years—and says Shi's group should play a prominent role in it. “I hope and believe that she will be able to help WIV and China show the world that there is nothing to these lab escape theories, and help us all to find the true origins of this viral strain,” he says. Shi ended her answers on a similar note. “Here, I would like to make an appeal to the international community to strengthen international cooperation on research into the origins of emerging viruses,” she said. “I hope scientists around the world can stand together and work together.”

 

Read more:

 

Science  31 Jul 2020:

Vol. 369, Issue 6503, pp. 487-488