Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins

by Judith Curry

The concerning saga of the creation, enforcement and collapse of a ‘consensus’ on Covid-19 origins.

The Covid-19 virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, where there is a laboratory that conducts research on bat coronaviruses. However from the beginning, the possibility that this virus accidentally escaped from the lab was dismissed quite forcefully by prominent virologists.

The ‘consensus’ that Covid-19 had an entirely natural origin was established by two op-eds in early 2020 – The Lancet in February and Nature Medicine in March. The Lancet op-ed stated, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.”

In May 2021, science reporter Nicholas Wade published a lengthy article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists stating that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the Covid-19 virus had escaped from research that he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable.  Daszak had corralled other scientists with similar professional interests into making a declaration to the effect that anyone who mentions the obvious possibility that the pandemic might have a connection to the research in the Wuhan Lab could only be doing so with bad intentions.

The enormous gap between the actual state of knowledge in early 2020 and the confidence displayed in the two op-eds should have been obvious to anyone in the field of virology, or for that matter anyone with critical faculties. There were scientists from adjacent fields who said as much.

However, the pronouncements in these op-eds effectively shut down inquiry. The pre-emptive declaration of scientific consensus was highly successful in garnering media enforcement of public opinion.  The so-called ‘fact checkers’ of PolitiFact used these op-eds to shut down any discussion of the lab leak hypothesis. Articles in the mainstream press repeatedly stated that a consensus of experts had ruled lab escape out of the question or extremely unlikely. 

Invocation of ‘conspiracy theory’ has become a reflex for arresting criticism. Analysis by Matthew Crawford shows how the political environment caused the magic words ‘conspiracy theory’ to trigger a wider epistemic immune reaction in high-prestige opinion.  Crawford provides the following political frame for these events.  Since Donald Trump publicly floated the idea that Covid-19 may have had its origin in a Chinese lab, it became a point of conviction for all those who believe in science that such a hypothesis could only be a conspiracy theory, probably rooted in ‘Sinophobia’.  The ‘conspiracy theory’ of the lab leak hypothesis has been juxtaposed with reporting on anti-Asian hate crimes, thereby subsuming an urgent scientific question to a Trump-era morality play.

Publication of Nicholas Wade’s story on May 2 triggered a cascade of defections.  Crawford describes the defections as “not simply from a consensus that no longer holds, but from a fake consensus that is no longer enforceable.”  On 14 May, 18 scientists signed a letter in the journal Science with the title “Investigate the origins of COVID-19”.  In an interview with the New York Times, an organizer of the letter stated, “Anybody who’s making statements with a high level of certainty about this is just outstripping what’s possible to do with the available evidence.”

Politifact has just withdrawn its Wuhan-Lab theory ‘fact check.’ [link]

What is concerning about this episode is not so much that a consensus has been overturned, but that a fake consensus was so easily enforced for year.  This occurred during a key period when understanding the origins of the virus had implications for how it could best be fought.  Scientists who understood that there was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the origins of the virus did not speak up.  Probity came from knowledgeable individuals that were outside of the field of virology.

Matthew Crawford states, ” Regardless of how the question of the virus’s origins is ultimately decided, we need to understand how the political drama surrounding the science played out if we are to learn anything from this pandemic and reduce the likelihood of future ones.”

Research cartels and consensus enforcement

Crawford argues that the scientists who were signatories to the two letters may have been acting as a classic research cartel.

In 2004, Henry Bauer formulated the idea of research cartels and knowledge monopolies, in context of the institutionalization of science that becomes subordinate to corporate or government values.

A key element of knowledge monopolies and research cartels is stifling of skepticism, premature canonization of preferred hypotheses and consensus enforcement, in the interests of financial or political objectives.  With the help of uncritical mass media, this effectively results in near censorship of minority views. Since corporate and government scientific organizations also control the funding of research, by denying funds for unorthodox work they function as research cartels as well as knowledge monopolies.  

Wade notes that in today’s universities, challenging the consensus can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.

The IPCC and the ‘climate-industrial-government complex’ is a clear example of a knowledge monopoly and research cartel.  

However, I don’t think that the fake consensus surrounding the Covid-19 origins reflects a research cartel.  What I see is a group of scientists appealing to their own authority in protecting their personal interests.  The question is why The Lancet and Nature Medicine published these op-eds.  It is noted that Daszak had an obvious conflict of interest re the op-ed, but this conflict was not stated.  Apparently there are no adverse consequences for not accurately stating your conflicts of interest in journal publications.

Daszak et al. presumably have some influence over which research gets funded, and this may have prevented other virologists with less influence from speaking out.  However, the fact that these op-eds successfully defined a ‘consensus’ for a year has more to do with Trump derangement syndrome and the desire not to appear Sinophobic. The media is arguably the most culpable for a complete absence of vigorously investigative science journalism, prior to Wade’s article.  Note that Wade’s article was published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and as far as I can tell has not been picked up by major media outlets.

What does all this mean for institutionalized climate science?  Well the IPCC, along with supporting governments and industries, is much more entrenched as a knowledge monopoly and research cartel.  But the Covid origins example illuminates the social, political and careerist motivations that are in play in attempts to prematurely canonize and enforce a scientific consensus. 

In closing, a recent essay by Mike Hulme is insightful.

<begin quote>

Climategate was a controversy because it appeared that climate scientists were undermining the idea of a ‘well-ordered science’, or what Naomi Oreskes has written about as ‘the conditions necessary to reach a fair and open consensus’. We can discuss the extent to which this ‘appearance’ was real or manufactured, but my point is this: Climategate became a crisis because so much was being staked – by both ends of the political spectrum – on science providing the direction and justification for political action (or inaction).  It was a crisis because of the undermining of the probity of the science upon which, it was believed or at least claimed, all sensible climate policy depended.  Most notably, this included the prominent environmental commentator George Monbiot.

Climate skepticism has broader roots than this.  Mistrust in science is always bound up with other things – politics, culture, ethics, the law.  Skepticism often arises from observing how science and expert judgement is being mobilized in debates that are essential political – in other words, climate sceptics are suspicious about how the different interests and values of public actors concerning climate change are being resolved. 

Skepticism therefore points to the problem of legitimation; it is the problem of how science – how experts – relate, or are perceived to relate, to democracy.  The problem is one of when and how to “open up” public debate and when and how to “close it down”, to use Andy Stirling’s metaphor.  And this requires us to recognize that how one ‘closes down’ depends on political culture: Russia, China, USA and Germany all do it very differently.

To stand in here, I use the case of climate scientist Michael Mann and his militarist vocabulary.  The German theorist Carl von Clausewitz characterized war as “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will.”  This is not a good way to think about climate politics in a democracy.  In wars there are winners and losers.  Sides are taken and the solution is conquering and defeating the enemy. 

As John Besley at Michigan State University asks, “Do we want people to see scientists as angry, embattled, frustrated people … or rather people who are doing [their] best to solve problems to make the world better?”  The danger with the combative climate militancy espoused by Mann is that it ends up being a destructive form of advocacy.

<end quote>

1,393 responses to “Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins

  1. Contrarians have espoused crap science and conspiracy theories. Including the Chinese government origins of COVID. Or at least a cover up. It’s not a great base to build on.

    • There are plenty of good reasons to suspect a Chinese cover up. I don’t have time to look it up now, but I seem to recall that there was misleading information put out in January 2020, for example that there was no evidence of human to human transmission. The head of WHO also has a conflict of interest regarding China as I recall.

      • The Director-General of WHO is one calling for a deeper investigation of the potential for lab releases. In principle – with the broad availability of powerful biotechnology – this is a problem for the broader society that will not go away. But in particular the available evidence favours a natural spillover of what evolved into the COVID-19 virus.

      • Your position strikes me as a variation on the Bart Simpson
        argument “You can’t prove a thing because nobody saw me do it”. In this case, the Chinese government, aided and abetted by their supporters, have done their best to cover up the mess they created in their laboratory. Trotting out the Director-General of WHO is ridiculous, as he knows full well that his pious words mean absolutely nothing. This is the cold hard and painfully obvious truth. There is a conspiracy involved, but it emanates from the Chinese government and their supporters who turn a blind eye to the evil they have unleashed on the planet.

      • We should contrast the terms consensus with scientific paradigms – and evidence free conspiracy ideation with scientific scepticism. This may go some way to rescuing science from the morass of opinions of self appointed arbiters. Conspiracy ideation leaps to unsupported conclusions – scientific scepticism suspends judgement until the evidence is in. The evidence thus far favours – according to leading edge experts – an animal spillover.

        ‘Bats have been identified as the hosts of a series of important zoonotic viruses (for example, Nipah virus, Hendra virus and SARS-CoV), including coronaviruses with considerable genetic diversity.(3, 4) Of particular relevance with regard to COVID-19 are those coronaviruses that were found to be associated with the outbreaks in humans of SARS in 2002 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2013.(5) The causative virus of COVID-19 was rapidly isolated from patients and sequenced, with the results from China subsequently being shared and published in January 2020.(6) The findings showed that it was a positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the Coronaviridae family (a subgroup B betacoronavirus) and was new to humans. In the early work, analysis of the genomic sequence of the new virus (SARS-CoV-2) showed high homology with that of the coronavirus that caused SARS in 2002-2004, namely SARS-CoV (another subgroup B betacoronavirus).(5) Over the next year extensive work globally on sequences and phylogeny followed and the results have been shared internationally and stored through the GISAID platform.’

      • David it was WHO itself that first made that statement: https://www.businessinsider.com/who-no-transmission-coronavirus-tweet-was-to-appease-china-guardian-2020-4

        Dr. Tony and the CDC might have repeated it as they were following WHO’s lead.

      • dpy6629 posted: “….for example that there was no evidence of human to human transmission.”

        So, where is the published evidence to confirm human to human transmission, contradicting the WHO’s early info?

        The tweet from WHO on 14 Jan 2020:
        https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1217043229427761152?s=20

      • Taiwan had officially notified the WHO of suspected human-to-human spread being reported on Dec 31, 2019. Taiwan saw it from online sources they monitored within China. The WHO ignored this.
        https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En/Bulletin/Detail/PAD-lbwDHeN_bLa-viBOuw?typeid=158

      • Ron Graf: Taiwan had officially notified the WHO of suspected human-to-human spread being reported on Dec 31, 2019. Taiwan saw it from online sources they monitored within China.

        Thank you for the link.

    • Dismissal an argument is not refutation. Covid-19 apparently came from bats. Coronavirus from bat feces was transported from caves 1000 miles distant from Wuhan to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Scientists in 2013 sent frozen samples to the Wuhan lab from a bat-infested former copper mine in southwest China; Shi, nicknamed “bat woman” for her expeditions in bat caves, described Covid-19 in a February 2020 paper, saying it was 96.2% similar to a coronavirus sample named RaTG13 obtained in Yunnan in 2013.
      The virus was brought to the Wuhan lab for research purposes, the virus first appeared in humans in Wuhan province; research on the bat coronavirus in the U.S. (funded by NIH) was discontinued because of the perceived danger that it could too easily escape from the lab. That is not proof of origin but the principle of Occam’s Razor suggests the Wuhan lab as the most likely source. The bats did not fly 1000 miles to Wuhan. In early 2020, Dr. Fauci (whose agency funded coronavirus research in the U.S. and in China), laughed off the possibility that COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan lab when science editor Nsikan Akpan asked, “Do you believe or is there evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was made in the lab in China or accidentally released from a lab in China?” Fauci laughed as he claimed not to understand why the possibility that COVID-19 had escaped from a lab was being raised. On May 11, 2021, when asked whether he was still confident that COVID-19 emerged naturally, he replied “No, actually. … No, I’m not convinced about that. I think that we should continue to investigate what went on in China.

      • I assume this is a quote. And I do not dismiss the potential for lab releases – but have regard for the probabilities assessed by actual experts.

        ‘China’s bat woman felt she was fighting a battle in her worst nightmare, even though it was one she had been preparing for over the past 16 years. Using a technique called polymerase chain reaction, which can detect a virus by amplifying its genetic material, the team found that samples from five of seven patients had genetic sequences present in all coronaviruses.

        Shi instructed her group to repeat the tests and, at the same time, sent the samples to another facility to sequence the full viral genomes. Meanwhile she frantically went through her own lab’s records from the past few years to check for any mishandling of experimental materials, especially during disposal. Shi breathed a sigh of relief when the results came back: none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves. “That really took a load off my mind,” she says. “I had not slept a wink for days.”

        By January 7 the Wuhan team had determined that the new virus had indeed caused the disease those patients suffered—a conclusion based on results from analyses using polymerase chain reaction, full genome sequencing, antibody tests of blood samples and the virus’s ability to infect human lung cells in a petri dish. The genomic sequence of the virus, eventually named SARS-CoV-2, was 96 percent identical to that of a coronavirus the researchers had identified in horseshoe bats in Yunnan. Their results appeared in a paper published online on February 3 in Nature.’ https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chinas-bat-woman-hunted-down-viruses-from-sars-to-the-new-coronavirus1/

      • Shi’s story about RatG13 has come under scrutiny on many points. But first one should consider that we know now for a fact that Shi was not just collecting bat viruses to observe and catalog them. Shi was working on creating a SARS2 like virus in her lab and neglected to mention this part in her story. The scary thing is that all the US and French virologists that were working with her to make bat SARS viruses attack humans were silent about the work as well. As pointed out Peter Daszak apparently actively approached them to circle the wagons and keep the world away looking at the lab, sitting in the middle of Wuhan. This is very analogues to the Phil Jones – Michael Mann hockey team emailing each other advising to delete embarrassing emails that could be subject to public disclosure requests.

        The virologists and their funders have gotten away with this for the most part to this point even though their years of gain of function research have been sitting online in plain sight all along. Even within the Baric-Shi 2015 paper they conclude their experiments are so dangerous that it might be better to stop.

        In the end of their 2015 paper they have the boilerplate ethics statement that no animals were mistreated and after that a statement on biosafety and their exemption given from the GOF research ban.

        Biosafety and biosecurity.
        Reported studies were initiated after the University of North Carolina Institutional Biosafety Committee approved the experimental protocol (Project Title: Generating infectious clones of bat SARS-like CoVs; Lab Safety Plan ID: 20145741; Schedule G ID: 12279). These studies were initiated before the US Government Deliberative Process Research Funding Pause on Selected Gain-of-Function Research Involving Influenza, MERS and SARS Viruses (http://www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Documents/gain-of-function.pdf). This paper has been reviewed by the funding agency, the NIH. Continuation of these studies was requested, and this has been approved by the NIH.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

        Here is a list of virus gain of function research by Dr. Ralph Baric of Univ of NC and Dr. Shi of the WIV. http://www.themenacherylab.com/p/blog-page.html

        Baric remained silent until recently when he joined a group of virologists in signing a letter asking that the lab origin possibility be investigated. I think this is what forced Fauci to change his position from laughing it off.
        https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6543/694.1

        The second signer, Dr. Alina Chan, is a good name to search on Twitter and Google as she has been conducting her own investigation.

      • Thomas Fuller

        As a liberal progressive, I get annoyed when I have to credit Trump with anything. But I have had to do so on four or five occasions. This may turn out to be one.

        At a meta level, our government does not want another issue to complicate our relationship with China.

        At an academic level, conflicts of interest are unseemly enough to cause a conscious will to ignorance (something that permeates every level of the climate conversation.)

        At an individual level, the dismal science repeatedly advises us that incentives matter. A lot.

        But to all of those ‘skeptics’ who may be proven right about the origins of Covid–this is what it looks like when the process works. A year and a half of digging, getting past authoritative dismissal, etc., etc. If it turns out that you were right all along, this is how the process plays out.

        Perhaps those of us who have invested so much in the climate conversation can learn from this, rather than imposing our frustrations with the scientific establishment as an overlay on Wuhan.

      • dougbadgero

        Thomas,
        I see no reason to credit Trump with anything. Donald Trump rarely employs a thoughtful and reasoned approach to available evidence IMO. The unforgivable mistake was the country’s scientists, politicians, and journalists disregarding evidence and engaging in fallacious reasoning in large part because they needed to discredit Trump. Trump’s opinion on this matter should have been, and still is, irrelevant.

    • Douglas B. Levene

      Is that your response to Dr. Curry’s column about the collapse of the supposed consensus over Covid-19’s origins? Nothing about the conflicts of interest? Nothing about the politics driving the consensus in the western media? Nothing about whether it’s wise to trust what the Chinese Communist Party says about, well, anything?
      The bottom line is that we won’t be able to rule out an accidental release from the Wuhan lab without a full forensic audit of the Wuhan lab, and the Party will never permit that. You can draw your own conclusions about why the Party won’t permit a full, independent investigation.

      • The WHO reported – a number of voices have called for a more detailed consideration of the lab release scenario. You – like Judith – have no evidence that anything untoward happened. Your conjectures are purely that.

        https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6543/694.1

      • dougbadgero

        Robert,
        You seem to have completely missed the point of this post and the change in the Overton window regarding the source of SARS-COV2. The issue is not that we now know that it came from a lab. The issue is that the reasoning that it could not have come from a lab was always fallacious, and was enforced by a culture that did not allow debate.

      • No – I reject outright the point of the post. Drawing a long bow between a consensus that never existed and a consensus that was politically motivated in the public arena and has no place in science – and calling it a failure of science merely feeds the contrarian meme factory that CE has become. The idea that eminent and respected scientists were silenced by the peanut gallery on the novel coronavirus is absurd beyond belief.

        My point was crap contrarian science and conspiracy ideation that leads them to imagine that they are later day Galileo Galilei or else voices in the wilderness. Not a lick of sense between them. I have been told for instance that ‘believing’ in general relativity is a religious genuflection. We see much of crap science and conspiracy ideation in the comments – and indeed in the greyish of grey literature cited in the post. Science is self correcting – the rest leads to the tower of babel.

      • The whole point of this article is scientists behaving badly, and a failure of the journals, media and politicians to investigate a very important issue. The scientists involved had vested interests in this particular story line, including full blown conflicts of interest. In context of the climate debate, the attempts at declaring a consensus are interesting, at least to me.

      • We have opinions in the Lancet and Science – neither of which are evidence of scientific misbehaviour. I saw an allegation that Peter Daszak had an undeclared conflict of interest – but nothing more substantive.

        Trump as usual covered himself with ordure in this – along with the usual denizens.

      • I think what is disturbing about this incident is that the letters were expressing great certainty about some thing where there was no justifiable certainty. And now that the fake consensus has collapsed everyone seems to have been aware of that fact. Were they too cowardly to speak up or were they in the grip of Trump derangement syndrome? It’s a systemic failure of The SCIENCE establishment.

        What Trump has exposed is the corruption of our most powerful institutions. Trump won’t be around forever, but the consequences of the collapse of institutional authority will last longer. The media in particularly has suffered a total collapse of confidence.

        Crawford’s analysis is convincing to me. The reason the establishment and their institutions (including SCIENCE) are embracing the insanity of critical race theory (which really echos 19th Century progressive racism) is to try to recover their authority by covering themselves with the virtue of the victim. The pandemic exposed how primitive viral epidemiology is and also the need of the public health establishment to seem certain about the SCIENCE when they really knew almost nothing. Not since the 1850’s (and James Buchanan’s disastrous tenure) has confidence in governmental competence been lower.

      • Douglas, you have hit on another piece of the puzzle and it has to do with the growing popularity of the social totalitarianism of China coupled as it is with a dose of free markets. That’s a model many of our elites and indeed many Tech Titans embrace. Crawford also points this out and also another reason Trump caused deep derangement. He challenged this sometimes secret, sometimes open admiration for China’s social credit model.

        We have seen this movie before in the 1930’s. Both Fascists and Communists were growing in popularity. Elites embraced one or the other. The New York Times consciously covered up Stalins genocides and tyrrany. Charles Lindberg was a not so secret admirer of Nazi Germany. It took a global catastrophe to bring a return to common sense. Destroying the Soviet Union took another 40 years and another president named Reagan who also we quite unpopular with the Soviet friendly media.

      • Or it is overwhelmingly likely that the virus spilled over from an animal source, that
        anyone with expertise knew it and that you have an ideological axe to grind. The science is broken meme allows you to reject science you disagree with. Climate science is not broken it is just misunderstood.

        Shi breathed a sigh of relief when the results came back: none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves. “That really took a load off my mind,” she says. “I had not slept a wink for days.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chinas-bat-woman-hunted-down-viruses-from-sars-to-the-new-coronavirus1/

      • Robert: “The science is broken meme allows you to reject science you disagree with. Climate science is not broken it is just misunderstood.”

        Good scientists need to stand up to keep it from getting broken as well as science reporters. I think Wade recognized that he an others need to report facts and analysis rather than worry what people might conclude. He is to be commended.

        Here, the Sydney Morning Herald is explaining that the consensus is changing before our eyes, even among a NYT reporter who wrote early on that the lab theory was “crazy town.”

        https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/fringe-feasible-or-false-the-covid-19-wuhan-lab-leak-theory-gets-a-second-look-20210521-p57tts.html

    • Victor Ovid Adams

      Further down the thread you write: “The evidence thus far favors – according to leading edge experts – an animal spillover.” Really? “leading edge experts”?

      • From Robert Ellison’s link:
        “As far as WHO is concerned, all hypotheses remain on the table. This report is a very important beginning, but it is not the end. We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do,” said Dr Tedros.

        The “report” notes that the WHO investigators were ordered “to find the animal source,” rather than the origin of COVID. And, as you see above, they couldn’t find the animal source and they didn’t investigate the obvious potential source of the origin of the virus.
        Why? Over a year into a pandemic that shut down the globe, why not study the origin?

        From actual science:
        “A joint China-World Health Organization (WHO) study into the origins of Covid-19 has provided no credible answers about how the pandemic began, and more rigorous investigations are required, a group of international scientists and researchers have said.

        In an open letter, 24 scientists and researchers from Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan said the WHO study, published last week, was “tainted” by politics.”
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/researchers-call-new-inquiry-covid-origins-study-tainted-politics/

      • How about a little bit of math. The bats that carry the virus are located a thousand miles from Wuhan. If the origin was natural, Covid was most likely to emerge close to the caves. But let us allow that the transport was via wild animals and random people doing ordinary things, in which case the virus likely had a pretty equal probability of appearing in any settled part of China. Based on the amount of arable land in China, the odds of it appearing within a 9 mile radius of Wuhan and not somewhere else are about 2000 to 1 against. Just based on that, I would give a 99.95% probability that it came from the lab.

        The idea that blaming the lab is some kind of conspiracy theory that has no evidence is akin to blaming a small pox outbreak that occurs within blocks of a CDC smallpox lab in Atlanta on a Kentucky Fried Chicken two blocks away, and insisting that somehow the smallpox must have came from a chicken ranch. A CDC director might come out and say that, insisting that his lab couldn’t have had an accident, but nobody would believe him.

      • Re: origin
        I sat in on a discussion panel on CRISPR – including 2 scientists who were using CRISPR to try and correct sickle cell anemia. The mutation responsible for sickle cell is a single codon.
        It took them 3 years to get that right.
        COVID is using a novel infection path which – even in March 2020 – scientists were saying that nobody had ever seen.
        To me – the creation of a novel infection path bespeaks several likelihoods:
        1) If you are working on an actual bio-weapon, what’s the likelihood of people being careless? As opposed to general bat research.
        2) How difficult is it to discover a novel infection path?
        3) How difficult is it to test a novel infection path?
        4) How likely is it that a novel infection path is effective? Much less more effective than standard paths?
        To me – the answers to the above questions are cumulatively: extremely unlikely.
        It would require a brilliant but careless scientist or research group who was also extremely lucky: brilliant to find the path, careless to let it loose, lucky that it actually works so well.
        It also requires human test subjects. If you’re testing a human infection agent that is novel – how do you know whether it actually works at all? Works better than the standard path? You can only do this by testing on people. Monkeys do not have the same disease reactivity as humans.
        Note what I am saying above does not guarantee COVID is not man-made. What it does is look at major issues which a human created COVID would have had to overcome or create, and how likely.

      • What you say is that’s it’s extremely unlikely covid19 has been designed, but afaik gain of function is far from genetic design, it’s just a boosted evolution. You increase mutation rate, mix radiated viruses in the same host to promote recombination, and setup an environment that select the mutants more adapted to the new hosts. Which is basically a lab accelerated version of what could happen in the wild when a virus jump from an animal host to humans…

      • Forced evolution is one of several methods for GOF. Another is the insertion of restriction sites, which allow the RNA to be cut a particular point. This allows the insertion of new strands, simulating a natural (but rare) recombination event where the RNA mistakenly takes up a segment of a different virus’s RNA. Whistleblower Li-meng Yan claims there are restriction sites on either side of the spike’s RNA segment.

    • When Robert I Ellison speaks of what “contrarians” have espoused, he is deliberately discrediting and disparaging them. These are people whom I would designate by the honorable title “dissenters.” They would be happy to present their case and sources and give their opponents an equal opportunity to do likewise. Then both can be weighed and fairly judged but not when people want dissenters censored and silenced.

      • “critic” is the appropriate word here, IMO

      • By all means make your case.

      • I was replying to Michael. Neutron star matter forcing climate change, the rotisserie planetary warming theory, the irrigation forced warming, the CO2 saturation meme… This is not criticism – these are just a few of the crude and eccentric theories aired ad nauseum on CE that are vying to disprove fundamental physical realities.

        Human emitted greenhouse gases bias a chaotic system to a warmer state. There is implicit in chaos the risk of dramatic and rapid change in the Earth system – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. That much should be accepted as truth in line with Isaac Newton’s 4th rule of natural philosophy. There are of course those who don’t and never will.

      • Hint: The media are whitewashing the identity of the perpetrators. Its the same group that accounts for half of all serious crimes in the US. And its part of a general dramatic increase in crime since the BLM riots. That is caused by “reforms” like shrinking police departments, demotivating police from being proactive, and effectively decriminalizing broad categories of crime. The media lie on this is that its caused by Trump, which is manifestly not true.

        The other whitewash by the media is covering up the spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes.

        Our media are just garbage and their narratives have grown more uniform and they will misrepresent anything to promote these narratives.

    • Robert
      Contrarians have espoused crap science and conspiracy theories. Including the Chinese government origins of COVID.
      It’s linked to a new “Yellow Peril” anti-China narrative which swings dangerously close to racism.

      • Phil Salmon: It’s linked to a new “Yellow Peril” anti-China narrative which swings dangerously close to racism.

        Particular Chinese, the Chinese Communist Party, and Chinese institutions are not beyond criticism just because some critics may be racists. There is evidence here of serious sloppiness and dishonesty.

      • There is nothing likeable about the Chinese government but neither is beating up Chinese people in the streets.

      • While acknowledging that isn’t what you meant, I’d like to point out that the Chinese government quite literally does beat up Chinese people in the streets. I’d also like to suggest you do some research on the demographics of anti-Asian violence in the US, especially compared to the population.

      • Yes there are. Like the article that you linked, most don’t mention the demographics of the perpetrators of such attacks (which are available if you look for them). The demographics of the victims, while a defining element, are the least interesting part of research into anti-Asian violence in the US. This is consistent with the state of research for various other hate crimes.

      • I’m saying that there are the same problems in the narrative on the subject as are found in the other subjects being discussed, for some of the same reasons. There is no value in researching the victims, and apparently there is no will to research the perpetrators.

      • I’ve lost interest in trying to decipher what you mean.

      • Of course you have.

    • The problem is: who defines what is crap science?
      If anything is clear from the climate wars and now COVID origin – it is that scientists are people, and people have political affiliations.
      So once again – the problem is the process. The actual outcome should be irrelevant but this isn’t how it works in the real world.

    • Robert I Ellison: Contrarians have espoused crap science and conspiracy theories. Including the Chinese government origins of COVID. Or at least a cover up.

      There may be contrarians who have espoused crap science and conspiracy theories, but you have not named or quoted any. Nicholas Wade and others have summarized the evidence and highlighted questions that have so far not been answered. Judith Curry has provided a nice introduction.

      There was only a low probability that this virus could have originated naturally. There was only a low probability that this virus could have been created in a lab and then escaped. Yet it originated and spread. Of the unlikely routes to its origination, the accumulated evidence supports the lab origin more than the natural origin; dismissals of the lab origin were premature and superficial; support of the lab origin isn’t (for most readers so far) conclusive.

      Thanks to Judith Curry for this essay, and to Nicholas Wade and others for their thoughtful reviews of the evidence.

      And thanks to many scientists for their ongoing research.

    • How a lab release morphs from being a remote possibility to being mathematically probable. Without the need for any actual evidence at all.

      • Robert I Ellison: How a lab release morphs from being a remote possibility to being mathematically probable. Without the need for any actual evidence at all.

        Are you agreeing that there is no “actual evidence at all” that SARS CoV-2 exists (c.f. quotes from Kauffman)? Conditional on the emergence of SARS CoV-2, what are the relative likelihoods of the two (so far) origin stories — each with a low probability of occurrence?

        Surely you have learned about conditional probabilities?

      • Robert Ellison wrote: “I am not a virologist and I defer in this to authoritative scientific sources.” There are no authoritative scientific sources. Science does not listen to authority, science remains open to free inquiry and open discussion. Those who would anoint someone – anyone – as a scientific authority are attempting to suppress dissenting voices with one of the oldest logical fallacies – the argument from authority. And who chooses the correct authority? Those with the power, of course, and that is why the Chinese Communist Party cannot be trusted. Neither, by the way, can the CDC or Dr. Fauci and NIH and NIAID. It is just human nature for those with the power to attempt to protect and enhance their power by silencing or discrediting any dissent. Let free and open discussion continue.

      • Honestly Judith – your moderation is arbitrary nonsense and always has been.

        But this needs responding to. Seeking reputable and authoritative sources and comparing and contrasting is not the fallacy of an appeal to authority. No one can be on top of the language, math, methods and have the background depth to make sense of all sciences. It is obvious nonsense to believe otherwise.

      • I see this comment out of context, no idea what you are referring to. If I deleted one of your comments, it was presumably a relatively low content comment that insulted someone personally.

      • Robert I Ellison: Honestly Judith – your moderation is arbitrary nonsense and always has been.

        Judith’s moderation gets no quarrel from me. When my posts seem to have been lost in moderation, I usually see problems — I rewrite them and resubmit them.

      • What a load of arrogant old codswallop. I am trained to evaluate sources and to compare and contrast. I have been doing it for decades. But even now I know little more than a smattering of a few disciplines needed for my work. For most of science the language, maths, methods and deep background needed to make sense of it all are lacking. Relying on reputable and authoritative sources is not the fallacy of an appeal to authority. Relying on your authority would be.

        I suggest you leave well enough alone Matthew.

      • Andrew Kennett

        Robert — there has been plenty of evidence since May 2020 for instance https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.073262v1

      • SARS-CoV-2 is well adapted for humans? If it were not – there wouldn’t be a problem.

      • Surely you have learned about conditional probabilities?

        Robert I. Ellison | May 24, 2021 at 5:47 pm |
        No.

        In discussions of COVID-19, the most commonly mentioned conditional probabilities have been sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of diagnostic tests.

        Admittedly, RIE did not identify the proposition to which he responded “No”, but I don’t see another likely candidate.

      • Robert I Ellison: “What a load of arrogant old codswallop. I am trained to evaluate sources and to compare and contrast. I have been doing it for decades. But even now I know little more than a smattering of a few disciplines needed for my work. For most of science the language, maths, methods and deep background needed to make sense of it all are lacking. Relying on reputable and authoritative sources is not the fallacy of an appeal to authority. Relying on your authority would be.”

        I suggest you leave well enough alone Matthew.

        I added the quote marks. Whatever does that have to do with me?

      • Something about moderation. This time it isn’t . Arbitrary as I said. Sententious on your part.

      • Ah – no – I don’t think SARA-CoV-2 doesn’t exist.

    • Douglas B. Levene

      Mr. Eillison: Thank you for responding to my earlier comment. I’m a law professor, not a scientist, so I look at these matters a little differently. You say that there is no “direct evidence” that Covid-19 escaped from the Wuhan lab. I say that any direct evidence bearing on that question is under the control of the Chinese authorities, and they have refused to allow independent inspection of that evidence. If we were litigating this issue in a US court, the judge would instruct the jury that they could infer from that refusal that the virus did in fact escape from the Wuhan lab. I agree this is not the scientific method, but it is one legitimate way we establish facts in the public sphere.

      • I am not a virologist and I defer in this to authoritative scientific sources. This is building on the rock of science and not the sand of legal opinion.

    • Robert E – you and I must disagree.

      The incredible mismanagement of the false Covid-19 pandemic since January 2020 cannot be simply ascribed to gross incompetence by government and health authorities.

      I knew about the Dr Fauci involvement about one year ago – he originated the gain-of-function virus research and offshored it to Wuhan when it was declared illegal in the USA. But the lockdown scam is global-scale – much bigger than just Dr Fauci.

      A year ago I concluded that the Covid-19 virus originated from the Wuhan lab and not at the wet market. The only question then was “did the virus jump from the Wuhan lab, or was it pushed?”

      Based on all the dystopian events since then, the rational conclusion is that the virus did not escape, but was pushed out of the lab – deliberately released for political and financial gain.

      There was never any justification for the lockdown of under-65’s – all we needed to do was over-protect the very elderly and infirm. I published that conclusion with confidence on 21March2020 and that was correct.

      There was no increase in total deaths in Alberta or Canada up to 30June2020 – no increase in total deaths means no deadly pandemic. Repeating, the lockdowns etc were never justified – so who pulled the strings?

      The lockdowns have cost society ~100 times more harm than the Covid-19 illness – it was never a close call.

      A case is being prepared in Canada to pursue our government leaders for criminal negligence. Other western democracies should do the same.

      • Yeah – like I said – speculation and conspiracies.

      • My March2020 assessment has been proved correct by subsequent events. Sweden’s success with no lockdowns. No 2020 “death bump” in Alberta or Canada. Massive fraud in USA Covid-19 death stats. False vilification of effective treatments like Ivermectin, etc. Forced imposition of deadly, ineffective injections – that are NOT vaccines.
        Robert E – you write like a typical troll. You are on ignore.

      • You’re welcome I am sure.

  2. William Powers

    The moral of the story is the Faceless Cultural Elite have the power to control the narrative. Even if ultimately they are found out by that time the majority of the great unwashed have moved on and without the major news outlets (aka the Propaganda Ministry for the Faceless Cultural Elite) reporting loudly and resoundingly of the criminal nature of the transgression it dissipates into a willow wisp of yesterdays news that becomes drowned out by nonsense. For example who could fail to notice that the (once detested by the Primary Medial outlets for being the) spawn of Dick Cheney was recently voted off the Republican Leadership Committee. informal polls would discover that 7 in 10 were aware but only 1 in 10,000 could tell you what the committee existed t accomplish.

  3. Matt Crawford has another essay on the crisis of confidence in our institutions and how much of the recent insanity surrounding critical race theory is a desperate attempt by these institutions to regain their authority in the face of growing skepticism.

    https://unherd.com/2021/05/how-science-has-been-corrupted/

  4. This subject came up on the previous comment section and you can see there an example of how consensus enforcement is attempted.

  5. Rob Starkey

    It is interesting, if not amazing; to have witnessed how Judith’s positions regarding climate change have evolved since 2007.

    • Have no idea what that means.

    • Rob Starkey

      Judith once was much more supportive of the “climate consensus” and the IPCC than she is today. She defendeď the IPCC strongly back in the early days while some readers of the blog were more skeptical of the unproven models and seemingly unsubstantiated conclusions.

      Judith has had the experience of working closely with the key players in climate science over the last 15 years and is now far more skeptical that CO2 is leading humanity to a disaster. She now seems skeptical of much of the published “climate science” as being biased and unreliable.

      The fact that she, as a scientist in the middle of the issue has altered her perspective so much over that time means something to those of us who study from the periphery.

      • “The fact that she, as a scientist in the middle of the issue has altered her perspective so much over that time means something to those of us who study from the periphery.”

        When the known facts change, a competent (and honest) scientist modifies their opinion. What do you do?

      • > The fact that she, as a scientist in the middle of the issue has altered her perspective so much over that time means something to those of us who study from the periphery.

        What does it mean to you when people like Richard Muller or Jerry Taylor change their views?

    • I think Rob this is a normal progression. It’s happened with me too. As people get more senior, they gain enough experience to step back a little bit from the process of doing science to critically evaluate their own work and their own assumptions and culture narratives about science.

      Older successful scientists are often free from financial insecurity and job insecurity and so are more willing to speak out.

      The last 20 years have seen a flood of information about the growing corruption of science that can no longer be ignored easily.

      • Robert Starkey

        Dpy

        IMO, you are mistaken.

        Judith grew to disagree with consensus climate science around the time she started this blog. That seems to have occured while she was in her 50’s and in her prime earning years of academica. That entailed considerable personal and professional risk.

      • Robert, have you considered the possibility the reason for Dr. Curry’s progression was an ethical determination to remain true to her commitment to science and made determinations at difficult cross-roads not to go the path that these virologists signers felt politically required to travel?

      • Judith is an actual scientist and her understanding of climate science agrees with the dominant scientific paradigm. I asked her recently. But nor do I think these virologists acted unethically.

        In the public arena there is all sorts of nonsense from both fringe activist groupings.

    • Has Judith progressed from the uncertainty monster to the purely oppositional?

      • Circa 2007, i supported the consensus. Uncertain T. Monster was birthed in 2010

      • I don’t think she is purely oppositional. What is true is that there is a lot more serious problem in science now than 25 years ago.

      • Consensus was always an odd way of thinking about science. Although it may have become a thing with Cook et al (2013). Far better to think in terms of scientific paradigms. The dominant climate science paradigm being that human emitted greenhouse gases bias a chaotic system to a warmer state. And there is implicit in chaos the risk of dramatic and rapid change in the Earth system. It implies that the future is hard to predict.

        Here you cite a bevy of odd contrarians without any mention of the far more authoritative WHO report on the origins of the virus.

      • Can’t believe you’ve blatantly lifted that moniker.

      • Uh oh. Mr. Google says this was the first udagr he could find:

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/19/quote-of-the-week-2/

        My bad.

      • I can’t say that I remember exactly where that came from or whether someone else used it first. Doesn’t matter; I like it and use it.

    • Rob Starkey: It is interesting, if not amazing; to have witnessed how Judith’s positions regarding climate change have evolved since 2007.

      Exact quotes might clarify your meaning.

  6. Got to love Henry Bauer:

    ‘‘Everyone knows’’that promiscuous burning of fossil fuels is warming up global climates. Everyone does not know that competent experts dispute this and that official predictions are based on tentative data fed into computer models whose validity could be known only many decades hence (Crichton, 2003).

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/252797131_Science_in_the_21st_Century_Knowledge_Monopolies_and_Research_Cartels/link/57d8204108ae601b39af986f/download

    Note 34 reads:

    See, for instance, the Science & Environmental Project (http://www.sepp.org/),whose president is S. Fred Singer, a distinguished environmental scientist.

  7. Bruce - Plum Pudding [Mumbo Jumbo Jello] - Turtles All The Way Down

    Rob:

    What does it mean when you stated: “something to those of us who study from the periphery”…such an ambiguous statement appears to have no real substantive value… Likewise, “what does “so much over time” mean — what are your facts which can solidly referenced – back your statement up with sound and germane rationale and reasoning — not with a superfluous – nebulous answer.

    Bruce

  8. Clayton Oberg

    Could you elaborate Rob? Her positions may well have evolved but since I’ve started following her over the last couple years most appear reasonable to me.

  9. Clayton Oberg

    Apologies Rob. You had responded adequately to my query before I posted it.

  10. A big problem in this country isn’t that China lies about everything, it’s at so many in this country want to be lied to about everything. Amazingly, Leftists don’t even make good atheists.

    The fake news MSM ignores Leftist’s reverence for commie dictators, Mao, Castro, Chavez and use our hard-earned savings to jack-up inflation and invest in more hypocrisy, superstition and government flimflam like their global warming alarmist doomsday religion.

  11. I’ve been reading this blog for many years but I think I now have to offer my resignation because I no longer meet the requirements to make entries on this blog. Here is the check list of requirements:
    Do I think the 2nd amendment allows anyone to own a gun? No. check me off
    Do I think every single thing that governments do is bad? No. check me off.
    Do I think the observed runaway climate change evidence is a hoax? No. check me off.
    Do I think that because climate models are not very good, there is no need to worry about climate change? No. Check me off.
    Do I believe that CO2 has a major impact on climate? Yes. Check me off.
    Do I believe that masks, social distancing and some shut downs had no effect in preventing a worse crisis in the pandemic? No. Check me off.
    Do I think the many claims on Covis on this website regarding herd immunity, Sweden, government intervention, and the pandemic in general were bogus? Yes. Check me off.
    Do I think Mr. Trump was the worst American president, ever? Yes. Check me off.
    Do I think the Republican Party has degenerated into an amalgamation dominated by misfits and religious bigots? Yes. Check me off.
    Do many of the people who post on this blog seem unable to to reason logically, and mainly make up their minds in advance based on their persuasions, and then try to adapt the data to their preconceived notions? Yes. Check me off.
    Well, I got every question wrong on the check list, so I am not qualified to read this blog any further. I have not passed the entry exam.
    I leave it to Joshua and a few occasional stalwarts such as Tall Guy, to keep doing battle with those who do fit the check list.

    • This blog is a forum for people to discuss scientific and policy/political issues, mostly related to climate change. I don’t agree with the perspectives or comments of many (or even most) of the participants, but provided that they present arguments or evidence to support their statements, they are welcome to participate here.

      I also want this blog to be readable/interesting to the majority who don’t actually comment here, and this means no bickering, no insults, and no ad hominem attacks on other commenters.

      • Douglas B. Levene

        Thank you, Dr. Curry.

      • verytallguy

        Pretty much every single dpy comment has insults and ad hominems included.

        You leave those, and delete responses.

        That is, of course your prerogative as blog owner.

      • I don’t spend very much time moderating the blog (I am way too busy), so i don’t catch everything. If someone makes a substantive point, i tend to leave it up unless it associated with egregious insults or ad homs. I definitely delete responses that are destined to start food fights.

        Another issue is that for moderation, i don’t see the same stream that you see, i see the comments in reverse time order (most recent at top). Hence i miss the threading of the comments that is seen by you. So when i catch an insulting response i delete it, and it is not easy for me to reference the comment to which the response is made.

        Moderating a blog that isn’t simply an echo chamber is not simple or straightforward

      • Virtually all of VTG’s comments contain cherry picked out of context proof texting. Often they contain outright distortions of what others say. Given this context, I doubt his expressed concern with civility is genuine.

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        Thank you for confirming my post.

      • So then what I said is true. Thank You for confirming that.

      • I’ve had comments that didn’t pass muster too and usually in retrospect Judith was correct about them. Judith does an excellent job of moderation. It’s a very difficult task and it is unpaid in this case too.

        People who complain about blog moderation usually know deep down that they might have been out of line. It’s mostly anonymous commenters who are the most out of line.

    • Donald

      You have a very interesting cv so I sincerely hope you stick around and continue to contribute.

      You make three comments on climate in your comment above which seems at variance with your book ‘ the climate debate’

      ‘Most published books are one-sided in the climate debate between alarmists and skeptics. My book on the climate debate presents both sides of the debate with considerable technical detail and weighs the supporting evidence. It is found that in general, the data in climatology are very sparse and noisy. Yet climatologists seem willing to draw a dollar’s worth of conclusions from a penny’s worth of data. The sad truth is that we don’t really have good answers to the questions raised in the climate debate. My book shows why this is so. This new edition includes hundreds of references not included in the original version, and the book is expanded by more than 100 pages.’

      So you sound sceptical in the book but much less so in your comment above.

      what gives?

      Tonyb

    • dougbadgero

      You have created a caricature to represent people who disagree with you.

    • Victor Ovid Adams

      Mr. Rapp,
      Out of 10 boxes, three concern CC. Just because SOME bloggers here are expressing differing views on these three topics should be no reason for you to quit, especially with your impressive resume. Personally I agree with your points and I salute you for using “I think” rather than “I believe”. I also agree with your two topics on Covid 19. The two political statements on how terrible Mr. T and the R’s are, simply don’t belong here, I haven’t seen any glorification of the two here and rightly so.

    • Yes Donald, that’s quite a list of biases. It amounts to a stereotypical characterization. There is no check list for this blog.

    • Donald, I am sad to read your comment after enjoying your guest posts regarding ice ages and other items through the years. I hope your strong feelings that have been set on this topic will not keep you from having an open mind on SARS2 origin. I think you and others would be very surprised at what has been coming up as far as circumstantial as well as genomic evidence pointing to lab origin.

      • Also, if one is thinking that this topic is not of concern to climate scientists and others working in similar dynamics is missing an important point. The top virologists were all banded together to kill the notion of lab origin before they had a shred of evidence of natural origin, and we now know this was orchestrated by the grant holder for gain of function research in the WIV to make a SARS2-like virus. This was a earth-shaking fr@ud and it’s still battling to surface after a year.

    • waynelusvardi

      Mr. Rapp
      A rap on your comment is that it is like asking the unanswerable question in court: when was the last time you beat your wife? It is illogical, let alone unscientific, to make pre-conclusions. Ergo: everyone on this website believes that anyone should be permitted to own a gun. But this is a non sequitur that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Same with all the other twisted statements. But is your list racist? Oh no, that would be conclusionary.

    • Beta Blocker

      Donald Rapp: “Do I think Mr. Trump was the worst American president, ever? Yes. Check me off.”

      The history of the COVID-19 pandemic is now being rewritten to eliminate Donald Trump’s central role in speeding up delivery of the SARS vaccines through his efforts at speeding up the government’s regulatory review process.

      The true story of what actually happened is being progressively replaced with the narrative that Donald Trump did little or nothing to fight the pandemic; that he played little or no role in speeding up delivery of the vaccines; and that real progress in fighting the pandemic was made only after Joe Biden was inaugurated as president.

      Mr. Rapp, I’m curious. Do you agree or disagree with the almost universal opinion now held among those who voted for Joe Biden that his ascension to the White House was the true turning point in our battle with COVID-19?

      • Biden was only able to speed up because Trump orderd as early as possible. the vaccines.
        Without these orders, Biden would have empty hands

      • jungletrunks

        Dr. Fauci, early during the pandemic, stated that the earliest a vaccine could be developed would be 12-18 months in ideal circumstances. Others quoted the Johns Hopkins typical timeline for vaccine development, 5 to 10 years. Many underestimated Trump’s resolve; Operation Warp Speed facilitated the development of a vaccine in the 9 month range that Trump originally described as doable when everyone else in the MSM said it was impossible. Of course the MSM went into its typical hysterics, calling Trump a liar among the kinder comments. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/31/us/coronavirus-vaccine-timetable-concerns-experts-invs/index.html

        For those Fauci acolytes; it should be noted that Dr. Fauci himself hasn’t ruled out that COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan lab.

    • Donald Rapp: Do I think the many claims on Covis on this website regarding herd immunity, Sweden, government intervention, and the pandemic in general were bogus? Yes.

      My regular reading of this blog suggest to me that you have a lot of company here. Stick around.

      • “Donald Rapp: Do I think the many claims on Covis on this website regarding herd immunity, Sweden, government intervention, and the pandemic in general were bogus? Yes.”

        Sigh. “Settled science,” again. No reason to look for the source of Covid, no reason to seriously examine what did and didn’t work, and certainly no reason to ever take a look at the cost/benefit of any action. It’s not like 3.5 million people died globally or there are any governments that might have an interest in learning any lessons for the next pandemic.
        The trouble here isn’t just politicization, it’s the fact that our global politics have become so hyper-partisan that neither side can admit when it’s wrong and the other guy is right.
        This inability to apply thought to your own side is how you get Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump.
        The reason you have articles like this one we’re commenting on is because science is supposed to be the one place that is always asking “why?” Why did Sweden fare better than France and Belgium, why did Florida and Texas fare better than New York and Michigan? But no.. in our hyper-political world team blue hates Sweden and Florida ergo they simply must have done everything – literally everything – incorrectly. Otherwise.. gasp! … someone on MSNBC might have to admit they were wrong and, FFS, Fox News will brag about it that very night. Can’t have that, so the issue is settled. Sweden, Texas, all wrong. France, Belgium, New York- perfection personified. China? Could not possibly have made any mistakes, anywhere, at any time, because racism and Trump, period, end of discussion. Tha new science(y).

    • verytallguy

      This blog has the commenters it deserves.

      Actually, it’s pretty much an iron law of blogs.

      To be more specific, if you publish obviously nonsensical analysis of “herd immunity” mid pandemic, you’ll attract cranks. There are many other examples.

      • Rob Starkey

        The site seems to allow articles whether Judith agrees with the premise or not. It is up to the author to defend what they wrote.

        Judith’s deletion of comments seems inconsistent.

        Joshua was frequently correct in his criticism of Nic’s conclusions.

      • You don’t know which comments I delete. I don’t allow piling on, or insults to guest posters, or irrelevant topics on a guest post. What I delete has nothing to do with what I personally agree with.

      • I think this is called playing the ref. Something might be technically correct but meaningless and irrelevant. Best take on Joshua’s mostly tangential criticisms of Nic is this:

        jeffnsails850 | April 22, 2021 at 10:22 am |
        To recap for any lurkers: Nic attempted to figure out when herd immunity would happen, using Sweden. His forecasts for reaching herd immunity were wrong- just like every other scientists forecasts for anything COVID related. This was probably due mostly to the discovery that “immunity” is time limited (the reason people are telling you that annual booster vaccine shots will be necessary) as well as controlled by viral load (and amount of antibodies- some who caught the virus are less immune than others). Because Nic’s examination of a real and interesting topic – herd immunity – produced an inaccurate but interesting thought experiment, Joshua et al declared all work by Nic to be utterly useless and politically motivated (just like all the thousands of inaccurate forecasts by climate scientists- ha, just kidding, their errors are pure!).

        Joe – the non epidemiologist | April 23, 2021 at 5:40 pm | Reply
        Josh – big picture – not minutia
        1) Still havent learned about the hope-Simpson curve
        2) India total cases is less than 1,200 per 100k vs a range of 8k to 10k for other industrialized countries which is substantially less than most all other industrialized countries
        Try not to get lost in the detail with your obsession trying to prove Nic wrong.

      • Joshua, You didn’t respond to what I said but instead pivoted to shift focus to me. That’s not a way to have a dialogue. I’ll just post one more comment of yours where you admit you are acting in bad faith and out of childish spite. It’s really a miracle that more of your repetitious and off topic comments are not deleted.

        Joshua | April 23, 2021 at 2:38 pm |
        > I assume they are important to you, but I just don’t see how they answer the big picture.
        Not really. In the end, the fact that as an individual he makes statements that are obviously totally wrong is completely meaningless w/r/t the big picture. I just like tweaking David Young, because he’s so easily tweakable, and because it serves as a good example for how some “skeptics” get so far ahead of their skis when integrating uncertainty into their reasoning.

        And your imagined “errors” are usually not errors at all as this comment shows.

        atandb | April 22, 2021 at 12:44 pm | Reply
        I have for a long time contended myself with reading rather than commenting. However, your use of statistics in the preceding comment is so egregious that I decided to comment. First of all you quote two numbers of an entire bicameral plot to prove your point, which is cherry picking in the extreme. A look at the entire plot without using any other information would lead to the conclusion that, at present that the death rate is a low for the graph.

      • David Young –

        I assume that when you say tbings that are obviously wrong, it’s not because of some malign intent on your part – but perhaps because, for example, you’ve gotten out over your skis when accounting for uncertainties.

        The example with deaths in Sweden, where you said they declined throughout March when that clearly isn’t the case, is a perfect example of that.

        Your constant assertion that I’m responsible for your decisions about what you do with your time is another problem entirely, as is your contradictory behaviors when you say you’re going to stop reading and responding to my comments (how many times have you done that, David Young?) only to continue to do both.

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        oh dear, another sideswipe.

        Let’s note, as usual, you’re simply factually wrong.

        I did not say Nic was a crank as you falsely write. I said his analysis was nonsensical. Something obvious at the time and readily verified by the fact that cases promptly doubled after his declaration of herd immunity.

        What I wrote about cranks was that publishing such nonsense attracts them.

        Again, many thanks for reinforcing my point. Many more examples under the comments on Nic’s.

      • And Nic’s analysis was not nonsensical. In summertime it did appear the the pandemic was strongly receding. Of course winter came … What I’ve noticed is that you make these quite untrue pronouncements with an air of certainty that belies the fact that you are utterly unqualified to make them. You just disagree with Nic’s sensible positions on mitigation methods and you allow your political biases to dictate your “scientific” opinions.

      • verytallguy

        It takes a heroic, nay, delusional feat of mind bending to describe Swedish deaths as in “strong decline” through March.

        A period which, lest we forget, we *entered* in “herd immunity”, *and* vaccinated large numbers of people, *and* still saw deaths *increase* afterwards!

        My “intellectual betters” can explain this, I’m sure.

        https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2021-03-02..latest&pickerSort=asc&pickerMetric=location&Metric=Confirmed+deaths&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Align+outbreaks=false&country=~SWE

      • “…It takes a heroic, nay, delusional feat of mind bending to describe Swedish deaths as in “strong decline” through March…”

        According to the Swedish government, total (all-causes) deaths have been declining steadily from January through April 2021.
        https://ibb.co/SB3LJft

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        verytallguy | May 24, 2021 at 5:28 pm |
        It takes a heroic, nay, delusional feat of mind bending to describe Swedish deaths as in “strong decline” through March.

        I dunno about that – 1+ deaths per 100k in Dec/January down to .20 to .15 per 100k is close to 80%-85% decline.

        Maybe thats not considered a strong decline is some parts of the blogosphere

      • “My “intellectual betters” can explain this, I’m sure.”

        Sweden ranks 33rd in deaths. Well below the following tightly locked down EU states that also experienced recurring waves (that the narrative claims couldn’t have been possible because they were locked down and masked, unlike Sweden.)

        Belgium
        France
        Poland
        Spain
        Portugal
        Italy
        UK

        The discovery that immunity is short lived and not always complete happened months ago. The zeal to pretend, for political reasons, that Sweden was uniquely damaged by Covid suppresses the actual questions- which policies were most effective, how do you identify and address immunity limitations, what would we do differently next time?
        Intellectual “betters” worth listening to care about those questions. The ones who apply their intellect to dodging those questions are fascinating. God save us from the intellectually “fascinating.”
        For those who still just don’t get it- nobody is saying Sweden did everything right or that Nic Stokes accurately predicted herd immunity there. We’re addressing the mythologies that a. there’s no such thing as herd immunity and only a crank would try to predict it and b. the avoidance of absolute governmental lockdown was horrific because Norway, and no other examples need be examined.
        Clever people would be able to actually think about this-
        The issue with lockdowns isn’t virology, it’s sociology. New York fared worse than Florida while locked down permanently because you can’t, actually, make people sit indoors alone for over a year. You can’t even make the governor of Michigan or California do it even while they’re signing the orders to force the rest of their state to lock down. The mayor of Austin TX recorded a video telling people not to travel internationally or in groups while traveling internationally with a group. How much credence did he really give the “intellectual betters” he was citing in the video?
        They couldn’t even get the British scientist who demanded absolute lockdowns to follow them. The Neil Ferguson scandal wasn’t just silly politics- if our top “intellectual better” in the field of virology could easily and happily ignore his own commands, what chance did we ever really have to get the average 25-year-olds to sit at home for 18 months with a face cloth?

        But… Norway!

    • Don: It is a bad thing that the world is self-sorting into two major echo chambers. Since I agree with much of what you wrote and don’t want another echo chamber, I regret your departure. As scientists, we have a professional obligation to resist our natural tendency to self-sort and listen to all the evidence. Over the past year, listening to climate change skeptics here making dubious remarks about the non-climate issues you raise has decreased my confidence in the climate skeptic position (though not in our host).

    • Donald, several of your points are quite valid. Others are straw men. To take just one, the unfortunate Donald Trump, there’s this:

      One of the 18 scientists who recently published a letter acknowledging the plausibility of the coronavirus lab-leak theory said she and her colleges didn’t speak out sooner because President Trump promoted that possibility for the origin of the pandemic.
      “At the time, it was scarier to be associated with Trump and to become a tool for racists, so people didn’t want to publicly call for an investigation into lab origins,”said Alina Chan in an interview with NBC News.

      Chan said there had been trepidation among some scientists about publicly discussing the lab leak hypothesis for fear that their words could be misconstrued or used to support racist rhetoric about how the coronavirus emerged. Trump fueled accusations that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research lab in the city where the first Covid-19 cases were reported, was connected to the outbreak, and on numerous occasions he called the pathogen the “Wuhan virus” or “kung flu.”
      HOW TO INTERPRET THIS?
      1. “Scientists” who modify their opinions based on political currents are unworthy of the name.
      2. Trump really does have the fecal touch, and should be kept from associating with anything you value.
      3. What is important is the message, not the messenger.
      4. Fear of loss of credibility because of the ignorance of the public is shameful.
      5. All of the above…

  12. Since the start I’ve been saying that RNA labelled “SARS-CoV-2” is a mere new entry on a database built using software and other lab techniques. That’s why no “isolation” is possible. And this even the authors of all papers confirmed as well as the CDC and other countries state agencies. In short OPERATION COVIDIUS is not a lab accident. It’s just a well planned operation to start the transformation of the global civilization. Chinese officials were present in the last meeting to fine tune the deployment of the operation back in October 2019 and it appears that success was achieved. They were even able to made-up an experimental jab and test/kill thousands and thousands of people worldwide. All this while still making huge profits. What’s not to like?!

    • dougbadgero

      Sorry sir, but this strikes me as many bridges too far. This virus will likely just become another circulating human CoV. Resulting in what we commonly refer to as a cold after the adaptive immune system has been trained by an initial exposure.

    • Curious George

      I can’t connect your premises to your conclusions. Would a paper documentation instead of a database change an “isolation”, whatever it means?

      • Dr. Andrew Kaufman refutes “isolation” of SARS-Cov-2; he does step-by-step analysis of a typical claim of isolation; there is no proof that the virus exists.

        by Jon Rappoport

        April 21, 2021

        The global medical community has been asserting that “a pandemic is being caused by a virus, SARS-Cov-2.”

        But what if the virus doesn’t exist?

        People have been asking me for a step-by-step analysis of a mainstream claim of virus-isolation. Well, here it is.

        “Isolation” should mean the virus has been separated out from all surrounding material, so researchers can say, “Look, we have it. Therefore, it exists.”

        I took a typical passage from a published study, a “methods” section, in which researchers describe how they “isolated the virus.” I sent it to Dr. Andrew Kaufman [1], and he provided his analysis in detail.

        I found several studies that used very similar language in explaining how “SARS-CoV-2 was isolated.” For example, “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 from Patient with Coronavirus Disease, United States, (Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 26, No. 6 — June 2020)” [3].

        First, I want to provide a bit of background that will help the reader understand what is going on in the study.

        The researchers are creating a soup in the lab. This soup contains a number of compounds. The researchers assume, without evidence, that “the virus” is in this soup. At no time do they separate the purported virus from the surrounding material in the soup. Isolation of the virus is not occurring.

        They set about showing that the monkey (and/or human cells) they put in the soup are dying. THAT’S THEIR KEY “EVIDENCE.” This cell-death, they claim, is being caused by “the virus.” However, as you’ll see, Dr. Kaufman dismantles this claim.

        There is no reason to infer that SARS-CoV-2 is in the soup at all, or that it is killing cells.

        Finally, the researchers assert, with no proof or rational explanation, that they were able to discover the genetic sequence of “the virus” they never isolated. “We didn’t find it, we don’t know anything about it, but we sequenced it.”

        Here are the study’s statements claiming isolation, alternated with Dr. Kaufman’s analysis:

        STUDY: “We used Vero CCL-81 cells for isolation and initial passage [in the soup in the lab]…”

        KAUFMAN: “Vero cells are foreign cells from the kidneys of monkeys and a source of contamination. Virus particles should be purified directly from clinical samples in order to prove the virus actually exists. Isolation means separation from everything else. So how can you separate/isolate a virus when you add it to something else?”

        STUDY: “…We cultured Vero E6, Vero CCL-81, HUH 7.0, 293T, A549, and EFKB3 cells in Dulbecco minimal essential medium (DMEM) supplemented with heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum (5% or 10%)…”

        KAUFMAN: “Why use minimal essential media, which provides incomplete nutrition [to the cells]? Fetal bovine serum is a source of foreign genetic material and extracellular vesicles, which are indistinguishable from viruses.”

        STUDY: “…We used both NP and OP swab specimens for virus isolation. For isolation, limiting dilution, and passage 1 of the virus, we pipetted 50 μL of serum-free DMEM into columns 2–12 of a 96-well tissue culture plate, then pipetted 100 μL of clinical specimens into column 1 and serially diluted 2-fold across the plate…”

        KAUFMAN: “Once again, misuse of the word isolation.”

        STUDY: “…We then trypsinized and resuspended Vero cells in DMEM containing 10% fetal bovine serum, 2× penicillin/streptomycin, 2× antibiotics/antimycotics, and 2× amphotericin B at a concentration of 2.5 × 105 cells/mL…”

        KAUFMAN: “Trypsin is a pancreatic enzyme that digests proteins. Wouldn’t that cause damage to the cells and particles in the culture which have proteins on their surfaces, including the so called spike protein?”

        KAUFMAN: “Why are antibiotics added? Sterile technique is used for the culture. Bacteria may be easily filtered out of the clinical sample by commercially available filters (GIBCO) [4]. Finally, bacteria may be easily seen under the microscope and would be readily identified if they were contaminating the sample. The specific antibiotics used, streptomycin and amphotericin (aka ‘ampho-terrible’), are toxic to the kidneys and we are using kidney cells in this experiment! Also note they are used at ‘2X’ concentration, which appears to be twice the normal amount. These will certainly cause damage to the Vero cells.”

        STUDY: “…We added [not isolated] 100 μL of cell suspension directly to the clinical specimen dilutions and mixed gently by pipetting. We then grew the inoculated cultures in a humidified 37°C incubator in an atmosphere of 5% CO2 and observed for cytopathic effects (CPEs) daily. We used standard plaque assays for SARS-CoV-2, which were based on SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) protocols…”

        STUDY: “When CPEs were observed, we scraped cell monolayers with the back of a pipette tip…”

        KAUFMAN: “There was no negative control experiment described. Control experiments are required for a valid interpretation of the results. Without that, how can we know if it was the toxic soup of antibiotics, minimal nutrition, and dying tissue from a sick person which caused the cellular damage or a phantom virus? A proper control would consist of the same exact experiment except that the clinical specimen should come from a person with illness unrelated to covid, such as cancer, since that would not contain a virus.”

        STUDY: “…We used 50 μL of viral lysate for total nucleic acid extraction for confirmatory testing and sequencing We also used 50 μL of virus lysate to inoculate a well of a 90% confluent 24-well plate.”

        KAUFMAN: “How do you confirm something that was never previously shown to exist? What did you compare the genetic sequences to? How do you know the origin of the genetic material since it came from a cell culture containing material from humans and all their microflora, fetal cows, and monkeys?”

        —end of study quotes and Kaufman analysis—

        My comments: Dr. Kaufman does several things here. He shows that isolation, in any meaningful sense of the word, is not occurring.

        Dr. Kaufman also shows that the researchers want to use damage to the cells and cell-death as proof that “the virus” is in the soup they are creating. In other words, the researchers are assuming that if the cells are dying, it must be the virus that is doing the killing. But Dr. Kaufman shows there are obvious other reasons for cell damage and death that have nothing to do with a virus. Therefore, no proof exists that “the virus” is in the soup or exists at all.

        And finally, Dr. Kaufman explains that the claim of genetic sequencing of “the virus” is absurd, because there is no proof that the virus is present. How do you sequence something when you haven’t shown it exists?

        Readers who are unfamiliar with my work (over 300 articles on the subject of the “pandemic” during the past year [5]) will ask: Then why are people dying? What about the huge number of cases and deaths? I have answered these and other questions in great detail. The subject of this article is: have researchers proved SARS-CoV-2 exists?

        The answer is no.

      • ptor: The subject of this article is: have researchers proved SARS-CoV-2 exists?

        The answer is no.

        Intriguing. What is the “sequence” that has been published the “sequence” of? Are all positive test results false positives? (How) Do the vaccines work?

      • @mathieurmarler
        I’m just an engineer able to analyze systems and your questions have already been answered by Dr Andrew Kaufman, Dr Tom Cowan, Dr. Stephan Lanka and the likes…but basically this all brings back to the forefront the very important discussion about “settled” or “crony” science which is rightfully and consistently brought to attention by Judith. We see the unquestionable paradigm theories of Darwinism https://dissentfromdarwin.org/ and “Big Bang” https://hiup.org/astrophysics-gets-turned-head-black-holes-come-first/ are now falling apart. As far I’m concerned, this is very much the case with molecular biology as the rift between ‘germ’ theory and ‘terrain’ theory stemming from its origins between Pasteur and Bechamp https://www.biologicalmedicineinstitute.com/antoine-bechamp still exists today. In my awareness so far there is no clear distinction between exosomes and ‘viruses’.
        Furthermore the aspect of electro-molecular biology is generally ignored in the mainstream and little understood despite all of biology having been created/evolved in the earth’s natural emf and Schumann resonance … protein synthesis occurs only because of electron transfer, something that is provably very sensitive. I highly recommend reading the Invisible Rainbow by Arthur Firstenberg. Besides the plethora of obvious detrimental biological effects of emfs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5521226/ …when one considers how far from the status quo scientists like Piotr Garyaev https://wavegenetics.org/en/ and William Brown of the Resonance Foundation https://www.resonancescience.org/william-brown entertaining the third possiblity in this debate, that ‘THE virus’ (which actually means one of the words for poison in Latin) doesn’t actually ‘exist’, and that deep withing the techocratic infrastructure they understand the electromagnetic underpinnings of biology, it makes quite alot of sense…making the two other options of natural or laboratory origins good red-herrings to not go down the road of discussing ‘cleaning the fish tank’. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(18)30221-3/fulltext
        There is too much correlation between the environmental ‘terrain’ factors (metals, emf’s etc.) in all the corona hotspots http://www.tomeulamo.com/fitxers/264_CORONA-5G-d.pdf and yet again in India (the discourse of which is highly censored by gainsaying factcheckers sponsored by tech itself) Why was this paper really ‘retracted’ ?

        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32746604/

        So…
        i) if “the virus” is a bioweapon, it is a really bad one…that’s needed the assistance of the debilitating protocols of technocratic scientism/fascism (bad computer modelling, masks , lockdowns, toxic hand gels, psychological warfare, improper medical treatments and suppression of effective medicines) who are also destroying the microbiome (the bacterias needed to sustain life) with antibiotics and toxic agriculture in an already sugar and gmo soaked population…to create even the tiny chance of dying.

        ii) if ‘the virus’ is natural…the very same technocratic collution of big-ag/pharm/big-ag scientism has thus eroded natural immunity with it’s arrogance is blackmailing and cleverly marketing their solution of ‘vaccines’ (and the covid jab is not a vaccine by definition, it’s an injection with a molecular device(gene therapy))… a direct anathema to natural immunity and thus are completely unnecessary. So regarding the effectiveness of the ‘injections’…I would ask what is the real purpose, where is the independent analysis of it’s content and is Luc Montagner a redherring too?…

        https://planetes360.fr/pr-luc-montagnier-les-variants-viennent-des-vaccinations/

      • ptor: your questions have already been answered by Dr Andrew Kaufman, Dr Tom Cowan, Dr. Stephan Lanka and the likes…

        Could you quote us the answers or provide links to the articles that have the answers?

  13. Justin Burch

    And then there is those totally safe vaccines that everyone should take. Do you part for society and get the jab. More arms better for the good of us all.

  14. Kenneth Schum

    Thank you. I enjoyed the opening paragraphs and skimmed the rest, so far, and will return to this. The conspiracist in me of course wants to scream and shout that a Czech media outlet published an interview which predates the specifics of the Wuhan hypothesis, with a Kazak researcher mentioning work on a bat-born virus at the former Soviet bioweapons lab in Altimy, a lab which after the disintegration of the Soviet Union was supported with US DOD funding. The Czech outlets which I had been reading daily became almost impossible to access, and hits on this report became impossible to find immediately after a NATO / Atlantic Council response which called this story Russian propaganda intended to undermine Western morale and Covid response , a theory which I immediately questioned because of Czech-Russian animosity.

    • dougbadgero

      There were thoughtful articles that posited the lab origin of this virus nearly a year ago. It`s pretty easy to quickly discern whether an article is worth reading on this subject. If they regard people who disagree with them as conspiracy theorists or if the entirety of their argument is that China is evil, then they are typically not worth reading. Months ago when I discovered that the bat reservoir that was the host of the most closely related CoV was not native to Wuhan, that caught my attention.

    • Curious George

      Kenneth – are you sure you spelled “Altimy” correctly?

  15. It is not just the cartel, but also the bystanders not intervening. The craziest thing about climate science is the fact that GHGs do not even warm planet Earth. It is something no one ever realized, especially not those denying the GHE altogether. It is not about denial, but about taking on the science and being precise. If you do not tolerate simplified assumptions and go after the details, it is perfectly enough to annihilate the GHG induced GHE.

    Since no one else seems capable of doing it, I made it my mission. A decent part is already up, but big things are yet to come. Enjoy..

    https://www.greenhousedefect.com/

  16. Rob Starkey

    Don
    I don’t think you have to resign when you were never hired.

    I realized you received your Ph.d long long ago, so I’ll let you know that today, people can post on blogs without permission.

  17. In his farewell address in January 1961, President Eisenhower did not only speak about the “military-industrial complex” that became a kind of stereotype.
    He also said : “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” (Farewell address of President Eisenhower, January 17, 1961)
    How far-sighted was he!

  18. Thank you for the piece Dr. Judith.

    There’s also the possibility that Covid-19 was used as a preemptive biological weapon. As mentioned by Sir Winston Churchill, it’s inevitable that Chinese communism will rub against western democracy. It’s unfortunately a very real possibility:

    ….
    More athletes have revealed that they fell ill during the Military World Games in October when the Chinese city of Wuhan hosted the event months before the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Taking place in October, the allegations came two months before the first identification of COVID-19 by China.

    Close to 10,000 competitors competed at the Games from over 100 countries during the nine-day event.
    ….
    https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1094347/world-military-games-illness-covid-19

  19. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  20. Wayne Lusvardi

    There didn’t even need to be a real virus for the world-wide pandemonium to have occurred.

    Dr. Claus Kohnlein, MD, in his book Virus Mania and in an interview (link below) explained that researchers at Wuhan University wrote a paper on the proper protocol for treatment of the C-19 virus that was published in the prestigious journal Lancet at the onset of the spread of the virus. The Lancet is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation. Dr. Kohnlein demonstrates how this accepted standard of care for C-19, that doctors must use to avoid liability, is malpractice and criminal and resulted in avoidable deaths.

    So, it could be said that the C-19 standard of care was weaponized or at minimum negligence. If so, there didn’t even need to be a virus that spread, just social contagion, fear and panic. This was exacerbated by lockdowns, social isolation and lack of sunlight, vitamin D and zinc for the immune system.

    Moreover, influenza deaths curiously dropped to negligible or minimal concurrently with the C-19 pandemic. Health officials said this was because people were at home and not spreading the virus. But one of the aspects of C-19 is that neither a virus or flue would likely infect other healthier members of a family. Moreover, how could a mask screen out influenza but not virus when both can be spread through the human eye or nasal passages. I

    Interview link here

  21. waynelusvardi

    There did not even need to be a virus for pandemonium to happen. Dr. Claus Kohnlein, MD, in his book Virus Mania, and in an interview at https://Vimeo.com/404203138 , explains how Wuhan University researchers wrote a paper on proper protocol for treatment of the C-19 virus that was published in The Lancet at outset of virus spread. Lancet is funded by Bill Gates. Dr. Kohnlein demonstrates how this accepted standard of care for C-19 is malpractice and criminal. So, it could be said that the standard was weaponized it at minimum incompetence or negligence. If so, there did not need to be a virus to spread, only social contagion, fear and panic coupled with lockdowns and social isolation.

  22. Covid first came to our attention because of cases in Wuhan in December 2019. But there is at least one well-attested case in France, also Dec 2019, in someone with no relevant travel history.

    • Although the patient had no travel history his infected wife, whom had a milder case, was a worker at a supermarket next to Charles DE Galle Airport. She said international travelers frequented her store.

      • Ron: Thanks for the reply. I’ve commented extensively about some of your evidence elsewhere in this post. Until this evidence is debated publicly, it is premature for me (at least) to reach any conclusions. My objective writing above was to express the opinion that Wuhan was the site of the first super-spreader event, but did not need to be the site where Patient Zero was infected. If you want to believe the virus escaped from a Chinese lab, there are probably at least a dozen major Chinese cities where research is being done on coronaviruses.

        As best I can tell, WIV identified RaGT13 by sequencing amplicons, but never claimed to have isolated intact virus from bat feces. If I were performing gain of function studies by introducing a furin cleavage site into a SARS1-related coronavirus, I probably wouldn’t choose RaGT13, whose existence wasn’t important enough to disclose for seven years after samples were collected.

      • Frank, thanks for your thoughts. The more the better. I am wanting to think it was not a lab leak or a bioweapon. Like you, I am hoping it was a natural disaster that we almost stopped but just missed.

        But even if that proves to be the case nobody can deny now that it just as well could have been a lab leak, whether engineered to test vaccines to get a technological edge, or to engineer a bioweapon to gain an economic edge — or both (the civil-military fusion directive). That being the case, policy considerations should follow this reality.

        “…I probably wouldn’t choose RaGT13…”

        RaTG13, in fact, was exactly what Fauci, Baric and the international virologist community were looking for, a SARS-like virus that caused a documented incident of SARS-like illness and death in humans. There is no way to explain Shi’s lack of disclosure of this other than the PLA told her not to. That she didn’t ever get a whole virus sample is to believe her when even the most naïve person can see she was being deceptive for years, particularly when the world was counting on her honesty.

    • For what it’s worth my better half and I were flat on our backs in bed between Xmas and New Year 2019 with the classic Covid-19 symptoms.

      Neither of us had been anywhere near Wuhan, but lots of other people had been a few months earlier. See Alan’s “World Military Games” story.

    • Nick, Ron, Jim: Most discussions of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 ignore our inability to track the spread of the virus around the world:

      Nick brings up the two cases in France (with transmission from one person to another in France).

      In Washington state, the first case was identified on 1/19/20 in Everett (a Seattle suburb) in a man who had recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan. Despite doctors being on the alert and knowing exactly what to look for, a closely related strain next popped up on 2/19/20 in a nursing home 30 miles away.

      The story was similar in CA. COVID was first identified in travelers from Wuhan beginning on 1/26/20, but the first American to die of COVID (on 2/6/20) wasn’t diagnosed until April and was never connected with any early case or traveler from China. FWIW, my sister and her husband in Central California were very ill in January of 2020; one lost their sense of smell and the other needed inhaled steroids.

      Furthermore, more than half of people with COVID don’t pass the disease on to anyone. Super-spreading events are essential to the high transmission of COVID, but that means many lines die out.

      Bat-infested Southern China is the place where a novel bat coronavirus was most likely to cross over to man (possibly via another mammalian species). Based on our failure to track SARS-CoV-2 AFTER it was discovered and doctors were on the alert, there is every reason to believe that COVID COULD HAVE BEEN CARRIED FROM SOUTHERN CHINA IN AN INFECTED PERSON WITHOUT HAVING BEEN DETECTED. (It obviously also could have been carried in a live animal, but the virus hasn’t been found in the live animals trade as SARS-CoV-1 was.)

      Consequently, I think that WUHAN WAS THE SITE OF THE FIRST SUPER-SPREADING EVENT(S), but not necessarily the site where Patient Zero was first infected. With at least 50 identified cases in December and allegedly several hundred possible cases, that super-spreading event could have occurred in late November. All of the branches of the evolutionary tree that died out without causing a super-spreading event can’t be detected by genetic analysis.

      • Hi Frank,

        I agree that if the virus was natural your scenario is the most likely right now. However, that is a vanishingly small chance if you read all the evidence in this post. There is a ton of circumstantial evidence pointing to the WIV and now forensic evidence is flowing out as the flood gates have been opened by Baric’s signature on the May letter of Nature.

      • Afternoon Frank,

        It seems my previous reply is stuck in Judith’s moderation queue for some reason.

        Hopefully it will reappear in due course.

  23. I have been scanning for articles on SARS2 origin since the outbreak. The first news we all heard. It came from the Wuhan wet market. But that faded as the Wuhan health department dismissed this due to finding no animals in the market that were infected. And, significantly, no Horse Shoe bats. Then they found more and more earlier cases that had no connection to the market.

    The next lead was the pangolin cov papers. Chinese virologists found that its spike RNA coding was a 97% match to SARS2’s spike. Remember that the precursor bat virus collected in 2013 by Dr. Zhengli Shi, RatG13, was only 96% similar and the spike was far lower than that. But non-China virologists rejected the pangolin cov because the non-spike RNA was less of a match than RatG13. In other words pangolin cov had to be a more distant ancestor than the bat cov so it couldn’t be the father to SARS2.

    The big leap in evidence came in September from Dr. Li-meng Yan. She published a non-peer reviewed article claiming genomic evidence proved SARS2 was from a lab. She went further and claimed that RatG13’s RNA code was fudged by Dr. Shi to cover up that the Chinese military released it intentionally as an “unrestricted bioweapon.” I felt she went too far then.

    People should read her papers and digest her evidence themselves but my opinion is that she make a strong case for lab origin the at least. Her strongest point is that a segment of the RNA in SARS2 called the E-protein is 100% genetically identical to bat covs collected by the Chinese military in 2017 called ZC45 and ZXC21. In her second paper she points out that this is no longer the case since the E-protein has evolved through mutation. But that proves there was nothing so critical about the RNA that it shouldn’t have ever been 100% identical unless the first SARS2 virus samples were very recently connected to the ZC45 and ZXC21. RatG13 also had the identical E-protein but Yan’s paper makes a good case as to why RatG13 was a hasty fabrication.

    Yan paper 1 https://zenodo.org/record/4073131

    Yan paper 2 https://zenodo.org/record/4073131/files/The%202nd%20Yan%20Report.pdf

  24. The Lancet op-ed commits a fundamental error of logic when it speaks in its opening sentence of: “.. conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.” The theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan laboratory would only be a conspiracy theory if it was claimed that the escape was deliberately engineered – something that no-one has ever suggested. The editorial is therefore tainted from the outset.

    The Lancet is simply indulging in the weaponised use of the term “conspiracy theory,” a process begun by Lewandowsky in his 2013 paper in which he falsely claimed to have demonstrated that climate sceptics are more likely to believe in absurd theories about faked moon landings, etc. (Lewandowsky and his co-author John Cook have since moved on to investigating conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19, while playing down their long-debunked research on climate scepticism.)

    This weaponised use of research into belief in conspiracy theories to attack and belittle political opponents is now prevalent in social science. A recent major research project at Cambridge University was altered in mid-course in order to identify supporters of Trump and Brexit as conspiracy theorists. The European Union is supporting a number of studies which do the same for supporters of “populist” (i.e. critical of the European Union) political parties. Any mention of “conspiracy theory” in the social sciences should therefore be treated with suspicion.

  25. “However, the fact that these op-eds successfully defined a ‘consensus’ for a year has more to do with Trump derangement syndrome and the desire not to appear Sinophobic. ”
    Perhaps, but to think all kinds of viruses naturally springing out of China, also appears, Sinophobic.
    Or if virus are naturally occurring so often in China, is good reason wall off China, until “this nature” can be controlled.

  26. Pingback: YOUR DAILY BETRAYAL - Monday 24th May 2021 - On the start of the Great Unravelling - Independence Daily

  27. Joel O'Bryan

    “They” got Trump out of re-election to office via all the media onslaughts of half-truths and outright lies, which was their only concern in 2020. They now have the bully pulpit via Puppet Joe to continue the gas-lighting of the American public and most of the Western world.

  28. Given the millions of places that a new virus could emerge, what are the odds that it ‘spontaneously’ emerged in the shadow of one of the very few labs in the world that work on virus manipulation, and which has a track record of poor safety performance? On that basis alone, the Wuhan lab is the first suspect and should have been the focus of efforts to understand the origin from day one. The fact that the Chinese government and several connected officials in the West diverted our attention from the lab simply adds to the skepticism around their story. Anyone who believed the bat/pangolin route was simply being lazy.
    And why is it OK to call the variants “S African” “Indian” “British” etc while calling the Wuhan virus Covid? Manipulating language is a propaganda tool, used all to frequently today.

    • jungletrunks

      “What are the odds that it ‘spontaneously’ emerged in the shadow of one of the very few labs in the world that work on virus manipulation”

      Exactly: 1) Wuhan lab works on gain of function for viruses 2) The Chinese government is a corrupt government 3) China covered up key facts in the early stages of the outbreak, which included censoring media coverage. 4) WHO is in the back pocket of China (China essentially put Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in charge of the WHO). 5) WHO’s director-general praised China’s “transparency.” 6) In the initial days of the outbreak, the WHO repeated the false claim from the Chinese government that there is “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” associated with COVID-19. 7) As the number of cases and the death toll soared, the WHO took months to declare the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.

      We have people here who implicitly defend China; and directly hold WHO in high regard, as unreproachable. Why?

  29. Reblogged this on ClimateTheTruth.com and commented:
    “What is concerning about this episode is not so much that a consensus has been overturned, but that a fake consensus was so easily enforced for year. This occurred during a key period when understanding the origins of the virus had implications for how it could best be fought. Scientists who understood that there was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the origins of the virus did not speak up. Probity came from knowledgeable individuals that were outside of the field of virology.”

  30. Is our approach to science really that much different from medieval science, apart from the superb tricks and tools we have acquired since that time?

  31. Pingback: Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins – Watts Up With That?

  32. Bruce - Questions Remains About The Wuhan Virus Spread From An Epidemic To A Pandemic

    China’s Officials now have shown us their true nature by pushing fervently back on the Coronavirus Pandemic outbreak.

    CHINA HAS SHOWN IT CANNOT BE TRUSTED WORLD LEADER:
    (CHINA DOES NOT RESPECT THE BASIC INDIVIDUAL DIGNITY AND RIGHTS OF ITS OWN PEOPLE, LET ALONE THE DIGNITY & RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE AROUND OF THE WORLD)

    Over the last thirty years, the Chinese Officials have shown us our many great National Security weaknesses and frailties. We not only failed to heed the many warnings that lay at our doorstep, but we continued to allow the Chinese Officials and government leaders to unduly take advantage of our goodwill and good graces. We now see how wrong we had been in trusting the Chinese Officials and Wuhan Laboratory Directors to do proper and fitting communicable disease surveillance and response, enhance training for public health professionals, and establish timely local and international critical emergency COVID-19 disaster rapid response collaboration.

    CHINA HAS SHOWN IT CANNOT BE A GOOD CUSTODIAN OF THE WORLD
    — CHINA HUMAN DEPRAVITY TOLL: IMMEASURABLE —
    The self-interested Chinese ‘survival of the fittest’ leaders have now put the world on the road to perdition [economic chaos/destruction, ill-health/death and stifling starvation/poverty]. The PRC Officials keep choosing to try to disgustingly connive their way out of being grossly negligent. These single-minded draconian monolithic dystopian CCP leaders, even today,  do not have any feelings of compunction into the greater COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak which had gone awry [completely got out-of-hand]— tossing aside their key world leader role of being responsible and accountable to the world body.  Even at this writing, the Chinese Military international propaganda misinformation machine is in full bloom* countering [at every turn]** the stark realities of the Chinese wilful wrongdoings by not containing the Coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubie Province.*** Many important unanswered questions still remain.

    ***https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/us-intel-officials-believe-45500-corpses-were-incinerated-one-fortnight-wuhan

    • David L. Hagen

      Virologists Say Genetic “Fingerprints” Prove COVID-19 Man-Made, ‘No Credible Natural Ancestor’, TYLER DURDEN ZeroHedge
      “British professor Angus Dalgleish – best known for creating the world’s first ‘HIV vaccine’, and Norwegian virologist Dr. Birger Sørensen – chair of pharmaceutical company, Immunor, who has published 31 peer-reviewed papers and holds several patents, wrote that while analyzing virus samples last year, the pair discovered “unique fingerprints” in the form of “six inserts” created through gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. They also conclude that “SARS-Coronavirus-2 has “no credible natural ancestor” and that it is “beyond reasonable doubt” that the virus was created via “laboratory manipulation.””
      https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/virologists-claim-fingerprints-manipulation-prove-covid-19-man-made-no-credible-natural

      • Thanks for this very very good article. Here is a pdf of the paper described by the article. I blasts Kristian Anderson’s work and I am anxious to see if he has a reply. The authors outline 6 sites that are unusual for a naturally evolved virus to acquire that make it particularly well adapted to attack humans.

    • David L. Hagen

      1The Evidence which Suggests that This Is No Naturally Evolved Virus A Reconstructed Historical Aetiology of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike
      Birger Sørensen, Angus Dalgleish& Andres Susrud
      Immunor & St Georges University of London
      Abstract: “To discover exactly how to attack SARS-CoV-2 safely and efficiently, our vaccine candidate Biovacc-19 was designed by first carefully analysing the biochemistry of the Spike. We ascertained that it is highly unusual in several respects, unlike any other CoV in its clade. The SARS-CoV-2 general mode of action is as a co-receptor dependent phagocyte. But data shows that simultaneously it is capable of binding to ACE2 receptors in its receptor binding domain. In short, SARS-CoV-2 is possessed of dual action capability. In this paper we argue that the likelihood of this being the result of natural processes is very small. The spike has six inserts which are unique fingerprints with five salient features indicative of purposive manipulation. We then add to the bio-chemistry a diachronic dimension by analysing a sequence of four linked published research projects which, we suggest, show by deduction how, where, when and by whom the SARS-CoV-2 Spike acquired its special characteristics. This reconstructed historical aetiology meets the criteria of means, timing, agent and place to produce sufficient confidence to reverse the burden of proof. Henceforth, those who would maintain that the Covid-19 pandemic arose from zoonotic transfer need to explain precisely why this more parsimonious account is wrong before asserting that their evidence is persuasive, most especially when, as we also show, there are puzzling errors in their use of evidence”
      https://thevirus.wtf/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/TheEvidenceNoNaturalEvol.pdf

      • David L. Hagen

        See a working link to pdf in Ron Graf’s post above (same as I gave.)

  33. Just to make sure I understand…

    The Lancet and Nature and many virologists have been colluding together to hide the truth from the public about the genisis of a deadly disease, where the resulting ignorance about the true genisis might well lead to increased morbidity and mortality going forward.

    And the truth should be obvious to any virologist, yet none have any sense of ethics, and thus none have come forward to blow the whistle – or if they have, they have been squelched media that has no one who isn’t deluded because Trump.

    So basically, a vast conspiracy.

    But don’t call it a conspiracy theory, ’cause some snowflakes might get their feelings hurt and that wouldn’t be politically correct.

    Look, conspiracies happen. If you believe in a conspiracy theory, feeakin’ own it. Don’t okay the victim card.

    The problem with conspiracy theories is usually the plausibility issue. How plausible is it that X number of people could be directly or indirectly (but knowingly) involved in perpetrating or tacitly supporting a fraud, at the potential expense of significant suffering and death? The biggie the X, usually the less plausible is your conspiracy theory.

    Since you’re the easiest person for you to fool, ask yourself if the alignment of your conspiracy theory with your ideology or advocacy (say, oh I don’t know, your advocacy against the consensus view among climate scientists about the risks from ACO2 emissions…)

    Avoid motive-impugning, and employ some cognitive empathy to see if maybe you can find alternative explanations for what other people do rather than malign intent or indifference to suffering.

    And then if you still think there’s a conspiracy afoot, freakin’ own it – and take on the plausibility issue.

    Avoid playing the victim card.

    • The problem is what happened to the people who said a lab leak was plausible. They were Trump lovers. This happening was not science. We heard over and over, because Science!! It was a PR approach. A political one. It happens all the time. It would be nice if the people not doing science but calling people Trump lovers whould own up to what they did. But because it’s not science, I doubt they will.

  34. So the truth should be obvious to any virologist, yet none have any sense of ethics, and thus none have come forward to blow the whistle – or if they have, they have been squelched media that has no one who isn’t deluded because Trump.

    So basically, a vast conspiracy.

    But don’t call it a conspiracy theory, ’cause some snowflakes might get their feelings hurt and that wouldn’t be politically correct.

    Look, conspiracies happen. If you believe in a conspiracy theory, feeakin’ own it. Don’t okay the victim card.

    The problem with conspiracy theories is usually the plausibility issue. How plausible is it that X number of people could be directly or indirectly (but knowingly) involved in perpetrating or tacitly supporting a fraud, at the potential expense of significant suffering and death? The biggie the X, usually the less plausible is your conspiracy theory.

    Since you’re the easiest person for you to fool, ask yourself if the alignment of your conspiracy theory with your ideology or advocacy (say, oh I don’t know, your advocacy against the consensus view among climate scientists about the risks from ACO2 emissions…)

    Avoid motive-impugning, and employ some cognitive empathy to see if maybe you can find alternative explanations for what other people do rather than malign intent or indifference to suffering.

    And then if you still think there’s a conspiracy afoot, freakin’ own it – and take on the plausibility issue

    • Why?

      We have a theory of collusion (direct or indirect but knowingly) among the Lancet and Nature and many virologists to hide the truth a out a deadly disease.

      And people promoting that conspiracy theory whine about people saying they’re promoting a conspiracy theory.

      Conspiracies happen. If you believe a conspiracy’s afoot, own it. Don be such a victim.

    • Joe - the non epidemiologist

      Joshua comment – “And then if you still think there’s a conspiracy afoot, freakin’ own it – and take on the plausibility issue”

      The only conspiracy was the speed in which the possibility that covid originated in the Wuhan lab was labeled a conspiracy. It was labeled a conspiracy long before there was any where near enough sufficient information to assess the validity of possibility of originating from the Wuhan lab.

      to this day, there remains insufficient information to ascertain the validity of the origin or to rule out many possible origins. (at least publicly available information)

      • Responding to Joshua June 17 at 11:17 p.m. “Look, here’s a chance for you to break the pattern. I’ll post a quote of Horowitz responding on the question of evidence of political bias or improper motivation in his findings.

        See if you can respond without insulting me. As an experiment.

        “Your report states you didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation played a role,” Feinstein said.

        “That’s correct,” Horowitz responded.”

        Horowitz used lawyerly language to evade the obvious conclusion. His report said there was no “direct” evidence of bias — meaning something like an email stating we are out to get Trump. Said nothing about circumstantial evidence which is admissible in court and often times of very high quality (like DNA evidence) He said many stupid things were done but he had no explanation why. (duh — bias) The way he worded his report was simply a bone given to Dems to take the heat off of himself for his other damning conclusions.

        Also, he was stating that there was no direct evidence of bias in initial opening of investigation, however, when questioned more closely about continuing investigation, he stated: “We found no evidence that the initiation of the investigation was motivated by political bias. It gets murkier — the question gets more challenging, senator — when you get to the FISA,”

    • Geoff Chambers above addressed this very well. The term conspiracy theory has become a weapon to discredit and avoid considering ideas on their merits.

      ‘The Lancet op-ed commits a fundamental error of logic when it speaks in its opening sentence of: “.. conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.” The theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan laboratory would only be a conspiracy theory if it was claimed that the escape was deliberately engineered – something that no-one has ever suggested. The editorial is therefore tainted from the outset.

      The Lancet is simply indulging in the weaponised use of the term “conspiracy theory,” a process begun by Lewandowsky in his 2013 paper in which he falsely claimed to have demonstrated that climate sceptics are more likely to believe in absurd theories about faked moon landings, etc. (Lewandowsky and his co-author John Cook have since moved on to investigating conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19, while playing down their long-debunked research on climate scepticism.)

      This weaponised use of research into belief in conspiracy theories to attack and belittle political opponents is now prevalent in social science. A recent major research project at Cambridge University was altered in mid-course in order to identify supporters of Trump and Brexit as conspiracy theorists. The European Union is supporting a number of studies which do the same for supporters of “populist” (i.e. critical of the European Union) political parties. Any mention of “conspiracy theory” in the social sciences should therefore be treated with suspicion.”

      • dpy6629: When our nation’s leader advanced dozens (if not hundreds) of conspiracy theories for his political advantage, his allegations that the virus leaked from WIV were rightfully dismissed. When you highly publicize a hypothesis without any substantial evidence, you make the path more difficult for responsible investigators who follow. Don’t blame the left or the liberal press for responding normally to Trump’s irresponsible claims. In response to the libel lawsuit filed against her, Sidney Powell has asserted that no reasonable person should have believed the conspiracy theories she repeated about Dominion Voting machines. The same thing should applies to all hypotheses advanced without evidence.

        When this lab theory re-appeared, President Biden’s first public response was to ask for a report. There is a good chance I won’t like what Biden chooses to do with the information he receives, but at least I know some evidence will back what he says.

      • With respect Frank, you have no way to know what information Trump had access to at the time. There were whistle blowers almost from the beginning in China many of whom were disappeared. Even if it was a guess based on past behavior, the media response was pure propaganda and a lie. The scientists who wrote the Lancet letter were lying. Of course intelligence agencies were looking into this from the beginning.

        Your hatred of Trump I fear has distorted your view of reality and seems to make you unable to evaluate evidence or fairly represent anything about the last 5 years.

        At the same time the press was trotting out the “conspiracy theory” tripe, they themselves had engaged in the largest and most consequential real conspiracy in American history to try to remove a duely elected president. That was the Russian collusion theory, which was purely disinformation bought and paid for by Clinton’s campaign. This was basically an attempted soft coup such as we are used to seeing in Banana Republics. The media and the deep state are culpable and I think worse than the Russians at spreading disinformation. This is why Trump was elected in the first place. Our elites are corrupt and shameful liars.

      • Although I agree with David’s assessment that the Russia collusion operation was the most consequential abuse of power by an outgoing administration in American history, I don’t think most who participated in government and media were witting, but they were negligent. They hated Trump so much it clouded their judgment to see BS. This is the same with Trump’s handling of Covid and China. If Trump had been briefed about the WIV going silent for two weeks in October and three employees being hospitalized with SARS-like symptoms in November and he did nothing but praise China and the WHO, and then we had the scientific consensus shift we are seeing now, what would be the MSM analysis of Trump?

        a) He did the right thing in keeping quiet to preserve the China relationship and keep them from losing face.

        b) Trump ignored his own intelligence agencies and allowed China to get off the hook for the worst pandemic of the century.

        As you see the TDS game is heads I win tales you lose.

      • David Young –

        > … they themselves had engaged in the largest and most consequential real conspiracy in American history

        You shouldn’t speak of our ex-president in that way…

        > The article was also promoted by the president. Disgraceful. We laugh about institutions such as Cornell and the University of California being complicit in junk science, but when it’s the U.S. government . . . this is Stalinesque. I guess that from their perspective, we’re in a war, and so this is all legitimate disinformation tactics. But that’s what the Stalinists said too, basically: everything is us vs. them and so any tactics are acceptable.

        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2021/05/30/your-tax-dollars-at-work-junk-social-science-edition/#comments

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        … they themselves had engaged in the largest and most consequential real conspiracy in American history

        “You shouldn’t speak of our ex-president in that way…”

        Because Obama and the Obama adminstration was involved, some of whom were quite active in the conspiracy, we should speak of an ex-president that way? Why not

      • Obama and members of his administration were part of the effort to make suckers out of a large majority of Republicans, by convincing them the election was stolen from Trump?

        I didn’t realize that.

      • With respect David, your love or my hated for Trump has certainly distorted at least one of our views about Trump. Sadly, it has weakened the faith I’ve placed in your opinions about CFD in AOGCMs.

        You are correct: didn’t know what information Trump had access to when he first claimed the pandemic began in a Chinese laboratory. Experience has taught me that Trump says whatever he wants, whether he has any evidence to support his claims. His administration began with the false claim that his inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s, though he had been lying and distorting for decades. His administration ended with lies that: the election had been stolen, Dominion Voting machines were rigged, and VP Harris can choose which state’s Electoral Votes should be presented to Congress for approval, just like VP Pence could in 2020. By the time the pandemic began, most of those with integrity were gone and the administration was filled with yes men whose loyalty was to Trump, not to evidence or the truth.

        The evidence I saw in early 2020 was completely consistent with the hypothesis that both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 crossed over to man from bats in bat-infested Southern China, probably via an intermediary host. Experience has shown that the latter traveled around the world (and even to France in December 2019!) without being detected by doctors who were alert and knew what they were looking for. The fact that the first super-spreader events occurred in Wuhan didn’t mean Patient Zero was infected there. The attempts to silence doctors warning peers of the danger, their delay in admitting that human-to-human transmission was occurring and their destroying evidence at the live animal market appeared to be business as usual for the Chinese Communist Party (and similar to the way the Trump administration behaved – no bipartisan investigation of Jan 6).

        You failed to cite anyone who accused the authors of the Lancet editorial of lying, deception, or even conflict of interest last spring. Those responsible for intelligence in the Bio-warfare community weren’t asked to provide a statement in support of Trump’s accusations. A grossly-out-of-context sentence about safety from the State Department’s report on their visit to WIV was leaked.

        I think that the increasing number of conspiracy theories and outright cults we are experiencing are a result of the echo chambers too many of us live in. The problem is particularly acute for Trump supporters, because Trump can destroy the career of any conservative news host, network or internet news site if they challenge his credibility on any subject. Remember Megan Kelly, top rated anchor on Fox News in 2016? Trump’s threats to take his audience from Fox to OAN? With an average of 35 tweets a day from Trump in the second half of 2020 and a right wing echo chamber of media and social media, did you ever find time to be exposed to addition facts and perspectives? (FWIW, I can’t stand the WaPo and NYT and have always though those liberal elite journalist’s biases and spin would get Trump re-elected even if there were more facts in their articles. For the most part, I research thing I want to know about (like the origin of COVID) and don’t trust news articles to be free of spin.) I think there is a cult of Bernie (1960’s Scandinavia socialism was a failure), BLM (the police have serious problems, but aren’t systematically killing Blacks), the 1619 Project and other attacks on American exceptionalism (we are exceptional, but imperfect) and pride (what volunteer army is going to defend a nation without pride?).

      • Frank, You should look at some of the links in this post and in the comments. For me this is not about Trump. For you it obviously is about Trump and you have carefully laid out the minute details of your obsession. Trump is the coroner and not the murderer of civility. Trump rose because of the growing separation between the elites in our society and working class people and the collapse of credibility of our institutions. Is Trump more dishonest than most politicians? I don’t know the answer.

        Matt Crawford has several very perceptive pieces over the last months about the crisis we are facing in the West. I believe almost all our institutions are in crisis especially the media who have become frankly partisan and regularly lie about the most consequential issues such as policing and race. Academia has been captured by a racist Marxist theory that is dangerous and can’t exist in a diversity of ideas environment. Science is also in a dangerous situation and is in danger of being captured by this ideology. The pandemic brought this crisis out in the open for everyone to see.

        With regard to the Lancet letter, please read the comments by Ron Graf and others. Given the evidence at the time, I think its clear the authors lied. In my opinion, no honest person could have arrived with such absolute certainty at their conclusion.

      • Ron and David: Here is the key passage from the Lancet Letter:

        “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 as have so many other emerging pathogens.11, 12 This is further supported by a letter from the presidents of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine13 and by the scientific communities they represent. Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus. We support the call from the Director-General of WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture.14 We want you, the science and health professionals of China, to know that we stand with you in your fight against this virus.”

        With 20/20 hindsight, this passage is ambiguous and misleading, but not necessarily a lie. If SAR2 originated by genetically engineering a furin cleavage site into a bat coronavirus, then SARS2 still “originated in wildlife” – a bat. References 2-10 (I haven’t read all of them) apparently suggests that recombination and mutation of existing genetic sequences in known coronaviruses could have produced SARS2. What the article doesn’t say is that references X and Y PROVE that SARS2 couldn’t be produced by genetic engineering a known beta-coronavirus. Nor does the letter specify what kind of conspiracy theories have been ruled out. (I couldn’t locate the NAS article (Ref 13).

        Trump could have promoted the claims of an expert asserting that several research groups doing “gain-of-function” studies have genetically engineered furin cleavage sites into viruses to see if that allows cross-over to new species. If so, it was possible that such studies were being done at WIV and that a genetically engineered virus escaped. Then a critical Lancet article would have been forced address a credible hypothesis that couldn’t be vaguely dismissed as a conspiracy theory. The WHO investigation could have demanded an answer to the question: “Was WIV genetically engineering furin cleaved sites into beta-coronaviruses? If so, what coronavirus backbone was used? Unfortunately, Trump does not care about the opinions of experts or whether it was plausible that WIV was doing such gain-of-function studies. He simply wanted to look tough by trying to embarrass China, whether they deserved it or not.

        The problem with both the natural evolution and genetic engineering hypotheses is that the closest coronavirus to SARS2, RaTG13, is only 96% homologous to SARS2, and something like 50 years of evolution apart. There isn’t a “coronavirus backbone” for genetic manipulation or a collection of other beta-coronaviruses similar enough to make a path to SARS2 appear obvious.

        My fundamental problem is that Trump makes ludicrous accusations and somehow gets his supporters to believe them, no matter how absurd. For example:

        1) If an FBI conspiracy began the Crossfire Hurricane investigation to prevent Trump from being elected, why didn’t they leak the existence of the investigation and the Dossier BEFORE THE ELECTION? Simple conclusion: No leak; no conspiracy. There was an investigation because: a) The Russians hacked the DNC. b) Manfort consulted for the pro-Russian Ukainian Party of Regions for a decade, his business partner (Kilimnik) was known to be connected to Russian intelligence, and Deripasha was suing him for $20M. c) Flynn and Page were being cultivated by Russia, Page associated with known Russian intelligence officers in the US, who were overheard planning to compromise Page. d) The Mifsud dangle of Clinton email to Papadopoulos – which even Barr eventually admitted wasn’t a Western operation. e) Roger Stone contacted the Internet persona Guccifer 2 (a Russian intelligence officer) and received advanced copies of WikiLeaks October releases. Since the FBI doesn’t discuss investigations until they are ready to indict or give up, for more than two years, Trump was able to convince his naive supporters that the “Russia collusion investigation” was nothing more than the unconfirmable raw intelligence or possibly DNC-inspired and-funded fantasies produced by Steele. The collusion section of the Mueller Report doesn’t even mention Steele’s unconfirmable allegations. It dealt with REAL AMERICANS who posed a REAL POTENTIAL THREAT to national security. It wasn’t until 2020 that we learned that the FBI had interviewed Danchenko, that all of Steele’s alleged sub-sources were real people, and that Danchenko and several of these sub-sources confirmed the basic outline of the allegations in the Dossier. Even the Dossier wasn’t a hoax!

        2) At a videoed talk, Biden bragged to the Council of Foreign Relations that he had demanded the firing of Chief Ukrainian Prosecutor Shokin within 24 hours or $1B of US aid would be withheld. If Shokin were attempting to prosecute Hunter, why Biden have been publicly bragging about what he had done? Biden may be not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he isn’t that stupid! Everyone in the room knew that the US wanted Shokin fired because he had failed to attempt to prosecute the corrupt oligarch Zlochevsky, who had built Burisma into the biggest private Ukrainian oil and gas company worth $10B from almost nothing in a decade – partly while he was the government Minister under Yanukowych in charge of oil and gas leases! Corruption was the main reason for the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, and the new Ukrainian government desperately needed to convict some of the corrupt officials who had served under Yanukowych to gain credibility with the people. Fearing imprisonment, Zlochevsky spent 5 years mostly hiding out in Cyprus and meanwhile paid top dollar to put some influential Westerners on his BoD: The former President of Poland, the former head of the CIA Counter-Terrorism and Hunter Biden; and hired a lobbyist in Washington who had been chief of staff for SoS Kerry. (Kerry’s son-in-law turned down a board seat. He was already wealthy from the Heinz fortune, while Hunter’s Dad was not.) The issue was always Zlochevsky’s illegal billions, not Hunter’s sleezy, but legal, millions. I’m perpetually insulted by such repeated ignorance.

      • Frank, I don’t know where you are getting your information about Crossfire Hurricane or the Hunter Biden story but you repeat above a long list of disproven misinformation.

        1. There was never any evidence that Carter Paige posed any kind of security risk. He was around that time actually a CIA confidential informant. The smear of him was always a lie with ZERO supporting evidence. A defensive briefing of Paige would have been the only legal response from the FBI.
        2. Similarly with Flynn there was ZERO evidence. In fact Flynn had a good track record and his call with the Russian ambassador was entirely appropriate yet it became a set up for a perjury trap. Flynn’s only mistake was saying that our intelligence establishment needed serious reform and daring to work with Trump. I’m sure you and all the Trump haters determined long ago that orange man bad and worse all those who enabled him.
        3. Crosfire Hurricane was almost totally predicated on the Steele Dossier which Steele himself admitted in testimony in a UK court was unverified and perhaps totally wrong. It was an “insurance policy” in case Trump won to drive him from office. (Strokz said this to Lisa Page in a text message). You ignore the fact that there were many many leaks from those involved before the election.
        4. Roger Stone found out about the WikiLeaks dump when everyone else did. There were numerous fake news reports lying about this and the date on an email. Later totally disproven, but the lies were not retracted. That’s the pattern in this sad tale of political disinformation, lies are told. After they are disproven, perhaps a sentence is added saying additional information has come to light when a retraction is called for.
        5. Even lefties such as Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi have published on the sham Crossfire Hurricane and how its a terrible deep state and intelligence community abuse of power.

        In short, you are being mislead by the mass disinformation campaign by the media and the deep state to spread lies and distortions. And you could only fail to see this unless your personal hatred for Donald Trump is very deep. I’m not going to go into the Hunter Biden pay for play criminal conspiracy but you are also misrepresenting that one.

        For most of us out here this is not about Trump. It’s about a corrupt elite and a corrupt Intelligence deep state that needs deep reform or perhaps mass firings. If you think Biden will do any of that, you are sadly misinformed. Trump is not the murderer but the coroner. Western elites are broken and going insane.

      • With regard to the Steele dossier there is now an in depth book showing it to be disinformation. Thus, Crossfire Hurricane had no legitimate predication.

        https://jasonfoster.substack.com/p/new-book-private-spies-infected-journalism

      • dpy6629 wrote: “I don’t know where you are getting your information about Crossfire Hurricane or the Hunter Biden story but you repeat above a long list of disproven misinformation.”

        I get my information about the Crossfire Hurricane from reading the DoJ IG’s reports, the Mueller Report, and the Republican-controlled Senate investigation. The DoJ IG was no friend of the FBI, unnecessarily releasing the irresponsible texts of Strzok and Page. Your ignorance of the facts established by these investigations is bad and your over-confidence in your knowledge is appalling, When I tell someone they are wrong, I usually double-check my facts.

        You can find a timeline of the CH investigation compiled by Senate investigators here:

        https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CFH%20Timeline%20w%20Updates%2020201203%20%28FINAL%29.pdf

        The DoJ IG found that all aspects of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation were properly predicated and that every top official in the FBI expressed the opinion that the investigation was essential (even when offered the opportunity to comment anonymously).

        dpy6629 writes: “There was never any evidence that Carter Paige posed any kind of security risk. He was around that time actually a CIA confidential informant. The smear of him was always a lie with ZERO supporting evidence. A defensive briefing of Paige would have been the only legal response from the FBI.”

        Upon hearing that Page had informed Russian officials about his role in the FBI’s indictment of three Russian spies (who had been overheard planning his recruitment), the FBI opened a counter-intelligence investigation into Carter Page on APRIL 6, 2016. That investigation later was incorporated into Crossfire Hurricane. Page was never a “source” for the CIA (someone who is given instructions and tries to find out information the CIA needs and the CIA generally can’t carry out any operation inside the US); he was an “operational contact” (someone the CIA occasionally contacts for information or expertise, probably about the Russian oil and gas industry). Page was last contacted by the CIA in 2011. Clinesmith would later break the law by altering a document used in the FISA application that described Page as a “source” when the CIA had told Clinesmith Page was only an “operational contact”. Page knowingly had many contacts with Russian intelligence operatives working under diplomatic cover in the US and probably in Russia. In other words, he was an “operational contact” for both the CIA and the Russians. Deciding which sources and contacts can be trusted is the most challenging part of the intelligence business. For example, who did Danchenko work for?

        There had already been one earlier counter-intelligence investigation of Page and a FISA warrant. Page is the sole employee of private investment fund trying to invest in oil and gas projects in Russia and has bragged that he had offers of Russian funding to set up a pro-Russian think-tank in the US. Unlike most Americans, Page doesn’t view Russia as a dangerous adversary after Crimea. There is no proof that Page was knowingly or unknowingly working as an agent of the Russian government, but investigations are opened upon the basis of reasonable SUSPICION. Such investigations are normally kept secret by the FBI so that the subject’s reputation isn’t damaged if suspicions prove wrong, but Steele’s dubious allegations have led to highly publicized claims that Page has been persecuted. After intense scrutiny, the first two FISA surveillance warrants for Page were found valid, but the last two were withdrawn. The DoJ IG found that the FBI’s supporting documentation for the Page FISA contained numerous mistakes and omissions, and so did 10 other FISA applications he surveyed.

        Yes, Comey could have advised Trump of the security threat posed by Manafort, Page and Flynn. However, we both know Trump wouldn’t have listened. It was Comey’s choice whether to investigate or warn. In this case, discretion might have be better than valor. Comey, however, is self-righteous, has a large ego, and LONG history of never backing down from powerful people (HRC email re-opening and candid testimony to Congress on her mistakes, Plame/Libby, the Bush/Cheney WH over illegal surveillance, Martha Stewart, Kobar Towers, and Mafia bosses.) He treated the Trump campaign the same way he treated others, at least until Trump fired him, claimed to have taped their conversations, bragged that the Russia investigation was the reason for the firing (obstructing justice) and invited Kislyak over to celebrate. Those mistakes resulted in a Special Counsel. When offered the opportunity to speak anonymously for IG report, ALL top FBI officials asserted an investigation had been essential.

        dpy6629 wrote: “Similarly with Flynn there was ZERO evidence. In fact Flynn had a good track record and his call with the Russian ambassador was entirely appropriate yet it became a set up for a perjury trap. Flynn’s only mistake was saying that our intelligence establishment needed serious reform and daring to work with Trump. I’m sure you and all the Trump haters determined long ago that orange man bad and worse all those who enabled him.”

        There is compelling evidence Flynn was being cultivated by Russia and he certainly was working as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey before and during the Trump campaign. President Obama was outraged about Russian hacking of the DNC and other interference in the 2016 election. In December, he imposed serious penalties and asked the intelligence community why there was no public response from Russia. He worried his penalties were too weak and his message hadn’t gotten through. Obama was told Flynn had called Kislyak and requested that Russia make no more than a reciprocal response, meaning that Flynn had agreed to negating Obama’s sanctions. Some have called offering to negate the penalty for interfering with our election traitorous, but you aren’t required to agree. After the Kislyak calls leaked, but were publicly denied by Pence and others, concern grew that Flynn had been free-lancing and was now compromised. Comey took advantage of the disorganization in the new WH and sent two agents to interview Flynn, who lied about two different aspects of his conversations with Kislyak. Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying and agreed that he had not been trapped trapped or deceived (though many asserted the interview was improper). Was Flynn following Trump’s instructions? Did he exceed them? No one knows, but Flynn was dismissed after Trump received a transcript of what Flynn actually said. You would never tolerate such lies from Susan Rice, and she merely distributed dubious and misleading intelligence about the origin of the attack in Benghazi on Sunday news shows.

        dpy6629 wrote; “Crossfire Hurricane was almost totally predicated on the Steele Dossier which Steele himself admitted in testimony in a UK court was unverified and perhaps totally wrong. It was an “insurance policy” in case Trump won to drive him from office. (Strokz said this to Lisa Page in a text message). You ignore the fact that there were many many leaks from those involved before the election.”

        The DoJ IG confirmed that the properly predicated Crossfire Hurricane investigation was officially opened on 7/31/16, and that six reports from Steele first reached the investigators almost two months later on 9/19/16. Steele first approached his former FBI handler in Rome in early August of 2016, but the CH investigation was so secret that no one knew what to do with such politically sensitive information. (I suspect Trump supporters were responsible for the delay, but there is no evidence that is what happened.) Since Steele had approached his former handler, the FBI assumed that he had returned to working as a Confidential Human Source, and they correctly dropped all contact with Steele when they realized he was talking to the press – something CHS’s are not allowed to do, However, Steele continued to send information through Bruce Ohr, John McCain (who gave the FBI its first complete copy of the Dossier on 12/9/16) and others. The intermediary between Steele and McCain, a Republican, would later leak the Dossier to Buzzfeed

        dpy6629 wrote: “Roger Stone found out about the WikiLeaks dump when everyone else did. There were numerous fake news reports lying about this and the date on an email. Later totally disproven, but the lies were not retracted. That’s the pattern in this sad tale of political disinformation, lies are told. After they are disproven, perhaps a sentence is added saying additional information has come to light when a retraction is called for.”

        Nevertheless, Bannon, Gates and other Trump campaign officials testified about Stone’s back-channel to WikiLeaks at Stone’s trial. A jury found Stone guilty of lying to Congress and law enforcement officials about Wikileaks, as well as witness tampering.

        You have omitted the biggest villain, Manafort. The FBI opened and investigation into his money laundering in JANUARY 2016. That investigation later became part of Crossfire Hurricane. Gates reported that Manafort like to joke that his business partner in Ukraine (Kilimnik) was part of Russian intelligence and the US intelligence community agreed with that assessment. Manafort sent polling data from the Trump campaign to Kilimnik and asked him to share it with “friends”, information which could have been used to target the campaign ads Russia bought to the decisive states of PA and MI. Manafort broke his cooperation agreement with investigations by continuing to lie about his ongoing relationship with Kilimnik.

        Worst of all, you fail to realize that the main objective was the CH investigation was Russian interference with our election: Hacking the DNC, purchases of ads supporting Trump and sowing dissension, organizing Trump rallies. None of this is a fantasy; Mueller indicted more than 30 Russians by name for these activities.

        It is only with 20/20 hindsight that I could see that the CH investigation had almost nothing to do with Steele’s dubious allegations. Gullible Trump supporters like you heard mostly Trump propaganda about Steele’s allegations – which were unconfirmed raw intelligence that was not suitable for public consumption. The FBI wasn’t responsible for its release. In short, YOU have been seriously misled by a mass disinformation campaign run while the FBI and Special Counsel were investigating and not allowed to respond publicly.

        As for Biden, he’s certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s not stupid enough to publicly brag at a Council of Foreign Relations meeting about getting Ukrainian Prosecutor Shokin fired if Shokin were investigating his son. Since I know that corruption was the main cause of the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, Biden obviously demanded that Shokin be fired because he had failed to indict any corrupt oligarchs. Nor do I have much confidence in reports that Hunter Biden left three? damaged laptops at a repair shop in Dover, DE when he lives in LA and his father lives an hour’s drive from Dover. Is Hunter making lots of money off of his family connections? Presumably. Unfortunately it isn’t illegal for a Ukrainian oligarch to pay enormous sums to board members who have been President of Poland, head of the CIA Counter-terrorism Center, and a son of the US VP; and to a lobbyist close to SoS Kerry. Carter Page’s investment fund is trying to make money off his connections with Russia and Hunter Biden is doing the same in China.

      • Just one more thing Frank because the actual sworn predication documents are the 4 warrant applications. Sally Yates, a Trump hater said under oath before Congress that she would have never signed the warrant renewal application if she had known what she knows now. That’s exceptionally strong evidence that the warrants were pseudo fraudulence or at the least badly wrong or perhaps deliberately deceptive. Those who signed them probably committed perjury even though it is hard to prove. They were largely predicated on opposition research paid for by Hillary from foreign operatives and Russians whose reliability has been admitted by Steele himself under oath to be unknown.

        There never was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. All the rest is relatively small stuff. That the media kept this big lie alive for 3 years is a disinformation campaign vastly bigger than anything the Russians did.

      • Frank ‘

        I knew the rough outlines of much of that, but some was new information and the level of detail was informative. So thanks for taking the time to write that up.

        And thanks again for contributing here. It’s people like you who lend some credibility to arguments of “skeptics” about climate change.

        There are a few people that I can use as a touchstone for evaluating technical arguments – because they display a consistently thorough and well-reasoned approach on issues where I can more easily get a sense of whether someone is just reflexively filtering everything through an ideological bias or really drilling down to the evidence stripped from biasing spin.

        Pekka used to be one such contributor, but unfortunately is no longer available to contribute (except in spirit). Your comments on the pandemic helped me see that you’re that kind of contributor. That we fairly often have different political takes gives me an opportunity to check my own political takes against a reliable touchstone that can help me see my own biases.

      • Frank, That’s a giant mass of unsourced assertions and vague insinuations. The fact is that the FISA warrants cited for the bulk of their information the Steele dossier. If there was anything else surely they would include it. These warrants were deceptive and the court later said as much. Peter Strokz called CH an insurance policy in case Trump won. What you have here is lots of vague circumstantial evidence and little else.

        You ignored my reference on the Steele dossier as if when you ignore something it doesn’t exist.

        Manafort was indicted fro things that he did long before 2016. They had nothing to do with Russian interference in 2016. There has always been foreign interference in US elections. The scope of this in 2016 was no larger than Obama’s interference in Israeli elections.

        You tip you hand with your description of the Hunter Biden laptop. It is authentic and everyone admits it or refuses to talk about it.

        Its you who selectively ignore the main facts here about the actual formal warrant applications which are the official record of predication and select other vague information. You are the one ignoring the big facts and focusing on vague suspicions about mostly legal activities.

        I’m busy right now with more important things but I have a lot of source information which you can easily find yourself. Mollie Hemingway has scores of in depth fact articles on this. She started off with your attitude Frank and has spent vastly more time digging than any of us here.

      • > Manafort was indicted fro things that he did long before 2016.

        Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT, through companies he ran, acted as an unregistered agent of a foreign government and foreign political parties.

        […]

        From approximately 2006 through 2017, MANAFORT, along with others including Richard III Gates […]

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

      • dpy6629 wrote: “Frank, That’s a giant mass of unsourced assertions and vague insinuations. The fact is that the FISA warrants cited for the bulk of their information the Steele dossier.”

        AREN’T YOU WORRIED about the many lies you have been fed and repeated about the origin and timing of the CH investigation? I linked a timeline from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, which was controlled by Republicans. The CH investigations did not start with Steele’s allegations – that is clearly another one of Trump’s Big Lies!

        Due to Page’s many contacts with Russian intelligence agents in the US, the FBI had discussed, but rejected, the possibility of applying for a FISA surveillance warrant for Page before Steele’s reports arrived, and only went ahead after. The DoJ IG and the DoJ under Trump appointees decided the first two FISA warrants were valid, but the last two were not (because they failed to tell the judges that no significant new evidence had been uncovered from surveillance during the first two warrants.)

        I was tremendously disappointed when the Mueller Report said nothing about Steele’s allegation, but that was when I finally understood that the CH investigation wasn’t about Steele’s allegations. It was about the reliable evidence collected by the FBI here in the US, not rumors and bar talk which makes up most raw intelligence. However, I was shocked to learn in 2020, that the FBI had identified and interviewed Steele’s primary source and knew that his sub-sources were real people. Danchecko confirmed that the allegations in the Dossier came from his sub-sources through him to Steele. Steele was running a real, though limited, intelligence network in Russia even before he was approached by Fusion GPS! The Dems who hired Steele clearly didn’t tell Steele and Danchenko what to put in their reports. Blaming the Dems for the content of the Dossier is another Big Lie.

      • Frank, You ignored the elephant in the room. The only sworn predication documents were the warrant applications. They relied heavily on the Steele dossier. The timeline just shows that the conspiracy to get Trump started before the dossier appeared to justify it. This omission of the most critical data shows that you like Comey and Strozk are motivated by political bias.

        The warrants are tissues of lies and omissions of exculpatory information. They are the sole official and sworn predication documents. They prove that the Dossier provided the bulk of the predication.

      • There is an awful lot of word salad here to distract from the outcome of these multiple, lengthy investigations:
        1. The claims about Trump or his campaign working with the Russians were found to be not true. The FBI was aware the claims were untrue in 2016, but did not reveal this until after the midterm elections in 2018,
        2. FBI and DOJ officials falsified supporting documentation in order to secure warrants to wire tap a presidential political campaign.
        3. The DOJ (for now) has declared the falsification was not politically motivated but was the result of extraordinary incompetence and lack of leadership. Those who displayed this extraordinary incompetence and lack of leadership are, curiously, considered by the Democratic Party to be “heroes.”
        4. Hillary Clinton and the DNC employed a British foreign agent who disseminated misinformation from Russian intel in order to affect the American presidential election and enhance the chances of the election of Ms. Clinton.
        5. At the time he was a vice president and personally tasked with rooting out corruption in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s son was given a “board” position on a corrupt and politically connected Ukrainian gas company that paid him seven figures for “work” he had no qualifications to perform. State Department personnel, who testified that it was outrageous for President Trump to consider that improper, were found to have sent memos noting that this was, indeed, improper. The New York Times and Washington Post along with social media declared it was out of bounds for anyone in the US to discuss Hunter Biden until after the 2020 election. This process was also implemented to quash the accurate concerns about lab leak at Wuhan, the myth that Trump “tear gassed protestors for a photo op,” and the publication of amazing information from Hunter Biden’s laptop.

      • dpy6629 wrote: “You ignored the elephant in the room. The only sworn predication documents were the warrant applications. They relied heavily on the Steele dossier. The timeline just shows that the conspiracy to get Trump started before the dossier appeared to justify it. This omission of the most critical data shows that you like Comey and Strozk are motivated by political bias. The warrants are tissues of lies and omissions of exculpatory information. They are the sole official and sworn predication documents. They prove that the Dossier provided the bulk of the predication.”

        I personally hope that I’m biased by evidence. FWIW, I was distressed to be presented with a choice between the corrupt Clintons/Clinton Foundaation and Trump. If a conspiracy against Trump started in the FBI well before the Dossier arrived, then why didn’t the FBI conspirators leak the existence of their investigation and the Dossier before the election. Except for Yahoo News and Mother Jones, the MSM did not print the unconfirmable opposition research Steele was spreading. The vast majority of Americans voted in 2016 without ever having heard of Steele, his Dossier or an FBI investigation. One leak from any of those alleged Trump-hating conspirators at the top of the FBI would have filled the October 2016 newspapers with the same stories and worse that appeared in January 2017. In fact, many of those running the CH investigation probably suspected their careers at the FBI would be over if Trump won the election and Trump appointees had to be informed of CH – and still these [patriots?] didn’t leak. Without the FBI’s integrity. Trump would have lost the election. Your suggestion of an early conspiracy to keep Trump from being elected makes no sense at all.

        You can read the Page FISA warrant application at the link below. Large blocks are still blacked out as confidential information, meaning that they are not from the Steele Dossier. The could be surveillance reports on Russian spies working under diplomatic cover.

        https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4614732-D1Release

        The DoJ IGs report is more readable and covers many other subjects. The opening of the Page investigation is discussed beginning on page 61.

        “An FBI counterintelligence agent in NYFO (NYFO CI Agent) with extensive experience in Russian matters told the OIG that Carter Page had been on NYFO’s radar since 2009, when he had contact with a known Russian intelligence officer (Intelligence Officer 1)… NYFO CI agents believed that Carter Page was “passed” from Intelligence Officer 1 to a successor Russian intelligence officer (Intelligence Officer 2) in 2013 and that Page would continue to be introduced to other Russian intelligence officers” … The FBI’s NYFO CI squad supervisor (NYFO CI Supervisor) told us she believed she should have opened a counterintelligence case on Carter Page prior to March 2, 2016 based on his continued contacts with Russian intelligence officers; however, she said the squad was preparing for a big trial, and they did not focus on Page until he was interviewed again on March 2. ”

        https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/o20012.pdf

        So, Manafort was under investigation for several months before he began working for the Trump campaign (and had been the subject of an earlier investigation), the FBI was already in the process of opening an investigation on Page (who had also been investigated earlier), within weeks of joining, Papadopoulos would receive a dangle of dirt on HRC from someone he believed was connected to the Russian Foreign Service (and who Barr now admits wasn’t part of a “sting” by a Western agent). And all of this occurred almost half a year before Steele’s info reached the FBI, before Fusion GPS was hired by the DNC and hired Steele. Flynn was merely being cultivated by RT, Putin and a female Russian national in Britain with connections to Russian intelligence and being paid to lobby for Turkey without registering as a foreign agent. For reasons no one understands, Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak and the transcript of his 12/22 call has never been released (when both Flynn and Trump were at Mar-a-Lago trying to block a UN vote on Israel that Obama would abstain and allow to pass.) Since Flynn has joined Qanon and recommended that Trump declare martial law, we probably should be glad the CH investigation ended his term as NSA.

      • Frank, I think you should be concerned about the misrepresentations you are spreading here. Regardless of how it started, CH rapidly morphed into an illegal conspiracy to wiretap and infiltrate the Trump campaign and find the nonexistent Russian collusion. it was called an “insurance policy” by the principles at the FBI.

        The official sworn documents are the warrant applications and they rely largely on the Steele dossier. Ron’s comments later in this thread are really excellent.

        Your statement about predication is patently false about everything after roughly July or so. There was no valid predication and the warrant applications prove that.

      • Frank –

        > The vast majority of Americans voted in 2016 without ever having heard of Steele, his Dossier or an FBI investigation. One leak from any of those alleged Trump-hating conspirators at the top of the FBI would have filled the October 2016 newspapers with the same stories and worse that appeared in January 2017. In fact, many of those running the CH investigation probably suspected their careers at the FBI would be over if Trump won the election and Trump appointees had to be informed of CH – and still these [patriots?] didn’t leak. Without the FBI’s integrity. Trump would have lost the election. Your suggestion of an early conspiracy to keep Trump from being elected makes no sense at all.

        Simple, obvious, and unassailable logic. If the “deep state” was motivated by a desire to keep Trump from getting elected, by a desire to destroy his campaign, they would have then this conspiracy theory makes zero sense. And of course, also, the conspiracy theory needs to be viewed against the backdrop of years of promises from the right wing that Barr et al., would peidice the goods and hold the crooks accountable and yet all their investigations amounted to next to nothing.

      • Wrong on a number of counts. They viewed Hillary ascertain to win. Crossfire Hurricane was an insurance policy in case the impossible happened.

        There was already massive oppo research on Trump including the Clinton campaign with its Steele dossier. Here’s an example of the press making the Russian connection.

        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/donald-trump-s-plea-russian-hackers-roils-campaign-n618061

        Also you carefully selected your talking points to ignore the fact that patriots don’t submit sworn warrant applications that are mostly based on unverified gossip from unknown Russian sources. The FBI knew at the latest in Jan 2017 that the dossier was a lie but continued to lie to the court for another year.

        Read Ron’s comments summarizing the main facts.
        https://judithcurry.com/2021/05/23/collapse-of-the-fake-consensus-on-covid-19-origins/#comment-952561

      • It to mention, the “deep state” actions actually severely harmed the campaign of Trump’s opponent.

        And somehow they did that to harm Trump?

        Bizarre logic indeed, Seth Rich conspiracy quality thinking.

      • If a “deep state” were out to get Trump, where would be a million things they might have done, and saying what they did was motivated by a desire to get Trump makes zero sense.

        And if they were motivated by a desire to hurt Trump, they wouldn’t have done what they did that significantly helped Clinton.

      • So much we have heard, for years, that Trump administration officials and DOJ officials under Trump would demonstrate criminal liability and criminal malfeasance and clear violations of the rules of law….and bupkis.

        It’s like the Seth Rich nonsense stuck in replay.

        And it never stops. More nonsense continuously added, still always leading nowhere.

        This conspiracy suffers from the same problems as all conspiracy theories. Conspiracies do happen, but to make a viable case you have to address the basic plausibility problem.

      • It’s like the Seth Rich nonsense stuck in replay.

        And it never stops. More nonsense continuously added, still always leading nowhere.

        This conspiracy suffers from the same problems as all conspiracy theories. Conspiracies do happen, but to make a viable case you have to address the basic plausibility problem.

      • Here, the plausibility problem lies in that the supposed it’s simply not plausible that given the array of options available, if the motivation were to get Trump, that the actions taken would have been the result.

      • Meanwhile, it becomes clear that the Trump administration used the DOJ to pursue political goals. And nary a peep from the outraged who are so deeply concerned about how unfairly poorittle Donnie was treated.

        Lol. It’s so perfect that so many “skeptics” sign on to such obvious nonsense.

        “Skeptics” should thank their lucky stars that people like Frank and meso (on covid) are around to lend their brand some measure of credibility.

      • Lol. It’s so perfect that so many “skeptics” sign on to such obvious nonsense.

        “Skeptics” should thank their lucky stars that people like Frank and meso (on covid) are around to lend their brand some measure of credibility.

      • Weird –

        Comments just disappearing – not even going into moderation.

        A few paragraphs just wouldn’t post.

      • Joshua provides nothing but his vague silly false analogy opinions. Evidence matters to most of us Josh, even though to you it obviously doesn’t matter much.

        If you wanted to be taken seriously, read Ron’s comments I referenced above and then try to disprove any of his points.

      • We’ll add to your long record of hundreds of fuzzy logic errors this one about the deep state.

        There were two investigations, one of Hillary’s emails that was justified and Crossfire Hurricane that Ron and I have proven was not justified. Comey probably did harm Hillary with his letter to Congress, but Crossfire Hurricane did not harm her. It was specifically designed around Clinton talking points to try to find evidence to support them. Nellie Orr worked for the Fusion on digging up this dirt. Her husband worked for the FBI on the same thing.

      • David Young –

        Your conspiracy theory makes no sense because it doesn’t pass a simple plausibility test.

      • I cite a mass of evidence with Ron citing an avalanche of information and you have looked at none of it. But my theory doesn’t pass a simple minded and meaningless “plausibility” test. Your opinion is of little value as is most often the case.

      • For years now, the right wing has been promising compelling evidence to prove this conspiracy.

        How many times have we been told how many people would wind up on jail?

        Trump even had hacks working for him (along side competent investigators) in the DOJ to prove the conspiracy.

        Bupkis and nothing else besides conspiracy tweets on Twitter and blog comments.

        It’s the same quality as the supposed theft of the election, the Seth Rich murder plot. There’s actually an endless list. It never ends. The same people are involved in pushing the lame conspiracy. These people just move from one wild-eyed conspiracy theory to the next and never stop to think about the longisr of times they’ve come up empty handed.

      • You have looked at nothing and cited nothing except your valueless opinion.

      • Daocd Young –

        > I cite a mass of evidence

        Your standard of “evidence” is lacking.

        These same people claimed “evidence” of a massive voter crimes to steal the election.

        Partisan (and non-partisan) expert investigators have poured over your supposed evidence. You’ve claimed the biggest crime in American history and Trump’s DOJ came up with nothing.

        Not only do you claim a massive scheme among people that weren’t Trump cronies, now you’re saying that Trump loyalists must have been on on the c*nspiracy also – because the cr>minal actions were so obvious that Google jockeys can sniff them out and yet people like Barr and Horowitz couldn’t find it.

      • Read Ron’s comments and search for the evidence. Your childish assertions are just that.

      • It’s just like the claims of passive election fr*ud. Google jockeys post on Twitter and blogs about the “mass of evidence” there also. They’ve fully convinced themselves of their mad slueth skillz just like you have convinced yourself.

        David (Sherlock Holmes) Young,

      • Joshua,
        You have to admit you are commenting on something you have not investigated and have no knowledge of except what leakers told your favorite outlets to tell you. These leakers include McCabe, Comey and Brennan, the very people that we charge with confidentiality of investigations and prosecution of leakers. This is not just a theory. Obama appointed inspector general Horowitz uncovered massive wrongdoing. All the department heads when called before Lyndsey Graham’s committee admitted there was massive wrongdoing, including the signing of all four Page FISAs. But that was the tip of the iceberg. These were not accidental wrongdoings that went on by a rogue underlings. As Lisa Page texted Peter Strzok, “Potus wants to know everything we are doing.”

        Your only point besides your limited belief system, Joshua, is that if there was too much wrongdoing for the outlets that you trust not to have told you about it. Your assumption appears to be that those media outlets would be upset and would want to correct the record, that these outlets view their consumers as truth-seekers.

        Try reading some of my facts I have connected and see if you can poke a hole in one. The Horowitz report is easy to find. The Mueller report missed finding out where the dossier came from despite Danchenko’s interview being less than a week after the inauguration. How do you explain that in your world? Why didn’t your media find it out or bother to report it’s implications when found. The NYT was outraged that meddling kids on Twitter exposed an intelligence source, a Brookings dropout who was referred to Steele by a key witness in the Ukraine hoax. Instead, very evil men at the reins of the DoJ, shielding their wrongdoing under the name and reputation of a former official, (whom was in some stage of dementia), framed the innocent and shielded the guilty. Sergei Millian turned out to have nothing to do with the dossier, yet even Horowitz was not free to clear his name from the Mueller mucker’s libels. Instead, it was Twitter jockeys, lea by Steve Mc, who were there to remove at least one spear thrust through Lady Justice.

      • David Young –

        These issues have been thoroughly investigated by Trump’s DOJ by heavily financed partisan prosecutors with partisan interests.

        They found bupkis.

        And you want to go with Ron’s “evidence” posted on a blog?

        You’re like the Qanon conspiracy theorists who claim a “mass of evidence” that the election was stolen. Or the Fox News talking heads that told their gullible viewers that Barr was going to uncover the “deep state” conspiracy.

        Ron thought he found evidence related to Seth Rich’s murder also, justkke all these other conspiracy theorists:

        https://climateaudit.org/2018/03/21/dnc-hack-due-to-gmail-phishing/#comment-780567

      • Ron –

        Sometimes conspiracy theories can be rejected because of their imausibility;

        > Horowitz uncovered massive wrongdoing.

        Massive wrongdoing? And no prosecutions? Where are all those prosecutions promised?

        > Your only point besides your limited belief system, Joshua, is that if there was too much wrongdoing for the outlets that you trust not to have told you about it. Your assumption appears to be that those media outlets would be upset and would want to correct the record, that these outlets view their consumers as truth-seekers.

        The problem with thinking you have mind – reading powers, Ron, is that it often leads you to form incorrect opinions. I never said anything about “trusted” news sources. That was all generated from your imagination. I have made no “assumptions” about news outlets.

        You’ve just imagined all of that. And burdening me with your fantasies about what I believe is the very definition of bad faith dialog. You should try to confirm what I do and don’t think and certainly shouldn’t conclude I think things that I’ve never said I think.

        These matters were investigated. Massive cri. I al activity was claimed yet prosecutions never materialized. You’re convinced of the compelling nature of you’re own investigation just like people the who were convinced about Seth Rich’s murder or massive election fraud.

      • Ron –

        > You have to admit you are commenting on something you have not investigated and have no knowledge of…

        That is true. But people with the requisite knowledge and skills have investigated. They didn’t find criminal activity. Of course, those investigators could have been wrong, but I see no reason to take your word for it over theirs.

        > As Lisa Page texted Peter Strzok, “Potus wants to know everything we are doing.”

        Here’s a perfect example of the problem with your reasoning. You think you know exactly what Page meant by that statement, but you can’t mind-read, Ron, and you fail to account for the ambiguities and the different potential interpretations.

        When you make srgrnts like that, sbd mistakenly argue that you’ve read my mind, you don’t inspire confidence – certainly not more than our legal system does. Send Horowitz your theories and maybe you can get him to get the DOJ to reopen the investigations based on your detective work.

      • Ron –

        > You have to admit you are commenting on something you have not investigated and have no knowledge of…

        That is tr*e. But people with the requ*site kn*wledge and sk*lls have inv*stigated. They didn’t find crim*nal activity. Of course, those investigators could have been wrong, but I see no reason to take your word for it over theirs.

      • Ron –

        > As Lisa Page texted Peter Strzok, “Potus wants to know everything we are doing.”

        Here’s a perfect example of what I see as a problem with your reasoning. You think you know exactly what Page meant by that statement, but you can’t mind-read, Ron, and you fail to account for the ambiguities and the different potential interpretations.

        When you make statements like that, snd mistakenly argue that you’ve read my mind, you don’t inspire confidence – certainly not more than our legal system does. Send Horowitz your theories and maybe you can get him to get the DOJ to reopen the investigations based on your detective work.

      • “Joshua,
        You have to admit you are commenting on something you have not investigated and have no knowledge of…”

        That’s sort of the definition of Joshua. Investigation or knowledge would interfere with the narrative.
        Anyone who still thinks Page and Strozk weren’t politically motivated isn’t worth talking to.

        ‘Where’s the prosecutions?”
        A whole lot of people lost their jobs and pensions and are still under investigation. How many people were prosecuted for “collusion” with the Russians? How many are in jail for daring to ask questions about Hunter Biden. How many are being prosecuted for “armed insurrection” or murdering a police officer with a fire extinguisher? The grand “insurrection” is resulting in charges like this one actually filed by the DOJ “Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in a Capitol Building.”
        Do you get the death penalty for that in blue states? Or does it depend on party affiliation just like the “expert” science-based determination that Biden supporter riots were covid okay, but peaceful Trump supporter protests were not?
        Progressives – the gang who promoted riots all through 2020 and told us they want to defund the police – want people to go to jail for “parading” and “picketing.”

        This sort of thing, on top of the intentional destruction of middle class schools in 2020, should make mid-terms epic. I think that’s why the myth-making is turning up to 11.

      • > How many are in jail for daring to ask questions about Hunter Biden.

        Is that something you investigated, Jeff?

        Something tells me you’re just peddling Freedom Fighters talking point.

        And that is something I investigated, BTW.

        Your peddling, that is.

      • There’s nothing remotely new about the FBI and other law enforcement being over-zealous and gong past red lines to investigate matters.

        If the wild-eyed conspiracy theorists would stop there I’d be in agreement. There are things that happened in the investigations into the 2016 election that shouldn’t have happened. Sure – people should lose their job if they don’t perform it as prescribed – especially in law enforcement. Fire cops also, for being over-zwois in doing their jobs. Dismantle systemic CYA mechansms for corrupt performance as we see with so many police departments or with the FBI – have at it.

        But Horowitz thoroughly investigated the 2016 election investigations. He found poor performance and rules violations, but nothing like these wild-eyed conspiracy theories that we’ve seen promoted for years, like Ron’s mind-reading of Lisa Page or the nut job theories all over the right-wingosphere about Seth Rich.

        It’s quite amusing that I can pick out names from Climate Etc. threads and Google them along with “Seth Rich” and so easily find links in past threads on the Interwebs.

        And for anyone who thinks that the outrageabout “deep state” overreach isn’t ideologically biased, just look for whether it’s found both with the 2016 investigation and Trump’s push to use the DOJ to investigate non-existent “massive voter fraud” in 2020.

      • BTW –

        We’ve long seen promises that indictments and convictions will arise from the Durham investigation. Apparently he diageed with Horowitz’a finding that the rule violations and incompetence in the 2016 election investigation were not motivated by political animus.

        Let’s see what happens when his report comes out. If indictments and convictions for politically motivated inpropoieties are a result, I will be more than happy to revisit my assessment.

      • “You’re like the Qanon conspiracy theorists…”

        Joshua, you seem to be saying that the logical conclusion one should make when someone proposes claims one finds implausible is that they are crazy. And, of course, this is exactly what 27 scientist said about anyone who might propose a lab leak as a possible origin of covid. They used the term “conspiracy theorists.” The only problem is that we know now that the idea of a lab leak was not implausible then. Worse, no other group of virologist came forward to challenge their false claim. There were a few brave whistleblowers but they were swiftly dismissed by the MSM (leftists). The journalist investigators for the MSM failed miserably on this issue. Do you agree?

        And, this is not the first time. We see a continued pattern. I won’t list the dozen major stories that the MSM got wrong or missed. The question is how many more major stories do they need to get wrong before you can no longer rely on them?

        This is why we need a free and open discourse. Censorship and consensus enforcement are corruptions to the free flow of ideas and thus are ill-liberal and anti-progressive. Do you agree?

        The 27 scientists clearly were abusing the fact of the presence of mental illness in society in order to smear the truth. If an uncontested scientific consensus can do that is it possible that a blogger might also?

        It does not further trust of help the sufferers of paranoia to be told they are paranoid even if they are. Thus, this practice is particularly condemnable. I hope you agree.

        “Ron thought he found evidence related to Seth Rich’s murder also, justkke all these other conspiracy theorists…”

        I am glad you agree he was murdered. The case is still open. But if he was shot on the street randomly or in an aborted robbery why did the FBI just reveal this year they have Seth Rich’s laptop. What would be the reason for keeping it? They should just dispel the conspiracy theories by giving it back to his family after making the files accessible to reporters and researchers. Julian Assange is specifically named Seth Rich as an example of the type of danger his sources face. But I await more evidence.

        Joshua, I welcome you to keep a more open mind and feel free from fear of ridicule. Tell us what you think about current events and if you have good facts and analysis we will be respectful even if they are contrary to our own.

        BTW, I strongly contest your assertion that Barr did not find any wrongdoing by the Obama USIC, most of which carried into the Trump administration, insulated by the false attack on Sessions to force his recusal, and likewise, the attack on Gen. Flynn.

      • Ron: “Horowitz uncovered massive wrongdoing. All the department heads when called before Lyndsey Graham’s committee admitted there was massive wrongdoing, including the signing of all four Page FISAs. But that was the tip of the iceberg. These were not accidental wrongdoings that went on by a rogue underlings.”

        I think the problem here is that Joshie as usual cites a report that he hasn’t actually read.

      • David Young –

        “Your report states you didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation played a role,” Feinstein said.

        “That’s correct,” Horowitz responded.

        Your “investigation” as reported in blog comments, or testimony under oath from an experienced professional investigator with decades of experience and huge resources at his disposal.

        Not a particilsrly tough choice. You could be right. But the chances are slim.

      • You are omitting the text messages of strokz, Paige and others that show clear political bias in fact they show hatred. In public, all the main colluders showed extreme bias and hatred of Trump. That’s very convincing evidence.

        That’s another classical fuzzy logic error Josh. You make them regularly.

      • David Young –

        > That’s another classical fuzzy logic error Josh.

        I get that you think you’re right, just as you thought you were right when you got it wrong on the testing and cases in Florida relative to NY, just as you were wrong when you thought that the spike in cases wouldn’t be paralleled by a spike in morbidity and mortality, just as you were wrong about the trend in ICU admissions in Sweden and the trend in deaths there.

        Each time I explained your errors to you and in response you insulted me.

        I get you have great faith in your own ability to “investigate” the investigations into the 2016 campaign. Just as you had great faith in your own thinking many other times you were just flat out wrong.

        Horowritz didn’t forget about any texts. He investigated the issues far more extensively than you have. He has much superior skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to conducting such an investigation. He has vastly resources at his disposal for conducting such an investigation than you have for your “investigation.”

        I get you think your abilities to investigate this are greater than Horowitz’s.

        I have to disageee. Given your lousy track record and vastly inferior qualifications, I’m thinking the chances are that you’re wrong and he’s right.

      • Joshie, This is another classic of cherry picking.

        1. Horowitz found scores of significant errors.
        2. He I recall recommended the firing of Andrew McCabe for lying.
        3. Comey, Strokz, Paige are all acknowledged liars. As is Klinesmith. It wouldn’t be unusual for them to lie to an internal investigator to keep their job.
        4. You didn’t respond to the massive paper trail showing extreme political bias.

        I won’t go through the list of other commenters who point that you are a biased eggregious cherry picker. You pick out of context one fact and ignore the other facts that are more important.

        Your mind is like a course seive. The sand of truth passes through because it requires analytical skills. A few coarse pieces of detetritus are trapped to be regurgitated without any context.

      • Read the first 2 paragraphs from a leftie journalist who has intensively looked into Russiagate. Summary: It was a fraud.

        https://greenwald.substack.com/p/how-do-big-media-outlets-so-often

      • David Young –

        Here is Horowitz characterizing his findings w/r/t the influence of political bias:

        “Your report states you didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation played a role,” Feinstein said.

        “That’s correct,” Horowitz responded.

        And obviously, he didn’t “omit” the texts.

        Now you may think that you can chattering his findings better than he can characterize his findings. Given your overconfidence in the past in your own analysis even when it was proven wrong it doesn’t exactly surprise me that you think you understand Horowitz’s findings better than he does.

        But I think that’s highly implausible.

        And Greenwald’s political orientation doesn’t make him right any more than yours makes you wrong.

        Here – read this again:

        “Your report states you didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation played a role,” Feinstein said.

        “That’s correct,” Horowitz responded.

        He testified under oath.

      • David Young –

        I have to say, it’s very interesting that your response when I quote Horowitz is to insult me.

        It’s such an odd behavior, imo, yet you repeat it over and over. I wonder why you do it.

        Look, here’s a chance for you to break the pattern. I’ll post a quote of Horowitz responding on the question of evidence of political bias or improper motivation in his findings.

        See if you can respond without insulting me. As an experiment.

        “Your report states you didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation played a role,” Feinstein said.

        “That’s correct,” Horowitz responded.

      • Joshua, you might consider that characterizations of the executive summary of a report might be vastly different than the body of the report. This allows CYA on the political side in the news release while protecting from liability for falsification in the details. So the body of the IPCC AR can supply details that are in complete conflict with the summary which are in even more conflict with the characterization of the summary by the political heads. Same with the IG report. Also, that report is just one piece of the puzzle. The omissions and falsifications in the Mueller report give another piece and the text messages between Strzok and Page give yet another, etc…

      • For example, Horowitz does not make a point about the person granting immunity to Danchenko is the same guy who gave it to all of Hillary’s staff. One has to notice that oneself by reading both the IG’s FISA abuse investigation and also the IG’s earlier investigation into the whitewashing of Clinton’s mishandling of top secret docs and obstruction of justice in wiping the evidence while under a congressional evidence protection order.

      • DPY wrote: “Read the first 2 paragraphs from a leftie journalist who has intensively looked into Russiagate. Summary: It was a fraud.

        https://greenwald.substack.com/p/how-do-big-media-outlets-so-often

        This is an great article and raises an interesting subject best illustrated by his linked article, “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story.” However, nothing in this article contradicts the information I have provided and proves the investigation was a fraud. In general, I rely on primary sources such as the DoJ IGs Report. It does show that hatred of Trump likely biased those reporting these stories and possibly encouraged their organizations to publish a dubious story.

        HOW DID GREENWALD LEARN THAT THESE MSM STORIES WERE FALSE? According to Greenwald himself:

        1) Other MSM reporters found information contradicting these stories or they reported that they were unable to confirm a story about the Trump-Russia conspiracy.

        2) In at least one case, the Special Counsel’s Office issued press release denying a story about the evidence in their possession – despite the normal policy of not commenting on an ongoing investigation.

        To a reasonable extent, the BIASED MSM is self-correcting on important stories. Some of the reporters of these stories were even fired. To put it in scientific terms, these liberal hypotheses were tested by the MSM and the Right and rejected.

        RIght-wing news operates by a different set of rules. ANYTHING published by the MSM is automatically considered to be untrustworthy Fake News. Rush Limbaugh denounced the “Four Corners of Deceit”: government, academia, SCIENCE and media. The conservative media is the only source of truth – you can’t trust anything else (including any assertions supported by links from me.) To put it in scientific terms, right-wing hypotheses don’t get tested, because all testers are corrupt and there is no trustworthy information to test them with. The truth is revealed to us by the Right-Wing media.

        Unfortunately, unlike the MSM, conservative media is not even remotely self-correcting. Breitbart and OAN don’t challenge stories by FOX News. The most popular news anchor on FOX, Megyn Kelly, was exiled simply for asking challenging questions of Trump. And Trump can severely damage or ruin any of these organizations if they betray him.

        For example, the Podesta email dump led to a false story about Democrat child sex ring at the Cosmic Ping Pong Pizzeria. That story was investigated and dismissed by the MSM, but not by the right. Today that story has morphed and grown enormously into the Qanon conspiracy theory, which is supported by several members of Congress.

        In 2017, it was he logical assumption that the Democrat-funded Steele Dossier was the reason for the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the Special Counsel investigation. Some of the Dossier was found to be false and most was unconfirmable. However, that storyline has been proven false by the DoJ IG and Special Counsel’s reports, but right-wing media doesn’t publish stories contradicting hoax and conspiracy theories. Today we know that the sources of the allegations in the Steele Dossier were unwitting friends of Danchenko.

        Seventy percent of Republicans apparently still believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

        There is no story titled: “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing Right-Wing Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story”. If one were published by the MSM, you wouldn’t believe it.

      • Frank, You are just showing your strong bias against “Right wing media” as if that were a thing with a meaningful definition. It’s a lie to say that mainstream media is self-correcting. They still are actively covering up the Hunter Biden story to this day. I actually get a lot of information from Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klaven who are conservative but usually present both sides of an argument. You are obviously very emotional about recent political events and have fallen victim to prejudice and bias. My condolences to you on having to live through a time of growing and deserved distrust in all our main institutions.

        I’ll repeat my point which all your massive document dumping has not contradicted. The official and sworn predication documents for CH were the warrant applications which relied for the bulk of their information the Steele Dossier which was and is almost totally unverified, sourced from foreign operative, and mostly gossip and rumors. Comey and Yates lied when they signed these warrant applications and swore that the information was verified. It’s a debaters trick to conflate the Trump Russia investigation with the earlier DNC hack investigation. They should have remained separate.

      • Partly as a teaching exercise in how brevity is always better, I am reproducing Frank’s long winded comment with some much shorter responses in bold.

        DPY wrote: “I’m a little surprised that you responded in such a vitriolic and political way to an issue that is really about how herd immunity is defined.
        The definition of herd immunity used by some epidemiologists and by you is not meaningful because there is no such thing as “normal conditions.” Thus the only meaningful metric is if R <1, when there is effective herd immunity for existing conditions. But that varies all over the place." This was discussed on another post."
        For vaccination, the traditional threshold for herd immunity is 1-(1/R_0) where R_0 refers to the reproduction number in the early stages of spread before behavior has changed. The target in a vaccination campaign is to get appreciably over this threshold so that R during any outbreak will still be less than 1 and the outbreak will spontaneously die out. In this situation, there IS such a thing as "normal conditions – that is why they put the nought after R. Although there are multiple definitions, when talking to the public in the WSJ, "herd immunity" means we can go back to doing what we were doing in 2019 and have spontaneous outbreaks die out. Are you using a different definition?

        I pointed out several times that this definition is not useful and virtually meaningless because you can’t define normal conditions before behavior has changed. Winter or summer? China or Russian culture? Did you not read what I wrote?

        By my definition, the pandemic was not ended by herd immunity at the end of February. Miami-Dade county had 17% cumulative infections and about 20% full vaccination at the end of March and the local pandemic was still raging with 50 confirmed infections/day/100,000. In the US as a whole, cumulative infections were only 8.5%. One this basis, I personally find it absurd to insist that the pandemic was ended by herd immunity in February. We were about halfway to herd immunity by the end of February.
        Furthermore, at the end of February, the number of new infections was just as high as it was a the PEAK of the summer surge (about 20/day/100,000) and TWICE the peak in the initial spring surge (about 10/day/100,000, before correcting for limited testing.) If you wish to measure in terms of deaths, it took until April 1, 2021 for the death rate to reach the PEAK in the summer of 2020. The pandemic did NOT end in late February.
        Finally, the number of new infections in the US rose 25% from early March to a peak in mid-April! When you are talking to WSJ readers, that can’t happen where herd immunity exists. In Michigan, there were just as many new cases (75/day/100,000) and hospitalizations in mid-April as there were during the late fall surge! (Only about half as many deaths, thanks to vaccination.)
        (The Delta variant is able to infect some of the vaccinated and those with immunity derived from previous infection, but rarely kills those people. So we may have “effective herd immunity” against death, but not against infection. That seems to be the case in the UK today.)

        You presented zero evidence for your theory about behavior causing cases to decline a factor of 5 in 60 days. You cite Miami-Dade but that’s irrelevant to the US as a whole. You use infection numbers that are of low quality and have to make vague assumptions about undetected cases when no one really knows. You compare cases to last spring and summer, but its largely meaningless because of lack of testing last spring. You have presented a long winded list of “facts” virtually all of which are not very meaningful. The only real indicator is whether R is below 1. When its strongly below 1, that indicates that herd immunity exists for those conditions. That doesn’t mean it can’t change. Your dogmatic insistence on a meaningless and inflexible definition leads you into a host of errors supported by nothing more than your personal opinion.

        DPY wrote: “I am also surprised that you ignored my well documented point that your favored tyrannical responses to the pandemic did not seem to cause better outcomes among US states.”
        My preferred “tyrannical response” would have been to reduce new cases in late spring 10-fold as Europe did and institute aggressive contact tracing, paid ($1,000/day) quarantine supervised by cell phone GPS, and mandatory masks indoors in public. Taiwan, South Korea and China made this work. With a negative PCR test after about a week of quarantine, the chances of developing COVID would be low and quarantine could be shortened. Deliver high quality masks for free to everyone. Encourage voluntary work from home. Probably close or limit capacity in high-risk businesses such as bars, gyms, theaters, and restaurants without medical/airline quality air filtration and circulation. Publicly beg churches to at least triple the number of services so they can safely tend to the increased needs of their congregation. Emphasize danger of singing.

        . So then US governors like Cuomo and Witcher are incompetent and only the all knowing Frank knows what will work. The measures taken in the US simply did not work.

        DPY wrote: “Basically, you have no explanation of the strong decline starting in mid January aside from an evidence free assertion that people let down their guard over the holidays.”
        No, you have been ignoring my explanation. Actually, I said people became much more careful after the holidays BECAUSE of the high death rates and overflowing hospitals. My state and probably others tightened restrictions as the hospitals filled in November. We have reasonably good precedent from the 1918-1920 Spanish flu that fear and NPIs brought a pandemic to a near halt several times without the aid of approaching herd immunity. If you look at individual states, you can see many local surges that rose over a little more than a month and fell over the next month+. Arizona and Florida peaked in this manner in July and August. Those surges weren’t ended by heard immunity! North Dakota’s surge in October and November also lasted a more than two months, but the winter surge in most other states had several peaks and lasted longer, possible due to holidays. France had a huge surge in Oct/Nov and another in March proving the first wasn’t ended by herd immunity. Europe has other similar cases, including the UK’s surge in Dec/Jan. (With 2/3rds as many cumulative injections as the US, the UK surge wasn’t ended by herd immunity either.) Since the course of the pandemic and vaccination in March-May shows we were far from herd immunity, approaching herd immunity couldn’t have been the major cause of our Jan/Feb decline. You seem to think that FEAR + NPIs can’t cause a rapid decline in a pandemic. If you open your eyes, you will find plenty of surges followed by steep declines with no other obvious explanation besides FEAR+NPIs. However, the whole US pandemic is heterogeneous, so you need to look at individual states and European countries.

        Endless repetition does not add anything. Herd immunity is a virtually useless concept as you use it. No Frank, you have no evidence on behavior changes at all. Weather also changes, contagiousness changes, vitamin D levels change. You really seem to have a prejudice that things can be controlled by behavior that is mostly false. You are going to die and nothing you do will change that fact. You will not be able to reverse your arteriosclerosis with dietary changes.

        DPY wrote: As to your apparent disgust with people utilizing their right of free speech in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, get used to it. There are at least a hundred million of us who are intent on preserving our God given rights. There are many other countries for you to choose where people have much less freedom.
        Members and carefully selected friends of the elites that run the WSJ editorial page are the only ones with the right to speak on the WSJ editorial pager (and without fact-checking). Dr. Markey is surgeon, not an epidemiologist. My letter to the editor pointing out that it was impossible for there to be 6.7 total cases for every confirmed case wasn’t printed, nor were others. Yes, people are entitled to their opinions, but when their opinions are based on facts that are highly like to be wrong, the opinion is grossly misleading. If the WSJ isn’t going to fact-check there opinions (like most respectable news organizations, Facebook and Twitter have every right to censor them when fact-checkers point out the errors. With all of the conspiracy theories on the left and right, the fraction of our nation that is – as one commentator puts it – “in touch with reality” is shrinking. (The Dems just got a big dose of reality about defunding the police in the NYC mayor’s race.)
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/33399860/

        I don’t see any evidence that 6.7 can’t be right. It is a US number. Pointing to localities where it can’t be right is totally beside the point. No wonder your letter wasn’t printed. I see you are repeating the lie that “private” entities can do what they like. There are thousands of statutes that place severe limitations on what private entities can do. There should be more dealing with censoring people on essentially public utility platforms.

        I can’t understand why so many people signed the Great Barrington Declaration. We had no better way to protect the vulnerable at that time (and according to my research nursing home residents were 6X more likely to have a confirmed infection than the average American). We couldn’t reach herd immunity in a few months without exceeding the capacity of most hospitals – and the resulting fear that would quickly cause a decline in new cases. The GBD seemed like a bad joke. The saintly Ioannidis was invested in the incorrect idea that COVID wasn’t much more deadly than seasonal influenza, so his support wasn’t a surprise. As best I can tell, the motivation was mostly political, because their campaign didn’t continue after the election and after we had a vaccine. In many locations, a huge number of “essential workers” were idiotically vaccinated before or alongside the vulnerable. I look at the GBD signers as being similar to those advocating raising the minimum wage to $15/hr without asking how many minimum wage workers will lose their jobs or have their hours cut. . (When I’m told a dramatically higher minimum wage won’t cost jobs or hours, I say: If so, why be so stingy? Go for $30/hr.) If an idea is superficially attractive, many will sign without thinking or being in touch with reality.

        . Once again, a long winded evidence free diatribe reading people’s minds. Ioannidis had the final word on the IFR in a recent meta-analysis that seems to have resulted in the peanut gallery being quite.

        We had evidence that masks work against seasonal influenza in a community setting, but only for the small number of volunteers who reported wearing them consistently. They weren’t recommended by health authorities for preventing seasonal influenza pandemics because too few volunteers wore them often enough to show a statistically significant benefit for all volunteers. The problem was compliance not efficacy, there was every reason to expect compliance to improve when people are trying to protect themselves from COVID instead of flu. I personally don’t need ANY studies to know that masks work: they block sprayed droplets and the right masks can block aerosols whatever fraction the air that passes through them. Cloth masks that don’t block aerosols still provide protection against sprayed droplets. Their inability to block aerosols or their leakiness around the edges ARE NOT reasons to abandon masks; they are reasons to get BETTER masks. Singapore has been distributing high-quality washable masks for free. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/fourth-round-free-face-mask-distribution-start-1-march-033840942.html
        https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.seminolecountyfl.gov%2Fcore%2Ffileparse.php%2F4529%2Furlt%2FUniversal-Masking-is-Urgent-in-the-COVID-19-Pandemic-ADA.pdf&psig=AOvVaw3jM5tXOZlJCOykANt6T98e&ust=1625628044701000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=2ahUKEwj8mrPCvs3xAhVDFFkFHSobCVcQr4kDegQIARAR

        . You haven’t responded to the literature on masks showing no evidence they work in a community setting. There are many papers on this. You’re just repeating crude mechanistic narratives that lack quantification. Swiss policy research site has an article on this giving many papers on the subject.
        BTW, I do not endorse everything on that site by any stretch.

        As for NY vs Fl vs MI, I found some additional NY data at Wikipedia. About 1/3 (900/million) of New York’s deaths occurred before 5/1/20. Deaths peaked about April 15 and were already declining within a month of starting lockdown. Given that death often takes about 3 weeks after infection, it is hard to see to how the state could have done much to prevent these April deaths. Another 1/9 of NY deaths occurred in May. By June, the death toll was down to only 42/million. This huge drop was partially attributable to New York’s severe lockdown and the death toll would have been much higher without it. The spring NY death toll was also inflated by inexperience treating COVID (steroids weren’t being used then). In the meantime, DeSantis began losing control over the Florida pandemic in June, For the rest of the pandemic, NY state did significantly better than Florida. Finally, when DeSantis ended the mask mandate at a time when Florida had one of the highest infection rates in the country.
        Like NY, Mi had a lot of deaths in the spring that were unavoidable. Michigan had as many infections in mid-April 2021 as at the peak in Nov/Dec and even a significant number of associated deaths. This suggests a gross failure in late February, but I don’t know much about Michigan’s changing policies or her governor. Nor do I claim any special insight about the cost-benefit balance between restrictions and deaths/risk. If a state official wants to reduce restrictions because the costs outweigh the benefits, fine. Just don’t expect me to swallow the excuse that restrictions can be lifted because herd immunity has been reached or because we can protect the vulnerable while the pandemic burns out in a few months.

        I love this silly idea that a lot of the early deaths were unavoidable. If masks and lockdowns worked so well that would be untrue. You can’t have it all ways Frank. You need to pick the tripe you are going with and stick with it. The bottom line is as I stated before. California, Florida, and Texas all came in reasonable close with Texas the worst of the 3. New York was quite bad and Michigan quite a bit worse than Florida. California also didn’t really have a bad spring surge just like Florida.

        DPY wrote: “I really am sorry Frank to see you descend into such political emotion and become an unreliable source of information.”
        Emotional? I’m not the one bringing up “Killer Cuomo” and “Lord Fauci”. I’d be thrilled if DeSantis or almost any strong, sane Republican took Trump’s place as the leader of the Republican Party, so I don’t faced a third unattractive choice in 2024. Unfortunately, DeSantis has been advised by the “WSJ epidemiologists” that I have scientifically criticized for their over-optimism about herd immunity and the GBD. (Yes, I will confess to being emotional about Trump – his conspiracy theories are unnecessarily tearing down faith in elections, the FBI, and experts (such as you and I); and combined with the left wing conspiracy theories (BLM, 1619, Stacy Abrams) are undermining the foundations of American government. As for “Killer Cuomo”, any elderly COVID patient well enough to leave the hospital for a nursing home almost certainly was no longer infectious whether or not they were PCR negative. When a lawsuit provides DNA sequence data proving that Cuomo-discharged Patient X brought the pandemic into nursing home Y, I will gladly change my mind. In the absence of such conclusion information, every state in the nation has seen its nursing homes invaded by COVID carried by asymptomatic or careless staff, and I assume NY was just the first. Hospitals aren’t allowed to discharge elderly patients too weak to take care of themselves at home until they identify a rehab facility for them. Either the governor had to order nursing homes to take recovered elderly COVID patients or desperately ill patients would be denied hospital admission for lack of beds.

        . Then why did Cuomo cover up his policy? You have no way of knowing if those sent back were still contagious. In any case, there was massive excess capacity and sending them back was totally unnecessary and a sign of incompetence.

        DPY wrote: “I don’t think there is any implied right of state governments to suspend fundamental Constitutional provisions for up to 16 months due to any eventuality, including war. What tyrants like Cuomo, Newsome, Witchmer, and Inslee did is unprecedented. Even during the Civil War, the Bill of Rights stayed in force outside active war zones. I do hope that the Supreme Court eventually weighs in on this issue.”
        The Supreme Court has ruled on this subject about a dozen times already, mostly in the form of emergency decrees. You could inform yourself about this issue by listening to expert attorneys from opposing sides having civil discussions at the non-partisan National Constitutional Center. Sometimes you get to hear from attorneys that submitted amicus briefs and occasionally one who argued the case before the Court. (Instead, you and too many other Americans get their information in the form of a dally addicting and profitable injection of anger, outrage, disinformation from biased media and social media.) For centuries, the Supreme Court (and earlier English Common law) has recognized that each state’s police power allows them to protect their citizens from pandemic disease within the limits set by state constitutions. The intrusions on liberty must be the minimum needed and for the shortest period possible, so regulations that are arguably tougher on churches than some similar secular activity have been found unconstitutional, as have regulations without a clear endpoint. Everyone is deeply concerned about the length of time stringent regulations/tyranny have remained in force, but courts can’t arbitrarily pick a time limit; that is a job for legislatures. Some countries have had great success in limiting the pandemic through emergency measures (Taiwan, South Korea, China, Norway, Finland, Australia, NZ and Vietnam, as well as many European countries last spring), so it doesn’t make sense for the Supreme Court to substitute their cost-benefit analysis for that of the state’s experts. I’ll remind you that Tyrant Lincoln famously used emergency war powers to suspend habeus corpus during the Civil War (5 days after Sumter and three months BEFORE Bull Run) and to claim/seize vast amount of private property (slaves) in the South. 600,000 Americans died in both the Civil War and the war against the COVID pandemic. On the other hand, Tyrant Roosevelt interned 120,000 Americans citizens of Japanese descent during WWII by lying about the danger they posed. This isn’t a simple subject and mistakes have been made.
        I suspect some state constitutions will be modified to limit future “tyranny”, some by referendum. Governor Newsome is facing a recall vote. Our system for protecting liberty isn’t perfect, but it can be refined based on experiences such as this one, hopefully after long and thoughtful discussion. Madison famously remarked that if all Athenians had been Socrates, [passionate populist direct democracy] would still have made Athens a mob. Therefore, we have a system that promotes constructive disagreement and sometimes compromise before reaching a decision. If anyone wants to convict alleged-tyrant Inslee (or tax-cheat Trump), a jury will hear evidence from both sides and the jury will be locked away to talk until they reach a decision. On the other hand, you appear to be only listening to the evidence from the prosecutors from the Right.

        Well, You didn’t respond to the point. I challenge you to show me any time in American history when there has been such a prolonged and widespread suspension of the Bill of Rights. Emergency decrees are usually for short periods such as the Mt St. Helens eruption and for very limited geographical regions. What just happened is a frightening prospect.

        And to top it off you cite absolute statistics about the Civil War vs. Covid that are blatantly misleading. The population of the US during the Civil War was I recall about 30 million. So per capita there were 10 times as many casualties as with covid19. Also that 600,000 number is a very significant undercount and omits civilian casualties where were a very large number especially in the South.

        Frank, I tried to keep my responses short and to the point. I would suggest you would find more people willing to read your long winded comments if you did the same. Also actually responding to what other people say is the only way to actually resolve any issue. Obfuscating the point with a blizzard of often irrelevant or misleading detail is not helpful.

      • DPY wrote: “You are just showing your strong bias against “Right wing media” as if that were a thing with a meaningful definition. It’s a lie to say that mainstream media is self-correcting. They still are actively covering up the Hunter Biden story to this day.”

        Actually, I got the idea that the competitive MSM is reasonably self-correcting, but right-wing media is not, from a book I’m reading, “The Constitution of Truth”, written by a moderate conservative who is deeply concerned about what he calls the increasing fraction of Americans who are losing their connection with he calls “the reality-based community”. I was looking for a way to test this assertion when you raised suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

        There are some strong parallels between the allegations that were circulating about what latter became known as the Steele Dossier and the Hunter Biden laptop story. Although they were aware of Steele’s allegation and some reporters had even met Steele, the NYT, WaPo, and most of the MSM chose not to print unconfirmed stories provided by paid operatives of the Democrat party.before the 2016 election.

        In mid-October 2020, we have President Trump’s Personal Attorney providing what he says is is an electronic copy for Hunter Biden’s laptop. How did anyone know in October 2020 that the copy actually came from Hunter Biden’s laptop? If it were Hunter Biden’s laptop at one point, were we sure that someone else hadn’t put fake material on the laptop? (The repair shop owner doesn’t claim that he identified Hunter Biden as the person who dropped it off.) IIRC, the FBI subpoenaed the laptop in December of 2019, so this “evidence” has been kicking around for more than a year. Why has it taken so long to become public. We know Giuliani had it in September and possibly much earlier. If he believed this was the “real deal”, why didn’t he make its existence public much earlier, so the press and possibly law enforcement could confirm the information. By waiting until the last minute to release the story, Giuliani is telling me that he didn’t really believe the laptop would survive scrutiny. Guiliani admitted he gave the material to the NY Post, because more reputable journalists would have scrutinized the information more closely. So the MSM might have evaluated Hunter Biden’s laptop as unconfirmed opposition research and may not have published the story for exactly the same reason as they failed to publish Steele’s allegations four years earlier.

        However, the NY Post didn’t bother the address the dubious background of the laptop and presented all of the information without caveats; much like Buzzfeed did three months AFTER the 2016 election. Twitter used its Hacked Materials Policy to block the NYP story, but quickly changed its mind. Facebook didn’t interfere with the story. The NYT published four stories on the allegations before the election, including one opinion piece by Douthat that recommended taking the allegations seriously. The WaPo published three stories. Neither paper was given access to the electronic material, so they had no way to confirm the authenticity of the information. (The NY Post gave its electronic information to specialists after the election and reported in March 2021 (IIRC) that these experts judged the material authentic. By traditional journalism standards, the NY Post shouldn’t have published until such an evaluation was complete. ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the story, but NPR infamously did not.

        So, did the MSM really fail to cover the Hunter laptop story, or is this simply more FAKE NEWS from Fox that DPY is repeating without first bothering to check for himself?

        And if the MSM coverage was exceptionally skeptical, there were excellent reasons for that skepticism, most importantly the fact that other newspapers weren’t given access to the raw electronic material.

        As for me, I was disgusted with the absurd story that Joe fired Shokin to protect Hunter and then bragged about it publicly at a meeting of the Council of Foreign Relations. Giuliani’s antics in Ukraine were disgusting. I dismissed the laptop story as Russian disinformation. Joe’s tax returns and financial disclosure statements have proven that he was too poor to have engaged in influence peddling (though I believed Hunter is capable of ANYTHING). Obama reportedly offered to loan Joe money when Beau was dying so Joe wouldn’t have to sell his house. Documents on the laptop suggest that Hunter was actually paying some of Joe’s expenses – the first aspect of this story that made ANY sense to me. However, one document says Hunter was complaining about keeping the family financially float recently, which is nonsense as Joe reported earning about $20M the first two years after he left VP. My confidence that the laptop was Russian disinformation dropped after the NY Post claimed its experts believed it was authentic, but I’d still take a even bet the FBI will pronounce parts of it are fraudulent (if it ever announces anything). Never fear; following Trump’s precedent Joe can pardon Hunter and fire anyone who attempts to investigate him.

        So, the author of my book appears to have it right; the MSM is generally self-correcting. However, DPY never learned from the right-wing media that: Manafort and Page were under investigation in early 2016, the DoJ IG found the CH investigation properly precedented, the CH investigation was opened 7 weeks before some of Steele’s reports first arrived, the Trump DoJ found the first two Page FISA warrants valid, huge sections of the Page FISA warrant not related to Steele’s information remain redacted by the Trump DoJ so no one can see the OTHER EVIDENCE the FBI used to obtain a warrant, that Page bragged to FBI Confidential Sources that the Russians offered to fund a think tank to be organized by him, that the head of the NES who invited Page to speak allegedly believed Page had visited Sechin, that Page was still acting as if he were a Trump advisor on his Dec 2016 trip to Moscow, etc.

      • Part III

        5. I see you return to your deceptive narrative about Crossfire Hurricane. The DNC hack investigation may have been justified even it was total incompetence from day one. The server was never examined by the FBI and so they had to rely on a paid consultant of the DNC. The Russian collusion conspiracy theory and the resulting investigation was a fraud from day 1. The most important facts that you continue to fail to acknowledge are.
        a. The warrant applications are the only SWORN and OFFICIAL predication documents. They rely for the bulk of their information on the dossier which everyone knew was salacious and unverified as Comey said under oath. Signing this document which was certifying that the information contained is verified was perjury.
        b. That the dossier was a fraud was rather evident at the time (as Comey essentially admitted) but by Jan. 2017 it was a proven fact that it was a fraud. Yet more warrants were submitted to the court. How could that happen if there was not a deep state informal conspiracy to keep the investigation going at any cost?

        6. The subject of this post. The media/scientist fake concensus is a prime example of an informal conspiracy to control what people get to read. And one of the peddlers of this fake news was Frank your revered MSM.

        7. Finally your buddies Frank in the media are now colluding with government and tech monopolies to censor what people get to read and say. This could be the tipping point into a soft (or very hard if you are a dissident) totalitarian state such as China or even Venezuela. Gen. Milley has openly talked of a coup and implied half his fellow citizens are Nazi’s. His defense of critical race theory is deeply dishonest. This new war on “domestic terrorism” is unprecedented in American history. Even during the Civil War, this kind of threat to the Republic didn’t take place. The Constitution was never suspended except for brief periods in areas in open rebellion.

        https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/563520-shadow-state-embracing-corporate-governance-to-escape-constitutional-limits

        Finally Frank, I’m tired of this pseudo-conversation where you continue to stonewall and ignore the most important facts in these matters while insisting on largely irrelevant or minor matters carefully skewed by you to give an unbalanced picture. And please drop your “right wing” media smear. Next thing we know you will be signing up for Milley’s critical race theory training and his strike team to take out Nazis.

      • Part II:

        4. I do think the MSM’s articles quoting the spurious letter from former deep staters about Russian disinformation was covered in “right wing” media.
        5. Frank:”I dismissed the laptop story as Russian disinformation.” This shows how biased and politically motivated your judgment has become.
        6. The Steele dossier was a fraud and its was pretty evident that that was true. Yet it was used for the bulk of the information on 4 warrant applications to a FISA court. Come admitted this under oath. Comey said the dossier was salacious and unverified yet he perjured himself by signing a warrant application that states that the signer is certifying that the information is verified. The dossier was used by deep state actors and former Obama flaks to lie for years about the evidence on Trump Russia collusion. The media breathlessly reported thousands of stories based on nothing but anonymous leaks, many of which turned out to be lies.
        https://sharylattkisson.com/2021/06/50-media-mistakes-in-the-trump-era-the-definitive-list/

        To summarize, MSM used an obviously fraudulent dossier and deep state leaks in a relentless campaign to put pressure on Trump and his team to resign and/or to create momentum for impeachment. They put on the back burner and in most cases censored a true story about Hunter Biden and his laptop. Instead of honest reporting, they went with the letter by former officials saying this looked like Russian misinformation, which turned out to be a transparent lie. There is no comparison between the credible and true Biden laptop story and the fraudulent Steele Dossier story. Why do you spuriously misrepresent the most important facts?

        5. I see you return to your deceptive narrative about Crossfire Hurricane. The DNC hack investigation may have been justified even it was total incompetence from day one. The server was never examined by the FBI and so they had to rely on a paid consultant of the DNC. The Russian collusion conspiracy theory and the resulting investigation was a fraud from day 1. The most important facts that you continue to fail to acknowledge are.
        a. The warrant applications are the only SWORN and OFFICIAL predication documents. They rely for the bulk of their information on the dossier which everyone knew was salacious and unverified as Comey said under oath. Signing this document which was certifying that the information contained is verified was perjury.
        b. That the dossier was a fraud was rather evident at the time (as Comey essentially admitted) but by Jan. 2017 it was a proven fact that it was a fraud. Yet more warrants were submitted to the court. How could that happen if there was not a deep state informal conspiracy to keep the investigation going at any cost?

        6. The subject of this post. The media/scientist fake concensus is a prime example of an informal conspiracy to control what people get to read. And one of the peddlers of this fake news was Frank your revered MSM.

        7. Finally your buddies Frank in the media are now colluding with government and tech monopolies to censor what people get to read and say. This could be the tipping point into a soft (or very hard if you are a dissident) totalitarian state such as China or even Venezuela. Gen. Milley has openly talked of a coup and implied half his fellow citizens are Nazi’s. His defense of critical race theory is deeply dishonest. This new war on “domestic terrorism” is unprecedented in American history. Even during the Civil War, this kind of threat to the Republic didn’t take place. The Constitution was never suspended except for brief periods in areas in open rebellion.

        https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/563520-shadow-state-embracing-corporate-governance-to-escape-constitutional-limits

        Finally Frank, I’m tired of this pseudo-conversation where you continue to stonewall and ignore the most important facts in these matters while insisting on largely irrelevant or minor matters carefully skewed by you to give an unbalanced picture. And please drop your “right wing” media smear. Next thing we know you will be signing up for Milley’s critical race theory training and his strike team to take out Nazis.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Franktoo, I assume you are referring to firing Comey as being fired for investigating Trump. Comey is a liar and a perjurer. At the Senate hearing Comey stated under oath that Trump whispered to him in the blue room “I really look forward to working with you”. This was clearly an attempt to fortify the narrative that he was fired for the investigation. The only problem is that it is impossible for Trump to have said that. Watch the video and try saying it yourself. Comey not only perjured himself but he did it by making up a quote from Trump. How many other things did he make up?

      • stevenreincarnated wrote: “Franktoo, I assume you are referring to firing Comey as being fired for investigating Trump. Comey is a liar and a perjurer. At the Senate hearing Comey stated under oath that Trump whispered to him in the blue room “I really look forward to working with you”. This was clearly an attempt to fortify the narrative that he was fired for the investigation. The only problem is that it is impossible for Trump to have said that. Watch the video and try saying it yourself. Comey not only perjured himself but he did it by making up a quote from Trump. How many other things did he make up?

        Steven: This isn’t the right place for believers in the Qanon. If you want to rejoin the reality-baserd community, ask yourself these questions: If Comey clearly committed perjury at some point, why didn’t the Trump DoJ, especially under AG Barr not even attempt to bring charges against him? And why would Comey lie under oath about what Trump said when they shook hands that day?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Franktoo, unless I am QANON it didn’t come from QANON since I am the only one I am aware of that ever pointed it out. You could prove it for yourself but obviously you decided not to or did and can’t accept it.

      • stevenreincarnated | July 18, 2021 at 2:51 pm | Franktoo, unless I am QANON it didn’t come from QANON since I am the only one I am aware of that ever pointed it out. You could prove it for yourself but obviously you decided not to or did and can’t accept it.

        It’s too bad you are incapable of running a google search and discovering that you weren’t the first to accuse Comey of committing perjury when telling Congress that Trump whispered to him in the blue room “I really look forward to working with you”. You can’t explain why Comey would lie about something so trivial nor why the Trump DoJ wouldn’t indict Comey for perjury if there were proof he had lied.

        If Comey were willing to risk lying under oath to Congress, he certainly could have made more damaging allegations about Trump than this statement.

      • stevenreincarnated

        So Frank, you are admitting he lied, correct? I don’t really care if someone else has pointed it out so I didn’t search it, duh. Who else did, Qanon? I gave a motivation to you already. Too bad you copied what I said without reading it. There’s a lot of things I can’t explain why he wasn’t prosecuted over. This one is just such an open and shut case that I don’t expect an argument about it when I point it out. If you don’t like the motivation I gave you then come up with one of your own you think is more probable. The evidence indicates it was a purposeful lie since he sped up his pace of speech considerably as he presented the quote in his testimony knowing that time was a factor so it was premeditated perjury. In fact that change in speech pattern was what led me to think something wasn’t right about it in the first place. Like I said, liar and perjurer.

      • DPY ignorantly wrote: “Well, You didn’t respond to the point. I challenge you to show me any time in American history when there has been such a prolonged and widespread suspension of the Bill of Rights. Emergency decrees are usually for short periods such as the Mt St. Helens eruption and for very limited geographical regions. What just happened is a frightening prospect.

        Parts of the South were under military occupation after the Civil War until 1877, FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. If the military wanted to detain you without charges, no state court could insist upon your release. Then Jim Crow denied former slaves and their descendants their Rights under the Civil War amendments for another century.

        During WWII, 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were detained FOR 3.5 YEARS by the federal government as an emergency wartime measure. The Supreme Court approved detention, but we later discovered that the evidence that FDR presented to the court that they posed a national security threat was a lie.

        The restrictions that were imposed on American liberty during this pandemic were part of the police power granted to each state by the people of the state in their state constitutions. When those constitutions were writtenb, pandemic disease killed more people than war or crime, so state constitutions granted their officials wide latitude in fighting pandemic disease. The present generation has been spoiled – until now – by advances in vaccination sanitation and drugs that have eliminated the threat of pandemic disease.

        If government measures had halted the US pandemic in the spring of 2020, like they did in South Korea, Taiwan, China and elsewhere, and allowed life to return to normal (say with just face masks, contact tracing and compensated voluntary quarantine), would you have approved of the severe spring lockdowns that sent unemployment to 15%? Or should we have skipped those lockdowns and stood by and let one million MORE Americans die. What if those measures had succeeded after the surge in the early summer and the number of lives at risk hadn’t changed much? What if SARS2 were as lethal as SARS1 or evolved to become much more lethal? Today, now that you have survived to be protected by vaccination, you have decided that your rights were suspended for an emergency for far too long, but you have 20/20 hindsight. The worst choice is to fight a war – against a military enemy or a pandemic – to a long drawn out stalemate – rather than fighting to WIN – but in this case we did save about a half million lives through vaccination.

        A detour: This is America and everyone is entitled to their own opinion about these questions, though it obviously would be far better if highly capable elite scientists like you and me arrived at our opinions by dispassionate reasoning and discussion rather than inflammatory, biased, populist rhetoric from those with political and monetary agendas. Populists on the right believe that NOTHING can be trusted if it comes from scientists like you and me or from the MSM or from government experts (like the FBI, DoJ, intelligence community) or from academics who aren’t social justice warriors. The only source of truth is the Holy Trinity of Sean, Tucker and formerly Rush and their accolytes. It is worth remembering that there are those in Russia and China spending lots of money creating and promoting conspiracy theories and fanning our flames (possibly even on this website?). You are (or were) an elite scientist capable of researching and understanding scientific literature and making informed decisions without the help of these con men – who do occasionally expose real problems. Unfortunately, you seem have abandoned your innate skepticism as a scientist and delegated the job of looking at critical primary sources (the DoJ IG’s report and the CDC’s estimates of seropositivity, for example) to people with an agenda who can’t be trusted. Like those who brought you weeks of fake news about Dominion voting machines that Sidney Powell now tells us NO ONE should have taken serious. And weeks of stories about election fraud that no judge found was supported by evidence.

        Once you have an informed opinion about how much power you want to delegate to your state health officials (remembering that pandemic diseases more deadly than COVID are possible), you can work to change your state constitution and recall your governor for the bad decisions he made. However, the courts were forced to make decisions without knowing that the state’s interventions would fail and the pandemic would get MUCH worse in the fall of 2020. Judges aren’t medical experts, and the medical experts with the power to make decisions work for the executive branch.

      • I’m afraid it is you Frank who are ignorant of American history. After the Civil War, Southern states continued to hold elections and normal government happened. Freedom of religion and the other rights in the Bill of Rights continued. Democrats were able to run for office and most won. The troops largely were there to ensure that Blacks were able to vote and to enforce Federal law. Political debate remained open and often libelous and nasty with the waving of the bloody shirt a common campaign tactic.

        What you cite from WWII was a special circumstance affecting a very small number of people. The Bill of Rights remained in full force.

        My statement is quite true. Your ignorant citation of much milder restrictions is just bias. Is there any topic Frank on which you are not terribly biased?

        You really really need Frank to own your extreme bias in favor of state emergency measures. Is it the good German in you?

      • Government overreach is of course a legitimate concern. But all this hand-wringing about loss of freedom comes in a context: Specifically that a majority of Americans have wanted their government to take actions to protect health, and what we’re left with is significantly the political expediency of highly partisan activists, with a ridiculously over-developed sense of entitlement who think just because they’re used to controlling the levers of society they are therefore justified in fear-mongering about relatively minor inconveniences like having to wear a freakin’ mask for a few minutes while in a public space where they could potentially set of a compounding chain of infections of a deadly disease.

        W/o such opportunism, we might have had a chance to save hundreds of thousands of lives had we implemented fairly simple measures such as they did in countries like South Korea. What a strange world where people think there’s some inherent zero sum relationship between sacrifice for our community and induvidual freedom.

      • Unquantified rhetorical posturing from Joshie.

        1. There is no definitive scientific evidence that most NPI’s worked. I already gave the population fatality data above by state. There is no correlation between severity of lockdowns and those statistics.
        2. So, as implemented draconic counter-measures didn’t work in practice. Whining that they weren’t implemented “right” means nothing.
        3. The evidence on masks is that there is no quantified evidence they work in community settings. Cloth masks simply don’t work as most particles get through. Surgical masks redirect the air flow up and down which means in enclosed spaces, the air will rapidly become satured with particles due to diffusion and turbulence. N95 masks are a benefit. They have significant side effects, some life threatening and even medical personnel are simply not going to comply very well with continuously wearing one.
        4. We have been over and over again and again the competing studies on NPI’s in this epidemic. The Flaxman was really badly flawed and its results worthless. Ioannidis et al have a competing paper, but the evidence is mixed and inconclusive.

        So, Josh are you then anti-science or just not very good at reading and digesting quantified science?

      • Just wanted to provide some debunking of the Flaxman et al study that found lockdown had a large effect. It turns out this was almost certainly an artifact of a flawed model. This critique also provides strong circumstantial evidence that lockdown was not beneficial.

        https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.580361/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Medicine&id=580361

    • > You have to admit you are commenting on something you have not investigated…

      This is what I love here.

      I have not “investigated” this I look at Ron’s “investigation” and Horowitz’s investigation and I see one that is heavily funded and conducted by professional law enforcement with decades of experiencd and huge resources to being to bear.

      I look at Ron’s “investigation” and I see one that, well, isn’t that.

    • Oh, just to be sure people understand.

      Just because Ron’s “investigation” lacks many of the important attributes of Horowitz’s doesn’t mean I think that Ron’s conclusions are necessarily wrong and Horowitz’s are necessarily right.

      I have no blind “trust” in Horowitz’s investigation.

      But I do think that the different broad characteristics of the two “investigations” are relevant for assessing the probabilities one them being correct relative to the other. And show me where Horowitz thought probable theories like the Seth Rich political assassination theories, and I’d have to revisit how I assess the probability of correctness of the two “investigations,” respectively.

      • Here’s a good summary from a leftie journalist. Joshie level of knowledge of this is basically zero. Even the DOJ IG found scores of errors and misrepresentations, may of them seriousl

        https://greenwald.substack.com/p/how-do-big-media-outlets-so-often

        “There were so many false reports circulated by the dominant corporate wing of the U.S. media as part of the five-year-long Russiagate hysteria that in January, 2019, I compiled what I called “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story.” The only difficult part of that article was choosing which among the many dozens of retractions, corrections and still-uncorrected factual falsehoods merited inclusion in the worst-ten list. So stiff was the competition that I was forced to omit many huge media Russiagate humiliations, and thus, to be fair to those who missed the cut, had to append a large “Dishonorable Mention” category at the end.

        That the entire Russiagate storyline itself was a fraud and a farce is conclusively demonstrated by one decisive fact that can never be memory-holed: namely, the impetus for the scandal and subsequent investigation was the conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign had secretly and criminally conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election, primarily hacking into the email inboxes of the DNC and Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. And a grand total of zero Americans were accused (let alone convicted) of participating in that animating conspiracy.”

  35. This is a good article
    https://trialsitenews.com/origin-of-covid-19/

    • Great article? By a prominent physician and researcher who won’t put his name on the article.

      • I guess I could argue, your team has forced them underground and then complains they are underground. That’s kind of rich. What’s your opinion of the WWII French Resistance?

    • The anonymous virologist in the article goes out of his way to support the valid motives for GOF research and not cast accusations but his questions clearly imply his suspicions. More on the Yunnan 2013 virus:

      1) Dr. Shi’s mission was to find Sars-like viruses in the wild yet she downplayed the 2013 Yunnan bat cave virus find in publications before 2020. For example, the only paper describing the incident named the virus “4991,” cataloged only a segment of its RNA called RDRP (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) and said the sample came from swabs of bat cave guano. Yet, in her 2020 publication announcing RatG13 and the story of the sick miners she neglected to cite the 2014 reference paper or that she changed the name of the virus or that she had sequenced the entire genome in 2018 or why she had chosen to do that. The fact that RatG13and 4991 were one in the same only came out after citizen investigators started digging and Dr. Shi admitted she had changed the name “for convenience.” After that is was found that the DNA surrounding the RatG13 RNA was not of that found in fecal samples but seemed to come from human respiratory fluid. Was it from the sick miner’s? When asked for actual samples of RatG13 Dr. Shi said the 2018 analysis exhausted the last bit of sample.

      2) The article asks the question if the the TRS leader sequence explored in a 2018 publication was identical to RatG13’s why was this not mentioned in the publication? It seems there is a pattern of non-disclosures of important information.

      3) The Chinese military was running its own research program into SARS-like bat covs. In fact, the closest viruses to SARS2 after RatG13 were collected by the Chinese military in 2017. On RNA segment called the E-protein was 100% homologous to that of both sequence published by Shi in 2020 for RatG13, the military virus and also the earliest SARS2. The E-protein now has mutated some showing that this is a near impossible coincidence. This needs more attention.

      4) The the most important evidence of lab versus natural origin that has been circulating among virologists in the background is a SARS2 feature called a furin cleavage site. This segment of four amino acid codons uses the human hosts furin protein to cleave the two parts of the spike, assisting its entry into human ACE2 receptor cells. This feature has been well known on other viruses to increase pathogenicity but it is unnecessary for the infection of bats and thus is not found in any other beta coronavirus. So how did it get there? Nature provide two possibilities and each have a problem. The first is random mutation but there is no evidence of any earlier versions of SARS2 in bats or humans and it statistically calculates to implausibility by experts. The second is recombination by SARS2 stealing the segment from another virus. This would be plausible except the particular coding that is used is extremely rare in bat viruses and also as said before there are no known bat viruses in the family that it could have stolen it from.
      https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210217/The-origin-of-SARS-CoV-2-furin-cleavage-site-remains-a-mystery.aspx

      e

    • > The origin of the virus is extremely important in helping us determine what is going to happen going forward in the pandemic

      Not really:

      Suppose you get burgled. This time the thief went through your window. Does that mean you should leave the door open until you spot him with your cameras? No. That’d be silly. In security matters, simplicity is key. Every layer adds risks. In the long run, our policies better be simple and cover for all the risks, otherwise both time and resources will be lost trying to save money. This applies even if we find eventually something conclusive.

      https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2021/06/16/how-to-reason-by-analogy/

      • The risk is greater with engineered viruses. We can prepare for natural jumps. And engineered jumps. What am I fighting? Bruce Lee would ask that question. What do you call the inability to perceive what’s in front of you? Death. There are limited resources. We can figure out what’s in the world to use. We do not figure out we can do all things, all the time. And while we are saving our own butts with our resources, the poor are dying. What is this mindset we are have?

  36. Pingback: Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins – Watts Up With That? | Blue Anon News

  37. Thank you, Judith for posting this. Well done.

    Regards,
    Bob

  38. A year ago Cambridge University (UK) and Munster and Kiel (Germany) researchers did the genetics on covid-19 and found that it mutated from a bat virus in Yunnan in Southern China. What scientists already on the case suspected before the pandemic based on their specialist knowledge, was confirmed:

    https://ptolemy2.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/the-genetic-web-of-coronavirus-origin-in-yunnan-not-wuhan/

    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

    What is wrong with this straightforward, robust, parsimonious and well established answer?
    Why has this research been forgotten – and every month we return to the subject of covid-19 origins like the script of “Fifty Blind Dates”?

    It’s a mutated Yunnan bat coronavirus.
    End of story.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241/tab-figures-data

    • Matthew R Marler

      Phil Salmon: It’s a mutated Yunnan bat coronavirus.

      Yet to be elucidated: Where did the mutation occur, and how did the resultant virus first infect humans?

      Elliot Sobel, in his book “From a Biological Point of View”, addressing random variation and natural selection (and artificial selection), referred to “parsimony” as “Occam’s Lobotomy”. It isn’t a trustworthy guide to “truth”, just a preference for a constraint on human thinking. There is seldom agreement on when “necessity” has been satisfied.

    • Yunnan was where the Wuhan lab was getting the bats to study, because the prior SARS virus traced to a bat population in Yunnan. They were looking for novel corona viruses in Yunnan bats, found 800 miles away, and then conducting gain-of-function research on them.

    • Matthew
      Yet to be elucidated:

      No, Forster et al. in PNAS illucidated it thoroughly.
      50 blind dates again.

    • It’s a mutated Yunnan bat coronavirus.
      End of story.
      —————–
      We have proclaimed Science is finished, it’s done. Thank you.
      “The following quote, or some variation thereof, has often been attributed to Lord Kelvin
      “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.””
      The point is not whether he said it or not.
      It is, it’s never done. Rust never sleeps.

  39. Bill Fabrizio

    The title of the thread is Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins.

    That consensus was orchestrated by professional institutions. Whether or not it was ‘true/false’ or done in smoke filled room or not, is interesting, but secondary. Bureaucratic control of information is endemic to its basic function, particularly if that information has the potential to undermine its authority/survival. The fact is that ‘the consensus’ has deteriorated, as shown by the public statements of questioning professionals, and the present shifting of the bureaucratic official position.

    By necessity we live in a society dominated by bureaucracies. If we ignore their basic structure as social mechanisms we can easily overlook their inherent coercive function which necessitates that they are, primarily, the arbiters of information. Not necessarily truth, as shown by the fact their official positions evolve. In this case with covid, one can definitely make the argument that the bureaucratic coercive function got ahead of its mandate to advocate for public health. It was far from prudent that a position regarding covid origins should have been decided so early.

    • Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone columnist and author, has an interesting take as well:

      “From the start, the press mostly mishandled Covid-19 reporting. Part of this was because nearly all of the critical issues — mask use, lockdowns, viability of vaccine programs, and so on — were marketed by news companies as culture-war narratives. A related problem had to do with news companies using the misguided notion that the news is an exact science to promote the worse misconception that science is an exact science. This led to absurd spectacles like news agencies trying to cover up or denounce as falsehood the natural reality that officials had evolving views on things like the efficacy of ventilators or mask use.

      When CNN did a fact-check on the question, “Did Fauci change his mind on the effectiveness of masks?” they seemed worried about the glee Trump followers would feel if they simply wrote yes, so the answer instead became, “Yes, but Trump is also an (bad word)” (because he implied the need to wear masks is still up for debate). By labeling whatever the current scientific consensus happened to be an immutable “fact,” media outlets made the normal evolution of scientific debates look dishonest, and pointlessly heightened mistrust of both scientists and media.”

      This follows along Koonin’s point that climate science has been blown out of any semblance of accuracy by a desperately partisan press.

      https://taibbi.substack.com/p/fact-checking-takes-another-beating?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxMjMwNDk4NCwicG9zdF9pZCI6MzY3NzU0NTIsIl8iOiJTYkNzViIsImlhdCI6MTYyMTg5NTI1OCwiZXhwIjoxNjIxODk4ODU4LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTA0MiIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.za-MfB2_o5eBCEkvS1GEkkaKP2PcntXux2WX5sEFeAs

  40. DeWitt Payne

    An animal intermediate was a highly probable and valid hypothesis a year ago. But no animal intermediate has been found, unlike SARS and MERS. Then there’s the coding of the furin cleavage site on the spike and the hospitalization of three WIV employees with respiratory infections in November 2019. The preponderance of the evidence is now for a lab leak, not an animal spillover. The lab leak hypothesis is probably not at the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt level’, but it’s getting close.

    • Well, upthread I left a comment that put 1 in 2000 odds of a zoonotic outbreak emerging within a nine mile radius of Wuhan, based on China’s overall arable land area. Taking a population approach, the odds of a zoonotic outbreak coincidentally occurring in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in a country of 1.4 billion, is 1 in 125.

      If the reports of three WIV employees getting Covid in November are true, we could make a rough stab at calculating the odds of that. As a guess, lets say WIV has 1000 employees (I couldn’t find employment figures). Even if there was some particular reason for a zoonotic outbreak in Wuhan, the odds that a WIV employee would be the first to get it in a city of 11 million is 11,000 to one. I’d allow that one might’ve infected the other two coworkers, so as not to cube those odds into a trillion to one chance.

      So the people lecturing us that a lab leak is an unsupportable conspiracy theory should perhaps explain why these three rough, back-of-the-envelop stabs are completely invalid, as they show a 99.95%, 99.2%, and 99.99% chance it was a leak.

      And of course the actions of the Chinese government clearly show that they thought it came from the lab, or they wouldn’t have been desperately covering everything up.

      • The amazing part of all this is that the NYT and WaPo could not do that math.
        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/17/business/media/coronavirus-tom-cotton-china.html

      • The zoonotic outbreak didn’t have to occur in Wuhan for Wuhan to be the first large outbreak of the disease. It could have been brought there from somewhere else.

        The problem with the three WIV employees getting Covid in November argument is that there is evidence that COVID was already in Europe by then. Even if the three employees had COVID (which isn’t proved), they could as easily have gotten it from outside the lab since the infection was widespread in Wuhan at that time.

        The presence of COVID in Europe and possibly even the West Coast of US in late 2019 suggests an origin much earlier than November, 2019.

      • “The zoonotic outbreak didn’t have to occur in Wuhan for Wuhan to be the first large outbreak of the disease.”

        Yes clearly it’s not direct evidence. But independent circumstantial evidence can be multiplied into the probabilities until it surpasses the beyond reasonable doubt threshold. The list of evidence is very long now and the experts who claimed there was no evidence or strong evidence of the opposite have now been found to be concealing huge professional conflicts. The 27 Lancet virologist signers knew, for example, that lab leaks were common, that the 2003 SARS1 virus had caused outbreaks from lab leaks no less than 6 times, 4 of them in China. They knew that the WIV was engaging in GOF research making chimera SARS viruses designed to infect humans. They knew the US had ordered a halt on funding of GOF research due to lab leaks and the need to revamp the safety protocols.

        Fauci and Daszak knew all of this better than any others and never disclosed it. Instead, together they corralled the virologists community, over which they controlled funding, to sign a letter claiming with certainty a zoonotic origin and also labeling dissenters conspiracy theorists.

        It took people like the retired NYT science writer Nicholas Wade to point out that the lab leak origin theory explains the facts better than the zoonotic origin. The direct evidence that would eliminate the lab origin has been withheld by China while the world experts remained silent.

      • Bill Fabrizio

        Ron

        >Fauci and Daszak knew all of this better than any others and never disclosed it. Instead, together they corralled the virologists community, over which they controlled funding, to sign a letter claiming with certainty a zoonotic origin and also labeling dissenters conspiracy theorists.

        It took people like the retired NYT science writer Nicholas Wade to point out that the lab leak origin theory explains the facts better than the zoonotic origin. The direct evidence that would eliminate the lab origin has been withheld by China while the world experts remained silent. <

        I agree with what you said. But another possible twist to the plot could have been that Dasak's mad dash to the lab could have been nothing more than CYA. Controlling the situation to preserve one's derrierre is one of the first things one learns in any bureaucratic environment, particularly as there have been stories of containment issues and the lab employees becoming ill. There was much at stake to avoid an investigation that could have exonerated the lab for transmission but nonetheless exposed practices that, given the dangerous nature of the experiments, recommended closure. Another words, he didn't want to be a sacrificial lamb for the greater bureaucratic good.

        And if this scenario is true, make no mistake that there were many in positions of power who realized this and knowingly set Dasak in motion. Fauci certainly included.

        This possible scenario would support the basis of this thread of the 'consensus uber alles narrative', which is nothing but scientists, and bureaucracies, behaving badly.

      • Bill,

        I think everyone gave themselves a perfectly good rationalization of why they gave no curiosity as to the checking the lab. Imagine that in 2015 Shi had trained students on what Baric taught her in 2014. Let’s say in 2016 the military takes control of part of the WIV and puts that student in charge. The area is restricted to those with top secret clearance. They run experiments to give viruses GOF to stay ahead of Fort Dietrich where they assume the US is making viruses (or that is their cover story to the workers.) We know in 2017 the military did their own bat guano expeditions and obtained ZC45/ ZXC2, which is 90% similar to SARS2. After a year of serial passage in humanized mice they get the virus to lets say 96.2%. Shi published in November 2020 that she ran the full RNA sequence of 96.2% similar RaTG13 for the first time in 2018 (since she got some new equipment) and exhausted the last sample. But it is just as plausible that was given the RNA sequence by the military after the SARS2 outbreak along with a cover story that she dutifully followed.

        Shi could honestly tell Daszak and Baric that the virus was not from her lab and only tell the small lie about where she got the RatG13 sequence. This leaves Daszak, Baric and Fauci relieved and only needing to make the small oversight of informing the public about their GOF projects and training of WIV staff.

        It’s all very plausible without a large conspiracy. You just count on people’s relationships and situational biases. Fauci, Baric and Daszak’s behavior was predictable. All this said my scenario can be half blown up by the Chinese allowing an international expedition to go into the bat cave in Yunnan and find RatG13 or it’s kin in near identical form to the 2018 sequence. But so far they have kept a fence and around the cave opening guarded by sentries.

      • Bill Fabrizio

        Ron … Thanks for your reply. It is amazing at how many ways this can go. Oh what a tangled web we weave …

    • But no animal intermediate has been found,

      What happened to the pangolin?
      50 blind dates again.

      • https://judithcurry.com/2021/05/23/collapse-of-the-fake-consensus-on-covid-19-origins/#comment-950564

        But non-China virologists rejected the pangolin cov because the non-spike RNA was less of a match than RatG13. In other words pangolin cov had to be a more distant ancestor than the bat cov so it couldn’t be the father to SARS2.

        For the pangolin spike to be 97% similar to SARS2 by co-evolution is very small. So why is the pangolin cov spike so similar? Peter Daszak’s Eco Health Alliance is in business to answer that question. They have collected tens of thousands of wildlife samples over the last 20 years looking for viruses. They went back to their pangolin samples for the past 10 years for multiple locations and could not find ANY coronaviruses. They thus conclude that pangolin cov must have originated in captive pangolins, perhaps the smuggling trade.

        Total nucleic acid was extracted for viral molecular screening using conventional PCR protocols used to routinely identify known and novel viruses in extensive prior sampling (> 50,000 mammals). No sample yielded a positive PCR result for any of the targeted viral families—Coronaviridae, Filoviridae, Flaviviridae, Orthomyxoviridae and Paramyxoviridae. In the light of recent reports of coronaviruses including a SARS-CoV-2-related virus in Sunda pangolins in China, the lack of any coronavirus detection in our ‘upstream’ market chain samples suggests that these detections in ‘downstream’ animals more plausibly reflect exposure to infected humans, wildlife or other animals within the wildlife trade network. While confirmatory serologic studies are needed, it is likely that Sunda pangolins are incidental hosts of coronaviruses. Our findings further support the importance of ending the trade in wildlife globally.

        https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10393-020-01503-x#Tab4

        This still leaves one expecting that pangolin cov and SARS2 have a common ancestor in the smuggling trade. One would think they would have found it by now. Another mystery appeared in the two pangolin cov papers in that it was uncovered last fall that the second one plagiarized or was falsified using the RNA samples from the first while changing the labeling to make if appear to be independent samples. The first pangolin paper was published in March 2019 and the second in June, just a couple months before the October outbreak. Is this all coincidence?

  41. Rhys Jaggar

    What we have actually seen the past 17 months where Covid19/SARS-CoV2 is concerned is that ‘skepticism’ has migrated to independent websites, based on the suppression at the MSM.Although at this time point that means that only a small minority of the world get to hear the skeptical viewpoint, it does mean that viral transmission methods are still capable of taking place.In the UK, a variety of ‘independent media sites’ have been prepared to engage on the subject of Covid-skepticism. These include:

    www. off-guardian.org (set up by a variety of people banned from commenting at the now Neoliberal Guardian Newspaper website (originally the Guardian was the foremost national daily newspaper for the intellectual left of centre reader));

    http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk – a website espousing traditional conservative views, set up by two women (but contributed to- and read by just as many men as women);

    http://www.therealslog.com – a website set up by John Ward, a former senior market researcher in the private sector whose clients demanded sociological analyses concerning a wide variety of topics – the site really represents a political outlet for a free-thinking individual with 50 years of adult experience;

    http://www.ukcolumn.org – an alt-media site which openly states that it is in effect ‘anti-establishment’ (based on the fact that the Establishment now seems to be dedicated to continual lying);

    Whilst not everything that is written there is accurate and whilst you do get some rather crazy viewpoints expressed BTL (almost always with scant disregard for empirical evidence), the effect on engaging at those sites for several months or years is that your knowledge tends to iterate rather than stall, simply because the sites base their offering on seeking out the truth (which is always an ongoing affair).

    Another valuable aspect to such sites is that comments BTL can have links to really excellent alternative articles on the subject which may lead quite quickly to rapid dissemination of such facts, evidence, views etc to much wider audiences.

    There is of course a danger of cognitive bias coming from limiting oneself to such sources. However, it is in fact necessary to completely disengage from the MSM for a sufficient time period to lose ones brainwashing from such sources and hence become aware of how the MSM is in fact brainwashing the public.

    Once freedom from brainwashing has been achieved, it is possible to revisit such sites in the knowledge that they will be seen for what they are, rather than naively seeing them as places where you may find some truth on a regular basis.

    • For those looking for the MSM current stance here is the latest from Forbes.com. It concludes:

      “Conspiracy theories like the lab leak hypothesis might sound compelling and inviting to us. After all, how much more comforting would it be to know that just a handful of evil people — not the politicians who sacrificed their constituents, but rather some imaginary “mad scientists” laughing maniacally in their lair — were ultimately responsible for the tragedies of the past 18 months? Fortunately, as scientists, we are not guided by comfort, but rather by the pursuit of truth and accuracy, based on the best knowledge we can obtain. Despite what many prominent voices would have you believe, the virology is open-and-shut: there is no compelling reason to believe that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a lab.” – Ethan Siegel

      I would that agree with this conclusion to borrow any points from the article for debate. I couldn’t find that a single point that I agreed with.
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2021/05/20/no-science-clearly-shows-that-covid-19-wasnt-leaked-from-a-wuhan-lab/?sh=25fa1d925585

      • I meant to say I would ask anyone who agrees with this conclusion to borrow any points from it for debate. And, BTW, that would include Peter Daszak who tweeted out the article.

        https://twitter.com/PeterDaszak/status/1395455248404258821?s=20

      • Ron Graf: there is no compelling reason to believe that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a lab

        There is no compelling reason, imo, to believe any of the origin stories. What is present, for example in Nicholas Wade’s review, is evidence that is hard to reconcile with each origin story.

      • Ron Graf: “Most recently, disgraced journalist Nicholas Wade has penned an error-filled, misleading piece promoting this nonsense, but the science tells a different story.”

        Is there, yet, a published point-by-point rebuttal of Wade’s article? If so, could you please link it? Also link to a substantiation of the claim that Wade is “disgraced”?

      • I was quoting a article I strongly disagree with. Just providing both sides.

    • Classic –

      > There is of course a danger of cognitive bias coming from limiting oneself to such sources….

      Followed by:

      >However, it is in fact necessary to completely disengage from the MSM for a sufficient time period to lose ones brainwashing from such sources and hence become aware of how the MSM is in fact brainwashing the public.

      My guess… zero realization of the irony.

  42. I don’t have to point out that the same political party that attacked critics of the COVID origin is also the party that attacks climate skeptics. Bullies are simply bullies, that is how they “win” debates. Anyway, the list of stations that show no warming is growing…rapidly. No amount of attacking will change this data.
    https://imgur.com/a/CDasqHH

  43. Despite spending over 17% of it’s GDP on healthcare the poor response to the virus exposed the US as a house of cards.
    I think 2020 was the tipping point for the US. It will take years to make up for the losses in education, average life expectancy, birth rate, debt to GDP and that’s only if we restore trust in our institutions. With 70% of republicans refusing to acknowledge the results of the last election I’m not holding my breath.
    I knew the end was near when China took over world leadership in international patents in 2018. Their response to control the pandemic is clear evidence they have the social cohesion and leadership to become the the most powerful nation on the planet.

    • The cause of this sad state of affairs Jack is the failure of most of the important institutions in Western culture, emphatically including academia, the media, and big business. The insane response to Covid that resulted in these dramatic setbacks was unprecedented and driven by fanatical hatred of Trump and Trump supporters.

      Every election since 2000 has generated widespread claims that the result was not fair or the result of cheating. That’s not a new thing

      • I’m not assigning blame to either party. I think the country is in the early stages of the “Behavioral Sink Syndrome”. Since BSS is a multi-generation
        phenomenon there is still time to invent the technology* to reverse it.
        *genetically engineering better citizens who are smarter, emotionally stable and live longer and healthier lives.

      • jungletrunks

        “Every election since 2000 has generated widespread claims that the result was not fair or the result of cheating”

        Jack has forgotten that Trump stole the election from Hillary.

        But if Hillary had won in 2016 we would still be a year or more out from having a vaccine, at best. Trump’s innovation was putting the most promising vaccines into production while they were still being tested, this enabled early ramping of vaccinations. Biden hasn’t done much but watch and claim victory between naps.

      • jungletrunks,
        Let’s just dispense with the notion the the US is a democratic nation. The R’s have won the popular vote only once since 2000. If I had to put a label on it I would lean towards calling it a oligarchy.
        The last time we had so many citizens voting was 120 years ago. Over the next few decades from around the beginning of the 1900’s through the late 1920’s numerous changes to voter eligibility, limits to the House of Representatives and federal control over the voting process managed to slice that from around 70% of eligible voters down to a cycle low of 48% in 1996. If history is any guide I expect voter participation to drop significantly.
        https://www.c-span.org/video/?511363-1/the-age-acrimony

      • jungletrunks

        “The last time we had so many citizens voting was 120 years ago”

        We never have seen so many vote, ever before, as we did in the 2020 federal election.

        We’re a democratic republic, Jack. The founders knew the certain tyranny that a pure democracy would bring, it enables mob rule. That’s why we have an electoral college; minority populations in states with less density have a say in the governance of our country. Otherwise only a few regions would determine their own federal spoils at the expense of the rest of the nation paying the taxes for those spoils. The structure is all about mitigating tyranny.

      • I was unclear about the most voters comment;
        “The last time we had so many citizens voting was 120 years ago”
        should be: “The last time we had such a high percentage of citizens voting was 120 years ago”.

        None of this deflects from my central point; China will be the most powerful country on the planet in the next 5-10 years because they have committed themselves to be the world’s leaders in the technology that will decide the fate of humanity. United we stand, divided we fall and if all else fails blow up everyone with nukes.

        If you have any doubts just do a search on “global approval rating by country”.

      • … genetically engineering better citizens who are smarter, emotionally stable and live longer and healthier lives…. Jack

        Perhaps we should learn how to reliably engineer virus’ first.

      • Well Robert I think we are doing pretty good at genetic engineering with viruses considering CRISPR/cas9 was literally derived from how a virus is able to infiltrate and modify DNA.
        But CRISPR/cas9 is ancient history now.
        https://singularityhub.com/2021/05/11/a-new-gene-editing-tool-rivals-crispr-and-can-make-millions-of-edits-at-once/

      • jungletrunks

        We will always be divided when comparing ourselves to totalitarian regimes, jack. Having divisions of ideas is a good thing. Creative destruction is good for both capitalism, and politics, the arts, many things; provided that corruption can be kept in check; but centralized government and massive corruption are inseparable because power always finds ways ways to insulate itself, that’s the nature of it.

        Higher education should be a place where individuals are kept off balance from an influx of ideas. CE is a good source for diversity of opinions, Dr. Curry allows a great deal of freedom and should be commended for it. But upstream in this blog we have someone leaving because they can’t stand the heat of alternative views; the views here are much more varied than he suggested. Society has gotten to the point where having certain political views means you stand to be canceled in some capacity. The Left has no use for competition, that’s a bad thing.

      • jungletrunks

        Jack, I agree with you about CRISPR.

        But I wouldn’t be so sure that COVID-19 isn’t someones idea of perfection, everything is relative.

      • Well Jack – we may crudely edit genes – as your cite says – but what emerges is a surprise.

      • jungletrunks

        Robert, CRISPR gene editing is not all surprises; I don’t know about the content of Jack’s post, but there are diseases that are treatable today specifically because of advances in CRISPR technology.

      • As far as I know – CRISPR has not been used to treat conditions in people.

      • jungletrunks

        “As far as I know – CRISPR has not been used to treat conditions in people.”

        I encourage you to study it more:

        https://innovativegenomics.org/news/crispr-clinical-trials-2021/

        https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2020/crispr-cancer-research-treatment

      • Although technically those are trails and not ‘genetically engineering better citizens who are smarter, emotionally stable and live longer and healthier lives.’

      • jungletrunks

        Robert on CRISPR: “…we may crudely edit genes … but what emerges is a surprise….As far as I know – CRISPR has not been used to treat conditions in people.”

        I presented the science that contradicts your assumptions.

        CRISPR trials are in process to treat myriad conditions in people, with very promising early results.

        For those interested, there’s also interesting research info in the link about COVID-19: https://innovativegenomics.org/covid-19-research-projects/

      • ‘The current trials using CRISPR-based treatments are still in early stages. That means that even if the treatments are safe and effective, they’re likely still a few years away from FDA approval and being broadly available to patients.’ https://innovativegenomics.org/news/crispr-clinical-trials-2021/

        ‘While the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has become the poster child for innovation in synthetic biology, it has some major limitations. CRISPR-Cas9 can be programmed to find and cut specific pieces of DNA, but editing the DNA to create desired mutations requires tricking the cell into using a new piece of DNA to repair the break. This bait-and-switch can be complicated to orchestrate, and can even be toxic to cells because Cas9 often cuts unintended, off-target sites as well.’ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210430120411.htm

    • Bill Fabrizio

      Jack & dpy …

      I wouldn’t worry … too much. The bureaucratic/institutional structural weaknesses combined with human frailty happens often. When hasn’t the MSM been lockstep with institutions? Or, the self-possessed of academia? This too shall pass, and from the efforts of individuals who refuse to be cowed by the dictates of bureaucratic/institutional depredations.

      I may sound a bit blase … but my advice is to stay angry, stay loud and give no quarter.

    • dougbadgero

      Poor response compared to who? The USA response, and mortality, is similar to many other industrialized nations. Most of the impacts you cite were based on government interventions not the effectiveness of our medical infrastructure. Our vaccination rates have been consistently in the top 5 globally.

      Only about 25% of the USA identify as either D or R, both historic lows. Your 70% of Rs statistic becomes about 18% of the US population. This is far higher than I would like it to be but I suspect not unlike many other cultural beliefs that have thin or no evidence, and hardly the end of the world as we know it.

  44. The Yunnan bat virus – with 96.2% of the genetics of the SARS-2 virus – was transported to the Wuhan lab where it was weaponised using US DoD funds and either accidentally or deliberately released – something that the lab and the Chinese government then covered up? 🤣

    https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/117/17/9241/F1.medium.gif
    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

    A more likely scenario is that the SARS-2 virus originated in Yunnan Province – where there were cases as early as September 2019 – after a long sequence of mutations from the bat virus – and then appeared in Wuhan as well as Canada and East Asia. The length of the lines represent the number of mutations between variants.

    The bigger issue with the conspiracy theory is that it obscures graver issues. Six of the eighteen signatories of the recent letter in Science are members of the Cambridge Working Group.

    ‘Recent incidents involving smallpox, anthrax and bird flu in some of the top US laboratories remind us of the fallibility of even the most secure laboratories, reinforcing the urgent need for a thorough reassessment of biosafety. Such incidents have been accelerating and have been occurring on average over twice a week with regulated pathogens in academic and government labs across the country. An accidental infection with any pathogen is concerning. But accident risks with newly created “potential pandemic pathogens” raise grave new concerns. Laboratory creation of highly transmissible, novel strains of dangerous viruses, especially but not limited to influenza, poses substantially increased risks. An accidental infection in such a setting could trigger outbreaks that would be difficult or impossible to control. Historically, new strains of influenza, once they establish transmission in the human population, have infected a quarter or more of the world’s population within two years.’ http://www.cambridgeworkinggroup.org/

  45. Here is an excellent 2015 podcast by Baric and his lead US collaborator explaining the specific gain of function experiments carried out in the WIV in 2014 they designed and why. They even get into “the pause” on GOF and their new rules they had to follow to continue. He says they operated in BSL3 conditions but that is disputed by their grant according to Wade.

    One also can see how Fauci can claim NIAID did not fund GOF research at the WIV to Sen Rand Paul. Baric told the moderator that they had to report whenever they got an experimental result that showed a gain of function so that the anonymous committee (“the black box at NIAID”) could tell them if they could continue. He said their 2014 experiments making a SARS chimera virus to infect human ACE2 modified mice did not show a gain of function so they didn’t need to notify the committee. This means that Fauci was technically correct in that they did not fund GOF as it turned out because they didn’t achieve GOF.

    Also it’s interesting that Baric does not believe that SARS1 came from a civet cat, the animal that Peter Daszak was credited for finding that is the official source of SARS in 2003.

    During the SARS-CoV epidemic, links were quickly established between palm civets and the CoV strains that were detected in humans4. Building on this finding, the common emergence paradigm argues that epidemic SARS-CoV originated as a bat virus, jumped to civets and incorporated changes within the receptor-binding domain (RBD) to improve binding to civet Ace2 (ref. 18). Subsequent exposure to people in live-animal markets permitted human infection with the civet strain, which, in turn, adapted to become the epidemic strain (Fig. 4a). However, phylogenetic analysis suggests that early human SARS strains appear more closely related to bat strains than to civet strains18. Therefore, a second paradigm argues that direct bat-human transmission initiated SARS-CoV emergence and that palm civets served as a secondary host and reservoir for continued infection (Fig. 4b)19. For both paradigms, spike adaptation in a secondary host is seen as a necessity, with most mutations expected to occur within the RBD, thereby facilitating improved infection. Both theories imply that pools of bat CoVs are limited and that host-range mutations are both random and rare, reducing the likelihood of future emergence events in humans.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

    He also proposes a third paradigm that eliminates the need for any intermediary virus host and just explains the civet cat as a concidential co-infection, In fact, one of the goals of his 2014 chimera experiment was to prove that nature did not need an intermediary.

    This explains perhaps some of Baric’s silent wait and see stance until now and underscores his change joining with the other virologist signers in wanting to see the lab origin investigated.

    • Am I simply imagining that the 4 WHO pathways disappeared? An animal spillover is the null hypothesis. ‘

      ‘The joint team’s assessment of likelihood of each possible pathway was as follows:
      • direct zoonotic spillover is considered to be a possible-to-likely pathway;
      • introduction through an intermediate host is considered to be a likely to very likely pathway;
      • introduction through cold/ food chain products is considered a possible pathway;
      • introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.’ https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/who-convened-global-study-of-origins-of-sars-cov-2-china-part

      • Well it would seem the joint team’s mission was to cover up the US sponsored gain-of-function research and sloppy procedures and protocols that led to the outbreak, based on who they selected for it. Or look at their findings:

        introduction through cold/ food chain products is considered a possible pathway;

        No, it’s not. Almost the entire world has been through this pandemic for over a year, and not once has the food chain been implicated in a single instance, out of 167 million known cases. That includes restaurant drive-throughs. The CDC has said repeatedly that food isn’t a pathway for infection. So even eating an infected bat shouldn’t result in transmission.

        introduction through an intermediate host is considered to be a likely to very likely pathway

        So far as I can tell, there has not been a single reported instance of animal to human transmission of Covid-19, except perhaps among the Wuhan lab workers, out of 167 million known cases. In over a year of searching, no intermediate host has been identified. No animals in Wuhan has been found to contain the virus, and the Chinese looked up and down for one.

        Most bats have almost no interactions with other mammals. They hang upside down in caves, fly out, and eat nothing but insects. They have very few predators, which is one reason many species live so long for such a small animal. About the only way to catch a disease from a bat is to spend a lot of time in caves with them, or from shoveling bat guano. If there was a natural breakout, it wouldn’t have been near Wuhan, it would’ve been near the caves where they were finding bats infected with SARS-COV-2, which is the natural reservoir of the virus.

        In contrast, at the beginning of the outbreak one of the lab workers said one of his coworkers got bloodied up in a fight with a research bat in the lab, where they were studying bat SARS viruses.

      • George is correct about zero documented covid infections from eating contaminated food. Even transmission from contaminated surface contact (fomites) is extremely low. And NEVER has there been a documented virus emergence emanating from frozen food. That bit of ridiculousness likely was meant to corrupt further the virologists already staked to the consensus — sort of punking them. But Tedros was not a weak and compromised as they calculated him to be and didn’t give it his stamp of approval to it, at least not unequivocally. Kudos to him.

        It has been amazing to see the establishment consensus transform on this story with no different information than last year except with Donald Trump no longer needing to be contradicted.

      • Nonetheless – WHO recommends thorough cooking of meat and not eating diseased animals. It was recognised as a possible pathway in the 3000 page WHO report. They surely cannot be criticised for covering the bases.

        Cats and minks have been identified as hosts with animal to human transmission. These were infected by people and are not the source of the spillover.

        The Hendra virus spread from fruit bats to horses grazing beneath fruit trees and then to humans. A pattern of spillover that has repeated throughout human history.

        And no – there was a bat corona virus identified as a close genetic match to SARS-COV-2. However – a long sequence of mutations was needed before it became the covid19 virus. It has been shown that emerged in Yunnan Province as early as September 2019. And then was carried to Wuhan as well as to Canada and the East Asia.

        The ‘chimera’ virus in 2014 was engineered under Biohazard Level 3 protocols – according to the American researchers who commissioned the work – and was less infective than the source virus’. So no gain of function it was argued.

        Expert opinion – and unlike these guys I am no virologist – is that by far the most likely origin is from bats via other species. But we may easily argue that away and accuse WHO and everyone else of covering their arses.

      • Nonetheless – WHO recommends thorough cooking of meat and not eating diseased animals. It was recognised as a possible pathway in the 3000 page WHO report. They surely cannot be criticised for covering the bases.

        Yet there are no known cases of the virus being transmitted by food, and we’ve studied it for over a year and seen at least 167 million cases. Fast food workers, some obviously with Covid, have been using their hands to assemble hamburgers, give the bun a final little pat, and handing them to someone who almost immediately put it in their mouth, and yet there are no documented cases of that having transmitted the virus.

        Yet the WHO was seriously considering this, and discounting the mountains of evidence implicated the lab, such as three lab workers getting sick in mid-November.

        Again, this is like having a small pox outbreak next to a CDC smallpox lab and arguing that the null hypothesis is that it came from an infected chicken breast from the KFC down the street.

        The Hendra virus spread from fruit bats to horses grazing beneath fruit trees and then to humans. A pattern of spillover that has repeated throughout human history.

        Fruit bats are really really big and hang out in trees all day, pooping on the horses and pooping on the horses’ food. In contrast, there aren’t millions of horseshoe bats hanging upside down over hotel lobbies in Wuhan. In fact, there are probably almost no bats there at all. The infected bats are in cave regions 800 miles away, and down in Vietnam, Laos, and other areas, where the outbreak did not originate, even though all those people have lived there for thousands of years next to infected bats without causing a pandemic.

        Again, no intermediate host has been found. No trace of the virus was found in the Wuhan seafood market. China didn’t conduct some massive sweep of wildlife, or cull any farm animals, they instead shut down the Wuhan lab, deleted all the data, destroyed the virus samples, silenced all the lab workers, and blamed the outbreak on the American military. Now why would they do that?

      • The virus appeared months earlier that the Wuhan outbreak. In Wuhan they had the expertise to identify the outbreak as something new. It may have originated Guangdong Province – the source of the original SARS spillover. .

        e.g. https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

        The sources of your other seemingly wild speculation are of course absent.

  46. Pingback: Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins – Climate- Science.press

  47. Pingback: Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins – Watts Up With That? – THE SHOCKING TRUTH

  48. Pingback: Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins – THE SHOCKING TRUTH

  49. The whole paragraph of the Lancet letter seems well worth reading:

    The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 as have so many other emerging pathogens. 11, 12 This is further supported by a letter from the presidents of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine13 and by the scientific communities they represent. Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus. We support the call from the Director-General of WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture.14
    We want you, the science and health professionals of China, to know that we stand with you in your fight against this virus.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2820%2930418-9/fulltext

    Due diligence needs to be paid to the evidence basis (1-13) before crying foul. In any event, toning down conspiracies might indeed help data sharing. And if Denizens really want to entertain a theory that can easily be turned into News Corp red meat, it is their personal responsibility to distance themselves from such ideation. Which means that the WHO’s point still stands.

    • Willard, there is nothing in the Lancet letter that was valid then or now.

      The very heart of their argument is a lie. They claimed to have knowledge based on their expertise that they did not have. They abused their authority to the detriment of all good scientists, both in their field and outside it.

      Scientists from multiple countries have published and analyzed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife

      Then making matters worse, they believed somehow that they had some authority to tell others, non-experts and collogues alike, what they were allowed to say or report.

      • Your proof by many assertions are duly noted, Ron.

        All the points I made stand.

      • Here is a new article in the WSJ with a few new items.

        Of the 27 original signers of the “conspiracy theory” denunciation letter 3 have now recanted. One said:

        “I’m convinced that what happened is that the virus was brought to a lab, they started to work with it…and some sloppy individual brought it out,” said Bernard Roizman, a University of Chicago virologist and one of the signers. “They can’t admit they did something so stupid.”

        They also contacted Baric for comment and he stuck to the natural crossover hypothesis. So he, like Fauci, is just moving reluctantly with the consensus.

      • Due diligence needs to be paid to the evidence basis (1-13) before crying foul. In any event, toning down conspiracies might indeed help data sharing. And if Denizens really want to entertain a theory that can easily be turned into News Corp red meat, it is their personal responsibility to distance themselves from such ideation. Which means that the WHO’s point still stands.

    • https://judithcurry.com/2021/05/23/collapse-of-the-fake-consensus-on-covid-19-origins/#comment-950564

      Looks to me that Ron has a lot more knowledge about this issue than I do or than you do Willard. I have yet to check out his evidence, but it looks interesting.

      I checked a couple of the Lancet letter references and some do say the virus did not originate in a lab, but the evidence is not conclusive to me and relies on many assumptions about what exact editing technology might or might not have been used. Another says the virus “might” have originated in wildlife. Of course all the viruses at the Wuhan lab “originated” in wildlife. Another says that no definite originating animal virus has been identified but bat viruses are quite undersampled and studied. That was very early in the pandemic, so perhaps it was too early to draw such strong conclusions. That point I think is undeniable especially given how much of the early science turned to be junk. The initial WHO IFR of 3.7% was very wrong. Many of the important questions are quite uncertain even now.

      • Looks to me … the evidence is not conclusive to me …

        Addressing the points I made might have saved you a comment, David.

      • The “point about the evidence” is that due diligence needs to be paid to the evidence basis (1-13) before crying foul, David.

        Do you agree with it, yes or no?

      • Yes pay due diligence. I think Ron has done that quite well. I explained the reason that early “evidence” about this virus has mostly proven to be wrong. Also pay due diligence to more up to date evidence.

      • You rather explained how you can’t really judge the evidence, David, and due diligence does not amount to scan articles like Ron did. It’s unclear if he looked at the evidence at all. If you agree with my point, then you agree with the main point made by the authors in the paragrap.

        Also, what the WHO said on this matter also applies to something like this:

        Chinese state media have stoked concerns about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, despite rigorous trials indicating it is safe. A government spokesperson has raised the unsubstantiated theory that the coronavirus could have emerged from a U.S. military lab, giving it more credence in China.

        https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/china-pushes-fringe-theories-on-pandemic-origins-virus-1.5280530

        Institutions that stand against spreading fear, rumours, and prejudice should be welcome. Private individuals like you, me, Ron, and Judy can do as we please.

    • FYI,
      You might like the new book from sone of my favorite authors:
      Daniel Kahneman & Olivier Sibony & Cass R. Sunstein – Noise- A Flaw in Human Judgment.
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55339408-noise

    • A paragraph follows. Indeed confidence in the media has collapsed and that is amply deserved. Taibbi is part of a new independent journalism that I find a lot more trustworthy.

      Unfortunately, over the course of the last five years in particular, as the commercial media has experienced a precipitous drop in the public trust levels, many organizations have chosen to trumpet fact-checking programs as a way of advertising a dedication to “truth.” Fact-checking has furthermore become part of the “moral clarity” argument, which claims a phony objectivity standard once forced news companies to always include gestures to a perpetually wrong other side, making “truth” a casualty to false “fairness.”

    • “ The news business just can’t stop clowning itself”

      It’s even more delicious when watching from the cheap seats in the circus.

    • Fact checking by the media has become a joke in one specific area, Individual Income Taxes, only because I’ve read and analyzed all the IRS Annual Reports back to 1916. So, when a politician or a talking head purports to have checked the so called facts, I at least have a reference to judge their statements by. Some get it right. But most use carefully constructed weasel words or omit what should be said or just outright lie. Very seldom do they put anything into context or try to educate about the US Tax system or its history.

      I can fact check on only a very small slice of what we as news consumers get each day. Much of it is BS. I can only imagine how much BS there is in the other 99.9% of information that I know very little about.

  50. Geoff Sherrington

    (Imagine how I feel after having eaten genuine birds nest soup and inspected a source cave in S-W Yunnan province while visiting mines.)
    Judith, it takes bravery to write what you wrote. Again, thank you for advancing the discussion of the state of science.
    It is predictable but disappointing that many of the bloggers here have quickly expressed their beliefs, with little to say about science. (There are exceptions, Ron Graf has presented some science).
    It is almost as if many bloggers here put their beliefs ahead of the Scientific Method. Where are the data in this Covid-19 issue? Has any blogger seen actual data, sought it from papers on GOF research and elsewhere? I have not. I lack much interest in the Covid science topic because it is far from my scientific experience (though as a chemist, I have doubts about some uses of the polymerase chain reaction.) That disqualifies me from discussing the science data, but I remain qualified to discuss factors affecting the paths of science in coming years. As an Australian, I can do this without referencing politics, though I admire what Donald Trump has done and can do for a slightly ill USA.
    Corruption of traditional hard science was evidenced in many places from climate research, particularly with the Climategate release of emails. I had been critical of Phil Jones years before then, for cherry picking and being devious when asked for simple answers to simple questions. It was then my feeling that other sectors of science would jump on these poor but public climate researchers in a self-healing way. That has not happened. For motives that continue to evade my understanding, other science sectors joined in with decay of basic principles of their own. It is tragic. The old science, controlled by the scientists, has now been weakened by advertising agencies and academic schools of journalism, while at much the same time society as reported has been calling for less punishment in all walks of society for those who are knowingly breaking the law.
    This is a moral collapse in the eyes of some of us old enough to have known golden times. There is no way that I like it or condone it.
    People should have a better understanding of truth and proof and uncertainty and similar factors. I cannot influence this, but it is sad. Geoff S.

  51. Pingback: Collapse of the fake consensus on Covid-19 origins

  52. verytallguy

    dpy

    You just disagree with Nic’s sensible positions on mitigation methods and you allow your political biases to dictate your “scientific” opinions.

    As I have literally no idea what Nic Lewis’ positions on mitigation are, I would struggle to disagree with them. If you’re interested in my view on them, drop in a link to them and I’ll be happy to help.

    You would do so much better if you responded to what is in front of you, rather than trying to fit the facts to your ideology.

  53. I am trained to evaluate sources and to compare and contrast. I have been doing it for decades. But even now I know little more than a smattering of a few disciplines needed for my work. For most of science the language, maths, methods and deep background needed to make sense of it all are lacking. All of you are in the same ignorant boat. But there is little evidence here of the discrimination needed to evaluate claims about science. Politicians marshal competing experts. Activists crusade against it – apparently we have forgotten how to do science like they did it in the old days. Internet pundits wave it about like talismans and dress it up with specious argumentation. What is lacking is the reserved and balanced judgement that is scientific scepticism. Replaced with blog unscience and conspiracy theories. That seems to me to be the clear and present danger to the scientific enlightenment. Not the climategate emails, the tropical hotspot, model verisimilitude or the hockey stick.

    Climate science has moved on. The dominant climate paradigm is that human emitted greenhouse gases bias a chaotic system to a warmer state. There is implicit in chaos and a changing climate the risk of dramatic and rapid change in the Earth system. Ask Judith for a post on the real fundamentals as she sees them.

    It is enough to be pragmatically getting on with. Practical responses involve ‘the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.’

    Hopefully it includes a better response to the next viral spillover – and the avoidance of lab accidents with pandemic pathogens. Despite a natural viral spillover seemingly still the dominant SARS-2 origin paradigm – the latter is something the world must get right.

    • Curious George

      “The dominant climate paradigm is that human emitted greenhouse gases bias a chaotic system to a warmer state.”
      Unfortunately, the dominant climate paradigm is nonstop lies.

      • That much should be accepted as truth in line with Isaac Newton’s 4th rule of natural philosophy. There are of course those who don’t and never will. And if you think contrarians aren’t arseholes about it I guess it is all rainbows, Leonard Cohen and unicorns for you. The best one can expect is to be told that ‘believing’ in general relativity is a religious cult.

  54. UK-Weather Lass

    “Daszak had corralled other scientists with similar professional interests into making a declaration to the effect that anyone who mentions the obvious possibility that the pandemic might have a connection to the research in the Wuhan Lab could only be doing so with bad intentions.”

    Many may claim with justification that everything about SARS-CoV-2 has been about bad intentions, from the fear mongering, the mask controversies, variant anxiety, vaccine efficacies and side effects, asymptomatic infection noise, etc., through to the initial failure of public health functions almost everywhere except for the few who still had some common sense left intact from before the ‘woke’ started to get their money for nothing routine working and immediately noticed the benefits of a Covid New Deal. How many times have you heard the phrase ‘game changer’ only to find the game didn’t change at all?

    It obviously matters where the virus came from if it was not engineered by nature. But who stands to get the most out of keeping the subject as a live potential ‘Gain of Function’ issue if it isn’t the fear mongers who have made such a dog’s dinner out of it? These are the very politicians who nonsensically hold onto an ability to forever limit our freedoms as long as this or similar viruses remain in circulation.

    We really need stronger leadership than this and to stop voting for those who get anxious about things we should be capable of taking in our stride without so much as missing a heartbeat.

    • “We really need stronger leadership than this and to stop voting for those who get anxious about things we should be capable of taking in our stride without so much as missing a heartbeat.”

      the trouble is that they are all as bad as each other, as those promoting the precautionary principle have taken it to the extremes and have got into bed with both the health and safety brigade and the Nanny knows best mongers.

      tonyb

      • It’s worse than that. Neil Ferguson told the government to take it to extremes, then went to see his mistress (ie took the thing in stride without missing a heartbeat.)
        They weren’t just anxious, they were deceptive.

    • jungletrunks

      “These are the very politicians who nonsensically hold onto an ability to forever limit our freedoms as long as this or similar viruses remain in circulation.”

      I really worry about the next garden variety strain of flu that presents itself; I suspect there will be attempts by certain politicians to ride on the coattails of COVID’s political bounty.

  55. This article is a revelation. Not about the substance as much as about myself and how jaded I’ve become about the media and science. Decades ago I would have reacted to the material with disbelief or at a minimum strong skepticism. That was when, in my eyes, the media and science were above reproach. Both institutions were sacrosanct. No more.

    The degradation of the media began about 40 years ago. My reevaluation of science began about a decade ago coinciding with reading Judith’s outstanding. Now, when she provides an article about questionable practices by the media and in science, my reaction is “sounds plausible” given everything else that I’ve learned about behavior in those fields.

    I was going use some venom on the media. But they indict themselves before our eyes every day. So, science gets center stage. This article below encapsulates the sorry state of science and the self absorbed state of the cancel culture in one fell swoop.

    https://blog.ucsusa.org/science-blogger/climate-denialism-no-place-at-lawrence-livermore-laboratory

  56. Interesting article, although I was rather hoping for more insight on the origin. The parallels between covid alarmism and climate alarmism are obvious … but still worth stating. The big difference is that whereas climate was a money spinner only for those with an alarmist point of view, with covid many people worldwide now have a stake in getting to the truth – not least all the businesses who have lost so much for a lockup that we now know to be totally useless (e.g. see cv19 DOT uk)

    • Curious George

      I am still hoping for a definite disproval of a lab leak theory along the lines:
      “I can state categorically that it was not a lab leak. I was there on the same day that no leak occurred.”

  57. Bruce - Part II: Many Questions Remain About The Wuhan Virus Spread From Epidemic To Pandemic

    WHO IS CHECKING THE WHO’S INVESTIGATORY FINDINGS:
    MANY COVID -19 UNANSWERED QUESTIONS REMAIN:

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WUHAN LABORATORIES COVID-19 UNANSWERED QUESTIONS By BJM:

    • How many Wuhan public officials or Wuhan lab directors, scientists, or researchers have been silenced and / or fired?
    • Did the Beijing Central Government leaders replace certain Wuhan public officials, Wuhan lab directors, scientists or researchers — during the outbreak — who did not follow the Communist Central Party line  — to mask a coverup?
    • How was the Wuhan Laboratory [BSL3/4] work safely conducted?  Testing In Vitro? Testing on animals? How had the tested contagious material and animals been properly & securely disposed?  Any testing done on humans? Did Airborne COVID-19 and/or any other diseases make their way out of the secure Wuhan Lab areas? Did Airborne COVID-19 travel through the HVAC Wuhan Lab system? Did the WHO check, cross-check and counter-check the Airborne COVID-19 escape capability in the Biosafety Space, The Surrounding Safety Offices, General Office Space, Receiving room/dock? When was the last time the HVAC/air filtering system was updated — HEPA FILTERS ADEQUATE ? HVAC/air filtering replaced? How was the Biosafety Wuhan Lab area designed to contain the new Airborne COVID-19 whose [unseen] micron particles stay in the air for 3 or more hours? Prefiltered air exhaust safe [regularly tested (dates)]? Filtered Air exhaust safe [regularly tested (dates)]? Did any COVID-19 or any other disease ever escape from the Wuhan Labs? How many times [dates]? What safety measures went into place to clean it up? These same questions would apply to the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute Of China  – Academy Of Agricultural Science [Large animal research center].

    • Were virus testing tubes, computer cache, equipment, and supplies safely/securely transferred back and forth between the two Wuhan Laboratories and/or Harbin Vet Research Institute? Did a  Wuhan Lab worker’s flash drive transport the COVID-19 around infecting people?
    • How many different types of Coronavirus were under secured research study [certain number (evidence) destroyed?] in the 2 Wuhan Laboratories — any at Harbin?  Of these various types of coronavirus, what are their various COVID-19 virulency [high viral load] capacity?
    • How many individuals [part-time, temporary (substitute), full-time, student researchers (including security, delivery drivers, hired drivers [personal transport], etc.] worked at or for the two Wuhan laboratories?
    • How many individuals [part-time, temporary (substitute), full-time, student researchers] tested COVID-19 positive [date]? How many died [date]?  Did any such individuals travel outside Wuhan City and/or Hubie Province [community spread] to visit family, relatives and friends?
    • Did any Wuhan Laboratory workers’ or employees’ [security, delivery drivers, etc] family members, neighbors, or friends test COVID-19 positive [date]? How many died [date]? In simple terms, how many people directly or indirectly affiliated with the two Wuhan laboratories tested COVID-19 positive [date]?
How many such individuals directly or indirectly affiliated with the two Wuhan laboratories died [date]? 

 

    NETWORKING OF WUHAN LAB EMPLOYEES by BJM

    • Particularly [Asymptomatic – Community Spread]: Did any Wuhan Lab doctors, professors or researchers teach [full-time/part time], guest lecture, give seminars [or do any other collaborations]  at/with any China Universities, Harbin Vet Research Center, Police/Military/Intelligence Institutions [or give private independent instruction (not university/government sanctioned)] private laboratories [dates]?   If so, how many university students tested COVID-19 positive [date]? How many university students died [date]? If so, did any Harbin Vet Research Center personnel test positive COVID-19 [date]? How man Harbin Center personnel died [date]? If so, any police/military/intelligence personnel test Covid-19 positive [date]? How many police/military/intelligence personnel died [date]? Had any flash drives/computers been taken out of the Wuhan Labs to teach, give lectures, seminars, etc?  Had all food, snack and/or beverage drinks at the two Wuhan Labs been properly disposed – any food, snack and/or beverages taken out into the public domain? [Questions remain about Fudan University, Wuhan University, Wuhan Institute Of Biological Products, Wuhan Institute Of Bio-engineering, et al]

    UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS AT WUHAN LABORATORIES by BJM

    • Did University Students work as assistants/researchers at the two Wuhan Laboratories? If so, did any university student assistants/researchers test positive COVID-19? When [date]? Any deaths [date]? If so, did such students take adequate precautions so as not to take the COVID-19 back to the university dormitories/housing quarters – community spread?  If so, did those university dormitories have any international students who returned home?  Did such international students test positive COVID-19 [date]? Any deaths [date]; or any international student family members, friends or neighbors test positive COVID-19 [date]? Any deaths [date]? 

    HUANAN WET MARKET VISITS AND RETURN VISITS by BJM

    • How often did the Wuhan Lab workers, family members, friends or neighbors go to the Huanan Wet Markets to purchase items? Any exotic or wild animal purchases, bartering, influence peddling or underground/black market distribution? Any current WHO or former WHO [Dr. Margaret Chan]  connected to Wuhan Lab workers, family members, friends or neighbors involved directly or indirectly in such activities? 



    TRAVEL:  WUHAN LAB WORKERS, FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS ET AL by BJM

    • Did any individuals from the two Wuhan Laboratories travel outside the Hubie Province?  Other Laboratories?  Any other travel to Japan, Korea, Europe, Middle East, India or the United States?
    • Did any Wuhan Lab workers’ family members, friends, or neighbors travel outside the Hubie Province?  Other Laboratories visits?  Any other travel to Japan, Korea, Europe, Middle East, India or the United States?
    • Did any Wuhan Lab Worker’s family, neighbors, or friends study abroad? Where? Did they travel back and forth to Wuhan City?
    • Who visited the 2 Wuhan Laboratories during October 2019 – January 2020? Where were they from? What was their itinerary? Did any person who visited the 2 Wuhan Labs test COVID-19 positive?  Die?
    • Where did the Wuhan Laboratories secure their bat, pengolin et al purchases for experimentation purposes? Were such Exotic & Wild animals purchases secured at the Huanan Wet Market?  If so, from whom was the purchase made in the Huanan Wet Market?  Did such person(s) test COVID-19 positive? Did such individual(s) die [Date]?  Did more than one person test positive COVID-19  in the Huanan market place from subsequent purchases (a series of purchases November 2019 – March 2020)? If so, who were the Wuhan Laboratory workers who secured the various purchases? 

    https://www.news18.com/news/world/there-are-2-labs-in-wuhan-wet-markets-us-nsa-says-china-should-give-real-proof-about-covid-19-2587855.html

    ‘There Are 2 Labs in Wuhan, Wet Markets’: US NSA Says China Should Give ‘Real Proof’ About Covid-19
    A worker in a protective suit is seen at the closed seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The seafood market is linked to the outbreak of the pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus, but some patients diagnosed with the new coronavirus deny exposure to this market.
    http://www.news18.com

  58. As a scientist myself, not in climate, but in medicine and public health, i am often confronted by individuals including university faculty that lacking scientific knowledge on the issue of climate, blindly believe and further this narrative, indoctrinating young people.

  59. Beta Blocker

    Concerning the reasons Donald Rapp gives for abandoning Climate Etc., let’s explore one facet of his ringing denunciation of Judith Curry’s blog in somewhat greater detail; i.e., those points of his comment which concern the Trump presidency.

    In contrast with Trump’s America First foreign policy, a key element of Joe Biden’s foreign policy is that the United States must present itself as the role model to be followed in pursuing environmental stewardship. As Biden’s argument goes, China, India and the other developing nations will not agree to reduce their carbon emissions unless America demonstrates its firm resolve to show the way.

    Foreign governments know full well that if Biden’s climate action plan doesn’t hold water; and that if he can’t deliver on his announced goal of a 50% reduction in American’s carbon emissions by 2030, they are off the hook for reducing their own emissions. So we must ask this question:

    Why don’t climate activists hold Joe Biden to account for not doing everything in his power as president to quickly reduce America’s carbon emissions?

    Using the Clean Air Act to its fullest possible effectiveness in quickly reducing America’s GHG emissions has been a topic of discussion in the environmental law community for more than a decade. One of the reasons offered by those who promote aggressive use of the Clean Air Act is that America’s leadership is crucial for bringing the developing nations on board in limiting their future carbon emissions.

    If Biden were to go a step further beyond the Clean Air Act and combine the authorities already granted to the president in the CAA with those authorities already granted in national security law — then the Executive Branch could, by formally declaring a carbon pollution emergency, unilaterally dictate that America must reduce its GHG emissions 50% by 2030.

    The details of how this might be done are described in a comment I posted on May 3rd, 2021, on WUWT describing the Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan (SSCECP).

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/05/03/climate-is-everything/#comment-3238630

    It is impossible to build enough wind, solar, and nuclear by 2030 to reach Biden’s 50% goal. That goal can be fully achieved only by imposing strictly enforced energy conservation measures on the American economy.

    The SSCECP is a highly effective but also highly coercive means of reaching 50% by 2030. The plan imposes an artificial shortage of carbon fuels on the American people while also increasing the price of all forms of energy for all of America’s energy consumers, thus encouraging energy conservation as the primary means of achieving Biden’s 2030 GHG reduction target.

    So far, Joe Biden has shown no sign that he will use the full authority of the Chief Executive to reach his announced 2030 target. One can draw one’s own conclusions if President Biden never uses the full authority of his office in pushing GHG reductions as far and as fast as current law authorizes him to do.

    Which brings us back to Donald Rapp’s reasons for denouncing this blog.

    Will you, Mr. Donald Rapp — someone who was, and is, a vocal opponent of Trump’s America First foreign policy — are you yourself willing to call Joe Biden to account for not doing everything in his power as president to quickly reduce America’s carbon emissions, with the ultimate effect of handing China and India and all the other developing nations a convenient excuse for not reducing their GHG emissions as well?

  60. dougbadgero

    This article was published in early January of 2021. It was the first article I read that argued the virus could have been a lab leak. Published in New York Magazine..
    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/article/coronavirus-lab-escape-theory.html

    • The Nicholson Baker’s articlewas the first investigative article in a major publication. He and Wade should share a Pulitzer.

      -Nicholson Baker

      Later, as a condition of further funding, the NIH wrote to say it wanted Daszak to arrange an outside inspection of the Wuhan lab and to procure from Wuhan’s scientists a sample of whatever they’d used to sequence the SARS-2 virus. Daszak was outraged (“I am not trained as a private detective”), and again he fought back. He was reluctant to give up his own secrets, too. “Conspiracy-theory outlets and politically motivated organizations have made Freedom of Information Act requests on our grants and all of our letters and emails to the NIH,” he told Nature. “We don’t think it’s fair that we should have to reveal everything we do.”

      The last line reminds me of a Climategate email.

      Baker exposed and explained the gain of function research at the WIV and about the “pause” due to past virus leaks. He also gives a good explanation of the furin cleavage site, as does Wade.

  61. Re: “Crawford argues that the scientists who were signatories to the two letters may have been acting as a classic research cartel.
    In 2004, Henry Bauer formulated the idea of research cartels and knowledge monopolies, in context of the institutionalization of science that becomes subordinate to corporate or government values.”

    Henry Bauer is an HIV/AIDS denialist who did not accept that well-evidenced fact that HIV causes AIDS, leading to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Sad to see his garbage being cited to misrepresent another pandemic:

    “Evidence-based medicine: No HIV/AIDS epidemic”
    https://www.webcitation.org/6IwUMlkyk

    His idea on ‘research cartels’ is basically a conspiracy theory invented to explain away why informed experts disagree with his HIV/AIDS denialism. And yes, it’s a conspiracy theory. It posits people conspiring together, when that is a less plausible explanation than the fact that HIV causes AIDS, the experts know this, and so disagree with him:

    “A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation,[2][3] when other explanations are more probable.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory

    This is a standard trope of paranoid conspiracy theorists. Since experts know enough to disagree them, the conspiracists try to turn their expertise from a strength into a sign they are part of a conspiracy. That way the conspiracist can brush off virologists who disagree with them on HIV as just being part of the conspiracy. That’s again what’s happening on SARS-CoV-2. And it’s telling who fell for Bauer doing this, since it fit their biases.

    “Conspiracy Theories and Selective Distrust of Scientific Authority
    That HIV is the primary cause of AIDS is the strongly held consensus opinion of the scientific community, based upon over two decades of robust research. Deniers must therefore reject this consensus, either by denigrating the notion of scientific authority in general, or by arguing that the mainstream HIV community is intellectually compromised. It is therefore not surprising that much of the newer denial literature reflects a basic distrust of authority and of the institutions of science and medicine.”

    https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040256#s3

    As I and others have been saying for over a decade, contrarians resort to many of the same tactics, regardless of whether its on SARS-CoV-2, HIV/AIDS, AGW, etc. No surprise Nicholas Wade resorts to the same conspiracist tripe as well.

    Re: “In May 2021, science reporter Nicholas Wade published a lengthy article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists stating that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York.”

    Wade’s article is nonsense, and I view it as a litmus test: if someone fails to spot one of the many reasons why it’s nonsense, then they don’t have enough knowledge to evaluate this subject. For example, Wade goes on and on about the furin cleavage site (FCS). But it’s been apparent for at least a year that the site arose via copy-choice error between an ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and an ancestor of HKU9, leading to an out-of-frame sequence transfer to SARS-CoV-2’s ancestor. That would account for the codon usage Wade whines about, since out-of-frame transfers can produce codons that are otherwise uncommon. It also addresses Wade whining about the sequence not being found in other coronaviruses, since an out-of-frame transfer would not produce the same sequence of amino acids, even though the sequence of nucleic acids is similar. This is virology and genetics 101. A an immunologist I’m required to know this type of stuff, so I didn’t fall for Wade’s nonsense. Maybe epistemic trespassers, climate contrarians, etc. lack the requisite knowledge of biology?

    Again, this has been known since at least May 2020, yet Wade is willfully ignorant of it. There are many other such distortions in Wade’s ridiculous article. This is one of the fundamental problems with the ‘lab leak’ idea: the vast majority of people attracted to it come not due to actual knowledge or understanding of evidence, but because the idea appeals to their motivations / biases (ex: dislike of China’s government, tendency towards paranoia, liking to be a contrarian from the mainstream consensus, etc.). They’re just ideologically-motivated non-experts who like an anti-mainstream story without real evidence, which Wade happily feeds them. This is not the first time Wade has misrepresented a scientific field when even experts who know more than him explain why he’s wrong. It likely won’t be the last.

    “As discussed by Dobbs and many others, Wade juxtaposes an incomplete and inaccurate account of our research on human genetic differences with speculation that recent natural selection has led to worldwide differences in I.Q. test results, political institutions and economic development. We reject Wade’s implication that our findings substantiate his guesswork. They do not.”
    https://cehg.stanford.edu/letter-from-population-geneticists

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/08/geneticists-decry-book-race-and-evolution

    “A palindromic RNA sequence as a common breakpoint contributor to copy-choice recombination in SARS-COV-2”
    “Indels in SARS-CoV-2 occur at template-switching hotspots”
    Not yet peer-reviewed: “Insertions in SARS-CoV-2 genome caused by template switch and duplications give rise to new variants of potential concern”

    https://virological.org/t/the-sarbecovirus-origin-of-sars-cov-2-s-furin-cleavage-site/536/1
    https://virological.org/t/tackling-rumors-of-a-suspicious-origin-of-ncov2019/384/4

    https://twitter.com/K_G_Andersen/status/1391507230848032772

    • Re: “The ‘consensus’ that Covid-19 had an entirely natural origin was established by two op-eds in early 2020 – The Lancet in February and Nature Medicine in March. The Lancet op-ed stated, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.””

      A correspondence in Nature Medicine in not an op-ed. But I guess messing up on something basic like that is understandable when one lacks experience with this field. It’s not going to work on those of us who regularly read peer-reviewed research in this field, though.

      “Correspondences may be peer-reviewed at editorial discretion.”
      https://www.nature.com/nm/about/content#correspondence

      And their point was made before either of those two articles were published. This is just a repeat of the usual conspiracy theories those of us in this field heard about on the origin of HIV, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, etc. The moment I heard of SARS-CoV-2, I knew there would be people claiming it was man-made or came from a lab, regardless of what the evidence showed on its origins.

      February 14, 2020:
      “Discovery of the origin of a newly human pathogen is a sophisticated process that requires extensive and vigorous scientific validations and generally takes many years, such as the cases for HIV-1 [1], SARS [2] and MERS [3]. Unfortunately, before the natural sources of new pathogens are clearly defined, conspiracy theories that the new pathogens are man-made often surface as the source. However, in all cases, such theories have been debunked in history.”
      https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2020.1727299

      February 26, 2020:
      “Currently, there are speculations, rumours and conspiracy theories that SARS-CoV-2 is of laboratory origin.”
      https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2020.1733440

      “Disinformation, misinformation and inequality‑driven mistrust in the time of COVID‑19: Lessons unlearned from AIDS denialism
      […]
      This manifestation of HIV-related mistrust can include the beliefs that the U.S. federal government was involved in creating or disseminating HIV as a form of genocide against people of color […]”

      https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10461-020-02925-y.pdf

      “The public health crisis emerging due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) is also now beginning to feel the effects of misinformation.
      […]
      Similarly, misinformation was widespread during the early years of the HIV epidemic. It too was plagued by conspiracy theories, rumours, and misinformation for many years, with the effects still visible in regions to this day.”

      https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-020-01556-3

      “Protein structure and sequence re-analysis of 2019-nCoV genome does not indicate snakes as its intermediate host or the unique similarity between its spike protein insertions and HIV-1”
      “Bioinformatic analysis indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is unrelated to known artificial coronaviruses”
      “Is SARS-CoV-2 originated from laboratory? A rebuttal to the claim of formation via laboratory recombination”

      Re: “Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the Covid-19 virus had escaped from research that he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. Daszak had corralled other scientists with similar professional interests into making a declaration to the effect that anyone who mentions the obvious possibility that the pandemic might have a connection to the research in the Wuhan Lab could only be doing so with bad intentions.
      […]
      In 2004, Henry Bauer formulated the idea of research cartels and knowledge monopolies, in context of the institutionalization of science that becomes subordinate to corporate or government values.

      Again, no. For example, as shown above, other people were already independently thinking the same thing, including me. The evidence was there; we knew how this song-and-dance goes, given what happened with HIV’s origins and on whether it caused AIDS. Some of those HIV conspiracy theories even re-appeared in relation to SARS-CoV-2:

      “There are also rumours that the SARS-CoV-2 was artificially, or intentionally, made by humans in the lab, and this is highlighted in one manuscript submitted to BioRxiv (a manuscript sharing site prior to any peer review), claiming that SARS-CoV-2 has HIV sequence in it and was thus likely generated in the laboratory. In a rebuttal paper led by an HIV-1 virologist Dr. Feng Gao, they used careful bioinformatics analyses to demonstrate that the original claim of multiple HIV insertions into the SARS-CoV-2 is not HIV-1 specific but random [15]. Because of the many concerns raised by the international community, the authors who made the initial claim have already withdrawn this report.”
      https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2020.1733440

      “HIV-1 did not contribute to the 2019-nCoV genome”
      https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2020.1727299

      Daszak didn’t have to “corral[l]” people, anymore than Robert Gallo had to “corral[l]” people into accepting that HIV causes AIDS in the Durban Declaration. That’s a conspiracy theory, when the more plausible explanation is that people reached a similar conclusion based on evidence, and then got together to voice their shared conclusion. But, of course, Curry’s source Henry Bauer would likely disagree with that (HIV/AIDS denialist that he was), just like Curry disagrees on what Daszak did. Interestingly, this is not the first time Curry cited an HIV/AIDS denialist supporting her position on science. For example: Kary Mullis.

      “The Durban Declaration
      […]
      HIV causes AIDS. Curbing the spread of this virus must remain the first step towards eliminating this devastating disease.”

      https://www.nature.com/articles/35017662

      “Robert Gallo MD 1, Nathan Geffen 2, Gregg Gonsalves 3, Richard Jefferys 4, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD 5, Bruce Mirken 6, John P. Moore PhD 7, Jeffrey T. Safrit PhD 8”
      https://www.natap.org/2006/HIV/ErrorsInFarberArticle.pdf

      Re: “Wade notes that in today’s universities, challenging the consensus can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.”

      Again, taken straight out of the HIV/AIDS denialists’ playbook:

      August 2007:
      “Deniers argue that because scientists receive grant money, fame, and prestige as a result of their research, it is in their best interest to maintain the status quo [15]. This type of thinking is convenient for deniers as it allows them to choose which authorities to believe and which ones to dismiss as part of a grand conspiracy. In addition to being selective, their logic is also internally inconsistent. For example, they dismiss studies that support the HIV hypothesis as being biased by “drug money,” while they accept uncritically the testimony of HIV deniers who have a heavy financial stake in their alternative treatment modalities.”
      https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040256

      Re: “What does all this mean for institutionalized climate science? Well the IPCC, along with supporting governments and industries, is much more entrenched as a knowledge monopoly and research cartel. But the Covid origins example illuminates the social, political and careerist motivations that are in play in attempts to prematurely canonize and enforce a scientific consensus.”

      For years I’ve been drawing the parallels between the position people like you take on climate science, and how HIV/AIDS denialists treat virology, immunology, etc. Thanks for accidentally using COVID-19 to again make that point for me.

      https://twitter.com/AtomsksSanakan/status/1226305075557076993

      • dougbadgero

        What is an “aids denialist”? Mullis certainly did not claim the disease does not exist. He simply believed that the pathogen that causes it has been misidentified. I have no idea if that’s true or not but the use of the term “aids denialist” here is just a thought terminating cliche. Designed to end debate not further debate.

      • atomsk’s sanakan: “The ‘consensus’ that Covid-19 had an entirely natural origin was established by two op-eds in early 2020 – The Lancet in February and Nature Medicine in March. The Lancet op-ed stated, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.””

        It isn’t a conspiracy theory, and calling such does not make it either false or even a conspiracy theory. The lab was conducting gain-of-function research using bat samples brought from hundreds of miles away. The research was begun in the US and partially funded by the US, in circumvention of US law. The only claim is that an enhanced antigen may have escaped from the lab.

    • I had reservations about the reliability of the ‘grayest of grey literature’ – as I describe it above – cited in this post. I resisted bringing in HIV and racial genetics. Atomski is – however – the model of a consensus enforcer. Try to follow the typically convoluted style. He starts with a sociology of HIV denial and then lumps that with SARS-nCoV and AGW – allowing him to dismiss anything he disagrees with as contrarian noise. He avoids the problem of a lab release – when the Director-General of WHO, many nations and more recently a bevy of virologists demand that it be further investigated. Some of the bevy are members of the Cambridge Working Group.

      http://www.cambridgeworkinggroup.org/

      I may not be a virologist but I guarantee that there is no useful consensus on climate change. There may be a dominant scientific paradigm. Human emitted greenhouse gases bias a chaotic system to a warmer state. There is implicit in chaotic dynamical systems the risk of small changes triggering dramatic and rapid change in the Earth system.

      Pragmatic responses involve the ‘the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.’

      He may dismiss both the paradigm and the responses – but only on the basis of his consensus enforcement.

    • It’s vastly worse than that Robert. This is all a campaign to claim that critics of THE SCIENCE are all bad people and often wrong. He’s deployed the Meyerowitz-Katz badly flawed study to attack John Ioannidis. Ioannidis now has a paper destroying that study. Ioannidis has hinted that Sanakan is really the online troll version of M-K himself. I found an earlier comment on an earlier post about science and its problems. It is entirely apropos of this latest screed which is mostly ad hominem attacks and smears. I also document what is a very real crisis within THE SCIENCE that virtually everyone who is honest will acknowledge is a very real crisis.

      “Except that this is to ignore the main post and its correct point about science generally. In particular climate science has been very politicized and so we are justified in doubting anything it produces. It’s also a primitive science that is trying to measure a very small change in energy fluxes of a few percent at most. That means that the numerical truncation error in models is much larger than the signal they want to detect. In this regard, it shares a lot with viral epidemiology. As CMIP6 is showing that models are now even further from reality with large disagreements even over the historical period for those with larger cloud and aerosol feedbacks, that is becoming plain.

      In the argument over the pause, there were scores of papers blaming the fact that models had higher ECS than historically constrained balance methods indicated on an incorrect SST pattern of change in the models. But its not just SST patterns, its cloud patterns, regional climate, etc.

      Over the last year, I’ve given a host of references here. The usual pattern is that anonymous activists try to discredit those references often with lies about them or what was said previously.

      Generally, most of what epidemiologists say is based on crude mechanistic explanations that lack quantification in any rigorous way. Same for climate science. The greenhouse gas mechanism is correct, but everything else particularly about feedbacks is merely mechanistic explanations that lack real quantification, often because the data is simply too noisy to detect the very small changes in energy fluxes we want.

      What this leaves us with is activists like Sanakan who just parrot the unquantified claims of some climate scientists and epidemiologists. He is part of an online attack on John Ioannidis and the lionization of Meyerowitz-Katz’s paper that has just been demolished as badly biased. Here’s a very selective set of references on the crisis in Science. There are many many more. The first link has 78 references.”

      https://www.significancemagazine.com/2-uncategorised/593-cargo-cult-statistics-and-scientific-crisis

      https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0132382

      https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29?fbclid=IwAR1HNtleAb0eEF-NG-d4UW8qhMkitIvH4VdIro7Mc6Ph6UggxjVoopLL8dM

      https://thefederalist.com/2019/01/30/federal-agencies-nutrition-obesity-recommendations-junk-science/

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/eci.13554

      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60696-1/fulltext

      • Re: “It’s vastly worse than that Robert. This is all a campaign to claim that critics of THE SCIENCE are all bad people and often wrong. He’s deployed the Meyerowitz-Katz badly flawed study to attack John Ioannidis. Ioannidis now has a paper destroying that study. Ioannidis has hinted that Sanakan is really the online troll version of M-K himself. I found an earlier comment on an earlier post about science and its problems.”

        Ioannidis was so embarrassed by what he said and by numerous scientists calling him out on it, that he removed that part of the appendix from the paper. Maybe you should learn from his example?:

        https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13554

        My favorite example was the shade from Johns Hopkins University Genetics threw when Ioannidis criticized GidMK for being a graduate student in his since-deleted appendix:

        https://twitter.com/jhugeneticepi/status/1376564441286840325

        Re: “Generally, most of what epidemiologists say is based on crude mechanistic explanations that lack quantification in any rigorous way. Same for climate science.”

        Time for your regular reminder of Ioannidis actually says on matters like this (note that he hasn’t retracted the statements below, unlike his statements about GidMK and I):

        “Many fields lack the high reproducibility standards that are already used in fields such as air pollution and climate change.
        […]
        It is a scandal that the response of governments to climate change and pollution has not been more decisive.”

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933781/

        “The anti-vaccine movement and climate emergency deniers are already drawing ammunition from the reversals of opinion and policy during the pandemic.”
        https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4048.full

        Anthropogenic climate change is on same level of certainty as smoking killing people.
        17:17 – 18:22 :
        http://rationallyspeakingpodcast.org/show/rs-174-john-ioannidis-on-what-happened-to-evidence-based-med.html

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        Ioannidis has hinted that Sanakan is really the online troll version of M-K himself.

        Hard to know where to go with this level of paranoia. Read Atmosk and GidMK. Their style could hardly be more different. This is seriously conspiratorial thinking.

        Ioannidis has been serially wrong. I’ve given you references before.

        He’s resorted to unprecedented personal attacks in scientific papers.

        Asserting a “demolition” does not make it so.

      • So you guys continue the smear of the most cited scientist of the last 20 years. It’s word salads all the way down.

        There are several lies out there about Ioannidis. The most prominent is the lie about 10000 deaths. That statement was conditional on how many infections there might be and was and is true. That this lie is still spread by anonymous activists shows them to be acting in bad faith.

        In fact his March interview in which he gave a mid range estimate of the IFR of 0.3% based on the Diamond Princess data turned out to be prescient. At the time Fauci was saying 1 to 2% and Ferguson was saying the same thing. WHO’s initial 3.7% was badly wrong.

        The second lie is to use a paragraph from the preprint about Sanakan and M-K pointing out their lack of credibility that was dropped from the final version as evidence the whole paper was flawed. The usual rhetorical distortion. Sanakan does this little deception just above.

        Meyerowitz-Katz and Imperial college were outlier studies with Draconian and inconsistently applied exclusion criteria. There has been no response from anyone to Ioannidis’latest paper either. Anonymous internet activists wiith no visible qualifications carry zero weight.

        And then the brilliant quotes from Ioannidis that actual don’t contradict anything anyone here has said. It’s a smear technique to try to associate people who question science with anti-vaxxer or radiative physics doubters. Propaganda all the way down.

      • The smear of the most cited scientist of the last 20 years continues here. Anonymous activists carry no weight for most people.

        There are at least two prominent lies about Ioannidis.

        The first concerns his March 2020 interview and the 10000 deaths. That was a conditional statement based on how many infections there might’ve. It was true at the time and true now. The interview was prescient in pointing to a mid range IFR of 0.3% at a time when Fauci and Imperial were saying 1-2%.

        The second one concerns the paragraph about M-K and Sanakan pointing out their lack of qualifications. It’s omission from the final version is cited to cast doubt on the whole paper. Transparently fallacious.

      • The smear of the most cited scientist of the last 20 years continues here.

        There are at least two prominent lies about Ioannidis.

        The first concerns his March 2020 interview and the 10000 deaths. That was a conditional statement based on how many infections there might’ve. It was true at the time and true now. The interview was prescient in pointing to a mid range IFR of 0.3% at a time when Fauci and Imperial were saying 1-2%.

        The second one concerns the paragraph about M-K and Sanakan pointing out their lack of qualifications. It’s omission from the final version is cited to cast doubt on the whole paper. Transparently fallacious.

        You will also notice the classic hallmarks of the smear here. You try to associate someone with conspiracy theories or anti vax ideas when there is no evidence of this.

      • What is going on here is more repetition of the Oreskes Lewandowski version of demonization of people they disagree with. The key elements deployed here are:

        1. Claim that ideas you don’t like are conspiracy theories.
        2. Deny that the “industry funded climate denial” meme is a conspiracy theory.
        3. Associate the target with fringe ideas such as anti-vax ideas, that the moon landing didn’t happen, or that radiative physics is wrong.
        4. Use irrelevancies to cast doubt on a massive body of work. In Ioannidis’ case, Sanakan focuses on a paragraph in Ioannidis’ paper’s preprint about the lack of qualifications of Sanakan and M-K that was dropped in the final paper. This fact is totally irrelevant to the science in the paper.
        5. Distort what people say or quote mine it. An example is Ioannidis’ March 2020 interview where he said that if there were X infections, there might be 10000 deaths. It’s a conditional statement and was true then and is true now. That interview was prescient in that he give an IFR value of 03% as being a mid range estimate from the Diamond Princess data. That is exactly the overall estimate in his latest paper, a year later. Fauci and Ferguson were saying 1-2%.
        6. Promote the “science has no serious problems” meme and refuse to read or respond to the literal avalanche of top notch scientists and journals that have acknowledged that there are serious and growing problems.
        7. Quote mine a vast body of work that is generally excellent for any stray statements that can be quoted out of context and claimed to be wrong.

      • dpy6629: Without meaning any disrespect to Ioannidis many other accomplishments, it should be obvious today that the IFR for COVID is not 0.3%. With 33 million cumulative detected cases and nearly 600,000 deaths in US, the case fatality rate (CFR) is 1.8% (and other developed countries have converged on similar values since last summer.) A CRF of 1.8% and an IFR of 0.3% implies that there have been 6 infections for every infection that was confirmed by PCR. If that were true, then the 9% confirmed infections in the US in January would have been enough to reach herd immunity without vaccination! In the hardest hit counties in the US with more than 100,000 people, cumulative detected cases reached 17% before a significant number of people were vaccinated. Five undecteded cases for every detected case would mean 100% of the population had been infected in areas with the highest percentage of cumulative cases! That’s absurd. In the US, the pandemic began its final decline on April 15, when the one-dose vaccination rate began to approach 50%. We were clearly far from herd immunity when cases fell dramatically from 250,000/day in early January 70,000/day in mid-Feb – where it remained until mid-April. Most vaccinations occurred during this plateau, and “herd immunity” was likely reached about mid-April. Without vaccination, another half million or more Americans would likely have died before the pandemic burned out.

        IT SHOULD NOW BE OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE THAT EARLY ANTIBODY SURVEYS AND THE RESULTING LOW IFR WERE MISLEADING. The above data is most consistent with 1-2 undetected infections for every infection confirmed by PCR. That makes the IFR 0.6-0.9%. If you look at the data in Ioannidis first paper, a wide range of IFRs had been reported and he used his expert judgment to selected 0.3%. Politics has prevented many from recognizing that early antibody surveys were misleading and Ioannidis estimate has proven to be wrong.

        MY HYPOTHESIS IS THAT SARS2 HAS EVOLVED DURING THE PANDEMIC SO THAT A LARGER FRACTION OF THOSE INFECTED GET SICK ENOUGH TO GET TESTED. We know that newer variants are “more transmissible” and deadly. IMO, this means that the virus is replicating more efficiently and negating the innate immune system more efficiently, producing higher viral loads in patients. Higher viral loads would explain why a larger fraction of infected patients get tested, transmit more efficiently, and suffer more serious illnesses. There may have been 10 undetected cases for every detected case last spring and the IFR could have been low – but that hasn’t been true since the fall surge began. (FWIW, 1918-1920 Spanish flu apparently evolved to become much more deadly between the first and second waves.)

        There is another way to recognize that the IFR for COVID must be much higher than the IFR for seasonal influenza. In an average year, 30 million Americans get seasonal influenza (60 million during swine flu), but only about 37,000 die. About 30 million Americans have tested positive for COVID – about the same number as get seasonal influenza, but 15-times are many Americans (more than 0.5 million) have died of COVID! And this death toll has occurred despite lockdowns, social distancing and face masks – measures that have totally eliminated seasonal influenza this past winter. In other words, these NPI’s are extremely effective against seasonal influenza, but haven’t been adequate to contain the more transmissible and deadly COVID. Claims that the IFR for COVID is 0.3% have caused many conservatives to grossly under-estimate how much more serious COVID is than seasonal influenza.

      • Frank, I disagree that its obvious. In fact Ioannidis has a recent paper eviscerating the Mereyowitz-Katz and Imperial Collage papers as being hugely biased because of very strict exclusion criteria that were not applied correctly. That study finds IFR’s vary a lot from 0.02% in some tropical countries to 0.6% in some countries with older populations. (those are form memory and may be a little off).

        The IFR is highly variable with this virus since the age structure of the population is critical. People who insist on single numbers are providing disinformation. Your evidence is not real science either.

        I likewise can do BOE calculations. In the US, PFR rates range from roughly 0.1% to 0.2% excluding the top and lowest 10 states. If we assume that perhaps 30%-50% have been infected or are essentially immune (everyone under 30 or so) and double that PFR we get 0.2% to 0.4%. In many states that reallly did nothing to limit freedom such as North and South Dakota PFR’s are about 0.2%. In Sweden the PFR is 0.14% and the epidemic seems to be in strong decline.

        Covid is an ink blot test for the “good German” in all of us and the tendency to believe official dogma and comply. I knew pretty well a PhD statistician who grew up in Germany. He was quite comfortable with regulating speech and was very polite himself and expected others to be polite. We now have unaccountable monopolies doing this function for us. That’s why you may have been misinformed about the events of the last 5 years. Probably the German media is little better.

        In addition Covid showed very conclusively how bankrupt THE SCIENCE is at the moment. There were some very very bad papers published. I recall a couple where the takedown was devestating and left little conclusion that these scientists were acting out their political activist views and using just terrible methods. Same for Meyerowitz-Katz and our occassional doofus Sanakan who were completely discredited by Ioannidis. That happens when a house cat attacks a lion. And papers are all over the place on all the important issues. Ioannidis has a recent paper showing that Imperial College’s models of NPI effectiveness is highly sensitive to model details, i.e., its scientifically meaningless. Viral epidemiology is a primitive field dominated by crude mechanistic narratives with no rigorous quantification. Yet we were told to “follow the ‘SCIENCE.” What tripe and rubbish.

        The latest scandal about the Lancet editorial and Danzig’s [sp?] connection to our health Saint Fauci. There was I believe by Danzig an attempt to cover up the fact that he was laundering NIH money to WIV. Fauci and he were thanking each other last spring for being zealous in discrediting any man made origin theory.

        It has also brought out into the open how dysfunctional the media has become. In the US and UK, they promote nakedly partisan narratives lifted right from politicians and lie frequently or use a single anonymous source and they never retract anything. They are as bad as media in the old USSR. I recommend Glen Greenwald or Matt Tiabbi for a left of center perspective.

      • If I were to make an informed estimate based on the limited testing data we have, I would say that covid-19 will result in fewer than 40,000 deaths this season in the USA.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/without-mass-testing-were-flying-blind-through-this-crisis/2020/04/09/bf61e178-7a9b-11ea-a130-df573469f094_story.html

      • If I were to make an informed estimate based on the limited testing data we have, I would say that covid-19 will result in fewer than 40,000 deaths this season in the USA.

      • Ioannidis – quoted here:

        https://tinyurl.com/2ujxhj8u

      • Dear D,

        As I was explaining to someone from UNC this very afternoon, and I quote:

        Ioannidis seems to have “gone emeritus” with his recent “motivated reasoning”

        The response came back across the Atlantic, and I quote once again:

        I don’t know who GidMK is, but I was amused by point 2: If I were to commission a review on the small number of SR/MAs on the COVID-19 IFR, I’d probably want it to be written by someone who hadn’t authored one of the 6…..

        You’re welcome.

      • Well Jim, This is a silly criticism. This new standard you seem to advocate would mean Gavin Schmidt couldn’t participate in a CMIP review article. It’s unscientific and another form of attempted silencing. Address the science on its merits if you can.

        The Imperial College paper and the MK paper used very aggressive exclusion criteria that excluded most of the data and on top of that the criteria were not applied at all in a couple of cases.

      • I’ll also note that Josh’s contribution here is the usual partisan hack cherry picking of single sentences. This is how politicians smear their opponents.
        It’s the ultimate bias especially when Josh has no way to evaluate the science and hasn’t read it.

      • Here’s a good summary of how vile our media have become on the issue of the possible lab leak and how dangerous Fakebook is to freedom of speech.

        https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/06/04/facebooks_speech_suppression_argues_for_repeal_of_section_230_and_a_facebook_stock_price_of_zero_145871.html

      • David Young –

        I fail to understand why a renowned scientist such a yourself, when I quote ionannidis saying something that was completely wrong about the pandemic, attack me in respomse.

        It’s far from the only completely wrong thing thst he said about the pandemic. Why does it make you angry and bitter when I quote something that ionannidis said that was completely wrong?

        Ioannidis’ obviously underestimated the deadlines of the virus as well as its infectiousness.

        There was a lot of uncertainty. Errors are to be expected. As a renowned scientist you must surely know that. It’s odd that you seem to want to believe that somehow Ioannidis is above making errors or shouldn’t be accountable for the errors he made.

      • Franktoo: dpy6629: Without meaning any disrespect to Ioannidis many other accomplishments, it should be obvious today that the IFR for COVID is not 0.3%. With 33 million cumulative detected cases and nearly 600,000 deaths in US, the case fatality rate (CFR) is 1.8% (and other developed countries have converged on similar values since last summer.) A CRF of 1.8% and an IFR of 0.3% implies that there have been 6 infections for every infection that was confirmed by PCR. If that were true, then the 9% confirmed infections in the US in January would have been enough to reach herd immunity without vaccination!

        I don’t think that is obviously true. There have been 33M confirmed cases in the us; if there are 6 infected for every 1 positive diagnosis, that is close to 200M infected by now, about 60%. “Herd immunity” estimates are extremely dependent on models and other parameter values, and without a known really accurate model and solidly estimated parameters, we have no reason to think that 60% infected “achieves” [quoting someone else] “herd immunity”.

        Right now, about 168M Americans have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, and we do not know how many of those were previously infected. Maybe 80% of Americans have been either infected or vaccinated? We do not know. I don’t think it is beyond the realm of the possible.

      • My problem here Joshie is that when you cherry pick single sentences its deceptive and childish as virtually every other commenter here has pointed out. It’s partisan hack behavior that is schoolyard bully stuff. Just stop it and you might gain a little self-respect.

      • David Young –

        Ioannidis was quoted in the Washington Post making a statement about the pandemic that was completely wrong – vastly underestimating the magnitude of the impact.

        That’s a significant event – when an expert such as he makes such a huge error in such a public forum.

        For Ioannidis to estimate only 40,000 deaths COVID makes it obvious that he vastly underestimated the IFR. Of course, then there’s the interesting aspect of the incompatibility of Ioannidis’ low IFR estimate and the obviously wrong predictions of a low “herd immunity threshold” – from people such as Nic Lewis (of course assuming you don’t believe that more than 100% of the population has been infected with COVID 😁).

        You refer to one estimate he made that was arguably wrong. Showing how we can know it was wrong gets a bit complicated, but Frank does a good job of doing so.

        I refer to an projection he made that was unargusbly wrong, and you get nasty and call me names and attack me.

        It seems that for some reason it makes you angry and hostile when I point his errors out, just as you have a track record of calling me names when I point out Nic Lewis’ errors snd your errors – such as when you said the following:

        dpy6629 | April 4, 2021 at 12:46 pm |
        You are cherrypicking Josh as is often the case. If you look at the Wiki page on the Swedish epidemic cases and admissions are indeed both rising but deaths were declining throughout March.

        Deaths didn’t decline throughout March. I told you when you said that you were wrong, that you didn’t appropriately consider the lag in reporting deaths. And in response you insulted me then just as you have done in this thread.

      • Joshie, You keep repeating the same word salads and cherry picked sentences over and over again. Everyone else here knows your pattern and how biased it is. You really should try to do better.

        atandb | April 22, 2021 at 12:44 pm | Reply
        I have for a long time contended myself with reading rather than commenting. However, your use of statistics in the preceding comment is so egregious that I decided to comment. First of all you quote two numbers of an entire bicameral plot to prove your point, which is cherry picking in the extreme. A look at the entire plot without using any other information would lead to the conclusion that, at present that the death rate is a low for the graph.

        atandb | April 22, 2021 at 1:24 pm |
        As long as the graph is in the asymptotic decline, which it is, it is a decline. Does not matter what the average is, how much of the graph you want to select, etc. What you did was cherry picking. David Young’s assertion of “strongly declining” is correct, but not what I would have used. The asymptotic curve is still strongly declining according to statistics. I would not have used that description, but your objection to it is fallacious.

      • David Young –

        It’s not like the CDC is above making mistakes, of course, but I seem to recall you citing the CDC IFR estimate back when their estimate was relatively lower. I haven’t noticed where you referenced their more recent IFR estimate. Is that because their more recent estimate is considerably higher than Ioannidis’?

        At any rate, I will readily agree that an aggregative IFR estimate is of limited value anyway. If we went with an IFR or 0.3%, that would imply that in Peru, not only has everyone been infected but that some 80% of the population in Peru has been infected twice! Of course, the death rate in Peru is highest in the world – but clearly there are many countries (such as the US) where an aggregated estimate of an IFR of 0.3% is too low, and thus the aggregated number is of little value.

        Denmark is an interesting situation at the other end of the spectrum with respect to the applicability of an aggregated IFR of 0.3%. If 15% of their population were infected, that would mean that they’ve caught about 1 in 3 of every infection. Given that they’ve got the highest per capita testing in the world, maybe that’s a reasonable figure. If, in fact, 15% of their population were infected, that would mean an IFR of 0.3% would be plausible.

        Anyway, despite that there seems good reason to believe that Ioannidis aggregated IFR estimate is too low, what’s more disturbing are his statements that COVID is comparable to the seasonal flu.

        Not only is that obviously wrong in an aggregated framework, it is particularly inapt given that COVID is much, much more dangerous than the seasonal flu to certain particularly vulnerable populations. COVID is not remotely comparable to the seasonal flu in large segments of the public.

        While aggregating an IFR is uninformative, aggregating the overall impact of COVID to compare it to the seasonal flu is disturbingly misleading.

        To see someone like Ioannidis make such a misleading comparison is quite surprising, and certainly more problematic than his making a more technical mistake in estimating the IFR – which was arguably in line with the range of uncertainty. Likening COVID to the seasonal flu isn’t in line with the range of uncertainty given the very significant dissimilarities.

      • And once again Josh you are ripping single sentences out of context. It’s biased and not really honest. And that is your way of gaining attention because you can’t get it by saying things that are interesting and worthy considering.

        Ioannidis has been saying from the start that the mid range IFR based on the Diamond Princess data might be 0.3%. That’s higher than the flu but comparable to several severe flu epidemics of the 20th Century such as 1969. Taken as a whole, his statements have been much more accurate than most other epidemiologists most especially Imperial College and the graduate student Meyerowitz-Katz.

        In fact if one looks at overall mortality adjusted for age and population, in Sweden that number in 2020 is about the same as 2013 and every other previous year on the 21st Century. In the US, its comparable to 2003 and every other previous year back to the 1960’s at least. So by the measure most used by professionals to monitor public health, 2020 was a bad year but better than 2000.

        The overall message of fear spread by the media using lies about cases and deaths was disastrously wrong. This was done mostly to discredit Trump. And people like yourself who are too unfocused to critically evaluate science serve as echoers of the narrative. And then there were the lies about the lab leak theory and the very real conspiracy to discredit it and delay any investigation.

      • David Young –

        Why is it so difficult (apparently) for you to acknowledge that you were wrong:

        Here’s what I said:

        > Deaths also aren’t falling significantly over the past few weeks. They fell for a while but seem to have stabilized and with allowing time for the lag, given the rise in ICU admissions, may very well turn out to be rising over this period – as would be suggested by the significant rise in ICU admissions.

        And in response you said;

        dpy6629 | April 5, 2021 at 8:48 pm |
        ICU admissions are rising. You cherry picked that fact to hide the fact that deaths are strongly declining and have been for quite a while.

        You were wrong David, and it was clear at the time that you were wrong. Here’s more:

        Joshua | April 5, 2021 at 9:22 pm |

        […]

        I pointed out that actually, the rate of deaths has flattened out after a significant drop, and that once you consider the lag (in conjunction with the significant increase in ICU admissions) they may actually be rising.

        You responded:

        dpy6629 | April 5, 2021 at 9:55 pm |
        You are wrong on the death data.

        and you also responded:

        dpy6629 | April 5, 2021 at 10:36 pm |

        […]

        You were wrong to claim that deaths were leveling off and you cover that with more very repetitious word salads, another sign of an unfocused intellect.

        You were wrong. That atandb didn’t know the full back and forth of how you were wrong doesn’t change the single fact that you were wrong and got nasty when it was pointed out.

        Strange behavior for a renowned scientistz I must say.

      • Repeating falsehoods doesn’t change the fact that several other commenters say that I am right and you are cherry picking. You are not an honest person I’m afraid.

      • DPY6629, Ron and others: Thanks for the replies. I re-read Ioannidis first paper on IFR and his newer one. To avoid confusion, here are the links:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947934/
        https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/eci.13554

        We are approaching this issue from two different perspectives. For Ioannidis, IFR is technically the ratio of deaths to infections detected by the presence of antibodies (seroprevalence). I am interested in herd immunity, not IFR. IFR is mostly interesting to me in the sense that IFR/CFR is the ratio of total infections to detected infections, the Case Detection Rate (CDR). However, the only infections that really count towards herd immunity are those that produce immunity that lasts a year or more – immunity that has the ability to bring this pandemic to an end.

        My thesis: Low IFR values promoted by Ioannidis are misleading about herd immunity in the US and have been used to misrepresent seriousness of the COVID pandemic.

        Let’s review some basics: 1) We have followed those who received Pfizer and Moderna vaccines long enough to know that 90% are protected for more than half a year against INFECTIONS SERIOUS ENOUGH TO SEND PATIENTS FOR A PCR TEST. J&J and AZ provide less protection. 2) We also know that those sick enough to be tested for SARS2 by PCR (and found positive) rarely get a second positive test (after they recover). We also know they usually test positive for “antibodies”, but the level of these antibodies is falling significantly with time. These antibodies are not found in older blood samples, so the antibody tests appear to be highly specific for SARS2 (or at least something new). 3) Unlike vaccines, no one has ever taken a large group of people who have tested positive for antibodies to SARS2 (and an appropriate control group) and shown how much protection they have received from those antibodies and for how long. The antibodies detected by serology are generally not neutralizing antibodies to the RBD of the spike protein. Serology usually detects antibodies that are produced in much higher amounts to other viral proteins. These antibodies help T-cells kill infected human cells, but don’t directly protect cells from infection. 4) Moderna, Pfizer, and AZ all found that single doses of their vaccines (targeting the spike protein) didn’t produce levels of antibodies as high as natural infection, so they all began developing two-dose vaccines, (but AZ fell behind exploring the optimum time between doses and hadn’t been approved in the US as of May 1).

        In other diseases, like influenza, antibody tests are used to demonstrate the presence of an infection. Those antibodies persist, allowing surveys to determine that an average 30 million Americans get seasonal influenza every year. (Apparently 2/3rd of them see a doctor, and may receive an antibody test.) COVID is very different. 33 million Americans have tested positive by PCR. The presence of virus is transient so we can’t do population surveys by PCR. The early antibody surveys suggested that PCR testing was missing about 10 SARS2 infections for every “confirmed” infection, a Case Detection Ratio (CDR) of 10. Later surveys suggest that only one out of four infections were being confirmed by PCR (CDR 5). Today’s 33 million infections detected by PCR extrapolate to 167 million or 330 million total infections with CDRs of 5 or 10. The latter unreasonable total is one reason why we no longer believe we are missing ten infections for every one we detect. However, when you look at the cumulative 18.5% of the population in Miami-Dade, and 17% in Bismarck, Souix City, and Yuma, even a CDR of 5 appears unreasonable. A CDR of 5 means 90% of Miami has been infected. (You can find small counties with more that 20% detected infections, but some have state prisons or military bases. If the county doesn’t have at least 100,000 people, I don’t trust that the number are representative of this pandemic.)

        We now know – beyond any doubt – that the number of Americans who have acquired “immunity relevant to herd immunity” must be much smaller than 33 million times a CDR of 5 or 10. FWIW, I personally believe Nic and others were right in suggesting that heterogeneity reduces the threshold for effective herd immunity below 1-1/R0, but perhaps only to 50% or 60%. (Gregarious people and those who work with large numbers of people must become immune faster than hermits and those who work at home.) So my personal estimate is that only 2-3 people are becoming immune for every 1 who tests positive by PCR. Let’s call this a Immunity Detection Rate (ImDR) of 2-3. So 33 million positive PCR tests would only translate into 66-100 million people made immune by infection. This is why we had to vaccinate almost half the population to permanently slow this pandemic.

        Ioannidis papers review the published literature on IFR’s ranging from 0 to 1.6%. His second publication reported a composite “global” value of 0.15%. His first publication reported a median corrected IFR of 0.23%, 0.09% in countries with below average death rates and 0.57% in countries with above average death rates. Footnote b in Table 4 of the published version indicated IFR is 0.3% – a value that the preprint of his work made popular, but which didn’t survive peer-review.

        In reality, no single value of IFR is broadly relevant to this pandemic. Countries with more elderly are going to have a higher IFR. As treatment improves, the IFR should go down. As more transmissible and deadly variants evolve, IFR should go up and the fraction of cases causing illnesses serious enough to be detected (CDR) should also go up. As the elderly become more cautious and the young more reckless, IFR is going to go down. When a small fraction of the population has been infected, seroprevalence estimates are easily distorted by false positives (which can easily be more common in the field than lab). The Santa Clara survey found an unadjusted 1.5% testing positive of antibodies. In the early stages of the pandemic, PCR testing capacity was limited and the CDR was lower than it would be later.

        I’m personally not particularly interested in whether Ioannidis’s IFR of 0.3% was appropriate for its time or whether his critics are right. That was a year ago and things are much clear. What is clear today is that his IFR has been grossly misleading about the approach of herd immunity and the seriousness of the COVID pandemic (compared with influenza).

        Based on Ioannidis, many assumed that the ImDR = CDR = IFR/CFR = 1.8%/0.3% = 6. This is partly because Ioannidis only considered data BEFORE SEPTEMBER 2020. This is back in the day when many believed that the Case Detection Rate was 10. For example, if you were to take an IFR of 0.3% and today’s 0.6 million fatalities in the US, you would conclude that there have been 200 million infections and the US pandemic was ended by herd immunity. This supported the position that we should protect the vulnerable and let the pandemic burn out. In truth, we didn’t have the ability to protect the vulnerable without a vaccine and we needed to vaccinate about 50% of the country to get close enough to herd immunity to bring the number of new cases below the peak last spring.

        The 6,472 deaths in Miami-Dade county would translated into 2.16 million infections, 80% of a county with 2.72 million people. Given his advisors, it is no wonder DeSantis assumed herd immunity was near, eliminated all restriction, and then watched Miami-Dade surge past other large counties in ND, SD and AZ to lead the nation’s populous counties in terms of cumulative percentage of their population testing positive by PCR.

        Worst of all, publicizing the fact in seasonal influenza and COVID have similarly low IFRs has created the illusion that they are equally serious. The number of Americans who have tested positive for SARS2 (33 million) is comparable to the average number who acquire seasonal influenza every year, but the number that have died from COVID is about 15-fold higher. And these deaths have occurred despite lockdowns, social distancing and masks that totally eliminated seasonal influenza last winter. In truth, since it took about 50% vaccination to bring this pandemic under control, these measures reduced the toll from COVID by about 50%.

      • waynelusvardi

        I did my own study of C-19 death rates using online Los Angeles County data. I found the same as what county county was reporting: low income Latino zip codes and city neighborhoods had highest death rates. But this is not science. So I compared death rates in unincorporated zip codes and LA City neighborhoods that were adjacent and also were high low income and Latino asa control. Result was much lower death rates, so C-19 can’t be explained by poverty or necessarily ethnicity as the health officials concluded. Delving deeper into the data the only variable that explained high death rates was the percentage of Foreign Born. The only plausible explanation was that the areas with high death rates and foreign born may have had high incidence of dormant tuberculosis, a respiratory disease similar to C-19. I also found that those with TB had many more times likelihood of contracting C-19. So was TB a co-morbidity? We know many migrants come to US unscreened for TB. This pattern also played out in City if Glendale, which has high % of Armenians. The one area in Glendale that had high C-19 death rate also had high Foreign Born. If corroborated, this would invalidate or call into question the conclusion that C-19 had 15x higher deaths than flu. We already know that C-19 is a co-morbidity disease.

      • Frank, Thanks for rereading the papers. I will read more carefully when time permits. I think that Covid19 generated an emotional response and that it’s hard for people to think objectively in this case. Generally, viral epidemiology is a primitive science and data on intervention effectiveness is all over the place, largely because its very hard to quantify human behavior.

      • While I agree with some of your technical points Frank, your comment still appears to me to be laced with bias against DeSantis in Florida and anti-lockdown scientists. Florida is in fact in the middle of the pack among US states in PFR rate. It is only a little worse than California where severe restrictions were continuously imposed. There is it seems to me virtually no evidence that strong measures have better outcomes. Another point is that your statement that it is “impossible” to protect the elderly is I think wrong. There are measures that could have worked such as paying care facility workers to live on site for a couple of weeks at a time and getting tested at the beginning of a tour or duty. Florida did a pretty good job. Given their large elderly population, they would be expected to have one of the worst PFR of any state. They are in the middle of the pack.

        I actually think that it is possible that in places like the Dakotas herd immunity was indeed reached early in 2021 when the sharp decline in cases started and before a huge number were vaccinated. But we may never know.

        I still return to the basic fact that mortality adjusted for age and population has not been dramatically worse than the historical trend. In the US 2020 was about the same as 2003. In Sweden, 2020 was about the same as 2013. The overwhelming fact about this epidemic was the media scare campaign motivated by a desire to ensure Trump was not re-elected. Everything else got sucked into this sewer of pseudo-science, lies and distortions, and bias.

        I don’t see how you can say that Ioannidis’ IFR estimates were misleading. They look in retrospect to be the best ones in March of 2020.

      • Frank,
        Do you agree that the CDC and NIAID did a terrible job in gaining understanding of this virus in a timely fashion and communicating it to policy makers and public? If so, I would think it logical that produced dissent and expert second guessing. And dissent is almost always exaggerated to the opposite pole rather than dead on accurate.

        1) First the paid experts propagated the China lie that there was little to fear; no evidence of community spread; we have NYC and SF under surveillance (with a handful of working test kits in the country).
        2) They fought Trump’s China travel ban when they should have done it even earlier and included a quarantine period on all international travel, the same a China did in April.
        3) They should have gotten contact tracing teams organized in January.
        4) The test launch = FUBAR
        5) The lateness to look for PPE was addressed by lying to the public that masks were useless when they thought they weren’t.
        6) They didn’t recognize that a particle shaped like a dandelion seed bloom would be airborne.
        7) If they had read the 2015 Chinese SARS virus manual they would have known that daylight kills the virus. And thus, outdoors also having infinite dilution to airborne particles, makes outdoors the safest place.
        8) Baric and Menachery found that SARS is lethal only to elderly mice in 2014. One would think that Fauci would have talked to them about the virus’s pathology while discussing the coverup. Why did DeSantis have to figure out to ignore the CDC’s advice to protect the hospitals and instead focus on protecting elderly? Apparently DeSantis was more observant of the Washington state early nursing home deaths than Fauci.
        9) Why were schools closed? Why was outdoor dining closed?
        10) Vaccine hesitancy is a symptom of distrust of the response.
        11) Why was the vaccine rollout so uncoordinated at the beginning? Didn’t they know it was coming?
        12) Why didn’t they publicize that a vaccine is unnecessary to those with the antibodies from a previous infection? They could have saved on vaccine and at the same time collected more data on antibody prevalence.

        I don’t think the answer is to hire more government workers or make a new department. The answer is to reform civil service rules and dissolve public worker unions, (including teacher’s unions).

      • Absolutely right on all counts Ron. This response was quite similar to what happens in warfare. The WWII internment of Japanese Americans is a good comparison. It had some vague justification since Japanese spies had given all the Pearl Harbor information to the Imperial Navy but was not justified in the American mainland.

      • Upon rereading this its clear to me that Matt is more likely to be right than Frank. Since the pandemic started strongly declining in Mid January of this year long before a significant number were vaccinated, we were probably close to herd immunity at that point. That might ball park mean that perhaps 50% or more were immune which is a lot closer to Matt’s ball park numbers.

    • “Henry Bauer is an HIV/AIDS denialist…” “…Nicholas Wade resorts to the same conspiracist tripe as well.”

      I hope I’m not just as bad a person because I would like to disagree with you on Wade. He did not smear anyone in his article. He calls Baric “the top scientist in his field.” He does not claim the lab origin hypothesis is proven or completely dismiss zoonotic spill-over. He presents evidence that point one way or the other and feels they mostly point to lab origin.

      I think the toughest thing for Baric and Daszak is to believe that their longtime friend and collogue, Zhengli Shi, could be lying. But Wade points out to a recent interviewer that Shi is not free to say whatever she wants if it implicates China. For example, there are reports that many Chinese scientists have been disappeared for speaking out. It is well documented that nobody is allowed to publish on the SARS2 subject in China without submission through the CCP. (I bet they don’t get a lot of those.) The medical doctor who first told others about a new illness was arrested. Later he soon after died of covid at a young age.

      Li-meng Yan sounded the alarm of non-natural genomic features from from her University of Hong Kong research position on SARS2. She was told by her superiors to shut up for fear of her getting “disappeared.” She fled to the US but made the mistake of accepting help from Steve Bannon. She has been banned by social media but able to publish on the CERN website Zenodo. The medical establishment have mounted an attack on her, recruiting the prominent Robert Gallo to lead the debunkers of her paper. She recently effectively rebutted their reviews, rightly pointing out that they were heavily plagiarizing each other, using the exact same sentences.

      Reading Yan’s papers she clearly has no problem believing Shi is completely of bad faith, a villain. I adopt Wade’s POV that Shi and others in China have no choice. I hope the USA and other free countries do not become more like China than they already have become or I couldn’t wright this. My Twitter was permanently suspended last year after I didn’t bother appealing the temporary ban for unspecified reasons. I suspect now in hindsight it may have been due to my tweets on lab origin theory.

      Establishment debunking review on Yan paper

      Yan’s reply to the reviews.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVVE6MD7tRw&ab_channel=UnHerd

      Yan paper 1. Sept. 14, 2019.

      Yan paper 2. Oct. 12, 2020.

      • Ron, The Yan reply link seems to not work for me.

      • dpy, Zenodo’s server seems to be down. Check back later.

        Her replies were not super informative. She met their incredible pompous slanders with meticulous replies, carrying as much earnestness that one could muster to a group of shills that were seemingly reading from a single script.

      • It does seem that the viscousness of public life has been getting worse and worse. A lot of it is due to the internet but the media are the real source of the problem. It used to be limited more or less to politics but now science is like this too.

    • I missed the smear of Judith at the end of Sanakan’s second screed. It’s really a distortion and like a classic smear does not address any substantive point. I do wonder where this turkey finds the time to quote mine Twitter and a carefully selected set of papers and assemble them in preprepared diatribes.

      • I deleted Sanakan’s comment with really big smears

      • The selective interpretations of “smear” is quite a sight.

      • J

        What part of it’s her sight and her rules don’t you understand?

      • Site

      • “For years I’ve been drawing the parallels between the position people like you [Judith] take on climate science, and how HIV/AIDS denialists treat virology, immunology, etc.”.

        You know what a smear is Josh. It’s use of guilt by association and lying about someone’s positions and statements. Here Sanakan admits that he’s a smear merchant with a long track record.

        It’s exactly like the classic McCarthy communist smear. You claim that someone’s friend attended a communist rally in college, therefore he is a fellow traveler.

        Unethical, immoral, and possibly actionable if there was actual malice.

    • atomskssanakan wrote: “For example, Wade goes on and on about the furin cleavage site (FCS). But it’s been apparent for at least a year that the site arose via copy-choice error between an ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and an ancestor of HKU9, leading to an out-of-frame sequence transfer to SARS-CoV-2’s ancestor. That would account for the codon usage Wade whines about, since out-of-frame transfers can produce codons that are otherwise uncommon.”

      Unfortunately, an out-of-frame recombination event means that all of the codons 3′ of the insertion in the S protein gene are out of frame and can’t produce a functional protein without a second frame shift mutation. While waiting for a second compensating frameshift mutation to occur, the virus with the insert would be incapable of infecting cells. Possibly for this reason, neither Gallaher (the originator of the hypothesis that the SARS-CoV-2 furin cleave site comes from HKU9) nor proposer of a second hypothesis for origin of the furin cleavage site (RmYN02) discuss frameshifting during recombination as an explanation for the unusual codon usage near the furin cleavage site. It is worth remembering that these are simply hypotheses that explain what we observe, but which so far can’t be experimentally tested.

      In addition to these precedented recombination hypotheses for the natural origin of the furin cleavage site, there are many precedents for introducing a furin cleavage site into the junction between the S1 and S2 regions of the spike protein. Scientists are very interested in understanding the role such sites play in receptor binding and fusion/viral entry. And those studies have been done using the CGG-CGG codons for inserting the Arg-Arg furin cleavage site that are rarely found in coronaviruses. A hypothesis for how this insertion could have been made with RaTG13 without detectable signs of genetic engineering has been proposed.

      My limited understanding is that we have two viable competing hypotheses for how SARS-CoV-2 acquired a furin cleavage site not previously observed in other betacoronaviruses (but now also found in RnYN02?). And two competing hypotheses for its origin. Since every previous viral pandemic has begun with transfer between species (zoonosis) and since research on potential pandemic viruses is likely going on in many large Chinese cities like Wuhan with hospitals capable of identifying a novel pathogenic virus, I originally saw no need to hypothesize an unprecedented lab origin. IMO, the Chinese government would be obstructing investigation of the origin of the pandemic whether it came from a Chinese lab or Chinese failure to limit the wild animal trade after SARS-CoV-1 and they would seek to avoid blame for the delay in reporting and responding to human-to-human transmission. Now, however, scientists have failed for more than a year to identify the presumed intermediate host between bats and humans (civets for SARS-CoV-1, camels for MERS) or a more closely related virus in bats. The zoonosis hypothesis is therefore getting more scrutiny, partially from autonomous group called the DRASTIC Collaboration that rightly doesn’t want to be associated with Trump’s politically motivated accusations and whose Asian members fear the wrath of the Chinese government. Are these people scientific skeptics or conspiracy theorists? I’m not making up my mind until the issues they raise have been openly debated, Duesberg’s skepticism about the HIV hypothesis for the origin of AIDS eventually deteriorated into a conspiracy theory, but his questions prompted the development of an overwhelming scientific case for this hypothesis. When adopted by others, that conspiracy theory did did damage health and AIDS policy. As best I can tell, a thorough scientific debate about the origin of the pandemic is appropriate, even though I fear it could degenerate into a conspiracy theory. Experience may cause me to regret this judgment.

      https://zenodo.org/record/4477081/files/SQuay_Bayesian%20Analysis%20of%20SARS-CoV-2%20FINAL%20V.2.pdf?download=1

      I’m approaching this unusual and long document with extreme skepticism.

  62. ‘Good checkers are there to help perpetuate the illusion of competence. They’re professional ass-coverers, whose job is to keep it from being obvious that Wolf Blitzer or Matt Taibbi or whoever else you’re following on the critical story of the day only just learned the term hanging chad or spike protein or herd immunity. In my experience they’re usually pretty great at it, but their jobs are less about determining fact than about preventing the vast seas of ignorance underlying most professional news operations from seeping into public view.’ https://taibbi.substack.com/p/fact-checking-takes-another-beating?

    Socratic wisdom entails the admission of one’s ignorance. Ignorance can only be dispelled by in this case a science I barely understand. Not blogs and articles scanned through the lens of confirmation bias.

    ‘Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats1,2,3,4. Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans5,6,7. Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China.’ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2012-7

    Although SARS-nCoV may have emerged as an infective agent in humans months earlier in Guangdong Province. In Wuhan there was the scientific expertise to recognise it as a new agent.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

    Consensus in science doesn’t exist. Although there are ideas – right or wrong – endorsed by a broader cross section of scientists in any field. Getting to those fundamentals and acting on them is the hope of humanity.

    • From the Nature article:

      The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019

      Except that a month before that, three lab workers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were apparently hospitalized for acute respiratory infections. For some reason, the Chinese government hid that, along with suppressing most of the other information about the outbreak, and deleted all the data from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and clamping down on all the researchers there. An optometrist, who soon died of Covid, had to use social media to get the word out.

      Although SARS-nCoV may have emerged as an infective agent in humans months earlier in Guangdong Province. In Wuhan there was the scientific expertise to recognise it as a new agent.

      Please explain how Covid-19 could’ve gone from Guandong, which has twice the population of Hubei (where Wuhan is located), 800 or more miles to Wuhan, over a period of two months, without anybody noticing that a pandemic was in full swing.

      It took two weeks from mid-December until WHO was conducting investigations and having emergency meetings. By the second week of January cases were showing up outside China. By the third week in January Wuhan was locked down, the Chinese were madly building giant field hospitals for all the victims, and WHO was declaring a global pandemic. That’s about five weeks from the first public report of cases to full-blown global crisis.

      So the claim that Covid-19 had already been appearing two months earlier in Guandong has no merit whatsoever. None. If people in Guandong had been getting hospitalized in October, the disease would’ve already shown up in Los Angeles, Paris, and New York by mid December. You might as well say the virus was smuggled into Wuhan by the US military.

      And that’s the problem with many of these early scientific articles from researchers with connections to China and the Wuhan institute. Most seemed aimed at providing deniability.

      If the US had a sudden outbreak of a novel strain of Ebola, and then we heard that the outbreak was located in Frederick Maryland, most of us would immediately think “It escaped from a lab at Fort Detrick”. If all the scientists banded together and said the outbreak must’ve come from some illegal pet store selling exotic African pets, while nobody can find any signs of such a pet, or such a store, and the scientists stick to it, then it’s not our fault if we think the scientists are covering up something.

      If the outbreak was due to exotic pets, then almost any US city would have had an equal likelihood of being the start of the outbreak. But Frederick isn’t some random city, it is one of a couple of cities in the entire nation where scientists study Ebola. And then the public learns that the US Army destroyed all the documents in the Ebola lab, reassigned all their Ebola researchers to a remote Arctic base, and arrested any lab worker who talked to the press.

      If it later turns out that the first three Ebola patients in Frederick worked with Ebola at Fort Detrick, then the scientists who stubbornly continue to deride and disparage those who doubt the pet-store theory are only bringing disrepute to all of science and destroying the public’s trust that took centuries to create.

      When you keep citing the early articles that are false and misleading, it just reinforces the impression that there was a massive cover-up going on. As they said about Watergate, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up that does all the damage. Human behavior is also a science, and we know that when there’s highly-motivated personal and organizational behavior that evinces a guilty mind, when there’s massive destruction of evidence, suppression of testimony, hiding of witnesses, and flat refusal to provide requested materials, a court will take that behavior, in itself, as evidence of what must have happened, because humans share some very predictable behaviors.

      Scientists can stick with “The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus. It’s science!”, but their red blinky thing isn’t working and the public isn’t buying it.

      • The Nature article described the SATS-CoV-2 genome sequenced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – and linked to viral loads in bat populations. After it was recognised that something new had emerged. From the PNAS article.

        ‘There are two subclusters of A which are distinguished by the synonymous mutation T29095C. In the T-allele subcluster, four Chinese individuals (from the southern coastal Chinese province of Guangdong) carry the ancestral genome, while three Japanese and two American patients differ from it by a number of mutations. These American patients are reported to have had a history of residence in the presumed source of the outbreak in Wuhan.’

        This suggests that the site of the viral spillover was in Guangdong province. Samples from patients with an acute respiratory disease were later sequenced and found to contain the foundational SARS-CoV-2 genotype. It was not recognised as a new disease at the time. The virus may have become more infective as it mutated in human hosts.

        You still do not supply any sources for your wild speculations about massive destruction of evidence. Anywhere. Or any science at all. I suspect you get it all from conspiracy theorist blogs.

      • “Please explain how Covid-19 could’ve gone from Guandong, which has twice the population of Hubei (where Wuhan is located), 800 or more miles to Wuhan, over a period of two months, without anybody noticing that a pandemic was in full swing”.

        Is it really that hard to imagine?

        There is evidence that the virus was in the United States and France by late 2019 too. How did that happen if the leak occurred in November in the lab in Wuhan?

        The virus probably originated months earlier and gradually spread at a low level of infection for months. People who got ill were thought to have the ordinary flu. Even some deaths could be written off as the ordinary flu. Once the infection rate reached a high level, people became aware they were dealing with something different than the flu. Keep in mind that there wasn’t any ability to test for COVID in these early months.

      • It’s true that the outbreak could have gone for a couple of months before being detected because it did so in the USA even though we were supposedly monitoring for it. But the evidence was still available in retrospective analysis using hospital records and kept samples. The retrospective studies done on SARS1 and MERS gave clear explanations of the timing and geographic spread. There was also a phylogenic tree that could follow the mutation branches back to the root of the zoonotic crossover period. In addition to this hospital blood samples in the locations would show antibodies in a percentage of the population for the zoonotic version per-crossover to epidemic spread.

        The strongest evidence for lab leak is the absence of evidence one should expect to find for zoonotic origin. The next strongest is China’s lock-out of international investigators to work with them to find it. Why don’t they invite the WHO expedition to take samples from the bat cave to find the RatG13 and its homologs. If the possibility of a pandemic warranted visiting the cave many times by Zhengli Shi why doesn’t the realization of their fears warrant another visit?

  63. jungletrunks

    It’s just out that Beijing Biden stopped the State Departments investigation of the origins of the COVID, he turned the effort over to WHO.

    https://www.the-sun.com/news/2958332/biden-shut-probe-china-lab-leak-covid/

    No sense waiting for WHO’s findings; one should be able to surmise what those findings will be now.

  64. UK-Weather Lass

    I have listened to some of the UK PM’s former adviser, Dominic Cummings, giving evidence about the government’s response to the pandemic, and he constantly keeps mentioning ‘lack of preparedness’. Yet at the turn of 2019/20 we had academia, medical science, public health structures, expert virologists and epidemiologists and the WHO to advise us on all health matters. With all that power up front what went wrong with the structure, the joined up and shared thinking, the welcome collaborations, united human fronts for a regular, if not highly always dangerous or contagious, visitor to the public health arena, the novel virus?

    Does this not parallel the difficulties in climate science that despite all the knowledge and effort we have over decades of data unravelling and research that we have not already implemented workable solutions that were available to us years, if not decades, ago? It is all about energy and how best and efficiently we can make it available to every human being who wants and needs it.

    Why this lack of preparedness on these two important fronts? Are there just too many egos at work and not enough responsible people in responsible jobs who have the integrity and honesty needed to lead others who would gladly follow them? Has the bloated media world poisoned our ability to have and hold on to integrity because it has demonstrated that lies, slogans and fast answers get a better, larger and faster monetary gain than hard work?

    What bothers me most is the complete lack of unity because a consensus of fools has never been a very good place to go to find answers and yet here we are faced with charlatans who just cannot be trusted because no one appears to know who is really telling the truth..

    • Interesting article. It does appear that expert opinion is starting to abandon the fake consensus on this. Perhaps Willard will pay due diligence and read it. The Lancet piece is after all out of date by now with over a year of research since then.


      “Even though strong opinions abound, none of these scenarios can be confidently ruled in or ruled out with currently available facts. Just because there are no public reports of more immediate, proximal ancestors in natural hosts, doesn’t mean that these ancestors don’t exist in natural hosts or that COVID-19 didn’t began as a spillover event. Nor does it mean that they have not been recovered and studied, or deliberately recombined in a laboratory.”

      • Here’s where I stopped:

        The ground began to shift late last year when Stanford microbiologist David Relman published a superb paper

        Not a paper. An op-ed.

      • Willard of course can find an out of context phrase to dismiss anything hat disagrees with his narrative.

      • I can, David, but I won’t. First, because I’m not your monkey. Second, because that it’s your itch to scratch. So pay due diligence to it yourself. That is, if you can.

        In other words, don’t try to bait me. More generally, don’t try to bait people. That’s unsportsmanlike.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard: Not a paper. An op-ed.

        Was it a good op-ed? Let’s not forget that the dismissals of the Wuhan Lab origin theory were op-eds.

      • > Was it a good op-ed?

        It was fine. As I say about a related Q&A elsewhere:

        David’s concerns are understandable:

        3. Why is it important to understand SARS-CoV-2’s origins?

        Relman: Some argue that we would be best served by focusing on countering the dire impacts of the pandemic and not diverting resources to ascertaining its origins. I agree that addressing the pandemic’s calamitous effects deserves high priority. But it’s possible and important for us to pursue both. Greater clarity about the origins will help guide efforts to prevent a next pandemic. Such prevention efforts would look very different depending on which of these scenarios proves to be the most likely.

        Evidence favoring a natural spillover should prompt a wide variety of measures to minimize human contact with high-risk animal hosts. Evidence favoring a laboratory spillover should prompt intensified review and oversight of high-risk laboratory work and should strengthen efforts to improve laboratory safety. Both kinds of risk-mitigation efforts will be resource intensive, so it’s worth knowing which scenario is most likely.

        https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2021/05/david-relman-on-investigating-origin-of-coronavirus.html

        However, David might not seem to realize how contrarians and Freedom Fighters could exploit his efforts.

        My own intuition would be that to invest in both risk-mitigation efforts might be just better. Less downsides. More upsides.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2021/05/23/the-bingo-core/#comment-192704

        So I don’t buy the “we should investigate even if we probly never get to the bottom of it” stance.

        Furthermore, David’s policy sounds a lot like Sam Harris argument for airport profiling. And it’s not a good one:

        https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2012/05/to_profile_or_not_to.html

        In security matters, simplicity is key. Every layer adds exponents.

      • Notice the tactics here. The editorial was good and made good points that Willard agrees with but he feels the need to cast shade on it because someone who he doesn’t like might use it in ways he doesn’t like.

      • Notice how David Young conflates three different products while still trying to burden me with a task he himself does not accomplish and after being told that it was unsportsmanlike.

        And failing once again to address the points I raise. So let’s recap them:

        Could contrarians and Freedom Fighters exploit his efforts? Indeed they do. Check.

        Could we just invest in both risk-mitigation efforts offer less downsides and more upsides? That’s debatable. Hence why I offer the following question as argument:

        Could David Relman’s policy increase security risks? You bet.

        ***

        David Young brought me here. These are my terms. Unless he wants to debate them, I wash my hands over this exchange.

      • “Could we just invest in both risk-mitigation efforts offer less downsides and more upsides? That’s debatable. Hence why I offer the following question as argument:

        Could David Relman’s policy increase security risks? You bet.”

        Interesting. How? To my mind, if you signal to labs that you won’t even allow an investigation into leaks, you remove any incentive to prevent them. But to be fair, I see where you’re coming from. In our hyper-politicized world it becomes almost impossible to admit a mistake because any admission is accompanied by cancellation. In such a world, it almost becomes reasonable to pull the old Soviet trick of investigating secretly so you can deny, while silently fixing. IMO that’s always going to leak out and the damage will be worse. That’s why the following was a Russian joke, not a western joke: “there’s no news in Izvestia or truth in Pravda”

      • > How?

        You can lose time and resources. Even if you find something conclusive, that does not eliminate the other risks related to the options you exclude with your policy.

        You get stolen. This time the thief went through your window. Does that mean you need to leave the door open until you spot him with your cameras? No. That’d be silly.

        While audits never end, not every auditing stories get interesting with time.

      • Willard: “So I don’t buy the “we should investigate even if we probly never get to the bottom of it” stance.”

        I am assuming this is an dispute of Relman: “Such prevention efforts would look very different depending on which of these scenarios proves to be the most likely.”

        I agree with Willard on this point more than Relman. Prevention efforts will not look different based the answer of origin. I think everyone now, including Daszak and Baric and Fauci, know now that GOF on human pathogens is a bad idea even without proof of the lab leak. Just the admission now by Baric and Fauci that it’s plausibly the origin of covid, and the fact that their position moved, eliminates any firm ground to continue GOF.

        My prediction is that the face saving international consensus will be that we can’t know if it was a lab leak but we all agree on an international treaty banning GOF.

      • Question for Willard: Do you think that nuclear power plant accident
        danger outweighs CO2 emissions danger? I anticipate your answer would be that we don’t need nuclear or fossil fuel because wind and solar will do the job. banning nuclear energy. My analogous answer to GOF is that vaccine research on the pathogens that currently already exist will do the job without making human pathogens.

      • Your prediction has nothing to do with the security point, Ron.

        What you and other Freedom Fighters present as consensus enforcement is based on two letters from individual scientists. This is far from the statements on AGW with most if not all the scientific organizations in the world.

        If you read the letters properly you should realize that the main target was conspiracy ideation. Even the main researcher who pursued the lab hypothesis admits that At the time, conspiracy theorists were spinning bioweapon fantasies, and Chan was loath to give them any ammunition.

        This is still going on. Tune in on Alex Jones. Go on Twitter.

        If the hat does not fit you, stop wearing it. But please, very please, stop pretending that what you’re doing right now won’t get used by conspiracy theorists. It is, and it will. And THAT is a very big problem, for you and for every Freedom Fighter, including Wade and that other Unherd guy who can’t quote Kuhn properly.

        More that that, this is your problem. Own it.

      • > More that that, this is your problem. Own it.

        Not strong enough. Let’s rewrite the fall:

        This not only your problem. This is my problem too. It is everyone’s problem now. This is where COVID and AGW meet. We’re all in it together.

        I can own what I’m doing here. Can you?

      • > Do you think that nuclear

        “But nukes” is a fringe move in my Bingo, Ron. Nevertheless:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/going-nuclear/

        this should answer your leading question.

      • > Should virologists lie or stay silent in order not to inflame “conspiracy thinking.”

        I simply don’t think scientists stay silent because of some Omertà, Ron. Alina simply crushed Peter on Twitter. So much the worse for the browbeating theory and for the idea that he’s the megaphone of the community.

        Take Poker. Good players try to play their hands without paying too much attention to the result of individual games. They know that if they play well, in the long run it’ll reward them. They know that both luck and skill is involved in the game. They also know that being prosocial helps.

        But here’s the twist: there are many ways to be prosocial. Some players become the life of the party. Others play a more self-effacing role. Same with scientists. Should we really penalize scientists if they decide to remain silent? I don’t think so. Most of whom I know find social media a time sink. They prefer to do what they love best, which is to do science.

        ***

        Sure, as long as what they say is supported by the evidence they best can judge, scientists should be able to say whatever they please. That idea is so vague as to be compatible with the paragraph I quoted from the letter. It’s also not very realistic. We’re social animals. While we can’t be responsible for our friends, but we are still judged by the company we keep.

        That’s just the way it is.

        But again, reality is more complex. When Glenn goes on Tucker’s, it does not look good on him. When Bernie goes on Tucker’s, it looks good on him. What would explain the difference? My interpretation: one keeps speaking truth to power, the other looks like an opportunistic dolt who cares about his self-image more than anything.

        People notice when you dance like they’re not watching.

        Social media is young. It’s far from being perfect. Manners have to be instilled. I myself need to ignore troglodytes and to improve how to pitch properly. And if there’s one thing I learned on how to change behavior, it’s that people pay attention to what you do things and how you do them, not what you say. Manners maketh people. Nobody likes cops, not even cops.

        That’s all I got for you right now.

        Thank you for your comment.

      • Ron Graf

        “Prevention efforts will not look different based the answer of origin. I think everyone now, including Daszak and Baric and Fauci, know now that GOF on human pathogens is a bad idea even without proof of the lab leak. Just the admission now by Baric and Fauci that it’s plausibly the origin of covid, and the fact that their position moved, eliminates any firm ground to continue GOF.”

        What evidence is there that any of those people listed really believe GOF is a bad idea? There may actually be a good reason to do GOF research with better safety protocols – they obviously seemed to think so for a long time despite a series of problems at Wuhan.
        This is why prevention efforts will absolutely look different based on the origin- again, if nobody cares about accidents at labs there will be more accidents at labs.
        And to Willard’s point about wasting resources- how is it useful to have all of virology trying to discover the species jump if it didn’t happen? How is it not a waste of resources that all of the extensive investigations (all of which were prohibited from examining lab leak possibilities) have turned up no answers.
        To steal his analogy, the thief went through the window and the WHO declared windows impenetrable, anyone who looks at them to be nutters, and demanded we add more locks to the doors. In the face of that, which staffer at WHO will be brave enough to say- excuse me, but shall we shut the windows too?

        Also Ron, Willard brings his bingo cards out anytime someone does something silly, like proposing a reduction in CO2 emissions. Remember, It’s an “existential threat,” but it’s not THAT bad. Anti-nuke activists have feelings ya know.

      • > It’s an “existential threat,”

        CAGW is the central square, Jeff, and you’re reading the risks backassward. Relman’s argument isn’t that we should not follow up on the lab theory because there are too much risks. He’s saying that there are risks in not following it up. And I’m saying that if the risks are worth be tackled, better tackle them without having to wait for what could be a fool’s errand.

      • “CAGW is the central square, Jeff”
        You can call it the smallbluemike square, ’cause he’s obviously a figment of Exxon’s imagination.

        “And I’m saying…”
        we should stop playing games and do a genuine search for the origin because it’s important. Which is relevant to this post because saying that caused the type of person who makes bingo cards to put me in the center square for a year. Because bingo cards are designed to avoid questions by insulting those who ask them.

      • > because it’s important.

        That’s a great argument you got there, Jeff. Next you’re gonna tell me it’s important because it’s important.

        Bingo squares are designed to recognize contrarian talking points. You and Ron went from risks to nukes. That you chimed in is to be expected because we all know you love that square. That you went for “but CAGW” is just par for the contrarian course.

        Bingo squares don’t protect against physical play, however. For that I need a manual.

        Good talk.

    • Willard, thanks for your robust reply.

      Addressing your thoughts in reverse order, nukes are an important part of the energy policy debate. I don’t understand how you write off an entire technological area as a ploy by deniers to obfuscate, as embodied by your Bingo game squares creation (which I have no problem with if just for humor and not taken seriously.)

      “If the hat does not fit you, stop wearing it. But please, very please, stop pretending that what you’re doing right now won’t get used by conspiracy theorists. ”

      You have underscored the most profound aspect of this entire blog post and also the theme of an article published today and tweeted by Daszak. We should not be talking about lab leak because we are going to make the Chinese defensive and break down trust and then they won’t share and cooperate.
      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01383-3

      Allegations that COVID escaped from a Chinese lab make it harder for nations to collaborate on ending the pandemic — and fuel online bullying, some scientists say.

      My last thought is to bully and I appreciate your acknowledgement of my good faith “freedom fighter” motive. So the question becomes are there times when honesty is not the best policy, when the greater good is served by knowingly repeating untruths or remaining silent? Can promoting deception be a good thing? Sure, if you are at war. US historians to not have an ounce of guilt for US deception of the Japanese at Midway or Germany about D-Day.

      Then stepping back from that the questions gets murkier.

      Is it OK for expert witnesses to lie in order to convict a heinous murderer who might otherwise get off