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WHO (Accidentally) Confirms Covid is No More Dangerous Than Flu

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | October 8, 2020

The World Health Organization has finally confirmed what we (and many experts and studies) have been saying for months – the coronavirus is no more deadly or dangerous than seasonal flu.

The WHO’s top brass made this announcement during a special session of the WHO’s 34-member executive board on Monday October 5th, it’s just nobody seemed to really understand it.

In fact, they didn’t seem to completely understand it themselves.

At the session, Dr Michael Ryan, the WHO’s Head of Emergencies revealed that they believe roughly 10% of the world has been infected with Sars-Cov-2. This is their “best estimate”, and a huge increase over the number of officially recognised cases (around 35 million).

Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman, later confirmed the figure, stating it was based on the average results of all the broad seroprevalence studies done around the world.

As much as the WHO were attempting to spin this as a bad thing – Dr Ryan even said it means “the vast majority of the world remains at risk.” – it’s actually good news. And confirms, once more, that the virus is nothing like as deadly as everyone predicted.

The global population is roughly 7.8 billion people, if 10% have been infected that is 780 million cases. The global death toll currently attributed to Sars-Cov-2 infections is 1,061,539.

That’s an infection fatality rate of roughly or 0.14%. Right in line with seasonal flu and the predictions of many experts from all around the world.

0.14% is over 24 times LOWER than the WHO’s “provisional figure” of 3.4% back in March. This figure was used in the models which were used to justify lockdowns and other draconian policies.

In fact, given the over-reporting of alleged Covid deaths, the IFR is likely even lower than 0.14%, and could show Covid to be much less dangerous than flu.

None of the mainstream press picked up on this. Though many outlets reported Dr Ryan’s words, they all attempted to make it a scary headline and spread more panic.

Apparently neither they, nor the WHO, were capable of doing the simple maths that shows us this is good news. And that the Covid sceptics have been right all along.

October 9, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 9 Comments

Is the UK heading toward medical martial law?

We are hearing frequent calls for the UK’s coronavirus “pandemic” response to become a military operation

OffGuardian | October 2, 2020

On the 28th September Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP for Bournemouth East, stood up in Parliament and suggested that the British Army and the Ministry of Defense be in charge of distributing and administering “millions of doses” of the Sars-Cov-2 vaccines, as well as issuing “vaccination certificates” which will “allow travel”.

And that’s just the highlights, there’s a lot more vaguely sinister language, camouflaged in his rather drab monotone voice. (You can watch the whole speech here, go to 20:24).

This is a concerning development, one very much worth keeping an eye on. The BBC don’t think so, of course, because the call for what would easily amount to medical martial law didn’t even make it into their “Today in Parliament” programme.

This is not new behaviour for Ellwood. He has always been a consistent voice for use of the military in response to the “pandemic”. On the 18th of September he requested the Prime Minister make “greater use of our fine armed forces”.

He specifically mentions “managing the narrative”, which is no surprise considering his role as a former Army officer, a current reserves officer, and his known affiliation with the 77th Brigade. For those who don’t know: The 77th is the British army’s team of “facebook warriors”. An information warfare unit whose job is to “counter misinformation”, “manage the narrative” and generally corral and control the internet conversation.

That’s not a “conspiracy theory”, their existence is readily acknowledged by both the government and the mainstream media. Considering they’re currently employed “countering covid misinformation“, they will likely be in the comments of this post (Hi guys!).

Other countries around the world have already moved on to this “war footing”, and the UK is likely not far behind.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Open letter from medical doctors and health professionals to all Belgian authorities and media

Dr Malcomb Kendrick | September 19, 2020

In order to make you aware that there are a growing number of doctors in Europe who feel that Lockdown has been an unmitigated disaster, I have downloaded an open Letter from doctors in Belgium. It can be seen here.

Doctors in other countries e.g. Germany have done much the same thing. I am putting this on my blog so that as many people as possible read it.

Open letter from medical doctors and health professionals to all Belgian authorities and all Belgian media.

We, Belgian doctors and health professionals, wish to express our serious concern about the evolution of the situation in the recent months surrounding the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We call on politicians to be independently and critically informed in the decision-making process and in the compulsory implementation of corona-measures. We ask for an open debate, where all experts are represented without any form of censorship. After the initial panic surrounding covid-19, the objective facts now show a completely different picture – there is no medical justification for any emergency policy anymore.

The current crisis management has become totally disproportionate and causes more damage than it does any good.

We call for an end to all measures and ask for an immediate restoration of our normal democratic governance and legal structures and of all our civil liberties.

‘A cure must not be worse than the problem’ is a thesis that is more relevant than ever in the current situation. We note, however, that the collateral damage now being caused to the population will have a greater impact in the short and long term on all sections of the population than the number of people now being safeguarded from corona.

In our opinion, the current corona measures and the strict penalties for non-compliance with them are contrary to the values formulated by the Belgian Supreme Health Council, which, until recently, as the health authority, has always ensured quality medicine in our country: “Science – Expertise – Quality – Impartiality – Independence – Transparency”. 1

We believe that the policy has introduced mandatory measures that are not sufficiently scientifically based, unilaterally directed, and that there is not enough space in the media for an open debate in which different views and opinions are heard. In addition, each municipality and province now has the authorisation to add its own measures, whether well-founded or not.

Moreover, the strict repressive policy on corona strongly contrasts with the government’s minimal policy when it comes to disease prevention, strengthening our own immune system through a healthy lifestyle, optimal care with attention for the individual and investment in care personnel.2

The concept of health

In 1948, the WHO defined health as follows: ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or other physical impairment’.3

Health, therefore, is a broad concept that goes beyond the physical and also relates to the emotional and social well-being of the individual. Belgium also has a duty, from the point of view of subscribing to fundamental human rights, to include these human rights in its decision-making when it comes to measures taken in the context of public health. 4

The current global measures taken to combat SARS-CoV-2 violate to a large extent this view of health and human rights. Measures include compulsory wearing of a mask (also in open air and during sporting activities, and in some municipalities even when there are no other people in the vicinity), physical distancing, social isolation, compulsory quarantine for some groups and hygiene measures.

The predicted pandemic with millions of deaths

At the beginning of the pandemic, the measures were understandable and widely supported, even if there were differences in implementation in the countries around us. The WHO originally predicted a pandemic that would claim 3.4% victims, in other words millions of deaths, and a highly contagious virus for which no treatment or vaccine was available.  This would put unprecedented pressure on the intensive care units (ICUs) of our hospitals.

This led to a global alarm situation, never seen in the history of mankind: “flatten the curve” was represented by a lockdown that shut down the entire society and economy and quarantined healthy people. Social distancing became the new normal in anticipation of a rescue vaccine.

The facts about covid-19

Gradually, the alarm bell was sounded from many sources: the objective facts showed a completely different reality. 5 6

The course of covid-19 followed the course of a normal wave of infection similar to a flu season. As every year, we see a mix of flu viruses following the curve: first the rhinoviruses, then the influenza A and B viruses, followed by the coronaviruses. There is nothing different from what we normally see.

The use of the non-specific PCR test, which produces many false positives, showed an exponential picture. This test was rushed through with an emergency procedure and was never seriously self-tested. The creator expressly warned that this test was intended for research and not for diagnostics.7

The PCR test works with cycles of amplification of genetic material – a piece of genome is amplified each time. Any contamination (e.g. other viruses, debris from old virus genomes) can possibly result in false positives.8

The test does not measure how many viruses are present in the sample. A real viral infection means a massive presence of viruses, the so-called virus load. If someone tests positive, this does not mean that that person is actually clinically infected, is ill or is going to become ill. Koch’s postulate was not fulfilled (“The pure agent found in a patient with complaints can provoke the same complaints in a healthy person”).

Since a positive PCR test does not automatically indicate active infection or infectivity, this does not justify the social measures taken, which are based solely on these tests. 9 10

Lockdown.

If we compare the waves of infection in countries with strict lockdown policies to countries that did not impose lockdowns (Sweden, Iceland …), we see similar curves.  So there is no link between the imposed lockdown and the course of the infection. Lockdown has not led to a lower mortality rate.

If we look at the date of application of the imposed lockdowns we see that the lockdowns were set after the peak was already over and the number of cases decreasing. The drop was therefore not the result of the taken measures. 11

As every year, it seems that climatic conditions (weather, temperature and humidity) and growing immunity are more likely to reduce the wave of infection.

Our immune system

For thousands of years, the human body has been exposed daily to moisture and droplets containing infectious microorganisms (viruses, bacteria and fungi).

The penetration of these microorganisms is prevented by an advanced defence mechanism – the immune system. A strong immune system relies on normal daily exposure to these microbial influences. Overly hygienic measures have a detrimental effect on our immunity. 12 13 Only people with a weak or faulty immune system should be protected by extensive hygiene or social distancing.

Influenza will re-emerge in the autumn (in combination with covid-19) and a possible decrease in natural resilience may lead to further casualties.

Our immune system consists of two parts: a congenital, non-specific immune system and an adaptive immune system.

The non-specific immune system forms a first barrier: skin, saliva, gastric juice, intestinal mucus, vibratory hair cells, commensal flora, … and prevents the attachment of micro-organisms to tissue.

If they do attach, macrophages can cause the microorganisms to be encapsulated and destroyed.

The adaptive immune system consists of mucosal immunity (IgA antibodies, mainly produced by cells in the intestines and lung epithelium), cellular immunity (T-cell activation), which can be generated in contact with foreign substances or microorganisms, and humoral immunity (IgM and IgG antibodies produced by the B cells).

Recent research shows that both systems are highly entangled.

It appears that most people already have a congenital or general immunity to e.g. influenza and other viruses. This is confirmed by the findings on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was quarantined because of a few passengers who died of Covid-19. Most of the passengers were elderly and were in an ideal situation of transmission on the ship. However, 75% did not appear to be infected. So even in this high-risk group, the majority are resistant to the virus.

A study in the journal Cell shows that most people neutralise the coronavirus by mucosal (IgA) and cellular immunity (T-cells), while experiencing few or no symptoms 14.

Researchers found up to 60% SARS-Cov-2 reactivity with CD4+T cells in a non-infected population, suggesting cross-reactivity with other cold (corona) viruses.15 Most people therefore already have a congenital or cross-immunity because they were already in contact with variants of the same virus.

The antibody formation (IgM and IgG) by B-cells only occupies a relatively small part of our immune system. This may explain why, with an antibody percentage of 5-10%, there may be a group immunity anyway. The efficacy of vaccines is assessed precisely on the basis of whether or not we have these antibodies. This is a misrepresentation.

Most people who test positive (PCR) have no complaints. Their immune system is strong enough. Strengthening natural immunity is a much more logical approach. Prevention is an important, insufficiently highlighted pillar: healthy, full-fledged nutrition, exercise in fresh air, without a mask, stress reduction and nourishing emotional and social contacts.

Consequences of social isolation on physical and mental health

Social isolation and economic damage led to an increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, intra-family violence and child abuse.16

Studies have shown that the more social and emotional commitments people have, the more resistant they are to viruses. It is much more likely that isolation and quarantine have fatal consequences. 17

The isolation measures have also led to physical inactivity in many older people due to their being forced to stay indoors. However, sufficient exercise has a positive effect on cognitive functioning, reducing depressive complaints and anxiety and improving physical health, energy levels, well-being and, in general, quality of life.18

Fear, persistent stress and loneliness induced by social distancing have a proven negative influence on psychological and general health. 19

A highly contagious virus with millions of deaths without any treatment?

Mortality turned out to be many times lower than expected and close to that of a normal seasonal flu (0.2%). 20

The number of registered corona deaths therefore still seems to be overestimated.

There is a difference between death by corona and death with corona. Humans are often carriers of multiple viruses and potentially pathogenic bacteria at the same time. Taking into account the fact that most people who developed serious symptoms suffered from additional pathology, one cannot simply conclude that the corona-infection was the cause of death. This was mostly not taken into account in the statistics.

The most vulnerable groups can be clearly identified. The vast majority of deceased patients were 80 years of age or older. The majority (70%) of the deceased, younger than 70 years, had an underlying disorder, such as cardiovascular suffering, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease or obesity. The vast majority of infected persons (>98%) did not or hardly became ill or recovered spontaneously.

Meanwhile, there is an affordable, safe and efficient therapy available for those who do show severe symptoms of disease in the form of HCQ (hydroxychloroquine), zinc and AZT (azithromycin). Rapidly applied this therapy leads to recovery and often prevents hospitalisation. Hardly anyone has to die now.

This effective therapy has been confirmed by the clinical experience of colleagues in the field with impressive results. This contrasts sharply with the theoretical criticism (insufficient substantiation by double-blind studies) which in some countries (e.g. the Netherlands) has even led to a ban on this therapy. A meta-analysis in The Lancet, which could not demonstrate an effect of HCQ, was withdrawn. The primary data sources used proved to be unreliable and 2 out of 3 authors were in conflict of interest. However, most of the guidelines based on this study remained unchanged … 48 49

We have serious questions about this state of affairs.

In the US, a group of doctors in the field, who see patients on a daily basis, united in “America’s Frontline Doctors” and gave a press conference which has been watched millions of times.21 51

French Prof Didier Raoult of the Institut d’Infectiologie de Marseille (IHU) also presented this promising combination therapy as early as April. Dutch GP Rob Elens, who cured many patients in his practice with HCQ and zinc, called on colleagues in a petition for freedom of therapy.22

The definitive evidence comes from the epidemiological follow-up in Switzerland: mortality rates compared with and without this therapy.23

From the distressing media images of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) where people were suffocating and given artificial respiration in agony, we now know that this was caused by an exaggerated immune response with intravascular coagulation in the pulmonary blood vessels. The administration of blood thinners and dexamethasone and the avoidance of artificial ventilation, which was found to cause additional damage to lung tissue, means that this dreaded complication, too, is virtually not fatal anymore. 47

It is therefore not a killer virus, but a well-treatable condition.

Propagation

Spreading occurs by drip infection (only for patients who cough or sneeze) and aerosols in closed, unventilated rooms. Contamination is therefore not possible in the open air. Contact tracing and epidemiological studies show that healthy people (or positively tested asymptomatic carriers) are virtually unable to transmit the virus. Healthy people therefore do not put each other at risk. 24 25

Transfer via objects (e.g. money, shopping or shopping trolleys) has not been scientifically proven.26 27 28

All this seriously calls into question the whole policy of social distancing and compulsory mouth masks for healthy people – there is no scientific basis for this.

Masks

Oral masks belong in contexts where contacts with proven at-risk groups or people with upper respiratory complaints take place, and in a medical context/hospital-retirement home setting. They reduce the risk of droplet infection by sneezing or coughing. Oral masks in healthy individuals are ineffective against the spread of viral infections. 29 30 31

Wearing a mask is not without side effects. 32 33 Oxygen deficiency (headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of concentration) occurs fairly quickly, an effect similar to altitude sickness. Every day we now see patients complaining of headaches, sinus problems, respiratory problems and hyperventilation due to wearing masks. In addition, the accumulated CO2 leads to a toxic acidification of the organism which affects our immunity. Some experts even warn of an increased transmission of the virus in case of inappropriate use of the mask.34

Our Labour Code (Codex 6) refers to a CO2 content (ventilation in workplaces) of 900 ppm, maximum 1200 ppm in special circumstances. After wearing a mask for one minute, this toxic limit is considerably exceeded to values that are three to four times higher than these maximum values. Anyone who wears a mask is therefore in an extreme poorly ventilated room. 35

Inappropriate use of masks without a comprehensive medical cardio-pulmonary test file is therefore not recommended by recognised safety specialists for workers.

Hospitals have a sterile environment in their operating rooms where staff wear masks and there is precise regulation of humidity / temperature with appropriately monitored oxygen flow to compensate for this, thus meeting strict safety standards. 36

A second corona wave?

A second wave is now being discussed in Belgium, with a further tightening of the measures as a result. However, closer examination of Sciensano’s figures (latest report of 3 September 2020)37 shows that, although there has been an increase in the number of infections since mid-July, there was no increase in hospital admissions or deaths at that time. It is therefore not a second wave of corona, but a so-called “case chemistry” due to an increased number of tests. 50

The number of hospital admissions or deaths showed a shortlasting minimal increase in recent weeks, but in interpreting it, we must take into account the recent heatwave. In addition, the vast majority of the victims are still in the population group >75 years.

This indicates that the proportion of the measures taken in relation to the working population and young people is disproportionate to the intended objectives.

The vast majority of the positively tested “infected” persons are in the age group of the active population, which does not develop any or merely limited symptoms, due to a well-functioning immune system.

So nothing has changed – the peak is over.

Strengthening a prevention policy

The corona measures form a striking contrast to the minimal policy pursued by the government until now, when it comes to well-founded measures with proven health benefits such as the sugar tax, the ban on (e-)cigarettes and making healthy food, exercise and social support networks financially attractive and widely accessible. It is a missed opportunity for a better prevention policy that could have brought about a change in mentality in all sections of the population with clear results in terms of public health. At present, only 3% of the health care budget goes to prevention. 2

The Hippocratic Oath

As a doctor, we took the Hippocratic Oath:

“I will above all care for my patients, promote their health and alleviate their suffering”.

“I will inform my patients correctly.”

“Even under pressure, I will not use my medical knowledge for practices that are against humanity.”

The current measures force us to act against this oath.

Other health professionals have a similar code.

The ‘primum non nocere’, which every doctor and health professional assumes, is also undermined by the current measures and by the prospect of the possible introduction of a generalised vaccine, which is not subject to extensive prior testing.

Vaccine

Survey studies on influenza vaccinations show that in 10 years we have only succeeded three times in developing a vaccine with an efficiency rate of more than 50%. Vaccinating our elderly appears to be inefficient. Over 75 years of age, the efficacy is almost non-existent.38

Due to the continuous natural mutation of viruses, as we also see every year in the case of the influenza virus, a vaccine is at most a temporary solution, which requires new vaccines each time afterwards. An untested vaccine, which is implemented by emergency procedure and for which the manufacturers have already obtained legal immunity from possible harm, raises serious questions. 39 40 We do not wish to use our patients as guinea pigs.

On a global scale, 700 000 cases of damage or death are expected as a result of the vaccine.41 If 95% of people experience Covid-19 virtually symptom-free, the risk of exposure to an untested vaccine is irresponsible.

The role of the media and the official communication plan

Over the past few months, newspaper, radio and TV makers seemed to stand almost uncritically behind the panel of experts and the government, there, where it is precisely the press that should be critical and prevent one-sided governmental communication. This has led to a public communication in our news media, that was more like propaganda than objective reporting.

In our opinion, it is the task of journalism to bring news as objectively and neutrally as possible, aimed at finding the truth and critically controlling power, with dissenting experts also being given a forum in which to express themselves.

This view is supported by the journalistic codes of ethics.42

The official story that a lockdown was necessary, that this was the only possible solution, and that everyone stood behind this lockdown, made it difficult for people with a different view, as well as experts, to express a different opinion.

Alternative opinions were ignored or ridiculed. We have not seen open debates in the media, where different views could be expressed.

We were also surprised by the many videos and articles by many scientific experts and authorities, which were and are still being removed from social media. We feel that this does not fit in with a free, democratic constitutional state, all the more so as it leads to tunnel vision. This policy also has a paralysing effect and feeds fear and concern in society. In this context, we reject the intention of censorship of dissidents in the European Union! 43

The way in which Covid-19 has been portrayed by politicians and the media has not done the situation any good either. War terms were popular and warlike language was not lacking. There has often been mention of a ‘war’ with an ‘invisible enemy’ who has to be ‘defeated’. The use in the media of phrases such as ‘care heroes in the front line’ and ‘corona victims’ has further fuelled fear, as has the idea that we are globally dealing with a ‘killer virus’.

The relentless bombardment with figures, that were unleashed on the population day after day, hour after hour, without interpreting those figures, without comparing them to flu deaths in other years, without comparing them to deaths from other causes, has induced a real psychosis of fear in the population. This is not information, this is manipulation.

We deplore the role of the WHO in this, which has called for the infodemic (i.e. all divergent opinions from the official discourse, including by experts with different views) to be silenced by an unprecedented media censorship.43 44

We urgently call on the media to take their responsibilities here!

We demand an open debate in which all experts are heard.

Emergency law versus Human Rights

The general principle of good governance calls for the proportionality of government decisions to be weighed up in the light of the Higher Legal Standards: any interference by government must comply with the fundamental rights as protected in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Interference by public authorities is only permitted in crisis situations. In other words, discretionary decisions must be proportionate to an absolute necessity.

The measures currently taken concern interference in the exercise of, among other things, the right to respect of private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association, the right to education, etc., and must therefore comply with fundamental rights as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

For example, in accordance with Article 8(2) of the ECHR, interference with the right to private and family life is permissible only if the measures are necessary in the interests of national security, public safety, the economic well-being of the country, the protection of public order and the prevention of criminal offences, the protection of health or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, the regulatory text on which the interference is based must be sufficiently clear, foreseeable and proportionate to the objectives pursued.45

The predicted pandemic of millions of deaths seemed to respond to these crisis conditions, leading to the establishment of an emergency government. Now that the objective facts show something completely different, the condition of inability to act otherwise (no time to evaluate thoroughly if there is an emergency) is no longer in place. Covid-19 is not a cold virus, but a well treatable condition with a mortality rate comparable to the seasonal flu. In other words, there is no longer an insurmountable obstacle to public health.

There is no state of emergency.

Immense damage caused by the current policies

An open discussion on corona measures means that, in addition to the years of life gained by corona patients, we must also take into account other factors affecting the health of the entire population. These include damage in the psychosocial domain (increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, intra-family violence and child abuse)16 and economic damage.

If we take this collateral damage into account, the current policy is out of all proportion, the proverbial use of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.We find it shocking that the government is invoking health as a reason for the emergency law.

As doctors and health professionals, in the face of a virus which, in terms of its harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility, approaches the seasonal influenza, we can only reject these extremely disproportionate measures.

We therefore demand an immediate end to all measures.

We are questioning the legitimacy of the current advisory experts, who meet behind closed doors.

Following on from ACU 2020 46 https://acu2020.org/nederlandse-versie/ we call for an in-depth examination of the role of the WHO and the possible influence of conflicts of interest in this organisation. It was also at the heart of the fight against the “infodemic”, i.e. the systematic censorship of all dissenting opinions in the media. This is unacceptable for a democratic state governed by the rule of law.43

Distribution of this letter

We would like to make a public appeal to our professional associations and fellow carers to give their opinion on the current measures.

We draw attention to and call for an open discussion in which carers can and dare to speak out.

With this open letter, we send out the signal that progress on the same footing does more harm than good, and call on politicians to inform themselves independently and critically about the available evidence – including that from experts with different views, as long as it is based on sound science – when rolling out a policy, with the aim of promoting optimum health.

With concern, hope and in a personal capacity.

 

1: https://www.health.belgium.be/nl/wie-zijn-we#Missie standaard.be/preventie

2: https://www.who.int/about/who-we-are/constitution

3: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-rights-and-health

4: https://swprs.org/feiten-over-covid19/

5: https://the-iceberg.net/

6: https://www.creative-diagnostics.com/sars-cov-2-coronavirus-multiplex-rt-qpcr-kit-277854-457.htm

7: President John Magufuli of Tanzania: “Even Papaya and Goats are Corona positive” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=207HuOxltvI

8: Open letter by biochemist Drs Mario Ortiz Martinez to the Dutch chamber https://www.gentechvrij.nl/2020/08/15/foute-interpretatie/

9: Interview with Drs Mario Ortiz Martinez https://troo.tube/videos/watch/6ed900eb-7459-4a1b-93fd-b393069f4fcd?fbclid=IwAR1XrullC2qopJjgFxEgbSTBvh-4ZCuJa1VxkHTXEtYMEyGG3DsNwUdaatY

10: https://infekt.ch/2020/04/sind-wir-tatsaechlich-im-blindflug/

11: Lambrecht, B., Hammad, H. The immunology of the allergy epidemic and the hygiene hypothesis. Nat Immunol 18, 1076–1083 (2017). https://www.nature.com/articles/ni.3829

12: Sharvan Sehrawat, Barry T. Rouse, Does the hygiene hypothesis apply to COVID-19 susceptibility?, Microbes and Infection, 2020, ISSN 1286-4579, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2020.07.002

13: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30610-3?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867420306103%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

14: https://www.hpdetijd.nl/2020-08-11/9-manieren-om-corona-te-voorkomen/

15: Feys, F., Brokken, S., & De Peuter, S. (2020, May 22). Risk-benefit and cost-utility analysis for COVID-19 lockdown in Belgium: the impact on mental health and wellbeing. https://psyarxiv.com/xczb3/

16: Kompanje, 2020

17: Conn, Hafdahl en Brown, 2009; Martinsen 2008; Yau, 2008

18: https://brandbriefggz.nl/

19: https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/#overall-mortality

20: https://www.xandernieuws.net/algemeen/groep-artsen-vs-komt-in-verzet-facebook-bant-hun-17-miljoen-keer-bekeken-video/

21: https://www.petities.com/einde_corona_crises_overheid_sta_behandeling_van_covid-19_met_hcq_en_zink_toe

22: https://zelfzorgcovid19.nl/statistieken-zwitserland-met-hcq-zonder-hcq-met-hcq-leveren-het-bewijs/

23: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html

24: http://www.emro.who.int/health-topics/corona-virus/transmission-of-covid-19-by-asymptomatic-cases.html

25: WHO https://www.marketwatch.com/story/who-we-did-not-say-that-cash-was-transmitting-coronavirus-2020-03-06

26: https://www.nordkurier.de/ratgeber/es-gibt-keine-gefahr-jemandem-beim-einkaufen-zu-infizieren-0238940804.html

27: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-banknotes/banknotes-carry-no-particular-coronavirus-risk-german-disease-expert-idUSKBN20Y2ZT

  1. Contradictory statements by our virologists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K9xfmkMsvM

30: https://www.hpdetijd.nl/2020-07-05/stop-met-anderhalve-meter-afstand-en-het-verplicht-dragen-van-mondkapjes/

31: Security expert Tammy K. Herrema Clark https://youtu.be/TgDm_maAglM

32: https://theplantstrongclub.org/2020/07/04/healthy-people-should-not-wear-face-masks-by-jim-meehan-md/

33: https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy/

34: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200315/Reusing-masks-may-increase-your-risk-of-coronavirus-infection-expert-says.aspx

35: https://werk.belgie.be/nl/nieuws/nieuwe-regels-voor-de-kwaliteit-van-de-binnenlucht-werklokalen

36: https://kavlaanderen.blogspot.com/2020/07/als-maskers-niet-werken-waarom-dragen.html

37: https://covid-19.sciensano.be/sites/default/files/Covid19/Meest%20recente%20update.pdf

38: Haralambieva, I.H. et al., 2015. The impact of immunosenescence on humoral immune response variation after influenza A/H1N1 vaccination in older subjects. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26044074/

39: Global vaccine safety summit WHO 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJXXDLGKmPg

40: No liability manufacturers vaccines https://m.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20200804_95956456?fbclid=IwAR0IgiA-6sNVQvE8rMC6O5Gq5xhOulbcN1BhdI7Rw-7eq_pRtJDCxde6SQI

41: https://www.newsbreak.com/news/1572921830018/bill-gates-admits-700000-people-will-be-harmed-or-killed-by-his-covid-19-solution

42: Journalistic code https://www.rvdj.be/node/63

43: Disinformation related to COVID-19 approaches European Commission EurLex, juni 2020 (this file will not damage your computer)

44: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30461-X/fulltext

45: http://www.raadvst-consetat.be/dbx/adviezen/67142.pdf#search=67.142

46: https://acu2020.org/

47: https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0049384820303297?token=9718E5413AACDE0D14A3A0A56A89A3EF744B5A201097F4459AE565EA5EDB222803FF46D7C6CD3419652A215FDD2C874F

48: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31180-6/fulltext

49 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31324-6/fulltext

There is no revival of the pandemic, but a so-called casedemic due to more testing.

50: https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/crucial-viewing-understanding-covid-19-casedemic1

51: https://docs4opendebate.be/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/white-paper-on-hcq-from-AFD.pdf

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

COVID-19 predictions: “infectable subgroup” hypothesis

By Mikhail V. Blagosklonny – Rapamycin Press – June 15, 2020

As an amateur in virology, I present preliminary “infectable subgroup” hypothesis to explain:

  1. Why COVID-19 epidemic flattened in all countries even with poor mitigation measures
  2. Why new cases spike only in some (but not all) counties and US states since reopening
  3. Why epidemiologic prognoses failed

In existing epidemiological models (unless I am mistaken), chances to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus depend only on mitigation measures, such as social distancing. Biologically all people are equal.

Consider in contrast that there are subgroups of highly-infectable (< 20%) and low-infectable people. During epidemic, most highly-infectable people become infected and the curve flattens earlier than models predict (when just a few % of population get infected). When such places re-opened there will be no spike. Spikes will be observed only in places/states that did not flatten the curve yet. In former hot spots, cases will continue decreasing upon reopening.

Noteworthy, on the ships, most people (low-infectable group) do not become sick regardless of how long they stay together.

Low-infectable person does not get infected (and will not develop antibody either), when exposed to the virus.

The hypothesis also explains why it is more difficult to contain the spread, when just a few cases occur, than to flatten the curve at the peak of cases: All higly-infectable people have been already infected.

What determines infectable phenotype? Unlike COVID-19 vulnerability (mortality rate), infectability does not depend much on age, age-related diseases and gender. So we do not know.

There must be a biological component, including polymorphism.

Before the mutation had occurred in the bat virus, all people were non-infectable. Mutation rendered people infectable, but not necessarily all people. There is polymorphism of receptors, enzymes and so on. Also non-genetic factors such as diet, etc. may contribute to the infectable phenotype. Behavioral factors (low vs high social behavior) are extrinsic factors of infectability. Family clusters of COVID-19 suggest genetic factors.

Predictions:

  1. There will not be drastic spikes in former hot spots such as some parts of New York upon re-opening.
  2. There will be no second wave in the Fall, unless the virus mutates once again to make non-infecatble people infectable. There may be new hot spots in previously unaffected places, but this is all first wave.

Further directions: What are the markers and mechanisms of non-infectability?

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

COVID-19 and Bioweapons Research

By Seiji Yamada | CounterPunch | July 24, 2020

The anthrax attacks of 2001 were carried out via mail. Anthrax was sent via the US Postal Service to members of Congress and media executives together with notes reading “Death to America,” and “Allah is great.” Five died. In the weeks following the September 11 attacks, the intent of the perpetrators was to make it appear that the anthrax was being sent by Islamic militants.

The anthrax itself was weaponized. Natural anthrax is found in the soil and rarely causes human disease. The weaponized anthrax spores were designed to easily float in the air and thereby more easily infect its victims. The weaponized anthrax was identified as originating in the U.S. government laboratories. Genetic analysis identified it to be from the Ames strain, isolated from a cow in Texas in 1981, and studied at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland. A U.S. government scientist was identified as a suspect, but he committed suicide before being taken into custody. For an analysis of how the anthrax attacks followed the playbook of the June 2001 “Dark Winter” preparedness exercise, see Whitney Webb and Raul Diego’s “All Roads Lead To Dark Winter.”

The so-called biodefense complex is inherently dangerous. While the stated intent of biodefense research is to develop the means of countering attacks – in order to do so, scientists often create virulent pathogens in order to determine the means of responding to them. The process by which microorganisms are artificially made more virulent is called “gain-in-function” research.

An example is how the H5N1 strain of influenza was manipulated in order to make it more easily transmissible among humans. One technique is to infect ferrets with successive generations of a virus. Because the ferret respiratory system has similarities to the human respiratory system at the molecular level, such a technique produces viruses that can more easily infect humans. For obvious reasons, the publication of such research was opposed by many in the scientific community.

Wuhan, the original epicenter of the current COVID-19 pandemic, has two microbiology laboratories equipped to handle pathogenic microorganisms. Such labs are designated by their biosafety levels, with BSL-4 being the highest. The Wuhan Centers for Disease Control is a BSL-2 laboratory located within 100s of meters from the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where cases of COVID-19 were initially found. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is the only declared BSL-4 laboratory in China.

The WIV is responsible for much of the coronavirus research in China. Early on in the epidemic, we learned that the virus responsible for COVID-19 is similar to the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV): therefore its scientific name, SARS-CoV-2 or SARS coronavirus 2. Moreover, we learned that researchers from the WIV had collected a coronavirus from bats in Yunnan Province with 96% homology to (sharing 96% of its genes with) SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi, as the head of this research group, takes her place as the last author on the article.

Look at a map of China. Wuhan’s central location is what makes it a transportation hub. Yunnan province, to the Southeast, borders Laos and Myanmar. There are a thousand kilometers between Wuhan and the bat caves in Yunnan. The prevailing theory of the origins of the virus is that it made its way into humans through the exotic animal food trade. The encroachment of industrial agriculture into what is left of the wilderness created the conditions for the cross-species jump. It would have a bat virus in Yunnan somehow making the species jump into humans, possibly through an intermediary species, somewhere between Yunnan Province and a city (Wuhan) a thousand miles away.

Isn’t it a more plausible scenario that the SARS-CoV-2 was collected in the Yunnan bat caves by researchers from the WIV, brought by them to Wuhan, and somehow leaked from the laboratory? There are a lot of BSL-4 laboratories in the U.S. Leaks happen at these labs.

Note that I am not suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 was genomically bioengineered, nor that it was created to be a bioweapon. Obviously, the SARS-CoV-2 genome is under close scientific scrutiny, and we assume that molecular biologists would be able to detect such manipulation. However, it is possible to manipulate a viral genome without a recourse to gene-splicing techniques, such as the passing multiple generations through laboratory animals, as noted above with ferrets.

The researchers at the WIV have collaborated with American researchers, however, and conducted gain-of-function experiments utilizing gene-splicing techniques. See, for example, a 2015 paper published in Nature, “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” authored by researchers mostly from the University of North Carolina (UNC), but also by collaborators from Harvard, Switzerland, and Wuhan. Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi is the second-to-last author.

Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.

That is to say, these scientists bioengineered a chimera, a Frankenvirus, from the old 2002-2003 SARS virus but with spikes from a different bat coronavirus. The Frankenvirus seems to be a pretty tough customer:

Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.

That is, it’s hard to kill, it’s hard to immunize against, and it reproduces like gangbusters – meaning that if it got loose, it might cause a . . . wait for it . . . a pandemic.

Wait, doctors, didn’t you take the money because you said you were going to come up with a biodefense? Again, I am not suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 was genomically bioengineered – but these scientists are actively creating highly pathogenic organisms, then reporting their work in the scientific literature. Sounds like a Pandora’s box to me.

Of note, this article was published during the period (2014-2017) while the National Institutes of Health was not funding gain-of-function research – though exceptions were made for certain institutions (such as UNC, Harvard, and the WIV). As reported by Sam Husseini, this study also received funding from the US Agency for International Development and the EcoHealth Alliance.

Weapons systems, such as nuclear weapons, missiles, or drones, are developed with the intent of gaining a military advantage over one’s enemies. Inevitably, though, enemies catch up – and the end result is proliferation. As with other weapons, the downsides, the risks, and the costs of bioweapons research are becoming more obvious. Also obvious is that we must put a stop to it.

Seiji Yamada, a native of Hiroshima, is a family physician practicing and teaching in Hawaii.

July 24, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

CQ Cancels SARS CV (2005)

By Ron Clutz | Science Matters | July 11, 2020

Published August 22, 2005, in the Virology Journal Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread Martin J Vincent et al. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The lead author worked at Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virology Journal is a publication of the National Institutes of Health, which Anthony Fauci joined in 1968 and since 1984 he has directed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (NIAID).

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.

We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.

The infectivity of coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV are also affected by chloroquine, as exemplified by the human CoV-229E [15]. The inhibitory effects observed on SARS-CoV infectivity and cell spread occurred in the presence of 1–10 μM chloroquine, which are plasma concentrations achievable during the prophylaxis and treatment of malaria (varying from 1.6–12.5 μM) [26] and hence are well tolerated by patients. It recently was speculated that chloroquine might be effective against SARS and the authors suggested that this compound might block the production of TNFα, IL6, or IFNγ [15]. Our data provide evidence for the possibility of using the well-established drug chloroquine in the clinical management of SARS.

Conclusions

Chloroquine, a relatively safe, effective and cheap drug used for treating many human diseases including malaria, amoebiosis and human immunodeficiency virus is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. The fact that the drug has significant inhibitory antiviral effect when the susceptible cells were treated either prior to or after infection suggests a possible prophylactic and therapeutic use.

This means, of course, that Dr. Fauci has known for 15 years that chloroquine and it’s even milder derivative hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) will not only treat a current case of coronavirus (“therapeutic”) but prevent future cases (“prophylactic”). So HCQ functions as both a cure and a vaccine. In other words, it’s a wonder drug for coronavirus. Said Dr. Fauci’s NIH in 2005, “concentrations of 10 μM completely abolished SARS-CoV infection.” Fauci’s researchers add, “chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-CoV.”

In connection with the SARS outbreak – caused by a coronavirus dubbed SARS- CoV – the NIH researched chloroquine and concluded that it was effective at stopping the SARS coronavirus in its tracks. The COVID-19 bug is likewise a coronavirus, labeled SARS-CoV-2. While not exactly the same virus as SARS-CoV-1, it is genetically related to it, and shares 79% of its genome, as the name SARS-CoV-2 implies. They both use the same host cell receptor, which is what viruses use to gain entry to the cell and infect the victim.

July 12, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin

By Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD | Independent Science News | June 2, 2020

If the public has learned a lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic it is that science does not generate certainty. Do homemade face masks work? What is the death rate of COVID-19? How accurate are the tests? How many people have no symptoms? And so on. Practically the lone undisputed assertion made so far is that all the nearest known genetic relatives of its cause, the Sars-CoV-2 virus, are found in horseshoe bats (Zhou et al., 2020). Therefore, the likely viral reservoir was a bat.

However, most of these ancestor-like bat coronaviruses cannot infect humans (Ge et al., 2013). In consequence, from its beginning, a key question hanging over the pandemic has been: How did a bat RNA virus evolve into a human pathogen that is both virulent and deadly?

The answer almost universally seized upon is that there was an intermediate species. Some animal, perhaps a snake, perhaps a palm civet, perhaps a pangolin, served as a temporary host. This bridging animal would probably have had an ACE2 cellular receptor (the molecule which allows cellular entry of the virus) intermediate in protein sequence (or at least structure) between the bat and the human one (Wan et al., 2020).

In the press and in the scientific literature, scenarios by which this natural zoonotic transfer might have occurred have been endlessly mulled. Most were fuelled by early findings that many of the earliest COVID-19 cases seem to have occurred in and around Wuhan’s Huanan live animal market. [The latest data are that 14 of the 41 earliest cases, including the first, had no connection to the animal market (Huang et al. 2020)].

Since the two previous coronavirus near-pandemics of SARS (2002-3) and MERS (2012) both probably came from bats and both are thought (but not proven) to have transitioned to humans via intermediate animals (civets and dromedaries respectively), a natural zoonotic pathway is a reasonable first assumption (Andersen et al., 2020).

The idea, as it applied to the original (2002) SARS outbreak, is that the original bat virus infected a civet. The virus then evolved briefly in this animal species, but not enough to cause a civet pandemic, and then was picked up by a human before it died out in civets. In this first human (patient zero) the virus survived, perhaps only barely, but was passed on, marking the first case of human to human transmission. As it was successively passed on in its first few human hosts the virus rapidly evolved, adapting to better infect its new hosts. After a few such tentative transmissions the pandemic proper began.

Perhaps this scenario is approximately how the current COVID-19 pandemic began.

But one other troubling possibility must be dispensed with. It follows from the fact that the epicentre city, Wuhan (pop. 11 million), happens to be the global epicentre of bat coronavirus research (e.g. Hu et al., 2017).

Prompted by this proximity, various researchers and news media, prominently the Washington Post, and with much more data Newsweek, have drawn up a prima facie case that a laboratory origin is a strong possibility (Zhan et al., 2020; Piplani et al., 2020). That is, one of the two labs in Wuhan that has worked on coronaviruses accidentally let a natural virus escape; or, the lab was genetically engineering (or otherwise manipulating) a Sars-CoV-2-like virus which then escaped.

Unfortunately, in the US at least, the question of the pandemic’s origin has become a political football; either an opportunity for Sinophobia or a partisan “blame game“.

But the potential of a catastrophic lab release is not a game and systemic problems of competence and opacity are certainly not limited to China (Lipsitch, 2018). The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently constructing a new and expanded national Bio and Agro-defense facility in Manhattan, Kansas. DHS has estimated that the 50-year risk (defined as having an economic impact of $9-50 billion) of a release from its lab at 70%.

When a National Research Council committee inspected these DHS estimates they concluded “The committee finds that the risks and costs could well be significantly higher than that“.

A subsequent committee report (NAP, 2012) continued:

“the committee was instructed to judge the adequacy and validity of the uSSRA [updated Site-Specific Risk Assessment]. The committee has identified serious concerns about (1) the misapplication of methods used to assess risk, (2) the failure to make clear whether and how the evidence used to support risk assessment assumptions had been thoroughly reviewed and adequately evaluated, (3) the limited breadth of literature cited and the misinterpretation of some of the significant supporting literature, (4) the failure to explain the criteria used to select assumptions when supporting literature is conflicting, (5) the failure to consider important risk pathways, and (6) the inadequate treatment of uncertainty. Those deficiencies are not equally problematic, but they occur with sufficient frequency to raise doubts about the adequacy and validity of the risk results presented. In most instances (e.g., operational activities at the NBAF), the identified problems lead to an underestimation of risk; in other instances (e.g., catastrophic natural hazards), the risks may be overestimated. As a result, the committee concludes that the uSSRA is technically inadequate in critical respects and is an insufficient basis on which to judge the risks associated with the proposed NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas.”

China, meanwhile, having opened its first in Wuhan in 2018, is planning to roll out a national network of BSL-4 labs (Yuan, 2019). Like many other countries, it is investing significantly in disease surveillance and collection of viruses from wild animal populations and in high-risk recombinant virus research with Potential Pandemic Pathogens (PPPs).

On May 4th, nations and global philanthropies, meeting in Brussels, committed $7.4 billion to future pandemic preparedness. But the question hanging over all such investments is this: the remit of the Wuhan lab at the centre of the accidental release claims is pandemic preparedness. If the COVID-19 pandemic began there then we need to radically rethink current ideas for pandemic preparation globally. Many researchers already believe we should, for the sake of both safety and effectiveness (Lipsitch and Galvani, 2014; Weiss et al., 2015; Lipsitch, 2018). The worst possible outcome would be for those donated billions to accelerate the arrival of the next pandemic.

Historical lab releases, a brief history

An accidental lab release is not merely a theoretical possibility. In 1977 a laboratory in Russia (or possibly China), most likely while developing a flu vaccine, accidentally released the extinct H1N1 influenza virus (Nakajima et al., 1978). H1N1 went on to become a global pandemic virus. A large proportion of the global population became infected. In this case, deaths were few because the population aged over 20 yrs old had historic immunity to the virus. This episode is not widely known because only recently has this conclusion been formally acknowledged in the scientific literature and the virology community has been reluctant to discuss such incidents (Zimmer and Burke, 2009; Wertheim, 2010). Still, laboratory pathogen escapes leading to human and animal deaths (e.g. smallpox in Britain; equine encephalitis in South America) are common enough that they ought to be much better known (summarised in Furmanski, 2014). Only rarely have these broken out into actual pandemics on the scale of H1N1, which, incidentally, broke out again in 2009/2010 as “Swine flu” causing deaths estimated variously at 3,000 to 200,000 on that occasion (Duggal et al., 2016; Simonsen et al. 2013).

Many scientists have warned that experiments with PPPs, like the smallpox and Ebola and influenza viruses, are inherently dangerous and should be subject to strict limits and oversight (Lipsitch and Galvani, 2014; Klotz and Sylvester, 2014). Even in the limited case of SARS-like coronaviruses, since the quelling of the original SARS outbreak in 2003, there have been six documented SARS disease outbreaks originating from research laboratories, including four in China. These outbreaks caused 13 individual infections and one death (Furmanski, 2014). In response to such concerns the US banned certain classes of experiments, called gain of function (GOF) experiments, with PPPs in 2014, but the ban (actually a funding moratorium) was lifted in 2017.

For these reasons, and also to ensure the effectiveness of future pandemic preparedness efforts­, it is a matter of vital international importance to establish whether the laboratory escape hypothesis has credible evidence to support it. This must be done regardless of the problem–in the US–of toxic partisan politics and nationalism.

The COVID-19 Wuhan lab escape thesis

The essence of the lab escape theory is that Wuhan is the site of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), China’s first and only Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) facility. (BSL-4 is the highest pathogen security level). The WIV, which added a BSL-4 lab only in 2018, has been collecting large numbers of coronaviruses from bat samples ever since the original SARS outbreak of 2002-2003; including collecting more in 2016 (Hu, et al., 2017; Zhou et al., 2018).

Led by researcher Zheng-Li Shi, WIV scientists have also published experiments in which live bat coronaviruses were introduced into human cells (Hu et al., 2017). Moreover, according to an April 14 article in the Washington Post, US Embassy staff visited the WIV in 2018 and “had grave safety concerns” about biosecurity there. The WIV is just eight miles from the Huanan live animal market that was initially thought to be the site of origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wuhan is also home to a lab called the Wuhan Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (WCDPC). It is a BSL-2 lab that is just 250 metres away from the Huanan market. Bat coronaviruses have in the past been kept at the Wuhan WCDPC lab.

Thus the lab escape theory is that researchers from one or both of these labs may have picked up a Sars-CoV-2-like bat coronavirus on one of their many collecting (aka ‘”virus surveillance”) trips. Or, alternatively, a virus they were studying, passaging, engineering, or otherwise manipulating, escaped.

Scientific assessments of the lab escape theory

On April 17 the Australian Science Media Centre asked four Australian virologists: “Did COVID-19 come from a lab in Wuhan?

Three (Edward Holmes, Nigel McMillan and Hassan Vally) dismissed the lab escape suggestion and Vally simply labeled it, without elaboration, a “conspiracy”.

The fourth virologist interviewed was Nikolai Petrovsky of Flinders University. Petrovsky first addressed the question of whether the natural zoonosis pathway was viable. He told the Media Centre:

“no natural virus matching to COVID-19 has been found in nature despite an intensive search to find its origins.”

That is to say, the idea of an animal intermediate is speculation. Indeed, no credible viral or animal host intermediaries, either in the form of a confirmed animal host or a plausible virus intermediate, has to-date emerged to explain the natural zoonotic transfer of Sars-CoV-2 to humans (e.g. Zhan et al., 2020).

In addition to Petrovsky’s point, there are two further difficulties with the natural zoonotic transfer thesis (apart from the weak epidemiological association between early cases and the Huanan “wet” market).

The first is that researchers from the Wuhan lab travelled to caves in Yunnan (1,500 Km away) to find horseshoe bats containing SARS-like coronaviruses. To-date, the closest living relative of Sars-CoV-2 yet found comes from Yunnan (Ge et al., 2016). Why would an outbreak of a bat virus therefore occur in Wuhan?

Moreover, China has a population of 1.3 billion. If spillover from the wildlife trade was the explanation, then, other things being equal, the probability of a pandemic starting in Wuhan (pop. 11 million) is less than 1%.

Zheng-Li Shi, the head of bat coronavirus research at WIV, told Scientific American as much:

“I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China.” Her studies had shown that the southern, subtropical provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan have the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping to humans from animals—particularly bats, a known reservoir. If coronaviruses were the culprit, she remembers thinking, “Could they have come from our lab?”

Wuhan, in short, is a rather unlikely epicentre for a natural zoonotic transfer. In contrast, to suspect that Sars-CoV-2 might have come from the WIV is both reasonable and obvious.

Was Sars-CoV-2 created in a lab?

In his statement, Petrovsky goes on to describe the kind of experiment that, in principle, if done in a lab, would obtain the same result as the hypothesised natural zoonotic transfer–rapid adaptation of a bat coronavirus to a human host.

“Take a bat coronavirus that is not infectious to humans, and force its selection by culturing it with cells that express human ACE2 receptor, such cells having been created many years ago to culture SARS coronaviruses and you can force the bat virus to adapt to infect human cells via mutations in its spike protein, which would have the effect of increasing the strength of its binding to human ACE2, and inevitably reducing the strength of its binding to bat ACE2.

Viruses in prolonged culture will also develop other random mutations that do not affect its function. The result of these experiments is a virus that is highly virulent in humans but is sufficiently different that it no longer resembles the original bat virus. Because the mutations are acquired randomly by selection there is no signature of a human gene jockey, but this is clearly a virus still created by human intervention.”

In other words, Petrovsky believes that current experimental methods could have led to an altered virus that escaped.

Passaging, GOF research, and lab escapes

The experiment mentioned by Petrovsky represents a class of experiments called passaging. Passaging is the placing of a live virus into an animal or cell culture to which it is not adapted and then, before the virus dies out, transferring it to another animal or cell of the same type. Passaging is often done iteratively. The theory is that the virus will rapidly evolve (since viruses have high mutation rates) and become adapted to the new animal or cell type. Passaging a virus, by allowing it to become adapted to its new situation, creates a new pathogen.

The most famous such experiment was conducted in the lab of Dutch researcher Ron Fouchier. Fouchier took an avian influenza virus (H5N1) that did not infect ferrets (or other mammals) and serially passaged it in ferrets. The intention of the experiment was specifically to evolve a PPP. After ten passages the researchers found that the virus had indeed evolved, to not only infect ferrets but to transmit to others in neighbouring cages (Herfst et al., 2012). They had created an airborne ferret virus, a Potential Pandemic Pathogen, and a storm in the international scientific community.

The second class of experiments that have frequently been the recipients of criticism are GOF experiments. In GOF research, a novel virus is deliberately created, either by in vitro mutation or by cutting and pasting together two (or more) viruses. The intention of such reconfigurations is to make viruses more infectious by adding new functions such as increased infectivity or pathogenicity. These novel viruses are then experimented on, either in cell cultures or in whole animals. These are the class of experiments banned in the US from 2014 to 2017.

Some researchers have even combined GOF and passaging experiments by using recombinant viruses in passaging experiments (e.g. Sheahan et al., 2008).

Such experiments all require recombinant DNA techniques and animal or cell culture experiments. But the very simplest hypothesis of how Sars-CoV-2 might have been caused by research is simply to suppose that a researcher from the WIV or the WCDCP became infected during a collecting expedition and passed their bat virus on to their colleagues or family. The natural virus then evolved, in these early cases, into Sars-CoV-2. For this reason, even collecting trips have their critics. Epidemiologist Richard Ebright called them “the definition of insanity“. Handling animals and samples exposes collectors to multiple pathogens and returning to their labs then brings those pathogens back to densely crowded locations.

Was the WIV doing experiments that might release PPPs?

Since 2004, shortly after the original SARS outbreak, researchers from the WIV have been collecting bat coronaviruses in an intensive search for SARS-like pathogens (Li et al., 2005). Since the original collecting trip, many more have been conducted (Ge et al., 2013; Ge et al., 2016; Hu et al., 2017; Zhou et al., 2018).

Petrovsky does not mention it but Zheng-Li Shi’s group at the WIV has already performed experiments very similar to those he describes, using those collected viruses. In 2013 the Shi lab reported isolating an infectious clone of a bat coronavirus that they called WIV-1 (Ge et al., 2013). WIV-1 was obtained by introducing a bat coronavirus into monkey cells, passaging it, and then testing its infectivity in human (HeLa) cell lines engineered to express the human ACE2 receptor (Ge et al., 2013).

In 2014, just before the US GOF research ban went into effect, Zheng-Li Shi of WIV co-authored a paper with the lab of Ralph Baric in North Carolina that performed GOF research on bat coronaviruses (Menachery et al., 2015).

In this particular set of experiments the researchers combined “the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone” into a single engineered live virus. The spike was supplied by the Shi lab. They put this bat/human/mouse virus into cultured human airway cells and also into live mice. The researchers observed “notable pathogenesis” in the infected mice (Menachery et al. 2015). The mouse-adapted part of this virus comes from a 2007 experiment in which the Baric lab created a virus called rMA15 through passaging (Roberts et al., 2007). This rMA15 was “highly virulent and lethal” to the mice. According to this paper, mice succumbed to “overwhelming viral infection.”

In 2017, again with the intent of identifying bat viruses with ACE2 binding capabilities, the Shi lab at WIV reported successfully infecting human (HeLa) cell lines engineered to express the human ACE2 receptor with four different bat coronaviruses. Two of these were lab-made recombinant (chimaeric) bat viruses. Both the wild and the recombinant viruses were briefly passaged in monkey cells (Hu et al., 2017).

Together, what these papers show is that: 1) The Shi lab collected numerous bat samples with an emphasis on collecting SARS-like coronavirus strains, 2) they cultured live viruses and conducted passaging experiments on them, 3) members of Zheng-Li Shi’s laboratory participated in GOF experiments carried out in North Carolina on bat coronaviruses, 4) the Shi laboratory produced recombinant bat coronaviruses and placed these in human cells and monkey cells. All these experiments were conducted in cells containing human or monkey ACE2 receptors.

The overarching purpose of such work was to see whether an enhanced pathogen could emerge from the wild by creating one in the lab. (For a very informative technical summary of WIV research into bat coronaviruses and that of their collaborators we recommend this post, written by biotech entrepreneur Yuri Deigin).

It also seems that the Shi lab at WIV intended to do more of such research. In 2013 and again in 2017 Zheng-Li Shi (with the assistance of a non-profit called the EcoHealth Alliance) obtained a grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). The most recent such grant proposed that:

“host range (i.e. emergence potential) will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice” (NIH project #5R01Al110964-04).

It is hard to overemphasize that the central logic of this grant was to test the pandemic potential of SARS-related bat coronaviruses by making ones with pandemic potential, either through genetic engineering or passaging, or both.

Apart from descriptions in their publications we do not yet know exactly which viruses the WIV was experimenting with but it is certainly intriguing that numerous publications since Sars-CoV-2 first appeared have puzzled over the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds with exceptionally high affinity to the human ACE2 receptor “at least ten times more tightly” than the original SARS (Zhou et al., 2020; Wrapp et al., 2020; Wan et al., 2020; Walls et al., 2020; Letko et al., 2020).

This affinity is all the more remarkable because of the relative lack of fit in modelling studies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike to other species, including the postulated intermediates like snakes, civets and pangolins (Piplani et al., 2020). In this preprint these modellers concluded “This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is a highly adapted human pathogen”.

Given the research and collection history of the Shi lab at WIV it is therefore entirely plausible that a bat SARS-like cornavirus ancestor of Sars-CoV-2 was trained up on the human ACE2 receptor by passaging it in cells expressing that receptor.

[On June 4 an excellent article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists went further. Pointing out what we had overlooked, that the Shi lab also amplified spike proteins of collected coronaviruses, which would make them available for GOF experimentation (Ge et al., 2016).]

How do viruses escape from high security laboratories?

Pathogen lab escapes take various forms. According to the US Government Accountability Office, a US defense Department laboratory once “inadvertently sent live Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, to almost 200 laboratories worldwide over the course of 12 years. The laboratory believed that the samples had been inactivated.” In 2007, Britain experienced a foot and mouth disease outbreak. Its’ origin was a malfunctioning waste disposal system of a BSL-4 laboratory leaking into a stream from which neighbouring cows drank. The disposal system had not been properly maintained (Furmanski, 2014). In 2004 an outbreak of SARS originating from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Beijing, China, began, again, with the inadequate inactivation of a viral sample that was then distributed to non-secure parts of the building (Weiss et al., 2015).

Writing for the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists in February 2019, Lynn Klotz concluded that human error was behind most laboratory incidents causing exposures to pathogens in US high security laboratories. While equipment failure was also a factor, of the 749 incidents reported to the US Federal Select Agent Programme between 2009-2015, Klotz concluded that 79% resulted from human error.

But arguably the biggest worry is incidents that go entirely unreported because escape of the pathogen goes undetected. It is truly alarming that a significant number of pathogen escape events were uncovered only because investigators were in the process of examining a completely different incident (Furmanski, 2014). Such discoveries represent strong evidence that pathogen escapes are under-reported and that important lessons still need to be learned (Weiss et al., 2015).

The safety record of the WIV

The final important data point is the biosafety history of the WIV. The WIV was built in 2015 and became a commissioned BSL-4 lab in 2018. According to Josh Rogin of the Washington Post, US embassy officials visited the WIV in 2018. They subsequently warned their superiors in Washington of a “serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory”.

And according to VOA News, a year before the outbreak, “a security review conducted by a Chinese national team found the lab did not meet national standards in five categories.”

Credible reports from within China also question lab biosafety and its management. In 2019, Yuan Zhiming, biosecurity specialist at the WIV, cited the “challenges” of biosafety in China. According to Yuan: “several high-level BSLs have insufficient operational funds for routine yet vital processes” and “Currently, most laboratories lack specialized biosafety managers and engineers.” He recommends that “We should promptly revise the existing regulations, guidelines, norms, and standards of biosafety and biosecurity”. Nevertheless, he also notes that China intends to build “5-7” more BSL-4 laboratories (Yuan, 2019).

And in February 2020, Scientific American interviewed Zheng-Li Shi. Accompanying the interview was a photograph of her releasing a captured bat. In the photo she is wearing a casual pink unzipped top layer, thin gloves, and no face mask or other protection. Yet this is the same researcher whose talks give “chilling” warnings about the dire risks of human contact with bats.

All of which tends to confirm the original State Department assessment. As one anonymous “senior administration official” told Rogin:

“The idea that it was just a totally natural occurrence is circumstantial. The evidence it leaked from a lab is circumstantial. Right now, the ledger on the side of it leaking from the lab is packed with bullet points and there’s almost nothing on the other side.”

The leading hypothesis is a lab outbreak

For all these reasons, a lab escape is by far the leading hypothesis to explain the origins of Sars-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic. The sheer proximity of the WIV and WCDCP labs to the outbreak and the nature of their work represents evidence that can hardly be ignored. The long international history of lab escapes and the biosafety concerns from all directions about the labs in Wuhan greatly strengthen the case. Especially since evidence for the alternative hypothesis, in the form of a link to wild animal exposure or the wildlife trade, remains extremely weak, being based primarily on analogy with SARS one (Bell et al,. 2004; Andersen et al., 2020).

Nevertheless, on April 16th Peter Daszak, who is the President of the EcoHealth Alliance, told Democracy Now! in a lengthy interview that the lab escape thesis was “Pure baloney”. He told listeners:

“There was no viral isolate in the lab. There was no cultured virus that’s anything related to SARS coronavirus 2. So it’s just not possible.”

Daszak made very similar claims on CNN’s Sixty Minutes: “There is zero evidence that this virus came out of a lab in China.” Instead, Daszak encouraged viewers to blame “hunting and eating wildlife”.

Daszak’s certainty is highly problematic on several counts. The closest related known coronaviruses to Sars-CoV-2 are to be found at the WIV so a lot depends on what he means by “related to”. But it is also dishonest in the sense that Daszak must know that culturing in the lab is not the only way that WIV researchers could have caused an outbreak. Third, and this is not Daszak’s fault, the media are asking the right question to the wrong person.

As alluded to above, Daszak is the named principal investigator on multiple US grants that went to the Shi lab at WIV. He is also a co-author on numerous papers with Zheng-Li Shi, including the 2013 Nature paper announcing the isolation of coronavirus WIV-1 through passaging (Ge et al., 2013). One of his co-authorships is on the collecting paper in which his WIV colleagues placed the four fully functional bat coronaviruses into human cells containing the ACE2 receptor (Hu et al. 2017). That is, Daszak and Shi together are collaborators and co-responsible for most of the published high-risk collecting and experimentation at the WIV.

An investigation is needed, but who will do it?

If the Shi lab has anything to hide, it is not only the Chinese Government that will be reluctant to see an impartial investigation proceed. Much of the work was funded by the US taxpayer, channeled there by Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance. Virtually every credible international organisation that might in principle carry out such an investigation, the WHO, the US CDC, the FAO, the US NIH, including the Gates Foundation, is either an advisor to, or a partner of, the EcoHealth Alliance. If the Sars-CoV-2 outbreak originated from the bat coronavirus work at the WIV then just about every major institution in the global public health community is implicated.

But to solve many of these questions does not necessarily require an expensive investigation. It would probably be enough to inspect the lab notebooks of WIV researchers. All research scientists keep detailed notes, for intellectual property and other reasons, but especially in BSL-4 labs. As Yuan Zhiming told Nature magazine in an article marking the opening of the facility in Wuhan: “We tell them [staff] the most important thing is that they report what they have or haven’t done.”

Meticulous lab records plus staff health records and incident reports of accidents and near-accidents are all essential components (or should be) of BSL work. Their main purpose is to enable the tracking of actual incidents. Much speculation could be ended with the public release of that information. But the WIV has not provided it.

This is puzzling since the Chinese government has a very strong incentive to produce those records. Complete transparency would potentially dispel the gales of blame coming its way; especially on the question of whether Sars-CoV-2 has an engineered or passaged origin. If Zheng-Li Shi and Peter Daszak are correct that nothing similar to Sars-CoV-2 was being studied there, then those notebooks should definitively exonerate the lab from having knowingly made an Actual Pandemic Pathogen.

Given the simplicity and utility of this step this lack of transparency suggests that there is something to hide. If so, it must be important. But then the question is: What?

A thorough investigation of the WIV and its bat coronavirus research is an important first step. But the true questions are not the specific mishaps and dissemblings of Drs Shi or Daszak, nor of the WIV, nor even of the Chinese government.

Rather, the bigger question concerns the current philosophy of pandemic prediction and prevention. Deep enquiries should be made about the overarching wisdom of plucking and counting viruses from the wild and then performing dangerous ‘what if’ recombinant research in high tech but fallible biosafety labs. This is a reductionistic approach, we also note, that has so far failed to predict or protect us from pandemics and may never do so.

Footnote: This article was updated on June 3rd to broaden the estimates of “Swine Flu” deaths, from 3,000 to 3- to 200,000.

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 7 Comments

The American Genie – Engineering a Catastrophe

By David Macilwain | American Herald Tribune | May 15, 2020

The first signs that something terrible had gone wrong with the security at the Fort Detrick bio-defence facility fifty miles north-west of Washington DC were when cases of a previously unknown and serious respiratory illness appeared at a retirement village on the western outskirts of the capital in July 2019. The first cases were noted on June 30th amongst the 260 residents of the Greenspring Assisted Living unit, with the infectious disease later affecting 19 staff and taking the lives of some older residents.

“The notice that went out on July 10 from Donna L. Epps, an administrator at Greenspring, said several residents had been having symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, coughing and body aches. Epps’s notice, which says the symptoms recede in about five to seven days with treatment but have caused pneumonia, also announced limits on visitors, enhanced sanitation measures and other steps.”

The story was rapidly picked up, and statements issued to ease concerns:

“– the two patients who died in the outbreak had been hospitalized with pneumonia but were “older individuals with complex medical problems.”

“One of the things about skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities is that when you have a lot of people in close proximity, who have underlying medical conditions, there is an increased risk for outbreaks,” he said. “Seeing a respiratory outbreak in a long-term care facility is not odd. … One thing that’s different about this outbreak is just that it’s occurring in the summer when, usually, we don’t have a lot of respiratory disease.”

The Centre for Disease Control was alerted on July 8th and took samples but “was unable to identify the organism responsible”. As if. Perhaps it was just a sensible precaution to close down the Fort Detrick research facility two weeks later, where infection control mechanisms had previously been suspect.

“The statement said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention decided to issue a “cease and desist order” last month to halt the research at Fort Detrick because the center did not have “sufficient systems in place to decontaminate wastewater” from its highest-security labs.”

While the organisms Fort Detrick conducted research on and with included such lethal ones as Ebola, concerns had been raised back in 2015 about their research on genetically engineered and mutant viruses that posed an unacceptable risk to humans should they escape. This research, known as “gain of function” or GOF had been banned in 2014 by the Obama administration, but some programs appear to have continued, and in November 2015 caused scientists to issue a warning. While this warning has been widely publicised, as well as used to support the theory that SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab and not from nature, the GOF research it referred to, published a little earlier in Nature medicine has had little attention.

This research was a collaborative project between the scientists at the University of Carolina and a team led by “Bat Woman” Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. While the research is complex and the motives obscure, there is little doubt that the researchers successfully engineered a “chimaera” which combined a lethal coronavirus from a bat with one capable of easily infecting human cells, and proved its “gain of function” both in vitro and in vivo.

Shi Zhengli. Credit: Weibo

Further information has now come to light on evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was genetically engineered following a detailed scientific study into the genome of the virus. Ironically perhaps, the focus of the anonymous analyst seems to have been to incriminate the Chinese government “communist party” and its research lab in Wuhan. As explained by “GM Watch”, despite this political angle and the suspect anonymity of the unpublished research, the science it presents is very persuasive. Significantly however, they question the analyst’s view that the synthetic virus was designed as a bioweapon, “though it may have been”. They conclude:

“In our view, the evidence presented above shows that there is an urgent need for a credible and independent international investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and the roles played by Shi Zhengli, the Chinese government, and the US bodies that helped fund the virus research at the WIV, including the National Institutes of Health and the EcoHealth Alliance.”

It may be a surprise for some to learn of US involvement in research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but it should be a shock to learn how this collaboration came about and who was involved. As recently revealed in the mainstream publication Newsweek, America’s high-profile scientific expert Dr Anthony Fauci strongly supported GOF research, and following the ban in the US was involved in funding a similar project in Wuhan. That five-year project ended in 2019 and was extended:

“A second phase of the project, beginning that year, included additional surveillance work but also gain-of-function research for the purpose of understanding how bat coronaviruses could mutate to attack humans. The project was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group, under the direction of President Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project just this past Friday, April 24th, Politico reported. Daszak did not immediately respond to Newsweek requests for comment.”

Newsweek notes that Dr. Fauci also did not respond to their requests, and other media didn’t pick up the story. But:

“according to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project description refers to experiments that would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. In the wake of the pandemic, that is a noteworthy detail.

Ebright, along with many other scientists, has been a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research because of the risk it presents of creating a pandemic through accidental release from a lab.”

As well as supporting GOF research, for reasons described by Newsweek, Dr. Fauci was renowned for his work on HIV, and more recently on bird flu viruses. He also was involved in the development of Remdesevir, which he has recently promoted as a treatment for COVID-19 cases despite little evidence for its efficacy, in contrast to the widely used Hydroxychloroquine favored by the US President – and many others around the world.

But the treatment or consequences of the release of this novel Coronavirus are not my concern at this crucial junction point – or rather disjunction point – in history.

Having concluded some time ago that the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was most probably the bio-insecure facility at Fort Detrick, the one question that remained unanswered was how and why it appeared in Wuhan, and what happened in the months before it was first identified there.

A number of impossibly unlikely coincidences led to that conclusion, in particular the first detected appearance of the virus was in the hotel where US soldiers stayed during the World Military Games, held between October 18th and 27th 2019 in Wuhan. Coincidentally and indicatively also, a “novel Coronavirus” pandemic simulation exercise was held in New York on the very day the games began, sponsored by and involving some key actors in the health and pharmaceutical industry, as well as significant international experts.

The apparent suppression of reporting on “Event 201” in the mainstream media has led observers to interpret this pandemic rehearsal in the way that other coincidental exercises have been – as further evidence of “conspiracy”. The involvement of CEPI director Jane Halton in Event 201 is the most indicative of these coincidences, given the role Australia is playing in pushing for an “inquiry” targeting China, and Halton’s role in the National Coronavirus Coordination committee.

It is instructive to read the recommendations issued following the Event 201 exercise, particularly on the development of public-private partnerships and on the control of false information in the media, as this is reflected in the control of the “COVID-19 Pandemic” narrative here in Australia.

Although there is a divergence of opinion on how to treat the escalating conflict with China, particularly following the Chinese Government’s actions on food imports from Australia, no-one in the Government, Opposition, think tanks or media is saying that China is not to blame for the pandemic, in some way or another. Influential commentators, as well as union leaders, are portraying the dispute as a choice between taking China’s money or protecting our sovereignty, a position that is both idiotic and mistaken, ignoring the reality of our dependence on Chinese exports and imports.

Australians may not be able to see it, but for the Chinese foreign ministry it is crystal clear – that Australia’s proposals and actions are in no-ones interest, except America’s.

Until now the situation appeared paradoxical. Concluding that the US had intentionally introduced the novel Coronavirus into Wuhan made little sense, given the inevitable blowback. Four months on it is the US which has suffered worst from the Coronavirus Pandemic, while China is restarting its temporarily disabled economy after successfully suppressing the epidemic in Wuhan. Barring some of the wilder conspiracy theories that might see a benefit for some elites and vested interests in health and security in the chaos induced by the lock-downs, the question of “cui bono” remained unanswered, until now.

Some of the US soldiers in the team sent to Wuhan for the games reportedly fell ill and even went to hospital, but it now appears that athletes in teams from other countries were infected by contact with them. Two French athletes recently reported having suffered a strange respiratory illness after returning home from Wuhan, which they now realize was very probably CV19. Apparently similar cases have been reported in athletes from other teams who participated in the Wuhan games, with Luxemburg and Sweden cited in this report. A more recent but still early appearance of a distinct strain of the virus in France suggests an origin in those early cases from Wuhan. The distinct and early outbreaks in Italy and Iran may well have also originated similarly from returning athletes.

So now the possibility arises that far from the Wuhan Military Games being the point where the novel Coronavirus was introduced into China, they were the point from which the infection fanned out across the world, potentially to all the countries participating in the Games. Except for one.

As with Italy and France, there were early reports of an unusually severe pneumonia occurring in the US in December and November, but with cases mistaken for influenza at that time of year, except by the CDC, which recognized the infection as “COVID 19” but kept quiet about it until questioned in senate hearings. Unsurprisingly, China picked up on this admission from the CDC, asking the question to which we now have the answer – “where was your patient zero?”.

Perhaps they may also be considering a new “conspiracy theory” following the revelation of the July outbreak at Greensprings retirement village. This would be my suggestion:

To say that the escape of the Coronavirus Genie from Fort Detrick was a monumental disaster looming for the US health system and for the economy is a gross understatement. As we can see from the way the world has been turned upside down by the chaotic response to the pandemic, being held responsible for this long predicted catastrophe could bring the world down on you. So rather than admit to the viral Genie’s escape and the total failure of the Centre for Disease Control to control this unknown and deadly disease, they had to come up with a plan.

Because of the collaboration with Wuhan on GOF research and the presence of similar or identical viruses at the WIV, a scheme might be devised to plant the infection in the centre of the city and lay the blame for the subsequent predicted pandemic on China. When the virus later reached the US, its already established presence there would be effectively concealed, at least from the public. Concealing such things from epidemiologists and virologists is clearly harder, and it has been noted that while cases in Washington State are closely related to the Wuhan strain, those in New York are not. (It has also been reported that Italy has requested the exhumation of bodies in the US following suspicions on the origins of the Italian outbreak; the US has so far refused.)

I propose that the scheme devised in desperation last summer for this “diversionary tactic”, was to send the Fort Detrick Virus with the soldiers set to compete at the Wuhan games in three months’ time, while trying to keep a lid on the domestic epidemic until the new year, and a lock on the inquisitive media. Rehearsing for the subsequent global pandemic called for “Event 201” to prepare participants for what they might have to face, and bring their organizational and media responses into line. Shi Zhengli’s presence in Wuhan also looks to be an important part of this US operation, with stories about her work with Horseshoe Bats, and her recent insistence on the natural origins of the Virus playing a vital role in the cyber-warfare side of the operation. Given Zhengli’s role in the controversial genetic engineering research project in 2015, those stories are clearly vital disinformation.

Whether this theory is the correct one may not yet be proven, but it does provide an explanation to the conundrum of the genie that was accidentally released from the bottle but intentionally released from Wuhan. And we must all now suffer the consequences of that US “culpable manslaughter” as we learn to live with their engineered Genie. Just don’t take it out on China.

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 7 Comments

China ‘Not the Only Place to be Blamed’ if Wuhan Facility Released COVID-19 – Microbiologist

Sputnik – May 5, 2020

Members of the scientific community have recently come to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s defense, as US officials and prominent individuals around the world have accused the facility of manufacturing or accidentally releasing the COVID-19 coronavirus. Despite the protests, one microbiologist tells Sputnik there may be some truth in the attacks.

Dr. Dady Chery, a microbiologist, co-editor-in-chief of News Junkie Post and author of “We Have Dared to Be Free,” joined Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Monday to discuss why she disagrees with the assertion that the novel coronavirus is a product of nature, rather than a lab.

“China is not the only place to be blamed for this,” Chery noted to hosts Bob Schlehuber and Jamarl Thomas. “I think the Wuhan Institute of Virology was almost certainly involved in the SARS-CoV-2 research, but the Wuhan Institute of Technology was actually built with French help for $42.4 million.” (SARS-CoV-2 is the virus strain that causes COVID-19.)

She asserted that, from the start, China has had a number of international partners assisting in endeavors at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Chery explained that according to the lab’s website, scientists from France, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, Pakistan and Kenya have all been within the highly secure facility.

Furthermore, its list of financial partners includes the European Union, United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization and the EcoHealth Alliance established under a project by the United States Agency for International Development.

Chery highlighted that the EcoHealth Alliance “finances to go and find very, very nasty pathogens in animals, and in humans, and bring them to biosafety level four [BSL-4] labs for research.” She added that there are only around 30 BSL-4 labs, featuring the highest level of biosafety precautions, that deal with that type of research.

“No legitimate scientist can really verify their research unless they also have access to a BSL-4 lab and want to take those kinds of risks,” she said.

When it comes to the virus itself, Chery explained that of the 16 proteins present in it, the spike protein is the focal point for scientists. This particular protein is the one responsible for recognizing the receptor protein on the surface of human cells so that it can enter them.

According to the WHO, the novel coronavirus is of “animal origin” and has not been “manipulated or constructed in a lab or somewhere else.” While many have attributed US President Donald Trump’s dismissal of the WHO statement and his anti-China rhetoric as nothing more than xenophobia, it’s possible that he may be correct about the virus’s origin.

Chery noted that when it comes to SARS-CoV-2, it was believed that its closest relative is SARS-CoV, which was identified back in 2002 and causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). However, genetic sequence data published by Chinese researchers showed that RaTG13, a type of bat coronavirus, is the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2.

“The only problem with that is that the main resemblance between [RaTG13] and SARS-CoV-2 is in the spike protein,” she pointed out. “There’s a whole lot more to the virus.”

Chery asserted that the scientists in Wuhan sit on the editorial boards of six different scientific journals and are incredibly powerful in the scientific community, because they “give money to scientists all over the world.”

However, she said, French virologist and medicine Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier has argued that there are HIV sequences present in SARS-CoV-2, which is not likely to happen in something that occurs in nature.

“I did not just take his word for it,” Chery stressed. “I went and I actually read the papers [referenced].”

It’s worth noting that Montagnier’s comments have been opposed by many of his colleagues, including Jean-Francois Delfraissy, an immunologist and head of the French government’s advisory council for COVID-19.

Delfraissy, speaking to France’s BFM TV, said the hypothesis that the SARS-CoV-2 was made in a lab sounds like “a conspiracy vision that does not relate to the real science.”

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

U.S. Concocting Intel to Frame China for COVID-19 Crisis

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 25, 2020

China’s communist leaders have blood on their hands, so say U.S. hawks. Chinaphobes in Congress and a battalion of media pundits are demanding compensation from Beijing for the spiraling death toll and economic destruction incurred by the United States.

Already U.S. states have begun litigation to sue China. Rightwing think-tanks like the Hudson Institute are projecting that China is liable to pay out trillions of dollars for American losses over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chorus of “Yellow Peril” fever goes beyond financial retribution right up to creating a casus belli against China. It is no coincidence that U.S. warships have stepped up provocative maneuvers in the South China Sea this week.

President Donald Trump and his top envoy Mike Pompeo have weighed in to point the finger at China for pandemic mayhem hitting the U.S. China is being set up as the scapegoat to “explain” why the supposedly most powerful nation in the world has been left so ravaged by a virus.

The “blame China” narrative turns on two sub-plots. It is claimed in U.S. media that the Chinese authorities knew a lot more than they let on they did about the potential harm from the epidemic when it first emerged in the city of Wuhan in December. The insinuation is that China (and the World Health Organization) engaged in a cover-up about the scale of the disease, thereby putting other nations in danger through misinformation.

The second sub-plot in the “blame China” agenda is that a Chinese virology laboratory leaked out the deadly virus, either by accident or as part of biowarfare program. That again implies a China cover-up. Both sub-plots fit the slogan taken up by Trump supporters and anti-China hawks more generally: “China Lied, People Died”.

In both cases, however, it is more than plausible that the media agitation is information warfare to scapegoat China. What is happening here this: a disastrous current situation in America is being retrospectively “explained” with false U.S. intelligence claims that seek to shift blame on to China, and, crucially, distract from questions about inherent systematic failure in Washington.

On the “China knew more but didn’t let on” claim, the primer for this theme came from an ABC report published on April 9. It quotes anonymous U.S. sources as saying that the Pentagon’s disease experts were briefing the White House and senior national security officials about a new contagion sweeping through China’s Wuhan region as far back as November.

As ABC reported with convenient sinister implication: “Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.”

The basic problem is “those analyses” referred to by ABC’s anonymous sources are only alleged to have happened. Where’s the evidence, transcripts, memos and so on? An open mind should ask the question: was such an intel assessment even formulated?

ABC’s report took off in the pundit-sphere even though it updated its report with a disclaimer from the Pentagon denying that any such assessment existed. Fair enough, maybe the Pentagon is mischievously disowning. There again, more likely, ABC is being played by its anonymous sources to concoct an anti-China narrative?

A few other contradictions are the following: Mark Esper, the Pentagon chief, subsequently told ABC in an interview that he didn’t know anything about any such alleged contagion warning which he had supposedly received back in November or December. Esper’s cack-handed tone suggests he simply did not receive any such briefing, rather than any sort of smart sophistry on his part.

Furthermore, if the alleged Pentagon intelligence warning of a new contagion was presumably circulated in Presidential Daily Briefs, why was Trump voicing complacency about the potential pandemic during January and February? Indeed, why was Trump on record for praising China’s efforts at controlling the outbreak during this crucial period if he had been warned, allegedly, about the pandemic and the implied cover-up by Beijing?

Here’s another amusing cause for doubt. The Pentagon’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) – the agency which purportedly warned of a contagion in China back in November – is officially tasked with detecting diseases which “pose serious risk to U.S. forces” in Asia and internationally. Strangely enough, the NCMI didn’t seem to know about outbreaks of COVID-19 onboard U.S. aircraft carriers deployed in Asia-Pacific which only came to light when navy crews publicly complained – yet we are led to believe the same agency knew what was going down in the obscure environs of Wuhan, even before Chinese authorities knew about the virus.

The second sub-plot is the alleged escape of the virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The WIV is an internationally respected disease research center, which has partnered with French and other governments’ researchers. It operates at the highest international safety standards, yet somehow the WIV supposedly let a deadly virus escape. There is an added insinuation that the virus was man-made as part of a scientific program. President Trump said last week that Washington “was looking into it” and hinted that the release may even have been deliberate.

This is a shoddy conspiracy theory based on zero evidence, as documented by investigative journalist Max Blumenthal. The claim of “lab release” has been doing the rounds in dodgy rightwing U.S. media like the Washington Times for months. It has recently been elevated by equally dodgy reporting in the Washington Post that has all the hallmarks of an intel psy-ops.

The World Health Organization, as well as a vast body of scientific opinion, concludes that the Covid-19 virus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) is of natural origin emanating from wildlife, and that it is neither man-made nor manipulated in a lab. Indeed, many eminent scientists in the field of virology have condemned “conspiracy theories” claiming the virus came out of a lab as “pure baloney”.

What this all boils down to is an attempt by American anti-China hawks and elements of U.S. intelligence to retrospectively construct a narrative which lays the blame for the Covid-19 global crisis on Beijing. Given the abysmal failure of the U.S. to mitigate this crisis – exposing the deep flaws of its capitalistic society – the temptation is all the stronger for Washington to jump on the bandwagon scapegoating China.

Considering Trump’s re-election hopes are at stake, it is not surprising he is clambering into the driving seat of this bandwagon.

But concocting intel to fit a conclusion is a precarious pursuit. It has disturbing resonance with the Iraqi WMD intel manufacturing and media indulgence which led to disastrous war.

Is U.S. power so shameless that it would prefer war rather than face public accountability for its own criminal complacency and neglect? You better believe it.

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Scientific Study Traces the Evolution and Migration of SARS-CoV-2. Where did the Virus Originate?

Review of an Important Peer Reviewed PNAS Study entitled Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes, by Peter Forster, Lucy Forster, Colin Renfrew, and Michael Forster

By Allen Yu | Global Research | April 24, 2020

Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes by Peter Forster, Lucy Forster, Colin Renfrew, and Michael Forster published by the Proceedings of the  National Academy of Sciences of the United Sciences of America (PNAS)focuses on a study of the genomes of 160 covid-19 patients.

As readers may know, viruses are RNA-based entities that periodically and regularly undergo mutations. One can study these mutations and almost like clockwork trace their evolution – i.e. their lineage and migration pattern.

The authors specifically employed a methodology known as “character-based phylogenetic networks”. The technique has been used as the “method of choice” to reconstruct prehistoric human population movements, language evolution, various ecological studies, and some 10,000 phylogenetic studies of diverse organisms – and now virology.

This is an early study – the sample size is only 160 humans – with 100 types. However, the results are stunning. Among the key conclusions:

  1. There are three major types of coronaviruses, A, B, and C, with type A being the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 in humans and showing 96.2% similarly to a particular strain of virus in bats.
  2. Most of the viruses in China and Wuhan are of type B while most of the viruses found in America, Europe and Australia are of type A and C. Type C is not found in Mainland China but is found in significant numbers in Hong Kong, S. Korea, and Taiwan.
  3. While Type B is found in large numbers across Mainland China (including Wuhan), it is not found in significant numbers around the rest of the world.
  4. The methodology used was successfully used to trace several clinically verified cases of virus travel from Wuhan out to various nations, including Brazil and Italy. As such, the authors conclude the “character-based phylogenetic networks” methodology was useful and appropriate for studying the spread and evolution of the coronavirus.
  5. Yet, according to the methodology, the earliest sample of virus studied – collected on December 24 2019 in Wuhan – WAS NOT close to being the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2.

According to the authors:

In a phylogenetic network analysis of 160 complete human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) genomes, we find three central variants distinguished by amino acid changes, which we have named A, B, and C, with A being the ancestral type according to the bat outgroup coronavirus. The A and C types are found in significant proportions outside East Asia, that is, in Europeans and Americans. In contrast, the B type is the most common type in East Asia, and its ancestral genome appears not to have spread outside East Asia without first mutating into derived B types, pointing to founder effects or immunological or environmental resistance against this type outside Asia. (To read the complete scientific report in pdf click here)

Some observations…

First, most of the viruses in the West do not seem to have arisen from China. The authors identified Type B as the main virus type found in Mainland China, with that Type mostly confined to Mainland China and Types A and C predominant outside China – including U.S., Europe and Australia.

Two reasons given for why Type B variants (“China’s virus,” if you must) did not expand much beyond Mainland China: one being “complex founder scenario” and second “the ancestral Wuhan B-type virus is immunologically or environmentally adapted to a large section of the East Asian population, and may need to mutate to overcome resistance outside East Asia.”

Since I have yet to see any reputable studies that shows any strains of the coronavirus having any affinity or dislike to any ethnicity of people, let’s focus on “complex founder scenario” and “environment” resistance.

The authors have noted many perplexities in the study. But if we consider the possibility that coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan, those perplexities all go away. More specifically, let’s presume a scenario where the virus was already circulating under the radar in the West and were carried to Wuhan in December or some time before, where it then spread locally within China.

Consider the fact that the authors had noted that Type B variants outside China did not show the “one-month” variations that would have been expected were Type B variants and descents to have traveled out of China to infect the rest of the world.

But if Type B variants – including Type C “descendants” – were already communally established and transmitted outside China, then this paradox easily goes away.

Assuming the virus to have been brought to Wuhan instead of originating from Wuhan would also constitute a “complex founding scenario” that the author hypothesized could solve the riddle.

This assumption also provides an explanation for the “environmental resistance” the author hypothesized. If the virus arrived in Wuhan with the Chinese authorities quickly closing down the city soon afterwards, the virus would not have had chance to spread to the rest of the world. The Chinese government’s shutting down of Wuhan in January could easily form the “environmental resistance” the authors hypothesized for the Type B virus.

Finally, it is important to note that in this study, of the 160 samples, most are from patients in China, only a few from outside Asia. In this study, the authors had tentatively labelled Type C as a descendant of Type B found in China. But while Type B is found mostly in Wuhan, it has also been found in significant numbers outside China. As more data from outside China comes live (one hopes soon), the same methodology will probably reveal that the predecessor to Type B and Type C arose outside not inside China. Type A and Type C thus all arose outside China and independently of China.

While the current study is China-centric (most data are from China), it already has established that the virus did not arise in Wuhan. The authors noted importantly in the data supplement section, “the oldest isolate from 24 December 2019 (brown node, week 0) lies diagonally opposite to the bat virus outgroup root.”

As we get more data, studies such as this will shed a lot of light on the origins of the coronavirus. It is really too bad, such a shame that the U.S. and Europe has missed such critical times testing and tracking the viral flow. It is worth noting that U.S. officials are blaming China for the virus. But even with limited data, the authors have been able draw some preliminary conclusions regarding the geographic origins of the virus.

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The title of the PNAS article is:

Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes (pdf)

authors: Peter Forster , Institute of Forensic Genetics, Münster, Germany, Lucy Forster, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Colin Renfrew, Fluxus Technology Limited, Colchester, UK, and Michael Forster, Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany

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Copyright © Allen Yu, Global Research, 2020

April 25, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment