Coronavirus

Was It a Lab Leak? The Mysterious Origin of COVID-19

Matt Ridley and Alina Chan, authors of the new book Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19, say the preponderance of evidence now points toward a lab origin and genetic engineering.

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Where did the virus that changed the world come from?

The prevailing theory for a long time was that wild animals sold as food at a wet market in Wuhan, China, had started the outbreak.

One of the first scientists to seriously question the official narrative was Botao Xiao, who in February 2020 published a pre-print paper arguing that "the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan."

The author pointed out that there was no evidence that the vendors at the wet market in Wuhan sold bat meat. On the other hand, there were two research labs studying bat-borne coronaviruses located in Wuhan, where a virus could have accidentally infected workers, causing them to spread the disease to the general public. Xiao withdrew the paper two weeks later, after Chinese authorities declared that the lab-leak theory had no merit.

The Chinese government proceeded to clamp down on research into the virus's origins and ordered the closure of a lab that had shared the virus's genetic sequence with other scientists in January 2020. The government also forced the lab to destroy its viral samples.

To this day, the Chinese government won't allow outside researchers to test blood drawn from employees of the Wuhan Institute of Virology who, according to a U.S. intelligence report, were hospitalized for a flu-like illness in November 2019—weeks before the first documented human-to-human transmission. Chinese authorities cited privacy concerns to the World Health Organization (WHO) team that requested the samples.

There's no direct proof that the virus originated from a lab. But there's also no such proof that humans first became infected by eating bats or through exposure to pangolins, theories that were treated as unimpeachable fact early in the pandemic.

In February 2020, a group of scientists signed a statement published in The Lancet denouncing speculation about potential nonnatural origins of the virus as "conspiracy theories."

Only following the publication of leaked emails did it become clear that the scientist who brought his colleagues together to co-sign the Lancet statement was Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit that secured U.S. government funding for controversial research on bat-borne coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Daszak assured his co-signers that the EcoHealth logo wouldn't appear on the letter and wrote that he hoped "to avoid the appearance of a political statement."

Daszak also co-authored a June 2020 op-ed in The Guardian headlined "Ignore the Conspiracy Theories: Scientists Know COVID-19 Wasn't Created in a Lab" without disclosing a potential conflict of interest.

Media coverage following the publication of the Lancet letter overwhelmingly framed discussion of the lab-leak hypothesis as a "conspiracy theory," often tying it to former President Donald Trump after he and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made public statements promoting the lab-leak theory as the explanation.

"That episode does not reflect well on scientists," says science writer Matt Ridley, co-author of the new book Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19.

Ridley says that White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci's emails, which were made public through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that behind the scenes scientists were taking the lab-leak theory seriously all along.

"A number of leading virologists were talking to each other and were saying to each other, 'we think this might look a bit like a virus that's been engineered in the laboratory,'" says Ridley, referencing a January 31, 2020, email in which researcher Kristian G. Andersen says that "one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered." Fauci replies a day later, "Thanks, Kristian. Talk soon on the call."

"And at the end of that phone call, they all did a very rapid volte-face, and started writing articles almost immediately," says Ridley, referring to an influential article Andersen and his colleagues published in Nature on March 17, 2020, stating that "our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus." On March 6, Andersen emailed Fauci to tell him the paper had been accepted for publication, to which Fauci replied, "Nice job on the paper."

But Ridley says that it's Daszak's efforts to obscure his connections to the Wuhan Institute of Virology while publishing attacks on the lab-leak hypothesis that are most alarming.

"It does raise very serious concerns that Dr. Daszak needs to answer," says Ridley. "I've tried to correspond with him numerous times. I've never yet had a response…I never said anything rude about him, but he blocked me on Twitter. So I can't get answers out of him." 

Daszak did not reply to Reason's interview request.

Ridley's writing partner on the new book is the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard's Alina Chan, one of the earliest and most outspoken public skeptics of the natural-origin hypothesis. She says that when she and her colleagues published a pre-print paper questioning the consensus, she hadn't been aware of the Lancet letter organized by Daszak. She says she believes it could've had a major chilling effect on the scientific discussion in those early days.

"They were saying that anyone saying that this virus didn't come from nature is a conspiracy theorist," says Chan. "Other people, when they read this letter, they might have thought, 'I'm not going to put my neck out to say that this may have come from a lab.'" 

Chan, a molecular biologist, argued in the paper that because SARS-CoV-2 was so well adapted to humans, there was reason to be skeptical that it had recently come from an animal. If it had recently come from bats or pangolins, she would've expected the virus to have been rapidly mutating in the early days of the pandemic to become better adapted to human tissue.

Chan partially credits this insight to her experience in the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003, which she lived through in Singapore.

"In that situation and that outbreak, the virus had rapidly picked up dozens of mutations in the early three months," says Chan. "By comparison, for SARS-CoV-2, that had very few of these mutations. So it's suggested to me that this virus had really picked up many useful mutations for infecting and transmitting amongst humans prior to its detection in December 2019."

Another major difference is that during the 2003 outbreak, authorities discovered previous SARS infections among animals being sold at markets in south China within a couple of months. That's not the case with SARS-CoV-2, despite initial suspicions that a wet market was to blame.

"Even though the first class of cases identified was at the seafood market, they never found any signs of animals that were infected by this virus," says Chan. "So up until today, there's no sign of an animal [in Wuhan] that was ever infected by SARS-CoV-2 and then gave it to humans."

When the WHO sent a team to investigate the virus's origins in January 2021, Daszak was the only American member included. The team dismissed the lab-leak hypothesis before WHO leadership later backtracked.

Daszak granted an interview to 60 Minutes following that trip to Wuhan and suggested that farm animals were the likely culprit.

"Now what we've gotta do is go to those farms and investigate. Talk to the farmers. Talk to their relatives. Test them. See if there were spikes in virus there first," Daszak told 60 Minutes. But no farm animals have been identified as the hosts yet.

There's a detail that emerged after the 60 Minutes report that Ridley would like Daszak to explain: Recently-leaked documents show that EcoHealth Alliance applied for a research grant related to inserting what's called a furin cleavage site into SARS-like coronaviruses. This very furin cleavage site may be what makes SARS-CoV-2 so infectious, and it's what distinguishes it from any SARS-like coronaviruses as yet found in the wild. The grant request was rejected. But did the Wuhan laboratory engage in this research even without funding from that grant? Daszak may be able to help answer that question.

"The fact that that is probably the feature that makes the virus sufficiently infectious to start a pandemic means that it is a highly important thing," says Ridley. "So you would think that a scientist who knew that he had put in a grant application in 2018 to put furin cleavage sites into SARS-like viruses…would volunteer that information early in the pandemic."

Ridley and Chan also find it suspicious that when China's premier bat coronavirus expert—and Daszak's collaborator in Wuhan—published her complete analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, she neglected to mention this highly unusual furin cleavage site.

After the 60 Minutes interview, more leaked documents showed that EcoHealth Alliance worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology to make several bat-borne SARS-like coronaviruses—and even Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)—more infectious to human cells.

Chan and Ridley say that when they started writing the book they didn't have a strong view about which theory was correct, but these recent revelations have shifted their thinking in favor of the lab-leak theory.

"In light of grant proposals and reports released in the past 2 months," Chan wrote on Twitter, "we know novel SARS-like viruses were being synthesized and engineered at unprecedented scale."

"That changed my mind completely, knowing that there actually was a plan, a pipeline, a protocol for doing this work in 2018. So now for me, genetic engineering is very much on the table," says Chan. "If it came from a lab, [the likelihood is] close to a 50–50 chance that [genetic engineering] happened."

This question was at the center of a heated exchange between Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) over possible National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of so-called gain of function research, which involves purposely making a virus more infectious to humans.

But much of the blame for the devastating scope of the pandemic, says Ridley, rests on Chinese authorities, who punished whistleblowers like ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who tried to get the word out about the emergence of a new SARS-like virus to his colleagues. The government successfully kept human-to-human transmission of the disease under wraps for weeks and maybe longer.

"Communist regimes tend to be secretive," says Ridley. "There tends to be an assumption that you don't talk about things unless you're allowed to, rather than the other way around. But [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, being a much more dictatorial and authoritarian ruler than his immediate predecessors, by 2019 it was more and more the case that scientists in laboratories and doctors in hospitals were under orders not to communicate with the outside world about things that the regime might not want them to…Did that play a part in the epidemic escaping and getting to the rest of the world and turning into a pandemic? You bet it did."

The Wuhan Institute of Virology houses samples of RaTG13, a bat virus that is one of the closest known genetic matches to SARS-CoV-2. But to this day, information about other coronaviruses in the Wuhan lab hasn't been released, so we don't know if the lab was working with a virus that's even more closely related to SARS-CoV-2.

The lab's public database of viral samples could hold some answers, but it was taken offline in February and had been modified in December, which we know because of work by the Dedicated Research and Scientific Team Investigating COVID-19 (DRASTIC), a decentralized group of volunteers who compile and analyze open-source material and leaked documents to investigate the origins of COVID-19.

"Once I realized [the lab-leak hypothesis] was being discredited without any evidence, I just couldn't stay silent," says Yuri Deigin, a biotech entrepreneur and one of the founding members of DRASTIC.

A key revelation uncovered by the group was that the Wuhan Institute of Virology database was first taken down in September 2019, three months before the pandemic became publicly known. A description of the database was modified on December 30, 2019, the day Shi Zhengli told Chinese state television that her lab first obtained samples of the virus in Wuhan.

Wuhan scientists accessed the database a few times before it was permanently removed in February 2020 for alleged "security concerns."

"For them to take it down is very suspicious. And of course, Shi's explanation that she took it down to prevent hackers from attacking is complete bullshit because it was a public database to begin with," says Deigin.

A member of the DRASTIC team also discovered that the Wuhan team had collected key samples—including one of the virus's closest known genetic matches—from a mine where some workers had fallen sick and died after clearing out bat droppings. Chinese authorities have denied outsiders any access to examine the mine.

Though there's mounting circumstantial evidence to support the lab-leak theory, government officials maintain that the natural-origin hypothesis is more likely. A U.S. intelligence report declassified on October 29, 2020, said four intel agencies had low confidence that the virus most likely emerged in nature; one agency had moderate confidence that it leaked from a lab; and analysts at three agencies remained "unable to coalesce around either explanation without additional information." The report did conclude that SARS-CoV-2 was unlikely to be a biological weapon.

NIH Director Francis Collins, who didn't reply to Reason's interview request, told computer scientist and podcast host Lex Fridman in early November that he's open to the lab-leak hypothesis but still believes strongly that the virus is of natural origin.

Between July 2020 and January 2021, an international team of scientists captured bats in Laos carrying a newly discovered coronavirus that's the closest known genetic match to SARS-CoV-2—even closer than the virus held in the Wuhan lab, which some say supports the natural-origin theory. But Ridley, Chan, and Deigin point out that it lacks the crucial furin cleavage site, which they suspect scientists inserted in a lab.

Supporters of the natural-origin theory point out that no "smoking gun" virus has yet been found in the version of the Wuhan database uncovered by DRASTIC. But Chan points out that this version of the database is years out of date because the Wuhan researchers generally don't enter new viruses until they've had a chance to sequence and publish studies about them.

"So we have barely any concept of what viruses and sequences they might have found after 2016 in the years leading up to COVID-19," says Chan. "So without access to the information it becomes very difficult for us to guess whether or not they finally found the precursor of SARS-CoV-2 in the labs and were working with it."

Ridley says that he doesn't want a fear of biotechnology, which he credits for alleviating human suffering, to hamper scientific progress because of what may have happened in Wuhan. But he thinks scientists should convene an international forum to set stricter ethical guidelines prohibiting dangerous types of research, such as harvesting bat viruses from faraway caves and bringing them to large urban centers to run experiments that make them more infectious to human cells. One China-produced documentary released in December 2019 showcases researchers doing this work, some of them without proper protective gear.

"Going out and harvesting viruses in wild places with pandemic potential and bringing them back to cities to work on them, probably isn't very sensible," says Ridley. "If we could get the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Japan, other major countries to sign a treaty saying, 'When there's an outbreak in our country, we promise to open up as far as possible and tell you everything we know,' then the very fact that some countries won't sign that treaty will itself put pressure on them."

He points to the emergence of the International Atomic Energy Agency as a model for nations to follow in terms of preventing future lab leaks of potentially pandemic-causing pathogens.

And Ridley says that despite the months of obfuscation by Chinese authorities, virologists, and even some U.S. media outlets, he's optimistic that the truth will emerge in time.

"It may take a long time," says Ridley. "The fall of the Soviet Union did lead to significant revelations about biological accidents there…I think therefore it may take a change of regime in Beijing before we find out more. But I think there are people who know what happened, whatever happened, even if it's just what happened in a market…There are plenty of people who say it's too late; we've lost the chance to find out. I'm not one of them, at least not yet."

Produced by Zach Weissmueller; graphic intro and timeline graphics by Tomasz Kaye; additional graphics by Calvin Tran

Images: He Huan / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Yin Gang / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Imagine China/Newscom; Kyodo/Newscom; Hitoshi Katanoda/Polaris/Newscom; Dickson Lee/SCMP/Newscom; DESIGN CELLS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Newscom; Wang Bingyu/EyePress / EyePress/Newscom; EyePress / EyePress/Newscom; Edwin Remsberg / VWPics/Newscom; SHEPHERD ZHOU/FEATURECHINA/Newscom; Xie Huanchi / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Li Xueren / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Wang Ye / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Imagine China/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; SHI ZHI/FEATURECHINA/Newscom; Xiao Yijiu / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Christophe Gateau/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Yin Gang / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Andre Malerba/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; u Peng / Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

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    1. DANGEROUS TO OUR DEMOCRACY DISINFORMATION!!1!

      1. Democrats create proofs with a sh*t-ton of fraudulently stolen money that funds massive propaganda campaigns after which the validity of the proof is established by a "popularity" contest.

        After which it is deemed, "Science, there is no debate..."
        It really doesn't matter if the conclusion is consistent and repeatable. (real science)

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        2. note the parallel with the lies about monkeys and AIDS...

          And...watch this one..The Lame Stream Media just ran a cover story on patient abuse attacking a nursing home for storing bodies.

          There has been GROSS abuse in the VA system as far back as the late 80s. An Aunt of mine was a RN at a VA facility, she told me then about patients deliberately being given improper meds that killed them.

          Mark my words....this story tonite on NBC is a cover...watch the news the next few days when the story they want to suppress, exposing Government cirruption, comes out.

        3. "It really doesn't matter if the conclusion is consistent and repeatable. (real science)"

          Indeed, presented with repeatable findings you can simply say "[leftist scientists] create proofs with a sh*t-ton of fraudulently stolen money" and promptly and proudly ignore it.

          1. Spoken like a true believer. Scientism at its finest!

            1. Well reasoned. To preserve our ideology and way of life we must be on high alert *particularly* for repeatable empirical findings, as they are the hooks rationalists will use to seduce followers into the cult of reason, scientism and so-called "Enlightenment".

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      2. Wellm here is THE info.. Dr Francis Boyle, a US Lawyer who has drafted bio-warfare Regs stated recently. —

        “The scientific papers verified the Australian health board working with Wuhan, genetically engineered HIV into SARS, They took that back to the [Wuhan] BSL4 and applied nanotechnology to it. The size of the molecules indicates to me we are dealing with nanotechnology.
        Verified is also that one of the cooperating institutions [to Wuhan BSL4]was Harvard. The chairman of the Harvard chemistry department, Dr. Charles Lieber, a specialist in nanotechnology, set up an entire laboratory in Wuhan. He specialized in applying nanotechnology to chemistry and biology. They tried to weaponize all that together. And that is SARS-CoV-2, which is genetically engineered bio-warfare agent to begin with. Second, it has gain-of-function properties, which makes it more lethal, more infectious. It has HIV in there. That was confirmed by an Indian scientist … and it looks like nanotechnology [has been used]…

        1. So has Red China answered the State of Missouri lawsuit demanding reparations for their Unparalleled Invasion with germ lab weapons? Texas could file a sister suit instead of trying to subsidize, protect and re-enact pre-Reconstruction girl-bullying by bounty hunters or kidnappers. At least we could get some reparations payments.

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  1. One would have to be batshit crazy to believe it came from a lab.

    1. If Fauci was involved, it didn't come from a lab. More likely from a beagle.

      1. Surprised it wasn’t a labrador.

        1. Yes. Also commonly referred to as a lab.

          1. Was it a black lab?

            1. In Asia? Yellow lab.

                1. You're just gonna keep nipping at this one, huh?

                  1. Right up until it bites him on the ass.

                    1. I’d leave with my tail between my legs.

                    2. That should give one paws to reconsider.

                  2. You're just gonna keep nipping at this one, huh?

                    we should all just paws, lest our senses of humor flea us entirely...

        2. okay, let's all slow it down so chumby can keep up

      2. Fauci's involvement doesn't point to anything? That white elephant doesn't remember things very well, Monsieur!

    2. Who cares where it "came from" ??? It's here; we (Joe) solved it, and . . .
      all the talk about Where is just a waste of . . . everything. Period

    3. Apply Occam's Razor.

      The city that houses several viral labs creating chimeric bat corona viruses that infect humans.

      Said virus appears in humans in said city and spreads rapidly with no known transitional infections. It showed up more infectious to humans than to other mammals, including bats it's supposed source animal - bats!

      That is not how viruses jump species. They cause infections but are not very infectious because they haven't learned to infect the new hosts well. It takes time for them to mutate to be more infectious to the new host, but this virus didn't need to do that. It appeared perfectly suited to infect a new host. That's a 10 trillion to one shot.

      That it appeared in Wuhan over all other places in the world? Let's call that 1M to 1.

      That is supposedly appeared 3 blocks from one of the virology labs? Let's say 100 to 1.

      That this bat virus includes a Furin cleavage site, which no bat virus would ever have since it doesn't help infect bats, and which virologists add to make a virus infectious to humans. Let's call that little gem 1B to 1.

      The simple odds are so against a natural appearance as to be laughable. None of the signs are there for a jump between species. In fact, there has never been a SARS Cov2 virus found in the wild and there have been plenty of people looking.

      There has never been found the intermediary species. None of the evidence points to a natural origin. This was lab developed.

      The real question is was it a leak or a release? And I think it is looking more and more like a release.

  2. Sorry. I love Reason.com, but too many other #Resistance media organizations convinced me the "lab leak" is a discredited and racist conspiracy theory.

    #LibertariansAgainstSinophobia
    #(WeShouldHateRussiaInstead)

    1. So, you accept the natural evolution theory because of all of the evidence that came out that it was created in a lab?

      There is, so far, actually no evidence that we have seen that the virus naturally occurred. What you had was the recipient of a lot of Fauci’s Gain of Function funding, Daszak, orchestrating a big pushbak, including conferences and papers. But no other real evidence except that Daszak and the CCP said not.

      On the flip side, you have our own government funding the sort of research (Gain of Function - GOF) that could have altered this virus being done at the WIV, after that type of GOF research was banned in the US. We have another virology lab 20 miles away doing bat research right next door to the fresh market, where the virus was first publicly identified. We have WIV researchers showing COVID-19 symptoms several months before the virus was found near the fresh market in Wuhan. They are likely the Patient Zeros.

      Moreover, the spike turns out to be optimized specifically to attach to human ACE2 receptors, but there is no genetic debris left over from that adaption. How does a virus optimize for one species (humans), when residing in another (bats, pangolins)? Then there was the new furon site mentioned above. Finally, the DNA bases in the novel portion of the spike rarely occur naturally, but are instead common with gene editing.

      1. Nice post, Bruce.

        Thoughts on that the WIV was---allegedly---doing the same sort of GoF experimentation with Nipah?

      2. Are you new here?

      3. "How does a virus optimize for one species (humans), when residing in another (bats, pangolins)? "

        e.g.

        Exceptional diversity and selection pressure on SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 host receptor in bats compared to other mammals
        https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.20.051656v1.abstract
        "We find that the ACE2 gene is under strong selection pressure in bats, the group in which the progenitors of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 are hypothesized to have evolved, particularly in residues that contact SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2"

        1. Selection pressure, selection pressure...this reminds me of something. Oh yeah, like we've been doing with an imperfect vaccine at scale in the middle of a pandemic! Be careful what you cherry-pick.

          1. And yes, yes, I know -- unrelated to the origins of the virus. But it's still not advisable to mention something that is otherwise deleterious to "The Science!" vaccine narrative that you've religiously championed in other threads.

            1. This is not sounding particularly lucid Spiff.

              I think you are saying 'imperfect vaccines select for dangerous variants' and therefore my mention of a paper with "natural selection" is "not advisable" because it reminds you of this, exposing (radical!) pro-vax sentiments as being harmful collaboration with the capitalist conspirators.

              Of course, vaccines do select for resistant variants; as does natural immunity. You're not opposed to natural immunity are you? It's natural!

              Unfortunately for your argument however, vaccines do not create new variants to select from.

              However, sharp readers will notice the trap I fell into – I answered referencing scientifically derived knowledge, i.e. "The Science!" I have been exposed as disloyal to the tribe, and Spiff wins the debate.

              Whew! Well played. I feel out of my league once again.

        2. Where is the natural reservoir of this SARS Cov2 virus that infects humans?

          Where is the reservoir of this SARS Cov2 virus with a Furin cleavage site? Why would a bat SARS Cov2 virus ever develop a Furin cleavage site since it wouldn't infect bats and would die off?

          1. "Why would a bat SARS Cov2 virus ever develop a Furin cleavage site since it wouldn't infect bats and would die off?"

            Furin cleavage sites naturally occur in coronaviruses
            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1873506120304165

    2. And the USA created AIDS to kill all the pickle lickers.

      #AlexJonesNextGOPpresident

      1. Nope. But Fauci did lie about its transmission, which helped ostracize a generation of gay men in the US when people believed casual contact could result in transmission.

        COVID isn’t his first public health issue fuckup.

        1. SIV has been traced back to primates prior to recorded history. Multiple strains of HIV have crossed the human-monkey barrier since its first discovery, an independent effort between two American and one French research groups. The three jumps producing HIV-1 can all be traced back to SIV strains in Cameroon, where hunters and bushmeat vendors routinely contract SIV.

          If the US created AIDs to kill the pickle lickers it's a long con of global scope stretching back up to 85 million years and the perpetrators did a fucking fantastic job setting up the back story. Exceptionally impressive of them when you consider that PCR didn't even exist when they started out on their endeavor.

      2. turd lies; it’s all he ever does. turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to remember which lies he posted even minutes ago, and also too stupid to understand we all know he’s a liar.
        If anything he posts isn’t a lie, it’s totally accidental.
        turd lies; it’s what he does. turd is a lying pile of lefty shit.

  3. Trump is eventually right about everything.

    1. He will make a great cell block president.

        1. Ok I like to needle you with notions that you've hired a panel of writers to help with your material [off shore, of course, because "#immigrants.."] but seriously, I only do this because the quality of your work has been so good of recent.

          Still plausible that you take stuff from Shikha that is meant to be sublime and with 0 alterations present it as ridiculous. Which would be brilliant, by the way.

        2. That video was great!
          Trump must live in a TARDIS.

    2. To my own surprise; I've found by the test of time that to be true more often than not. I didn't even like Trump much during the primaries and election period but he has proven by his actions to be one of the best presidents this nation has had in well over a decade.

      1. Yep. Want to kick him in the nuts on a personal level, but still vote for him.

  4. Regardless of whether it came from a bat or from the Wuhan lab (the latter of which is far more likely), the Chinese Communist government weaponized the virus in January 2020 when they severely locked down Wuhan and several other cities (to contain the viruse in their country), while knowingly and intentionally allowing thousands of covid infected people to depart Wuhan's airport to spread the virus worldwide.

    And after Trump banned flights from China on January 31st, the Chinese government and its WHO lackey Tedros savagely criticized Trump and denounced his cancellation of flights from China (which prevented thousands of additional covid infected Chinese from spreading the virus more rapidly in America).

    Knowingly and intentionally spreading a highly contagious virus throughout the world is an act of international warfare by the Chinese government, which should be held accountable by the US.

    But since the Chinese own Joe Biden (as they have far more evidence of Joe and Hunter's corrupt deals and payoffs), he'll continue advocating and imposing policies that benefit China at great expense to the US, including his climate change policies that will destroy the US economy as China keeps building hundreds/thousands of more coal burning power plants and doubles its carbon emissions.

    BTW There are now 600 coal burning power plants remaining in the US (with many/most to be shut down in the next decade), while China now has 3,000 coal burning power plants.

    1. The coal hard truth. More than just a miner difference.

      1. We should do more thinking along that vein.

        1. Dee will request an anthracite.

          1. "...request an anthracite..."

            Your puns are a bit(uminous) much. Legit LOL'd with added head-shaking.

            As to the OP, great. China built it. Now what? I suppose turning Wuhan into the World's Largest Glass Ashtray is off the table. As well as hanging Daszak, Fauci and others by the neck until dead.

            Is this the point in the story where we go, "Oh that's old news."?

            1. Well, it certainly shows that Bailey, the science correspondent, was totally full of shit last year as he gave the lab leak theory very short shrift in his writing. Guess the dumb SOB has egg on his face.

              1. Not much has changed as far as I can tell. Why is he supposed to have egg on his face?

                I understand the perspective that a significant part of "reason" readership may have progressed well past wanting a science correspondent of any kind.

                1. No, shithead. The evidence for SARS-CoV2 being of artificial origin has been apparent since at least February 2020. This has been pointed out repeatedly in these pages to Mr. Bailey, who has ignored it, while happily promulgating the acceptable cover story. That is what XY is referring to.

                  As for you, fuck off back to whichever undergratuate academia pool you slithered out of to spew your bullshit here. Your stink reeks from every lying word you post.

                  Christ, can this place at least get some interesting trolls?

                  1. Look at you using "promulgating". Careful, fellow tribal warriors may mistake you for an academic type.

                    Skeptics have different (frustrating) standards for evidence; feel free to answer the question and provide what you see as the smoking gun next time. Is it in the article here?

                    I'm aware that we are commonly experienced as insufferable party-squelchers, so your copious emotions in response, while remarkable, are not entirely uncommon.

                    1. The erudite waxliberty is a "skeptic", eh? Says the guy who pimps the mainstream line and conveniently ignores disconfirming evidence. But keep projecting by calling others "tribal".

                      "feel free to answer the question and provide what you see as the smoking gun next time."

                      Who is asking for a smoking gun? An esteemed intellectual like yourself surely understands the concept of probability, right? Or is there something else involved here -- perhaps...emotion?! While that would be remarkable for a scholar like yourself, it would not be entirely uncommon.

                  2. Actually I'm remembering Bailey also didn't bite on ivermectin. That one is probably still stinging, which may explain some of the invective.

        2. Tell you what, we come back and everyone's dead, I owe you a coke.

    2. 15 times Trump praised China as coronavirus was spreading across the globe

      Jan. 22, Twitter:

      “One of the many great things about our just signed giant Trade Deal with China is that it will bring both the USA & China closer together in so many other ways. Terrific working with President Xi, a man who truly loves his country. Much more to come!”

      Jan. 24, Twitter:

      “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

      Jan. 29, Remarks at signing ceremony for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement:

      “And, honestly, I think, as tough as this negotiation was, I think our relationship with China now might be the best it's been in a long, long time. And now it's reciprocal. Before, we were being ripped off badly. Now we have a reciprocal relationship, maybe even better than reciprocal for us.”

      Jan. 30, Fox News interview:

      "China is not in great shape right now, unfortunately. But they're working very hard. We'll see what happens. But we're working very closely with China and other countries."

      Feb. 7, Remarks at North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit in Charlotte, N.C.:

      "I just spoke to President Xi last night, and, you know, we're working on the — the problem, the virus. It's a — it's a very tough situation. But I think he's going to handle it. I think he's handled it really well. We're helping wherever we can."

      Feb. 7, Twitter:

      “Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days … Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!

      Feb. 7, Remarks before Marine One departure:

      "Late last night, I had a very good talk with President Xi, and we talked about — mostly about the coronavirus. They're working really hard, and I think they are doing a very professional job. They're in touch with World — the World — World Organization. CDC also. We're working together. But World Health is working with them. CDC is working with them. I had a great conversation last night with President Xi. It's a tough situation. I think they're doing a very good job.”

      Feb. 10, Fox Business interview:

      "I think China is very, you know, professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control," Trump said. "I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon. You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather. And that's a beautiful date to look forward to. But China I can tell you is working very hard."

      Feb. 10, campaign rally in Manchester, N.H.:

      “I spoke with President Xi, and they’re working very, very hard. And I think it’s all going to work out fine.”

      Feb. 13, Fox News interview:

      “I think they've handled it professionally and I think they're extremely capable and I think President Xi is extremely capable and I hope that it's going to be resolved."

      Feb. 18, remarks before Air Force One departure:

      “I think President Xi is working very hard. As you know, I spoke with him recently. He’s working really hard. It’s a tough problem. I think he’s going to do — look, I’ve seen them build hospitals in a short period of time. I really believe he wants to get that done, and he wants to get it done fast. Yes, I think he’s doing it very professionally.”

      Feb. 23, remarks before Marine One departure:

      "I think President Xi is working very, very hard. I spoke to him. He's working very hard. I think he's doing a very good job. It's a big problem. But President Xi loves his country. He's working very hard to solve the problem, and he will solve the problem. OK?"

      Feb. 26, remarks at a business roundtable in New Delhi, India:

      “China is working very, very hard. I have spoken to President Xi, and they’re working very hard. And if you know anything about him, I think he’ll be in pretty good shape. They’re — they’ve had a rough patch, and I think right now they have it — it looks like they’re getting it under control more and more. They’re getting it more and more under control.”

      Feb. 27, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:

      “I spoke with President Xi. We had a great talk. He’s working very hard, I have to say. He’s working very, very hard. And if you can count on the reports coming out of China, that spread has gone down quite a bit. The infection seems to have gone down over the last two days. As opposed to getting larger, it’s actually gotten smaller.”

      Feb. 29, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:

      “China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down. … I think our relationship with China is very good. We just did a big trade deal. We’re starting on another trade deal with China — a very big one. And we’ve been working very closely. They’ve been talking to our people, we’ve been talking to their people, having to do with the virus.”

      1. You failed to mention that Trump was involved in trade and tariff negotiations with China at that time, which requires saying lots of nice things publicly about your adversary.

        1. Dude just go enjoy some baseball next year.

          1. And as a dumbass lefty, of course you obsess over what trump says. Not what he actually did. And no mention of trump saying "chi-na virus" a billion times? Odd.

            Also, are you too retarded to notice every quote you posted is basically the same exact thing? Have you ever heard of cliches? Platitudes? Humoring?

            No? You're just retarded?

            1. "...No? You're just retarded?"

              Perhaps, but TDS and stupid will do just fine.

      2. And now all of a sudden you think Trump always means what he says? His whole style is to spew bullshit at people in the hopes that it gets them to do what he wants.

        1. lying off topic isnt a comment.

    3. last paragraph. Irrelevant. Ours are clean. Theirs arent

  5. Hi) My name is Paula, I'm 24 years old) Looking for a naughty man to exchange private 18+ pics. If interested, my profile - http://xurl.es/id378955

    1. I thought Paula Poundstone was older.

      1. You know it's not Poundstone because she's asking for pics from the over 18 set...

        Though who the hell knows what really happened in that case.

        1. Yup. She always creeped me out but that doesn't mean she is guilty of anything. Never followed it closely but recall seeing something about claims being questionable.

      2. I thought she was pretty much asexual.

    2. You can't fool me with your saucy message. How much is your OnlyFans?

  6. "...Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit that secured U.S. government funding for controversial research on bat-borne coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. "

    The nonprofit that secured funding _from Dr. Fauci_. Let's not forget that part.

    1. EcoHealth Alliance

      Not saying they are evil or anything...but...If you were part of a secret cabal of neo-malthusians convinced that you needed to engineer a disease to control humanity's population from despoiling the planet, what would you name your non profit?

      1. If you were part of a secret cabal of neo-malthusians convinced that you needed to engineer a disease to control humanity's population from despoiling the planet, what would you name your non profit?

        Planned Parenthood was already taken.

        1. As was Army Of The 12 Monkeys

          1. Aren’t they they ones that went apeshit?

            1. The whole barrel of them.

              The punster strikes again.

              1. I say that we start an investigation of the NIH as well as Fauci, and let the chimps fall where they may.

    2. Socialist orator Jack London was the journalist who suggested "we" drop germ warfare agents on China until everyone there is dead--then subdivide and put up "for sale" signs. Why do no sensitive, concerned and aware altruists ever mention that? The title is "The Unparalleled Invasion," free online from Gutenberg in "Only the Strong." Is germ war genocide a good communist-socialist idea or not? Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. The strain of coronavirus in covid19 came from bats only found in Yunnan, 1500 miles away from Wuhan. Bats only fly 30 miles from their roost.

    None of the first cases of COVID were at Yunnan or between there and Wuhan. They were all at Wuhan.

    The scientists at Wuhan admitted to going to Yunnan to collect bats for their gain of function experiments.

    If it was a natural event, COVID cases would have originated at Yunnan. They didn’t.

    1. Interesting if that's all accurate.

      1. You really are retarded. This shit was known last year.

        Try and keep up, junior.

    2. remember seeing all of this by like March 2020

      1. Yeah. It does sound a touch familiar...

        But Bad Orange Man had to go, and here we are.

      2. Yeah I was saying all this while the pundits were lapping up propaganda like so many dogs on puke. They still are.

        Rob Misek
        April.19.2020 at 2:28 pm

        Dipshits that say the virus was discovered not developed probably still believe in Santa Claus.

        Since the early 2000’s the leading Chinese virologist t Doctor Shi Zhengli has been engineering Coronaviruses working in North Carolina with millions in US grants.

        In 2014 the Obama administration initiated a temporary moratorium on “gain of function” engineering which enhances virus communicability and lethality.

        Shi moves back to Wuhan China to continue the engineering with the US grants.

        In 2015 their careless behaviour released a SARS variant killing several people.

        In 2017 the Trump administration rescinded the moratorium, which enabled new grants for gain of function engineering.

        In 2018 US embassy inspectors were allowed to review the work in China’s only p4 virus lab which was located in Wuhan. They reported back that it was not secure and a SARS like global pandemic was likely to originate there.

        The US government funded the development of COVID19, sent it to China and ignored their own warnings.

        1. Only thing wrong is we know the trump admin didn't rescind the moratorium. Fauci pushed this funding through the nih early on while trump was distracted by the Russia hoax.

    3. They found a potentially closer strain in Laos, even further than Yunnan. So the possibility exists that as you get further from Wuhan, the similarities with SCOV2 decrease - not exactly a point favoring the "natural emergence" theory.

      Also: the three Wuhan researchers with FLI in November 2019? Worked in the bat lab, lost their sense of smell, and had ground glass opacities in their lungs. Totes not a lab leak.

      1. *as you get closer to Wuhan. Need edit button pls

      2. So the possibility exists that as you get further from Wuhan, the similarities with SCOV2 decrease - not exactly a point favoring the "natural emergence" theory.

        Yeah, I read this as conclusive and, IMO, the important part is the chronology of genetic divergence. It's largely immaterial to the ability of someone's ability to drive infected livestock from Laos to Wuhan (the new naturally-occurring narrative) in a single day (already a solid 24-hour trip as the crow flies). It's estimated that COVID-19 has had 40 yrs. of divergence from the Yunnan strain. If the science is the science, they should've found (progressively more virulent) cases of COVID-18, -17, -16... -80, -79 strung out between Yunnan and Wuhan.

        Instead, we've got a story about people driving livestock from Laos to Wuhan for 40 yrs. without progressively more virulent strains of a novel viruses infecting anyone.

        1. If the science is the science, they should've found (progressively more virulent) cases of COVID-18, -17, -16... -80, -79 strung out between Yunnan and Wuhan.

          Or, at the very least, COVID-85 in Hanoi and COVID-92 in Nanping and COVID-12 in Shanghai, indicating that the family of viruses was more pervasive in the region and that the progression was relatively diffuse/natural.

  8. Fauci needs to answer for his crimes.

    1. Fauci needs to answer for his crimes

      So do the Chinese.

  9. tl;dr; see what the facts are in six months

  10. Well, we've mysteriously done midnight changes to the definition of "Vaccine", "Anti-Vaxxer" and now "Gain-of-function" as it relates to virology and DNA manipulation. It seems we could just fix this problem by changing the definitions of "lab" and "leak".

    1. Really, all of the PRC is just one big experiment in a different form of democracy.

    2. Please. Give it a test. Definitions of words change when new technology comes along.

      The mRNA vaccines do exactly what other vaccines do. Introduce a substance into the body that triggers an immune response against a much more dangerous substance.

      1. Nope, not how it works.

        1. He’s just a liar.

          1. Or Dee just can’t recaw the truth.

      2. That might be the definition of this experimental gene therapy, but it's not the definition of vaccine.

    3. Dictionary for "vaccine" says "a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases".

      What definition would you prefer? To support your proposal to the Party, best to explicitly highlight the political goal you are trying to achieve with your proposed term redefinition.

      "Anti-vaxxer" is commonly used to mean someone using misinformation to discourage vaccination. That hitting a little too close to home for some reason? What should it mean?

      Assume you are just pulling from the normal playbook, wanting to insist how you are actually "pro-vaccine" (of course!) you just want them done right (and with your no-doubt decades of deep research expertise can attest that has not been the case here!)

      See also the passionate declarations of love for "real science" from creationists and climate science contrarians...

      1. None of your pompous chicanery can distract from the obvious: the term in question was indeed redefined. I know you're a skeptic with frustratingly-high standards for evidence, so you should no trouble in processing this low-brow information: https://twitter.com/RepThomasMassie/status/1435606845926871041

      2. Since when do the covid vaccines provide immunity?

        All they've ever provided was reduced symptoms and death. And both of those are highly questionable now as the vaccinated now account for a majority of cases and hospitalizations across the country. As well as any efficacy they did offer rapidly fading at around 6 months.

        1. "Since when do the covid vaccines provide immunity?"

          Since they've been developed.

          Since when did the measles vaccine guarantee 100% immunity? The polio vaccine? Immunity has never been a binary switch.

          "vaccinated now account for a majority of cases and hospitalizations across the country"

          Not even close.

          covid DOT cdc DOT gov/covid-data-tracker/#covidnet-hospitalizations-vaccination

          Facts aside, the benevolent associations the public has with the word "vaccine" has been a liability in the anti-vax cause for over a century and the Ministry believes that the tactical goal remains sound.

          With the new media environment we have increased capacity to battle for control of the English language. What new names do we humbly propose?

          "frankenchip"
          "control serum"
          "bioprofit extraction"
          "thalidomide"
          "thimerosal"

          Other ideas?

      3. Ahh yes, the "skeptic" from above thinks that people who are skeptical of the claims that climatologists know that the changing climate is a result of human activity now equates them with creationists.

        1. What distinction would you like to draw?

          What is fundamentally different between say pseudo-scientific claims that 'irreducible complexity' or 'missing link' falsify evolution, vs. pseudo-scientific claims that 'missing CO2 correlation' or 'CO2 is too trace in the atmosphere' etc. falsify AGW?

          Long-term skeptic groups like CSICOP came out critical of the claims and conspiracy theories of the climate contrarian movement long ago. It is an inevitable function for skeptics to question conspiracy-oriented beliefs of all stripes, whether we enjoy the assignment or not.

          Skeptical questioning of scientific theory is of course normal, essential (and core to the scientific process) as well.

          1. A relatively easy distinction: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

            The only evidence climatologists have is correlation and models. Or have they been able to reproduce our climate in experiments capable of isolating variables to allow for controls?

            1. The greenhouse effect is far from "extraordinary", it is just physics that can be directly observed and confirmed. We've known about it longer than we've known about continental drift, general relativity, the neutron, and proof that DNA is the genetic material of the chromosome. It's routinely observed and empirically measured, with gaps in outgoing infrared at top of atmosphere ~exactly matching predictions of radiative transfer theory applied to the chemistry of the atmosphere.

              Of course one can take an extremist view and reject scientific knowledge not testable end-to-end in a controlled laboratory, as long as you are consistent and reject all other aspects of geology, astronomy etc. – the nature of the sun and stars, continental drift, the age of the earth, the existence of ice ages, round earth theory, etc.

              That would not be skepticism in the conventional sense. Perhaps you can argue it is a version of the old Greek philosophical version rejecting the possibility of knowledge. But of course, you will not be meaning or applying it seriously, more a selectively invoked justification for rejecting findings that are unwelcome relative to some other aspect of one's belief system (likely the same ones that lead one to describe concepts of electromagnetic radiation and spectroscopy as "extraordinary").

              Science and skepticism aren't concerned with the concept of formal proofs.

              "I am prepared to admit any well-established result of science, not as certainly true, but as sufficiently probable to afford a basis for rational action." – Bertrand Russell

              1. Cool story, but the greenhouse effect is just one of millions of factors affecting the heat of the Earth.

              2. Which was my point in my earlier comment. Have they figured out how to isolate the greenhouse effect from the millions of other factors and determine how much it impacts the Earth's temperature? Or are they still just guessing and using models?

                1. Millions... whew, butterfly effect and all that no doubt. Counting all of the Monarchs gets particularly challenging during their great migration.

                  The dominance falls out from thermodynamics – impact in joules per second. Many orders of magnitude more than most other influences you might list in the top 15 (well before getting to the individual butterflies... e.g. orbital influences have to build up over thousands of years).

                  Conservation of energy is one of the more solid foundations for a theory you can have and also is of course testable in various ways.

                2. Measuring, per above. The core theory is just radiation budget – temp is a balance of energy in/out.

                  The main complexity for precision is clouds – their ability to both trap longwave and reflect shortwave is significant enough to weigh, and how their patterns respond as the world warms and specific humidity rises isn't trivial, but many ways you can bound the extent of the possible influence.)

                  1. I'm not nearly as smart as you are, so patience with me please.

                    So.... was that a yes or no? Where can I read in my 10th grade vocabulary where scientists have, with a statistically sound degree of confidence, calculated how much each of the, say, top 15 (since the other factors don't impact temperature enough to count in science) factors have impacted the temperature of the Earth?

                    Or are they all still just estimating? Like are they measuring all the energy entering/leaving the atmosphere? Or are you just obfuscating because you don't want to give a simple answer?

                    1. "was that a yes or no?"

                      Interpreting the words as I think you mean them:
                      - Yes, the GHE is 'isolated' / distinguished from other factors, by observed magnitude)
                      - No, they aren't "just guessing"

                      "with a statistically sound degree of confidence, calculated how much each of the, say, top 15 (since the other factors don't impact temperature enough to count in science) factors have impacted the temperature of the Earth?"

                      IPCC includes a summary chart on forcings – factors influencing the distribution of energy on the surface (in watts per square meter) here:
                      http://www.realclimate.org/images/ipcc_rad_forc_ar5.jpg

                      To calculate cumulative impact you need more math and modeling. An illustrated overview of NASA's results for the top handful of influences here:
                      https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-whats-warming-the-world/

                      "are they all still just estimating?"

                      Measurements have uncertainty, but no, not "just estimating".

                      "Or are you just obfuscating because you don't want to give a simple answer?"

                      You are welcome to be angry (and even, express grievance) that the topics aren't simpler. Scientists are just the messengers though.

                      This does draw a useful contrast between skepticism and contrarianism though, which can be helpful – contrarianism as a thing of politics is oriented towards launching (misleading) 'gotcha' sound bites as part of a campaign to influence public perception. Skepticism involves a willingness to question and establish what is real, which is understandably much less popular because it can require homework and offers no guarantee that the "right" outcome will be reached.

  11. >>The prevailing theory for a long time

    was a giant fucking obvious lie

  12. Where did the virus that changed the world come from?

    Smallpox was indigenous and Spanish Flu will probably forever be indeterminate.

  13. Just remember that the lab leak theory was decried as racist, while "bat-eating Chinese person starts worldwide pandemic" was held up as reasonable and not at all racist.

    1. Right. They're both equally anti-Chinese. The worst part inside the US was that the more likely explanation (lab leak) was actively suppressed by media outlets, including the mutant form known as social media outlets, because “experts” (heavy quotes) said that the “truth” (heavy quotes) was that it could not be a lab leak. That’s reprehensible and scary, because “experts” (heavy quotes) do not have a monopoly on the truth (no quotes). Letting “experts” govern what can be said in the media, is ten billion percent (no quotes) the wrong approach.

      1. do not have a monopoly on the truth (no quotes)

        They don't have a monopoly on the "truth" (heavy quotes) either. That monopoly belongs to the truth (no quotes).

      2. No, they don't have a monopoly on truth, but they do have a monopoly on the public dissemination of information.

      3. More reprehensible were the scientists that wrote off even the possibility of lab leak for fear they might validate something Trump said.

        The media are partisan shills so I expect them to lie.

        1. "More reprehensible were the scientists that wrote off even the possibility of lab leak for fear they might validate something Trump said."

          Exactly this, and this ideological pressure against wrongthink has done immeasurable damage to 'Science.' Something's either true, not true, or not yet proven. The political entity promulgating it, shouldn't matter, and yet it's Everything these Clown Days.

        2. **nods head**

          But we're in clown world of:

          Hundreds of psychologists publicly diagnose Trump; none whisper a word about the obvious cognitive decline in Biden.

          Thousands of doctors write how racial justice is a medical issue; also how gun violence is "public health"; none whisper a word about the minorities firing the lead projectiles.

    2. "bat-eating Chinese person starts worldwide pandemic"

      We don't know that it was the person eating the bat who got COVID. Presumably it had been cooked at that point. It would've had to have been the bat chef, bat farmer, or whatever you call the guy hanging out in a bat cave searching for food.

      1. Batshit insane? Literally?

      2. Dick Grayson after some cannabis therapy?

    3. This Daszak scientist impersonator is a piece of work. If the Mises caucus ever finds out about him he'll fer shoor be drafted as Spike's running mate on an open borders, unilateral disarmament and no inspection of Chinese imports platform.

    4. The "government-induced Love Canal chemical contamination" evidence wasn't even denied as racially collectivist. That Reason article--and its mention of the chemical dump eminent domain seizure for a government school playground--simply disappeared down a memory hole as far as "common good before individual good" search engines are concerned. Government-approved stories again point to capitalist greed poisoning the kiddies for profit, as before.

  14. Rittenhouse Judge just banned MSNBC from the courtroom for getting too close to the jury. There is some question as to whether the person who claimed to work for MSNBC actually works for them.

    1. Like physically, or cozy?

      1. is that a mic in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

      2. The guy got caught tailing the jury bus back to the 'secret' location the jurors had been assembling each day to be driven into court. The thought was the guy was going to pass along whatever additional info he discovered about their identities, so as to further dox/intimidate the jurors.

        Evidently the producer he was doing this for, has been nuking her social media profile since he got caught. Per some screenshots which may or may not be true, he was some sort of actor at NBCUniversal Orlando, among other jobs, and she's a MSNBC producer of some sort. A cut-out and a stringer. Might've gotten away with it too, if the dummy hadn't ran a red light trying to keep up with the bus.

    2. That judge let the defendant stand behind his back and they all watched a movie in front of the jury. This judge should not be watching TV during the trial. Where does the dipshit get the time to watch cable TV and why does he do it if it's prejudicial when jurors do it? He better not have puled this spectacle of banning the media bs in front of the jury.

      1. That judge let the defendant stand behind his back and they all watched a movie in front of the jury.

        They were gonna watch it in HD but the FBI lost it.

      2. That woman was asking for it wearing that short dress.

      3. Literally none of that is what actually happened.

        1. Typical for a shitlord post.

  15. Looks like covid transmissions among vaccine recipients continues to increase.

    Even though all 25 players (as well as all coaches) on the Ottawa Senators hockey team have been vaccinated, 10 of the players have tested positive for covid this past week.

    While NHL hockey players (and other professional athletes) were among the first to receive the vaccine (a year ago), and we know the vaccine benefits decline over time, I'm surprised the NHL hasn't given booster covid shots to players.

    Regardless, if 40% of a 25 member team of vaccinated players get infected with covid in the same week, the vaccines are NOT as effective as originally claimed, and Biden's vaccine mandate will do little or nothing to reduce the further spread of covid.

    1. Yeah, but those young athletes won't die from it.

      1. But the fans watching the game at home might if those sick players are allowed to take to the ice.

        1. fake news Ottawa Senators have no fans.

          1. Think you’re right.

            Was in Ottawa a few years ago, before COVID, and wanted to see the Senators play. Called up the ticket office and asked when the game was that evening. They replied, “When can you get here?”

        2. It’s ok if you wear an old tee shirt across your face while watching TV.

      2. It's hockey, dying of COVID gets you 2 min. in the box.

    2. Well of course TRUMP's Canadian vaccine was inferior, but Biden's Canadian vaccine will take and last.

    3. "Looks like" you are either delusional or a liar.

  16. For me the question is not "did it originate in a lab in Wuhan", but "was the release accidental or intentional"? Given that its the Chinese, I'm going with the latter. Every step they've taken to prevent outside investigation into it screams "the Chinese did it!".

    1. Yes, every steps says that. And, while I agree with you that the Chinese are more than capable of an intentional release, or at least intentionally letting it go internationally knowing the possible consequences, there is an alternative explanation.

      The might just have been trying to save face. Once they commit to a narrative, right or wrong, they will never admit otherwise. They'd much rather deceive endlessly than say "We were wrong" or admit they lied. Since they're used to dictatorial control of media, including near dictatorial control of media outside the country, and there's no concept of individual rights, it is perfectly normal for them to say "Nothing to see here. Move along." for horrific shit.

      But to say "Oh, crap, we were wrong" is deeply embarrassing and something they'd NEVER do.

      1. They would rather the spectre of intentionally causing the death of millions for no reason than admit to incompetence or inadequate safeguards on their watch causing the same.

    2. Even if they didn't do it on purpose, they sure have gotten lucky with the way it's played out. Their factories stayed open while we shut everything down. They gobbled up Hong Kong and quelled those annoying protests. They got Biden in the White House.........

      1. Luck has nothing to do with it. They own the DNC, the NBA, the MSM, and many woke corporatists who invested in Chinese production facilities in pursuit of 1.4 billion customers.

    3. What in the world would be their motivation for doing it on purpose, killing many of their own population?

      1. It’s been done before.

      2. They are in a demographic trap due to the one-child policy only recently revoked, pretty severe (worse than Japan, if you can believe it). Killing off old folks might be their only way to survive economically.

        1. Agree in part, Joe, but that doesn't solve their 30 million or so unmarried, and unmarryable men.

          I still think they're going after the Philippines. Likely won't happen until mid-March.

      3. The Chinese government couldn't care less if a couple of million old Chinese people died. In fact might be seen as a net positive.

        But the real player is economics. The Chinese were betting the West would lose its shit and shut everything down. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy was basically unaffected.

      4. There's this guy named Mao.

        Google him. Err wait Google will probably lead you to a page praising his efforts to grow Rice. Maybe go to the library and read a book about him.

    4. It was intentional. NO bio lab rules or procedures result in " accidental."

  17. The prevailing theory for a long time was

    So, small quibble, but the 'rona has only been with us less than two years. The "wild origins" narrative was only one spring and summer, by the Autumn of last year everyone knew it was a load of Chinese propaganda.

    Is that really a "long time?"

    1. two days of this nonsense was two days too many, so maybe?

    2. 'One spring and summer' is like 48 yrs. and running in 'rona time.

    3. Dunno, is "two weeks to slow the spread" a long time?

      1. I'll let you know when it's over. I'm guessing maybe spring '23.

    4. 5 minutes is a long time to Joe Biden.

      Applesauce, Depends and " Where am I?"

  18. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis went to a town named Brandon, FL to sign a law that bans vaccine mandates.
    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/kevindowneyjr/2021/11/18/epic-clown-slap-desantis-signs-anti-vaccine-mandate-package-in-brandon-fla-n1534174

    While Fox News will have a good laugh, I can already see smoke coming out the ears of the left wing media propagandists.

    1. Governor DeSantis! Governor DeSantis! Now that you've successfully signed the vaccine mandate ban *what are you going to do next*?

      1. Understand this reference, I did...

        Telling action by DeSantis, in marked contrast to Virginia's new Governor-elect stating he won't stop municipalities or counties from instituting their own mandate. Betcha I know what he has planned for 2024...

        1. DeSantis claims the rumors of his running for president are “nonsense” and, as he tweeted, “purely manufactured.”

          Translation: ask me in a year, after I'm reelected and I figure out how soft Trump's support base is.

          1. Got it. Can easily see him testing the waters in 2023.

            Assuming we're still here.

    2. You're misstating it. That clown banned Covid mandates. He didn't ban "vaccine mandates".

      1. He banned both, you retard!

        1. TDSs-addled asshole lies.

        2. Important to note: banned mandates for masks in schools (left it open to parents to opt out, per FL parent's bill of rights). Did not state that mask-wearing wasn't "allowed".
          Banned private employers from mandating vaccine: Options were to be tested twice weekly, wear PPE on the job, or have antibody evidence of immunity (not proof but it's the best we have) from prior infection.
          So, he didn't stop the employers from putting restrictions on those who declined to vaccinate; he simply made it illegal (fines of up to 50k per infraction) for vaccination to be a condition of employment. This was, of course, in response to Sleepy demented old Joe's feeble attempt to have OSHA completely overstep its authority in mandating vaccination. Which was promptly squashed by the courts.

    3. ...thats not smoke...

  19. "Mysterious"

    Heh.

  20. "But much of the blame for the devastating scope of the pandemic, says Ridley, rests on Chinese authorities, who punished whistleblowers like ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who tried to get the word out about the emergence of a new SARS-like virus to his colleagues. The government successfully kept human-to-human transmission of the disease under wraps for weeks and maybe longer."

    So like Chernobyl, but our government and media are on board with it. And of course the chattering class because only icky people would entertain such thoughts.

    1. Except upper estimates of deaths are at 16,000 and there's no possible way, even if an atomic bomb had fallen on Chernobyl, the loss of lives on American soil could be meaningfully measured.

      That's actually a rather pointed (if OT) argument as well. If COVID is an existential threat that science can and will overcome, then every nuclear reactor in the US suffering and open air core breach at the same time should be a cinch.

  21. "But there's also no such proof that humans first became infected by eating bats or through exposure to pangolins, theories that were treated as unimpeachable fact early in the pandemic."

    ----Zach Weissmueller

    There is new evidence, but it's hot off the press and may not have been thoroughly scrutinized yet.

    https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abm4454

    In short, it appears that the cases associated with the initial outbreak were clustered around the market, and there has been confirmation that live animals in the market could have been the origin of the pandemic. Those findings are in no way conclusive. It just goes to show that the question of the origin of the pandemic remains open. I'm here to tell you that the origin of the pandemic isn't the important question.

    The important question is why Fauci's NIAID was using taxpayer money to fund extremely dangerous gain of function research in a lab with a terrible safety safety record--that also was known to do work for the Chinese military. The analogy is this. We caught Dr. Fauci playing with matches in the garage next to the gasoline can, and now that the house has burned down, there's still a question of why. Maybe it was faulty wiring or a lightening strike.

    However, regardless of whether Fauci's reckless and irresponsible behavior was actually the cause of the fire, playing with matches in the garage next to the gas can was an incredibly reckless and irresponsible thing to do. No matter whether Fauci's behavior was the cause of the fire, we should lock him out of the garage and take his matches away. Why haven't we done so already? Fauci still being the director of the NIAID is another testament to the Biden administration's incompetence.

    1. He should be on trial.

    2. the market is the perfect release point, crowded, people carrying it away to the remaining population. Saves setting off a dirty bomb...

      It has nothing to do with food..thats a distraction.

    3. Not at all an unreasonable question.

    4. We've known 4 of the 9 original cases were patrons of the wet market for a long time. That's the only reason the wet market was ever mentioned... Because it had the largest correlation to the original cases. 4 were associated with the wet market, the other 5 were not associated with the market or any shared location. Voila, must be the wet market.

      Notwithstanding the fact that we now know 2 of those other 5 patients were workers at the lab and another was their spouse. 2 of which died. It's just as likely an infected worker went to the market on their way home from work and infected them. And considering there's still no intermediate host or reservoir animal identified, the natural evolution seems highly unlikely.

      If this was animal spillover there would be a fairly large animal population infected with the alpha variant somewhere near downtown Wuhan.

  22. This is what happens when you don't have a culture of healthy skepticism. Science has replaced religion. Society worships researchers without respecting the scientific method. We created a culture with no accountability. Scientists are humans too; of course they will take advantage of their newfound status.

    Doctors are getting knocked down a peg too. Hero worship is always a mistake. Soldiers, politicians, teachers...doesn't matter who. The individual is king. Respect yourself and assert your rights.

      1. 100000 +++++

        Politics, a dualist, binary system of uneducated morons glomming onto one political side or the other, with zero knowledge of facts, has indeed replaced religion ( an n - ary choice system, choose your favorite value of 'n').

        Since they are Athiests, they need a substitute for Armageddon.

        They have AGW and Covid to choose from.

        Note all their Memes are Apocalyptic....

        1. 'uneducated morons ... have AGW and Covid to choose from... '

          Which of those do educated people not "choose"?

          Choice sounds cool here if everyone gets one.

          1. They can choose whatever they want so long as they don't Oppress others by pointing dictating Gov-Guns at them. And there is nothing more established than leftards COMPULSIVELY running around pointing Gov-Guns at others trying to FORCE them into their religion.

            ...because that is all government is; a monopoly on gun-force.
            Think about it.

            1. "They can choose whatever they want so long as they don't Oppress others by pointing dictating Gov-Guns at them"

              Laws are not inherently oppressive. The fact that it is illegal for you to rob me at gunpoint does not make you Oppressed (as much as it might feel that way some nights!) In fact, the law creates both civilization and the thing we actually mean when we say "liberty".

              The same applies with questions of polluting shared resources like the air.

              Separate to all this, pro-reason advocates assert that there is long-term value in truth even when it can seem mostly like a short-term political liability.

  23. How is Xi's perfect China ever going to explain their lab intent and the pandemic they spread around the world and made a profit doing so if they won't co-operate with the investigations.....????..They want to rule the world and to save face and have told anyone who keeps asking them about Wuhan Flu to pound sand.......must put to much salt in their tea......

  24. It likely leaked out of Joe's diaper after his last trip to see his friend Chairman Xi.

  25. It would be nice to see Fauci hoist by his own petard.

    And by that I mean to see an Army Ranger drop a grenade down his pants.

    1. I think that would be someone else's petard.

      Where does that phrase originate, anyway. The first time I encountered it was in a chess book and I actually remember the sentence: "Fischer was hoist by his own petard in this double Zweisenzug". In the days before readily available internet answers to everything it was fun trying to figure out what the hell that was supposed to mean.

      1. Oh, from Shakespeare, of course. Everything is.

      2. What the heck is zweisenzug? Do you mean zwischenzug?

        1. I love this comment, mainly the effronted nature from the prior poster allegedly screwing up the German term.

          I have no idea which is the proper term.

      3. A petard is a French term for grenade iirc. WW2 origins from being lifted in the air by the explosion. Gallows humor.

      4. Wasn't that in Rocky and Bullwinkle?

  26. 'In February 2020, a group of scientists signed a statement published in The Lancet denouncing speculation about potential nonnatural origins of the virus as "conspiracy theories."'

    Interestingly, these are the same scientists who signed a letter stating that spreading COVID is not a concern if you are rioting for BLM. In addition, these are also the same scientists who claim that whoever questions anthropogenic climate change is a conspiracy theorist and climate denier.

  27. It's worth pointing out that if the CCP deliberately created, and intentionally released COVID-19 into the world, that wouldn't even be the worst thing they've ever done.

    These scumbags have murdered over 70 million people (most of them Han Chinese) since their occupation of China began under Mao, and they are currently perpetrating genocidal crimes against Tibetans and Uighurs.

    -jcr

    1. Point, match.

      The CCP are bigger psychopaths than the US Govt.

      Their killing a million or two wouldnt bother them a bit. They have a billion more Chinks left over. Not even chattel level.

      They now know they can release a bio weapon in THEIR OWN POPULATION with immunity.

      Fortunately the US Govt and US President dont sponsor mass killing...

      Ahem ( abortion)

    2. But let's not let that stop business, or the Olympics.

      Priorities.

    3. People's Revorution need damage control on aisle too! Somebody assert that Red China "isn't really" communist! And ban May West's Klondike Annie--and burn all prints of that highly offensive movie. Also burn Jack London books.

  28. Ron Unz, publisher of the Unz Review, has persuasively argued that American agents launched a biowarfare attack on China and Iran in early 2020 that unleashed the virus on the world. http://www.unz.com
    I'll be surprised to find this comment left up. But if it is, go there and review his long, detailed and documented evidence.

    1. No, I'm not going to bother to read that. Covid-19. Notice the 19? You're saying we launched an attack in early 2020? What's wrong with this picture?

      1. ....someones inventing another Cover Story...
        .It was in the US in late 2019.

        Ergo, OPs lying.

        Fuck Biden

        1. Who/what's OP? Please type what you're saying - don't use code.
          I misstated Unz's position. He adduces a US attack in 2019. LATE 2019, if we're still quibbling about exact dates. I guess we'll quibble for as long as you refuse to consult what HE wrote at http://www.unz.com. I can't MAKE you check it out, especially not with an open mind (on your part).
          Death is not the ostensible aim of the COVID weapon. Debilitating, contagious illness is. Saving endangered lives of disabled victims consumes more of a target's economic energy than does burying or cremating bodies. The dead do not require beds, nor medicine, nor medical care.

    2. Does it come with discount coupons for tin-foil hats?

      1. No, but if you recruit two believers your next order comes with free dumplings.

    3. So why use a novel virus then? One you know little about and cannot control. And one that ended up not very deadly.

      If you want death, or even enough fear to go real totalitarian, the bio weapon needs to be scarier than covid.

      1. To Add, I've been on team lab leak all along. But I think what happened after is an act of war.

        The accidental lab leak was weaponized by China when it locked down domestic travel out of Wuhan but allowed international travel to continue. Probably because they saw how sars1 effed up their economy and figured well drag the rest of the world down into our suffering. They then disappeared scientists and publications, while lieing on the international stage to try and deflect blame and play the race card for sympathy.

        But at least the slow tards on the left are finally catching up to the truth of the story. It only took them 2 fucking years.

        1. "But I think what happened after is an act of war."

          Me too, but what do you do?

          It's like the old Dennis Miller bit about how Scully and Mulder never went after large-scale corporate crimes on the X-Files, because, "Who do you think sponsors them?" Our pols, major media, and entertainment owners/performers are largely bought, and subservient to Chinese Communist Party interests. So much so, that I have questions about the resolve and command & control of our deterrent.

          We're not going to meaningfully punish China, even economically or deniably. If Trump wasn't willing to accuse China of turning this into a WMD attack, this group sure as hell isn't.

          It's a really dangerous time now.

  29. In news of the "emergency", the SF Chron this morning was spreading fear that the 'virus is not taking a holiday vacation!'
    'The infection rate is spiking!"
    You have to read to the end to find that there was a recent low of 4/1000 of 1%, and now the rate has increased to 1/100 of one percent, ~ 7 cases in a city the size of San Fran.
    Note these are not necessarily symptomatic, not hospitalizations, not IC cases, not deaths, these are merely diagnosed.
    For this reason, we are still required to carry our 'papers' and wear masks, since Newsom has "emergency" powers.

  30. The fact it was easily observable it blew up in Wuhan proves the origin. The body count proves where the bombs were dropped.

    That The Chinese Govt lies as much or more than ours is also obvious.

    Lab or market is "tomato or tomatoe..."

    Fuck China
    Fuck Biden

  31. WU FLU
    CHINA VIRUS

    There, I said it.

    LGBTQ!!

  32. Lunar eclipse tonite. The Moon will be as dim as Joe Biden.

  33. Seems consistent with Ridley's work, thin on science and long on innuendo and publicity. Instant viral hit but saying the bar is low for that would be a galactic understatement.

    e.g. if someone thinks "furin cleavage site" sounds like the smoking gun here...
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1873506120304165

  34. I think it's probably best that the question of a lab in China being the source of the Covid virus be answered yes or no. (Not that extreme advocates on either side will accept "truth".)
    But the bigger picture is the public demanding that the USA and the rest of the world learn lessons from the past 2 years so when a pandemic outbreak happens again in the future we can handle it better. Should governments "risk" telling their citizens the truth and "risk" panic? Is your local hospital/county/state/federal government creating a stockpile of the basic supplies and equipment needed to isolate medical caregivers from infection? How long will those supplies remain usable? Should infected patients be treated at hospitals where other medical needs (heart or stroke care, labor & delivery) are being treated or should they be isolated in mobile "MASH" type, armed services type, medical facilities?
    I think the US governments' responses to the current COVID outbreak have been - on the whole - disappointing. We should demand that the response the next time is better.

    1. The US "governments" response was to call trump racist and say ~ "c'mon down to China Town" - Nancy cuntlosi ~ while trump was trying to close off flights from China.

      The US governments response was to force us all inside, including infected nursing home patients, so we could all infect our entire families instead of getting fresh air and UV light which both quickly kill the virus. All the while destroying economies and the communities they supported.

      Yes. I think we needed more government and less individual choice. Worked well.

  35. The "lab leak" is but noise to keep the sheeple confused. As covid-19 has never been seen under a microscope. How can it exist? The powers to be r in the business of constantly changing WHAT it IS....... IS. These rat bastards just started to label the Flu...., as Covid-19. Without a single piece of scientific evidence. COVID-19 only exist for those that have CHOSEN to be shot up with it.
    Certificate
    Of
    Vaccination
    I
    D
    -
    A
    I..........
    U clowns have been bar coded.
    U clowns have been given a graphene highway for the trillions of nanobots to travel along. U clowns have given your natural immune systems over to a computer program. Stupid truly is as stupid does. It's Harvest time folks. We r being divided into sheeple and goats. And not a moment to soon. Mankind can only proceed onto the Golden Age of Man.... When the moronic sheeple go bye-bye. So bye now. Don't let the sky door hit u in the ass.
    The Phucko Knows

  36. I have no idea where and when the virus first appeared, but I can tell anyone who is interested that my wife and I were infected with SARS-COV2 in a Pizzeria on the island of Tenerife on the 19th December 2019, and came down with COVID-19 on the 25th December 2019. We later found out that the owners of the pizzeria were also infected at approximately the same time.

    We had antibody tests in June this year (nearly 18 months later), which show that I am still positive for them (over 1) and my wife slightly less so (but she took an anti-viral drug for shingles in March this year, which might explain that). Neither of us has been injected, nor will we be.

    We have never been to China, so somebody must have carried the virus previously.

    1. A sockpuppet said it, I believe it; that settles it!

  37. The lab leak "theory" remains completely devoid of actual evidence.

    1. Except a preponderance of peripheral and circumstantial data that China and the WHO are STILL doing their damndest to hide, you mean?

    2. you're a racist. (that was my first try at being a democrat/progressive. i'll keep y'all posted)

    3. So does the Jimmy Hoffa foul play theory.

  38. Meanwhile in Africa... What Covid? Oh, you mean that flu that kills fat diabetic Americans who don't go outside? Yeah, don't have that problem.

    https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-science-health-pandemics-united-nations-fcf28a83c9352a67e50aa2172eb01a2f

    1. Kinda hard to suffer massive amounts of casualties in your 70+ population when your median life expectancy is 60. Of course "scientists" are "mystified".

      1. You know. I'm not really a believer in the whole notion of white privilege, but I'll be damned if, in the post-internet 21st century, failing to 'discover' that Africans die young of other diseases doesn't make me reconsider my stance at least a little bit.

        Woke liberals really are the worst people.

        1. You don't believe the notion of White privilege is TRUE, or you don't believe Whites SHOULD enjoy privileges (real or alleged)?

      2. Officials are aiming to inoculate half the population before February, a target they think will help them achieve herd immunity.

        "It's astounding. Our herd is completely different from the other herds in that it already appears to be immune, but we're going to go ahead and vaccinate them to make them like the other herds anyway."

  39. Zach has produced the best Reason article I've seen since "Love Canal--The Truth Leaks Out." The day after that hit the streets, all communist, anarchist, totalitarian, democrat, and republican econazi pundits plus the Harry Reasoner Church of Mythomania and Pseudologia Fantastica were struck dumb and couldn't be contacted for an interview. A Google search for anything about Reason's Love Canal article returns no direct hits. Will "Was it a lab leak" turn up zero hits 30 years from now?

  40. Salts Mixture
    https://www.lifeasible.com/category/products/plant-tissue-culture/salts-vitamin-mixture/
    This product is suitable for plant tissue culture. CAS NO.7722-76-1. No structural deformity observed, actively growing shoots, no toxicity to shoots.

  41. You need a healthy body and a healthy mind to live a happy lifestyle. A healthy body helps to do your job properly for the maintenance of you and your family, while a healthy mind helps to do that job in an energetic way and also a healthy mind helps you to stay closer to your family members and the people surrounding you. In this article, we are sharing a list of some motivational healthy lifestyle quotes that will help you to lead a happy lifestyle.

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