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Mystery still shrouds COVID-19 origin

21 Comments
By Paul RICARD

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This is just the worst type of journalism. The WHO are protectors of China and China are the progenitors of the virus. In the coming weeks real blood evidence will show that the virus was active in November 2019. "The game's afoot."

0 ( +9 / -9 )

This is just the worst type of journalism. The WHO are protectors of China and China are the progenitors of the virus. 

The WHO has been declawed since 10 years ago, its illogical to take all the political power of the organization and then demand for the WHO to use it in order to obligate China do something. The WHO can't, many of the same countries that so angrily criticize it now are the ones responsible for this inability to act against the interests of anybody.

That is why in general all the different organizations that work for public health are much more understanding about the role of the WHO, because people that see the benefit for the international health it represents can easily understand who are the real culprits here, and are not so easily manipulated by political leaders that are only interested in finding easy scapegoats.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I do hope that the international team of 10 scientists assembled by the WHO will look carefully at the scientific literature from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, such as this paper published in Journal of Virology in 2008:

"Difference in Receptor Usage between Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus and SARS-Like Coronavirus of Bat Origin"

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2258702/

Some key statements from the abstract:

"First, the SL-CoV S was unable to use any of the three ACE2 molecules as its receptor."

"we investigated the receptor usage of the SL-CoV S by combining a human immunodeficiency virus-based pseudovirus system with cell lines expressing the ACE2 molecules of human, civet, or horseshoe bat"

"Third, the chimeric S covering the previously defined receptor-binding domain gained its ability to enter cells via human ACE2"

There are many more similar papers from that Wuhan Institute of Virology. In response to one of their 2015 papers, Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, expressed his concerns in Nature, stating that the researchers created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory.”

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

There are many more similar papers from that Wuhan Institute of Virology. In response to one of their 2015 papers, 

And you know what other thing is even easier to find? natural coronavirus strains from bats that do present ACE2 affinity, which are the base for the research that you present.

In fact the isolates are so easy to find that the virus with a genome most similar to the SARS-CoV-2, the RaTG13 isolate was also found in nature in bats, without any kind of artificial manipulation. And presenting the S protein predicted sequence that allows for human to human transmission.

In comparison the artificial SL-CoVs of your reference could not be more different, with new restriction sites not present in any other isolates introduced for convenience, codon optimized for ease of growth (which makes it quite different from the COIV-19) and with a marked preference for the bat ACE2 in comparison to the human one.

The paper is a prime example of the multitude of genomic details that would be necessary to find in the SARS-CoV-2 virus to indicate human manipulation, but that are completely absent. It is a good example of the kind of reports that support the natural origin of the COVID-19 pandemic instead of artificial manipulation.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Are you still going on about the Li-Meng Yan paper?

For at least 14 years, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been successfully engineering coronaviruses to give them the ability to infect human cells.

Five years ago, a Pasteur Institute virologist confirmed that the researchers created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells and warned us that “if the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory.”

Considering all this, and the concerns with the Institute's safety problems, it is much more likely that SARSCoV2 was engineered there and escaped, rather than being a natural variant arising spontaneously in a distant bat cave.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

@Raw Beer

Have you ever come across a conspiracy theory you didn’t like?

Honest question.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@Raw Beer

Have you ever come across a conspiracy theory you didn’t like?

You do realize that everything I wrote above comes directly from respected scientific journals. I am not making stuff up or quoting Big Pharma press releases or marketing documents.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Are you still going on about the Li-Meng Yan paper?

What makes you think that? every single thing I wrote is included in your reference, It makes a terribly good job proving that a manipulated virus has a lot of left over things very easy to find. And none of those things are found in the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Every single virology laboratory has made some kind of novel virus that grows extremely well in human cells, that simplifies the work and make anything done with that virus much more important (because nobody will publish a characterization of a virus that has no importance for human health).

Considering all this, and the concerns with the Institute's safety problems, it is much more likely that SARSCoV2 was engineered there and escaped, rather than being a natural variant arising spontaneously in a distant bat cave.

You just proved the opposite, an engineered virus has all the tells that your reference paper shows, artifacts product of the manipulations, on the other hand a naturally produced virus do not need anything because nature do not use restriction enzymes nor optimized codons for protein expression. SARS-CoV-2 is much closer to what you find in nature (including many other virus strains found in bats around China) than what you showed.

Good job proving the conspiracy as irrational.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I never claimed that SARSCoV2 is the virus created in the 2008 paper or derived from it. All I am saying is that the WIV was clearly engineering coronaviruses to infect humans for at least 14 years, whether it is by carrying out directed recombinant DNA experiments or simply evolving the virus by passing it through various cell lines, or both.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I never claimed that SARSCoV2 is the virus created in the 2008 paper or derived from it.

That is not the only thing your reference proves, it also proves that any virus manipulated as the 2008 paper should have clear and easy to find evidence of that manipulation, something that the SARS-CoV-2 virus do not have.

Every virology laboratory of the world has been engineering viruses to facilitate human infection, and every laboratory finds much more easily to do it with viruses that are actually present in their own country, because it lowers the BSL category of the virus. Wuhan (and places in provinces close to Hubei like Hunan and Henan) are chocked full with viruses that are found every year, some of which can infect humans, and some of which have been made to infect human cells in the laboratory. So it is natural and obvious that those are the viruses they work with, not only corona but Seadorna, orvi, orthopox, alpha, flavi, viruses. Laboratories in Africa for example have huge advantages working with filoviruses in comparison.

Your reference proves that the virus was not manipulated, at least not in the laboratory where the loons want to irrationally push the conspiracy. And if you move the goalposts and now you think the "manipulation" is due to passing it thru cells that makes even less sense, there is no laboratory in the world, not even all the virology laboratories in the world working togheter, that can even compare to the impossibly huge amount of events that happen between millions of bats and a hundred other animal species every single day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Where did this particular virus come from? A good question. Where did any and all diseases come from? We know that there is interspecies transmission, but apparently we do not yet have the means to track every disease back to its roots.

Where did malaria come from? The flu? Measles? Polio? Tuberculosis? Etcetera, ad infinitum.

What we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that diseases have existed in the past, they exist in the present, and will exist in the future. While our ability to understand diseases has progressed exponentially, we have a long way to go before understanding contagious sicknesses well enough to eradicate all of them. We also do not yet have the knowledge to know whether it is a good idea to eradicate all diseases. In the meantime, we ask questions and seek answers.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There are many similar laboratories in the world, but we all know that the chain brakes at the weakest point, and that point was Wuhan. They also had problems there earlier. In addition it is a little bit bare of logic to claim that corona now changes only a bit, not affecting vaccines development efforts, but when it came out of that ‘secure’ place it changed rather deadly just in time and without intentional artificial alterations? Come on...trick someone else. And have a little look at what former MI6 chief Sir Richards and North European researchers as well as brought to silence Chinese scientists are trying to say. Of course we will not hear the final true story, neither from WHO nor China or anybody else, but everyone can assign and evaluate the probabilities for all those official and so-called conspiracy theories and then form his own opinion.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

In addition it is a little bit bare of logic to claim that corona now changes only a bit, not affecting vaccines development efforts, but when it came out of that ‘secure’ place it changed rather deadly just in time and without intentional artificial alterations?

It seems illogical because you are making a lot of invalid assumptions. Why does it have to come from a "secure" place? the most likely explanation is that it came from nature, nothing secure about it, and for all we know this strain is the product of centuries of uninterrupted variation culminating in human to human transmission.

Another mistake you make is thinking viruses can freely change all around so every part is exactly as susceptible of changing continuously. Receptor affinity is a relatively flexible thing for mutations to change, most of the changes end up killing the virus, not letting it infect anything, but in some cases they let it infect a new species, so the changes are selected positively and kept. The part that is recognized by the immunity is not flexible at all, if it changes the virus becomes unable to infect, so immunity can act for a very long time.

Every single virus that infects a human had this phenomenon happening to it. A big change made it able to infect humans, but then immunity could neutralize it without problems for years, decades or even centuries.

And have a little look at what former MI6 chief Sir Richards and North European researchers as well as brought to silence Chinese scientists are trying to say.

Sure, as soon as they bring proof. Raw Beer made an excellent point disproving the failed theory of genetic manipulation as the origin of the COVID-19, without proof there is no point in hearing that something "may" have happened, because that is true for almost everything.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Have you ever come across a conspiracy theory you didn’t like?

You do realize that everything I wrote above comes directly from respected scientific journals. I am not making stuff up or quoting Big Pharma press releases or marketing documents.

You didn’t answer the question. You take the conspiracy theory angle on lots of subjects not related to this ( or perhaps I’m missing the conspiracy theory which unifies these seemingly unrelated topics ).

I get the sense you start with the conspiracy theory and work from there.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

China started The current spat with Australia because Australia wanted an investigation into the origin of the virus.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

China clearly developed this horrible virus. Its not a "conspiricy heory" it is absolute commensence, based on extremely strong scientific, social and political evidence (If not legally-prosecutable, yet). From the get-go the WHO were actively grovelling to China rathter than just going to Wuhan or at the very least demanding to be let go there. The WHO are therefore juat as responsible as China. It has been pressures from powerful interests concerned with trade deals with China that have sabutaged any efforts to hold China accountable. China are currently also holding a severely ill Irish Airline Industry exuctive hostage. He has not been charged never mind convicted of a single thing. He appraes to be yet another innocent pawn in Chinas attenpts at "world Domination". All empires come crumbling down eventually. Praise God we have a vaccine at last. Hopefully the world can investigete this properly and build a legally-prosecutable case to protect the world from this ever happening again.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

China clearly developed this horrible virus. Its not a "conspiricy heory" it is absolute commensence,

False, it is a conspiracy theory without any proof. There is no evidence of this being true, much less scientific, the consensus now between experts of all countries is that the natural occurrence of the pandemic is the much more likely explanation. Is as simple as seeing how this was not even the first time it happened.

Your mistaken opinion about the WHO is the same, those countries that now so bitterly complain about it and try to make it another escape goat where the same ones that took all the political power the WHO had before, which is highly hypocritical.

The rest of your arguments are irrelevant, China can be a world wide danger, authoritarian, expansionist, etc. But that does not have any weight in them creating a virus long predicted to appear by the experts. You want to hold China responsible for their lack of cooperation and letting the pandemic spread around the world? completely agree, but for that you don't need to use false accusations and unproven conspiracies.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I agree that SARSCoV2 most likely came from the Wuhan lab. I initially believed its escape was an accident, but I now wonder whether it was intentionally released to influence the US election. Probably not, but who knows.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I agree that SARSCoV2 most likely came from the Wuhan lab. I initially believed its escape was an accident, but I now wonder whether it was intentionally released to influence the US election. Probably not, but who knows.

This is common, the less a person knows about the topic the easier it is for them to believe what is convenient for them, since the opinion of the experts is the opposite their personal beliefs are just that, beliefs.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

JimizoDec. 2  06:03 pm JST

@Raw Beer

Have you ever come across a conspiracy theory you didn’t like?

Honest question.

Conspiracy theories are for the uniniated and uneducated. A virus or a flu can develop anywhere. Even tho this one first manifested itself in China, it could've developed anywhere. And this is everyone's fight. This is no time for uncouth 'Kung Flu' jokes or hatred towards Chinese or any Oriental Asians for that matter. No one is to blame. Now somebody tell me why the Chinese are handling this better than Americans are. The US has the most sick and dying. And how or who is behind that, brothers and sisters? Who's been telling lies?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The US has the most sick and dying. And how or who is behind that, brothers and sisters? Who's been telling lies?

Americans are stubbornly independent, highly distrustful of anyone claiming any kind of authority and deeply resent being told what to do. Many take great joy in openly defying authority, daring whatever level of government seeking to enforce something to try to stop them from defying them. It is part of the reason the US is as powerful as it is, and is also the source of much preventable misery.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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