The Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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Regina, Saskatchewan
All about who writes the history books.
A school history book mentioning the Alamo in Mexico is probably quite different that a school history book mentioning the Alamo in the USA.

Our Daughter-in-Law (from Salt Lake City UT), in her grade 12 history class, was one of 40 students in that class, but was one of 2 students in that class not born in Mexico (or first generation removed). There where open arguments with the teacher about what was in the history book as opposed to what they’d leaned in school in earlier life.
 

Jinentonix

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Olympus Mons
What's to argue about? The Alamo is where the heroic Texians crushed the Mexican army and brought peace and justice and Christianity to Texas.
Not to pick nits but I'm pretty sure the Alamo was a mission founded by Roman Catholic missionaries from Spain to "further civilize" your brethren in the South-West.
 
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spaminator

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Canadian military officer demands probe into Wuhan’s ‘ground zero’ COVID outbreak
Author of the article:
Denette Wilford
Publishing date:
Jan 10, 2022 • 15 hours ago • 2 minute read •
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A man walks in the street on February 7, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The number of those who have died from the Wuhan coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, in China climbed to 636.
A man walks in the street on February 7, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The number of those who have died from the Wuhan coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, in China climbed to 636. Getty Images
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An officer with the Canadian military is calling for an investigation into what he believes was “ground zero” of COVID — two months before the global outbreak.
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The officer was one of many athletes participating in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October 2019.

He described the city at the time as “a ghost town,” with schools shut down and hardly any people around or cars in the road – odd since Wuhan is home to 11 million people.

“I’m 100% convinced the virus was present in Wuhan when we were there,” the Canadian officer, who is still suffering from the effects of the illness, told the Daily Mail .

“The burden of proof is on the scientific community and intelligence experts to prove — not for athletes,” he continued, asking why everyone seems so “reluctant” to conduct a proper investigation.

“It feels like we were present at Ground Zero of this pandemic that has had such impact on everyone’s life, with millions of deaths and economies shut down, so why not carry out due diligence?”
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The officer said the mysterious virus hit the Canadian team hard, and a quarantine section was set up for them on their flight back home.

Several European athletes attending the Games also reported the development of COVID-like symptoms in Wuhan, while some reports suggest Iranian competitors died soon after returning home.

As news of the pandemic spread, many of the athletes spoke to each other to discuss if they were early victims of the virus – yet they were not tested.
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Maj.-Gen. Andrew Downes, Surgeon-General of Canada’s armed forces, reportedly sent a memo to competitors that stated their risk of having caught the coronavirus in Wuhan was “negligible” since they had left the city “well before the virus had begun circulating.”
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However, testing in Canada only became available in January 2020, well after the participants returned.

The whistleblower claimed an email was also sent out, ordering them to not speak publicly about their concerns.

“Until we know how this terrible crisis began, it would be unwise and self-defeating not to turn over every stone,” said Jamie Metzl, a World Health Organisation adviser.

“It would shock most people to learn there has been no comprehensive international investigation into the origins of the pandemic,” he continued. “This is unacceptable and leaves the entire world and future generations at risk.”
 

spaminator

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LILLEY: Emails show rejection of Wuhan lab leak theory pure politics from outset
Author of the article:
Brian Lilley
Publishing date:
Jan 13, 2022 • 7 hours ago • 3 minute read •
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In this file photo taken on February 03, 2021 members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus arrive by car at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021.
In this file photo taken on February 03, 2021 members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus arrive by car at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL /AFP via Getty Images
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If you wanted to design a way for doctors and scientists to undermine support for public health officials, I couldn’t have done better job than they have done themselves.
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Flip flopping, playing politics and at times outright lying to the public isn’t a way to build a trusting relationship.

The latest example comes from emails showing top scientists were discussing the lab leak theory on COVID’s origins but didn’t want it in the public realm to appease China.

If you have heard of the lab leak theory, then there is a good chance the news report you read, watched or listened to called it a conspiracy theory. Anyone suggesting COVID-19 leaked out of China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology has spent the last two years being branded as a radical conspiracy theorist.

Yet in emails written in early February 2020, top public health experts from the United States and United Kingdom discussed the lab leak theory as the most likely scenario for COVID-19’s appearance.
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“I am 70:30 or 60:40,” said Jeremy Farrar on the question of whether the virus appeared via an accidental release or natural event.

Farrar is a medical researcher and former Oxford professor who would go on to be one of the leads on the UK’s vaccine taskforce. The email was sent on Feb. 2, 2020 to Dr. Francis Collins of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and CC’d to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lead advisor to the American government on COVID-19.

Collins replies to both men that, “I am coming around to the view that a natural origin is more likely.”

Several top researchers in both countries discussed the idea that a lab leak was the most likely scenario of COVID’s origins while also worrying about “international harmony” and the harm to “science in China” if this idea were discussed.
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By April of 2020, Collins, Fauci and others were dismissing the idea as a conspiracy theory.

Yet in the early days, before politics took over everything related to COVID, the scientists were crediting the leak theory as most credible.

“I really can’t think of a plausible natural scenario where you get from the bat virus or one very similar to it to nCoV where you insert exactly 4 amino acids 12 nucleotide that all have to be added at the exact same time to gain this function – that and you don’t change any other amino acid in S2? I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature,” Farrar wrote to Collins and Fauci.

Dr. Andrew Rambaut, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, wrote to the group that the virus did not seem natural to him.
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“From a (natural) evolutionary point of view the only thing here that strikes me as unusual is the furin cleavage site. It strongly suggests to me that we are missing something important in the origin of the virus,” Rambaut wrote.

These were not the first or last scientists to consider this concept.

The idea was first floated in a paper by Botao Xiao, a biology professor at South China University of Technology, and Li Xiao, a chemistry professor at Wuhan University. In their preliminary paper, the pair said, “The killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

It’s also something that has happened before.

Canada’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Theresa Tam, told the House of Commons health committee in 2009 that SARS leaked out of a Chinese lab.
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“In Beijing, China, the SARS virus came from infected laboratory workers who infected their family members,” Tam said.

If it happened with SARS, it could happen with SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19.

We shouldn’t let politics — be it worries over Chinese sensitivities or concern over validating claims made by Trump supporters — get in the way of following the evidence. Sadly, that has happened over the past two years.

Yet now we know that the top scientists were confident the lab leak theory was true, until the politics crept in. Now they wonder why the public questions them on other fronts.

blilley@postmedia.com
 
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Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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Here’s a good one. Enjoy!!:
 

spaminator

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AG Lametti racks up nearly $123G to conceal lab firing records
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Feb 02, 2022 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti takes part in a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Feb. 24, 2020.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti takes part in a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Feb. 24, 2020. PHOTO BY BLAIR GABLE /REUTERS
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Attorney General David Lametti’s legal bid to conceal files on the termination of Chinese scientists at a federal lab cost Canadians $122,600.

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And according to Blacklock’s Reporter , payments to third-party lawyers were part of the expenses.

“In this case only solicitor-client privilege is waived and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs,” cabinet wrote in an Inquiry Of Ministry tabled in the House of Commons.

Scientists and staff at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg who were affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army were fired Jan. 20, 2021 following an RCMP raid.

According to internal emails, Chinese researchers were in communication with the Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

Lametti subsequently sued to conceal the files — citing national security — under the Evidence Act.

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“It is not going to be a decision that is partisan in any way,” Lametti told reporters at the time. “I will approach this as Attorney General in a non-partisan manner. I will never play politics with national security.”

This is the first time any government cabinet has sued Parliament to conceal records.

“Regardless of political stripe Parliament is supreme and we have a right to this information,” said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner. “When the House or the committee orders this information, it is not up to the government to try and sue the Speaker of the House of Commons.”

Government business was halted and the lawsuit was dropped when the general election was called last September.

Since the election, with the Liberal’s returning another minority government, cabinet still has not permitted MPs to review the files.
 
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pgs

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AG Lametti racks up nearly $123G to conceal lab firing records
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Feb 02, 2022 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti takes part in a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Feb. 24, 2020.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti takes part in a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Feb. 24, 2020. PHOTO BY BLAIR GABLE /REUTERS
Article content
Attorney General David Lametti’s legal bid to conceal files on the termination of Chinese scientists at a federal lab cost Canadians $122,600.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
And according to Blacklock’s Reporter , payments to third-party lawyers were part of the expenses.

“In this case only solicitor-client privilege is waived and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs,” cabinet wrote in an Inquiry Of Ministry tabled in the House of Commons.

Scientists and staff at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg who were affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army were fired Jan. 20, 2021 following an RCMP raid.

According to internal emails, Chinese researchers were in communication with the Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

Lametti subsequently sued to conceal the files — citing national security — under the Evidence Act.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“It is not going to be a decision that is partisan in any way,” Lametti told reporters at the time. “I will approach this as Attorney General in a non-partisan manner. I will never play politics with national security.”

This is the first time any government cabinet has sued Parliament to conceal records.

“Regardless of political stripe Parliament is supreme and we have a right to this information,” said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner. “When the House or the committee orders this information, it is not up to the government to try and sue the Speaker of the House of Commons.”

Government business was halted and the lawsuit was dropped when the general election was called last September.

Since the election, with the Liberal’s returning another minority government, cabinet still has not permitted MPs to review the files.
The most open and transparent ever .
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
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WHO COVID-19 origins report says 'lab leak' theory needs further investigation
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Adam Taylor, The Washington Post
Publishing date:Jun 09, 2022 • 18 hours ago • 4 minute read • 13 Comments

A team of scientists convened by the World Health Organization to better understand the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and possible future outbreaks has said a theory that the virus could have escaped from a laboratory needs “further investigations.”


However, in a report released Thursday, the WHO-backed team said it had not received any new data that would allow it to better evaluate that theory.

Members of the group from Brazil, China and Russia objected to the calls for further investigation into the “lab leak” theory.

The report also said that available data suggests SARS-CoV-2 had a zoonotic origin, which means it spread between animals in a natural setting, but that neither the animal that infected humans nor the place where this infection occurred could be identified.

“At this point, the strongest evidence is still around zoonotic transmission,” said Marietjie Venter, chair of the WHO team and a virologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. “However, the precursor viruses that have been identified in bats are definitely not close enough to be the virus that spilled over into humans.”


The report was written by the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), a body made up of experts from the United States, China and 25 other nations that first came together last year after widespread criticism of a joint WHO-China investigation into the coronavirus’s origins.

WHO officials emphasized that the report contains only the preliminary findings of the group, which was created to advise the global health body’s secretariat. SAGO did not undertake its own studies, but instead reviewed existing research.

The team is designed not only to help investigate the origins of the coronavirus but also to set up a framework for understanding the origins of future outbreaks. Its work is expected to last for years, WHO officials said.


“It is just the start,” Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization epidemiologist on the SAGO secretariat, told reporters before the release of the report. “They’ve made some good progress. They’ve clearly outlined that there’s more work to be done.”

Even so, the report may breathe life into a debate that has never come to a firm conclusion: Where did the coronavirus pandemic come from? While many scientists have favored a theory of zoonotic spread, the lab-leak theory has gained prominent support from some experts, including some U.S. officials.

Beijing has fiercely rejected the idea that the coronavirus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or another research institute studying coronaviruses in the Chinese city where covid-19 was first recorded in late 2019.


In its place, Chinese officials promoted wild theories without scientific backing, including that the virus originated in the United States or was imported to China on frozen fish.

The SAGO report aimed to evaluate pandemic origins from a scientific stance, Van Kerkhove said. “We are under no illusions that we can keep all of the politics out, but we will do our damnedest to keep focused on what needs to be done here.”

The preliminary SAGO report was released more than a year after a joint WHO-China team traveled to Wuhan and released its own report that ruled out the lab-leak theory as “extremely unlikely,” while suggesting that the idea the virus was carried by frozen food needed further investigation.

The WHO-China report concluded that zoonotic spread was the likeliest scenario for the origin of the virus, but failed to find evidence for how it was spread to humans.


That report was widely criticized after being released in March 2021, with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus suggesting that the report did not conduct an “extensive enough” assessment of the lab-leak theory and voicing frustration with the low level of access given to the mission by Chinese officials.

One of the researchers on the joint team, Danish food scientist Peter Ben Embarek, later told interviewers that Chinese researchers on the team had pushed back against including the lab-leak theory in the report at all.

While SAGO was convened to address some of the criticism of the WHO-China report, it also was able to evaluate some new evidence, including data on blood samples from 40,000 Chinese donors in Wuhan between September and December 2019.


According to the report, more than 200 of these samples initially tested positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, but these were later found to be false positives. SAGO requested further information on the data and methods used to analyze the samples.

The new report suffers from some of the same limitations as the joint WHO-China report – including that Chinese officials cannot be compelled to cooperate with any investigation.

According to the SAGO report, Tedros sent letters to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Health Minister Ma Xiaowei on Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, respectively, requesting information on a variety of factors, including the “laboratory hypotheses.”

It is not clear whether Tedros received a reply. Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesperson for the WHO, said the body doesn’t share correspondence it has with member states.


Venter, the SAGO chair, said Chinese officials had cooperated with the team, sending experts to present and discuss new findings.

“We recognize that they’ve done a huge amount of work and they have addressed several of the questions” raised in the initial WHO-China report, Venter said.

However, SAGO found that much had not been addressed. Venter identified the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan as one location that needed more study. “We recognize that the market . . . may have been an amplification event of the early outbreak, but it’s not clear where all those animals came from. We need to follow up on that,” she said.