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Update: WHO team visits P4 lab in Wuhan Institute of Virology - February 2021

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  • Mary Wilson
    replied
    Divisive COVID ‘lab leak’ debate prompts dire warnings from researchers

    27 May 2021
    Amy Maxmen

    Allegations that COVID escaped from a Chinese lab make it harder for nations to collaborate on ending the pandemic — and fuel online bullying, some scientists say.

    Calls to investigate Chinese laboratories have reached a fever pitch in the United States, as Republican leaders allege that the coronavirus causing the pandemic was leaked from one, and as some scientists argue that this ‘lab leak’ hypothesis requires a thorough, independent inquiry. But for many researchers, the tone of the growing demands is unsettling. They say the volatility of the debate could thwart efforts to study the virus’s origins.

    Global-health researchers also warn that the growing demands are exacerbating tensions between the United States and China ahead of crucial meetings at which world leaders will make high-level decisions about how to curb the pandemic and prepare for future health emergencies. At the World Health Assembly this week, for example, health officials from nearly 200 countries are discussing strategies including ways to ramp up vaccine manufacturing and to reform the World Health Organization (WHO). But a US–China divide will make consensus on these issues harder to reach, says David Fidler, a global-health researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank in Washington DC. “If there’s some turning down of the geopolitical heat between these two great powers, we could create some space to perhaps do some of the things that we need to do,” he says.

    Others worry that the rhetoric around an alleged lab leak has grown so toxic that it’s fuelling online bullying of scientists and anti-Asian harassment in the United States, as well as offending researchers and authorities in China whose cooperation is needed. ...

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01383-3

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  • JJackson
    replied
    TWiV 760 https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-760/
    Has an hour long discussion with Marion Koopmans, Thea Kolsen Fischer and Peter Daszak, all of whom were members of the WHO origins team, on the phase one study and the work for phase two.

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  • etudiant
    replied
    A Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report exploring the possible origins of the Civid-19 virus. It does not offer any conclusions, but casts serious doubt on the integrity of Peter Daszak's role.
    See: https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-...-box-at-wuhan/

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  • etudiant
    replied
    Just to beat a dead horse, I thought this report, although tendentious, raised substantive questions about the WIV and Eco Health.
    https://dailycaller.com/2021/04/04/n...ard-wuhan-lab/

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  • sharon sanders
    replied
    I generally agree with the above based on what I found. link I think the human emergence was some time in the summer of 2019 but was not sustained. I think along the Yangtze river shipping route and adjacent areas the initial coronavirus strain spread in starts and stops as ever newer variants learned how to more fully adapt to humans. At this time it was completely possible that pneumonia cases traveled by air out of Shanghai and Wuhan to distant places where transmission either did not occur, or only spread one generation. The Wuhan explosive outbreak was only a matter of time as the virus had been germinating there and becoming more efficient at human spread for months. I think over time more facts will support this hypothesis.

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  • tetano
    replied
    Here, we combine retrospective molecular clock analysis in a coalescent framework with a forward compartmental epidemiological model to estimate the timing of the SARS-CoV-2 index case in Hubei province. The inferred dynamics during these unobserved early days of SARS-CoV-2 highlight challenges in detecting and preventing nascent pandemics.
    The high extinction rates we inferred suggest that spillover of SARS-CoV-2-like viruses may be frequent, even if pandemics are rare (28). Further, the same dynamics that characterized the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in Hubei province may have played out all over the world as the virus was repeatedly introduced, but only occasionally took hold (29, 30). The reports of cases in December 2019 and January 2020 in France and California that did not establish sustained transmission fit this pattern (31?33). However, our results suggest that PCR evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater outside of China before November 2019 is unlikely to be valid (34) and the suggestion of international spread in mid-November or early-December 2019 should be viewed with skepticism (35?37), given that our results suggests fewer than 20 people infected with SARS-CoV-2 at this time (table S4 and fig. S11). Our results also refute claims (38) of large numbers of patients requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19 in Hubei province prior to December 2019 (figs. S13 and S14). Nevertheless, SARS-CoV-2 may be detectable should archived wastewater samples or other biomaterials from Hubei province exist from early-to-mid November 2019, and incorporating these types of data in our model could further refine our timing estimates. Moreover, wastewater detection may present the best chance of early detection of future pandemics during the early phase of spread where we estimate very low numbers of infections.
    Even though all of the earliest documented cases of COVID-19 were found in Hubei province, we cannot discount the possibility that the index case initially acquired the virus elsewhere. Nonetheless, our dating inference is insensitive to geography. Further, our results suggest that if the virus first emerged in a rural community, it would have needed to migrate to an urban setting to avoid extinction. The lack of reports of COVID-19 elsewhere in China in November and early-December suggest Hubei province is the location where human-to-human transmission chains were first established.
    The circumstances surrounding the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Hubei province remain shrouded. Although SARS-CoV-2 is repeatedly adapting to spread among humans (40, 41), our findings do not reveal whether the virus that first emerged was less fit than the virus that spread throughout China. Nevertheless, the inferred timing of the index case is generally similar in both of these scenarios, because less-fit viruses in our simulations that went extinct tended to do so very quickly. Importantly, it is yet unknown whether the virus emerged directly from its animal reservoir, presumably horseshoe bats (42, 43), or first circulated in and possibly adapted to an intermediate host. Our estimates for the timing of the Hubei index case further distance this individual from the outbreak at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Finding the animal reservoir, or hypothetical intermediate host, will help to further narrow down the date, location, and circumstances of the original SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. However, even in the absence of that information, coalescent-based approaches permit us to look back beyond the tMRCA and toward the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there was a pre-tMRCA fuse to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was almost certainly very short. This brief period of time suggests that future pandemics with similar characteristics to the COVID-19 pandemic permit only a narrow window for preemptive intervention.

    https://science.sciencemag.org/conte...e.abf8003.full

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  • sharon sanders
    replied
    The thread below is a little more than counting cars in hospital parking lots from a satellite picture:

    China - COVID-19 - 1st known case traces back to November 2019 - FluTrackers documentation of possible early 2019 outbreak trend

    I have turned down many interview requests from major media in the last year so that we can concentrate on our work here without interference, and to avoid getting dragged into various media agendas. In fact, another major media contacted me a couple of weeks ago and I did not grant the interview.

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  • Mary Wilson
    replied

    US claims Wuhan lab staff had Covid symptoms earlier than first confirmed cases

    Gino Spocchia
    Monday 18 January 2021 20:54

    ... The claims come seven months after American researchers pointed to satellite data that showed Wuhan?s hospitals becoming busier some months before China announced a new novel coronavirus.

    Researchers at Harvard University said increases in visits to hospitals coincided with a rise in search terms for symptoms such as "cough" and "diarrhoea", and began in August 2019.

    Dr John Brownstein, who led the research, told ABC news: "Clearly, there was some level of social disruption taking place well before what was previously identified as the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic?.

    ?This is all about a growing body of information pointing to something taking place in Wuhan at the time,? he added.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-b1789064.html

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  • Mary Wilson
    replied
    U.S. Embassy in Georgia
    Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology

    ...
    1. Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):
    • The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli?s public claim that there was ?zero infection? among the WIV?s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
    • Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing that infected nine people, killing one.
    • The CCP has prevented independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities from interviewing researchers at the WIV, including those who were ill in the fall of 2019. Any credible inquiry into the origin of the virus must include interviews with these researchers and a full accounting of their previously unreported illness.
    2. Research at the WIV:
    • Starting in at least 2016 ? and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak ? WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak and has since studied animals including mice, bats, and pangolins.
    https://ge.usembassy.gov/fact-sheet-...e-of-virology/

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  • Treyfish
    replied
    WHO said nothing going on when it was. I?ll play with you later, a Les Paul is calling my name.

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  • bertrand789
    replied
    April 26, 2020, 08:03 AM
    j'ai une question :
    pour r?cup?rer des virus dans un lieu, il faut faire des pr?l?vements ou laisser se promener des lign?es animales con?ues pour cela, du type de celles d?crites dans ces articles:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17222058

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2787736/

    La sous question devient : quid de la r?glementation quant ? la d?tention et des usages de ce type de lign?e ?
    En management, on utilise parfois des animaux sentinelles, par exemple pour les influenza,on met des poules avec des canards. Les meilleurs animaux sentinelles, pour les coronavirus, ce ne sont pas alors ceux con?us en laboratoire, pour cela et mis ou il faut ?
    Je dis aussi cela car visiblement pour aller chercher des virus dans une grotte, vu les publications, cela a ?t? peut efficient et tr?s long. Faitre vivre des animaux sentinelles dans ces lieux, ce n'est pas plus simple ?

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  • JJackson
    commented on 's reply
    It is possible, yes but highly unlikely.
    China lies - along with everyone else.
    No primary source has been found for Ebola, H1N1(2009) or much else and we have barely begun to look - Ecohealth alliance was trying but they were stopped.
    It is very well adapted but that is not particularly unusual either.
    There were 3 labs in the area where it was first identified but that could be said of many places big cities but the sequence data analysis posted in the scientific library show it probably started spreading months before. Where a disease is found has a lot more to do with where surveillance is good than where it jumped the species barrier.
    WHO lied about what?
    The report is not out yet and it is not expected to give solid answers only probable routes.There have been no solid answers to any pandemics and certainly none while the pandemic is still raging.
    I am sot saying it is completely impossible just wildly improbable.

  • sharon sanders
    replied
    This:

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/...271#post855271

    ---------------------------------

    JJackson - Getting everyone involved again in this argument takes them off other work they do here - which is maybe your aim. We have gone over and over this topic with you. link China has had a year to scrub evidence. W.H.O. was never going to find anything there now. Interviewing scientists in China...where their entire families live? Right....very productive - not. Do you think the world does not notice that China picks up people off the streets in Hong Kong and disappears them in the mainland? Everyone sees this. This is a huge Gaslight project.

    Like I said several times before - there will be a world court on this pandemic. Follow the money when that happens. All judges, witnesses, experts, etc. should be required to disclose their sources of $$$ back ten years.

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  • Treyfish
    replied
    It is possible.
    China lies.
    China blocked investigations.
    No primary source found.
    Seems perfectly adapted to humans.
    Wuhan lab right down the street.
    WHO lied.
    Seems like a lot of funny business and no solid answers.
    Until then, I say leave the possibility open.
    Dismissing it outright is your choice.

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  • JJackson
    replied
    I look forward to reading the report.
    I have a serious question for any of you who think this is a lab escape.
    The nearest sequence to SARS-CoV-2 is RaTG13 with 96.1% homology. The CoV genome has a little under 30,000 nucleotides. This sequence was generated from guano not live virus. Even if the lab had live virus and there was an accidental escape it would need to have acquired over 1000 NT changes to get from RaTG13 to SARS-CoV-2. Since it emerged there have been well over a 100 million confirmed cases in its new host species and yet there are no sequence that have accumulated 100 changes.
    Is it reasonable to assume it acquired 1000+ changes without being detected in humans prior to its identification in Wuhan?
    Assuming it did not magically make these changes in a relatively small number of infections prior to detection then it must have acquired them before it left the lab. Under this scenario and the lab's claims it did not perform any gain-of-function experiments you have to assume they are lying which changes this from a accidental lab escape to a deliberate secret set of gain of function experiments followed by an accidental or deliberate release. Is this what you think?
    Flu has a higher mutation rate than CoVs but Fouchier & Kawaoka, who were deliberately trying to enhance the airborne transmission of H5N1, by applying extreme selection pressure only managed to make a handful of sequence changes. In which case is it feasible to think WIV, or any other lab, could generate 1000+ changes and hit on human optimised form while keeping all their work secret? Even if they did, and told no one about it, you then have to assume either that they then had their first lab escape or they deliberately released into the community where they lived.
    In short how realistic is this, they would have to be far better scientists at genetic manipulation than any one else in the world and be ridiculously careless about lab escapes or wantonly evil. The only other explanation is none of this happened and the lab escape is no more than a conspiracy theory and what happened is what has happened many times in the past and a virus jumped the species barrier and started a zoonotic epidemic.
    If there are any FT members who believe this came from a lab I would be genuinely interested in why they think that is plausible.

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