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intrepidity

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Member since: Sun Feb 14, 2016, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 3,451

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However,

“I want to clarify that all hypotheses remain open and require further study,” said World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in February 2021.

USA Today Opinion: Why the COVID lab-leak theory in Wuhan shouldn't be dismissed

[I just do not understand the reluctance of so many (here at DU! Where smart, thoughtful people congregate!) to examine this issue carefully, and instead denigrate those who do, and dismiss it all as RW conspiracy theory!]

This article is a good, deep dive by this journalist who has researched and reported on many cases of lab safety issues.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/opinion/2021/03/22/why-covid-lab-leak-theory-wuhan-shouldnt-dismissed-column/4765985001/

I have reported on safety lapses at elite U.S. labs. There is no reason to believe they aren’t happening at labs in other countries as well.

Alison Young, Opinion contributor

Published 1:00 AM PDT Mar. 22, 2021 Updated 10:36 AM PDT Mar. 22, 2021

As members of a World Health Organization expert team have made international headlines recently dismissing as “extremely unlikely” the possibility that a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China, could have sparked the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t stop thinking of the hundreds of lab accidents that are secretly occurring just in the United States. .... As an investigative reporter, I have spent more than a decade revealing shocking safety breaches that officials at laboratories in our own country don’t want the public to know about. ....I have uncovered exotic and deadly bacteria that have hitched rides out of high-security labs on workers’ dirty clothing, silently spreading contagion for weeks. I have revealed how spacesuit-like protective gear and tubes carrying safe oxygen to scientists have torn or broken – repeatedly – and high-tech safety systems have failed dramatically. Vials of viruses and bacteria have gone missing. Researchers bitten by infected lab animals have been allowed to move about in public – rather than being quarantined – while waiting for signs of infection to appear.

(...)

The notion that more than 2.7 million deaths worldwide – so far – could be the result of a lab accident has been met with skepticism and derision by many journalists and scientists who often portray it as a crackpot conspiracy theory fueled by former President Donald Trump’s China-bashing rhetoric. Without question, the lab-leak theory has been politically and racially weaponized in ugly ways. Nonetheless, that rhetoric needs to be separated from legitimate questions about lab safety that are deserving of investigation.

Science, like journalism, is supposed to be about facts and about getting to the truth. But those who dare seek answers to reasonable questions about any lab accidents in Wuhan are accused of peddling conspiracies.

Let me be clear: Labs in Wuhan might not have played any role in the origin of the pandemic. But a year later, no source has been found, and the world deserves a thorough, unbiased investigation of all plausible theories that is conducted without fear or favor.

Much more at link above.

WaPo Opinion: Did covid-19 escape from a Wuhan lab? The WHO report can't be the final word.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/22/did-covid-19-escape-wuhan-lab-who-report-cant-be-final-word/

Hopefully WaPo isn't yet considered a right-wing conspiracy rag.

Opinion by David Feith
March 22, 2021 at 7:23 a.m. PDT

David Feith, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, is a former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

The World Health Organization’s final report on its investigation into covid-19’s origin is due any day now. But a major revelation has already emerged: This month, two members of the WHO investigative team acknowledged that lab workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China were sick — from what, it is not yet clear — in fall 2019, before the public coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
That information confirms an assertion in a Jan. 15 statement by the State Department (where I worked at the time), and it represents the sort of fact pattern that investigators would expect if covid originated with an accidental lab leak, one of several possible but unproven theories.

So will the final WHO report focus on the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Don’t count on it. Because the same WHO investigators who — responding to media inquiries — confirmed the existence of the sick lab workers immediately played down the importance of the information.

(snip)

Perhaps the WHO final report will supply evidence to justify the investigators’ apparent lack of interest in pursuing the lab-leak theory. Does the WHO have the names of the lab researchers who fell ill? Were they interviewed? Has the WHO seen their medical records? Antibody test results? If so, will the information be included in the WHO report?

How could such an important investigation risk its credibility by including possibly conflicted investigators? Well, the WHO investigation isn’t just a WHO investigation. It is a joint effort between the WHO, which convened some 19 international investigators, and the Chinese government, which selected 17 Chinese researchers and also had veto power over the foreign experts. The investigators won’t be able to publish findings without official Chinese concurrence.

More at link above, perhaps behind paywall.

Virus Researchers Still Can't Rule Out Lab Accident

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-01-12/how-did-covid-19-start-researchers-are-still-trying-to-find-out

Getting more data on Covid-19’s origins — whether in bats or a Wuhan lab — is the best way to prevent the next disaster.

By Faye Flam, January 12, 2021, 7:45 AM PST

People want to know where the coronavirus came from. If humans first caught it from bats, then where and how? Did Covid-19 escape from a lab, as several magazine articles have insinuated? While most scientists dismiss a deliberate release of the virus as a conspiracy theory, they can’t completely dismiss the possibility that it escaped by accident.

International investigations could shed light on the matter, but they’ve gotten off to a bumpy start. A WHO investigative team was held up for months before finally getting admitted to China this week. Another team associated with the Lancet has yet to start field work there. Getting to the bottom of things is not only critical for preventing future pandemics, it’s important for keeping the public in the loop, to keep people motivated to help mitigate the spread.

“I think we all feel that more work should be done in China on trying to find the origins,” says UC Berkeley geneticist Rasmus Neilsen, who has been trying to piece together how SARS-CoV-2 evolved. “I think we all feel that would benefit science.”

One problem, he says, is the spread of conspiracy theories that Covid-19 was created in a lab and then intentionally released. “I think that has really harmed the case for a proper investigation.” While investigating a lab-accident origin is important, he says, it’s gotten lumped in with tinfoil hat ideas.

Much more at link above.

Lab Leak: A Scientific Debate Mired in Politics--and Unresolved

https://undark.org/2021/03/17/lab-leak-science-lost-in-politics/

Please read this article if you have any genuine interest whatsoever in the question of Covid19's origin.

If you think you already know the answer, please read this article.

If you post replies in threads on this topic, please read this article, so that you can be better informed and not appear foolish, or worse, spread misinformation (such as that the question is settled, proven by science).

Please read this article. Below is just a small excerpt:

Last month, a team of international scientists completed a month-long visit to Wuhan to investigate SARS-CoV-2’s origins. Convened by the WHO, and closely monitored by Chinese authorities, the team concluded initially that a lab leak was so unlikely that further investigations of it were unnecessary. The WHO’s director general later walked that statement back, claiming that “all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and studies.” A group of 26 scientists, social scientists, and science communicators — Petrovksy among them — have now signed their own letter arguing that WHO investigators lacked “the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses” to determine whether or not SARS-CoV-2 could have been the result of a laboratory incident.

The WHO investigation follows a year during which debates over SARS-CoV-2’s origins turned increasingly acrimonious. Chinese officials were, and still are, unwilling to provide information that might settle lingering questions about where the virus came from, and in the absence of critical data, expert views coalesced around two competing scenarios: One that a lab leak was plausible and needed more scrutiny, and another that SARS-CoV-2 had almost certainly spilled over from nature and that the odds of a lab leak were so remote that the possibility could essentially be taken off the table. Those insisting on a natural origin say the virus lacks genetic features that would show it to have been deliberately engineered. But it’s also possible that SARS-CoV-2 evolved naturally in the wild before it was brought into a lab to be studied, only to subsequently escape. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which many see as the likeliest site of a breakout, houses one of the largest collections of coronaviruses in the world.

David Relman, a microbiologist at Stanford University, says a lab leak was never the subject of a “fair and dispassionate discussion of the facts as we know them.” Instead, tempers soon began to flare as those calling for a closer look at possible lab origins were dismissed as conspiracy theorists spouting misinformation. Election-year politics and growing Sinophobic sentiments only added to the tensions. Attacks on Asian Americans had been escalating since the pandemic began, and with then-President Trump fuming about a “Chinese virus,” many scientists and reporters became “cautious about saying anything that might justify the rhetoric of his administration,” says Jamie Metzl, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank.

It could have been career suicide for scientists to voice suspicions about a possible lab leak, says Metzl, especially when there was already a long history of viral disease outbreaks spilling over from nature. Alina Chan, a post-doctoral fellow specializing in gene therapy and cell engineering at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, echoes that view. Chan says the risk of challenging the orthodoxy that SARS-CoV-2 has natural origins — an entirely plausible hypothesis, she maintains — is greatest for established scientists in infectious disease with supervisory roles and staffs to support. She herself has spent much of the last year calling for more scrutiny of a potential lab leak, claiming that as a post-doc, she has less to lose.

The vitriol also obscures a broader imperative, Relman says, which is that uncovering the virus’ origins is crucial to stopping the next pandemic. Threats from both lab accidents and natural spillovers are growing simultaneously, as humans move steadily into wild places, and new biosafety labs grow in number around the world. “This is why the origins question is so important,” Relman says.

Much more at link:

https://undark.org/2021/03/17/lab-leak-science-lost-in-politics/

FBI releases 10 videos of 1/6 violence, seeks help ID'ing perps





















Citizen Sleuths Launch A Slick New Website To Hunt Down Capitol Insurrectionists

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_6049087fc5b65bed87d7e464/amp

Some of the citizen sleuths behind the open-source effort to identify the hundreds of Donald Trump-loving rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol have launched an impressive new website that organizes the stunning amount of digital evidence collected about the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The website, Jan6evidence.com, was built by a small team of volunteer software developers, using the work of open-source investigators looking into the deadly Capitol attack. The site features a color-coded timeline that reflects the time of day, and allows users to click around on a map of the Capitol and pull up any video evidence from a particular location and time frame. Users can even track an individual suspect’s movements over the course of Jan. 6.

HuffPost was given an early look at the website by a software engineer who is helping to lead the project. The engineer said the site “is nothing without the enormous work of the open source investigators making their results available to all, and especially those helping to prepare results into a standardized format for display.” They credited the “extraordinarily careful work” of Twitter users like @K2theSky, @CoryCullington and @MasaSpalatin with making the effort possible.

“Open source investigators, professional journalists, and law enforcement are all undertaking the painstaking, labor-intensive work of scrutinizing video and photos related to the attack,” the software engineer said. “Our aim is to make it much [more] efficient to review that media, so that they can most effectively investigate what happened on January 6 and why."

https://jan6evidence.com

Recognize this guy? "EagleMan" insurrectionist FBI #138

He is still unidentified and wanted by the FBI for AFO (assaulting a federal officer).

I watched hours of video and saw him frequently, but to be honest, most of the time he was just standing around passively looking like a big dork. I think once or twice, on the stairs, he may have handled a stick or shield, passing them to someone; I didn't personally witness him being violent. He seemed to only remove the mask briefly after tear gas, but the video caught him, oops!

Nonetheless, he made a massive target of himself by wearing that silly outfit! So, let's help ID him.











https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/capitol-violence

"Well, if it weren't for me, there wouldn't have been a pandemic"

"...and without the pandemic, there's no vaccine, so thank me for the vaccine."

Former guy could arguably make that claim.

But, even more realistically, he could legitimately claim that the speed of vaccine development--and I don't mean via the so-called warp speed thing--was a result of his actions (lack thereof), because, and this is true, very true: vaccines were produced in record time because there was such high infection rates in the population that the clinical trials reached their endpoints remarkably fast.

So yeah, go ahead and crow about how you helped to solve the problem that you created--even though the extent of your 'help' was simply in allowing the pandemic to get out of control. Hang that around your neck, Loser.

Pandemic response needs to be Federal. Period.

The former guy (TFG) messed it up so much that it'd be nearly impossible to implement mid-stream now, but I hope that some serious planning is underway for the next one (which won't be 100 years away this time).

States don't get to "opt-out" of, eg, mask mandates, and they don't get to decide individually how to manage a pandemic; that is absurd and counter-productive (as has been painfully demonstrated). As long as there is free movement of citizens across state borders, states MUST defer to the Federal government on issues like pandemics!

Even now I'm seeing vastly different implementations of vaccine delivery across states! Why?

If we truly are ONE nation, how about we act like it when it really, really matters?

TFG is, imho, fully culpable for all 500,000+ U.S. deaths for this reason. He allowed a weak, partial and highly fragmented response to the greatest lethal threat our nation has encountered in our lifetimes.

That should never be forgotten nor forgiven. Ever!
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