What If He’s Right?

There are times when I wonder if there are people reading this blog and quietly being influenced by it. In his Washington Post column Josh Rogin muses over the possibility, supported by former CDC director Robert Redfield, that SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Here’s the conclusion of his column:

Flinders University medical professor Nikolai Petrovsky, one of more than two dozen scientists, including Ebright, who signed an open letter calling for a full and independent investigation into covid-19’s origins, told me the Chinese government now realizes it can’t prevent a real investigation into the Wuhan labs and therefore is calling for all such labs worldwide to be investigated. And that, he says, is actually a great idea.

“I agree this is entirely appropriate, although clearly most of the immediate focus would need to be on the Wuhan labs, given their geography and the work they were doing,” he said.

If Redfield is right, that would mean China bears some accountability for the outbreak, which will greatly complicate already tense relations. If Redfield is right, that would also mean the U.S. government had a big role in supporting the research that resulted in the pandemic outbreak. If Redfield is right, the current response plan could greatly increase, not reduce, the risk of another pandemic.

These are all very unpleasant facts. But facts are stubborn things. And we have no choice but to pursue all possible theories and accept whatever truth the facts lead to. This must be done in a nonpolitical way, to show Beijing and the world that we still have the ability to place public health and truth above the narratives to which we have become beholden.

Just to be crystal clear in what I think we should be doing, I believe that

  • We should assume that SARS-CoV-2 did originate at the WIV.
  • Until that can be disproven conclusively we should greatly reduce travel to and from China.
  • We should quarantine all travelers from China or who have visited China recently for at least two weeks before allowing them entry into the U. S.
  • We should greatly reduce our trade with China.

I wouldn’t be upset at all if China reciprocated. In fact, I’d welcome it.

12 comments… add one
  • bob sykes Link

    The Chinese again raised the possibility that Covid-19 was created in the US Army Medical Research Institute (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland. Moreover, that it was planted in Wuhan by US Army athletes during the 7th CISM Military World Games (aka Wuhan 2019), which was held from October 18–27, 2019, in Wuhan Province.

    Outrageous? Perhaps, but the US Deep State is utterly corrupt, and the Chinese claim is a possibility. You might also consider that the US Deep State is actively trying to destroy one of China’s most important corporations, Huawei, and that it tried to steal ownership of another, Tik Tok. American dirty tricks occur all the time.

    I continue to believe that the only rational choice is that Covid-19 is a natural product of the East Asian paddy ecology, just like every other flu and SARS pandemic in history.

    PS. Our Deep State is currently trying to get the Ukrainian nazis to attack Donbass, in order to suck Russia into a major war. That also lends support to the Chinese claim.

  • TastyBits Link

    There are times when I wonder if there are people reading this blog and quietly being influenced by it.

    I think it is because you are able to connect the dots and accept the conclusion far faster than most people.

    We have:
    1) a biosafety level 4 laboratory
    2) doing bat virus research
    3) studying coronaviruses
    4) with lax safety
    5) using gain of function techniques

    Bird to pig to human pathogen cross-species transmission has been known for a very long time. Bird to human is possible, but the unmutated virus does not transmit human to human. The bird pathogen must mutate in pigs to become transmissible from human to human, and simultaneously, it must become less deadly.

    If a pathogen kills its host too quickly, it will not have time to jump to a new host, and it will quickly die off. Because of “herd immunity”, pathogens must mutate to survive. Environmental conditions also affect pathogens, and there is a “pathogen-line” similar to the frost-line.

    While it is possible that Trump f*cked a bat and planted it in the Wuhan market, I am going with the accidental escape theory, but if somebody finds an orange bat with white hair, I may be inclined to change my mind, especially if it has a Twitter account.

  • Jan Link

    The gain of function experiments should attract the largest inquiry as to the origins, or more accurately perhaps, the manipulation of this virus. Hand in hand with said inquiry is looking into the participation of the NIH, and specifically Dr. Fauci, into funding these risky experiments in China’s Wuhan Lab.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    I posit things a bit differently.

    That the two most plausible theories of the origin of SARS-COV2 are zoonotic transmission and lab accident (in China). And take actions from that.

    Going forward, one aspect underdiscussed is for the next virus; is anyone looking at the chances of a lab leak in this country? (The CDC’s issues with COVID tests due to lab maintainance issues does not inspire confidence on that front).

    A true pessimist would say given the damage caused by an act of nature or an accident; how hard would it be for someone malevolent to take it as inspiration…. I fear the answer is it is distressingly easy as a technical matter.

  • steve Link

    1) I would assume we dont know how it originated and investigate. I don’t see any reason to assume it originated in a China lab.

    3) We should quarantine all US travelers who go to China and come back if we think the place is a risk. US citizens going there and back is likely higher risk. Do the same thing for Chinese but they are probably lower risk.


  • I don’t see any reason to assume it originated in a China lab.

    Because of the very large number of animals and species of animals that have been tested. Basically, I agree with your #3. But I also think the preponderance of the evidence suggests that voluntary quarantines are useless.

  • steve Link

    More relevant to Covid, the BMJ published a study on the follow on effects of Covid in discharged pts. About 1/3 of those discharged end up remitted in 4 months and about 1/8 end up dead in that period. That is about 4 times and 8 times respectively what was seen in matched controls. Usual caveats that it is just one study and it is retrospective. So we have a disease that gives us 10 times the deaths of a bad flu, ICU stays that last weeks, unlike usual flu pts and we see readmissions and deaths after unlike flu. Yet I bet we still see claims it is just another flu and no big deal.



  • So we have a disease that gives us 10 times the deaths of a bad flu

    An order of magnitude worse than a bad flu season sounds about right to me. That’s still weak justification for the extraordinary measures that have been taken over the last 15 months and that continue to be mandated in some places. Those will have long-lasting repercussions, too.

  • steve Link

    An order of magnitude with those interventions and that is just the deaths. Add in the hospitalizations and it looks like prolonger problems after wards and that number keeps climbing. Also, as I noted, nearly every other country in the work also made significant interventions. Even in places without mandatory interventions there was aloof voluntary change in behavior by people.

    Question- Why are people unable to discuss anything other than the deaths. Why doesnt a 3 week stay in an ICU count as a bad outcome? Not being able to return to work for weeks or months after hospitalization seems kind of bad to me but you, like conservatives, dont let that bother you.


  • Question- Why are people unable to discuss anything other than the deaths.

    If they’re irrelevant why did you bring them up?

  • Grey Shambler Link
  • steve Link

    “If they’re irrelevant why did you bring them up?”

    I bring up the deaths AND the other stuff. It is not that deaths are irrelevant just that they are not the only problem.


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