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The US’s 2nd septuagenarian President has ratings as bad as the first – politicalbetting.com

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  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 13,216
    edited September 2021
    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,115

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    Depending what you mean by proof. The circumstantial evidence is now overwhelming.

    Nobody sane is alleging intentional leak, so it is disingenuous to throw the into the mix to make the leak theory look more far fetched then it is.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 19,427

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    No, it wraps it up

    Detailed analysis of their pitch for funding shows that they were way down the line - already doing this. They just wanted more cash

    Anyone arguing against lab leak now is arguing against overwhelming evidence
  • IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    Depending what you mean by proof. The circumstantial evidence is now overwhelming.

    Nobody sane is alleging intentional leak, so it is disingenuous to throw the into the mix to make the leak theory look more far fetched then it is.
    I'm not saying the lab leak theory is far-fetched or even wrong but I can't see that this story advances the case. For the leak, it shows lab work on the viruses. We knew that. What is new is that they planned to try and inoculate the bats in the cave, which means they were most concerned about the virus jumping from bat to human. This is against the lab leak theory. So in terms of that debate we are not much further forward.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,115

    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    Depending what you mean by proof. The circumstantial evidence is now overwhelming.

    Nobody sane is alleging intentional leak, so it is disingenuous to throw the into the mix to make the leak theory look more far fetched then it is.
    I'm not saying the lab leak theory is far-fetched or even wrong but I can't see that this story advances the case. For the leak, it shows lab work on the viruses. We knew that. What is new is that they planned to try and inoculate the bats in the cave, which means they were most concerned about the virus jumping from bat to human. This is against the lab leak theory. So in terms of that debate we are not much further forward.
    It really isn't. Gain of function research is routinely justified as a safety measure. You are strawmanning like crazy.
  • Leon said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    No, it wraps it up

    Detailed analysis of their pitch for funding shows that they were way down the line - already doing this. They just wanted more cash

    Anyone arguing against lab leak now is arguing against overwhelming evidence
    But the funding was partly to inoculate the bats in the cave to prevent bat to human transmission, which means presumably they rated this a significant risk. So we are left with, either it came from the lab, probably accidentally, or it came from the bat cave, possibly via the market. It is not that there is no smoking gun but there are at least two different smoking guns.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    Depending what you mean by proof. The circumstantial evidence is now overwhelming.

    Nobody sane is alleging intentional leak, so it is disingenuous to throw the into the mix to make the leak theory look more far fetched then it is.
    I'm not saying the lab leak theory is far-fetched or even wrong but I can't see that this story advances the case. For the leak, it shows lab work on the viruses. We knew that. What is new is that they planned to try and inoculate the bats in the cave, which means they were most concerned about the virus jumping from bat to human. This is against the lab leak theory. So in terms of that debate we are not much further forward.
    It really isn't. Gain of function research is routinely justified as a safety measure. You are strawmanning like crazy.
    No-one is denying gain of function research. Equally, we do not know that was the source of the pandemic. You (and @Leon) are jumping on one strand of evidence and ignoring other possibilities.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,115

    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    Depending what you mean by proof. The circumstantial evidence is now overwhelming.

    Nobody sane is alleging intentional leak, so it is disingenuous to throw the into the mix to make the leak theory look more far fetched then it is.
    I'm not saying the lab leak theory is far-fetched or even wrong but I can't see that this story advances the case. For the leak, it shows lab work on the viruses. We knew that. What is new is that they planned to try and inoculate the bats in the cave, which means they were most concerned about the virus jumping from bat to human. This is against the lab leak theory. So in terms of that debate we are not much further forward.
    It really isn't. Gain of function research is routinely justified as a safety measure. You are strawmanning like crazy.
    No-one is denying gain of function research. Equally, we do not know that was the source of the pandemic. You (and @Leon) are jumping on one strand of evidence and ignoring other possibilities.
    Correct.

    Just as when a man with a bloodstained hammer and a man bludgeoned to death with a hammer are found together in a locked room, I jump on the one strand of evidence of the hammer, and ignore the possibility of a Sith timelord having teleported in to commit the murder.
  • What are the political betting implications? Trump was president in 2018, when Darpa is reported as turning down the funding request but what else was approved? We know we have American-sponsored research in the Chinese laboratory. If it is ever proved that there was a lab leak, and especially if of a US-engineered more virulent strain, can this put the kibosh on either Biden (via his time in the Obama regime) or Trump for 2024?
  • IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

    New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles and aerosols containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

    They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

    Pretty much wraps up the argument about lab origin.

    According to the linked story, funding for this was denied, so we are back where we started. We know the lab was working on the virus but that is not the same as proving an intentional or accidental leak. It is the same debate that has been raging for the past two years.
    Depending what you mean by proof. The circumstantial evidence is now overwhelming.

    Nobody sane is alleging intentional leak, so it is disingenuous to throw the into the mix to make the leak theory look more far fetched then it is.
    I'm not saying the lab leak theory is far-fetched or even wrong but I can't see that this story advances the case. For the leak, it shows lab work on the viruses. We knew that. What is new is that they planned to try and inoculate the bats in the cave, which means they were most concerned about the virus jumping from bat to human. This is against the lab leak theory. So in terms of that debate we are not much further forward.
    It really isn't. Gain of function research is routinely justified as a safety measure. You are strawmanning like crazy.
    No-one is denying gain of function research. Equally, we do not know that was the source of the pandemic. You (and @Leon) are jumping on one strand of evidence and ignoring other possibilities.
    Correct.

    Just as when a man with a bloodstained hammer and a man bludgeoned to death with a hammer are found together in a locked room, I jump on the one strand of evidence of the hammer, and ignore the possibility of a Sith timelord having teleported in to commit the murder.
    There is a lab containing the virus, and there is a cave full of bats containing the virus. There could have been a leak from the lab, and an infected bat could have been taken from the cave to the wet market. There is also a hybrid possibility that a lab worker could have been infected while collecting samples in the cave.
  • I guess I must be missing something. If we know a viral research lab was actively researching novel coronaviruses, and was looking for more funding to create genetically enhanced novel coronaviruses so they can release it in a bat cave, and they were promoting their request for funding on the basis that they'd already made significant progress on genetic enhancement, and then 18 months later, in the same city the lab was located in, a mysterious novel coronavirus breaks out, and the lab says it has nothing to do with them and the virus probably came from a bat cave - perhaps the balance of probability is that it has something to do with the lab?

    I mean, I'm sure they didn't do it deliberately, but surely it can't be scientific to ignore these facts and insist it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus lab?
  • I guess I must be missing something. If we know a viral research lab was actively researching novel coronaviruses, and was looking for more funding to create genetically enhanced novel coronaviruses so they can release it in a bat cave, and they were promoting their request for funding on the basis that they'd already made significant progress on genetic enhancement, and then 18 months later, in the same city the lab was located in, a mysterious novel coronavirus breaks out, and the lab says it has nothing to do with them and the virus probably came from a bat cave - perhaps the balance of probability is that it has something to do with the lab?

    I mean, I'm sure they didn't do it deliberately, but surely it can't be scientific to ignore these facts and insist it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus lab?

    You are missing that the bat cave is real and was the original source of the virus for the lab work. There are two possible sources, or more if you sub-divide them so let's not do that. The pandemic could have started with a human getting it from the bats, or it could have come from the lab.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 16,467
    Really stupid.

    "Strictly's 'unvaccinated pros would rather quit the show than receive the Covid jab despite pressure from furious stars and PM Boris Johnson'"

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10018971/Strictlys-unvaccinated-pros-QUIT-receive-Covid-jab.html
  • I guess I must be missing something. If we know a viral research lab was actively researching novel coronaviruses, and was looking for more funding to create genetically enhanced novel coronaviruses so they can release it in a bat cave, and they were promoting their request for funding on the basis that they'd already made significant progress on genetic enhancement, and then 18 months later, in the same city the lab was located in, a mysterious novel coronavirus breaks out, and the lab says it has nothing to do with them and the virus probably came from a bat cave - perhaps the balance of probability is that it has something to do with the lab?

    I mean, I'm sure they didn't do it deliberately, but surely it can't be scientific to ignore these facts and insist it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus lab?

    You are missing that the bat cave is real and was the original source of the virus for the lab work. There are two possible sources, or more if you sub-divide them so let's not do that. The pandemic could have started with a human getting it from the bats, or it could have come from the lab.
    I'm not saying the bat cave isn't real, what I don't get is how anyone can look at the facts as reported and conclude that it's more probable for the virus to have come from a cave and the pandemic emerge several hundred miles away in Wuhan, instead of the lab in Wuhan that we know was actively researching novel coronaviruses and seeking funding to genetically engineer the virus releasing it accidentally via human error.
  • Clashes over the Northern Ireland Protocol mask a secret agenda to reunite Ireland, according to the Telegraph, apparently unaware that reunification has been the aim of several groups ever since Ireland and Northern Ireland were founded. It cannot quite bring itself to blame Boris's border down the Irish Sea for the increased economic cross-border flow.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/09/22/clashes-protocol-mask-secret-agenda-reunite-ireland/
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,115

    I guess I must be missing something. If we know a viral research lab was actively researching novel coronaviruses, and was looking for more funding to create genetically enhanced novel coronaviruses so they can release it in a bat cave, and they were promoting their request for funding on the basis that they'd already made significant progress on genetic enhancement, and then 18 months later, in the same city the lab was located in, a mysterious novel coronavirus breaks out, and the lab says it has nothing to do with them and the virus probably came from a bat cave - perhaps the balance of probability is that it has something to do with the lab?

    I mean, I'm sure they didn't do it deliberately, but surely it can't be scientific to ignore these facts and insist it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus lab?

    You are missing that the bat cave is real and was the original source of the virus for the lab work. There are two possible sources, or more if you sub-divide them so let's not do that. The pandemic could have started with a human getting it from the bats, or it could have come from the lab.
    I have a bottle of Australian wine here, of a type known to be imported and sold by Tesco.

    I could have got it from Tesco, I could have got it from the original source in Australia.

    One is more likely than the other.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,970
    edited September 2021

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    I am nearing 78 and I could not fulfil the diary of the POTUS

    Brutally speaking, late 70s is too old to be a new first term President of the USA. 70 should be the cut-off point for eligibility. That would have - happily - ruled out Trump AND Biden.
    Nah - voters should judge people by what they're like, not by their birthdate - it's something to consider, but not the main issue. I'm 71 - I have a full-time senior day job, a thriving weekend translation business, and I'm on the Borough Council executive, which took all of the last 3 evenings. I'm also chair of the constituency Labour Party and have a reasonably active social life. Basically I'm always doing something and don't take time out.

    Is that a boast? No, I'm just lucky to be healthy and in various jobs that I enjoy, and not having intermissions and meditating is just personal choice. But I'm reasonably good at what I do and it'd be daft to choose someone else to do one or all of them instead just because they were 69.

    Good for you - seriously. Keeping old people active and productive is going to be an important part of humanity's future, both for old people and for society as a whole. And for me. I will be old soon enough

    But there is a big difference between 71 and 78 (those ARE years of decline, I fear) and there is a HUGE difference between what you do and what the President of the USA has to do

    I'm not being brutally unfair. I'm saying 70 or at most 75 should be a cut-off date to be a new first term president of the USA. Ruling out Biden

    Hopefully medical science will change all this in years to come, and dementia and senility and the like will be defeated. But until then.....
    It's interesting that there is a minimum age for being POTUS (I believe AOC fell just out of it last time) and not a maximum age.


    Hmm. Remind me again who writes the rules.
    In this case it was a bunch of kids, that's probably why they bollocksed it up so badly.
    As it turns out, many Founding Fathers were younger than 40 years old in 1776, with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers or Twentysomethings. And though the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2013/08/how-old-were-the-founding-fathers-the-leaders-of-the-american-revolution-were-younger-than-we-imagine.html
  • (A teacher stands in a classroom, scuffed mortarboard on head. Lights flicker due to an electricity shortage)
    "So boys and girls, your task was to... Yes, yes, I know, Ms Gender, boys, girls, inters, bis, Sith lords and little furry creature from Zog..."

    (He scratches his hed wondering why he chose teaching)
    "As I was saying, your task was to write an essay on what you stand for. Messers Phillips and Carnaby, well done. I particularly like your use of metaphor on equality as it impacts ants, who, as we all know, have now been granted human rights. The rest of you, good efforts as well. Except ..."

    (He picks up two essays. One is so thick that it wore out two printers. The other is a piece of fag paper. He throw them onto the floor. The floor rocks as the heavy one hits; the fag paper floats down and rests insultingly on top.)
    "Master Starmer. I do appreciate you have a lot to say to the world, and you believe it earnestly. Many people do. But when your task is to write 250 words, scribing 11,500 is not acceptable. I'd also add that I noticed the 'Corbo smells' you wrote in the margin on the section about ... well just about every section. Fail."
    (A sour-looking boy sitting by himself in the corner of the room beside a Palestinian flag sobs)

    (A final sigh, as he fixes his weary gaze on a blonde boy with tousled hair.)
    "And you, Master Johnson. I finally managed to decipher the crayoned text. "I stand for fun!" was short, succinct and, I fear, true. But adding "Smithers stands for I nicked his chair," was just cruel. But at least your essay was short, and I was at school with your father (at least, we think he was your father). A+"
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 38,157

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    I am nearing 78 and I could not fulfil the diary of the POTUS

    Brutally speaking, late 70s is too old to be a new first term President of the USA. 70 should be the cut-off point for eligibility. That would have - happily - ruled out Trump AND Biden.
    Nah - voters should judge people by what they're like, not by their birthdate - it's something to consider, but not the main issue. I'm 71 - I have a full-time senior day job, a thriving weekend translation business, and I'm on the Borough Council executive, which took all of the last 3 evenings. I'm also chair of the constituency Labour Party and have a reasonably active social life. Basically I'm always doing something and don't take time out.

    Is that a boast? No, I'm just lucky to be healthy and in various jobs that I enjoy, and not having intermissions and meditating is just personal choice. But I'm reasonably good at what I do and it'd be daft to choose someone else to do one or all of them instead just because they were 69.

    Good for you - seriously. Keeping old people active and productive is going to be an important part of humanity's future, both for old people and for society as a whole. And for me. I will be old soon enough

    But there is a big difference between 71 and 78 (those ARE years of decline, I fear) and there is a HUGE difference between what you do and what the President of the USA has to do

    I'm not being brutally unfair. I'm saying 70 or at most 75 should be a cut-off date to be a new first term president of the USA. Ruling out Biden

    Hopefully medical science will change all this in years to come, and dementia and senility and the like will be defeated. But until then.....
    It's interesting that there is a minimum age for being POTUS (I believe AOC fell just out of it last time) and not a maximum age.


    Hmm. Remind me again who writes the rules.
    In this case it was a bunch of kids, that's probably why they bollocksed it up so badly.
    As it turns out, many Founding Fathers were younger than 40 years old in 1776, with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers or Twentysomethings. And though the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2013/08/how-old-were-the-founding-fathers-the-leaders-of-the-american-revolution-were-younger-than-we-imagine.html

    So 35 were at the time seen as the ‘elders’, whereas today they’re seen as the reactionary kids like AOC.
    200 years ago we also didn’t have the prevalence of degeneratory disease that we have now in the elderly, mostly because not many people lived to make our current definition of elderly

    Maybe the minimum should be 45, and the maximum 70 now?

    70 would have disqualified Biden, Trump, and Clinton, the nominees for the last two elections, and forced both parties to pick someone decent.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 44,737

    I guess I must be missing something. If we know a viral research lab was actively researching novel coronaviruses, and was looking for more funding to create genetically enhanced novel coronaviruses so they can release it in a bat cave, and they were promoting their request for funding on the basis that they'd already made significant progress on genetic enhancement, and then 18 months later, in the same city the lab was located in, a mysterious novel coronavirus breaks out, and the lab says it has nothing to do with them and the virus probably came from a bat cave - perhaps the balance of probability is that it has something to do with the lab?

    I mean, I'm sure they didn't do it deliberately, but surely it can't be scientific to ignore these facts and insist it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus lab?

    You are missing that the bat cave is real and was the original source of the virus for the lab work. There are two possible sources, or more if you sub-divide them so let's not do that. The pandemic could have started with a human getting it from the bats, or it could have come from the lab.
    I'm not saying the bat cave isn't real, what I don't get is how anyone can look at the facts as reported and conclude that it's more probable for the virus to have come from a cave and the pandemic emerge several hundred miles away in Wuhan, instead of the lab in Wuhan that we know was actively researching novel coronaviruses and seeking funding to genetically engineer the virus releasing it accidentally via human error.
    The dual facts that the lab where bat viruses were researched was in Wuhan, and the initial outbreak was in Wuhan, are together extremely strong circumstantial evidence for a lab leak. (Or indeed, some variation on lab leak, because even the words 'lab leak' describe about a dozen different scenarios.)

    It is the two leaps that come from there that I have greater issues with.

    Firstly, yes, the Wuhan lab either had - or was - engaged in Gain of Function research. Here's the thing. CV19 is an odd virus to come of GoF research. Normally, you see, you're trying to discover what it is that causes a virus to be virulent. But CV19 isn't particularly virulent. It's feature that's unique (and somewhat similar to HIV/AIDS) is a long incubation period during which the virus is undetectable. It is unclear to me how such a characteristic could have been bred in Gain of Function research, and a lot of scientists who are generally lab leak believers think similarly.

    Secondly, the evidence that CV19 can infect over 200 mammalian species doesn't speak to whether it is lab leaked or not. But it does suggest that it is highly unlikely that it was developed as some kind of weapon. Pretty much every biological weapon* ever even considered for use has been single species, for fairly obvious reasons.

    Of course, these considerations don't mean CV19 wasn't a GoF creation (or even a biological weapon). Or, indeed, that it wasn't the consequence of something natural (like Ebola, HIV/AIDS, SARS and MERS).

    The reality is that without a confession (or probably multiple confessions), we won't know for sure. And absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    We therefore have to rely on the balance of probabilities.

    But this somewhat misses the point. Whether it was entirely zoonotic in origin, whether it was caused by a bat collector getting bitten, by a vial being broken, or even GoF research, the Chinese government had the opportunity to tell the world of the dangers of CV19, and chose not to.

    They could have followed the Gorbachev Chernobyl response and opened the kimono. They chose not to. They chose to "save face" and in doing so, international travel stayed open both from China, and more generally, for weeks longer than should have been the case. If two doublings had been avoided, the world's death toll from CV19 would have been reduced by 75%. And Delta may not have happened.

    That explicit decision not to open up to the world about what China was seeing with CV19 was a crime, and one that is vastly more serious than whether or not CV19 was a product of GoF research.

    * With the exception of anthrax, which is a bacterial infection.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 13,216
    edited September 2021
    IshmaelZ said:

    I guess I must be missing something. If we know a viral research lab was actively researching novel coronaviruses, and was looking for more funding to create genetically enhanced novel coronaviruses so they can release it in a bat cave, and they were promoting their request for funding on the basis that they'd already made significant progress on genetic enhancement, and then 18 months later, in the same city the lab was located in, a mysterious novel coronavirus breaks out, and the lab says it has nothing to do with them and the virus probably came from a bat cave - perhaps the balance of probability is that it has something to do with the lab?

    I mean, I'm sure they didn't do it deliberately, but surely it can't be scientific to ignore these facts and insist it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus lab?

    You are missing that the bat cave is real and was the original source of the virus for the lab work. There are two possible sources, or more if you sub-divide them so let's not do that. The pandemic could have started with a human getting it from the bats, or it could have come from the lab.
    I have a bottle of Australian wine here, of a type known to be imported and sold by Tesco.

    I could have got it from Tesco, I could have got it from the original source in Australia.

    One is more likely than the other.
    I think we have bored the rest of pb enough.

    NEW THREAD.
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