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James Daulton

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Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

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19 minutes ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

It’s still a theory IMO, but gaining steam.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/25/2021 at 3:37 PM, The Z Machine said:

You're right.  If they didn't have proof that it came from a natural source, the experts should not have made that claim. Or they could have said, "It has an unknown origin that we are trying to determine. "

The one defense i could see is that there had never been lab leak of a manipulated virus before this potential one.  There might not have ever been a lab leak leading to an outbreak of any virus. 

Pretty sure this has happened, multiple times IIRC.

ETA I see others have verified other lab outbreaks

Edited by Terminalxylem
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1 hour ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

Seems that there are three groups within the intelligence community offering the administration an opinion.  Two lean towards the "from the market" theory and one lean "from the lab".  None of these opinions are with much of a "confidence level" and majority of those in these groups ultimately find the available information insufficient to make an actual determination.  I think that is what the second paragraph here states.  I think!

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18 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Seems that there are three groups within the intelligence community offering the administration an opinion.  Two lean towards the "from the market" theory and one lean "from the lab".  None of these opinions are with much of a "confidence level" and majority of those in these groups ultimately find the available information insufficient to make an actual determination.  I think that is what the second paragraph here states.  I think!

I hadn’t read this but that’s basically what I’m seeing in articles I have read. 

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6 hours ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

Let's see where the facts take us, instead of Facebook and Twitter deciding its a conspiracy theory immediately.

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9 hours ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

There's good evidence -- most or all of it circumstantial -- to support the idea that the virus escaped from a lab.  But it's definitely not a settled issue.  I would not be surprised if this theory turned out to be mistaken.  As a layperson, I'd put it at something like a 60/40 proposition.  In other words, I lean in favor of the lab leak theory, but it's really just a lean.

The main issue IMO is the way this was covered for a year and change.  The lab leak theory was completely plausible this time last year.  The problem is that for many people, it's hard to process a nuanced statement like "This thing may have happened, and there's some non-conclusive evidence saying that it might have, but then again it might not have happened too and we should really think of this as just one of several reasonable theories."  If the average person struggles with that sort of thing, fine, I get it. 

But professionals like political leaders, journalists, and the leaders of major health organizations should live and breathe this sort of thing.  They should have absolutely no problem whatsoever handling this kind of nuance.  And (collectively) they completely failed.  Everybody was so worried about granting Tom Cotton a talking point that they took a very hard, completely unnuanced stand on a foggy empirical issue.  Their certainty was based on theology, not evidence.  And they spent a year bullying people and making fun of people who looked at the evidence.  

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:

There's good evidence -- most or all of it circumstantial -- to support the idea that the virus escaped from a lab.  But it's definitely not a settled issue.  I would not be surprised if this theory turned out to be mistaken.  As a layperson, I'd put it at something like a 60/40 proposition.  In other words, I lean in favor of the lab leak theory, but it's really just a lean.

The main issue IMO is the way this was covered for a year and change.  The lab leak theory was completely plausible this time last year.  The problem is that for many people, it's hard to process a nuanced statement like "This thing may have happened, and there's some non-conclusive evidence saying that it might have, but then again it might not have happened too and we should really think of this as just one of several reasonable theories."  If the average person struggles with that sort of thing, fine, I get it. 

But professionals like political leaders, journalists, and the leaders of major health organizations should live and breathe this sort of thing.  They should have absolutely no problem whatsoever handling this kind of nuance.  And (collectively) they completely failed.  Everybody was so worried about granting Tom Cotton a talking point that they took a very hard, completely unnuanced stand on a foggy empirical issue.  Their certainty was based on theology, not evidence.  And they spent a year bullying people and making fun of people who looked at the evidence.  

This is a very rational perspective.  Well stated.

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11 hours ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

It's still a theory...as it was when this whole thing began.  There's more evidence that could be thrown on the pile in favor of it being true.  Reality is, we'll likely never know the answer for certain.  

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45 minutes ago, The Commish said:

It's still a theory...as it was when this whole thing began.  There's more evidence that could be thrown on the pile in favor of it being true.  Reality is, we'll likely never know the answer for certain.  

Read a bit more about it this morning and agree there’s no way we are ever finding out for sure. 

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If we never know for sure that will be simply due to an unwillingness of the international community to fulfill it's responsibility.  It isn't like it's not possible to know for sure.  The U.N. and the WHO continue to prove that they don't offer any value whatsoever.  I have no idea why we continue to support and fund these organizations.

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3 minutes ago, John123 said:

If we never know for sure that will be simply due to an unwillingness of the international community to fulfill it's responsibility.  It isn't like it's not possible to know for sure. 

Forcing China's hand is far from trivial, and probably can't be accomplished without shots being fired.

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8 minutes ago, John123 said:

If we never know for sure that will be simply due to an unwillingness of the international community to fulfill it's responsibility.  It isn't like it's not possible to know for sure.  The U.N. and the WHO continue to prove that they don't offer any value whatsoever.  I have no idea why we continue to support and fund these organizations.

Aren’t there other viruses we don’t know the origin for sure?

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3 minutes ago, John123 said:

If we never know for sure that will be simply due to an unwillingness of the international community to fulfill it's responsibility.  It isn't like it's not possible to know for sure.  The U.N. and the WHO continue to prove that they don't offer any value whatsoever.  I have no idea why we continue to support and fund these organizations.

"We will never know for sure" is just a pivot to the new talking point now that they've been outed as being wrong about it coming from the lab.  

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Aren’t there other viruses we don’t know the origin for sure?

We actually rarely find out where they come from.  Still don't know where MERS came from and 35% of people that got it died.  


We also don't know where SARS came from

Edited by killface
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5 minutes ago, Doug B said:

Forcing China's hand is far from trivial, and probably can't be accomplished without shots being fired.

There are plenty of ways to force their hand without shots being fired.  If the entire international community said "Look, this virus killed x millions of people.  We KNOW it came from China.  We want to know how that happened, and until you are forthcoming and allow us to do a proper investigation without interference you are not welcome in the international community."  Follow that statement up with 100% sanctions on the country.  Completely isolate them.  What, they're going to fire shots because we refuse to do business there?  I mean, I know the NBA would be heartbroken but I don't really care.   This is important and I don't buy the notion that we can't get it done without WWIII. 

But thanks for proving my point.  People letting them off the hook for whatever reason they choose is the only thing keeping us from knowing the truth.

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5 minutes ago, tonydead said:

"We will never know for sure" is just a pivot to the new talking point now that they've been outed as being wrong about it coming from the lab.  

So much ignorance.  Feel free to spend some time learning about virus origins and our success in figuring them out

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12 hours ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

Well.   From what i understand.   

The bat isnt native to the area.   They dont know what animal it jumped to before it jumped to us.

The bat that it supposedly  came from cannot be infected by covid.

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3 minutes ago, tonydead said:

"We will never know for sure" is just a pivot to the new talking point now that they've been outed as being wrong about it coming from the lab

Then why does, say, NIcholas Wade hedge? Can't he just say publicly "Heck yes, we can prove it!"? If not, why?

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1 minute ago, quick-hands said:

Well.   From what i understand.   

The bat isnt native to the area.   They dont know what animal it jumped to before it jumped to us.

The bat that it supposedly  came from cannot be infected by covid.

Is this right?

I’m not going to pretend to get all the science, biology etc. 

But…if you are going to create a cover story I think they’d want to make sure they got that part plausible. 

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Just now, John123 said:

There are plenty of ways to force their hand without shots being fired.  If the entire international community said "Look, this virus killed x millions of people.  We KNOW it came from China.  We want to know how that happened, and until you are forthcoming and allow us to do a proper investigation without interference you are not welcome in the international community."  Follow that statement up with 100% sanctions on the country.  Completely isolate them.

Then they take their manufacturing capacity and their rare earth metals and go home. See also: Saudi Arabia, oil.

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2 minutes ago, The General said:

Is this right?

I’m not going to pretend to get all the science, biology etc. 

But…if you are going to create a cover story I think they’d want to make sure they got that part plausible. 

Or not let anyone near the data.   

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Just now, quick-hands said:

They do know that it infected camels and jumped to humans.

But they don't know the origins of the virus.  

"current scientific evidence suggests that dromedary camels are a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of dromedaries in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown."

This is after 20 years of research as well.

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2 minutes ago, The General said:

Is this right?

I’m not going to pretend to get all the science, biology etc. 

But…if you are going to create a cover story I think they’d want to make sure they got that part plausible. 

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00502-4

I'm in the boat that the pendulum is just swinging way back right now.  Now all the stories are about it being in the lab.  Good chance the news is going to be just as wrong again.

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2 minutes ago, Doug B said:

Then they take their manufacturing capacity and their rare earth metals and go home. See also: Saudi Arabia, oil.

I'm fine with that.  And did you know the U.S. became a net exporter of oil under Trump?  We had no need for oil from anyone.  I'm no Trump fan, but I prefer people like him and Elon Musk who look for how to get things done as opposed to those who look for excuses for not doing so.  Everyone makes excuse after excuse for not getting things done.  It's crazy.

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3 minutes ago, killface said:

But they don't know the origins of the virus.  

"current scientific evidence suggests that dromedary camels are a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of dromedaries in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown."

This is after 20 years of research as well.

Yep.    Im cool with stuff happens in nature.    And i think they actually tried to establish its origins.   Its good to know stuff like that.

You would think the chinese would want to know and have all hands on deck.   They didnt.   

Im willing to accept either.  

 

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3 minutes ago, quick-hands said:

Or not let anyone near the data.   

Yeah that is never going to happen.

The part about the bat not being able to get this covid strain just seems like something that is being misunderstood. If you have to make up a cover story that part kind of seems like something they would have figured out.

 

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5 minutes ago, killface said:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00502-4

I'm in the boat that the pendulum is just swinging way back right now.  Now all the stories are about it being in the lab.  Good chance the news is going to be just as wrong again.

Yeah. The things I’m reading still say stuff like “unlikely” but are much less dismissive than back last year.

 

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Just now, quick-hands said:

Yep.    Im cool with stuff happens in nature.    And i think they actually tried to establish its origins.   Its good to know stuff like that.

You would think the chinese would want to know and have all hands on deck.   They didnt.   

Im willing to accept either.  

 

The Chinese don't want any bad press at all.  As was seen, they tried to hide the fact that it was even circulating within the borders of their own country for quite some time.  It's an awful regime that will do anything to save face.  

That being said, scientifically, the most probably cause is most likely still animal transmission.  Covid viruses are zoonotic in nature.  This is not a rare occurrence.  It happens lots.  If China did things right at the beginning this blows over the way SARS and MERS did

 

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Just now, The General said:

Yeah. The things I’m reading still say stuff like “unlikely” but are much less dismissive than back last year.

 

Well you can see what I wrote below but I don't think it's ever been a 'no' to the lab leak theory in the scientific community.  It's just that transmission of these viruses from animals to human is very common.  That is often the pathway.  

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29 minutes ago, killface said:

Well you can see what I wrote below but I don't think it's ever been a 'no' to the lab leak theory in the scientific community.  It's just that transmission of these viruses from animals to human is very common.  That is often the pathway.  

It's worth noting that one way a virus might jump from bats to humans is if humans spend a bunch of time around bats.  Like exploring their caves, collecting their droppings, etc. The kind of stuff that people who research bat coronaviruses might do.  

Some sort of scenario along those lines would probably fall technically under the "zoonotic" category but also bring WIV into the picture too.  Not disagreeing with you -- just pointing out that the two competing theories are as mutually exclusive as some might think,

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10 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

It's worth noting that one way a virus might jump from bats to humans is if humans spend a bunch of time around bats.  Like exploring their caves, collecting their droppings, etc. The kind of stuff that people who research bat coronaviruses might do.  

Some sort of scenario along those lines would probably fall technically under the "zoonotic" category but also bring WIV into the picture too.  Not disagreeing with you -- just pointing out that the two competing theories are as mutually exclusive as some might think,

Absolutely a possibility.  Also possible that it went from bat to intermediary host to humans.  

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Posted (edited)

I've heard some folks minimize the idea people who suggested the virus was man made or came from a lab were labeled as conspiracy theorists or crackpots. That's exactly how I remember it. 

Facebook just recently stopped banning comments that suggest the virus was man made and did not naturally occur. 

From that noted right wing mouthpiece ;) , Politico: Facebook no longer treating 'man-made' Covid as a crackpot idea :shrug: 

 

Edited by Joe Bryant
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2 hours ago, sho nuff said:

Aren’t there other viruses we don’t know the origin for sure?

Yes.  It is not settled which animal host Ebola came from despite 30 years looking for it.

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To the extent that we may not know the origin of every virus, that's not because of the active actions of a nation that doesn't want the origin known.  I could live with us not finding the origin of this virus if we had all the data and just couldn't form a conclusion.  But the ONLY reason we don't know where and how this thing got loose and killed 3.5 million people is because China is not being forthcoming. 

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22 minutes ago, John123 said:

To the extent that we may not know the origin of every virus, that's not because of the active actions of a nation that doesn't want the origin known.  I could live with us not finding the origin of this virus if we had all the data and just couldn't form a conclusion.  But the ONLY reason we don't know where and how this thing got loose and killed 3.5 million people is because China is not being forthcoming. 

Does China even know?

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4 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Does China even know?

Well, they're keeping whatever they know under wraps.  Based upon everything I've read, I believe they've been dishonest with the world and know exactly where this thing originated.

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15 hours ago, The General said:

Has the virus escaped from the lab theory now gotten a bit in front of itself at this point?

While it was dismissed out of hand early this year now it seems it’s being accepted as fact but everything I’m seeing is still saying it is a theory still.

For the folks who have really been reading / posting on this a lot is this fair? 

Definitely not proven, but it's now being talked about as a legitimate theory, which is all that many of us have been asking for.  From my own standpoint I think the genetic evidence is a smoking gun but Science rightfully remains skeptical and will slowly work its way toward the ultimate truth.  Read the Wade article if you can.  It's a great read, and it takes about an hour, but it is fascinating and does a great job comparing both theories.  

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14 minutes ago, John123 said:

Well, they're keeping whatever they know under wraps.  Based upon everything I've read, I believe they've been dishonest with the world and know exactly where this thing originated.

I can’t argue that your view is wrong, but would we really expect China to be honest if they didn’t know?  Would they risk that someone else found out first by sharing?  My answers to those questions are why I think being less than transparent isn’t much of a clue either way.

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53 minutes ago, John123 said:

To the extent that we may not know the origin of every virus, that's not because of the active actions of a nation that doesn't want the origin known.  I could live with us not finding the origin of this virus if we had all the data and just couldn't form a conclusion.  But the ONLY reason we don't know where and how this thing got loose and killed 3.5 million people is because China is not being forthcoming. 

I don't know how to square your 2 statements.  If it's difficult or sometimes impossible to determine with all the data being transparent, China withholding information cannot be the ONLY reason we don't know the origin.

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Just now, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I can’t argue that your view is wrong, but would we really expect China to be honest if they didn’t know?  Would they risk that someone else found out first by sharing?  My answers to those questions are why I think being less than transparent isn’t much of a clue either way.

I don't want their transparency.  I want their cooperation.  I think it's the least we can expect when the one thing we know is that a virus that killed 3.5 million people and infected 100's of millions more originated in their country. 

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3 hours ago, Doug B said:

Then why does, say, NIcholas Wade hedge? Can't he just say publicly "Heck yes, we can prove it!"? If not, why?

That's not how Wade operates.  He's probably the best Science journalist on the planet, and his pieces reflect a bit of a scientific approach where the evidence is laid out with opinions kept to a minimum. 

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1 minute ago, The Z Machine said:

I don't know how to square your 2 statements.  If it's difficult or sometimes impossible to determine with all the data being transparent, China withholding information cannot be the ONLY reason we don't know the origin.

Their lack of cooperation would be the other.  If they can't figure it out they should at least let those who might be able to give it a try.

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5 minutes ago, John123 said:
7 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

I don't know how to square your 2 statements.  If it's difficult or sometimes impossible to determine with all the data being transparent, China withholding information cannot be the ONLY reason we don't know the origin.

Their lack of cooperation would be the other.  If they can't figure it out they should at least let those who might be able to give it a try.

Look, I'm not trying to give China a pass here.  They absolutely should cooperate and they should be transparent, but that's like asking them to allow dissent among their people.  It's not how they work.

That doesn't mean we (collective, humanity) would find the answers we seek.  It's quite possible that there wasn't a lab leak and that we will not find the intermediate species (could be multiple) that allowed a zoonotic virus to mutate into SARS-CoV-2.

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I would add that China has absolutely nothing to gain from being transparent here.  They might have to expose some inner workings of their state apparatus, or disclose some classified data that they have been collecting.  Or there was a leak and it can be proven and they lose a ton of face for causing a massive pandemic that killed over a million and crashed the economy. 

Instead, they keep their mouths and doors shut and at worst they get the stink-eye, lose international funding and prestige, and have people worldwide think that they are shady.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, my reading of China is that if you ask them what time it is, they would deny that they had a clock.  The fact that they're stonewalling all investigation is just what China does.  It doesn't mean anything except that China's government is a ####, and we already knew that.  

That said, I think China definitely knows whether this was a lab leak or not.  It's very difficult for me to imagine that the Chinese government is somehow unaware of what was happening at WIV.  They probably would have been alerted to an accidental escape, but it not, the authoritarian police state definitely would have looked into their bat coronavirus research facility very early on in the pandemic, if for no other reason than to engineer the aforementioned stonewall.  

Edited by IvanKaramazov
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39 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

That said, I think China definitely knows whether this was a lab leak or not.  It's very difficult for me to imagine that the Chinese government is somehow unaware of what was happening at WIV.  They probably would have been alerted to an accidental escape, but it not, the authoritarian police state definitely would have looked into their bat coronavirus research facility very early on in the pandemic, if for no other reason than to engineer the aforementioned stonewall.  

The outside world will never know that unless there's espionage that can show internal communications on this topic.  It's also not in the interest of those that conduct the espionage to put that info into the public domain as it could lead back to their sources and techniques.  The intelligence people have no incentive to make that information public.  

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