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So... What if China's Wuhan Institute of Virology did leak covid-19?

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brycejones

Lifer
Oct 18, 2005
20,570
12,231
136
Shilling for your CCP overlords I see. I cant believe you don't see the value in finding out if a Chinese government lab was so irresponsible they caused a global pandemic. Ill spell it out for you: Preventing the next one.
Plonk
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
19,558
1,317
136
As a recent oped in MedPage Today (or maybe MedScape) put it:

If it came from a wet market, fix wet markets and improve BSL 3/4 safety.

If it got out of the lab setting, fox wet markets and improve BSL 3/4 safety.

How the pandemic came to be doesn't change how many fucked up the response. People are latching into lab leak as a way to wag their fingers at China and forget their own culpability in the disaster that unfolded.
That is it. We never dealt with it effectively, and the finger pointing just distracts from that. We needed to do this first:


Then hash it all out.
 
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ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
2,160
813
106
Argh. I think my brain is full. Can I be excused? I can't read that many words. It's too many. Someone figure it out, come up with a definitive explanation and let me know.
A lot of speculation and innuendo, short on facts, so the condensed version is "nobody really knows, we probably never will, and if we did find out it was an accidental release, how would that change anything?"
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,985
14,146
136
And a weak mind gets butthurt. I could just as easily say that you're shilling for incompetent and corrupt politicians who are desperate to find some external blame so that people don't see how incompetent and corrupt they are. And just FYI: keeping such weak leaders in power (or electing them back into power) won't protect us from the next one anymore that they did this last one.
You're dealing with people who won't believe anything the Chinese say, not any more than they'll believe Trump lost the election. It's all the motivated reasoning of conspiracy theory, all the time. Birtherism. Ben-fucking-ghazi. But her emails. Antifas assaulted the Capitol. Liberate Michigan.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,985
14,146
136
A lot of speculation and innuendo, short on facts, so the condensed version is "nobody really knows, we probably never will, and if we did find out it was an accidental release, how would that change anything?"
We'll have somebody to blame other than ourselves & our failed leadership through it all.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
8,196
3,194
136
A lot of speculation and innuendo, short on facts, so the condensed version is "nobody really knows, we probably never will, and if we did find out it was an accidental release, how would that change anything?"

Well, I think if it was such a case, that could stir up public opinion to oppose such research, (with the proviso that would matter only insofar as it's carried out or funded by countries that have reason to care about public opinion).

I mean, the point, for me, would be less that "it was China" and more "it was scientific research". It would be 'science' that would have its reputation damaged, not China (which doesn't have much of one to lose).
 
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Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,985
14,146
136
Well, I think if it was such a case, that could stir up public opinion to oppose such research, (with the proviso that would matter only insofar as it's carried out or funded by countries that have reason to care about public opinion).

I mean, the point, for me, would be less that "it was China" and more "it was scientific research". It would be 'science' that would have its reputation damaged, not China (which doesn't have much of one to lose).
Gotta get that China bashing in there, huh?
 

ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
2,160
813
106
Well, I think if it was such a case, that could stir up public opinion to oppose such research, (with the proviso that would matter only insofar as it's carried out or funded by countries that have reason to care about public opinion).

I mean, the point, for me, would be less that "it was China" and more "it was scientific research". It would be 'science' that would have its reputation damaged, not China (which doesn't have much of one to lose).
Either way I think that type of research will come under very heavy scrutiny. I personally have mixed feelings if it is worth the danger. For sure it seems intemperate to fund programs for which we dont have direct control of the safety measures. OTOH, the Wuhan lab is much closer to possible hotspots, so it would be logical for them to conduct the studies.

Edit: The dangers of accidental release of a modified pathogen are obvious, but I dont have enough information about the possible benefits to know if it is worth the danger.
 

Matt390

Member
Jun 7, 2019
87
38
61
You're dealing with people who won't believe anything the Chinese say, not any more than they'll believe Trump lost the election. It's all the motivated reasoning of conspiracy theory, all the time. Birtherism. Ben-fucking-ghazi. But her emails. Antifas assaulted the Capitol. Liberate Michigan.
Im a registered Democrat and voted for Obama and Biden. My mail in ballot never arrived when I was protecting your freedom overseas in 2016.
 
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pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
8,196
3,194
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Gotta get that China bashing in there, huh?
You seem weirdly partisan/touchy about China. Why is that?

You really think the current regime is defensible, given its treatment of the Uighurs and behaviour in Tibet? And its level of corruption? It's also not 'socialist' in any meaningful way.

I used to have a workmate who was a Chinese citizen (who was still an idealistic believer in Maoism, apparently to the great dismay of his own parents, who'd lived through the Cultural revolution...though I had sympathy with his idealism, even if I couldn't share it, as his politics weren't a million miles away from those I was raised with - prefered his misguided idealism to the openly conservative nationalism of the other PRC citizen I knew). Said workmate ruefully admitted he knew far more socialists here in the West than he had back home, where he was regarded a a bit of an oddball for still believing in all that stuff about economic equality.

I wish I could feel at all positive about that regime, but I can't. It has all the worst political features that arose from "actual existing socialism" combined with the economic inequality of red-in-tooth-and-claw (even social-Darwinist) capitalism. To me it looks more like Pinochet's Chile than anything Marx would recognise.

But, in any case, that's a side-issue. I was more arguing with science-fans than China-apologists. For me the shocking element of this having come out of a lab (if it did - I really can't make sense of the discussions) is what it would say about the actual existing practice of Science. Science itself would have a case to answer if it caused this scale of catastrophe.

It would go beyond mundane practical issues like regulation and health & safety rules, it would raise the question of just how arrogant have the credentialed technocrat classes become? If it were proven to have escaped from a lab, I wonder if maybe that technocrat class might face a global backlash? A backlash which would itself probably have a lot of negative effects. I'm in two-minds really as to whether it might be better not to know.
 
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Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,985
14,146
136
You seem weirdly partisan/touchy about China. Why is that?

You really think the current regime is defensible, given its treatment of the Uighurs and behaviour in Tibet? And its level of corruption? It's also not 'socialist' in any meaningful way.

I used to have a workmate who was a Chinese citizen (who was still an idealistic believer in Maoism, apparently to the great dismay of his own parents, who'd lived through the Cultural revolution...though I had sympathy with his idealism, even if I couldn't share it, as his politics weren't a million miles away from those I was raised with - prefered his misguided idealism to the openly conservative nationalism of the other PRC citizen I knew). Said workmate ruefully admitted he knew far more socialists here in the West than he had back home, where he was regarded a a bit of an oddball for still believing in all that stuff about economic equality.

I wish I could feel at all positive about that regime, but I can't. It has all the worst political features that arose from "actual existing socialism" combined with the economic inequality of red-in-tooth-and-claw (even social-Darwinist) capitalism. To me it looks more like Pinochet's Chile than anything Marx would recognise.

But, in any case, that's a side-issue. I was more arguing with science-fans than China-apologists. For me the shocking element of this having come out of a lab (if it did - I really can't make sense of the discussions) is what it would say about the actual existing practice of Science. Science itself would have a case to answer if it caused this scale of catastrophe.

It would go beyond mundane practical issues like regulation and health & safety rules, it would raise the question of just how arrogant have the credentialed technocrat classes become? If it were proven to have escaped from a lab, I wonder if maybe that technocrat class might face a global backlash? A backlash which would itself probably have a lot of negative effects. I'm in two-minds really as to whether it might be better not to know.
And now with off topic bashing. There is no credible evidence that Covid is an enhanced pathogen or that it escaped from the Wuhan lab, merely supposition & innuendo. That's why you can't make sense of the discussions, because it's an exercise in flooding the zone with shit.
 
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cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
16,035
5,959
136
And now with off topic bashing. There is no credible evidence that Covid is an enhanced pathogen or that it escaped from the Wuhan lab, merely supposition & innuendo. That's why you can't make sense of the discussions, because it's an exercise in flooding the zone with shit.
This is getting a some1 vibe...
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
8,196
3,194
136
I mean, it seems as if there's an insoluble problem there. You _need_ specialists and experts, but as soon as you create them you've created a class - with it's own class-interests, that it's liable to put ahead of the common good.

It's the reason why Trotsky came up with political commissars - as a way to try and keep an eye on all these industrial and military specialists that were essential to a functioning military and industry, but also not entirely-to-be-trusted. That didn't work, because those commissars were generally too ignorant about the field they were supposed to be keeping an eye on to do anything useful, and you ended up with ideology taking priority over reality (e.g. Lysenkoism).

But you see the self-interest of the 'expert class' all the time - as in the financial crisis, where the only people who really knew what was going on had a vested-interest in not telling anyone about it.

Just doesn't seem like there's any solution to the problem.
 
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Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
28,139
3,470
126
I mean, it seems as if there's an insoluble problem there. You _need_ specialists and experts, but as soon as you create them you've created a class - with it's own class-interests, that it's liable to put ahead of the common good.

It's the reason why Trotsky came up with political commissars - as a way to try and keep an eye on all these industrial and military specialists that were essential to a functioning military and industry, but also not entirely-to-be-trusted. That didn't work, because those commissars were generally too ignorant about the field they were supposed to be keeping an eye on to do anything useful, and you ended up with ideology taking priority over reality (e.g. Lysenkoism).

But you see the self-interest of the 'expert class' all the time - as in the financial crisis, where the only people who really knew what was going on had a vested-interest in not telling anyone about it.

Just doesn't seem like there's any solution to the problem.
my opinion is that it's a cultural problem. america very much has a "FYGM" culture. Some people might call it "bootstraps". While they are technically separate, in practice the venn diagram of those two is far too overlapping IMO. Thus the collective reticence to things like universal healthcare, universal higher education (even if it's only community colleges..that's HUGE!). individuality and independence trump (sigh) collective benefit, despite the fact that those very individuals benefit (sometimes very much so) when we do things for the collective good.
 
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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,189
8,772
126
And now with off topic bashing. There is no credible evidence that Covid is an enhanced pathogen or that it escaped from the Wuhan lab, merely supposition & innuendo. That's why you can't make sense of the discussions, because it's an exercise in flooding the zone with shit.
The real irony is that the shit being spread here, that one must accept an improbable scenario without question or face accusations of being sympathetic to an enemy of the state, is itself the very basis of authoritarian groupthink.
 
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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,189
8,772
126
Im a registered Democrat and voted for Obama and Biden. My mail in ballot never arrived when I was protecting your freedom overseas in 2016.
You do realize that almost every right-winger parroting right-wing extremist propaganda on this forum claims to a registered Democrat, right?
It's an troll tactic intended to make Trump-supporting right-wing extremism appear moderate. It doesn't ever work, of course, except as misdirection.
 
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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,189
8,772
126
my opinion is that it's a cultural problem. america very much has a "FYGM" culture. Some people might call it "bootstraps". While they are technically separate, in practice the venn diagram of those two is far too overlapping IMO. Thus the collective reticence to things like universal healthcare, universal higher education (even if it's only community colleges..that's HUGE!). individuality and independence trump (sigh) collective benefit, despite the fact that those very individuals benefit (sometimes very much so) when we do things for the collective good.
You're overthinking it. Right-wingers want socialism and govt handouts just as much as left-wingers do. The only actual difference between the 2 groups is that left-wingers want those benefits for everyone while right-wingers want them for themselves only. And in fact, all of their FYGM anti-socialism rhetoric is nothing more than distraction designed to discourage people from trying to get govt handouts so that there's more for them.
 

Svnla

Lifer
Nov 10, 2003
17,916
1,362
126
CBS 60 Minutes did another update story about the origin of the virus tonight. Call for a full and unrestricted investigation by experts, not the chaperon field trip a few months ago (1/2021) by WHO with permission by the comie chinese government (no access to raw data/information whatsoever and with government agents in all the meetings).

......China is digging in, saying it considers the investigation in its country complete and that any further inquiry should focus on other countries, including the United States.
What happened in Wuhan? Why questions still linger on the origin of the coronavirus - 60 Minutes - CBS News

.
 
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Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
28,139
3,470
126
Im a registered Democrat and voted for Obama and Biden. My mail in ballot never arrived when I was protecting your freedom overseas in 2016.
so who exactly was attacking us in 2016? did i miss the part where we declared war against a particular nation-state?

"defending freedom" and "imperialism" have a very large common area in a venn diagram. i encourage you to ask where you were, and currently are, sitting in that diagram. video games like Broforce and Helldivers do a wonderful job of mocking/satirizing american exceptionalism and imperialism and the idea of "defending freedom".

2003 me was absolutely in favor of invading iraq. 2021 me admittedly has the benefit of hindsight, but going forward, being a lone imperialist is not beneficial for us in any manner. "america first" is truly "america last". the strength of our country lies in its combination of domestic capability and strong international economic and military ties. take either way, and our international presence greatly diminishes.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
105,804
20,668
136
I don't have time to go into more details for the rest of the comments, but this statement highlights misunderstanding of the author regarding the biology of SARS-CoV-2. A furin cleavage site has been identified in other coronaviruses including MERS and HKU1. Both of those are within the beta coronavirus clade that includes SARS-CoV-2. The finding of a furin cleavage site in other naturally occurring and related coronaviruses that infect humans is not a surprising finding. To suggest it isn't naturally found in other related coronaviruses is false, and to suggest any furin cleavage site is evidence of genetic engineering is not based on any facts.



Science hasn't reached a point in which scientists can string together engineered sequences of nucleotides or amino acids to fully create a new protein. Such a process would take currently years of failed attempts to engineer a protein. If a lab was going to engineer a virus, you would find long regions of the virus that match 100% with other viruses. That doesn't occur with SARS-CoV-2. CoV-2 even has unique sequences, within the receptor binding domain that make it different from the pangolin coronavirus.

Even a 1% difference in nucleotides between coronaviruses is a significant difference. For coronaviruses that means 300 nucleotides are divergent.
uh, we do create proteins from engineered nucleotides all the time--It's how transgenics work. The most ubiquitous tool, GFP, is used in most transgenics to induce your target to create GFP (green fluorescent protein--originally synthesized from jelly fish) at whatever active site you targeted in that animal. Surely, those semi-famous frogs with glowing eyes don't naturally have the fluorescent protein from jelly fish without human intervention, no?

We move homologous gene regions from one creature to another all of the time, in order to make new proteins in our model critter. We can even transfer little strings of mRNA into critters (from other critters), to try and get that critter to generate that protein; in the event that we have also knocked out that same protein in the same critter (common rescue experiment to confirm function and result of your gene of interest). These are decades old tools, that aren't that different from how the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines work.
 

Matt390

Member
Jun 7, 2019
87
38
61
so who exactly was attacking us in 2016? did i miss the part where we declared war against a particular nation-state?

"defending freedom" and "imperialism" have a very large common area in a venn diagram. i encourage you to ask where you were, and currently are, sitting in that diagram. video games like Broforce and Helldivers do a wonderful job of mocking/satirizing american exceptionalism and imperialism and the idea of "defending freedom".

2003 me was absolutely in favor of invading iraq. 2021 me admittedly has the benefit of hindsight, but going forward, being a lone imperialist is not beneficial for us in any manner. "america first" is truly "america last". the strength of our country lies in its combination of domestic capability and strong international economic and military ties. take either way, and our international presence greatly diminishes.

We were literally fighting ISIS.
 

Matt390

Member
Jun 7, 2019
87
38
61
If you were overseas then you assuredly weren’t protecting my freedom. The dangers to my freedom are all from genuine 100% home grown American fascism.

Lmao, if we let ISIS establish a state, they would have launched a terrorist attack on US soil just like 9/11.
 

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