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Member since: Sun Feb 14, 2016, 06:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,756

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much more at link:


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

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


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

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

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

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


Recognize this guy? "EagleMan" insurrectionist FBI #138

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

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

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


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

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

Former guy could arguably make that claim.

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

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

Pandemic response needs to be Federal. Period.

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

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

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

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

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

That should never be forgotten nor forgiven. Ever!

My greatest hope for Garland

is that he does something(s) so stunningly monumental, that Mitch and the GOP deeply and sincerely regret not having seated him on the SCOTUS instead.

Will the Prosecution bring up Trump's well-documented history of encouraging violence

by his followers?

I've lost count of the number of times we've heard Trump encouraging his rally attendees to inflict violence upon anti-Trump people in the audience.

Remember how he promised to pay their legal fees?

Hopefully, they'll show a video compilation of these events.

Let's keep a tight hold on that Congress, ok folks?

Hold it like your very life depends on it.

Let every future election follow the pattern and strategy set forth in the Georgia runoff.

Never again. Mitch shall NEVER again in his life control the Senate.

Help make it so, DU!

These 2A die-hards made the strongest argument against their needing guns

Don't they always say that they need their arsenals to defend against tyranny?

And didn't they manage to storm the Capitol without firearms, coming a hair's width from actually capturing and perhaps killing many government high-ranking officials??

Apart from their rank incompetence and utter buffoonishness, didn't they mount an insurrection, and nearly actually accomplish a coup d'etat???

And is there any doubt, that had they shown up armed to the teeth, they'd have been stopped a mile away from the Capitol, would have never even been able to step a foot on the grounds????


Because it seems that way to me.
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