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Covid II: Medical Info and Implications


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There are several reasons that was an opinion piece.

There is one reason to suspect the virus might have been engineered but there are also several aspects of the virus to suggest it was a virus that jumped from animals to humans. The balance of the evidence has always been in favor of it being a normal species jump outbreak.

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1 hour ago, rodheadlee said:

Yeah, right. 

That is fair. I should have put a proviso on that. Append this to the end of the last sentence:

“....unless of course you listen to media outlets that are falsely reporting about what Fauci said and who have taken it as proven that the virus was engineered in which case reason and evidence are useless so why bother with it? NUKE CHINA NOW!”

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5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

That is fair. I should have put a proviso on that. Append this to the end of the last sentence:

“....unless of course you listen to media outlets that are falsely reporting about what Fauci said and who have taken it as proven that the virus was engineered in which case reason and evidence are useless so why bother with it? NUKE CHINA NOW!”

Or if you had Covid-19 in November 2019.

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9 hours ago, smac97 said:

 

Wow.  I wonder what the ramifications will be if COVID turns out to have been an engineered virus.

Thanks,

-Smac

And it isn't just the Chinese doing it. That is the scary part. 

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10 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Or if you had Covid-19 in November 2019.

What would that prove? It is generally believed that the virus was circulating in humans for months (usually estimated to at least September or October of 2019) before the first identified outbreaks in December.

If you are referring to the workers at the lab that reportedly had flu-like symptoms the blood tests done didn’t show them having Covid antibodies. Now I suppose you could say that is part of the coverup but that isn’t evidence. It is just pleading conspiracy to cover up a lack of it. If it was grown in a lab it is questionable whether it will ever be proven to be so. China wouldn’t admit guilt if it were the case and that is not the kind of data that it is easy to acquire via espionage.

Whether anyone should be doing the kind of biowarfare studies the Wuhan lab and labs all over the world do is a good question. Is it worth the risks?

Unfortunately it is more likely that this is just humans refusing to believe that something this cataclysmic could happen by chance. It is strangely comforting to believe that something that had this kind of a profound effect on the world had to be due to the negligence or maliciousness of humans. It is why conspiracy theories are comforting. They take away how cruel the world itself can be and puts that cruelty on human actors. It also shifts any blame from leadership to a foreign power. Then there are the groups in the US  and around the world that stand to make fortunes if the West decides to do some old-fashioned saber-rattling with China.

A better discussion would be to pour the millions or billions needed to come up with better ways to head off these kinds of incidents. That may seem excessive until you look at the trillions lost due to the pandemic. That cost ignores the lives lost as well.

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22 minutes ago, juliann said:

And it isn't just the Chinese doing it. That is the scary part. 

And it is amazing what they can do now. One lab in the US managed to recreate what they believe was the Spanish Flu that caused the last major worldwide pandemic. While there are all kinds of benefits to studying it do we really want it floating around out there? One problem we have is a lot of the stuff that has been developed we have no idea how deadly it would be. There is no real way of knowing without testing and that has (obviously) all kinds of ethical issues.

This speaks against an intentional Chinese release. There is no way they could know how virulent or what the fatality rate would be like without a LOT of human testing. One element that speaks against an accidental release is that the coronavirus is not closely related to any of the diseases they were reportedly studying. They could have studied additional viruses in secret but why? Studying a coronavirus is not horrific or even unusual and if the leak was accidental there would be no reason beforehand not to mention you were studying it.

All labs studying biowarfare insist they are experimenting in biodefense and not with the intent of creating weapons but the reality is that the two activities are almost indistinguishable. There is a real possibility that if our knowledge of biology and how viruses interact with it that we could see some really scary weapons. Imagine a disease targeted for the DNA of the Uighur population or some other minority. Imagine a targeted eugenic weapon designed to eliminate the inferior by targeting certain kinds of DNA coding. If we knew enough racial, ethnic, and even things like susceptibility to disease or even some forms of raw intelligence may be able to be selected.

In short, the future is likely to be horrible. Sweet dreams!

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39 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

What would that prove? It is generally believed that the virus was circulating in humans for months (usually estimated to at least September or October of 2019) before the first identified outbreaks in December.

If you are referring to the workers at the lab that reportedly had flu-like symptoms the blood tests done didn’t show them having Covid antibodies. Now I suppose you could say that is part of the coverup but that isn’t evidence. It is just pleading conspiracy to cover up a lack of it. If it was grown in a lab it is questionable whether it will ever be proven to be so. China wouldn’t admit guilt if it were the case and that is not the kind of data that it is easy to acquire via espionage.

Whether anyone should be doing the kind of biowarfare studies the Wuhan lab and labs all over the world do is a good question. Is it worth the risks?

Unfortunately it is more likely that this is just humans refusing to believe that something this cataclysmic could happen by chance. It is strangely comforting to believe that something that had this kind of a profound effect on the world had to be due to the negligence or maliciousness of humans. It is why conspiracy theories are comforting. They take away how cruel the world itself can be and puts that cruelty on human actors. It also shifts any blame from leadership to a foreign power. Then there are the groups in the US  and around the world that stand to make fortunes if the West decides to do some old-fashioned saber-rattling with China.

A better discussion would be to pour the millions or billions needed to come up with better ways to head off these kinds of incidents. That may seem excessive until you look at the trillions lost due to the pandemic. That cost ignores the lives lost as well.

I had in November 2019. It just  proves they are liars. Nothing more, nothing less. Except the odds are better that they are lying about the rest of it. 

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1 minute ago, rodheadlee said:

had in November 2019.

What makes you certain of this?  Not debating it, just curious. 

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22 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

And it is amazing what they can do now. One lab in the US managed to recreate what they believe was the Spanish Flu that caused the last major worldwide pandemic. While there are all kinds of benefits to studying it do we really want it floating around out there? One problem we have is a lot of the stuff that has been developed we have no idea how deadly it would be. There is no real way of knowing without testing and that has (obviously) all kinds of ethical issues.

This speaks against an intentional Chinese release. There is no way they could know how virulent or what the fatality rate would be like without a LOT of human testing. One element that speaks against an accidental release is that the coronavirus is not closely related to any of the diseases they were reportedly studying. They could have studied additional viruses in secret but why? Studying a coronavirus is not horrific or even unusual and if the leak was accidental there would be no reason beforehand not to mention you were studying it.

All labs studying biowarfare insist they are experimenting in biodefense and not with the intent of creating weapons but the reality is that the two activities are almost indistinguishable. There is a real possibility that if our knowledge of biology and how viruses interact with it that we could see some really scary weapons. Imagine a disease targeted for the DNA of the Uighur population or some other minority. Imagine a targeted eugenic weapon designed to eliminate the inferior by targeting certain kinds of DNA coding. If we knew enough racial, ethnic, and even things like susceptibility to disease or even some forms of raw intelligence may be able to be selected.

In short, the future is likely to be horrible. Sweet dreams!

I knew we were actually living through the plot of a dystopian novel. The next chapter reveals the  next pandemic will be much worse.

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7 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

I had in November 2019. It just  proves they are liars. Nothing more, nothing less. Except the odds are better that they are lying about the rest of it. 

That doesn’t establish that anyone is a liar.

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1 minute ago, bsjkki said:

I knew we were actually living through the plot of a dystopian novel. The next chapter reveals the  next pandemic will be much worse.

Hopefully though we can change it up a bit first. A war or a huge economic collapse. Then follow up with the next pandemic and as we all pray for death the super volcano under Yellowstone blows to bring us the sweet release of extinction. Or a gamma ray burst from a binary star system hits. You know, whatever. I am not picky.

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

What makes you certain of this?  Not debating it, just curious. 

I was sicker than a dog and i had a flu shot the month before. I never got tested or anything but i would have liked to have been able to afford an antibody test. I was so feverish i was talking in tongues. I get a flu shot every year since I turned 60. I'm 68. We'll never know the scientific truth of it. 

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4 hours ago, juliann said:

And it isn't just the Chinese doing it. That is the scary part. 

Trying to avoid the introduction into this discussion of pointless political sniping, I do think there is a very interesting medical question here: will it be harder to eradicate/control a virus that was developed via gain-of-function research? I haven't seen much on this yet, but I expect to see more.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, juliann said:
Quote

Wow.  I wonder what the ramifications will be if COVID turns out to have been an engineered virus.

And it isn't just the Chinese doing it. That is the scary part. 

The scriptures have a number of references to "wars, and rumors of wars."  I have not really given these passages much study.  There are a few reasons for this. 

First, they seem a bit susceptible "down the rabbit hole" alarmism.  I've seen instances of people putting undue emphasis on these passages.  There are many ways to "wrest the scriptures" (D&C 10:63), one of which is to "have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge," to be "ignorant of God’s righteousness" while "going about to establish their own righteousness, hav{ing} not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."  (Romans 10:2-3).  I think Julie Rowe, Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow, and others have illustrated just how off track people can go if they obsess over these things.

Second, we are told in conjunction with some of these passages to "be ye not troubled" (Mark 13:7, also Matt. 24:6, D&C 45:26-35). We are told "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:30.)  We have been told to anticipate "wars and rumors of wars" not because we are to respond in fear, but rather to not respond in fear, or to be "troubled."

Third, given the foregoing, and also given that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20), I try to view these things by keeping an eye on the Brethren.  I don't think they are individually infallible, but I think their cumulative counsel will guide us right.  Consider, for example, this stabilizing and sound counsel from then-Elder Oaks (in 2012) :

Quote

LDS apostle tells Mormons: Stock up on food, not ammo
Following Faith by Peggy Fletcher Stack

Published September 17, 2012 2:29 pm

LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks cautioned Mormons against joining or supporting "right-wing groups who mistakenly apply prophecies about the last days to promote efforts to form paramilitary or other organizations."

Such groups could "undermine the authority of public officials," Oaks said Sunday at a regional Mormon conference broadcast from the Marriott Center on Brigham Young University's Provo campus, "in the event of extraordinary emergencies or even in cases of simple disagreement with government policy."

Latter-day Saints should not "substitute [their] own organizations for the political and military authorities put in place by constitutional government and processes," the apostle said.

After all, the LDS Church's food-storage program is about amassing a year's supply of food and water, Oaks reminded the thousands watching in the giant arena, not "arms and ammunition."

That said, I have on occasion wondered what "rumors of wars" means.  I have previously surmised that since we live in such an interconnected world, that interconnectivity may break down.  The Internet, cell phones, and other technologies that link us together, that facilitate the flow of information around the world instantaneously, are pretty fragile.  Less than an hour ago the AP publised this article: Global glitch: Swaths of internet go down after cloud outage.

But I wonder if the "rumors of wars" has more to do with surreptitious, plausibly deniable acts of "war."  

From January 2021: China denies coronavirus leaked from Wuhan lab, says global outbreaks caused pandemic

From March 2021: Chinese expert says COVID-19 origin research excludes lab leak, denies conflicts within WHO-China team

From May 2021: To the bat cave: In search of COVID's origins, scientists reignite polarizing debate on Wuhan 'lab leak'

Quote

Once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, the idea that the COVID virus escaped from a Chinese lab is gaining high-profile attention. As it does, reputations of renowned scientists are at risk — and so is their personal safety.

At the center of the storm is Peter Daszak, whose EcoHealth Alliance has worked directly with Chinese coronavirus scientists for years. The scientist has been pilloried by Republicans and lost National Institutes of Health funding for his work. He gets floods of threats, including hate mail with suspicious powders. In a rare interview, he conceded that he can’t disprove that the deadly COVID-19 virus resulted from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — though he doesn’t believe it.

“It’s a good conspiracy theory,” Daszak told KHN. “Foreigners designing a virus in a mysterious lab, a nefarious activity, and then the cloak of secrecy around China.”

But to attack scientists “is not only shooting the messenger,” he said. “It’s shooting the people with the conduit to where the next pandemic could happen.”

Yet what if the messengers were not only bearing bad news but also accidentally unleashed a virus that went on to kill more than 3 million people?

The generally accepted scientific hypothesis holds that the COVID virus arose through natural mutations as it spread from bats to humans, possibly at one of China’s numerous “wet markets,” where caged animals are sold and slaughtered. An alternative explanation is that the virus somehow leaked from the Wuhan Institute, one of Daszak’s scientific partners, possibly by way of an infected lab worker.

The lab leak hypothesis has picked up more adherents as time passes and scientists fail to detect a bat or other animal infected with a virus that has COVID’s signature genetics. By contrast, within a few months of the start of the 2003 SARS pandemic, scientists found the culprit coronavirus in animals sold in Chinese markets. But samples from 80,000 animals to date have failed to turn up a virus pointing to the origins of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID. The virus’s ancestors originated in bats in southern China, 600 miles from Wuhan. But COVID contains unusual mutations or sequences that made it ideal for infecting people, an issue explored in depth by journalist Nicholas Wade.

Scientists from the Wuhan Institute have collected thousands of coronavirus specimens from bats and registered them in databases closed to inspection. Could one of those viruses have escaped, perhaps after a “gain of function” experiment that rendered it more dangerous?

Daszak, who finds such theories specious, was the only American on a 10-member team that the World Health Organization sent to China this winter to investigate the origins of the virus. The group concluded its work without gaining access to databases at the Wuhan Institute, but dismissed the lab leak hypothesis as unlikely. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, said the hypothesis “requires further investigation.”

On Friday, 18 virus and immunology experts published a letter in the journal Science demanding a deeper dive. “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable,” they said, adding that the Wuhan Institute should open its records. One of the signatories was a North Carolina virologist who has worked directly with the Wuhan Institute’s top scientists.

That demand is “definitely not acceptable,” responded Shi Zhengli, who directs the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute. “Who can provide evidence that does not exist?” she told MIT Technology Review. Shi has said that thousands of attempts to hack its computer systems forced the institute to close its database.

"Once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, the idea that the COVID virus escaped from a Chinese lab is gaining high-profile attention..."
"'It’s a good conspiracy theory,' Daszak told KHN..."
"Yet what if..."
"Could one of those viruses have escaped..."
"Wuhan Institute should open its records..."  "That demand is 'definitely not acceptable...'"

These sound pretty rumor-ish.

I hope the powers-that-be give give due attention and investigation to these matters.  Meanwhile, as regarding efforts to follow the counsel to "be ye not troubled" about such things, I am grateful that we live in a fairly open and democratic society.  I have a fairly dim view of our current crop of political leaders (of all parties), but I hope they will do their jobs well.  I am also grateful that we have living prophets and apostles.  Keeping an eye on them and following their counsel go a long way in allaying fear about "rumors of wars" and such.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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14 hours ago, juliann said:

And it isn't just the Chinese doing it. That is the scary part. 

It’s my understanding that the United States was funding research at the lab in question:

Quote

A months long Vanity Fair investigation, interviews with more than 40 people, and a review of hundreds of pages of U.S. government documents, including internal memos, meeting minutes, and email correspondence, found that conflicts of interest, stemming in part from large government grants supporting controversial virology research, hampered the U.S. investigation into COVID-19’s origin at every step. In one State Department meeting, officials seeking to demand transparency from the Chinese government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s gain-of-function research, because it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of it.
 

<snip>

As months go by without a host animal that proves the natural theory, the questions from credible doubters have gained in urgency. To one former federal health official, the situation boiled down to this: An institute “funded by American dollars is trying to teach a bat virus to infect human cells, then there is a virus” in the same city as that lab. It is “not being intellectually honest not to consider the hypothesis” of a lab escape.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-origins

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https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.01.21258176v2

Results Among the 52238 included employees, 1359 (53%) of 2579 previously infected subjects remained unvaccinated, compared with 22777 (41%) of 49659 not previously infected. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained almost zero among previously infected unvaccinated subjects, previously infected subjects who were vaccinated, and previously uninfected subjects who were vaccinated, compared with a steady increase in cumulative incidence among previously uninfected subjects who remained unvaccinated. Not one of the 1359 previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated had a SARS-CoV-2 infection over the duration of the study. In a Cox proportional hazards regression model, after adjusting for the phase of the epidemic, vaccination was associated with a significantly lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among those not previously infected (HR 0.031, 95% CI 0.015 to 0.061) but not among those previously infected (HR 0.313, 95% CI 0 to Infinity).

Conclusions Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination, and vaccines can be safely prioritized to those who have not been infected before.

Summary Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined among 52238 employees in an American healthcare system. COVID-19 did not occur in anyone over the five months of the study among 2579 individuals previously infected with COVID-19, including 1359 who did not take the vaccine.

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6 hours ago, smac97 said:

"Once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, the idea that the COVID virus escaped from a Chinese lab is gaining high-profile attention..."
"'It’s a good conspiracy theory,' Daszak told KHN..."
"Yet what if..."
"Could one of those viruses have escaped..."
"Wuhan Institute should open its records..."  "That demand is 'definitely not acceptable...'"

These sound pretty rumor-ish.

I hope the powers-that-be give give due attention and investigation to these matters.  Meanwhile, as regarding efforts to follow the counsel to "be ye not troubled" about such things, I am grateful that we live in a fairly open and democratic society.  I have a fairly dim view of our current crop of political leaders (of all parties), but I hope they will do their jobs well.  I am also grateful that we have living prophets and apostles.  Keeping an eye on them and following their counsel go a long way in allaying fear about "rumors of wars" and such.

Thanks,

-Smac

The executive branch of the US has launched an investigation using US intelligence resources but it may come to nothing. There may not be a smoking gun out there to find whether it is true or not. There would be some scientific gain if it were found to be true one way or the other but not a lot. We already knew both were possibilities and didn't do much about either before and are probably not likely to change much afterwards. If we find that it came "from the wild" there is nothing to be done about it other than try to make sure it won't happen again which we probably won't do. If it was an accidental leak from a lab what would be the reaction other than a demand to tighten up precautions worldwide which would might last a few years and then back to the status quo. If it was an accidental leak is unlikely anyone will push for military actions or sanctions over a mistake or that China would capitulate to any kind of reparations or anything of that nature if pushed. Downside is it would reinforce some of the ongoing racism.

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3 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

It’s my understanding that the United States was funding research at the lab in question:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-origins

In a backhanded way. The NIH funded the nongovernment group EcoHealth Alliance with a grant to do field investigations of human-wildlife interface possibilities regarding coronaviruses. That organization subcontracted some of their studies to the Wuhan lab. The grant was suspended as part of the general scientific funding cutbacks under the last administration in 2020. Where it gets weird and why it is in the news is that Rand Paul tried to fry Fauci over the government funding "gain of function" research. Fauci denied it and the grant didn't specifically mention using that technique but the Wuhan lab may have done it without specific permission with or without EcoHealth Alliance's explicit permission. There isn't much of a scandal there. If falls under the general problem of fungible money and independent research. That kind of research is not illegal in either the US or China so there was no legal reason they shouldn't have done such research.

“Juicing up super viruses is not new. Scientists in the U.S. have long known how to mutate animal viruses to infect humans. For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH. … Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” - Rand Paul

More than a little deceptive. The implication in the question is that the purpose of the research was to create super viruses. It is a big PR thing that relies on the public's ignorance of what this kind of virus testing is, what it does, and what it is for.

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14 hours ago, rodheadlee said:

Ok, have it your way. Nothing will be done about it anyway. 

Will do. I am definitely not changing my views based on your unsubstantiated anecdote.

You are probably right that nothing will be done. Hell, we didn't even use the resources we have. When GWB was President he commissioned a huge study on the potential impact of a pandemic and wrote up a pretty comprehensive response plan. The Obama administration added to it including some additional specializations based on type. It was never used.

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7 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Will do. I am definitely not changing my views based on your unsubstantiated anecdote.

You are probably right that nothing will be done. Hell, we didn't even use the resources we have. When GWB was President he commissioned a huge study on the potential impact of a pandemic and wrote up a pretty comprehensive response plan. The Obama administration added to it including some additional specializations based on type. It was never used.

Yeah we just had operation warp speed.

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36 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Yeah we just had operation warp speed.

Could also be known as Operation "Duh" as funding vaccine research and temporarily removing FDA timelines is the most obvious thing to do to curb a pandemic ever. Similar things were done all over the world. Acting like it was brilliantly insightful is silly when it was just the obvious thing to do. Might as well be impressed with leaders that show brilliant insight by sending FEMA relief into disaster areas. Who would have thought of such a daring move?

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6 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

Any rebuttal to Nehor's assertions would cause this thread to further descend into 'politics' so I will refrain. 

Thank you. 
 

I agree we are getting off track from the purpose of the thread, so would appreciate it for people to voluntarily stop. The lab info I see as relevant (where did Covid come from), but getting into a debate on what should or shouldn’t have been done governmentwise is usually going to be including too much politics. 

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