Thursday: Hili dialogue

May 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

Memorial Day weekend is nigh: it’s Thursday, May 27, 2021: National Grape Popsicle Day. It’s also Red Nose Day, a holiday that seems to have disappeared, and Cellophane Tape Day.

News of the Day:

I was surprised to learn that Covid is a serious problem in Japan, a country where, you’d think, they’d take serious action against serious problems. Yet only 2% of Japanese have been vaccinated against the virus I1/20th the proportion of the U.S.), and some big-city health systems are seriously strained. With the already-postponed Olympics about to begin, most Japanese people are against holding the games this summer, the U.S. State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Japan, a major Japanese newspaper (itself a sponsor of the Games) has called for their further postponement, and Japanese medical authorities say they’re not equipped to handle an Olympic-fueled outbreak. Nevertheless, Japan will invest over $15 billion in the Games, and to them the dosh outweighs the risk.

According to the evening news, this is the 61st mass shooting in the U.S. this year. This time an apparently disaffected worker in a rail yard, using multiple guns, killed 8 people before he took his own life (he also burned down his house before the shooting. As the shootings mount and states continue to relax gun laws, I can only imagine what the rest of the world—the civilized part—thinks about America’s gun mania.

Yes, Bret Stephens is a conservative, but that doesn’t mean you should write off everything he says. In light of the American “progressive” Left’s increasing anti-Semitism, which I predict will hurt the Democrats, Stephens’s new column, “Anti-Zionism isn’t Anti-Semitism? Someone didn’t get the memo,” is worth a read.  An excerpt:

But if there’s been a massive online campaign of progressive allyship with Jews, I’ve missed it. If corporate executives have sent out workplace memos expressing concern for the safety of Jewish employees, I’ve missed it. If academic associations have issued public letters denouncing the use of anti-Semitic tropes by pro-Palestinian activists, I’ve missed them.

It’s a curious silence. In the land of inclusiveness, Jews are denied inclusion.

Palestine is far more of an apartheid state than is Israel, and those who characterize the Israeli government as “right wing” blithely ignore the fact that the Palestinian government is far more right wing. In Palestine there are no LGBTQ rights, women are deeply oppressed, Jews are not allowed to live or buy property, Palestinian gays seek refuge in Israel, abortion is illegal, and religious fanaticism is rife. Why is that not “right wing”, and why don’t we ever hear of Hamas described as “right wing”? Because, I guess, the U.S. press didn’t get the memo.

Two new studies reported in the NYT contain good news: it looks as if cells with a “memory” of coronavirus persist in the bone marrow for a long time: possibly a lifetime. The bottom line is this:

Together, the studies suggest that most people who have recovered from Covid-19 and who were later immunized will not need boosters. Vaccinated people who were never infected most likely will need the shots, however, as will a minority who were infected but did not produce a robust immune response.

The article is detailed, and you’ll want to read it if you’re interested in the science behind this conclusion.

All during the pandemic, authorities I trusted argued that there was no way that the coronavirus could have been released from a Chinese lab. Now, it seems, that theory has become a bit more credible. In fact, it’s become credible to the extent that Joe Biden, who was leaving the investigation of that possibility to the WHO, has now ordered a government investigation of the possibility. (The alternative, of course, was transmission via an animal vector.) I don’t know the evidence, and have no dog in this fight, but the reversal of the administration is curious.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 591,593, an increase of about 522 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,513,651, an increase of about 12,800 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on May 27 includes:

  • 1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.
  • 1919 – The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight.

This flight was not nonstop (Alcock and Brown did that two weeks later), but was made in a flying boat; here’s its photo:  (Lindbergh, of course, was famous because his 1927 crossing was solo.)

The Model T is to the left, the Model A to the right:

Here’s the cartoon; the song is starts at 1:56:

  • 1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.
  • 1942 – World War II: In Operation AnthropoidReinhard Heydrich is fatally wounded in Prague; he dies of his injuries eight days later.

The results of Heyrich’s assassination are notorious; as Wikipedia says: “Nazi intelligence falsely linked the Czech and Slovak soldiers and resistance partisans to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Both villages were razed; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of the women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.” Heydrich, pictures below, was a main architect of the Holocaust:

  • 1967 – Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.
  • 2016 – Barack Obama is the first president of United States to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and meet Hibakusha.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1819 – Julia Ward Howe, American poet and songwriter (d. 1910)
  • 1837 – Wild Bill Hickok, American police officer (d. 1876)

Here’s Hickock in 1869. Many of his exploits were fictitious:

I could find no Roualt paintings that included cats, but here’s a nice 1911 painting of his: “Clown Tragique”:

  • 1911 – Hubert Humphrey, American journalist and politician, 38th Vice President of the United States (d. 1978)
  • 1912 – Sam Snead, American golfer and sportscaster (d. 2002)
  • 1923 – Henry Kissinger, German-American political scientist and politician, 56th United States Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate

Those who hied themselves below ground on May 27 include:

  • 1564 – John Calvin, French pastor and theologian (b. 1509)
  • 1840 – Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (b. 1782)
  • 1910 – Robert Koch, German physician and microbiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1843)
  • 2017 – Gregg Allman, American musician, singer and songwriter (b. 1947)

What a loss to music! Although my favorite Gregg Allman performance is “One Way Out,” this acoustic version of “Melissa” is also excellent, and the song was written by Gregg. There’s also a great solo by Dickie Betts.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the interfeline animosity in Dobrzyn has settled down, but Hili still likes to cut loose once in a while:

Szaron: Don’t even think about it.
Hili: I will just scare Kulka a bit.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Szaron: Nawet o tym nie myśl!
Hili: Tylko trochę Kulkę wystraszę.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina R.)

From Bruce. If you don’t get this, you’re too young!

From Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day. I’m hoping that this photograph is real; I think it is:

Titania shows us wokeness infecting the pages of Nature. An ad like this would probably be illegal in the U.S.:

Tweets from Matthew. How the deuce did this fox get into a washing machine? Was it dirty?

The world’s most helpful ferret:

A man in a hurry:

This is, in fact, true to some extent, but doesn’t hold in rural or semirural areas:

Speaking of foxes (which are Honorary Cats®), what a delight to find this in your garden!

Matthew and I both think this mouse probably has toxoplasmosis, a parasite that makes the mouse behave in a way to facilitate its getting eaten, whereupon it undergoes the next stage of its life cycle inside the cat:

What a cool video!:

57 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. An ad like this would probably be illegal in the U.S.:

    Probably illegal in the UK also under the 2010 Equality Act. A non-black applicant could apply and, when rejected, complain to an Employment Tribunal. Easy way of getting a pay-off to cancel out your student tuition!

  2. “Why the dinosaurs went extinct” – I heard some speculation on BBC Radio 4 recently that the T Rex may have had a use for its arms when in the juvenile stage of its life and then underwent a rapid growth spurt that left the arms disproportionately small, but by then they were no longer needed. I’ve no idea how likely or justified that theory is.

    1. I read somewhere that the attachment regions for the arm muscles were large, inplying large muscles, implying some use in the adult.

    2. It seems aligned with the view that they relied heavily on their big ‘ol head and nasty big teeth to do their front-end work for them. Having normally proportioned arms with that head would have made them front-heavy.

        1. I’d say that’s the understatement of the decade! They get along marvelously! They traded up for wings and the ability to fly. I’m sort of jealous.

          1. Which is some kind of argument for T-Rex using those little arms for something. They persisted for millions of years which seems unlikely if they were completely useless. With flying birds, of course, their unnecessary weight would be a bigger price to pay.

            1. I’ve heard experts argue that though relative to the rest of the T-Rex body the forelimbs are unusually small that they are nevertheless quite robust, both the bones and the muscles. And that this indicates that they were usefully functional for something, not vestigial.

              1. Yes, they were pretty robust. But their shortness makes it pretty hard to imagine many situations in which they could reach anything. The sex aid theory makes as much sense to me as anything.

    3. That T.rex went through a growth spurt between adolescence and adulthood is pretty well established ; how much of an arm proportion change then, I’m not so sure. More than doubling in size in a couple of years.
      But the utility of the arms remains a question, with lots of proposed solutions and no approach at consensus.

    4. I thought the accepted theory is that they use those little front arms to hold on during sex. Doubtful they have any evidence to back that theory though.

  3. It is a puzzle why Japan is so far behind on the Covid vaccine. I thought it could be b/c they were reliant on India as a supplier, but the reasons seem to lie behind there being a slower approval process, plus a significant skepticism about vaccines in the general public.

    1. I was going to ask why they’re only at 2%. Thanks for the insight.

      Worth noting that our FDA also has a slower-than-global-average approval process (because of higher requirements for safety testing, I believe), it’s just that for Covid they used the ’emergency use’ route.

  4. 1933 – The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?“

    A version of the chorus is also sung by George to Martha in the final scene of Mr. Albee’s play, including in the screen adaptation starring Liz and Dick:

  5. Heydrich, pictures below, was a main architect of the Holocaust

    Played chillingly by Kenneth Branagh in the HBO film about the Wannssee Conference where the protocols for the Final Solution were spelled out, Conspiracy.

  6. Here’s [Wild Bill] Hickock in 1869. Many of his exploits were fictitious …

    Mebbe so, but I still always sit with my back to the wall from where I can see the door while playing poker, and I remain wary of drawing Aces over Eights.

  7. According to the evening news, this is the 61st mass shooting in the U.S. this year.

    For some reason, Auntie Beeb was calling it the 80th shooting of the year at horrible-o’clock this morning. Not even reporting it now. Since we’ve just had the anniversary of DNA’s death, then “Probability level 1:1 – we have normality ! ”

    I’ve definitely seen the “write No Smoking in Arabic” picture before ; if it’s Photoshopped, it’s not new.
    The idea behind it – that you’d find a labourer like a paint-sprayer, in the Gulf States, who speaks English but not Arabic, is rather ludicrous. But I could imagine someone (an ex-Boss being high on my “usual suspects” list) carefully having the tanker painted like that, since that might well be easier than learning how to Photoshop images (for the relevant people).

      1. On the grounds that the intention is as important as the outcome.
        Well, that’s Edward Teller up for war crimes and conspiracy to genocide then. And pretty much every politician out.

  8. “Authorities I trusted argued that there was no way that the coronavirus could have been released from a Chinese lab.”

    I had the same idea too from expert colleagues that it must have been a natural transmission from a bat. But this article by Nicholas Wade has very convincing (circumstantial) evidence for the accidental release of the virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    1. I was late getting to weit this morning as i was watching This Week in Virology (TWiV) episode 760. The hour was devoted to interviewing three guests who serve on the international investigation panel for the WHO. They are subject matter experts in human, animal, and molecular disciplines respectively from the U.S. and the Netherlands and i highly recommend watching this program. They discuss the first, they call it phase 1, WHO report and talk about the follow on phase 2 investigation that is proposed. They discuss details of the investigation into the lab issues. In the closing minutes, the TWiV hosts have some pretty negative things to say about Nicholas Wade that deserve a hearing. I felt the same way about Wade when i read his book the shallows a number of years ago….very shallow. TWiV url is.

      1. Mea culpa. My apologies to mr wade…it was nicholas carr who wrote the shallows not nicholas wade.

      2. Sure Wade might be a bad guy. I don’t know about him, except that his previous reporting for the NYT was often very good. Maybe sometimes it was not. The evidence he reviews is pretty damning no matter what his other qualities might be. And he has no dog in that fight: he’s just a reporter.

        OTOH the community of experimental virologists has a lot at stake in discovering where the novel coronavirus came from. Those researchers have a lot invested in the idea that experimental evolution of viruses in the lab will lead to advances in protecting us against future outbreaks. That group of virologists would have a lot of answer for if COVID was indirectly caused by the eagerness of researchers to study virus evolution in the lab under unsafe conditions. So I would say it’s the virologists in that TWIV who are more likely to be unreliable interpreters of the evidence. I’m not saying those folks in the TWIV video are bad people, but their views of Wade might be self-interested.

        One important line of research was funded by NIH and subcontracted by the US grant holders to Wuhan Institute of Virology. The NIH grant funded experiments at WIV on bat coronaviruses that were specifically about experimenting with the ways that such viruses might evolve to become more infectious in humans. That work was done in biosafety level 2 labs (with minimal protections). Some WIV workers ended up in hospital with COVID-like disease months before the reported start of the outbreak and its apparent association with the wet market in Wuhan. The supposed intermediate host that facilitated transfer of the new virus from bats to humans has still not been found in spite of lots of effort to find that host (and the novel virus) in the wild. The number and specific types of mutations and molecular changes to the virus genome and its function are large and distinctive, suggesting a long history of viral evolution between leaving bats and entering humans. The protein cleavage site encoded by the spike gene uses distinctive RNA sequences that are characteristic of laboratory vectors but not characteristic of wild coronaviruses. The novel virus was immediately highly infectious from human to human, a trait that is not typical of novel coronavirus transmissions from bat or other animal hosts (where initially human-to-human transmission is weak, and only grows stronger through evolution of the virus in humans). That transmissibility is consistent with a history of laboratory evolution in serial passage through human cell cultures or through humanized mouse hosts where the virologists selected for high transmissibility. WIV did both of those types of experimental viral evolution.

        I realize that this is all circumstantial evidence, and it has the outward appearance of a conspiracy theory (and it unfortunately overlaps with conservative media tropes about “kung flu” etc.). Nevertheless, all these things do seem to be true, and are much more consistent with an accidental release of an experimental lab virus than with direct transmission from bats to humans via a pangolin or some other intermediate host.

        Admittedly, this may all be coincidence and the novel coronavirus may really have come from a bat via another host in the wet market (and not from WIV). And admittedly it may be impossible now to know with confidence whether COVID came from WIV because the Chinese Communist Party has sealed up all of the lab records and prevented everyone who worked on that research project from talking to anyone. As Wade suggests, it may only be possible to know what happened if some brave whistleblowers in China come forward with evidence.

        Again just my opinion. I’m an interested non-expert, and I could be wrong about all of this.

  9. “Titania shows us wokeness infecting the pages of Nature. An ad like this would probably be illegal in the U.S.:”

    I happened to take a dip in the Tw1773r thread – a defense of the ad – at the top of the “thread” was made – by “Elizabeth, wearer of masks”

    “You got a big crowd of “systemic racism doesn’t exist” trolls. I, for one, am happy that you are working to be more inclusive.”

    If I follow that Tw337, then the advertisement as written is perfectly reasonable because whomever raises criticism of the ad is a “troll”, the criticisms of which only mean one thing : the “troll” is claiming systemic racism does not exist.

    … I’m fascinated by that – the meaning of criticism is being interpreted in advance of the criticism – as the thread must be scrolled through sequentially – and the intentions and inner hidden motivations and beliefs of the person making the criticism are what matters. Ad hominem of course, but it is buried so well.

    I can’t help one more :

    “This is positive-discriminition [sic], mate”

    1. According to the CRT/the Woke/the Elect: It is metaphysically impossible to racist against white people.

      Therefore, the question simply doesn’t come up. If you mention it, it’s a shock, it’s heresy, it’s a category error.

      Another indication of the religious fervor of the Woke.

  10. I can only imagine what the rest of the world—the civilized part—thinks about America’s gun mania.

    Despair is the first thing that comes to my mind as somebody who lives in the rest of the World (whether I’m in the civilised part is an open question – not sure the UK counts anymore).

    It took two mass shootings in the UK to effectively ban all hand guns and severely restrict rifles to the point where almost nobody has one. I think it’s got to the point in the USA that a mass shooting no longer has the necessary shock value to make anybody do anything about it.

    1. Yes, mass shootings just makes the idiots buy more guns. Most of these millions of weapons sit in the closet because the owners find out very quickly the ammunition soon cost much more than the gun. A little old box of 100 for an assault rifle cost around $80 bucks. That is about what, 2 minutes worth.

      1. Recent pricing on M193 (5.56X45mm): US$13/box of 20. So, $65 for 100.
        This isn’t far off from historical levels. But, for these days, a good price. ($0.65/round)

        In the 1970s, I paid about $0.50/round for .30-06 ammunition. Now it’s about $1.25; but there has been a lot of general inflation in between.

        Rifle ammunition costs much more than pistol ammunition for material (mass), design, and technical reasons. This has always been true.

        AR-15 rifles go for about $1000 these days: Up about $200-$300 over historical levels (some of the delta is inflation). (Around 1500 rounds of M193 (costs more than .223, usually) for the cost of a new AR-15 rifle.)

        1. It is interesting that some of the poorest people and many more that are close to poor – living paycheck to paycheck, will throw out a thousand for a weapon (handguns are also very costly) and then much more for the ammo to do what? Shoot at a target at a rang or out in the country. But hey, they are protecting their family. From what? Eating?

    1. Don’t mice sometimes confront a cat as part of an escape mechanism? I’ve seen that in a few videos. Do they really all have toxoplasmosis? Many modern cats are so well-fed that they don’t have any interest in eating what they catch. They are only interested in “playing” with their prey. If so, the cat might shy away from a confrontation. Like playing dead, confrontation is an escape strategy that takes advantage of the cat’s behavior.

  11. Heydrich was also President (1940-1942) of the forerunner of INTERPOL.
    From Wikipedia:
    INTERPOL … was founded in September 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC), adopting many of its current duties throughout the 1930s. After coming under Nazi control in 1938, the agency was effectively moribund until after the Second World War.

  12. I often complain about the FDA being slow but they are Usain Bolt compared to the Japanese bureaucrats.

    Japan has yet to approve either the Moderna or Astrazeneca vaccines because they insist on doing needless local trials. No one except doctors or nurses are allowed to give the shots making mass vaccination sites using trained volunteers or pharmacists impossible. They have tens of millions of vaccine doses sitting unused because of their imbecilic “safety” measures.

  13. “All during the pandemic, authorities I trusted argued that there was no way that the coronavirus could have been released from a Chinese lab. … I don’t know the evidence, and have no dog in this fight, but the reversal of the administration is curious.”

    It’s not curious it’s politics and Trump Derangement Syndrome. Trump and Republicans blamed the Chinese, so the media and even scientists had to claim that it was a conspiracy theory. When it came to Trump, both sides spewed the most absurd lies to further their cause. Truth was subordinate to the election result.

    From Matt Taibbi:
    ‘Fauci’s new quote about not being “convinced” that Covid-19 has natural origins, however, is part of what’s becoming a rather ostentatious change of heart within officialdom about the viability of the so-called “lab origin” hypothesis. Through 2020, officials and mainstream press shut down most every discussion on that score. Reporters were heavily influenced by a group letter signed by 27 eminent virologists in the Lancet last February in which the authors said they “strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” and also by a Nature Medicine letter last March saying, “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct.”

    The consensus was so strong that some well-known voices saw social media accounts suspended or closed for speculating about Covid-19 having a “lab origin.” One of those was University of Hong Kong virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who went on Tucker Carlson’s show last September 15th to say “[Covid-19] is a man-made virus created in the lab.” After that appearance, PolitiFact — Poynter’s PolitiFact — gave the statement its dreaded “Pants on Fire” rating. ‘

    1. I think an important detail is that the early “consensus” against the lab-origin hypothesis was put out in large part by virologists who have a big stake in experimental laboratory evolution of human pathogenic viruses. Those folks would have much to answer for if some of their more cavalier approaches (like biosafety level 2 labs in Wuhan) contributed to the accidental release of the novel coronavirus and COVID. The signatories included the NIH grant holders who subcontracted their bat coronavirus experimental evolution to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (per the Nicholas Wade article).

      1. Weren’t the virologists really just saying that there’s no proof it started in a lab? They were just countering an unfounded conspiracy theory. I suppose some said that they couldn’t see anything in the viral DNA that looked lab-created but that’s clearly subjective as we now have the technology to create any sequence we want. Did any of their statements claim they knew the virus wasn’t created in a lab? I doubt it. How would they know?

        1. Viral RNA. Yes, some statements claimed that the virus couldn’t have been created in a lab. That statement is true, but some statements used some language that could be perceived as misleading: the virus wasn’t created in a lab, but it appears to have evolved in a lab (big difference). Or at least many of the virus traits are more consistent with lab evolution over a year or more than with transfer from bats to humans in late 2019.

        2. I wrote a comment back when the Weinsteins were on Maher’s show that extends what you say – I argued that even if it were true “the coronavirus came from a lab”, it would be impossible to show this. It would be unfalsifiable.

          Maybe I’ll look it up later – but what evidence exactly would show this? Which coronavirus? What does “come from a lab” mean? The sequence can mutate, researchers can make errors, spill stuff on shoes, get in wildlife – it would be a fool’s errand to seek to prove such a notion (I argue). Maybe they can track down some ledgers or time stamps, but….

          1. I suspect that someday there will be such a thing as “signing” a created DNA sequence by embedding metadata (perhaps there is already), but there would still be the possibility of a naturally occurring virus escaping from the lab into the human population due to a mistake.

          2. Here is a good article by Matt Ridley and Alina Chen.

            From what I understand the reasons to believe it escaped from a lab are:
            1. Researchers in the Wuhan lab got hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms preceding the pandemic.
            2. The virus seemed well adapted to humans. You would expect more mutations if it came directly from bats or pangolins or whatever.
            3. The most likely bat source was far away from Wuhan.
            4. The most likely bat source was visited by Wuhan researchers who were doing experiments with coronaviruses.
            5. There is no evidence that it came from another source e.g. the wet market.
            6. China is not being open about coronavirus indicating they are hiding something.

            None of these are a smoking gun and it is quite possible that the pandemic is totally natural.

          3. I don’t mean to over-post here so I’ll stop after this one (with apologies to our host).

            The Wuhan Institute of Virology was actively experimenting with bat coronavirus evolution by passage through human cell cultures or through humanized mice during 2019. They were doing this research in part with funding from the US National Institutes of Health by a subcontract with the NIH grant holders. The grant proposal is a public document, and it details the goals of the research: to predict how bat coronaviruses might evolve higher human-to-human transmissibility or pathogenicity. It’s potentially important & useful research. It would have generated many generations of viruses that would have been sampled, characterized, and kept as frozen stocks over the course of the experiments. The suggestion is that one of those viral strains that evolved higher transmissibility in human cells in the lab was the novel coronavirus that escaped from WIV (maybe in infected and sick WIV workers) and then spread around Wuhan and elsewhere.

            So the records, lab notebooks, and (importantly) coronavirus samples from that research at WIV could be used to clear up the question of the origins of the virus. If the records and samples are complete, and the COVID virus is not among them, that would tend to vindicate the WIV researchers. Of course, the CCP could have altered or destroyed some of those records and samples to make the novel coronavirus disappear and make it seem not to have come from WIV. But at least one could get a better sense of that possibility from the release of the available records and samples. And if there are missing records and notebooks, or gaps in the existing virus samples, that would point to a coverup. But those records and samples have not been reviewed by non-Chinese investigators, and only summaries of those records have been provided to WHO after first being redacted by the CCP. Samples of the experimental virus strains at WIV have not been reanalyzed by independent researchers (AFAIK) to see if any of them is the COVID virus. Or at least that’s what Wade says in that article, I haven’t read the WHO report itself. I could be all wrong.

        3. No, that is absolutely not what they did. Virologists in Lancet and Nature Medicine ridiculed (“conspiracy theories”) and absolutely denied (“clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct”) what now seems likely. The vast majority of other virologists made similar statements or failed to publicly question the assertions. On this issue, virologists were either incompetent or they had a political/personal agenda. (On other things like sequencing and vaccines they were stupendously great.)

          From this post “All during the pandemic, authorities I trusted argued that there was NO WAY that the coronavirus could have been released from a Chinese lab.” This is was what the medical establishment wanted us to believe.

            1. You certainly are dedicated to your beliefs regardless of the facts.
              ‘letter signed by 27 eminent virologists in the Lancet last February in which the authors said they “strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin”’
              Next you will tell me that taking the virus in the lab and accidentally having it escape would be absolutely natural.

    2. There has been a lot of confusion on this issue for one simple reason: no one knows. Well, I suppose someone might know but, so far, they’re not telling.

      Trump was touting China’s response early on when it served his purpose. Then later it served his purpose to blame China. There’s no reason to expect any truth from him. Countering Trump’s claim that it started in a Chinese lab was reasonable if only for the fact that he offered no evidence. It was very clear that he was just self-serving as he always does. If it turns out that Trump was right, it is only by the “stopped clock” phenomenon. Whatever side anyone chooses, they have a 50% chance of being right.

      Most of us, the public and the Fauci’s of the world, are interested in facts but must rely on others’ investigations which have been far from definitive. If any of us change our opinion it’s because what we know and what we think we know changes over time.

  14. The only element that has caused the latest media blitz about a “lab origin” is a vague “US intelligence” report that 3 workers at the lab got sick with something (nothing specific) in 11/19 that resulted in hospitalization. There’s no public information about the intelligence agency(s) involved in the raw data of analysis of it. It’s not much more (if any) than an intrigue at this point.

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