HK scientist: COVID-19 was “created in a lab”

This information is not new:

The arguments put forward by the “whistleblower” have been around for six months:

Some respectable virologists support this thesis. Others do not. My own view is it is likely the right explanation. The dubious process by which RatG13 suddenly appeared as an intellectual figment without samples, which were supposedly lost, is far too convenient for words.

For what it is worth, I don’t think it likely that the virus was released deliberately. It’s going to harm Chinese interests a lot long term. Occam’s razor suggests the usual human blundering. We’ll never know.

Twitter and Facebook have decided to censor the good doctor’s material. There is no good reason for that I can see.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

    • I think that it is very much NOT racist to accept that the Chinese are the best and brightest scientists and genetic engineers in the world, and that their virus-creating laboratories are way ahead of anything that the white world has to offer.

      What may be racist is to assume that this virus transcended into humans because the Chinese are bat-eating savages.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            ” Stewie Griffin, please google “racist, definition”,

            Okay..

            ”The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.

            ”Chinese are the best and brightest scientists and genetic engineers in the world.”

            So you are rac!st.

  1. It probably wasn’t released deliberately, but once it was in circulation I’m pretty confident Xi didn’t want China to bear the burden alone. It is possible (probable) that, rightly or wrongly, he saw it as an opportunity: We will all suffer but perhaps our competitors will suffer more. Accordingly he elected to allow it to move overseas.
    That aside, the steadfast denial of culpability is entirely about both avoiding consequence and capitalising upon the situation.
    Where the virus originated is a something of a sideshow; what matters is how it spread once it was recognised.

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      My first thought was, who are the authors, what are their credentials to be making scientific claims in the field, do they have an agenda. The agenda question has a potential answer, I don’t know the answers to the others. I have sympathy for the hypothesis that this is an engineered virus, I just haven’t seen enough evidence to conclude either way

  2. Well it is interesting that the Wuhan strain was less infection that the Euro / US strain.

    If the CCP were going to release a virus you’d expect them to release the less virulent version in their own patch. And let it loose at home first so that you too can look like a victim.

    It is not like the CCP are troubled by killing their own people.

    In war everyone suffers casualties. It is however paramount that your enemy suffers more than you. This does seem like a very CCP way to wage a war.

    • I just can’t see it. What’s the upside for China? For years Western countries have prostituted their IP and manufacturing out to China, and benefited China greatly by doing so. Now, all the supply lines are being… re-evaluated, for want of a better word. If it’s accidental, China suffers, if it’s ever found to be on purpose, I would imagine the damage, reputationally, would be irreparable. Even the scummiest company would have difficulty justifying dealing with them.

      Too much downside, little to no upside. Seems like a really sh!t plan, TBH.

    • It is entirely possible that the initial virus could be a “Trojan horse” of sorts for more more lethal variants that emerge elsewhere, later.
      Not saying it is probable or fact, but it is worth contemplating.
      Does anyone have stats on, say, D614G in China versus elsewhere? What could one think if the statistics suggested that every country but China was experiencing significantly higher transmission and mortality? And then if China were to use this period to bully and … oh yeah!
      As I recall it China closed its borders. We on the other hand imported it with reckless abandon (thanks to the Victorian Labour government and the public service).

  3. Earlier this year China complained about travel bans for Chinese travelers WHILE knowing how dangerous Covid-19 was, one can only conclude this was a deliberate attempt to at least make everyone else suffer as much or more than China itself.

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      Not everything, but it is a dose dependent vehicle to be less informed on current events in the US. People who watch no network news score higher on current events tests, the more fox you watch the worse you score. To be fair MSNBC does not do much better – but that doesn’t stop Fox news from being much other than a propaganda platform.

      • So for ‘current events’ the test is whether you know much about them in general (factual stuff)?

        So, you’re saying that Fox, rather than report on current events is more political in its manoeuverings? Or does opinion pieces on stuff?

        Serious questions. I only ask because I don’t follow much US media — the news I get on the US is from foreign sources (here and the UK)

        • Narapoia451MEMBER

          There have been a few published studies testing current events knowledge – fact based, that correlate the scores with preferred network news sources – CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC etc. In one study people who watched no network news at all scored higher than fox viewers, PBS highest, Fox lowest, followed closely by MSNBC. Keeping in mind this is correlation only and from a while ago – no doubt if they included things like infowars in there now that would be the clear winner hah.

          In another study they correlated hours of network news media consumed with current event scores – and it was dose dependent for Fox viewers, so the more Fox you watched the worse you scored, which would indicate that it is causative rather than just a correlation. It could still be though that the kind of people that watch a lot of fox exist in a broader media bubble that leads to them being poorly informed.

        • Narapoia451MEMBER

          Hard to know if it is the straight up news component of fox being misleading, or the editorializing that makes up 90% or their content that is to blame, but my guess is the latter.

          • But who determines what content is misleading? Does there exist an arbiter of truth? Surely this is all subjective – the Dem supporting media call BS on Fox and vice versa.

        • Narapoia451MEMBER

          My guess is that this is what the people who designed the study were trying to do by testing factual current event knowledge. If you purport to be a service that provides ‘fair and balanced’ information about the country, but people who use the service know less true information about the country than people that user other services, then it’s a fair conclusion to say that you are misleading. Or you target / self-select for an audience that generally knows less true information about the country.

          The studies I referenced didn’t go into the specifics of what was misleading – just looked for outcomes / end states but without being able to conclude whether it was causative or correlation. There have been other studies that look into how misleading / factually incorrect the content is on cable news in the US and attempt to quantify it. I don’t have results to hand but fox never scores well on those studies, along with MSNBC – which appears to be running a liberal fox model.

    • I’m not saying she’s right or wrong, but… FB et al have been “censoring” all sorts of crackpots/lunatics on this topic, Hanei. If they ban someone who says drinking bleach will cure it, would you then give consideration to the advantages of ingesting bleach?

    • Surely she’s being censored simply because FB and Twitter don’t want to upset Xi and, by extension, their shareholders. Bad for business! Kow tow instead.

  4. Jesus macrobusiness, you need to put a muzzle on DLS before you lose all credibility. Spruking this kind of rubbish on your front page is not a good look. The references to “some respected virologists”, and “My own view is…” are straight out of the climate change deniers playbook. Weasle words to avoid real scientific scrutiny.

    • Spot on – DLS is starting to look like a tinfoil hat wearer with this sort of nonsense – “his own view”?? unbelievable Dunning-Kruger stupidity on display

      Try harder Mr Llewellyn-Smith

      https://quillette.com/2020/09/02/the-china-syndrome-part-iii-wet-markets-and-biolabs/ from someone who actually knows what they are talking about and has taken the time to look into it

      “We’ll probably never know for sure how the outbreak started, but given how many people are likely infected by bat coronaviruses in China every year, this (Somewhere in rural China, someone probably became infected by SARS-CoV-2 or its ancestor and then travelled to Wuhan or infected someone who did) is the most plausible scenario. By contrast, only a very small number of people work in labs that study bat coronaviruses in Wuhan and, unlike regular people who come in contact with bats, they are trained in extremely strict safety protocols. So I don’t see why we should regard the lab escape theory as anything other than a theoretical possibility that is not particularly likely.”

      • Just curious: you, “marcusOz” know with absolute certainty who’s right and who’s wrong here?

        For the sake of disclosure, I don’t personally have a position on this because how could I possibly know? There is sufficient doubt — outside of the progressive media and their associated poodles.

        • Read the article (and associated ones I linked to and decide for yourself).

          The weight of expert opinion is also clear – it was not developed in a lab (the so-called experts linked to by DLS are not really expert if you look behind the veil)

          And so one should abide by the Bertrand Russell dictum in such matters

          (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.

          So while I do not know for sure the balance of probabilities is fairly clear here – and what I do know is that DLS hasn’t got a clue and his “view” is ill-informed valueless nonsense

          • That may be true, but there’s room for both a story and the op-eds in the papers. The man is entitled to an opinion. And he’s stated it clearly that is only an opinion. I don’t understand the problem with this.

      • Come now, that’s pretty hysterical responses. I can only read so much. There are respected virologists that agree with this woman. I didn’t name any because I was in a hurry. How you find my sources weak is weird since I didn’t provide any.

        It’s not hard to believe that such things are done in the West let alone China. I find it entirely plausible that it might have been done while trying to find CV vaccines. Could have been entirely benevolent.

        Do I know? No. Never said I did. But the evidence for it is there to draw that conclusion.

        No doubt the appearance of this Sheila now is politicalLy motivated. As I say, there is nothing new in what she says. But she should not be banned for it, which is my major point. Media outfits hold back stories all the time for maximised impact.

        You guys protest too much. This issue is murky, your certainty is wrong and is further undermined by the ad hominem.

        • First of all what you label as “hysteria” is a bit farcical given your post – just because I’ve debunked it

          Secondly there is no ad-hominem. I didn’t say you were wrong because you wear a tin foil hat – I said you were wrong and this was indicative of a tin-foil hat – learn the difference

          Thirdly what is true is not based on what is possible (or even plausible)- it is based on what is most likely given the weight of the evidence. A lot of things are possible, but we don’t usually believe them unless we have a good reason to do so—and nor should we. And in this instance if you actually check the evidence as opposed to blindly get suckered for a Fox news post there isn’t really good reason.

          Finally – you offered a view without really bothering to investigate properly – on a matter that is of public importance. Now you seem to be back-tracking – I do find that irresponsible on your part and your now lame claim to not having time to check sources is revealing. Why didn’t you simple just say it is possible but you don’t really know??? Conformation bias??

          It’s not hard to fact check these things from reliable sources – but then that would be responsible journalism – which alas you have not practiced in this instance

          https://www.acsh.org/news/2020/09/15/covid-no-coronavirus-wasnt-created-laboratory-genetics-shows-why-15029

          • It would be irresponsible if he hadn’t stated that it was his opinion. Look through the propaganda that is the ABC. Virtually all of it is opinion dressed up as fact. That’s how we roll in post-truth world.

          • You were rude and insulting suggesting that MB was sliding towards some gun-toting Fox News nut job. I’ve cited their stuff maybe half a dozen times in 29k posts. I’ve criticised FN and Murdoch countless times.

            Then you just made shit up to discredit me.

            I declared a loosely held view openly, heavily hedged with skepticism about this being news at all.

            All you had to do was provide that link and I would what I always do: put it up if it’s credible to push forward debate.

            Here it is:

            Several months ago, there was speculation that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was created in a Chinese bioweapons laboratory. It’s not true, but the conspiracy theory has gained renewed interest following a paper by a Hong Kong scientist who claims that, indeed, the virus is man-made.

            This conspiracy theory is particularly tempting for several reasons. First, China is a secretive, authoritarian country, and it wouldn’t really be much of a surprise if the government had a bioweapons program. Second, China has suppressed research on the origins of the coronavirus. Third, SARS-CoV-2 is really weird for a respiratory virus, since it has the ability to spread throughout the body and damage other organs. Combined, many people see a conspiracy.

            But circumstantial evidence doesn’t make it true. Either the coronavirus naturally worked its way into the human population or, if a Chinese laboratory really was involved, the virus was probably being studied by researchers and accidentally infected one of them. (This would explain why China wants to cover up the origin of the virus; if it escaped from a lab, Chinese scientists would look incompetent.) There is simply insufficient reason to believe that malicious forces were at play. An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence, and the “man-made virus” theory fails that test.

            Genetics Shows Why the Coronavirus Evolved and Was Not Man-Made

            In March, a team of scientists published genome sequence data from SARS-CoV-2 in the highly reputable journal Nature Medicine. The main argument for why the virus was not man-made is that the spike protein (which binds to a human cell receptor called ACE2) was shown to be non-ideal for binding to the receptor. While it does bind tightly, computer simulations suggest that other sequences would be better for binding. This is evidence against the virus being man-made because, presumably, a bioengineer would have chosen a different spike protein gene sequence.

            Red Flags in the New Pre-Print Paper

            A new pre-print paper (which means it has not yet been peer reviewed or published in a journal) claims that SARS-CoV-2 was genetically engineered. It provides both data and reasoning that sound plausible. (The technical aspects go beyond the scope of this article.) The gist of the paper is that the authors believe the genome displays “suspicious” sequences that suggest manipulation.

            There are problems with that argument. The most straightforward explanation for the “suspicious” genetic traits is natural recombination with other coronaviruses. Just like influenza, if two different coronaviruses infect the same animal (or human) at the same time, the gene sequences can be swapped. As a result, a new virus pops out that has a completely unique gene sequence. Then, like everything else, the virus undergoes natural selection. If the gene sequence helps the virus spread, then the virus will be selected through evolutionary forces. A July 2020 paper in Science makes precisely that argument.

            Another major problem with the pre-print paper is that the authors come out of the gate throwing punches, alleging censorship by scientific journals and accusing those who disagree with them of having a conflict of interest. This is not how serious scientists behave in the literature. Unless there is overwhelming reason to believe otherwise, the assumption is always that another team of scientists acted in good faith but drew the wrong conclusion.

            Finally, as others have pointed out, the pre-print authors are part of an organization called the Rule of Law Society, which is not a scientific organization. It also is associated with some rather unsavory characters. That doesn’t automatically mean the authors are wrong, but it raises enough doubts about their credibility. The Society’s stated mission is, “To expose corruption, obstruction, illegality, brutality, false imprisonment, excessive sentencing, harassment, and inhumanity pervasive in the political, legal, business and financial systems of China.” That’s fine, but we probably shouldn’t trust an organization like this to perform objective scientific analysis.

            The Trouble with Pre-Print Papers

            In a fast moving world, the scientific method drags along at a snail’s pace. To keep up with the changing times, many scientists are now posting papers online without any peer review. The upside is that this allows the quick dissemination of vital information during a time like now (i.e., the COVID pandemic). The downside is that it allows a lot of garbage to make international headlines, throwing us off into a wild goose chase.

          • @DLS – thank you for putting the content up. As for being rude – well if you choose to take offence I can’t help you – what matters is your argument. It did seem to me you were taking a tinfoil hat stance – if you can’t handle a comment like that (which clearly has a tongue in cheek aspect but is meant to make a point) then I think you may be being a bit too sensitive and doth protest too much – but that is only my opinion.

            Forgive me but your claim that that your view was “loosely held” and “heavily hedged with skepticism” does not seem at all supported by your text

            Perhaps this was your intent – I cannot tell – but perhaps specifically using the word “skeptical” in future would help your argument 🙂

    • I'll have anotherMEMBER

      One respected virologist, coming right up!

      Professor Luc Montagnier, a central member of the team that identified HIV during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, is now bucking the media consensus on the novel coronavirus by claiming the pathogen was at least partially edited in a laboratory.

      According to research performed by Montagnier, a Nobel Prize winner, and his mathematician partner Jean-Claude Perez, SARS-CoV-2 contains sequences of the human immunodeficiency virus — HIV.

      Or a home grown one perhaps? This, from head Virological Professor at UniSA

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      Top vaccine scientist says coronavirus is ‘almost perfectly human adapted’
      By Lia EustachewichMay 27, 2020 | 9:12am | Updated
      nikolai-petrovsky-10

      12
      Nikolai PetrovskyFlinders University
      Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.
      The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is “almost perfectly human adapted” — lending credence to the possibility it was man-made in a Chinese lab, a top Australian vaccine researcher says.

      Nikolai Petrovsky was shocked when research found that the virus was more virulent in humans than any other animal, the Daily Mail reported.

      He said it was like the new strain of coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, was “completely optimized from day one without the need to evolve” like other viruses.

      “This is a new virus that has never been in humans before, but it has an extraordinarily high binding to human receptors, which is very surprising,” Petrovsky told the Mail. “It is almost perfectly human adapted, it couldn’t do any better.”
      He said it is possible the virus was created in a lab in China — deepening suspicions that the global pandemic originated in Wuhan.

    • JJ if you use the term “climate deniers”, that makes you yet another a climate alarmist ! . See – trying to insult people as a way of proving your opinion is better is poor form and just builds anger. All are entitled to their views, no matter how crackpot you may think they are…..

    • There will be a lot of kow-towing from our PM if the Oxford vaccine falls over and we need the Chinese one. Fortunately it seems the Oxford vaccine trial is back on again.

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      A very valid point, especially given the state of play in HK, it’s likely that she’ll be offered a prompt Visa for Trump’s America and all she had to do was speak on Fox Media. But then again the USA welcomed in a former Nazi rocket scientist who went on to be the founding brains of the NASA rocket program, so just because she wants a Visa and speaks up to get it doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her science.

  5. This is about as convincing as the theory that it was released in China by the US military during the war game last year. Furthermore, SARS was released by the US as well!!

    This is probably the most balanced article I read about eh subject.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chinas-bat-woman-hunted-down-viruses-from-sars-to-the-new-coronavirus1/

    The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. RatG13 is only a part in the chain in the virus evolving. Certain religion use the same ‘lack of evidence’ argument to attack the theory of evolution.

  6. A lot of R&D was done on the virus in the US (in the public) record until it was, I believe, closed down. I’ve read a few recent articles that point to ‘clusters’ of similar types of infection (hard to know without testing) occurring in the US before the outbreak in China.

  7. Interesting….

    Shu-Kang Chen ( PHD) – The only Shu Kang I could find with a PHD is an “assessment designer” with the “educational testing service” apparently only did research between 1993 and 1995 as a research assistant, and from 2014 onwards despite being involved in the publication of 7 papers between 1996 and 2003…all on soil microbiology. The only references google can find for a Shu Kang are the single researchgate article and this paper…..

    searching for a “Jie Guan PHD” is even more interesting…. the Only “Jie Guan PHD” results were with Google Scholar which linked to a Wei Jie Guan PHD. and a Jie Guan PHD who is a materials and electronics researcher in michigan.
    All the Wei Jie Guan links are for a doctor of respitory medicine who has published a lot regarding COVID 19 treatments… but even his research gate article does not point back to this paper…. He also resides in Ghuangzhuo…. Very brave to put his name to this paper…..

    Cant find any Shancheng HU ( PHD) – closest was a Shancheng Yan….

    Of those involved in this paper that I could find, my quick scan indicated none had worked with any of the others on any of the research papers they had previously done.

    This smells of a Psyops campaign, no accurate verifiable information but close enough that if you did some quick research and not dig deeper you would think it had merit….
    for example… use a name really close to an actual COVID doctor….”Jie Guan” but not really…. Or a biologist who somehow published research while not researching……

    All complete enough information to fool someone who wants to believe but not enough to waste any more time…

    That and Bannons figures on it…. it smells

  8. Typical “diversionary foreign policy” tactics being used by Fox News. Plenty of blame to go around. US organisations with ties to the White House were helping to fund the “gain of function” research in Wuhan.

      • Of course China and this story is big news. But Fox News is also running cover for Trump with the US election not far away. Making everyone look at a foreign power is a classic tactic for distracting the population from domestic issues. Abbott used it a bit himself. Until the media is honest about the connections between the US organisations that were helping to fund the research that allegedly created COVID-19 then I fail to see any reporting on the subject as anything other than “hey look over there at Chi-na”

        • If I were trying to get Trump elected, I’d be doing the same thing. Trump was rightly negative about China before the election. He was right about it. Biden has been soft. It’s a big dent in the armor.

    • Agreed, this is terrible. I’m sure WaPo, CNN, NYT, MSNBC, NBC etc are not running propaganda pieces for Biden’s campaign. They are paragons of balanced journalism.

  9. pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER

    For me it was either;

    An accidental release from the lab – in which case people will blame China and politics generally will move to much more anti china stance as a result (we appear to already on be on this path)

    Or it was released on purpose in which case China is actively playing assemetical war already (possibly seeing the US as financially vunerable with an inverted yield curve at the time) with all intentions to escalate further.

    If the CCP sees a cold war as inevitable with the US then a lot of their actions seem more rational – for example buying iron ore and coal on a crazy scale in advance of tensions limiting supply. China hardly makes any margin on steel production and is storing most of it in domestic works. Ghost cities can build you a lot of tanks if you need them later.

    I hope it’s not the second, but if it is then its a very important lens to view the past and future of say iron ore and coal prices through.

    • Or it was released on purpose in which case China is actively playing assemetical war already

      That would make Xina leaders the second most stupid bunch (after Ruskies and their persistence on use of novitschok which does not work well on dissidents) and it is a worst variant of a shot in the foot.
      Xina was the last country in the world that wanted to disrupt the consumer world which was making Xina wealthier with every passing way. A diametrical reverse of “cui-bono”.

  10. The one sure aspect of Covid-19, is that it gives governments an almost water-tight excuse for any ensuing economic/financial catastrophes, austerity and even radical changes to capitalism itself. Capitalism in its current form is basically on its knees and has been for several decades: well, for the 99% anyway – and there’s no doubt the peasants are becoming increasingly restless. IMO, something major and global was going to give regardless of the pandemic.

    I might add, from the beginning of the pandemic I’d had my suspicions about its origins – and if someone came out tomorrow with absolute proof that Covid-19 was produced in a lab for the purpose of a global economic restructure, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised. The ‘establishment’, or ‘establishments’ would stop at nothing to maintain their status quo.

    It’s no secret that ‘bail-in’ legislation was a global directive emanating from the IMF several years ago; with the majority of countries, apart from NZ, keeping it well out of sight from the peasants. You have to wonder why ‘bail-in’ would be necessary for sovereign currency producing nations like Australia? ‘Bail-in’, of course, would be a heck of a lot easier to pull off when you have a global pandemic to lay blame on.

      • Well, as I said, I don’t know why bail-in is in place – sovereign countries can never run out of money to bail out who, or whatever they like. Personally, I don’t believe the majority of people will become homeless and starving as a result of the pandemic. But when the smoke clears, the world may be facing a vastly different economic scenario. Hopefully one that’s based on a more even distribution of wealth.

        • Hopefully one that’s based on a more even distribution of wealth.

          A good start would be a fairer distribution of natural resources. Giving all the land to elites, then making plebs give their labour to the elite for a tiny amount of land is at the core of the problem with this “capitalism”.

  11. We are not very good and assessing deliberate acts, and seem to have a cognitive bias towards an innocent explanation.

    https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/news/could-mers-coronavirus-be-bioterrorism-new-study-shows-why-could-be-one-explanations-paradoxes

    “ Professor MacIntyre fitted the observed features of MERS-CoV to an epidemic pattern and two sporadic patterns – an animal source or deliberate release. The pattern was much more consistent with a sporadic source, with slightly more weight to deliberate release than an animal source, although both are possible.

    “It could be either explanation. In the case of bioterrorism, if it is not considered at all, it can never be detected, unless it involves an eradicated pathogen such as smallpox” says MacIntyre. “In public health we are generally not good at interpreting aberrant patterns. A good example is the Rajneesh salmonella attack in 1984 in the US – public health authorities did not consider the possibility of bioterrorism, despite a local politician arguing the case that it might be bioterrorism, and despite the facts not fitting with ordinary food poisoning. If Rajneesh had not confessed later, the attack would have never been recognised, and even when he did confess, he wasn’t believed. This case illustrates normal human tendency to force available facts into common, confortable explanations, rather than to view the facts objectively.”

    Another paper looked at the development of a scoring system to assess the likelihood of an epidemic having a non-natural origin. The model was retrospectively applied to 4 historical events known to have been manmade. The model only correctly identified 1 of the 4 to have been manmade.

  12. The virus is too efficient not to be altered in some ways. How it was altered to make it look like it wasn’t altered but naturally occurring is what these experts need to debate.

    Additionally, ironically this pandemic has come about three years after the US and China entered a trade war.

    History surely doesn’t repeat apparently.

    • Yep. A very strange virus at a very interesting time in history.

      Many scientists have concluded the virus wasn’t genetically engineered. But it could have been selectively bred to bind to human lung tissue by repeatedly being passed though lung tissue. We have been selectively breeding dogs etc for years before genetic engineering came along.

      It would be interesting to have a close look at those Uyghur concentration camps. Thousands of people living in dormitory style accommodation.

    • Possible, but you also have to remember that there have been a number of outbreaks of coronaviruses in the past few years, and there tends to be major outbreaks of new strains approx 3 times a century. It’s also worth bearing in mind that as we encroach on the natural world, we come into increasingly closer contact with the animals that harbor these viruses, migratory birds and bats in particular carry large reservoirs of viruses.

      Much as hackers ping for open ports in systems, viruses are constantly pinging our immune system looking for an opening. The math says eventually they’re going to find it.

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