Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #OriginOfCovid

Most recents (24)

"The experiment that could have created this virus (insert the furin cleavage site that makes SARS-CoV-2 a pandemi) is described in this grant proposal (DEFUSE)". Good by Sachs to finally bring this to mainstream attention. Demand better from the zoo crew. jeffsachs.org/interviewsandm…
The #OriginOfCovid is important, but more urgent may be the Origin of Omicron and future VOCs. Parliamentary fact-finding and investigation needed. For many reasons we need to know what we face asap. Virologists, you need to address all this transparently.
Many people will be shocked to learn more details, but it can’t be helped if we want to stop this vicious circle of denial and dysfunction about present dynamics. It’s not a flu 😅
Read 4 tweets
Stuart, the phrase you're looking for is "gain-of-function".

You're asking why the scientists didn't select for/serial passage a natural SARSr-CoV (that already infects human cells) so it spreads among mammals via the air.

I'm glad they did not do that.
As it is, they already serially passaged this close relative to SARS-CoV-2 in humanized mice, and thankfully found that it didn't become more virulent or develop a preference for respiratory transmission in mammals.
In contrast, this 2018 paper describes a more distant SARSr-CoV derived from the guts of bats that was inoculated into the brains of suckling rats - revealing a surprising preference for replication in the lungs.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
Read 10 tweets
There's no way this devastating pandemic started as a result of virus hunting and/or gain-of-function research, say experts who advocated for, funded, or collaborated on virus hunting and/or gain-of-function research.
usrtk.org/biohazards-blo…
Till today, the journal @NatureMedicine that published the Proximal Origin correspondence refuses to correct the piece to disclose the potential conflicts of interest and participation of experts who are well known gain-of-function proponents.
@NatureMedicine No acknowledgment of ideas taken from gain-of-function proponents and inserted into Proximal Origin.
Read 11 tweets
For the people who have not grasped the impact of the DEFUSE research proposal submitted to DARPA in early 2018 by scientists in Wuhan and the US, this virologist laid it out last October:
Imo the DEFUSE proposal is the most compelling piece of evidence for a lab #OriginOfCovid. It sits atop a massive amount of circumstantial evidence describing a robust pathway by which SARS-like viruses were being ferried from the spillover zone to Wuhan:
This story was best covered by @theintercept @fastlerner @maiahibbett

The article quotes virologists who studied both the original SARS virus from 2003 and SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) saying that the DEFUSE research could've plausibly led to the pandemic.
theintercept.com/2021/09/23/cor…
Read 7 tweets
#originofcovid #Drastic
This twitter thread explains the origin of alpha coronaviruses, specifically Rs4259. This is important because this virus shared the same bat as Pangolin GX as demonstrated in my previous image (May 19).
This image shows that HKU8 was originally a rat beta coronavirus (Ruili-66).
This image is 1 of 2 that shows that Rs4259 was also originally a rat beta coronavirus. Actually the HKU10 family sprouted out of the HKU8 family of viruses.
Read 10 tweets
Why are people still so stunned when they hear that an expert privately thinks this pandemic started due to research activities?

At this point, we already know that scientists had an experimental workflow in 2018 that could have led to the emergence of Covid-19 / SARS-CoV-2.
Are we all supposed to pretend like it's no big deal (or the most tragic coincidence ever) that a SARS-like virus with a novel cleavage site shows up 1.5 years after scientists in that city propose to put novel cleavage sites into SARS-like viruses?
theintercept.com/2021/09/23/cor…
Given the current balance of circumstantial evidence, I'm not surprised at all to hear that many top experts privately think that a lab #OriginOfCovid is more likely than not.

But many are constrained by their positions into not adopting a public stance on this issue.
Read 8 tweets
Glad to see sustained acknowledgement that both natural and lab #OriginOfCovid need to be investigated.

However, I'd like to know what exactly is the virological evidence pointing strongly towards a natural origin.

*Not ancestral origin, but the proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2.
For those wondering why I'm differentiating between ancestral vs proximal #OriginOfCovid pls know that some experts eg @WHO SAGO recently changed the definition of origin to mean the ancestral host rather than the pathway by which a virus emerges in human.
@WHO So when some experts say that COVID / SARS-CoV-2 has a zoonotic origin, they might not mean that it didn't come through a lab or research activities.

It just means that it's most likely that at some point an ancestral version of the virus was in nature.
Read 7 tweets
After 2 years, @WHO, US intelligence & more top experts+virologists acknowledge that a lab #OriginOfCovid is plausible and deserving of an investigation.

Yet, the attacks by scientists & pundits on those who called for an objective investigation of a lab origin has gotten worse.
@WHO I'm not expecting an apology or for people to say I was right in May 2020. My expectations of human behavior are not that idealistic.

Here is our statement in May 2020, for reference, that drew me into this unpredictable and dangerous public debate.
biorxiv.org/content/10.110…
US intelligence stance in 2021:
dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
Read 12 tweets
To the scientists still comparing the lab #OriginOfCovid hypothesis to all sorts of conspiracy theories, you need to read these private emails among top virologists freaking out about a plausible lab leak and even a genetically engineered origin of Covid-19.
Those experts who are more honest have come out publicly and said you can't tell based on the available public evidence.
“Unnoticed by most, however, was a key difference that significantly shifted the risk calculation. The Chinese work was carried out at biosafety level 2..

If you study a hundred different bat viruses, your luck may run out.”
technologyreview.com/2021/06/29/102…
Read 6 tweets
1/ Here is a thread of the slides from my recent YouTube video on the evidence against a market origin of SARS-CoV-2. #COVID19 #COVID #SARSCoV #OriginOfCovid
2/
3/
Read 18 tweets
We don't know when the COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan.

According to 1 group of virologists, the first cases were most likely at the end of Nov & early Dec 2019. But this contrasts with reports from experts who had heard of the outbreak by mid-Dec 2019.
zenodo.org/record/6291628…
If the COVID-19 virus had jumped from an animal to a human person in late Nov 2019, causing the pandemic, that would mean the case had to develop symptoms, spread to cause detected outbreak, news travelled outside of the province & country in 2-3 weeks.
Even the @nytimes @carlzimmer @benjmueller which endorsed the Pekar et al. preprint opted to report their earliest estimate (vaguely, Nov). Rather than say these scientists believed the animal-to-human transmissions only occurred late Nov-mid Dec 2019.
nytimes.com/interactive/20…
Read 21 tweets
Just an FYI for those asking what or where is the evidence for a plausible lab #OriginOfCovid

The evidence for a lab origin is comparable to that for a market origin of the virus. Both pathways are plausible and deserving of a credible investigation.
Read 5 tweets
There’s been some back & forth of late between Worobey & Bloom about early SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from China, focusing on the meaning of deleted SRA files. Anyone else notice that none of this debate concerns what the existing data say about the #OriginOfCovid ? 🧵
Jesse’s main argument is “because the early viral genome data from China is incomplete, we can’t make strong conclusions about the #OriginOfCovid.” This assertion has some serious flaws..
Let’s not let the innuendo distract us: Jesse does not provide an alternative interpretation of the existing data. He merely states that Worobey et al’s conclusions are too strong.. Between the lines though, he is obviously implying a lab leak *might* still be plausible
Read 15 tweets
Wichtige Durchsage 🤪

"Die meiste Wissenschaft wird in großen Telefonkonferenzen durchgeführt und zum Abschluss gebracht. Auf diesem Wege kann sichergestellt werden, dass alle der gleichen Meinung sind - ein wichtiger Teil des wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisprozesses."
#wisskomm
Hier kann man sehen, wie der wissenschaftliche Prozess in Gang gesetzt wurde, der am Ende zum erwünschten Konsens bzgl. #OriginOfCovid führte:

"Ich würde bevorzugen, diese Gruppe sehr klein zu halten." ✅

"Logischerweise werde ich jeden um totale Vertraulichkeit bitten." ✅ Image
Am Ende stand ECHTE Wissenschaft 🤡 Image
Read 4 tweets
To the virologists complaining about the qualifications of scientists who spent the last 2.5 years fighting the narrative that a lab #OriginOfCovid is a conspiracy theory...

Which one of your card-carrying peers intended to tell the world a lab origin is plausible and when?
Because we're seeing lots and lots of FOIA'ed emails among card-carrying virologists worrying about a lab #OriginOfCovid but zero sign of any one of them stepping up to tell the public.
Read 8 tweets
I'm not surprised scientists think a natural #OriginOfCovid is plausible. I'm one of them.

I'm surprised by the certainty some scientists profess to have while turning on & viciously degrading their peers who suggest a lab origin.

Twitter hath no fury like a virologist scorned.
I expect that as the number of experts (and reporters) who insist that a natural #OriginOfCovid is (almost) certain dwindles, these scientist-on-scientist attacks with name-calling and smears will get increasingly vicious.
If experts who are (almost) certain of a natural #OriginOfCovid refuse to come to scientific exchanges on the topic being held in a neutral space, that is 💯 on them.

If you're certain of your expertise, it shouldn't worry you that "epistemic trespassers" are allowed to speak.
Read 5 tweets
One recurring argument I hear from virologists trying to debunk lab #OriginOfCovid is that their colleagues are such incurable gossips that they could not possibly hold back information on novel viruses discovered and cutting edge experiments being conducted...
... and that this applies even to labs engaged in classified research where scientists and students have to regularly sign confidentiality pledges and sometimes seal their research reports for 20 years. washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pac…
If this Global Virology Gossip Network is so effective, can anyone produce the virus database at the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Or tell us what experiments were done after they co-submitted a proposal to insert novel cleavage sites into undefined SARS-like viruses?
Read 7 tweets
1/I keep receiving over and over the same comments on EVALI. “The cases were too young to be COVID!” “It was caused by vitamin E acetate!” “It has nothing to do with COVID”! I demonstrated in my article that these arguments are not valid but it seems to be the time to make a 🧵
2/First of all, what is EVALI? The name (E-Cigarette, or Vaping Product, Use–Associated Lung Injury) was invented by the CDC to describe an epidemic of “severe lung disease” with most cases identified in the US.
3/Why was it associated to vaping? Because many patients reported the use of electronic cigarette, originating the speculation that vaping may be the causative agent for the acute lung injury.
Read 34 tweets
How can we determine whether scientific journals are opening their gates to #OriginOfCovid debate by publishing articles that aren't biased towards only a natural origin?

The public has embraced the debate, but I don't think our scientific journals have.
thelancet.com/journals/lance…
There have been some notable exceptions in top scientific journals, e.g., @PNASnews Nov 2020, David Relman: To stop the next pandemic, we need to unravel the origins of COVID-19
pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pn…
Bloom et al. @ScienceMagazine Investigate the origins of COVID-19
science.org/doi/10.1126/sc…
Read 8 tweets
I did a mini thread in Feb on why I do not find the ENaC hypothesis compelling, particularly one that involves a UNC specialist telling a Wuhan scientist to use the furin cleavage site from ENaC in their SARS-like viruses.
It's possible a Wuhan scientist independently chanced upon the FCS in ENaC and thought it might be a good insertion for SARS-like viruses, but it's just as likely they saw other cleavage sites (RRAR) in novel viral sequences and used that as inspiration.
It would be more striking to me if the match including the entire FCS insertion "PRRA" or if the rest of the match "RSVAS" (5 out of 8 matching letters) didn't already exist in many of SARS2's close relatives.
Read 6 tweets
I have asked @Ayjchan to prove that pre-pandemic EVALI samples in the US were not caused by COVID as she is sure that SARS2 did not originate from a lab in the US. NIH concluded that EVALI may have been caused by a virus. Waiting for her answer.
And BTW I am not saying that the US created SARS2 alone and "unleashed" it to Wuhan, as she suggests. If SARS2 has a lab origin it is likely the product of a collaboration and the World Military Games in Wuhan could easily explain a cluster of cases there.
That was the answer
First, EVALI started only few months before the COVID pandemic, not years before. Second, she pretends to ignore the possible role of the World Military Games to create the cluster of cases in Wuhan.
Read 28 tweets
I'm noticing a recent uptick in people tweeting about Covid-19 having been created in the US by collaborators of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Please think through this carefully. You're saying the Chinese have proof the US created this virus and unleashed it on Wuhan...
... and though the Chinese gov has been desperate to shift the #OriginOfCovid outside of China - desperate enough to inculcate its people with the idea that the virus can spread through frozen 🐟 and the 📬 - they refuse to use the proof that the virus was made in the US.
Your hypothesis is, despite possessing proof that the virus originated in a US lab, the Chinese state media engaged in a disinformation campaign last year that went nowhere... even making up a Swiss scientist to complain about the #OriginOfcovid inquiry.
bbc.com/news/world-asi…
Read 6 tweets
Not sure @PeterHotez read the @PNAS letter carefully.

"SARS-CoV-2 is, to date, the only identified member of the subgenus sarbecovirus that contains an FCS, although these are present in other coronaviruses"
@PeterHotez @pnas "We do know that the insertion of such FCS sequences into SARS-like viruses was a specific goal of work proposed by the EHA-WIV-UNC partnership within a 2018 grant proposal (“DEFUSE”)"
@PeterHotez @pnas "We do not assert that laboratory manipulation was involved in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, although it is apparent that it could have been. However, we do assert that there has been no independent and transparent scientific scrutiny to date..."
Read 6 tweets
From the @TheLancet COVID-19 commission chair:

"EHA-WIV-UNC was involved in the collection of a large number of so-far undocumented SARS-like viruses.. manipulation within.. (BSL)-2.. raising concerns that an airborne virus might have infected a.. worker"
pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pn…
@TheLancet Hey @shingheizhan our peer-reviewed @MolBioEvol figure is cited in the letter!
@TheLancet There are 2 components to the Harrison & Sachs letter.

1. There are parties in the US that have repeatedly resisted sharing information relevant to #OriginOfCovid and they should be compelled to cooperate in a formal, ideally bipartisan, US-based investigation.
Read 9 tweets

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