Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #OriginsOfCOVID

Most recents (24)

Physicist David Robert Grimes Finds Conspiracies Everywhere disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/physicist-da…
If you questions vaccine side effects? Conspiracy theorist

Pesticides & radiation? Conspiracy theorist....

Clinical trials? Conspiracy!

#OriginsOfCovd Conspiracy theorist, of course! /1
Grimes excels at is wading into controversial scientific topics, for which he has little experience or publication record, and “debunking” contrary evidence and real experts as “conspiracy theorists.” @BBCJohnBeattie /2
We now better understand the rare side effects of blood clotting w/ AstraZeneca's vaccine.

But when agencies first reported these side effects, David Grimes rushed to dismiss them in an @IrishTimesOpEd in the @IrishTimes @ScienceNelson disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/physicist-da… /3
Read 8 tweets
Pursued On All Sides By Journalists and Congress, Peter Daszak Seeks Refuge At Science Magazine, via @DisInfoChron disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/pursued-on-a…
Enough with silly nonreporting reporting, send the subpoenas /1
It's become clear that, despite assurances from Tim Appenzeller at Science, that publication won't pursue stories about congressional investigations that make Peter Daszak or the NIH look bad. /2
The latest volley from Science is this odd profile of Peter Daszak that Science's Editor-in-Chief made clear on Twitter was for political purposes to undermine opinions that #originsofcovid could have started in a Wuhan lab. This sort of honesty is called a Kinsley gaffe. /3
Read 6 tweets
Sometimes the #OriginsOfCOVID gang (@Ayjchan etc) decide that the Chinese government’s reticence about sharing information from research centers is evidence for a #LabLeak. By that standard, is this evidence for spillover? washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pac… ImageImageImageImage
More. The Chinese government and regional governments have made it extremely hard to get any data on fur farms, exotic meat farms, and wild meat hunters. The *existence* of those products for sale in Wuhan is still being covered up within China. ImageImageImage
Enshi is far closer to Wuhan than Yunnan, where the closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2 in China has been found. But it appears no one has sampled the viromes of Rhinolophus in Enshi. Practices there clearly warrant investigation. ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
Natural origin proponents and agnostic/lab leak proponents keep talking past each other because there are some fundamental differences in how we interpret the state of knowledge and novel findings relating to #OriginsOfCovid
Close relatives to SARS2 have been found in bats.

Natural origin proponents: we will find the intermediate host of SARS2 soon.

Agnostic/lab origin proponents: we still don’t know how the virus got from bats to humans.
On precedents.

Natural origin proponents: this new pandemic is most likely history repeating itself.

Agnostic/lab origin proponents: viruses, including coronavirus and the first SARS virus, have leaked from labs too.
Read 7 tweets
It's not right that information directly relevant to the #OriginsOfCovid - much of it from sources outside of China - are only being revealed close to 2 years post-outbreak.
These documents only made public in September 2021 make any scientific reviews (some would say critical reviews) or science journalism pieces prior to last month out-of-date and uninformed.

theintercept.com/2021/09/06/new…

theintercept.com/2021/09/23/cor…
If anyone is writing a new #OriginsOfCovid journalistic piece or a critical review/op-ed for publication at a scientific journal, you must include the new findings from the #Defuse DARPA proposal leaked by Drastic and the NIH EcoHealth progress reports FOIA'ed by @theintercept
Read 4 tweets
My interview w/ author Elaine Dewar on her latest book "On the Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years” about her journey investigating #OriginsOfCovid disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/a-candid-con… /1
Elaine Dewar on scientific publishers, "Some—Nature, The Lancet, eMI—turned themselves into platforms for the science equivalent of propaganda." All to stay on the good side of China. #originsofcovid disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/a-candid-con… /2
In her book, Dewar notes: in January 2020, Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology submitted a study to @Nature and another study to a different journal that contradicted the Nature paper. Neither have been corrected. (Who peer reviews Nature studies?) #originsofcovid /3
Read 9 tweets
Trying to explain what folks are seeing: last week DRASTIC released a leaked 2018 DARPA grant that wasn’t funded, but had some wild proposals: i.e. UNC/EcoH/WIV proposed spraying China’s caves w/bat vaccines made using bat viruses, to protect the world from a bat virus pandemic.
They wrote about adding a furin cleavage site into their lab’s bat viruses & asked DOD to fund them. (The existence of a furin cleavage site in the COVID-19 virus has had scientists scratching their heads, normal bat viruses don’t have these furin cleavage sites, they tell us.)
Some say the COVID-19 virus’ fcs means it came from a lab. Some find it odd no one involved in the 2018 grant told the world they’d had this bat virus proposal out there. Last week,Linfa Wang confirmed his involvement & UNC’s in the rejected grant & defended not saying anything.
Read 5 tweets
These redactions are getting kind of over the top.
I don’t think releasing a Feb 2020 discussion among scientists about the origins will make that much difference in terms of the West’s relationship with China. It’s not like it’s going to surprise us that they were taking a lab leak seriously - we saw that in Farrar’s book.
What’s there left to surprise us with?
Read 9 tweets
Why has the DEFUSE EcoHealth x WIV document not hit the mainstream?

The public needs to know there was a pipeline for genetically modifying novel SARS-like coronaviruses as part of an international collaboration involving the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The biggest reason as far as I can see is that the largest news outlets refuse to run stories once they lose the exclusive.

This makes little sense to me because what % of people are following the Twitter users tweeting about DEFUSE?
The DEFUSE story was so close to being in a big newspaper but got pulled last minute when it was dropped on Twitter.

This is a disservice to the public and to the documents and the whistleblower.
Read 6 tweets
The documents FOIA’ed or leaked in the past month have shown us that there is a lot of info relevant to #OriginsOfCovid still being withheld even outside of China. Many FOIAs are still in progress, and it could take years before those emails and documents are finally released.
It’s troubling that the individuals sitting on these documents don’t have knowledge or access to a secure whistleblower channel, or in some cases they appear not to even understand the impact of the info they’re sitting on and their decision not to make public what they know.
If, in Jan 2020, the world was informed of the DEFUSE proposal and that scientists don’t know whether the virus came from a market or a lab, there’s a possibility we could’ve ended this pandemic before it got so out of control.
Read 5 tweets
Both #OriginsOfCovid study committees with strong ties to EcoHealth Alliance & WIV have finally been disbanded.

As many are aware by now, there are plentiful opportunities outside China to collect information about the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan.
wsj.com/articles/who-s…
"The previous WHO-selected team.. recommended that their Chinese counterparts analyze blood banks, test farmworkers and further scrutinize the earliest suspected cases.. China hasn’t said whether it has undertaken such work. The original WHO team has been disbanded."
If there are any people out there who believe China would not do everything in its power to rapidly identify the source of a killer virus in one of its top cities, with or without the recommendations of foreign experts...
Read 8 tweets
I imagine some scientists are now praying that one of the most well-funded, prolific, cutting-edge labs in the world suddenly didn’t have the will, funding or ingenuity to follow through and expand on the SARSr-CoV engineering ideas they proposed in early 2018. #OriginsOfCovid
This is an astute observation by @zeynep

The more senior authors and signatories of @TheLancet letters and the Holmes et al. @CellCellPress paper should be approached for extended comment on the EcoHealth proposal.
To do that, we really need the best of the best journalists to cover this story. @theintercept @fastlerner @MaraHvistendahl @maiahibbett and @TheAtlantic @danengber have made valiant efforts to authenticate the document and to juxtapose arguments from experts on both sides.
Read 9 tweets
It’s difficult to reconcile this interview of the former DNI with the recent declassified summary by the IC. If there is compelling evidence of a lab origin (which I had heard of back in August) then why did the IC agencies largely not reach even low confidence conclusions?
Reminder of how the IC implements ruled regarding just natural exposure vs lab origin:
Read 4 tweets
I think something’s very wrong if evidence of this nature exists and yet is not being shared with the public in a timely manner.

“Expect more bat-CoVs closer to SARS-CoV-2 & some likely w/ FCS or related in nature.” - @peterdaszak
“Op Eds & books planned & many more FoIAs on their way. But if we looks at the scientific data…” - @peterdaszak

Actually the scientific data in @theintercept FOIA has been very illuminating as to the GOF work being performed by EcoHealth and WIV.

“There have been dozens of FoIA’d docs, emails, reports, proposals (even ones that didn’t get funded!).” - @peterdaszak

The FOIA’ed emails show us how @TheLancet letter condemning non-natural origin hypotheses was orchestrated by Daszak.
Read 15 tweets
I spent years running congressional investigations and twice had to warn attorneys about lying to Congress. The legal standard is clear: Fauci broke the law by misleading Congress about his funding of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/anthony-fauc… /1 Image
Newsweek, former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell, and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs have all found that Fauci's NIAID funded gain-of-function research at Wuhan. Are they lying? Or did Fauci mislead and lie before Congress? #originsofcovid /2
In a Channel 4 documentary, David Relman explains that Fauci's NIAID did fund gain-of-function at Wuhan. Relman points to the paper in PLOS Pathogens disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/anthony-fauc… /3 Image
Read 4 tweets
Starting to see some prominent scientists misinterpreting the IC report #OriginsOfCovid

Why haven't they learnt their lesson yet? Gain of function or genetic engineering have not been "debunked" or "ruled out" by the report.

Do we need to repeat 2020?
dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
IC report on genetic engineering:
"Most agencies also assess with low confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered; however, two agencies believe there was not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way."

Low confidence. Not sufficient evidence.
Do we also need to walk a genetically engineered origin from conspiracy theory ➡️ extremely unlikely ➡️ plausible enough that it's a toss-up?

Read 13 tweets
The IC report on #OriginsOfCovid tells us it's time to get to work.

The status quo with most elements stacked on low confidence (intel was of uncertain credibility or reliability) can't be the end of the search for the origin of a world-changing pandemic.
dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
"Officials told CNN this week that the intelligence agencies were switching sides on which theory was more likely as recently as last week."

This means the situation is unstable and minds continue to change. This is reasonable due to lack of intel & data.
cnn.com/2021/08/27/pol…
My hope is that more details will become unclassified over the next weeks. As a scientist, it is not satisfying to see what others have concluded weakly without seeing the data.

But, based on what data & info are public, I would also have to say I'm in the "Don't Know" category.
Read 5 tweets
The areas of disagreement in the IC will surely generate more discussion, but important to emphasize the common ground among intelligence agencies’ assessment of #OriginsOfCovid. This should reasonably bracket future discussions. odni.gov/index.php/news…
✅ Emergence no later than November.
✅ First outbreak in December.
❌ Not genetically engineered.
❌ Not a bioweapon.
❌ No prior knowledge by officials of its emergence.

I suppose that doesn’t rule out knowledge between emergence and the first outbreak.
This rules out the idea, circulating in the weirder corners of “lab leak” world, that the Military World Games were the site of an outbreak in October-November 2019.
Read 9 tweets
“a House committee investigator who is not authorized to speak to the media told me that the NIH has information that can help explain how the pandemic started, but the current administration seems loath to make it public.”

Piece by ⁦@thackerpdnewsweek.com/time-congress-…
I think it would help to rebuild public trust if all these (b)(5) “withhold it because you want to” redactions were removed.
One thing these redacted emails brings to light is the international nature of pathogen research, including gain-of-function research. It’s not like the US alone has a stake in this type of work. It’s being conducted almost everywhere there are $ and capabilities.
Read 4 tweets
This Comment in @Nature sounds a bit like a sales gimmick.

Hurry while sales last!

We are now 1.5 years into the pandemic. It's a bit late to be worrying about a closing window of opportunity.

Brace yourselves for a long and logical thread.
nature.com/articles/d4158…
@Nature (1) It is irrational that the Chinese gov would not have already conducted all these basic follow-up studies suggested by international experts sent by the @WHO

It's almost r*cist to imagine China would need Western scientists to tell it how to track the #OriginsOfCovid
@Nature @WHO Contact tracing of early cases, supply chain surveys & serological surveys are listed as priority. Do they think China, which skilfully traced the origin of the first SARS outbreak despite limited technologies 2 decades ago, hasn't already done these basic follow-up?
Read 34 tweets
After last night’s @C4Dispatches #OriginsOfCovid documentary I’ve seen a rise in responses claiming that to even ask if a lab leak might’ve occurred is racist.

Most of the world is Asian, and our safety from future outbreaks shouldn’t be collateral from the fighting in the West.
We are living in a time when the number of research-related incidents is increasing rapidly because of the growing number of labs working with pathogens. This has nothing to do with which country or race is doing the experiments. Just the volume of work and local regulations.
We don’t seem to get the point. Even if the virus is one day found to have leaked from a lab, it doesn’t justify any racism.

It’s not like racism is allowed if the virus came from a lab 😑
Read 7 tweets
My hope is that a few decades from now, scientists with less skin in the game can do a retrospective and objective evaluation of the scientific community’s behavior and practices wrt #OriginsOfCovid
If you told me even 1 year ago that a top journal would publish a paper signed by dozens of top scientists, whose central figure used Adobe illustrator to reverse engineer data out of a highly pixelated unverifiable figure with errors produced by the Chinese government…
And that the first and key authors of this paper would be 4 of the 5 Proximal Origin authors who were all convened by Feb 1, 2020 to privately share their fears with other top scientists in the West that the virus was more likely to have come from a lab…
Read 6 tweets
Nicholas Wade’s 2nd piece on #OriginsOfCovid

We really need a detailed, non-redacted explanation of what happened at that Feb 1, 2020 meeting among top international scientists.

thebulletin.org/2021/08/how-co…
I laid out the timeline by which top expert opinions had changed within 3 days of the Feb 1 call.

We know even after the call, several still thought a lab leak more likely and one feared he would be the scientist to break it to the world that the virus had come from a lab.
It wasn’t the result of even 2 weeks of new data and revision, it was just 3 days.
Read 6 tweets
There's some confusion that I'm a member of Drastic. There's even a book coming out that misstates several times that I'm part of Drastic.

I'm not and never have been.

But I've long advocated for journalists to properly credit their efforts to investigate the #OriginsOfCovid
This is the team membership of Drastic.
Journalists, please look at this very easy to find page before assuming who is or isn't on the Drastic team.
drasticresearch.org/the-team/
We've already seen one award-winning journalist make a severe error (yet to be corrected) in this regard: misstating that a neuroscientist in Drastic made sexist remarks.

FYI the same neuroscientist has also attacked me repeatedly on twitter.
nature.com/articles/d4158…
Read 6 tweets

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