Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #OriginsOfCovid

Most recents (24)

NIH explained to Senator Grassley how NIH-funded SARS/MERS-like chimeric CoV work at WIV had not been determined to meet USG criteria for GOFROC covered by federal funding pause or P3CO Framework.

But more interesting than the ⚔️ on GOF definitions is…
grassley.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/…
“during the course of the grant, the grantee proposed to place a small portion of the newly identified bat coronaviruses into a larger portion of MERS-CoV to understand the potential origins of MERS-CoV in bats.. conducted at WIV”

Can this proposal pls be shared with the public?
Another question: Did NIH-funded WIV work turn out to be “instrumental to the unprecedented rapid development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to address the COVID-19 pandemic”?

Important for this to be substantiated with data since similar work continues to be funded.
Read 7 tweets
An interview of Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance from a year ago:

"Daszak says that around 16,000 bats have been sampled and around 100 new SARS-like viruses discovered."

May we please see the data concerning these 100 new SARS-like viruses discovered?
economist.com/science-and-te…
Very next sentence: "In particular, some bats found in China are now known to harbour coronaviruses that seem pre-adapted to infect people."

Did another top expert in the field use the word "pre-adapted"?
We know that not all of these novel SARSrCoVs (and their sequences) are in the public domain.

Even the most recently published RaTG15 was collected in 2015.
Read 5 tweets
New book by the director of Wellcome Trust. @ianbirrell notes that it does not describe the story of the Daszak-orchestrated Lancet letter to "strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin".
#OriginsOfCovid
unherd.com/2021/07/how-sc…
@ianbirrell The book reveals how several top experts in virology and infectious diseases had initially pegged the lab leak hypothesis as the most likely scenario. Ed Holmes was “80% sure this thing had come out of a lab”. Kristian Andersen 60-70%; Andrew Rambaut, Bob Garry not far behind.
Even after the Feb 1 call among international experts, Jeremy Farrar said “On a spectrum if 0 is nature and 100 is release I am honestly at 50... My guess is this will remain grey unless there is access to the Wuhan lab — and I suspect that is unlikely.”
Read 15 tweets
Just listened to this terrific podcast interview on the #OriginsOfCovid of @KatherineEban @VanityFair by @PeterAttiaMD

Like Eban says, it's one of these stories where you feel like you can't even make this stuff up.
peterattiamd.com/katherineeban2/
@KatherineEban @VanityFair @PeterAttiaMD There's a good discussion in the podcast about the difficulty of finding out who are the few people who know the origin of the virus (have evidence of it) and why finding a whistleblower may take decades or maybe even never. Related story:
I agree with @KatherineEban that the most credible sources on the #OriginsOfCovid are those that are asking for a proper investigation of plausible hypotheses, not the people on either side who insist that the virus is almost certainly natural or almost certainly from a lab.
Read 10 tweets
Very heated exchange on gain-of-function and #OriginsOfCovid between Rand Paul and Tony Fauci ~50min into today's hearing "The Path Forward: A Federal Perspective on the COVID-19 Response"
An old thread by me that explains why Paul and Fauci are talking past each other on this point of whether NIH funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan:
This is a more recent thread again by me on how the federal definition of GOFROC leaves a lot of wiggle room for interpretation and why, even among scientists, it can be very difficult to agree on what is GOF using the federal definitions.
Read 6 tweets
New information or clarifications relevant to the #OriginsOfCovid continue to come to light on a regular basis.

In the short time between when I spoke with @NPR @FoodieScience and today, @washingtonpost published their discovery that China @who report suffered editing errors…
Unfortunately one of the known errors impacts the map of early covid cases in Dec 2019- this data is inconsistent with what was reported in Wuhan and yet underlies the first figure of the critical review by Holmes et al.
This is very problematic because a map with errors is influencing the judgment of scientists who have no access to primary data.
Read 16 tweets
Getting a bit weary of debunking articles trying to debunk information surrounding the lab leak hypothesis.

This @snopes article does a good job debunking some straw men but I think makes some critical errors.
snopes.com/news/2021/07/1…
In my opinion, it starts off on the wrong foot.

Some powerful scientists indeed unfairly rejected the notion that SARS2 came from a lab as a conspiracy theory. And internet sleuths did uncover damning info pointing to a possible lab origin of SARS2. usrtk.org/biohazards-blo…
This is not a good look for scientists and I reject that scientists as a whole are judged based on these Lancet letters.
Read 28 tweets
From @sciencecohen @ScienceMagazine on @WHO next steps #originsofcovid
“Koopmans.. would welcome broadening the existing group’s expertise.. to conduct lab audits and to study the blood of more humans who.. may have been exposed.. before the outbreak”
sciencemag.org/news/2021/07/w…
Gerard Keusch, who signed both infamous Lancet letters and partnered with Peter Daszak to apply for a grant, said of the new SAGO: “allowing individuals and governments to nominate themselves.. will result in a partisan, selective process and not lead to the best composition.”
I would like to ask Keusch if he witnessed the China-WHO joint study phase I team member selection process and whether he considers it non-partisan and of the “best composition”.
Read 20 tweets
Looking forward to more details on how the “dream team” helped Kristian Andersen shift from 60-70% sure Covid-19 came from a lab to “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible” and “rules out laboratory manipulation”. thetimes.co.uk/article/sage-a…
Read 11 tweets
Opinion by @YanzhongHuang raises concerns about a self-fulfilling bioweapons prophecy (escalating global biodefense research), but I disagree that "reviving" the lab leak hypothesis made a full and transparent #OriginsOfCovid investigation less likely.
thebulletin.org/2021/07/after-…
@YanzhongHuang Many scientists waited to see what the @WHO could do in their joint study with China.

Afterwards, the team leader said "You need to do a formal audit, and that’s far beyond what our team is mandated to do or has the tools and capabilities to do"
sciencemag.org/news/2021/02/p…
@YanzhongHuang @WHO "WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of COVID-19."
apnews.com/article/joe-bi…
Read 12 tweets
On the earliest covid cases, WHO is correcting virus sequence IDs & clarifying the 1st cluster was not linked to Huanan Seafood Market, but did not explain why the 1st patient who lived in Wuchang (near WIV) was mapped elsewhere in the WHO-China report.
washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pac…
This report suggests to me that the @washingtonpost has a better handle on highly important details of the early covid cases in Wuhan than the @WHO

Can we please have a different organization convene and lead an international investigation into the #OriginsOfCovid ?
We can't have any more unintended editing errors muddling the sequences, locations, and exposure factors of the earliest Covid-19 cases.

This is not conducive to understanding when the virus first emerged and what potential sources might have been.
Read 12 tweets
For the people who have been following the search for the #OriginsOfCovid the House Science Committee hearing is now discussing questions on the matter (opening remarks by each expert just concluded).

Live video available here!
1st question is about setting ground rules or treaties for the country of origin/first detection to share data in the event of outbreaks.

There are currently only ad hoc international collaborations. One of the best is @ProMED_mail that notifies global members of outbreaks.
@ProMED_mail 2nd question is about @TheLancet @NatureMedicine letters dismissing lab origin hypotheses as conspiracy theories or saying no lab-based scenario is plausible. Were these statements of scientific fact, consensus, or opinion?
Read 30 tweets
This is happening next Wednesday:
@DavidRelman will be speaking to the Investigations and Oversight subcommittee of the House Science Committee on "Principles for Outbreak Investigation: COVID-19 and Future Infectious Diseases".
science.house.gov/hearings/princ…
I wish more experts were invited to give a balanced and clear-minded assessment of the existing evidence surrounding the #OriginsOfCovid
I think @DavidRelman is one of the best scientists to speak on this topic - finding the source of a pandemic that could’ve arisen naturally or involved research activity. pnas.org/content/117/47…
Read 4 tweets
I'm getting requests for comment on the new preprint review on #OriginsOfCovid

This new review is slightly better than the Proximal Origin correspondence (and has a more impressive authorship list) but sticks to the same key points as Proximal Origin.

zenodo.org/record/5075888…
The first author did not disclose his 2014-present Guest Professor position in the Chinese CDC. This was also not disclosed in Proximal Origin. So my understanding is that this appointment was and still is not considered a competing interest.
api.profiles.sydney.edu.au/AcademicProfil…
The preprint ultimately urges a comprehensive investigation of the zoonotic origin of the virus, ideally through collaborative studies. 💯agreed.

But I disagree that "there is substantial body of scientific evidence supporting a zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2."
Read 15 tweets
The #OriginsOfCovid controversy has muddled the definitions of two terms:

Conflicts of interest

Conspiracy theory

Insights from @DisInfoChron @thackerpd and @ianbirrell here:
disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/ian-birrell-…
@DisInfoChron @thackerpd @ianbirrell It is somehow ok for an expert to first fail to declare their conflicts of interest, consider taking their name off a letter they wrote, and then one year later say they have reasonably perceived competing interests but are acting in a "private capacity".
Many journalists reporting on these letters and scientific articles fail to point out the severity of the conflict of interest.

@thackerpd: "these same reporters have no problem screaming on Twitter if a politician has financial conflicts or campaign funding from corporations."
Read 5 tweets
If #LabLeak #OriginsOfCovid types were smart, they’d take this as a win. thelancet.com/journals/lance…
This is just objectively true. I know the #LabLeakTheorytypes really want the facts to show something else, but right now they’re arguing about what’s possible, not what we know.
And facts don’t care about your feelings. Lab leak loons have succeeded in creating the debate they wanted, but not in producing the substance to keep it going. There’s no data and no plausible hypothesis.
Read 4 tweets
Another stunning piece by @rowanjacobsen @techreview of a top coronavirus expert, Ralph Baric.

"[Baric] wants to know what barriers were in place to keep a pathogen from slipping out into Wuhan’s population of 13 million, and possibly to the world."

technologyreview.com/2021/06/29/102…
@rowanjacobsen @techreview I would like to remind how incredibly difficult it was to even raise the -possibility- much less the plausibility of a lab leak one year ago.

Today many experts are saying that they always said a lab leak was possible and should be investigated. When? Where?
@rowanjacobsen @techreview In my view, the "consensus" has only recently (May 2021) become reasonable. That a large portion of scientists and journalists are finally saying "Of course we need to investigate all possible scenarios, including a lab leak!"
Read 8 tweets
US intelligence should really release what they know and put to bed all the confusion once and for all.

Were there WIV staffers sick with Covid symptoms in Nov 2019? Did one of their wives die? Or is this intelligence not solid?
bloomberg.com/news/features/…
Dr Anderson was a visiting foreign scientist at WIV up to Nov 2019.

But we have this from @evadou @washingtonpost
"[WIV] records mention protocols for disclosing information to foreigners and the sealing of some research reports for up to two decades."
washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pac…
How many people in total worked at the WIV?

"there is a procedure for reporting symptoms that correspond with the pathogens handled in high-risk containment labs"

But what about BSL2 (not high-risk containment) at which the live SARSrCoV work was performed?
Read 12 tweets
This might be the most extensive article written in support of natural origins of Covid-19 that I've seen. I think this was an incredibly well-written piece @factcheckdotorg @jjmcdona with well-rounded quotes from respected experts in the field.
factcheck.org/2021/06/sciche…
@factcheckdotorg @jjmcdona If I can summarize the top 3 points for natural origins, it would be these, according to the article and interviews with experts:

(1) There is no direct evidence of a lab accident or SARS2 having existed in a lab. Instead, we have observed SARS2-like viruses in nature.
(2) An early cluster of Covid-19 in Wuhan was based at a live animal market. The vendors might’ve hidden their illegal animals when they heard there was an outbreak. China has not tested enough animals to find the animal source of the outbreak.
Read 14 tweets
Thank you very much @antonioregalado for thinking I was worthy of a profile in @techreview for my work on #OriginsOfCovid

And @rowanjacobsen and @BostonMagazine who thought so back in June 2020.

bostonmagazine.com/news/2020/09/0…
technologyreview.com/2021/06/25/102…
@antonioregalado @techreview @rowanjacobsen @BostonMagazine This question from @antonioregalado is worth thinking about for people on both sides of the issue.

"I asked Chan how she would feel if the virus did prove to have emerged naturally..."

How would people (especially scientists) feel if the virus proves to have come from a lab?
@antonioregalado @techreview @rowanjacobsen @BostonMagazine I said “I have days where I think this could be natural. And if it’s natural, then I’ve done a terrible thing because I’ve put a lot of scientists in a very dangerous spot by saying that they could be the source of an accident that resulted in millions of people dying.”
Read 4 tweets
This ⁦@nytimes⁩ piece by ⁦@zeynep⁩ should break whatever is left of the dam on the lab origin hypothesis.

Thank you for correcting many of the public misunderstandings surrounding this issue. nytimes.com/2021/06/25/opi…
Last month, top scientists came together to publish a letter in a top scientific journal calling for a credible investigation into both natural and lab origin hypotheses.

science.sciencemag.org/content/372/65…
Shortly after, @POTUS asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts in collecting and analyzing information that could bring us closer to a conclusion, distinguishing between natural vs lab origins. Their report is due in August.

whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…
Read 9 tweets
“The practical consequence of removing the sequences.. is that no one knew they existed prior to now, and they were not in the databases used.. for the joint WHO-China report” - ⁦@jbloom_lab

Thanks ⁦@alisonannyoung⁩ for this piece. 🏆 usatoday.com/story/opinion/…
The @WHO spokesperson told @alisonannyoung “We are aware of this report and, as we repeatedly asked, we hope that all data on early cases will be made available.”

I can’t handle any more of this. We should not be tasking WHO with investigating #OriginsOfCovid They have no power.
We have entered a futile cycle of asking @WHO to investigate one of their most powerful members, WHO sending experts (some with immense COIs) to China, who have no leverage (or even mandate) to investigate all plausible hypotheses, 🌎 being horrified by the work, rinse & repeat.
Read 12 tweets
1. Wuhan University deleted SARS2 data relating to early cases
2. @jbloom_lab recovered the data
3. Identified virus sequences that could precede the official "first" SARS2 sequence from China
4. Analysis suggests SARS2 was circulating in Wuhan before Huanan seafood market
Read 13 tweets
Peter Daszak has expanded on his disclosure statements for three pieces relating to COVID-19 that he co-authored or contributed to in @TheLancet
thelancet.com/journals/lance…
2 little 2 late
"other co-authors also have direct ties to the group that were not disclosed as conflicts of interest.. members of the Board of Directors of EcoHealth Alliance.. Executive Vice President for Health and Policy.. Science and Policy Advisor."
usrtk.org/biohazards-blo…
Will we also hear now about Daszak's conflicts of interest wrt to the China-WHO joint study?
Read 12 tweets

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