This is very important (T/H @Byron_Wan):

"However, China, Russia, Syria and Pakistan specifically ask to delete a reference that would include the WHO’s coronavirus origins study in this report".…
Why does Pakistan pop up?

Pakistan is in full collaboration with China under the Belt & Road Initiative.

See for instance the Nature series of article, written by Ehsan Masood, 'Editor of Editorials' (!) at Nature, in particular #2 in the series:…
This collaboration includes civilian research with the WIV.
With in particular Ali Zohaib having been trained by Shi Zhengli:…
For some of the research with the WIV or Huazhong Agricultural University (Wuhan), see:……
So far so good. All civilian research by the look of it, even if some of it may have dual purpose value.

The precedents are not very good, so one may be justified in keeping a close eye on these developments, especially given the geopolitical situation…
On that subject the French services had some concerns:…
Ali Zohaib has just been appointed Topic Editor for a specific topic in Frontier in Microbiology-Virology, a post he shares with 3 Chinese researchers of the WIV.

That was just 24 hours ago:

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More from @gdemaneuf

16 Apr
Here is an interesting article worth discussing.

This was published in 2016 in the journal of Military Medical Research, a Springer Nature journal which is edited by the PLA.

[Nature and its pangolins papers, the PLA... Yes, I know!]…
The paper is about the positive role the PLA is playing in infectious disease prevention and control.

The 2nd sentence of the paper gives you the theme, praising the contribution of the PLA to the prevention of SARS.
Maybe they have in mind keeping secret military files that made it impossible for the WHO to control and monitor the spread of SARS in Beijing in 2004.
Read 11 tweets
16 Apr
What could go wrong?

'The ministry has examined and approved the construction of three biosafety level-4 labs [on top of already 3], or P4 labs, and 88 biosafety level-3 labs, or P3 labs, in China'…
Well, first and foremost, Chinese experts have been very concerned about the lack of qualified biosafety personnel, adequate budgets, and proper regulation for years.

Yes you read it correctly:

[…] several high-level BSLs have insufficient operational funds for routine yet vital processes. Due to the limited resources, some BSL-3 laboratories run on extremely minimal operational costs or in some cases none at all.
Read 11 tweets
15 Apr
Nice words from @Ayjchan .

One aspect that is missed here is that many of these improvised analysts (i do not like the word sleuths) are actually very qualified in their fields and have top academic backgrounds.
That's why they succeeded. Make no mistake.
What will eventually dawn on people is how masterful the setup of DRASTIC was.

It's an informal organisation that is very open, very resilient and flexible by design.

It allows for a mix of styles, from the rebellious taunt to the peer reviewed article.
DRASTIC people worked the coal mine, jumped into the mudbath.

But they were also able to interface with top media (Washington Post, WSJ, Spectator, Le Monde, etc) without forgetting the more mainstream ones (TVs, Daily Mail, Sun, etc).
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
Let's talk about BSL4 positive pressure suits.

Here is Shi ZhengLi in her Delta (French) suit, manufactured by Sperian Protection (Honeywell).
Also called the 'white' suit.
Basically you have the choice between the White, Blue and Yellow suits.
Practically they all suck in one way or another, and are prone to breaking.

"The Delta (Sperion) suits just don't last long - even with lighter use"

The Delta suit is the suit used at the WIV.
That's where the positive air pressure comes in otherwise it would be really lethal.
Read 15 tweets
10 Apr
The SCMP makes for some very interesting reading this morning.
I cannot fail to recall that Beijing is forcing Jack Ma to sell the SCMP and more of his media assets.…
These are the best pieces:
Read 12 tweets
9 Apr
A courageous article by @ParkSuAm1996 in the HK South China Morning Post.

Well done Eduardo and the SCMP, the questions of transparency and willingness to oppenly learn from mistakes are essential.
It is also very nice to see Tony Della Porta, one of the foremost experts on lab safety, stepping in.

His work on the 2003 Singapore and Taiwan SARS lab leaks set the standard.

Unfortunately he was not selected for the bad Beijing SARS leak in 2004.…
We cannot keep going back to the same transparency failures.

This is really starting to feel like a Truman Show.

We need to escape that silly staged world which is totally uncompatible with a country running many (and building many more) labs.
Read 6 tweets

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