“Flood the zone with bullshit” is the modus operandi for the lab leak idea. Preprints, GOP 'reports', and now, publications from @VanityFair/@propublica.

👇 🧵’s 💡 the misinformation:

1️⃣ Not understanding basic biosafety
2️⃣ Leaving out *key* details
3️⃣ Falsifying translations
First, a meta-thread from @flodebarre also summarizing many of the key issues.

Make sure to follow her if you’re interested in understanding the mis- and dis-information relevant to the “origin” discussion. She’s got many great threads.

Here, a thread from @angie_rasmussen highlighting how the GOP report and the article completely fail to understand (and, instead, chooses to misrepresent) basic biosafety regulation and virological work.

“No infected animals have been found”. Correct - because none that are relevant were tested. If you don’t seek, you don’t find…

Points from @_everythingism.

Also, our papers showed *clear* clustering of SARS-CoV-2 positivity where animals were sold.

The same points made by @mstandaert, who’s been digging *very* carefully into the animal trade in China and is one of the only journalists who have highlighted the wild-life economy, risks, and trade.

Finally, several critical points from @zhihuachen, who’s done amazing ‘sleuthing’ work on SARS2 origins and, importantly, has dug into many of the Chinese documents.

Sooo many issues around translation - as he highlights in the following three threads.

Seeing such complete nonsense in @VanityFair is par for the course, since @KatherineEban has been deep into the conspiracy theories for a while.

Seeing this from @propublica/@jeffykao, however, is deeply disappointing.

You had 5 months to write it - and this is the product? 🙄
One additional point - the whole idea about “they patented a vaccine earlier than us so, clearly, they must have had the genome much earlier and, therefore, lab” is truly bizarre.

Not only do we *know* they didn’t have a sequence that early, the whole reasoning is nonsensical.
Further, as @alchemytoday has pointed out many times, the dates for the Chinese patent vs the US patent are almost overlapping. So I guess we must therefore conclude that the US knew about the virus back in November too?

Arrant nonsense.

Great summary thread from @PhilippMarkolin that also, importantly, give pointers on how to counter conspiracy theories and pseudoscience in our broken attention economy.

Shoutout also to @past_is_future who’s also doing amazing work in this space!

This great thread from @SpyrosLytras is more on the Burr report than it is on the article, however, it’s critical reading as it shows just how flawed the report is in its treatment of the science.

A great thread from @janeqiuchina on the translation issues - together with other criticisms, invalidates the claims made in the article.

@tracyweber @SteveEngelberg @propublica do the right thing and retract - then write an article on how this happened.

@janeqiuchina @tracyweber @SteveEngelberg @propublica This one from @dakekang making the important points also made by @coroldo1 that it's not just the translations that are (completely) wrong, it's also the timeline.

@tracyweber @SteveEngelberg @propublica do the right thing here.

Here's the original thread from @coroldo1 where they noticed the issue with the timeline.

@tracyweber @SteveEngelberg @propublica, we really need to understand how such basic misrepresentations (during a 5 month investigation!) happened.

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More from @K_G_Andersen

Dec 1
Let me paraphrase:

“We wanted to keep the myth alive, so we fucking went for it. We know the translations are fake and the timelines don’t make any sense, but we’re sticking to it -the experts and Chinese scientists are lying.

PS. the debate has gotten really toxic”. Go figure.
Let’s go into a few specifics - starting here.

Of course, the issue here is that the story *isn’t* actually sound - it never was. Not only do the timelines and translations contradict the main points put forward, the whole story is inconsistent with known facts.
The issues with the translations - they remain false. *Every* Mandarin native speaker I have heard commenting - especially the ones who understand the science - disagree with the conclusions from Reid. But sure, let’s go with the white guy and his conspiratorial conclusion.
Read 19 tweets
Nov 26
“all the lineages [.] would be outcompeted in the event of a second ‘Omicron-like event’”

Such “emergence” events likely occur all the time, however, the vast majority of them are not fit in the population (so we don’t observe them). Until, maybe we do.

Importantly, these events are directly proportional to the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections - the more infections, the more emergence events and the more likely it is that one of the novel variants will be fit.
It’s possible SARS-CoV-2 is largely constrained by our complex immunity landscape by now, so the likelihood of an “Omicron-like event” could be rare - the problem is, we just don’t know.
Read 4 tweets
Nov 12
Connecting dots and just asking questions.

- Broke Crypto Kings
- Effective Altruism
- Longtermism
- Existential Risk
- RAND Dudes
- Futurists
- Disinformation in Pro Public News

... and the continued bankrolling of the 💲Lab Leak Myth.
Let’s add this one as well:

Read 11 tweets

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