Dr. Angela Rasmussen Profile picture
Virologist. PI @VIDOInterVac. Adj Prof @USask BMI. Aff @georgetown_ghss. P2 @covarr_net. Jeopardy! loser. Ad Hominatrix. 🇺🇸in🇨🇦. Rep @anniescranton. she/her
otaria123 Profile picture Ross Grayson, MPH, CIH Profile picture Adam Smithee Profile picture B. S. Profile picture Κασσάνδρα Παρί پری Profile picture 63 added to My Authors
Aug 12 7 tweets 2 min read
But you are making creationist arguments.

Polite disagreement is not "violence." Respecting "diversity of views" does not mean accepting them silently & sure as hell doesn't mean a professor making spurious accusations & trying to coordinate a pile-on against junior colleagues. Image I'm particularly disgusted by Dr. Courtier Orgogozo's justification based on Twitter misogyny. Equating Dr. Crits-Cristoph's *correct* statements with violence because she was offended diminishes actual misogynistic abuse & violence.

Ask me about my rape threats, Virginie.
Aug 9 15 tweets 5 min read
Just graduated from a preprint to a peer-reviewed publication at @NatureComms, this important paper on spillover of bat SARSr-CoVs from Sánchez et al.

Zoonotic transmission happens ALL THE TIME. This paper estimates >66K spillovers per year in SE Asia.
nature.com/articles/s4146… This estimate actually is greatly reduced from the original preprint, which calculated ~400K spillovers/year!

These numbers are very difficult to estimate & require multiple evidence streams to formulate, including geographical distributions, ecological data, & serosurveillance.
Aug 4 6 tweets 3 min read
This interview should disqualify Jeff Sachs from his position as Chair of @TheLancet commission.

He repeatedly lies.
He misrepresents the evidence.
He promotes conspiracy theories about "narratives" that are better suited for InfoWars than @curaffairs.

He is a conspiracist. Despite his insistence that we are creating a "narrative" as a sleight of hand, we pointed to the market because that's where the evidence directed us (see below).

We used the scientific method as our guide, not an imaginary signal from our tin foil hats.
Aug 2 14 tweets 3 min read
Could not agree more with Dr. Hotez.

Rand Paul is calling 3 supposed experts with zero expertise in virology or so-called “gain of function” work & zero reputable publications on SARS-CoV-2 origins.

This hearing serves only to weaponize science illiteracy against scientists. “Holding government officials accountable” means attacking Tony Fauci for political gain, along with my entire profession.

It is an anti-science, political witch hunt.

And what happens at the end of a witch hunt?

Witch burning.
Aug 1 6 tweets 3 min read
PSA: there is no need for “home experiments” to support the need for bleaching to prevent monkeypox spillback to sewer rats.

Besides being a really gross way of winning a Twitter argument, it’s unnecessary when you could just ask

“Are rats susceptible to monkeypox infection?” And since 1976, we’ve known the answer to this: not very, except for neonates*.

*This involved putting a shitload of virus in the nose of neonatal rat pups, which does not simulate real world sewer exposure conditions.

Jul 29 21 tweets 7 min read
My dog’s urine is the epicenter of the grass mounds in my backyard: an investigation. My spouse mowed the lawn a couple days ago and already these big thickets of grass are growing faster than the grass around them. Where are they coming from?
Jul 28 4 tweets 3 min read
Just out from me and @MichaelWorobey in today's @globeandmail: our perspective on our recent results showing that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic likely emerged via zoonotic spillover at the Huanan market, not a lab leak. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
theglobeandmail.com/opinion/articl… For more information, check out my thread below:
Jul 26 42 tweets 17 min read
Where did the pandemic begin?

Was it from nature or a lab?

Since the start, this fundamental question has gone unanswered.

Until now.

Out in @ScienceMagazine: SARS-CoV-2 emerged into humans via the live animal trade at the Huanan Seafood Market.
science.org/doi/10.1126/sc… This is a companion to this paper, by @jepekar et al, also out today in @ScienceMagazine. This shows that there were at least two separate zoonotic spillover events at Huanan, probably a week or so apart.
Jul 25 10 tweets 4 min read
This preprint may start unraveling the mysteries behind "mystery" pediatric hepatitis...and it's not SARS-CoV-2.

It's not as simple as just "here's the virus that causes it." In this study, it appears to be linked to 2 viruses plus a specific host gene variant (HLA). I shudder to even write the word "adenovirus" about this topic, but...one of those viruses does appear to be adenovirus. Not only adenovirus, however, but also co-infection with adeno-associated virus.
Jul 24 8 tweets 2 min read
Marburg vaccines and antivirals have been developed—the time to make them available is now.

The same was true for Ebola prior to the 2014-2016 epidemic—vaccines only came to market after 1000s of cases incl exported ones.

Now vaccination is standard for Ebola response. The Ebola vaccine languished for a decade because it simply wasn’t profitable. Despite its notoriety, Ebola is rare. Prior to 2014, outbreaks were confined to central Africa. No manufacturer cares enough to invest in clinical trials etc to bring the vaccine to market.
Jul 17 16 tweets 3 min read
Talking to the press about complex scientific topics where there are many unfilled knowledge gaps is always challenging. @LaurenPelley is reliably excellent in capturing complexity, but it’s very difficult to communicate nuance when it is drowned out by very shouty extremists. In this article I described in very general terms how the immune system controls disease severity in most reinfections.

I did not say:
-All reinfections are less severe than primary
-Reinfections don’t cause long COVID
-People should not take precautions
-Infection is good
Jul 14 23 tweets 4 min read
I study mechanisms of viral pathogenesis, specifically how the host response to viral infection determines the features & severity of disease.

That’s how I know that long COVID is nothing like HIV, HCV, or latent herpesvirus infection & the comparisons are offensive & misleading But long COVID is a chronic condition and those are chronic infections!

Long COVID is a chronic disease. It’s an illness that persists and can get progressively worse but it’s not necessarily caused by persistent infection.
Jul 6 29 tweets 8 min read
This article is making the rounds.

Sounds scary, right? Constant reinfections and no immunity! Plague doctor! Forever plague!!!

Too bad it is almost entirely poorly sourced, grossly misinterpreted, hyperbolic bullshit. Image We begin this journey into Zero COVID hell with what appears to be standard practice for the author: a frightening assertion backed up with a citation (in this case, a virus that can “wreak havoc” with “any organ in the body”). Image
Jul 3 4 tweets 2 min read
What I especially love about this ridiculous article is that it seems like an elaborate vehicle for posting multiple pictures of the author looking smug. Made my way through this jungle of cannabis to declare a public health DISASTER!
Jul 2 8 tweets 2 min read
On my way to California for a dear friend’s wedding (at Disneyland. On July 4. 😖)

There’s yet another surge coming. So I’m being careful…got my 4X vaccine doses & my N95.

But the @latimes retains its title for most alarmist bullshit virology headlines.
latimes.com/california/sto… The article itself is not bad—it appropriately discusses the issues with BA.4/5. Those are:
-epi data suggests increased transmissibility
-cases are rising quickly in much of Cali, mirroring data from recent surges in Portugal & SA
-BA.4/5 are more likely to cause reinfections
Jun 30 5 tweets 2 min read
Many people have wondered why we can't eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from circulation as we have for measles, polio, etc.

This is why. SARS-CoV-2 has broad species tropism (it can infect many animal species). It's not hard for it to find new hosts, human or not.
nature.com/articles/d4158… That's why I, along with my awesome colleagues in @CoVaRR_Net pillar 2, study susceptibility of North American animals. We are trying to understand potential novel animal reservoirs that could give rise to new variants in the future.
Jun 29 17 tweets 4 min read
This is smart & long overdue. It will allow vaccination of nearly 1M people with Jynneos by the end of summer.

However, I have to wonder if it’s too little, too late. We still don’t have the testing capacity to know how many people even have monkeypox.

statnews.com/2022/06/28/bid… Monkeypox is a very different virus than SARS-CoV-2 in most ways:

1. It’s a different taxonomic family
2. DNA not RNA genome
3. Primarily spread through direct contact & fomites, not aerosols
4. Different disease features/symptoms
5. Different kinetics
6. Different epidemiology
Jun 28 7 tweets 2 min read
So I’ve now been to 6 conferences/meetings this year that required travel, including most recently visiting Portugal in the middle of a BA.4/5 surge.

COVID status (after repeat testing for 7 days post travel): still negative. How did I manage this? I start with being fully vaccinated and boosted. That’s the cornerstone of any prevention plan.

Then I followed my own advice:
Jun 17 5 tweets 2 min read
“I couldn’t have been more respectful” was the first tweet from MJ at the beginning of this thread where he lamented being blocked by one of my colleagues for the same conduct.

He should not be surprised that people are unwilling to experience his “respectful” behavior. I blocked MJ more than a year ago for being a trifecta of insufferable: uninformed, condescending, and disrespectful. He hasn’t blocked me back and incessantly tweets about how stupid, morally bankrupt, & generally terrible I am along with my “zoo crew” colleagues.
Jun 15 8 tweets 2 min read
I'm at #NSV2022 and have chatted with my fellow virologists about SARS-CoV-2 origins.

2 observations:
1. It's not up to me to declare scientific consensus, but nobody thinks the pandemic started in a lab.
2. Many people have endured some appalling abuse for thinking that. There's a lot of talk from lab leak proponents about how they have been silenced by evil virologists, who are generally reckless, immoral egomaniacs getting our kicks by endangering the rest of the world.

I've yet to see a single presenter talk about gain of function experiments
Jun 8 4 tweets 2 min read
"If we scientists are not forced to confront the issues of laboratory safety & risky research in a serious & sustained manner, history suggests that we will not do so."
-David Relman

"Risky research" like infecting NHPs in a lab with an eradicated virus. The studies Dr. Goldstein refers to here were performed essentially just because. As he points out, these animals suffered terribly. Nothing came of these studies besides descriptive publications.

Variola (smallpox) virus was eradicated from nature. It exists only in labs.