Guardian: Covid-19 is President Trump’s Fault for Failing to Protect Endangered Species in China

Chinese Pangolin
Chinese Pangolin. By nachbarnebenanFile:Zoo_Leipzig_-_Tou_Feng.png, Public Domain, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Nick; Orange man bad, even when the problems being discussed happen in another country outside the USA’s sphere of influence.

Pandemic shines harsh light on Trump’s failure to protect pangolins

Jimmy Tobias
Wed 15 Apr 2020 20.00 AESTLast modified on Wed 15 Apr 2020 20.02 AEST

Wildlife conservation efforts are essential to preventing outbreaks, scientists and advocates say

For more than five years, wildlife conservationists in the US have been clamoring for the government to provide Endangered Species Act protections to pangolins, a group of imperiled ant-eating mammals that are widely, and often illicitly, trafficked for their scales and meat. The Trump administration, however, has refused to act and that refusal has suddenly taken on grave new implications.

Earlier this year, scientists in China identified pangolins, along with bats, as one of the possible animal hosts involved in the transmission of the deadly coronavirus from wildlife to humans.

Although there is still much uncertainty about the nature of the disease’s emergence, the unwillingness of the Trump administration, and the Obama administration before it, to provide legal protections to pangolins, and other species, has intensified scrutiny of America’s faltering role in international wildlife conservation efforts. Scientists and advocates say these are essential to preventing the kind of pandemic currently sweeping the globe.

Though no pangolins live in the US, an endangered species designation could make additional funding available to preserve the species, bolster efforts to crack down on illegal trade and send a powerful signal to the international community that the animals ought to be protected.

It is not like any one thing would have stopped this pandemic, so you can’t make that generalization,” said Brett Hartl, the government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But if the US were actually a leader in international wildlife conservation like it used to be back in the day and actually took its obligations seriously and was putting real pressure on trafficking and countries like China to stop decimation of pangolins and other species, who knows where we would be today.

Read more:

Of course if President Trump did try to pass a law aimed at pressuring Chinese wet markets, the Guardian would be first in line to accuse Trump of being an insensitive cultural fascist.

What I find most fascinating about the Guardian story is still not one word of criticism for the incompetent and corrupt Chinese Communists and their spineless President Xi Jinping, even though the animal rights abuses, coverups, lies and mistakes which led to the global Pandemic mostly happened on their watch.

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iain russell
April 19, 2020 2:13 pm

When I first learned Chinese in 1978, we had to translate glossy propaganda magazines into English. One article I’ll never forget was talking about the wonders of the forests in SW China. So far, so good. They then discussed the pangolin, stating they were endangered and urgent measures were in place to protect them. The very next sentence went: Boiled down they make a healthful elixir. FYI

Reply to  iain russell
April 19, 2020 5:14 pm

I remember the printed ChiCom agronomic propaganda from the early1970s. Glorious tales & pictures – I was later to learn most actually were tall tales. Before then in 1958 there was Mao’s campaign eradicating sparrows & didn’t work out well. My young Chinese scientist friends have no siblings from China’s 1 child policy era & now the population is disproportionate with men.

The “Guardian” was largely clueless throughout those maneuvers. Now it can be told: the birth of Donald Trump was in 1946 & his existence is proof of culpability in the above China policies.

April 19, 2020 2:13 pm

“…spineless President Xi Jinping…”

Xi isn’t spineless. He is a tyrannical dictator and he is looking to dominate the world. He’s a scumbag but, a scumbag with big cajones.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  SMC
April 19, 2020 3:04 pm


GP Hanner
Reply to  SMC
April 19, 2020 3:06 pm

High ranking Chinese have been making statements concerning China’s goal as ruler of the world for at least a decade. Maybe for more time than that.

Bryan A
Reply to  GP Hanner
April 19, 2020 3:55 pm

China’ll lead the World…on a path of destruction

Jeffery P
Reply to  GP Hanner
April 20, 2020 8:16 am

Since the Clinton administration. We awarded them for their rhetoric by sending them our factory jobs and high-tech secrets.

Radical Islam was at war with us for decades before 911 open our eyes. Hopefully, this pandemic will likewise awaken the world to China’s decades-long, one-side cold war against free nations.

April 19, 2020 2:13 pm

Probably a little off topic, but I’ve actually been waiting to see what Naomi Seibt has to say about the virus:


Reply to  Jon P Peterson
April 19, 2020 2:56 pm

Very impressive young lady.

Reply to  Jon P Peterson
April 19, 2020 3:19 pm

Read all the positive comments beneath her YouTube video.
I kinda think like her, but I cannot express myself as intelligently as she does !
And her native language is not English, but German !


April 19, 2020 2:13 pm

Why would the Guardian condemn China? They are already communist.

Rich Davis
April 19, 2020 2:14 pm

What, you were expecting reason, truth, something other than the communist party line from the Guarniad?

Sweet Old Bob
April 19, 2020 2:14 pm

“But if the US were actually a leader in international wildlife conservation like it used to be …”

we wouldn’t have wind turbines and solar plants ?

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
April 19, 2020 3:10 pm


🙂 🙂 🙂

Reply to  RicDre
April 19, 2020 3:51 pm

🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 20, 2020 3:00 pm

Someone isn’t paying attention to social distancing.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
April 19, 2020 11:40 pm

My favourite line in this article of would have, should have… could have ,,,might have,,,maybe had …and a host of other speculation…is…“It is not like any one thing would have stopped this pandemic, so you can’t make that generalization,” said Brett Hartl, the government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity….
Who then goes on to run a riot of generalisation as fact, along with the article, including the absolute pearler about The USA being to blame for the pangolin problem…even though…no pangolins live in the US….
This is Classic Deranged Guardian at work…absolute CLASSIC.

Reply to  RobbertBobbert
April 20, 2020 6:16 am

They are serving to connect the dots for the rest of us though on how and why they operate that way. They are from the same vein as publicists in Hollywood making wild claims. I still remember the one from Will Smith (and his publicist) that said the CIA created HIV to harm Africa. It is turning heads that matters in this dank corner of the media market, not truth, reason, or insightful thoughts.

The Expulsive
April 19, 2020 2:14 pm

Why are you surprised that the Manchester Guardian, the great protector and backer of Soviet Russia, has not criticized China? Aside from the fact that China don’t Care what the Guardian has to say, when you are leading the fight for world socialism, why would you attack your brothers in arms?

April 19, 2020 2:18 pm

Well its not as if the Chinese authorities would actually co-operate with the US over internal issues in China.

With this guy Tobias writing BS and Nancy Pelosi hiding in San Francisco until there is an emergency, one effect that I can see is that the Democratic Party have 1. Shown their cards and 2. Will further loose popularity in the forthcoming presidential elections.



Paula Cohen
Reply to  Roger Surf
April 19, 2020 3:42 pm

From your lips to the ears of the Almighty, Roger! And don’t forget Nancy Pelosi’s $24,000 freezers, which are holding her 18 flavors of ice cream while thousands of people gather on bread lines in this country. What an insensitive, self-absorbed, narcissistic piece of ____ she is — along with her Senate brother, Chuck Schumer.

Garland Lowe
April 19, 2020 2:18 pm

Mr. Too bias, my late father had a description that fits you perfectly “educated fool”.

April 19, 2020 2:47 pm

I guess we need yet another in-peach ment circus for failing to protect a butt ugly bat.

Reply to  niceguy
April 19, 2020 11:45 pm

Maybe true, but a being a bit harsh on Nancy, aren’t you ?

Protect her from what? Continuing to make an arrant fool of herself ?

April 19, 2020 2:54 pm

My question: what kind of redneck Chinese peasant would be the first to say “Boy howdey, them thar pangolin sure make for some good eatin’!”

Richard of NZ
April 19, 2020 5:34 pm

A hungry one.

Serge Wright
April 19, 2020 2:55 pm

More left-wing propaganda, but what else can you expect from a communist mouthpiece media outlet.

April 19, 2020 2:57 pm

“still not one word of criticism for the incompetent and corrupt Chinese Communists and their spineless President Xi Jinping”

AS recently as March 27th, the President of the USA tweeted
“Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!”

Not one word of criticism there!

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 19, 2020 4:29 pm

Not one parallel there!

How sadly desperate.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 19, 2020 5:28 pm

Not one word of criticism there!

Dr. Stokes, thanks for bringing your special brand of budrow-brilliance to these comments in order to demonstrate the logic of false equivalence.

You’re the best!

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 20, 2020 7:04 am

Nick, obviously Trump uses these diplomatic words, even if false, as part of the negotiating dance. It’s disingenuous and beneath you to pretend otherwise to perpetrate a fake gotcha. Have some integrity. Otherwise, it diminishes you.

April 19, 2020 2:58 pm

Shorter: Leftists want America to stop bullying the world, and go back to bullying the world. Because, pangolins.

April 19, 2020 3:01 pm

Of course anyone with 2 function neurons understands The Guardian is just making shit-up to fit its “Orange Man Bad” derangement agenda of its readers.

All the indicators now point towards the following scenario:
There was likely no intermediate species (i.e. pangolins as originally suggested) in the zoonotic jump of SARS-CoV-2 from a bat colony in 2017 to an experimental setting in the Wuhan Research Facility to its likely inadvertent release by an infected facility worker from that facility into the Wuhan population.

The bat virus was almost certainly a novel isolation from a bat colony and collected as part of on-going corona virus research at the facility by the government funded researchers there. It was very risky research, for which the Wuhan Facility was not properly trained and operated for. They likely were doing experiments with it. No reason to invoke a malicious release when simple negligence in containment works in this case.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 19, 2020 4:08 pm

One thing that I realize few people outside of virology research understand how these vbiruses are grown in lab for research.

– Take a sample collected from bat guano or from captured bat’s blood.
– Spin it down in a preservation fluid in a centrifuge to push all the heavy junk to the bottom of micro tube.
– Use a pipet to pull of the top layer of fluid and freeze it down for later study.
– Do this dozens, if not hundreds of time with field collected samples.
– Grown up in a flask a susceptible cell culture that highly expresses the ACE2 receptor on its plasma membrane (either via a primary cell culture or a transduced cell line with the ACE2 gene inserted via a plasmid or other simple biotech). This makes the individual cells shighly usceptible to corna virus that uses that receptor. In a cell culture there is no extracellular host systemic immune response to prevent/inhibit those first infected cells from releasing the virus in a chain reaction to more cells to ultimately infect all the cells in a culture flask.
– The virus culture supernatent ( the fluid part) is after about 4-5 days post-infection extremely concentrated with virus as almost all the cells in cell culture have been compromised by releasing virus (virologists call the obvious cell death, CytoPathic Effect (CPE)on cell culture monolayer in the clear plastic growth flask) and it is usually quite visible even without a microscope on the cell culture layer in the flask.
Once the supernatent has been collected, the virus titer may be on the order o 10^6 to 10^8 infectious viral particle/mL. This is highly concentrated. One very common technique is to then spin this viral culture supernatent in a special solution in a fast centrifuge to concentrate the virus even further, to something like 10^11 or 10^12 infectious virions per mL.

The average person cannot grasp how concentrated that is. That concentrated virus collection is then has more infectious virion particles in just 1 milliliter of fluid than there are stars in the Milky Way. And the tube likely contains about 30-100 mL of fluid.

With concentration levels like that with infectious viral isolates, there can easily be virus EVERYWHERE in the work area. On a pen used to take notes. On a pads of paper that might be taken out of the facility. On a computer that gets replaced from a BSL-4 and not adequately decontaminated. This virus is so concentrated it gets everywhere on everything.

And as Cornoa Virus is +strand RNA virus even the RNA itself is so infectious if it can get in a cell from a cut or a wound… or someone with chronic lung cell destruction from smoking. It is so easy to get infected in these settings with these highly contagious RNA viruses where they are grown and concentrated to extremely high titer. And then given the COVID-19 asymptomatic-infectious early phase, or asymptomatic relapse to RNA+ status altogether it is easy to see how this virus would escape from a facility like the Wuhan Virology Research Center.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 19, 2020 4:56 pm

Even US BSL-4 labs have suffered serious leaks, such as of anthrax, bird flu and smallpox. WIV set up the first BSL-4 lab in China, with French help and US funding, in 2015.

It’s reasonable to assume that “Bat Woman” Shi Zhengli resumed at WIV the dangerous gain of function research on SARS and bat coronaviruses she and US colleagues had been conducting at UNC. In 2014, funding for this project had been paused by the US government, which that year imposed a moratorium on risky studies with influenza, MERS and SARS viruses.

The suspended investigation sounds like pure mad scientist biowar insanity. Researchers repeatedly infected ferrets until the viruses gained the function (evolved the ability) to break into the mustelids’ lung cells. Ferrets are a good model lab animal for the human respiratory tract.

Shi’s team also used anal swabs to collect bat viruses. Coronaviruses infect bat GI tract rather than respiratory, as in humans.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 19, 2020 7:04 pm

“it is easy to see how this virus would escape from a facility like the Wuhan Virology Research Center”
If that were the case, I don’t think the response from Beijing would have been so slow.
It’s not credible they were entirely in the dark about a problematic respiratory virus until the end of 2019 given that multiple cases were already in quarantine in at least one major hospital.
Just a couple months earlier there was a country wide pandemic exercise and it’s doubtful that the central government would overlook a potential outbreak so close to the start of Spring Festival when controlling the spread would become nearly impossible.

Reply to  MorinMoss
April 19, 2020 7:53 pm

They were not at all in the dark. The director of the lab ordered all samples of the virus destroyed in dec 2019 and forbid any communication by any means about the subject even to the official state media, other partners or affiliates.

They then arrested doctors reporting cases of a new type of pneumonia, made them sign a retraction and admitting spreading false information.

In true totalitarian style they were attempting to cover up the fc-up. Hoping they could hide it rather than deal with it. Had they done contact tracing at that time on all cases, instead of pretending it did not exist, maybe it could have been contained.

Reply to  MorinMoss
April 19, 2020 9:18 pm

It is clear COVID-19 Case Zero was probably infected in early November and began seeding the virus in the Wuhan population by sometime in mid-November 2019. By early December it was obvious to local Wuhan health authorities they had a novel respiratory virus on their hands. The West got its first inklings of this respiratory virus in the week between Christmas and New Years. But then in mid-January the WHO tweeted this infection was not person-person transmitted. IOW, a total Chinese Communist party run cover-up with a complicit WHO Director was underway in the lead-up to the Chinese New Year travels.

Reply to  MorinMoss
April 20, 2020 8:10 am

The normal behavior in a bureaucratic state is cover thine butt.
It’s not hard to believe that it took weeks for news of this problem to spread first from the technician who made the mistake, to the lab director, to the facilities director, to the local government, to the regional government and finally the national government.

At each level the first reaction was to see if they could solve the problem on their own, then to see if they could cover up the problem, and only after it became obvious that it was too big for them to handle or to hide, contact the next layer up.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 19, 2020 5:37 pm

Hi Joel O’Bryan, – I always enjoy reading your comments. The viral world is quite wondrous.

WUWT readers may also find it curious to know that butyrate is used to augment the growth media for many viruses. And it (butyrate) is also used when some promulgated viruses are tested in types of cells because it promotes the release of replicated virions.

Butyrate is something (short chain fatty acid) human hosted microbes make for us out of dietary fiber. It is considered healthful for us &, despite it’s usefulness for some viruses at their early stages, in the long run “yes” butyrate downstream in viral infections does have beneficial functions for us.

J Mac
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 19, 2020 8:29 pm

Joel O’Bryan,
Thanks for that basic tour of virus culturing and concentration. Much appreciated!

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 20, 2020 11:04 pm

Why do we get that NON SMOKER is a now a risk factor?

Russ R.
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 19, 2020 5:58 pm

No reason to invoke a malicious release when simple negligence in containment works in this case.

No reason to rule any scenario in or out at this point. Here are a few I am considering, with no real evidence for any of them:
1) Accidental infection, taken out of the lab and spread inadvertently.
2) Accidental infection becomes known to infected person, who decides to visit those who have wronged them in the past.
3) Intentional infection of a co-worker by worker spurned, passed over for promotion, or love triangle.
4) Radical worker(s) wants to sow discord.
5) Workers selling off “excess animals” to locals, with some excess animals tainted by virus.
6) Fractures in Political hierarchy trying to sow discord in current CCP power distribution.
7) Political strategy from existing hierarchy to sow discord in International community.

I am sure there are many more, but I don’t want to spend time trying to identify them all. I would rather have good candidates, possible candidates, and impossible candidates.
But right now there is not enough good evidence to do that.
If you are tempted to say it must be a lab accident, and close your mind to other possibilities, here are some “coincidences” that bother my acceptance of that scenario:
1) Virus discriminates against the old and unhealthy. China has more of those than an optimum level and it was trending in the wrong direction.
2) Virus gets out perfectly timed for New Year celebration. Sooner would raise the awareness of travelers. Later would miss infecting the crowds and keeping the virus local.
3) Election year for Trump. CCP would like to see him go, and the timing is good to created chaos, in what looked to be a easy win, with a weak opposition and a strong economy.
4) When it becomes known that a SARS virus is spreading the CCP makes no effort to contain the virus, but makes a effort to contain knowledge of the spread of the virus.
5) When Wuhan is shut down local travel from Wuhan to other cities is prohibited, but international travel is still allowed. With panic spreading many who would not be traveling decide to get out, before it is too late. Result is more spread to the rest of the world.
6) Xi has spent political and financial capital stacking the WHO leadership, making it compliant to China’s lies about the origin of the virus, the contagion properties, and their success in containing it to Wuhan.

Nothing can be determined, because of the lab cover-up of release, Wuhan CCP cover-up of release, lockdown of Wuhan, and CCP lies about the origin of the pandemic.

I don’t have a favorite scenario. Accidental leak is most likely if it was more random in timing and effect. It is probably still most likely, but I don’t know if it is a higher probability than the total of the rest of the possibilities. The fact that everyone wants to assume it to be true, makes me want stronger verification of that before I jump on board.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 19, 2020 7:28 pm

“When Wuhan is shut down local travel from Wuhan to other cities is prohibited, but international travel is still allowed. With panic spreading many who would not be traveling decide to get out, before it is too late. Result is more spread to the rest of the world.”

Not sure where this idea comes from. Wuhan airport was closed for all commercial flights at the same time as the Wuhan lockdown was declared on 23rd January. Flights after that were solely by request of countries evacuating their nationals from China. For about a week prior to this, China was running a symptom check and fever-testing all passengers from Wuhan, for all modes of transport including domestic. Passengers on planes arriving from Wuhan were similarly checked on arrival in the USA and many other destinations prior to and after the Wuhan lockdown. After the lockdown, most countries also introduced some type of quarantine effort.

While community transmission was confirmed by China in mid January, few people guessed at the dreadful level of asymptomatic transmission. It was not till the latter part of February that suspicions were confirmed that community transmission must be occurring via asymptomatic carriers. This was not an expected result in that it did not conform with the pathogenesis of the SARS-COV virus outbreaks, but it is now manifest with SARS COV 2.

If China decided to wilfully release the virus to the international community, then they also decided to wilfully spread the infection outside Wuhan prior to the 23rd, since they had the same level of tests for buses, trains and domestic flights, as they did for international flights, but the former involved a far larger number of people leaving the infected area for other parts of China.

Russ R.
Reply to  kribaez
April 19, 2020 10:48 pm

You are right. I am mixing up the chaos at the airport when the warning came out that they were locking down, and the airport after the lockdown. I was wrong, and I appreciate you bringing to my attention.
I realize that many of the possible scenarios are illogical. The world is full of people that do illogical things. I realize this seems like a rational decision to do something illogical, but there may be many subplots involved in the decision that are not obvious. And there may be turf wars that are looking to “burn down the house” so they can rule the ashes.
It is difficult to admit that there is not enough to go on. When you make a decision first, then you try to make the evidence fit your decision. It is a form of self-fulfilling analysis. Everything that fits your decision is good and not scrutinized, and those that don’t fir are bad and are examined for any excuse to ignore. Even when you know about this, it is difficult to avoid. Unless you avoid it by admitting you lack solid evidence.
That is my position, until more information is available. Open to all possibilities because nothing can be ruled out. The world has a long history of rulers murdering their own people in order to achieve political goals. Usually it those that are in opposition, but sometimes it is just people in the way. I hope that is not the case. But the coincidences are troublesome. I prefer accidents that occur on a random timeline. Non-random can mean non-accidental. Or it can just be a coincidence. There is no answers until we learn more.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 21, 2020 7:46 pm

“The world is full of people that do illogical things.”

For many years, a lot of people have been throwing everything they got to stop brexit, to prosecute Malheur and to stop Trump. Almost all the MSM incl. Fox News is discredited thanks to their efforts to promote anti Trump BS, and so is the FBI, the CIA, the intelligence community and the anti Russian hacking community that did nothing to stop the hacking by the Russians while they apparently knew about it. That’s quite a lot of desperation in the US, in Europe, the MSM. And that’s just for the West.

They behaved sometimes in the most apparently illogical way, and they still have supporters. There is still a so called anti tariffs (but pro all other taxes) “conservative” movement, there is still support for investigation of “Trump-Russia”.

You can’t conclude anything based on “illogical” or “it would be apparent” or “many people would have to lie”.

HD Hoese
April 19, 2020 3:04 pm

Maybe civets not pangolins?
“ The findings that horseshoe bats are the natural reservoir for SARS-CoV-like virus and that civets are the amplification host highlight the importance of wildlife and biosecurity in farms and wet markets, which can serve as the source and amplification centers for emerging infections……The key receptor of the host cell attached by S is angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is a metalloprotease expressed in the cells of the lung, intestine, liver, heart, vascular endothelium, testis, and kidney (119). Since ACE2 was shown to protect against acute lung injury in a mouse model and since the binding of the S protein to host cells results in the downregulation of ACE2, this mechanism may contribute to the severity of lung damage in SARS
(181)…. The devastating pandemic started in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), when a
professor of nephrology from a teaching hospital in Guangzhou who had acquired the disease from his
patients came to HKSAR on 21 February 2003. Within a day, he transmitted the infection to 16 other people in the hotel where he resided. His brother-in-law, one of the secondary cases, underwent an open lung biopsy from which the etiological agent was discovered and first isolated (259). It was a novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV.

The secondary cases unknowingly carried the disease to hospitals in the HKSAR and to other countries and continents.” From Table 2. “ 16 September 2005. Finding of SARS-CoV-like virus in horseshoe bats; all isolates sequenced had a 29-bp signature sequence for bat SARS-CoV”

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection. Vincent C. C. Cheng, Susanna K. P. Lau, Patrick C. Y. Woo, Kwok Yung Yuen– DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00023-07 Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2007, volume 20(4):660-694.

John Tillman
Reply to  HD Hoese
April 19, 2020 5:10 pm

Civets were fingered as the intermediate host in SARS, but this conclusion has been questioned. The virus probably jumped directly from bat to human. The transition doesn’t necessarily require a live animal market. Chinese farmers use bat guano as dung.

However, pangolins (Order Pholidota) are possibly the closest living relative of bats (Chiroptera) in Superorder Laurasiatheria. If not, then bats are the sister group to clade Ferae, containing scaly anteaters and Order Carnivora.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 19, 2020 8:03 pm

The only species jumping going on was happening inside the WIV P4 lab.

This was actively being sought in ‘gain of function’ viral research.

A recent paper of which Shi Zheng Li was a co-author, detailed that they had CREATED and isolated a CHIMERA corona virus strain which could infect human airway cells.

It could not be any clearer than that.

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg
April 19, 2020 8:19 pm

I’ve been reading her papers. Haven’t found that one, but as I’ve already commented, she and UNC colleagues were working on a crazy gain of function project until the US government defunded it as too risky in 2014. Then China opened its own BSL-4 lab in Wuhan.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
April 19, 2020 3:05 pm

It makes me wonder if President Trump could have done more to protect the dinosaurs by passing urgent legislation outlawing near Earth orbiting asteroids.

Does this mean Pangolin is off the menu at future White House dinners?

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
April 19, 2020 3:36 pm

If Trump had pushed for legislation outlawing near Earth asteroids, Nancy Pelosi and the mass media would have immediately complained about Trump’s ignorance of the benefits to everyone of huge impact craters. Michigan’s governor would have outlawed backyard astronomers from attempting to discover rogue objects on a collision path with Earth.

freedom monger
April 19, 2020 3:05 pm

I’m probably going to regret this, but here’s another COVID-19 distribution update:

Reply to  freedom monger
April 19, 2020 3:36 pm

“All that matters to them is that the economies of the United States, the United Kingdom (and her allies), and the European Union collapse”

Then who would buy all those solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars and electric motorcycles and and all those other goofy climate junkola that they make in such large numbers and that the west buys in such large numbers?

Down here in southeast asia is a popular theory similar to yours that says that the chinese invented the climate change thing to bring down the west and take over the world.

Reply to  freedom monger
April 19, 2020 6:17 pm

Authored from a lunatic asylum. In part 2 the author will no doubt explain the mechanism used to stop the virus from spreading into countries friendly to China. Best guess is an antiviral beam from Chinese satellites. In Part 3, he will explain the cunning strategy of destroying the economies of your best trading partners.

freedom monger
Reply to  kribaez
April 19, 2020 6:49 pm

Oh darn, you figured out everything I was going to say. I wanted it to be a surprise. Well, it’s time for me to make a tin-foil hat.

Oh, by the way, the virus has been in Vietnam for 61 days. Vietnam has a population of almost 100 million people and is bordered by other nations. There are only 268 cases.

Iceland, on the other hand, is an isolated island nation bordered by none. It has a population of less than 400,000 and yet there are already 1,771 cases in just 51 days.

I give you numbers. Can you give me anything but ad hominem? Anything, logical, anything rational?

Reply to  freedom monger
April 19, 2020 7:09 pm

268 cases that they are willing to admit to.
What makes you think any of these countries are telling the truth about any of this?
We already know that China has been drastically under counting both cases and deaths.

freedom monger
Reply to  MarkW
April 19, 2020 8:34 pm

Thanks MarkW, you always treat people with respect.

I don’t know if they’re telling the truth. I don’t know if anyone is. I’m just using the numbers that are available to me.

I hope I’m dead wrong. I hope I’m so wrong about China. On one hand, I know exactly why they’d do it – and on the other, I don’t see why they would. This would hurt their economy too, but history is full of dictators who could’ve had long uninterrupted careers if they hadn’t tried to conquer the world. Imagine if Hitler hadn’t tried to fight a war on two fronts.

If the numbers start to spike up in India and Indonesia, I might become less cynical.

My God, what a horrible thing to be waiting for.

Reply to  MarkW
April 20, 2020 8:15 am

You also have to consider the lack of testing in poor countries.
Testing costs money, it also takes trained personal that for many of these countries, simply don’t exist.

If you know the data is bad, then don’t attempt to draw any conclusions from that data.
Such exercises are worse then useless.

freedom monger
Reply to  MarkW
April 20, 2020 2:09 pm

I don’t know that the data is bad or useless, it’s being used to economically destroy the lives of over 893,000,000 people.

Reply to  MarkW
April 20, 2020 3:10 pm

Changing the subject?
Your initial claim was that the distribution of the disease supports a belief that this is a targeted attack. Now you admit that you don’t care whether the data you presented supports such a belief of not.l

Beyond that, the data coming from third world countries has never been used to justify the COVID19 responses inside the US.

freedom monger
Reply to  MarkW
April 20, 2020 3:40 pm

My hypothesis that this is a Terrorist attack stems from my statistical analysis of the Geographical Distribution. I did not suspect that it was a Terrorist attack and then go find the numbers, I saw the numbers first and thought, “What the heck is going on?” My initial endeavor was just to see if I could figure out when it all might end.

Now it is quite possible that the Geographical Distribution of COVID-19 is completely innocent and understandable, but the numbers are so freakishly lopsided you can’t blame anyone for having their suspicions.

It would be nice if I could study the Geographical Distribution of a previous pandemic, such as the 2009 Swine Flu, but there doesn’t seem to be comparable data. The data that I’ve seen is ambiguous and imprecise with regard to the current Coronavirus. For instance, the death count for the Coronavirus is fairly precise between trackers, within a few 1000 of each other, but the 2009 Swine Flu has large variations ranging in the 100s of thousands; it is quite messy.

How can I do a comparison between the Coronavirus and the Swine Flu of 2009 when the CDC estimates that there were around 60,800,000 cases in the U.S. alone? There’s not even 3,000,000 cases of the Coronavirus in the whole world – that isn’t even the margin of error for the Swine Flu. How could anyone do a legitimate analysis between such two extremes of statistical accuracy?

Besides, what I’m suggesting is extremely possible. Above in the comments, Joel O’Bryan describes how a virus can be isolated and collected. The following two articles demonstrate how US Intelligence Agencies are worried about terrorists exploiting or using the Coronavirus as a future blueprint. If it couldn’t be done, they wouldn’t be worried.

The only objection to my idea that I can see is an emotional “trust” that XJ wouldn’t do such a thing. I don’t “trust” the man, why should you?

Reply to  freedom monger
April 19, 2020 8:15 pm

Note the reaction speed, isolation and tracing. Best in class, perhaps. Maybe a low susceptibility because of previous exposure to bat coronaviruses and SARS COV. Maybe some understatement of the numbers. I don’t know, but I am quite sure that they are not getting protection from antiviral Chinese satellites.

freedom monger
Reply to  kribaez
April 19, 2020 9:23 pm

Thanks Kribaez,

Interesting article, makes sense. I hope this explains it. I don’t really want to be right about China.

Still, I have to follow the numbers.

PS. I had replied earlier but I used the wrong reply. Sorry.

April 19, 2020 3:05 pm

Thanks Guardian, I needed a good laugh today. 🙂

Reply to  PaulH
April 19, 2020 3:29 pm

They also think there are too many white girls next door… in the Olympics. They’re infamous for counting colorful clumps of cells, or indulging color judgments (rabid “diversity”), and conflation of logical domains ([catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate cooling… warming…. change).

High Treason
April 19, 2020 3:14 pm

This is the typical tactic of liars and the left. Make mountains of the most microscopic of molehills. It is total absurdity of course.
Didn’t we hear Malcolm Turnbull claiming he had a big part in establishing the Guardian? The Guardian is as much of drivel as his smear book just released. If you think about it, never has there been such publicity for a book with so much smear and slander. Interestingly, Turncoat successfully suppressed a book that spilled the beans on him.
For fellow Australians, the branch stacking of the Liberal party, especially in NSW by Republicans put there by Jason Falinski has turned Australia in to a one party state. Patriots MUST get politically active and join a political party, even if it is joining the Liberal party. Although I am in One Nation , I encourage people to become active in the Liberals if they do not want to handle the stigma of being in One Nation .

April 19, 2020 3:15 pm

Countries band together to protect endangered species by banning trade in things like elephant ivory (I leave the googling to you as an exercise). So, there is a precedent. On the other hand, if everything is happening within China’s borders, it’s hard to see what the international community could do about it.

With regard to the elephants, there is so much noise that I can’t see the signal. In particular, I can’t tell whether the ban on the ivory trade has had any effect at all.

Reply to  commieBob
April 19, 2020 7:11 pm

It’s made a lot of poachers rich, and a lot of park rangers dead.

April 19, 2020 3:16 pm

The Guardian article links to a Nature article in which it states

Pangolins are protected animals, but illegal trafficking is widespread, and some species are critically endangered. They are sold, controversially, for their meat and scales, and for use in traditional Chinese medicine, in which parts of the animal are used to treat ailments such as skin diseases, menstrual disorders and arthritis. Chinese law states that people selling pangolins can be punished by 10 years or more in prison.

But oh yeah, Trump.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Charlie
April 19, 2020 4:57 pm

This Tobias isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. But he’s a tool for sure.

April 19, 2020 3:18 pm

First I hear virus jumped to snakes from bats. Then they said it jumped to Pangolin from bats. Lately I heard it jumped from bats to dogs. Based on these contradictions a logical person can only conclude the researchers are totally incompetent.

Reply to  Stevek
April 19, 2020 4:08 pm

One year ago, the Notre Dame Cathedral fire started with torch welding on the roof.

No, actually there was no welding started yet. An elevator motor short circuit on the scaffolding (very, very far from the roof or any wood) started it.

No, the work was over in the evening when the fire started, the main circuit breaker was off, and locked, and the key was transferred to the church. But another short circuit started it.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  niceguy
April 20, 2020 4:54 am

Yeah, we get short circuits everywhere every day, no, hour. They come in sneaking through the walls, out of the drain pipes, fall from the sky and I don’t know from where else. We can’t get enough fuses in stock and they are always too weak to withstand the load until the short circuit goes away by itself so we have to help a little bit with a thick wire. I mean, we wouldn’t like to damage the fuse holder, aren’t we?

Electricity is a bitch. We shouldn’t use it. Nothing good comes from it.

Reply to  Stevek
April 19, 2020 6:11 pm

Apparently you haven’t heard the latest, bats to balls.

April 19, 2020 3:26 pm

People? Persons? One-child? Hasn’t China closed the Progressive Church and lost their Pro-Choice religion? A reversal of their decades of decarbonization effort? Now, it’s Her Choice, as in SARS-CoV-2 (the virus originally from Wuhan), and, ostensibly, Covid-19.

April 19, 2020 3:37 pm

For more than 5 years? Who was President for more than 5 years ago?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Ack
April 19, 2020 4:56 pm

He does get mentioned (to be fair)…

April 19, 2020 3:44 pm

I guess I missed the connection between how greater protection has anything whatsoever to do with transmission of the virus.

Sorry, I must be dense.

Donald Boughton
April 19, 2020 3:49 pm

President Trump’s writ does not run in China nor for that matter does Boris Johnson’s. CCP’s writ runs in China they appear to run the place with an iron grip. I do not know what the Guardian reporters are smoking but they should stop it as it is addling their brain. I think they need to spent more time in Manchester, where the folks are much more sensible and grounded as the Guardian has returned to its roots to save money. For those it do not know the Guardian was originally called the Manchester Guardian and at one time was edited by one Brian Redhead who also broadcast on the BBC.

April 19, 2020 3:50 pm

Have a heart. The Guardian makes a huge loss, with its woke cockwomble.

If the EU/Chinese/Russians didn’t pay them for these puff pieces they would go bust.

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 19, 2020 4:09 pm

The Guardian is in very deep trouble. The online edition is full of increasingly desperate pleas for readers to support it with donations.

April 19, 2020 4:03 pm

This is one of the silliest pieces that I have ever seen in that expensive fish-and-chip wrapper called the Grauniad. In it, there is not the slightest mention of real issues such as actions of the incompetent and corrupt Chinese Communists, the spineless President Xi Jinping, Chinese animal rights abuses, Chinese health problem coverups, and the possibility that the Covid-19 virus was created in a Chinese Viral Facility in Wuhan by Chinese Scientists.

April 19, 2020 4:10 pm

Deep states, their bankers at CCP and their media mouthpieces around the world are on full DEFCON 1. Orange man must be stopped at any cost, or there will be no more ice cream!

April 19, 2020 4:13 pm
April 19, 2020 5:23 pm

“… who knows where we would be today.”

Hypotheticals aren’t reality. They sure are good to launch ad hominem attacks with. Sigh.

John Brodman (beachbum)
April 19, 2020 5:28 pm

So, what are the recipes for Pangolin?

Reply to  John Brodman (beachbum)
April 19, 2020 5:48 pm

I don’t really know any good recipes for Pangolin, but I’m guessing, if fried up in butter with some onions, salt, and pepper, then it would taste okay, … and maybe make some flour gravy from the drippings. Serve with grilled asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. That’s just my suggestion, however. … Maybe a good bat-soup appetizer would work with it too. (^_^)

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 19, 2020 6:20 pm

Just get an opossum recipe and substitute.

Reply to  John Brodman (beachbum)
April 19, 2020 6:52 pm

Pangolin is best served with bat juice.

April 19, 2020 6:01 pm

I like that Obama is also the bad guy.

> if the US were actually a leader in international wildlife conservation like it used to be back in the day and actually took its obligations seriously

So when was that, exactly? Under Clinton? Carter maybe?

April 19, 2020 6:50 pm

“The Pentagon’s top general has said that US intelligence has looked into the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could have started in a Chinese laboratory, but that the “weight of evidence” so far pointed towards “natural” origins.”

So “US intelligence” either knows there is nothing to know here (bizarre conclusion, as they don’t know anything when there are essential things to know, in fact, almost always, they seem clueless), or “US intelligence” is lying. (IOW, there are no unknown unknowns.)

““During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” a cable dated 19 January 2018 said, according to the Post.”

Even more bizarre contribution to their conclusion above!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  niceguy
April 20, 2020 6:40 am

Those with experience in intelligence know it is useful to intertwine the truth with falsehoods. One will never really know which is which and it helps protect sources and confuse the enemy. China is a master at it, so is the US.

freedom monger
April 19, 2020 8:43 pm

Thanks kribaez, that’s better.

Interesting article – makes sense. I hope you’re right.

April 19, 2020 9:04 pm

Lessee here… Trump nukes China to stop them from making roast pangolin garnished with root vegetables and served with truffle sauce on the side.

The YSM gets the headline they want: Orange Man Bad.

Oh wait… Trump didn’t nuke China.

The headline still reads, Orange Man Bad.

President Trump uses economic weapons; sanctions, tariffs, and incentives to American businesses to reshore. He tries to avoid boots on the ground solutions.

But if you kill Americans, look for something to come down your chimney, and it won’t be Santa Claus. Or expect your Sunday drive to be ruined by U.S. drones.

P.S. Leave your jewelry at home on those Sunday drives.

April 20, 2020 2:37 am

I have a high regard for the Guardian! Not so much for its editorial content, but it makes good toilet paper in the age of Kung Flu.

Karl Carlson
April 20, 2020 3:28 am

Deutsche Welle is attempting to collectively guilt trip humanity for epidemic outbreaks, due to a lack of protecting the environment. They even cite some phoney peer review paper titled “Global shifts in mammalian population trends reveal key predictors of virus spillover risk”

Reply to  Karl Carlson
April 20, 2020 8:20 am

I like the way the complain that humans, for the first time are venturing into virgin territory where animals with unknown viruses exist.

These people must think history began a few decades ago.
Venturing into virgin wildernesses and exploiting the animals we find there is what humans have been doing since we learned to walk upright.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 20, 2020 3:30 am

Pangolins of the World Unite! Free the Pangolin. Join the Pangolin Liberation Front.

You couldn’t make it up, or could you?

April 20, 2020 7:33 pm

“For more than five years, wildlife conservationists in the US have been clamoring for the government to provide Endangered Species Act protections to pangolins, a group of imperiled ant-eating mammals that are widely, and often illicitly, trafficked for their scales and meat.”

Grauniad plumbs new lows.
First the Grauniad must demonstrate that China does anything more than pay lip service to the CITES treaties.

Here in the Eastern USA, every state with black bears is on alert for illegal poachers seeking bear internal organs. Which get dried and smuggled out of the US towards China.

Name an animal/herbal medicine where the host animal/plant is critically endangered and China has a black market paying top dollars for that bit of wildlife.

May’s issue of National Fisherman has a news blurb where NOAA used long range panes to factually identify and track China’s long range fishing fleet illegally fishing USA waters. Racking up thousands of metric-ton harvests of highly regulated fish like tuna.

China doesn’t care about fantasies postulated by the cesspool paper known as the Guardian. The Guardian cares not about Democracy nor Constitutional Monarchies.
The Guardian much prefers despotic communism where activists disappear.

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