Covid-19: That time Aussie Virologists Accidentally Created an Unstoppable Mouse Pathogen

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Mouse. By George Shuklin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

As speculation mounts about exactly what Chinese virologists were doing in that sinister Wuhan laboratory, it might be a good time to ask, what is the difference between legitimate virology research and nasty secret military projects? The answer is less than you might think.

Australians Create a Deadly Mouse Virus

By William J. Broad
Jan. 23, 2001

Australian scientists have accidentally created a virus that kills mice by crippling their immune systems, and warn that the technique may threaten to produce deadlier forms of human viruses and new kinds of biological weapons.

The Australian scientists inserted into the mousepox virus a mouse gene that controls the making of interleukin-4, chemical that plays a starring role in the immune system’s responses to foreign invaders. The aim was to enhance the making of interleukin-4 and thus the immune response so that even mice eggs would be rejected as foreign, blocking mouse reproduction.

But the female mice instead died, as did many of those vaccinated to resist mousepox. The scientists say the designer virus unexpectedly crippled the immune system to such an extent that the microbe reproduced wildly, killing most of the mice and making the rest permanently disabled.

The mousepox virus, they added, was used simply because it was well studied and convenient. If successful, the experiment would have progressed to inserting the interleukin-4 gene into a benign microbe of rodents, the murine cytomegalo virus.

The bodies of people, like those of mice, use interleukin-4 to control immune responses. Its signals are one of the main ways biological reactions to infection are orchestrated. That similarity is one reason the new finding worries experts.

Read more:

It is possible Wuhan scientists were doing something naughty. Ill advised Chinese resistance to open investigation is fanning the flames of suspicion.

But the theory that Covid-19 is a biological warfare virus is weak. A serious attempt to create a biological warfare virus should have included public knowledge enhancements like the lethal interleukin-4 hack, and who knows what other less well known immune system hacks. A real biological warfare virus, with minimal effort, would have been far worse than Covid-19.

One thing we do know is there was a Chinese study which claimed that isolation procedures at the Wuhan laboratory were deficient. That alone is justification for further investigation – likely some careless worker walked out of the lab one night, carrying a bat virus which had somehow managed to infect a human.

We have all see examples of what appeared at first to be malice, which on investigation turned out to be mindless incompetence.

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April 28, 2020 2:15 pm

Back in 1995, a rabbit calicivirus being tested at a facility on Wardang Island 5 kilometers off the southern coast of Australia accidentally found its way to the mainland, killing rabbits by the tens of millions. They’re an invasive and destructive pest introduced by humans in the 18th century. Farmers were elated, calling it “a bloody miracle”.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  stinkerp
April 28, 2020 3:29 pm

To expand on this the intent was to produce an anti rabbit continent wide killer and then release it.

This wasn’t SCIENCE! for the sake of it, this was a deliberate plan and the island wasn’t the lab, it was the field test area being used to ensure the virus was rabbit only.

From memory the virus escaped because flies were a transmission vector and nobody knew flies could swim.

The question then became do we try and contain the virus to complete testing or start trying to increase the spread before immunity starts to develop.

From memory there was briefly a black market in infected rabbit carcasses because farmers voted to spread and didn’t want to wait for some Canberra type to spend months forming committees.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Craig from Oz
April 28, 2020 6:42 pm

“Craig from Oz April 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm

From memory the virus escaped because flies were a transmission vector and nobody knew flies could swim.”

Flies also are lifted up to great altitudes, freeze, are transported great distances, fall, thaw and are re-animated.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  stinkerp
April 28, 2020 6:39 pm

Yep! And shortly after, it was tried in New Zealand and was a complete disaster. Now, rabbits are immune to it.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
April 29, 2020 5:08 am

what seems to happen is the young in burrows dont get dosed every time they re release it
so they survive n keep breeding

and the pharmas loved it because every pet rabbit and meat rabbit breeding setup has to vaccinate or keep bunnies in mosquito and fly proof mesh

Reply to  stinkerp
April 28, 2020 8:31 pm

Natural bat viruses on their own are quite capable to jump over to humans and be severe for us, without lab assistance.
Bat lady Zheng-Li Shi published in March 2018 cases of this in Chinese villagers close to bat caves in Yunnan province.
Her December 2018 paper shows some earlier cases of bat-other mammal jumps around the globe.

What I don’t get: why are P4 labs build close to mega cities like Wuhan or Atlanta? Why is there no stricter control on the employees there (psychological etc)?
Also info from there would be gold to nutty “Armageddon”/ human hater sects; luckily most wouldn’t be able to use it.

Reply to  AntonyIndia
April 29, 2020 5:11 am

why did Gbush allow for a bio4 levellab to be built in tornado alley?
why does USA have quite a few biolabs offshore(hint to avoid rgulations and freedom of info etc)
ie Georgia near Russian border

Reply to  stinkerp
April 28, 2020 10:04 pm

And what if it had jumped species!

April 28, 2020 2:16 pm

– likely some careless worker walked out of the lab one night, carrying a bat virus which had somehow managed to infect a human.

Yes, the leakage was probably accidental, and it probably was not a bioweapon otherwise they would not have openly published so much of the work in PR literature.

It is the “somehow” we need to be looking at. There is published work by the team including Shi Zheng Li proudly proclaiming to have CREATED and isolated a chimera virus from a manipulated mouse “backbone” strain which could infect human airway cells.

It’s exactly what we are now having to deal with.

John Tillman
April 28, 2020 2:17 pm

Even American BSL-4 labs are leaky. China’s only one, in Wuhan, was built by France, and has been running just since 2015.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 2:30 pm

Intel were aware of the work going on at WIV. Both French and US govts. were involved in the work of the lab and intel agencies from both countries were warning about the dangers BEFORE it was even completed.

The probability that this was man-made was probably the default assumption in govt, though they did not want to frighten crap out of people by saying so , so the media got fed the “wet market” BS to feed to the sheeple and got told to dismiss the biolab hypothesis as C.T. if it came up.

The other problem with it being a bioweapon is that this would demand retaliation but short of nuking Beijing it’s hard to see what we could do. Diplomatic “displeasure” would look cronically weak and be like admitting the west was powerless to retaliate against China.

Reply to  Greg
April 28, 2020 4:36 pm

I have no aversion to using nuclear weapons. It works.

Reply to  Dergy
April 28, 2020 6:12 pm

I do, the Chinese also have nukes, and they will fire back. The Russians might join in.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 7:22 pm

Bloody ridiculous to be willing to lob nukes on a hunch

Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 7:49 pm

Firstly, I do not advocate the use of nuclear weapons, but, who would the Russians target? If Russia faces major economic collapse and one or more major cities suffer death rates similar to New York, they will be looking for an outlet for their anger and frustration. The same could be said for North Korea. Are they so blinded by their hatred of the US that they will give Xi and the CCP a pass for quite purposefully (allegedly) spreading this virus and the associated hysteria around the world and then trying to profit by it?

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2020 11:38 am

They aren’t blinded by hatred, but rather by blind ambition.
They want to be a great country and aren’t all that concerned about who has to die in order for that to happen.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Dergy
April 29, 2020 8:53 am

Crazy talk. Like the sherriff in Blazing Saddles putting the gun to his head and threatening to shoot. The Chinese are responsible for this mess and they have plenty of financial assets to target, most especially the debt obligations they are owed.

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg
April 28, 2020 6:01 pm

Lots of options short of nukes. Such as:

Bring critical manufacturing, such as drug precursors and defense industrial base, back on shore.

Quit buying solar and wind energy tech from China.

Limit Chinese STEM students at US universities.

Clamp down on illegal immigration from China, to include the hundreds of thousands of Fujianese and aliens from other provinces smuggled into NYC by gangs like the Snakeheads.

Increase presence in South and East China Seas and cooperation with the Republic of China (Taiwan), up to RoK and Japan-level, to include port visits by US Navy, if not bases. Maybe joint air and sea maneuvers. Move even closer to India and rotate more Marines through Oz.

China could retaliate against US soy bean farmers, companies like Apple and businesses like sports leagues, so it won’t be easy. But not impossible.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 7:49 pm

John, Australia has done some stupid things in regard to China.

How could we sell off Darwin’s major port to them? The closest major Australian port to China! That was under a conservative government, that is if you could ever call Malcolm Turnbull conservative.

How could we allow them to build a military capable airport in Western Australia?

Given that Victoria may as well be a communist State now anyway, who knows what secret deal was made recently with China.

We import all of our (unwanted by most anyway) wind and solar from China and are committed to this industry on a massive scale.

They own a large chunk of our dairy industry and vast swaths of our rural land and urban properties.

They use us as a supermarket if their own stocks run short. An example of that is that they regularly clear our supermarket shelves of baby formula even after having bought one of our baby formula companies! I’m talking about the major cities.

I fear that we’ve been sold out already.

We have started to suggest to them that their requests to buy into our rare earth mines will be rejected. The Australian Chinese consulate is already making threats. They said that if we follow in line with the US and in the event of war, we would be sacrificed.

John Tillman
Reply to  Megs
April 28, 2020 8:21 pm

Yes, Oz, like a lot of Europe and the Americas, has been taken over by the CPC, to say nothing of Africa and Asia. It owns much of the US meat packing industry. A pork plant in South Dakota suffered a bad WuFlu outbreak after a visit from its Chinese execs. Now many packers are shut and we may suffer meat shortages.

Oz is clearly vulnerable, not just to economic colonization, but, should the CPC ever feel the need, outright invasion. The USMC battalion at Darwin is obviously merely a symbolic tripwire. But there really isn’t much USN 7th Fleet could do to stop a Chinese invasion. Twenty-five million people versus 1400 million doesn’t compute. The difference in military age males is even starker, although overall median ages are similar at the moment.

Oz is upgrading its military, but resistance would be futile, unless the US threatened to go nuclear. Our defense treaty however isn’t like NATO. An attack on Oz isn’t legally an attack on the US.

Despite its vast emptiness, Oz is highly vulnerable, with most of its disarmed population concentrated in a few urban areas easily cut off from water, food and power. But, as you note, why occupy a country you already virtually own, whose resources are yours?

It's all BS
Reply to  Megs
April 29, 2020 1:12 am

Buy them out under Torrens title. It will cost alot, but the CCP must understand the rule of law. Not the law of the CCP. And, as hard as it is, stop buying Chinese goods! I am proud of our (the Australian government) not backing down on the independent international inquiry.

Reply to  Megs
April 29, 2020 5:19 am

daniel andrew shoulda been given the boot fo th belt n road signup
and 99yr lease the melb port to china
but hes been allowed to keep his disgustingly high pay and also import thousnds of wind turbines and set up solar farms all over
now hes got vic still locked down while other states are relaxing regs
I used my vote to try n out him
pity more didnt

ps you are? aware the UK and america and the arabs tc also own massive swathes on aussie land cattl etc I hope

Reply to  ozspeaksup
April 29, 2020 6:00 am

What has happened to Australia OZ? I know we were renowned for being laid back, in days gone buy our immigrants embraced our lifestyle and each other, they came to understand what being an Australian meant, and they knew that they too belonged. We had a strength of character and stood by our mates.

That all changed with the socialist push from the left, the PC brigade, the division and the unwanted labels, the hate.

I think we went soft in our confusion and allowed people to take advantage of us. We were trying to hold on to optimism and positivity. The nations that we had once embraced and welcomed to come and stay had gone hard with that same leftist influence and even right up till recent times we didn’t want to see it.

We are selling out our nation, for what? I wonder who it will be, I wonder who will come to stake their claim on our resources. I wonder who will forcibly evict us. I wonder if anyone will stand by us.

John Tillman
Reply to  Megs
April 29, 2020 8:16 am


Swaths, not swathes.

Do you really consider US and ChiCom ownership equal threats?

john harmsworth
Reply to  Megs
April 29, 2020 8:57 am

Australia has indeed gotten a little too far under the covers with China. The Western world now needs to reinforce its relationships, specifically with a view to firewalling China and its investments,business interests, political interference and intimidation.
We need to isolate them and assist SE Asia in doing likewise.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Megs
April 30, 2020 10:00 am

You remarked, “Oz is upgrading its military, …” Now, if Oz had been smart, when they confiscated all those “weapons of war” from their citizenry, they would have removed the best and newest and placed them in arsenals throughout the country, instead of destroying them all. Even a few hundred thousand semi-autos in the hands of urban guerillas would slow down any invasion until the rest of the world could mobilize for their support.

John Tillman
Reply to  Megs
April 30, 2020 11:57 am


Destroying confiscated weapons was indeed idiotic. Not just SA rifles, but all firearms are better than none.

Oz would be well advised to adopt the Swiss and Scandinavian models of militia service, but voluntary and with automatic weapons kept in arsenals rather than homes, if the government doesn’t trust its subjects.

If 10% of the population (250,000) joined the militia and trained often enough to maintain membership, then even China would be hard-pressed to seize all major cities in a coup de main. Its first airlift might delivery around 300,000 troops. More if they landed without armored vehicles.

The cost of arming and equipping 100-200 light infantry regiments with a high tooth to tail ratio need not be prohibitive. They could make do without antitank and antiaircraft guided missiles, but might still be effective with rifles, light, medium and heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, anti-armor recoilless launchers and 60mm (company), 81mm (battalion) and 120mm (regiment) mortars. Cheaper than losing your country.

The militia might even go full Mad Max and home-build some field expedient armored vehicles, ie MG-armed “technical” pickups protected by steel plates.

Too bad that India doesn’t have a Marine Corps, so that Oz could invite a battalion to Perth, matching the USMC battalion at Darwin.

John Tillman
Reply to  Megs
April 30, 2020 12:32 pm

Or maybe Broome, rather than Fremantle/Perth. Small town of ~16,000, but used to accomodating hordes of winter tourists, over 30,000 at peak. Housing eight hundred Indian marines shouldn’t pose a problem.

Big Al
Reply to  Greg
April 28, 2020 8:54 pm

Thanks Greg. You answered what was wondering. 2014 Congress halted funding to this lab. 2015 Dr, Faunci funneled 3.7 million to lab. 2017 Dr. Faunci predicted Trump would face a surprise world pandemic. 2020, here it is. Dr Faunci is Shadow Government, Deep State asset. This COVID19 is Deep State attack on the world. I feel sure Trump played this clown. Same for Dr. Scarf asset. September about 19th Trump established Military Vaccination Unit. by EO. We are in the Storm. And WINNING BIGGLY. This time next week General Flynn will be a free man. Fake President Obama, Barry, Secret Service code word, SELF CHOSEN is, was , Renegade. Same as traitor. Destroyer of nations. Obama was appointed by The Deep State. They never thought she would lose.

Eric McCue
Reply to  Big Al
April 28, 2020 9:39 pm

Big Al

Totally agree about Obama and COVID-19 connections to the deep state.

Twice UK journalist of the year, world renowned author and filmmaker John Pilger.

‘Barack Obama Worked For The CIA

Reply to  Eric McCue
April 30, 2020 3:27 am

Good grief! Pilger? You really should do some research on his output.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Greg
April 30, 2020 9:44 am

This goes a long way to explain why we have tolerated seasonal flu deaths, with hardly a blink, of the same magnitude as COVID-19. Yet, before there was a single death outside of Wuhan, world governments and the Media were advocating unprecedented responses. World intelligence agencies knew what was going on in Wuhan, and governments were worried about public panic.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 2:33 pm

…. and then, of course, there was this – smallpox:

Many may not remember it but, given that I lived right around there but left two months before it happened, I won’t forget it.

Reply to  philincalifornia
April 28, 2020 2:42 pm

There were two instances from the SAME lab at interval of about 4y. Both cases a photographer in the floor above got smallpox.

Reply to  Greg
April 28, 2020 3:39 pm

And anti technology clowns worry about nuclear fission reactors.

And Nobel Prize (not Noble though) clowns petitions against HEU and the dangers of medical isotopes, as if spreading fine metal particulates widely was easy, esp. when those are extremely and rapidly harmful for the person trying to turn these in fine particulate. Complete terrorism lunacy.

Reply to  niceguy
May 1, 2020 6:38 pm

re: “and the dangers of medical isotopes, as if spreading fine metal particulates widely was easy”

What? “fine metal particulates”?

Do you actually think that “fine metal particulates” are used as radioactive ‘tracers’ in human beings? Maybe you need a refresher on how, say, Technetium-99m is prepared for use:

Radioisotopes (in general) in Medicine:


Reply to  niceguy
May 3, 2020 10:26 pm

As usual you don’t think and you don’t read either.

Go back to sleep.

Reply to  niceguy
May 4, 2020 6:19 am

re: “ the dangers of medical isotopes … spreading fine metal particulates widely was easy

You mean, like the metal iron ‘particles’ we have in our blood? (BTW, those isotopes represent maybe 2 chest x-rays total dosage given their SHORT half-life.)

You never thought about that aspect, huh “wiseguy”.

Please, DO go back to sleep.

Reply to  philincalifornia
April 29, 2020 1:19 am

Given how careless and incompetent many people are, and how batsh!t crazy others are today, I don’t feel confident that we won’t see a release of a much more dangerous virus from a bio-weapons lab. Smallpox or its clones would be suitable candidates. Radical greens and neo-Malthusians (Club of Rome types) would love to get their hands on some to greatly reduce human populations.

The response to Covid-19 was a gross over-reaction. Other “real” pandemics won’t be. These are real threats, unlike Covid-19 and phony global warming alarmism. Time to think clearly.

Regards to all, Allan


The Death From Smallpox Of Janet Parker In Birmingham

The World Health Organization (WHO) certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980.

The last case of smallpox in the world occurred in an outbreak in the United Kingdom in 1978.[107] A medical photographer, Janet Parker, contracted the disease at the University of Birmingham Medical School and died on 11 September 1978. Although it has remained unclear how Parker became infected, the source of the infection was established to be the smallpox virus grown for research purposes at the Medical School laboratory.[108][109] All known stocks of smallpox worldwide were subsequently destroyed or transferred to two WHO-designated reference laboratories with BSL-4 facilities – the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Russia’s State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR.[110]

WHO first recommended destruction of the virus in 1986 and later set the date of destruction to be 30 December 1993. This was postponed to 30 June 1999.[111] Due to resistance from the U.S. and Russia, in 2002 the World Health Assembly agreed to permit the temporary retention of the virus stocks for specific research purposes.[112] Destroying existing stocks would reduce the risk involved with ongoing smallpox research; the stocks are not needed to respond to a smallpox outbreak.[113] Some scientists have argued that the stocks may be useful in developing new vaccines, antiviral drugs, and diagnostic tests;[114] a 2010 review by a team of public health experts appointed by WHO concluded that no essential public health purpose is served by the U.S. and Russia continuing to retain virus stocks.[115] The latter view is frequently supported in the scientific community, particularly among veterans of the WHO Smallpox Eradication Program.[116]

In March 2004, smallpox scabs were found inside an envelope in a book on Civil War medicine in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[117] The envelope was labeled as containing scabs from a vaccination and gave scientists at the CDC an opportunity to study the history of smallpox vaccination in the United States.

On July 1, 2014, six sealed glass vials of smallpox dated 1954, along with sample vials of other pathogens, were discovered in a cold storage room in an FDA laboratory at the National Institutes of Health location in Bethesda, Maryland. The smallpox vials were subsequently transferred to the custody of the CDC in Atlanta, where virus taken from at least two vials proved viable in culture.[118][119] After studies were conducted, the CDC destroyed the virus under WHO observation on February 24, 2015.[120]

In 2017, Canadian scientists recreated an extinct horse pox virus to demonstrate that the smallpox virus can be recreated in a small lab at a cost of about $100,000, by a team of scientists without specialist knowledge.[121] This makes the retention controversy moot since the virus can be easily recreated even if all samples are destroyed. Although the scientists performed the research to help development of new vaccines as well as trace smallpox’s history, the possibility of the techniques being used for nefarious purposes was immediately recognized, raising questions on dual use research and regulations.[122][123]
In September 2019, the Russian lab housing smallpox samples experienced a gas explosion that injured one worker. It did not occur near the virus storage area, and no samples were compromised, but the incident prompted a review of risks to containment.[124]

Vaccine stockpiles
In late 2001, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom considered stockpiling smallpox vaccines, even while assuring the public that there was no “specific or credible” threat of bioterrorism.[102] Later, the director of State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR warned that terrorists could easily lure underpaid former Soviet researchers to turn over samples to be used as a weapon, saying “All you need is a sick fanatic to get to a populated place. The world health system is completely unprepared for this.”[103]

In the United Kingdom, controversy occurred regarding the company which had been contracted to supply the vaccine. This was because of the political connections of its owner, Paul Drayson, and questions over the choice of vaccine strain. The strain was different from that used in the United States.[104] Plans for mass vaccinations in the United States stalled as the necessity of the inoculation came into question.[105]

James Francisco
April 29, 2020 6:06 am

Allen do you suppose that the shutdown was a test of sorts (an overreaction ) to see if we could stop the spread of a very dangerous disease?

Reply to  James Francisco
April 30, 2020 2:59 am

“Allan do you suppose that the shutdown was a test of sorts (an overreaction ) to see if we could stop the spread of a very dangerous disease?”

Not my expertise James, but my guess is no – because they already had the knowledge to stop SARS, MERS, Ebola and other much more serious diseases.

I think Sweden assessed Covid-19 correctly and did only a partial lock-down, while other countries over-reacted and assumed it was much worse than it really was. Here are my thoughts to date:

Sadly, elderly and infirm people die every day. The winter flu season in 2019-2020 was the least dangerous in many years, with far fewer-than-average winter deaths from 1Dec2019 to 31Mar2020. Then Covid-19 struck and killed a large number of elderly and infirm people who survived the winter flu season.

Total ~winter deaths from all causes are depicted by the area under the curve in these plots, and are still (approximately) no greater than the 2017-2018 flu season – these deaths just happened later than usual.
Mortality monitoring in Europe (1Jan2016 to present)

Reply to  James Francisco
May 1, 2020 6:51 pm

A “The Perfect Storm” scenario was triggered by COVID-19/SARS-COV-2, with the “fuel” provided by a delusional/TDS US media, the vision by pols (and press) of a recently impeached president, and over-active social-media (FB, Twit) used by the left. China’s involvement and the virus were, again, trigger events.

If you ask me, a whole bunch of hens* needed an ‘event’ to show umbrage at, found it, capitalized on it, and that’s where we are (in the ‘Munchhausen by proxy’ phase, as the officials/bureaucrats at CDC, as well dem govs et al bask in some glory as they exercise/wield raw dictatorial power.)
hens, in both male and female sexes. Behaviors include: mother hen syndrome, clucking disagreeably on social media indicating ‘vigilance’ posture

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 3:02 pm

It’s not just the USA and China labs that are leaky. This is what the late Dr Plummer (head of the Canadian lab) said:

“Plummer has said the researcher signed a form declaring he did not steal anything from the lab and understood he was not allowed to. The national lab does not conduct searches of staff when they exit the lab ”

No exit checks? WTF? What type of Mickey Mouse operation are they running? Seriously!

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 4:13 pm

I wrote earlier:
I don’t have adequate evidence , but my hunch is that the Covid-19 virus came from the Wuhan bio-weapons lab.

Probability 90:10 it came from the lab, not the animal market.

Probability 80:20 it escaped and was not a deliberate release.

Emphasis on the word “hunch”.

Eric Worrall wrote and I agree with him, because if Covid-19 is a weapon it is a poor one, since it primarily kills the old and infirm and is often asymptomatic to most working people:

“It is possible Wuhan scientists were doing something naughty. Ill advised Chinese resistance to open investigation is fanning the flames of suspicion.

But the theory that Covid-19 is a biological warfare virus is weak. A serious attempt to create a biological warfare virus should have included public knowledge enhancements like the lethal interleukin-4 hack, and who knows what other less well known immune system hacks. A real biological warfare virus, with minimal effort, would have been far worse than Covid-19.”

john harmsworth
April 29, 2020 9:21 am

I think this is probably correct, but it’s always possible that it escaped as an intermediate form of a bio weapon. I know nothing about creating such weapons but I would think that the best procedure would be to build the organism sequentially. The critical piece of “killer” or “highly infectious” sequences would not be added until the end. This would allow for the development of a vaccine against the nearly completed organism. The idea of making something to kill millions and not being able to protect yourself would be pretty terrifying even to the worst megalomaniac.
I accept that it is more likely that it was an accidental release. Why were they putting so much effort into studying it, though? Was the earlier SARS outbreak that serious?

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 30, 2020 9:21 am

I don’t subscribe to the idea of covid-19 being a bio weapon, but let me assume it is. You say it is a poor one. I don’t agree. Just look what this ‘poor’ weapon had wrought: a comprehensive shutdown of whole countries, incalculable damage to economies, and yes, a large number of victims which, let’s be blunt, mostly are economically not anymore relevant (I’m getting on 70 myself).

The really worrying thing to learn from this virus is that a bioweapon need not to be a big killer at all in order to effectively disable an opponent.

April 28, 2020 2:22 pm

“A real biological warfare virus, with minimal effort, would have been far worse than Covid-19.”

I’m not supporting the bio-weapon idea, just saying that statement does not refute it.

Warfare uses weapons of all grades, depends on your goals and intentions, and it may not have been the finished product anyway.

You might just want to cause confusion or chaos, disrupt etc., you also don’t want to unleash something that could well backfire on your own country too badly!

John Tillman
Reply to  MrGrimNasty
April 28, 2020 2:35 pm

WuWHOFlu, whether thus intended or not, has proven a superb economic warfare weapon.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 5:44 pm

and/or a superb opportunity to wage economic warfare.

Like Hillary said recently, “a terrible crisis to waste”.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 5:50 pm

John wrote:
“WuWHOFlu, whether thus intended or not, has proven a superb economic warfare weapon.”

Yes John, but that is because WE DID THIS TO OURSELVES. There was no need to go “full lock-down” – that was a decision we made ourselves and we should focus on determining why and who caused us to do it – it was an enormous over-reaction to fairly typical flu.

I (and a few others) called it correctly in mid-March and I believe that call was correct:
“This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.”

Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.”

Sweden did not go “full gulag”, and so far they are doing as well as other countries that did.

The country was an outlier in Europe, trusting its people to voluntarily follow the protocols. Many haven’t, but it does not seem to have hurt them.
I usually reject The New York Times, but this article is worthwhile:

John Tillman
April 28, 2020 7:44 pm

True, but a predictable response by Europe, the Americas and Antipodes, if not all of Asia and Africa.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 8:53 pm


How do our governments learn to make more rational, less panicky decisions?

About 5 weeks ago, at the beginning of the Covid-19 lock-down, I wrote that the lock-down was a mistake. “Like swatting a fly on a glass table – with a sledgehammer!”

Now the fly is headed out the window, and we have all this broken glass…

Reply to  John Tillman
April 29, 2020 1:25 am

Again I’m not siding either way, but the response was reasonably predictable……

…..since this economic suicide response was described precisely in a paper I read on SARS, and in numerous other publicly available scientific, national government, UN/WHO documents.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
April 29, 2020 8:18 am


Western governments had inadequate info on which to make decisions, due to ChiCom delay, coverup and lack of cooperation.

April 28, 2020 8:38 pm

Correction to above:
I (and a few others) called it correctly in mid-March and I believe that call is now proved correct:

April 29, 2020 7:19 am

“… This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again. …”

When young I was forced by a trade union to go on strike for 5 weeks. This really threw me under the financial bus. At the end of that I had no food and calls from a credit company. No Govt money support there. So I loaned a few hundred off a close friend. The demands of the union were completely rejected after five weeks with no income and we returned to work (very annoyed). I survived that with little problem, back to normal inside 2 months.

QLD’s isolation has lasted 30 days since the Monday after the local council elections (we had to have). 5 weeks on the 4th of May, with a partial lifting of restrictions in two days. We should be mostly re-opened by the middle of May. Newly unemployed are looked after very well compared to going on strike for 5 weeks so I’m going to say they’re not doing it tough at all, they actually have very good financial support still. If they can’t get through this OK they really need to examine their cash flow and spending habits. This is not doing it tough.


Reply to  MrGrimNasty
April 28, 2020 2:40 pm

Yes, the logic is weak.

One paper published in Nature trying to pooh-pooh the idea it was a genetically manipulated strain relied on the tenuous argument that it was not perfectly efficient at attaching to the ACE2 receptor : therefore not man-made.

Equally, it may be unfinished ( since it’s a leak ) or maybe they had not been able to make it more “efficient”. It’s a non argument.

you also don’t want to unleash something that could well backfire on your own country too badly!

You’d be a damned fool to release anything you did not have bullet proof vaccine for which has not already been widely used in your own population.

The most likely origin IMO is that these geneticists are just playing at being the sorcerer’s apprentice and over imbued with the power of playing God did not have the good sense and ethics not to build potentially lethal “gain of function ” into existing viruses and assist them in jumping species boundaries.

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg
April 28, 2020 3:18 pm

The Nature Medicine paper argued that the ChiCom-19 virus was unlikely to have been engineered, ie to have been created by artificially transferring genetic material from other viruses. However that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t manipulated via directed evoution processes indistinguishable from natural evolution.

Shi’s GoF work at UNC was directed evolution. Her team repeatedly infected ferrets, good models for human lungs, with viruses naturally mutated in each cycle toward the desired goal of more easily breaking into cells.

Eric McCue
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 3:57 pm

‘ Her team repeatedly infected ferrets, good models for human lungs, with viruses naturally mutated in each cycle toward the desired goal of more easily breaking into cells.’

Yes, that’s what a Chinese report implied. It’s deliberately playing with fire.

john harmsworth
Reply to  John Tillman
April 29, 2020 9:39 am

The last I heard was that it “appeared” that the virus had transited through another creature, possibly or even probably a pangolin. So we’re supposed to believe it less likely that a lab that played with both creatures produced this than a random meeting of aground dwelling animal and a flying mammal that sleeps in caves hanging upside down. Riiiiiight.
And they won’t provide any access to the research or researchers. It’s lies, from top to bottom.

John Tillman
Reply to  john harmsworth
April 30, 2020 12:14 pm

The bat virus was supposed to have entered pangolins in the wet market. But no bats were for sale there, and certainly not little insectivorous bats. Edible bats are the larger fruit bats.

Reply to  Greg
April 28, 2020 4:41 pm

You might release something that all your tests showed was nearly benign as to how it affected test subjects. And then you discovered that for a small percent of those infected, the disease was rather serious…. Ooopsie!!!!

Is there proof of this? Nope, and if there ever was, it has been shredded, burned, and anyone who might tell the tale eliminated. But remember that China has pretty base moral standards, to the point of allowing organ harvesting from political prisoners. You cannot believe a single thing they tell us.

Reply to  DaveK
April 29, 2020 5:20 am

CRISPR cas9 tech is also NOT as perfct or safe as they say it is
people using it for rarer diseases have died
using it in food should be banned too.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
April 28, 2020 5:42 pm

“Goals and intentions” – that is the significant thing to know.

A bio-weapon can have the goal of destroying the capability of the enemy nation – kill their productive and/or combat-capable population.

A bio-weapon can alternatively have the goal of enhancing the capability of your own nation – kill the unproductive and expensive to maintain population.

Jack Black
Reply to  Writing Observer
April 29, 2020 12:30 am

Yes, that’s correct. The “weapon” is the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD), that is caused by the panic which ensues after such a virus is discovered, however it got into the wild. The panicked response by Western governments in locking down populations, virtually destroying their own economies could easily be synonymous with a well planned attack. Cui bono? This is what intelligence agencies should and no doubt are examining. However in western democracies Governments do give the illusion of being in charge, and intelligence and military forces will tacitly give their obedience for a while at least. When it becomes clear to intelligence and security services that Government politicians have blundered however, it won’t be long before politicians are visited by “jackals” who will persuade them one way or another, to change their course of action to that which is best for their country, over and above all other considerations. Such as it ever was, and always will be. Here today, and gone tomorrow, politicians will always eventually bow to the directions of the actors imbued with the power of the everlasting State.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Jack Black
April 29, 2020 9:30 am

Ah! So it’s like political correctness or climate change. It scares people into believing the worst. Man, that outta be illegal!

Dodgy Geezer
April 28, 2020 2:24 pm

Actually, when we look at examples of major incidents which turn out to be caused by mistakes, they are rarely ‘mindless incompetence’. They are often presented as such by the investigators, in an effort to place all the blsme on a scapegoat, but any organisation which employed mindless incompetents would not remain viable for very long.

In reality such failures are usually due to ‘corner-cutting’ and lax procedures which are reasonably safe for most of the time, and which everyone involved accepts as adequate. Then a set of unfortunate and unexpected coincidents occurs, and the lax procedures leads to a major incident….

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 28, 2020 2:44 pm

I don’t see much difference between mindless incompetence and ‘corner-cutting’ and lax procedures.

Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 6:54 pm

Especially in a Socialist situation.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 28, 2020 5:02 pm

“any organisation which employed mindless incompetents would not remain viable for very long.” Wrong they are plenty of entities that the output is not related to their survival. If you statement was true most government entities would not exist.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 29, 2020 9:57 am

Communist systems employ many, many people of limited quality because they are compliant and amoral, if not immoral. Plus, corruption and who you know is a huge factor in success. The Chernobyl incident is a good example of the potential outcome.

April 28, 2020 2:27 pm

I work at a university that has been trying to certify a BSL3 for 10 years. For all their faults the CDC is GREAT when it comes to making sure your lab and procedures work as intended. I can not see the Chinese government doing this at all with their labs. They only care about the results and not about the process or people. An accident at a lab in Wuhan makes SO much sense having dealt with Chinese researchers for years.

Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 2:29 pm

Worth remembering the Wuhan lab was funded with two sources of American money, the 9/11 related anthrax was likely manufactured in a CIA facility at Fort Detrick and if I was looking for a country seeking to put millions of lives at risk, America would be it.

Looks like the CIA were outsourcing their virology experiments to China.

‘A BBC Newsnight investigation raised the possibility that there was a secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail which went madly out of control.


Reply to  Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 2:45 pm

So much paranoia, so little actual data.
The BBC, really? That’s your source?

Eric McCue
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 3:05 pm

The BBC interviewed a number of top American experts as you can read. They also made a programme with a top FBI expert who was excluded from the investigation for the first time in his career.

‘An FBI forensic linguistics expert believes the US anthrax attacks were carried out by a senior scientist from within America’s biological-defence community. Professor Don Foster – who helped convict Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and unveiled Joe Klein as the author of the novel Primary Colors – says the evidence points to someone with high-ranking military and intelligence connections.

John Tillman
Reply to  Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 3:21 pm

The evidence pointed to a mentally ill lab worker who killed himself with a Tylenol OD.

Eric McCue
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 3:47 pm

‘The evidence pointed to a mentally ill lab worker who killed himself with a Tylenol OD.’

A very senior scientist who was hounded to death or suicided.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 5:15 pm

The researcher was deeply disturbed.

His mom was violent and physically abusive to all three of her kids. When she discovered she was carrying the future suicidal scientist, in an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, she repeatedly tried to abort him by throwing herself down a set of stairs. He eventually heard this story.

More than a year before the anthrax attacks, he told a mental health counselor that he was interested in a young woman who lived out of town and that he had “mixed poison”, which he took with him to watch her play in a soccer match. “If she lost, he was going to poison her,” said the counselor, who treated at a Frederick, MD clinic four or five times in mid-2000. She said that Ivins emphasized that he was a skillful scientist who “knew how to do things without people finding out”.

The counselor was so alarmed by his emotionless description of a specific, homicidal plan that she immediately alerted the head of her clinic and a psychiatrist who had treated the patient, as well as the Frederick Police Department. She said that the police told her that nothing could be done because she did not have the woman’s address or last name. I don’t know if he were still married at this time or not.

In 2008, the year he killed himself, he told a different therapist that he planned to kill his co-workers and “go out in a blaze of glory”. That therapist stated in an application for a restraining order that he had a “history dating to his graduate days of homicidal threats, actions, plans, threats and actions towards therapists”. His male psychiatrist called him “homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions”.

Although raised Protestant, he converted to Roman Catholicism and played organ in his church. The Frederick News-Post made public several of his letters to the editor dealing with his religious views. These were cited in the Department of Justice summary of the case against him to suggest that he may have harbored a grudge against pro-choice Catholic senators Daschle and Leahy, recipients of anthrax mailings. In a letter, he stated, “By blood and faith, Jews are God’s chosen, and have no need for ‘dialogue’ with any gentile.” He praised a rabbi for refusing a dialogue with a Muslim cleric.

I’m just skimming the surface here. DoJ had good physical evidence as well.

Ft. Detrick, MD is a US Army biodefense facility. It has nothing to do with the CIA.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 5:17 pm

Oops. I let the suspect’s name slip. Sorry about that, in case he were indeed innnocent, however unlikely that might be.

John Tillman
Reply to  Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 3:24 pm

OK, I’m in moderation for using the K-word, but my prior comment on the Army’s Ft. Detrick biodefense lab is also missing.

This keeps happening, without modification notice. Posts and replies just go missing in cyberspace.

Jack Black
Reply to  John Tillman
April 29, 2020 12:51 am

There’s a degree of automatic moderation, and a banned words list. Should you use a certain word or phrase, then your post will be either sent to moderation or excised permanently altogether. Anthony himself has made that very clear on a number of occasions in the past. It’s his website, and ultimately he can and will decide what’s permitted and what isn’t. If you object, you can always start your own website where you can make up the rules to suit yourself. I’m not criticising you, just stating the facts, that’s all. I suggest you moderate your own language and carry across your points in a different fashion. The English language has so many words with subtle nuances, and so perhaps avail yourself with one of the many online Thesauruses that are available, or even get a printed copy of the latest edition of the Roget’s Thesaurus.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 1, 2020 2:54 pm

My disappeared posts didn’t contain banned words. Those with the K-word eventually appear.

Reply to  Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 3:40 pm

Anyone can call themselves a top expert, in fact quite a few people do. Especially in these type of paranoid conspiracy pieces. That doesn’t mean that they are.

The BBC especially is famous for using that trick.

Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 4:55 pm

The CIA legit created the term “conspiracy theory” as a derisive term to, what else, preventing question of their actions.

Modern, recent, example. Trump is a “conspiracy theorist” for suggesting he was being spied on by the US Gov.

C’mon man…

Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 6:19 pm

The term “conspiracy theory” has been around for generations.

Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 7:01 pm

I knew a top expert once. Then he moved on to the yo-yo.

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2020 6:01 am


In my earlier days I played around with tops and yo-yos but quickly lost interest thus never became an expert. But I did become pretty good doing a wheely

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2020 8:57 pm

The NIH grants to the Wuhan BSL-4 lab are not paranoia. How about revealing the terms of these grants by the NIH? Then we’ll see who’s paranoid.

John Tillman
Reply to  Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 5:52 pm

The funding was international, part of an ill-advised joint GoF effort. France built the facility.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 30, 2020 11:49 am

And the NIH part was to study bat coronaviruses at BSL-4 lab.

The NIH has yet to disclose the exact nature of those experiments. But lab scientists had created chimeric, GoF viruses in collaboration with researchers at UNC.

“we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone”
Ralph Baric- UNC- microbiologist- his lab at UNC
Co-authors are Wuhan BSL-4 research ers Shi Zhengli and Xing-Yi Ge

Reply to  Eric McCue
April 28, 2020 11:18 pm

“Looks like the CIA were outsourcing their virology experiments to China.”

That’s a pretty stupid comment. That’s like saying the Pentagon was outsourcing missile design to Russia.

Yes, there have been leaks in US and some questionable research. That does not tell us much about why this came out of Wuhan.

Reply to  Greg
April 30, 2020 11:51 am
john harmsworth
Reply to  Eric McCue
April 29, 2020 9:44 am

“The CIA was outsourcing their virology experiments to China”.
Of course they were. And they have the Martians out looking for info on UFO’s and the Iranians doing their nuclear weapons research.
It isn’t possible to come up with such a dumb idea unless you are deliberately trying to mislead.

Eric McCue
Reply to  john harmsworth
April 29, 2020 10:02 am

In 2009 the U.S. government launched a program to hunt for unknown viruses that can cross from animals to humans and cause pandemics. The project, called PREDICT, was funded by USAID, and it worked with teams in 31 countries, including China (Wuhan).

john harmsworth
Reply to  Eric McCue
April 29, 2020 10:39 am

Interesting. Maybe they should have thought that through a little. I’m pretty sure the Chinese have experimented with improving the”functionality”of some of these viruses. Maybe they should have thought that through a little. We give billions to government to do stuff “for” us. Maybe we should think that through a little.

April 28, 2020 2:34 pm

Biological warfare agents would not necessarily need to be man made nor extremely deadly. China could very easily have unleashed this virus on the world to obtain the known effect, shutting down much of the world. A strategic move of this kind using a natural virus strain would allow them to cover their tracks, either claiming an outbreak in a wet market or, if caught, claiming an accidental release from the BSL-4 lab. If true, they attained their objective at the loss of a few Chinese citizens.

Could a microbiologist or virologist explain to me why scientists would legitimately isolate novel infectious virus strains such as this for other than biological weapons work? If there is not a preponderance if possible benefits, then one must seriously doubt the ethics of this dangerous work.

John Tillman
Reply to  Pflashgordon
April 28, 2020 3:01 pm

The excuse for GoF research is lame. Its practitioners, like “Bat Woman” Shi and her US colleagues at UNC, is to be prepared to make vaccines should such deadly new viruses evolve. But such absurdly dangerous work has produced no worthwhile results at all, anywhere.

The US rightly recognized the risk, and paused funding in 2014. Shi then went back to China to work at the new BSL-4 lab near Wuhan. But advocates of the insanity prevailed, including the CDC, and funding was renewed. It expired in 2018, but possibly not before saddling the world with WuWHOFlu.

Those virologists who opposed GoF research have been vindicated.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 3:49 pm

The “ideal” (most evolved) virus would only get rid of those victims tha cannot efficiently transmit it to other victims. Essentially asymptomatic, “victims” would propagate the virus without being aware of its presence. Society would be rid of its most feeble, a burden that once removed would enhance the lifestyle of survivors and allow them more mobility (riches not required to care for the frail) to more effectively transmit the virus. Looks like this one is the “best” one yet … 🙁

April 28, 2020 2:39 pm

All SARS cases from September 2003 until May 2004 have been outbreaks from research labs.

This is no proof that something like this happened again with a newly investigated virus underestimated for its contagiousness.

But the chance is not zero as I wouldn’t expect they treat all unknown isolated viruses as level 3 or 4.

April 28, 2020 2:41 pm

“A real biological warfare virus, with minimal effort, would have been far worse than Covid-19.”

Well, as bio weapon to kill older people, Covid-19 is pretty good. And chinese trying to kill older chinese
people, could something the totalitarian country might want.
Or kind of the same thing as one child policy.
Trump is old, and they might not want Joe Biden. And it has screwed up the US elections.
But incompetence and screw up is the more likely story.
But killing old people could a general plan in terms of making bio weapons.
And in terms of terror weapon, pretty effective, and similar in some ways to neutron bomb.
Or US leadership has a lot of old people.

John Tillman
Reply to  gbaikie
April 28, 2020 3:09 pm

Yes, the CPC wouldn’t hesitate to reduce its pensioner population in order to gain global economic advantage. But their coverup also led to the death of young Dr. Li, who tried to warn the world. Taiwan listened, but the pro-Communist stooges at WHO refused to heed calls for action from the pariah state, but legitimate government of the Republic of China, as opposed to the bloody gangsters in Beijing.

Red China is facing demographic doom, thanks to its idiotic one-child policy. Estimates of bachelors range from 30 to 55 million, due to differential abortion of daughters. The CPC has a narrow window in which to implement its strategy of world domination. But at the moment it’s blessed with an excess of unwed infantry. There are far too few Uyghur concentration camp prisoner widows and daughters to go around.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 28, 2020 2:43 pm

Covid-19 is an RNA virus. Pox viruses are double stranded DNA viruses. That’s why the Interleukin-4 gene, a double stranded piece of DNA could be built into the pox virus using standard lab techniques. That is not possible directly with Corona viruses and probably exceedingly difficult via the gene’s RNA transcription.

John Tillman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 28, 2020 4:53 pm

Could well be wrong, but IMO no ribovirus does so. Retroviruses, obviously yes, and at least one family of dsDNA-RT viruses (including the Hepatitis B pathogen), but no member of the huge RNA viral Realm Riboviria, to which the coronavirus family belongs. Riboviria encompasses all RNA viruses that replicate by means of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases.

I stand by to be corrected.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 8:54 pm

“dsDNA-RT” stands for “double-stranded DNA-reverse transcriptase”.

April 28, 2020 2:46 pm

I remember reading about that in the book “The Demon In The Freezer” and it was scary. 100% death for regular mice, 100% death for mice resistant to mousepox and 66% death to vaccinated mice. Ouch. When asked why they published it their answer was even more chilling. Basically “It is too simple. We can’t be the first to do this”.

Near the end of the book the author was walked through doing it with what he said was the equivalent of a $20,000 mail order college kit. The only missing part was the smallpox virus.

And now Rudy is slamming Dr Fauci for funding the Wuhan experiments AFTER the order came down to cut off all funding for GOF (Gain Of Function) experiments.

April 28, 2020 3:02 pm

What is warfare goal anyway? What do they know about biological strategy?


What do they even SUPPOSE it is?

I guess they guess NOTHING. They don’t have a theory and don’t even have a conspiration hypothesis to check.

Izaak Walton
April 28, 2020 3:16 pm

Viruses mutate all the time. Which means that they will gain the ability to infect different species every so often resulting in an outbreak of a new disease. So no one should be surprised when that happens. Also the most likely place for that to happen is near markets where live wild animals are sold since that increases the risk of new viruses coming into contact with humans.

Scientists have know of this risk for decades and have published countless articles and books about it. It has made it into popular fiction, movies, tv shows etc. There is no need to conjure up conspiracies or look for other culprits. What is surprising is the lack of preparation of most Western countries which failed to learn anything from earlier outbreaks of novel diseases such as SARS or swine flue.

John Tillman
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 28, 2020 3:27 pm

One thing that has emerged from the limited amount of investigation Hong Kong reporters managed to conduct despite the ChiCom coverup is that most of the earliest cases had no connection with the Wuhan wet market.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 3:57 pm

So did most of them, or multiple cases at least, have a connection to someplace else? Sounds like they didn’t, otherwise we’d hear about it…hence the preponderance of cases tied to the Wuhan wet market stands-out.

John Tillman
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
April 28, 2020 4:37 pm

The preponderance of early cases had no connection, but once the virus was in circulation, a crowded market is a good place for it to spread.

Presumed Patient Zero is unavailable, so no one but the regime’s agents can trace her travel and contacts. Early victims don’t need to be from any one place, just in the path of the missing grad student. There might be a cluster close to her abode, but I don’t think that the investigative reporters had enough info to follow up that possibility.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 28, 2020 3:47 pm

Which other virus mutated so much and acquired as many sequences of the VIH?

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
April 28, 2020 4:46 pm

Many viruses have mutated much more so. It’s not clear that ChiCom-19 contains any HIV sequences. The Indian paper claiming that was retracted while still under review.

Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of HIV, who has worked in Shanghai, says that Wuhan Institute of Virology was working on an HIV vaccine, but he has recently gone off the deep end on at least two different outlandish claims.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 5:04 pm

“The Indian paper claiming that was retracted while still under review.”

The draft was retracted. I didn’t even knew it was possible. Under pressure. Peer pressure? PC police pressure?

Anyway, the sequences do coincide. Nobody is denying that, just whether it’s random chance. The French Academy of Sciences explains it’s just chance. No rational no explanation given no nothing. How would they know?

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
April 28, 2020 5:27 pm

Retracted because its contention was so easily and conclusively shown false.

The authors are Chinese, to be sure, but their analysis is devastating and should be dispositive:

HIV-1 did not contribute to the 2019-nCoV genome

ChiCom-19 was not engineered, in the sense of new genetic material being inserted into the bat CV genome, from a different virus, in this case a retrovirus into a ribovirus. If it came from the WIV lab, as seems probable, then most likely it was manipulated by GoF directed evolution.

Reply to  niceguy
April 29, 2020 8:53 am

I guess for some people Monsanto’s so called “Frankenfood” “half plant half animal” chimeras (more like 99.99% plant 0.01% animal genome) are the definition of evil, but bat viruses adapted to humans by a “natural” mean are not…

Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 28, 2020 8:36 pm

What is surprising is the lack of preparation of most Western countries which failed to learn anything from earlier outbreaks of novel diseases such as SARS . . .

And even more surprising than western countries’ lack of preparation is one eastern country’s lack of prevention.

I mean, how immoral is it that China should allow the continuation of “markets where live wild animals are sold since that increases the risk of new viruses coming into contact with humans” and thus, as is evidenced by now two (2) SARS debacles, the worldwide community.

john harmsworth
Reply to  sycomputing
April 29, 2020 10:24 am

The wet market had nothing to do with this virus. They blamed the wet market as the source. But then they demolished it without taking any tissue samples. Then they allowed the wet markets to re-open.
This is not an investigation. This is covering up evidence. They did not release the DNA sequencing until recently and several countries had to sequence it for themselves. They did not allow the WHO or CDC in to assist or investigate. They withheld knowledge that the virus was communicable. So did the WHO. Then they tried to insinuate that the virus came from the U.S. After it was known that the virus was communicable, they stopped travel from Wuhan to the rest of China but still allowed travel from Wuhan internationally.
They continue to refuse any investigation of the origins of the virus that may still cause the most serious economic disruption to the West since the Great Depression. Key people have disappeared.
China needs to pay very dearly for this.

Howard Dewhirst
April 28, 2020 3:40 pm

Three opinions you all might like to hear on WuFlu and the WHO
Dr Shiva Ayyadurai
Dr Rashid Buttar on the same topic
And Dr Erickson
You may need to hurry because two of them have had talks shut down by YouTube

John Tillman
Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
April 28, 2020 4:41 pm

Software entrepeneur Ayyadurai lacks credibility.

As an osteopath, Buttar a little more.

Immunologist Erickson and his partner, much more so.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 6:00 pm

Resorted to genetic fallacy against Shiva.


John Tillman
Reply to  Dergy
April 28, 2020 7:58 pm

I left out the best part.

He’s the Michael Mann of software entrepeneurs. He sues those who point out his lies. He claims to have invented email and to be a med student, both false.

He’s also not an “expert”. His PhD. is not actually in bioengineering, as claimed, but in systems biology, ie computational and mathematical analysis and modeling of complex biological systems.

He made another false claim in January that the Wuhan coronavirus was patented by the Pirbright Institute, but the patent to which he referred relates to avian coronavirus, not SARS-CoV-2.

Wow! A lot of falsehood.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 8:02 pm

I’m not a fan of Fauci, the CDC, FDA or WHO, but Ayyadurai is not the kind of ally I’d like to have.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 28, 2020 9:24 pm

Erickson has been censored by YouTube, so perhaps he was more credible.

John Tillman
Reply to  DaveW
April 28, 2020 10:46 pm

Definitely the most credible of the three cited. He actually works in relevant fields and with WU Flu infections.

Peter Morris
April 28, 2020 3:49 pm

Why does everybody assume you want mass death with a biological weapon? The alterations could clearly be discovered in enough time to trigger a nuclear response.

What you’d want is to engineer a mass annoyance, and make it appear to have evolved naturally. In effect, you’d want something that looks exactly like COVID-19.

I’m tired of hearing the opinions of these virologists on how they’d make a deadly virus. Their opinion isn’t evidence. What I want to know is if there’s enough evidence of tampering to conclude that the virus was engineered in any way. If there’s just no way to determine that, then that’s fine.

But all the “evidence” that’s been put forward, as far as I’ve read (and I admit I am sure I’ve missed things)is simply scientists saying, “oh it’s definitely not a bio weapon because that’s just not the way I’d do it.” Well thanks for nothing!

Reply to  Peter Morris
April 28, 2020 5:26 pm

One thing to consider is the misinformation the WHO put out concerning treatment.

It got a lot of people killed.

Not to use hyrocoticosteroids for inflamation and anticoagulants.

John Tillman
Reply to  Peter Morris
April 28, 2020 5:36 pm

Not everybody assumes that.

The Nature Medicine paper that claimed “that’s just not how it would be done” was probably right, but that only applies to genetic engineering, not to GoF via directed evolution. The latter process would be indistinguishable from natural evolution in the wild.

David Tallboys
April 28, 2020 4:19 pm

It’s too random isn’t it?

Like gas in World War One – the wind changes direction and you get it rather than the other lot.
UK 00.07 29/04/2020 – or so my PC tells me.

After a few drinks etc, I’ve decided I am now positive for humanity and homo sapiens. Even if some of us are not around.


All of a sudden there are millions of people on this planet thinking.

Some may may be actively trying to avoid their government’s lock down restrictions.

Some may be thinking of ways to comply but still get what they want. To make a living; survive.

But millions are now thinking rather than just eating pizza. (It is possible to do both at the same time)

After a month of despondency, even though things will be different, I’m now positive.

Good luck etc..

April 28, 2020 4:24 pm

I am informed that two of the Wuhan Institute’s senior researchers had previously worked at the Australian Animal Heath Research facility near Geelong, Victoria. AAHL is Australia’s premier and most secure animal pathogen research facility.
At the time, there was considerable concern about the activities and the laboratory and bio-security practices of one of them. That person was returned to China and is now heading up a research program on bat borne viruses.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 28, 2020 4:59 pm

That wasn’t a virology facility, or any kind of laboratory. CSIRO, in the last stages of testing a rabbit control program using calicivirus, released it into the wild population on Wardang Island. There was no containment other than the sea. Which was no obstacle to some impatient farmers.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 28, 2020 9:26 pm

Or the wind. Wind dispersal on filth flies feasting on rabbit carcasses is by far the most likely hypothesis.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 28, 2020 10:44 pm

No the release quarantine site had a physical exclusion of 2km. On the 29th September 1995 when the first infected rabbits carcasses were discovered outside the quarantine area the entire quarantine site was fumigated as part of the emergency protocol and all carcasses recovered and incinerated. What was supposed to be a controlled quarantine site experiment was out and away.

The CSRIO lost a lot of credibility and got lucky that it did no real damage because they would have faced interesting damages claims if other species were affected. It was not lost on people that this could have turned out to be as successful as the introduction of cane toads.

Reply to  LdB
April 29, 2020 2:58 am

“What was supposed to be a controlled quarantine site experiment was out and away.”

It was out and away on the rest of the (small) island. The quarantine site just had a fence; the sea was intended to be the real barrier.

But this was a last check stage. They had already checked to see if other species were affected. It was really a check to see how well the virus would propagate in the wild. The answer was, very well. Especially with a bit of help. Some say the virus crossed the sea on blowflies, but it first turned up at Yunta, about 300 km away, and well inland.

Reply to  LdB
April 29, 2020 5:15 am

Pretty sure it was picked up on the peninsula before Yunta but regardless it was clearly not the CSIRO finest hour. I am sure we would all race out and trust them with out bio-security after that.

Reply to  SteveM
April 29, 2020 5:32 am

that lab took credit for Hendra vax
some snooping by me found out the majority was done in us at AAMRID
which is how we got usa made vaccine
that has a habit of killing or disabling quite a few of the horses forced to have 3! vaccines and be documented
hendra outbreaks are rare(none at all every until vic rail in Hendra hence the name)
usually only the one horse is infected in a paddock
dogs can test as reactive but NOT be spreading it to humans of horses(but were killed anyway)
never a finding in wild horses in areas of risk
curiously a snake in qld vivarium wasfound with the herp variant hendra too. no attention given that snakes might be the vector more than bats

even more curious?
humans who had native natural measles survived infection from sick horses
vaccine measles people didnt

April 28, 2020 4:54 pm

All it took was four airplanes and a handful of radicalized Islamists to cost the U.S. and the world $trillions and to disturb our soft complacency for years to come. It was called terrorism, and we should not for a moment believe it is beyond the reach of nations to play such pieces and strategies in the international chess match for power. Just an accidental release of a deadly virus, or a strategic act of bioterrorism? We may never know, but one should not act as an apologist for the Chinese government if all one can offer are plausible yet unproven conjectures.

In my own little world of academia, I watched as the Chinese government established Confucius institutes at many American public universities. Supposedly for cultural exchange, they operated these institutes as indoctrination and propaganda centers until they became too overt and were summarily kicked off many campuses.

April 28, 2020 5:33 pm

It seems to me, the big problem with biological weapons is they are difficult to aim. Much like the mustard gas used in WWI, it tends to travel in unexpected directions.

April 28, 2020 5:59 pm

Whether the Wuhan virus was from a lab or naturally occurring is, at this time, not too relevant compared to the communist regime’s response to it.
From what I have heard from various sources, once China realized they had a virus among the Wuhan population, they stopped all transportation in and out of the area except for foreign travel. They lied to the WHO about its contagious nature until it was already out of their country.
I find it to be highly plausible that the Chinese communists decided that if they were going to suffer with the disease, they would be sure that they were not alone in the world suffering.
After all, aren’t all communists/socialists concerned with making sure the population is equal in results?

Reply to  Brad-DXT
April 28, 2020 6:15 pm

The next step after flooding the world, have WHO PUT out false information on treatment.

The next link is how Dr’s in China treated covid: anti virus on front end, HAT sepsis protocol on back end more or less

Then this is what happened in new york hospitals do to wrong treatment protocol, note comments on vitamin c ivs

April 28, 2020 6:07 pm


John Smith101
April 28, 2020 6:32 pm

“But the theory that Covid-19 is a biological warfare virus is weak.”

That may well be but what about any potential “vaccine?”

April 28, 2020 6:36 pm

Imo an intentional test-run release of a weak engineered virus to “test the waters”. See how effective it is & how the world reacts.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Er
April 28, 2020 8:23 pm

I don’t believe it was intentional however, I do believe the way the word reacted has piqued the interests of the ruling classes and politicians. Countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand, formerly free of restrictions, has now enacted draconian laws that will remain in place. The police in the UK are enforcing what were Govn’t guidelines. The only country to seems capable of defending itself is the USA.

Russ R.
April 28, 2020 7:07 pm

China had a very strong incentive to reduce the expense of “non-productive” elderly care. They have an aging population due to increased life span and decreased fertility rates.
Accidents are random. Accidents kill men, women, children, old, and young.
Governments that finance health care are burdened with extended care for elderly people living with multiple “commodities” for years.
They are the most expensive component of the health care system and care for “nursing home” occupants is a huge problem for aging populations.
If the CCP was aware of a virus that “culled the herd” of the expensive non-productive members of the public, would they do it? If they knew they could time it to “accidentally” infect the rest of the world would they do it? If they knew it would not cause illness and death to children, the police, the military, and the workers, would they do it?
The more I look at this, the more this question answers itself.

Fiscal imperatives brought about by demographic changes are also set to change the political landscape. Over the next 20 years, the ratio of workers to retirees (presuming workers continue to retire at 60) will drop precipitously from roughly 5:1 today to just 2:1. Such a drastic change implies that the tax burden for each working-age person must rise by more than 150%, assuming that the government maintains its current level of tax income.

Look at the demographics. A random set of events should have a random set of effects. This does not have the characteristics of randomness. They were either very lucky in both effects and timing or the CCP is hiding more than an accident.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 28, 2020 11:48 pm

Such a drastic change implies that the tax burden for each working-age person must rise by more than 150%, assuming that the government maintains its current level of tax income.

We have no idea how much this fiasco cost China but it will cost at least 150% rise in tax burden in the west due to the inept and prolonged shutdowns that we imposed on ourselves.

This will not be boosting Chinese GDP as the world goes into something similar to the Great Depression.

That the UK govt. was deliberately returning known positive cases back to care homes instead of quarantining them may be along the lines you are suggesting.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Greg
April 29, 2020 11:21 am

Our governments are way ahead of this. They’ve been charging 150% excess tax for quite a while and just throwing it away as stupidly as possible. And believe me, they are inventive!

john harmsworth
Reply to  Russ R.
April 29, 2020 11:19 am

Most elderly Chinese are taken care of by family. Not much of an economic hit in that.

Russ R.
Reply to  john harmsworth
April 29, 2020 4:05 pm

“Were” taken care of by family. Single child families produce one child, from two parents, and four grandparents. If you are that couple raising a child, do you think they invite four grandparents to move in? Or do the parents move in with the husbands parents, and leave the care of the wife’s parents to the government?
Traditional Chinese families averaged 5 children per family before the “Great Leap Forward” resulted in tens of millions of deaths and plummeting birth rates. The birth rates came back when food became available again, but fell steadily for two decades until the one child policy in 1979. Those children born in the 60’s and 70’s are going to enter retirement over the next two decades. And they will be entering a pool of retirees that are living an average of 76 years. Those new retirees became adults during the one-child policy.

Most retirees get a pension from a government run system:

The report confirms long-standing concerns among the general public, especially among younger people, that China’s state pension system is financially unsustainable and highlights a major challenge for the government after four decades of restrictions on births.

Add to that the medical costs of currently 250 million people at or above retirement age, and a baby boom set to retire in the next 5 to 20 years and you have a system in trouble.
China has benefited from a baby boom in the workforce at peak career earning power. That baby boom is going to stress an already stressed system. The workforce is already baked into the system. The only thing you can hope for is retirees to be retired for less years. And for many retirees in Wuhan that has already happened. The question is what is happening in the rest of China now? Are the crematoriums running overtime to meet demand? And will that be the new normal as even those that survived this did so with diminished cardio vascular ability, and will bring down the average life expectancy.

A year or two of bad GDP is nothing to China, if they get decades of lower cost future payments. It is like buying a bond. Current expense for future returns.

I personally do not like thinking about this, and rejected it from consideration because it is depressing to give it much thought. It is very possible that this was done by a faction of “idealists” that wanted to lower the cost of supporting people who were living lives of pain, isolation, incontinence, and confusion. There are no shortage of people that think the last years of most peoples lives are not worth living, but eat up a substantial amount of cost in medical expense, and nursing labor (adult diaper changing).

Reply to  Russ R.
April 29, 2020 4:42 pm

I think that what you are suggesting is sadly a possibility. As with many populations the Chinese had large families and small farms, it wasn’t uncommon for children to die so they needed to be sure that there would be someone to look after them in their old age and to run the farm.

The ‘one child’ policy and then the modern era saw the one child, going off to university, sometimes overseas and often not returning home. It is unimaginable to us but sons were favored in many cases to eventually head the family, female infanticide was a factor that changed the gender balance in China.

I watched my own mother die from dementia over several years and you are right, if there are no loved ones to be involved with the care in a country such as China, what then? They are soon to be inundated with aging baby boomers and no family to care for them.

April 28, 2020 8:19 pm

and yet malice still exists

April 28, 2020 9:40 pm

Seems to me that the arrogance and hubris inherent in high tech scientific research is all that is needed to explain the origin of the Wuhan. Its escape into the real world is just Murphy’s Law in action. A wet market origin is highly unlikely for many reasons, not the least of which being the CCP promotion of the hypothesis, but insectivorous bat hosts are not menu items (fruit bats are much larger and tasty), the bats occur nowhere near Wuhan, and it was winter there – not when bats are flying around to accidentally infect. Pangolins were just another red herring with a not very similar virus. Research on these bat viruses was a long term project at the virology lab, aided by funds from overseas, and probably seemed a good idea at the time. A population with antibodies to the bat virus was already known and studied (living around the caves that house the bats), so it probably seemed very relevant to human health and wellbeing. So much for good intentions. Add a paranoid totalitarian regime with a less than competent leader and you have our current pandemic.

john harmsworth
Reply to  DaveW
April 29, 2020 11:25 am

You’re probably right. It did occur to me that it might be easier to harvest bats when they are hibernating but if the virus is linked to an insectivore species versus one that is more typically sold as food then that may very well be relevant. Unfortunately, we ignorant Westerners are left to puzzle it all out for ourselves due to the complete lack of cooperation from the Chinese. Presumably still trying to pretend it didn’t come from there. The old, “WHO me?”

Phil Salmon
April 28, 2020 10:58 pm

The covid19 outbreak started in Yunnan, not Wuhan.

comment image

The covid19 virus was first found in a cave in Yunnan in 2013. It’s a natural zoonosis (animal to human transmission) from bats and nothing to do with the yellow peril in their doctor evil laboratories.

Reality break over, tin foil helmets back on.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 28, 2020 11:36 pm

You cite the paper as though it proves your point but you made up your own conclusions and apparently did not even read the paper. Nowhere does that paper conclude or suggest what you are saying. You made it up yourself.

BatCoVRaTG13 was found to be on 96.2% similar to the human sars-cov-2 samples ie very DIS-similar in genetic terms. If you look at the graph you linked of the network analysis the bat virus is an outlier off on a spur, not at the central origin of the network.

That proves that it was NOT the natural zoonotic origin of the human virus.

If you wish to remain in denial about the dangerous work going in these P4 labs, worldwide, by all means go back to your safe little bubble of “reality”. But don’t insult others with your delusional C.T. comments.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 29, 2020 5:25 am

You will find many papers supporting the Chinese government position and very few questioning it because any university that dared to question them would find that the supply of fee paying Chinese students would dry up, companies with Chinese interests would no longer support them. Any researcher who ignored this warning would find themselves out work at the end of their contract and would be blacklisted for other work given the short contracts for research students and the competition for places it would be a very courageous person (or someone near retirement) who chose to ignore this pressure. The Chinese government has also used overt pressure on the EU, the Australian Government and of course their friends in the WHO.
Inside China of course the pressure would be much more direct. They are not playing by our rules.

Reply to  Adamsson
April 29, 2020 6:20 am

Adamsson many of these ‘students’ had never learned to speak English. And they were given special dispensation for this and there were circumstances where one student represented a group and supposedly translated the notes and acted as an intermediary.

The universities don’t care who passes what they just wanted the fees. In the early stages of the Wuhan virus, students were informed not to come to Australia from China. There were universities paying students to travel to Australia via other countries and spend 14 days in isolation in hotels.

Many of these students never return to China once they ‘finish’ their studies. Many of them choose to live in Chinese communities and have no intention of integrating with the mainstream Australian community.

John Tillman
Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 29, 2020 8:24 am

The WIV started with a bat virus from Yunnan, but manipulated it by directed evolutionary processes in ferrets to gain the function of easier entry to human lung cells.

Same thing Bat Woman Shi was doing at UNC before the US government temporarily stopped funding insanely risky, worse than worthless GoF research.

The Peril has nothing to do with Yellow, and all to do with Red.

john harmsworth
Reply to  John Tillman
April 29, 2020 11:41 am

That has the ring of truth to it.

John Tillman
Reply to  john harmsworth
April 29, 2020 5:55 pm

IMO, has the most evidentiary support. But can’t rule out the absoljute worst option with such a hideous, antihuman regime.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 29, 2020 11:39 am


Sorry, not evidence and certainly not proof. More like closing your eyes and wishing it would go away. You didn’t read your CCP talking points carefully.
Coulda been anywhere else, as long as it’s not China. The CCP has decided that it didn’t come from China. We don’t need no stinking bat-cheese!

April 28, 2020 11:32 pm

“The aim was to enhance the making of interleukin-4 and thus the immune response so that even mice eggs would be rejected as foreign, blocking mouse reproduction.”

I am really missing something here, it does not compute in any way I can see. If reproduction is blocked, any genetic modification would not be not be passed on from treated mice to effect the general population.

If it were possible and practical to modify all the mice at once, then no reproduction would still mean that the treated mice were a dead end – but there would also be no untreated mice to carry on the species.

However, if that were possible, it would also be possible, and much cheaper, to just brain each mouse with a rock or a hammer. Same result, much less money spent.

Reply to  AndyHce
April 28, 2020 11:39 pm

The truth is they just like playing God and any half-arsed excuse to play at sorcerer’s apprentice games is good enough to justify what they do.

Flavio Capelli
April 29, 2020 12:46 am

Y’all are missing the Mad Scientist Effect. Why fool around with viruses? Because we (or at least some people with the right competence and experience) can, and they want because it’s cool, because it piques their interest and because they get lost into it.
Why many chemistry students used to dab with “energetic materials” (probably not anymore, I think they’d have NSA unleashed upon them these days)? Because it’s fun, and stuff like that.

April 29, 2020 12:59 am
April 29, 2020 1:13 am

Yes, the leaked Wuhan Covid19 virus – a ‘gain-of-function’ virus by definition, was most likely being used to try developing a HIV vaccine. However, latest analyses of the Covid19 genome and functionality of the ‘spike’ confirmed by France, India and the USA separately, confirms the presence of 4 strains of HIV 1, V1,V2,V3,V4 along with gp-41and gp-120 human genes -all found in the zcovid spike….
Go figure….

April 29, 2020 2:11 am

My guess is that COVID was essentially natural, it may have been accidentally spread from a lab though. But the Chinese government were really fearful that something else had escaped for a while. I can’t believe the Chinese military are not experimenting with viruses and if they though one had escaped they would lie, weld people in their homes, spray the streets continually, lie some more, build new hospitals and morgue, provide thousands of funerary urns disappear doctors.

And once they understand bits not a scary leak, they might – might – even let a bunch of people infected with the mundane virus travel to Italy, France and elsewhere to spread it so that the picture is very muddied.

Serge Wright
April 29, 2020 3:04 am

Biological warfare is more likely to be used by totalitarian states, but would probably be done in a way where all residents of the state were first immunised by stealth, except for a selected group that would be used to spread the disease to the rest of the world before dying.

I suppose the Chinese could have spread this “lower fatality” virus in the knowledge that it would cripple the rest of the world economically and allow an easier global takeover whilst avoiding the requirement of a mass immunisation in their own country that might raise a red flag. I guess we will know in a year or two.

Doug Huffman
April 29, 2020 3:38 am

Well, I have read this whole Epistemological Trespass thread. Now I eagerly await 1600 when I can bleach a bit of my mind with ingested ethanol. They eat Tide Pods don’t they? Let them wash it down with Clorox.

April 29, 2020 7:25 am

” … Accidentally Created an Unstoppable Mouse Pathogen”

As you do.

john harmsworth
Reply to  WXcycles
April 29, 2020 11:45 am

If there are “unstoppable mice’, I certainly hope they have a pathogen. Did I see this on a MIghty Mouse episode in 1966?

Mike Mitchell
April 29, 2020 11:28 am

Can someone explain what this Wuhan related research was about back 2015 and why are almost all the authors from the USA?

“On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.”

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Mitchell
April 29, 2020 5:57 pm

Gain of function research was a thing in recent years, despite many scientists and governments worried about the obvious severe risks. It’s not an American thing, but the whole developed world went nuts, buying into the excuses and false promises of the GoF experimenters. lame

April 29, 2020 8:54 pm

“But the theory that Covid-19 is a biological warfare virus is weak”

Complete strawman. And an irrelevant diversion from reality.

For years China and the US have collaborated in creating Gain of Function Chimeric viruses (“franken” viruses) . Top Wuhan BSL-4 scientists were part of the research team at UNC that created a “franken” virus of this sort on 2015, work which had been banned by the NIH becasue it was so dangerous. This was basic science and vaccine development research, not biowarfare per se.
“we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone”
Ralph Baric- UNC- microbiologist- his lab
Co-authors are Wuhan BSL-4 researchers Shi Zhengli and Xing-Yi Ge

Mike Mitchell
Reply to  Posa
April 30, 2020 1:46 am

Would it be accurate to say that we’ve possibly infected ourselves with a super virus that was specifically created for the purpose of studying how to fight super viruses?

I seem to recall a Star Trek episode that … never mind.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Mitchell
April 30, 2020 11:27 am

At this point it looks more likely than not that the manipulated virus escaped from a GoF lab at the Wuhan Institute. In that case, yes, people did infect other people with a virus made more infectious on purpose. Many virologists had objected to risky GoF research from fear of such a development, and the US temporarily shut down funding for it in 2014. So Bat Woman Shi just went home to China to work at the brand new BSL-4 facility built in Wuhan by France.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Mitchell
April 30, 2020 11:36 am

I wouldn’t rate it a super virus. It is more infectious than flu, but not much more lethal, if at all. Without testing a large random sample of people around the world, we can’t determine its infection fatality rate.

It won’t hold a candle to Spanish flu, of course. It may however prove comparable to the Asian (1957-58) and Hong Kong (1968-69) flus, both over one million deaths and estimates up to four million for the former. Presently, 232,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID worldwide.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 30, 2020 11:54 am

In certain circumstances COVID-19 was far, far more letal and transmissible than “seasonal flu” eg Wuhan, NYC, N. Italy where there has been a large number of casualties and “surplus deaths”

John Tillman
Reply to  posa
April 30, 2020 12:23 pm

Before distancing, masks and isolation, the virus ravaged nursing homes in crowded, big cities, and spread in NYC via the subway system. Under those conditions it apparently k!lled more than seasonal flu, although flu deaths were way down in the US this year, so we’ll see.

But in any case, a viral disease without a vaccine would be expected to k!ll more than one with a vaccine. The flu vaccine isn’t always of the right strain, but still better than none at all.

The terrible 2017-18 flu season was the worst since 1976, when the swine flu vaccine program was rushed.

Reply to  posa
May 2, 2020 3:34 pm

“expected”, by whom?

What suggests that the flu vaccines does help anyone anywhere?

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