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  1. #9326
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Chuchok View Post
    That's all well and good and easy to indemnify etc. However, how about negligence... as in they knowingly did something deceitful. Indemnify them for that? They are bullying pricks. Smart though...
    You seem to be getting all confused.

    "Negligence" has nothing to do with "knowingly doing something deceitful".

    In either case, criminal charges could ensue.

    Since this seems to be an obvious concern of yours, I assume you won't be getting vaccinated then?

  2. #9327
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    The vaccine companies have been asked to take a risk and accelerate vaccine development and production at the request of governments.

    As businesses, they would not normally expose themselves to financial ruin by doing this, so there is nothing wrong with them asking for indemnity.

    If countries don't wish to underwrite it, they can freely choose to go and get the chinky or Russian vaccines and see how that works out for them.
    They are not risking financial ruin. These firms are well aware of the risks associated with fast tracking, and fwiw even following the most rigorous procedures; that is their business, and also the business of their well paid lawyers to know that desperate govs will happily indemnify against something that's not properly tested but better than nothing, while further r&d is expected to produce more efficient vaccines. <slightly off topic, but that's when I might roll up my sleeve>

    If govs were not queuing to sign off on liability, leaving pharmas (insurers) subject to higher than normal risk of financial ruin under these extraordinary circumstances, there would be no western vaccines for a while yet and we would be at the mercy of Chinese and Russian best efforts.

    Also wouldn't surprise me if some dear 3W leaders will take whatever's on offer, or a placebo, simply for the PR value of getting jabbed on live TV.

  3. #9328
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    while further r&d is expected to produce more efficient vaccines. <slightly off topic, but that's when I might roll up my sleeve>
    I do not think you fully understand how vaccines work. You will not be able to get a "better" vaccine later. Waiting is just risking exposure for longer that is all. Both Moderna and Pfizer have 94-95% efficacy already and that is an unprecedented achievement to happen so fast. Childhood vaccinations for things like Polio, Measles etc require multiple administrations of vaccine. As new strains come online the pharmaceutical companies will just bolster the current vaccines with booster shots. Waiting will give no benefit at all and only leave you vulnerable to exposure for a longer period of time.

  4. #9329
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    USA: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccine

    The Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization Saturday to Johnson & Johnson to distribute its single-dose coronavirus vaccine. According to data reviewed by the agency, the jab from the pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant proved to be 66 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 infections in clinical trials against the virus, though less effective against the South African variant. It was also 85 percent effective at circumventing severe infection and offered “complete protection” from hospitalization death from COVID-19. While the pharmaceutical company is expected to start out small—with 20 million doses shipped by the end of March, and 100 million by the end of June—the vaccine is seen as easier to use and store than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which required two doses and had to be frozen.

    MORE https://www.thedailybeast.com/fda-is...ccine?ref=home

  5. #9330
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    Did I understand this right? 1/3 of those vaccinated with J&J will get covid? and 15% of those will get severe infection? I am not so sure if I like these odds. If I did my math right that's a 5% chance of serious covid infection.
    By the way, what's the percentage of serious covid infection among those taking the placebo in the case study?
    Until I see more data I think I wait , for Pfizer or Moderna to become available to me.
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  6. #9331
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    Wave 3 kicking off.

    The COVID-2019 Thread-coronavirus-data-explorer-2-jpg

  7. #9332
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Wave 3 kicking off.
    You don't want to have a vaccination . . . so, hopefully you'll be body-surfing the wave to show us how it's all made-up voodoo-science that didn't originate from China even if it is real . . .



    So, my daughter has a cold - runny nose, cough etc... we went to have our covid tests done today, waited two hours in the car and did our free tests:


  8. #9333
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    Germany set to give AstraZeneca jab to older people

    Regulator concedes process had ‘somehow gone wrong’ and could soon approve vaccine

    Germany could soon authorise the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for seniors after the head of the country’s vaccination committee said his body’s advice to give the Oxford-developed vaccine only to those under 65 had “somehow gone wrong”.


    Unlike the European Medicines Agency or Britain’s MHRA, Germany’s Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) last month recommended against the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on seniors, citing a lack of conclusive trial data to prove its efficacy in that age group.


    But the independent panel’s decision has faced increased criticism since, as the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s product has been piling up in storage due to public scepticism and authorities’ lagging behind in inviting people from the next priority group in line for appointments.


    By the end of last week only 360,000 out of a delivered 1.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered in Germany, with only about 5% of delivered doses being administered in states such as Saxony.


    But Thomas Mertens, the head of Stiko, said on Friday his body would “very soon” update its recommendation, telling broadcaster ZDF it was “possible” the vaccine could also be cleared for seniors.


    “We never criticised the vaccine, we just criticised the lack of data for the over-65 age group,” said Mertens. However, he conceded that the distinction may have been lost to much of the public, adding: “The whole thing has somehow gone wrong.”


    The vaccine was also denounced in the German economic newspaper Handelsblatt last month. “AstraZeneca vaccine apparently hardly effective in seniors,” it claimed in a report that alleged it had an effectiveness of only 8% in the elderly. “The government’s vaccination strategy is shaky,” it reported, attributing its 8% claim to an anonymous government source.


    Angela Merkel has also become embroiled in the row. In an interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the German chancellor said last week: “I am 66 years old and I do not belong to the group recommended for AstraZeneca.” This has been interpreted as a rejection of the vaccine itself, although some commentators claim she was merely suggesting that others should get the vaccine first.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/27/germany-signals-astrazeneca-vaccine-may-be-approved-for-over-65s

  9. #9334
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    2nd injection…….



  10. #9335
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    Did I understand this right? 1/3 of those vaccinated with J&J will get covid? and 15% of those will get severe infection? I am not so sure if I like these odds. If I did my math right that's a 5% chance of serious covid infection.
    By the way, what's the percentage of serious covid infection among those taking the placebo in the case study?
    Until I see more data I think I wait , for Pfizer or Moderna to become available to me.
    So given the choice, you would rather stay exposed than go from a 100% chance of serious covid infection to a 5% chance of serious covid infection?

    Yeah, that makes sense.

  11. #9336
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    So given the choice, you would rather stay exposed than go from a 100% chance of serious covid infection to a 5% chance of serious covid infection?

    Yeah, that makes sense.
    Trust me when I say I want the vaccine ASAP , we have plans to , if possible, travel to Greece late april, and I am not sure if we will be able to do so without a vaccine. It is very important to me that I travel I have not seen my brother and sister for over a year, we are very close, and they are ten years older than me.( I am 63).
    So no, I would rather not stay exposed. but perhaps I might want to be exposed a week or two more longer to get the vaccine that would make me a lot safer. The issue is not the 5% of serious infections, the issue is the 34% chance of infection and the lingering and sometimes life long effects of the viruce. I would rather have the only 5% chance of infection that the Pfizer and Moderna data suggests.
    I would have to think long and hard about this, and require more information. For instance, if I have the J&J vaccine as a stop gap , can I a couple of months later have the Pfizer or Moderna when it becomes more readily available ? and at what cost to me, would I get the second vaccine also free, or will I have to pay for it ? (I would not mind paying a modest price for it , perhaps $100, if I could have both)

  12. #9337
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    For instance, if I have the J&J vaccine as a stop gap , can I a couple of months later have the Pfizer or Moderna when it becomes more readily available ? and at what cost to me, would I get the second vaccine also free, or will I have to pay for it ? (I would not mind paying a modest price for it , perhaps $100, if I could have both)
    Those are questions for your doctor I fancy.

  13. #9338
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    For instance, if I have the J&J vaccine as a stop gap , can I a couple of months later have the Pfizer or Moderna when it becomes more readily available ?
    Was on a telemedicine appointment with my mother’s doctor earlier this week and I complained about the second Moderna vaccine being put off. She said not to even consider combining vaccines as there is no information about how they work together.

    My brother had put in his and his husband’s names at several pharmacies. They got a call out of the blue asking them to come to one of the pharmacies in the next 20 minutes as they had spare vaccine that evening. They got their first injection that way.

  14. #9339
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Was on a telemedicine appointment with my mother’s doctor earlier this week and I complained about the second Moderna vaccine being put off. She said not to even consider combining vaccines as there is no information about how they work together.

    My brother had put in his and his husband’s names at several pharmacies. They got a call out of the blue asking them to come to one of the pharmacies in the next 20 minutes as they had spare vaccine that evening. They got their first injection that way.
    I read that a lot of people in the US are getting vaccinated by queuing up at vaccination centres and seeing what is leftover at the end of each day.

    Whatever works.

  15. #9340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    I would have to think long and hard about this, and require more information. For instance, if I have the J&J vaccine as a stop gap , can I a couple of months later have the Pfizer or Moderna when it becomes more readily available ?
    UK advice is that vaccines don't get mixed, of course you are in the USA and quite frankly any country that injects its livestock with whatever makes a profit leads me to think that you'd be wise to reject any offer on the second that doesn't match the first injection.

  16. #9341
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    After battling with AstraZeneca over shipment delays, and even casting doubt over its Covid-19 jab’s efficacy, EU countries are seeing stocks of the company’s shots pile up — unused.

    As of Friday, France had administered 16 per cent of the 1.1m doses of the two-injection vaccine it received since the first delivery in early February, according to health ministry data. As of Thursday, Germany had given a little over one-fifth of the 1.45 million doses, about the same proportion as Italy, which has received over 1m doses. Spain has used just under a third of a total of 808,000 doses as of Friday.

    The situation has prompted several European leaders to talk up the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days, with one French health ministry official even calling for a “collective rehabilitation campaign” to improve its reputation.

    France has used little of its Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine supply. Chart showing Total doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in France vs doses administered.5.5% of the Oxford/AstraZenecadoses have been used as of Feb 24
    German chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged that there was “an acceptance problem with the AstraZeneca vaccine at the moment” that was slowing the jab’s rollout. In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Thursday, she urged people to keep an open mind about it: “All the authorities tell us that we can trust this vaccine.”


    The tone is a change from only weeks ago when European politicians were engaged in an acrimonious battle with AstraZeneca over its deliveries and when French president Emmanuel Macron suggested the vaccine was “quasi-ineffective” on older individuals. Now that they have doses, however, EU governments face a sceptical public, in addition to logistical challenges and restrictions of their own devising.

    Health experts have warned that the continent’s already sluggish rollout could be further hampered if uptake of the Anglo-Swedish company’s vaccine is not improved. The EU had inoculated only 6.82 per 100 people by Friday, compared with 28.6 in the UK, 20.4 in the US, and 91 in Israel, according to Our World in Data.

    Chief among the reasons for the lower acceptance of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was a policy choice made by many countries to restrict its use for older people until more data on its efficacy became available. In France, that meant the shot is being offered only to people aged between 50 and 64 with comorbidities and healthcare workers, while Spain has advised it not be used on those older than 55 years old. Germany and Italy are offering the jab to everyone younger than 65.

    Health experts say negative headlines have damaged the vaccine’s reputation, bolstering the perception that it is a lesser option to BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna jabs, which both rely on so-called mRNA technology and boast higher protection rates. A study suggesting the AstraZeneca vaccine was less effective against the variant that has emerged in South Africa caused healthcare workers’ unions in several European countries to demand that their members get the mRNA-based vaccines instead.

    The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab showed efficacy of between 62 and 70 per cent in clinical trials last year. That compares with more than 90 per cent effectiveness for the BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna jabs. But all of them offer nearly full protection against hospitalisation and deaths.

    “I don’t have anything against the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Jérôme Marty, who heads a French doctors’ union. “But healthcare workers are often exposed to high viral loads in the hospital so they need the most effective vaccines that we have.”

    In France, which has for years had the world’s highest vaccine hesitancy, there were reports of hospital workers missing shifts and suffering strong side effects such as fever and muscle pain after being inoculated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. It is often younger people who experience such side effects with the AstraZeneca shot since their immune systems mount a stronger response than older people, health experts say.

    Weeks after the French president’s dismissive comments on the jab, France’s top vaccine adviser Dr Alain Fischer has been extolling its virtues on television, social media and webinars for hospital staff.


    France’s top vaccine adviser Alain Fischer: “For reasons that I find profoundly unfair, this vaccine has gotten relatively bad press in France” © Stephane de Sakutin/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
    “For reasons that I find profoundly unfair, this vaccine has gotten relatively bad press in France,” the paediatric immunologist told the press on Thursday. “It is effective. It is safe. It should be used without a second thought and without delay.”

    Fischer also referred to the results of a new study from Scotland, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, showing the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot lowered the chance of hospitalisation from four to six weeks after vaccination by 94 per cent after one shot. “If confirmed, these results would be excellent news”, he said, and could lead France to expand the usage to those aged over 65. Logistical problems in France have also meant doctors only started inoculating patients this week.

    Recommended
    The tiresome trend of vaccine one-upmanship
    Spain is reviewing new data continuously to decide whether to change age restrictions on the jab. Health ministry official Silvia Calzón said on Thursday: “We are waiting for there to be more evidence so that we can make a decision with all the guarantees.”

    Even Macron has become a convert. “In view of the latest scientific studies, the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been proven,” he said after a virtual gathering of EU leaders. “If that’s the vaccine that’s offered to me, I will take it, of course.”

    This story has been amended to use health ministry data on the French vaccination campaign rather than data compiled by the website Covidtracker.fr.
    Shalom

  17. #9342
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Give them to that dumb bitch who was whinging about Astrazeneca not meeting their delivery schedule.

    Pomplem solved.


  18. #9343
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    Washington Post’s “Wuhan Lab” conspiracy theory stands exposed

    Andre Damon

    24 February 2021

    "For nearly a year, the Washington Post has promoted the false claim that COVID-19 is a man-made virus released from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    This campaign went into overdrive on February 5, when the Post published an editorial embracing the position of the Trump State Department that “a laboratory accident or leak” represents a “plausible” explanation for the pandemic.

    That editorial was published under the headline, “We’re still missing the origin story of this pandemic. China is sitting on the answers.” It called on the World Health Organization (WHO) team exploring the origins of the virus not to discount the Trump administration’s claim that COVID-19 was a “weaponized” virus that originated in a Chinese lab.

    But the WHO team did exactly that, making clear that the “Wuhan lab” theory did not meet its evidentiary criteria for further investigation—a polite way of saying that it is a lie.

    The WHO’s statements have clearly thrown the Post into crisis. The newspaper, which regularly promotes internet censorship in the guise that only “authoritative sources” such as itself should be accessible to the public, found itself exposed and at odds with the entire “authoritative” scientific community.

    The Post’s response to the WHO’s findings took the form of a February 22 editorial titled, “The US should reveal its intelligence about the Wuhan laboratory,” which places the burden on the US government to back up the newspaper’s own assertions about the man-made origins of COVID-19.

    The Post writes:

    When a World Health Organization team recently wrapped up its initial investigative visit to Wuhan, the team leader said the laboratory leak scenario was highly unlikely. However, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Feb. 9 that the Biden administration would “draw on information collected and analyzed by our own intelligence community to evaluate the report” from the WHO. Mr. Price emphasized the need for “full transparency.”

    Full transparency is needed from China but also from the United States. The intelligence behind Mr. Pompeo’s statements should be declassified, with proper protection for sources and methods. The truth matters, and the United States should not hide any relevant evidence.

    This seemingly even-handed presentation conceals a damning admission. It is a tacit acknowledgment that the Post does not possess a shred of evidence to back up its previous claims that the release of the virus is a “plausible” scenario.

    In fact, this is as close as possible to a climb-down the newspaper could make, while still placing the universally accepted natural origins of the virus at the same level as Trump’s conspiracy theory.

    The fact is that the Post has been caught in a lie. The newspaper insists on claiming the “Wuhan lab” theory is a viable explanation for the pandemic, even as it asks for proof from the US government to back up its own claims of a man-made origin of the virus.

    In early to mid-2020, when far-right conspiracy theorists first began circulating claims about the man-made origins of the disease, they were universally debunked. Asked in May, “Do you believe or is there evidence that the virus was made in the lab in China?”, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci declared, “A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species.”

    In March, USA Today published a fact check of the claim that “the coronavirus began in a Chinese laboratory.” It concluded, “We rate this claim FALSE, based on our research. Overwhelming scientific evidence suggests the coronavirus originated in nature, and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.”

    In the face of these categorical statements, the Post set out to rehabilitate the “Wuhan lab” narrative. On April 14, Post columnist Josh Rogin published an op-ed giving the newspaper’s imprimatur to the Trump administration’s false claims that COVID-19 emerged from a laboratory.

    Under the headline, “State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses,” Rogin wrote, “One senior administration official told me that the cables provide one more piece of evidence to support the possibility that the pandemic is the result of a lab accident in Wuhan.”

    He quoted the senior official as saying, “Right now, the ledger on the side of it leaking from the lab is packed with bullet points and there’s almost nothing on the other side.”

    Tellingly, when the full diplomatic cable referenced by Rogin was released in July, the Post itself concluded,

    “The full cable does not strengthen the claim that an accident at the lab caused the virus to escape.”

    Any reading of the cable makes clear it says nothing like Rogin’s interpretation. Instead, it makes clear that a shortage of qualified staff had precluded the lab from operating at full capacity and importing highly contagious diseases.

    The release of the cable did nothing to discourage the Post, and it doubled down on its claims, culminating in the February 5 editorial. After its false assertions have been totally exposed before the public, the Post cannot make an honest accounting of its own claims, and it cannot admit that it was peddling lies. Instead, its demand is that the US government prove the newspaper’s own allegations!

    The promotion of the “Wuhan lab” conspiracy theory expresses the deep crisis of the entire US political establishment. Facing mounting social opposition at home, the US ruling elite desperately needs to manufacture an external enemy. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the breakdown of American imperialism’s efforts to secure its global hegemony, raising the prospect of a military solution to China’s rise.

    But however much the “Wuhan lab” conspiracy theory may be necessary for US imperialism, it faces one major problem—it is an obvious lie from beginning to end, staining everyone who promotes it.

    In this swamp of lies, conspiracy theories and social breakdown, one thing is clear. The Washington Post stands exposed as a purveyor of false and discredited propaganda. Its claim to be an “authoritative” source, standing above what it calls “fake news”—a term that it helped coin to discredit left-wing political opposition—is in tatters."


    Washington Post’s “Wuhan Lab” conspiracy theory stands exposed - World Socialist Web Site
    Last edited by OhOh; 01-03-2021 at 01:18 PM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  19. #9344
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    But the WHO team did exactly that, making clear that the “Wuhan lab” theory did not meet its evidentiary criteria for further investigation—a polite way of saying that it is a lie.
    It hasn't been ruled out as the source of the Wuhan virus, but munching on bats and pangolins is still my favourite.

  20. #9345
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    Covid-19 Vaccines Yield Breakthroughs in Long-Term Fight Against Infectious Disease

    Researchers in gene-based technology produced a class of vaccines they believe can protect against all manner of outbreaks in the years to come

    Covid-19 Vaccines Yield Breakthroughs in Long-Term Fight Against Infectious Disease - WSJ

  21. #9346
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    ^^^

    What a load of horseshit. That article quotes one editorial that was written way back on Febuary 5th of last year. More trash from hoho.

    This is what the post wrote on April 3th of last year hardly consistant to the claims in hoho's propaganda piece of horseshit...



    Chinese lab conducted extensive research on deadly bat viruses, but there is no evidence of accidental release


    For nearly a decade, a team of scientists from Wuhan, China, crisscrossed southern Asia in a high-stakes search for bats and the strange diseases they harbor. They crawled through caves, catching the razor-toothed mammals with nets and scooping up liters of their excrement. They trapped insects and mice living near bat roosts and collected blood from villagers who hunt bats for food or folk medicine.

    They returned to their state-of-the-art laboratory in central China with tubes and vials containing known killers — pathogens associated with diseases that are deadly in humans — and also a few surprises. On multiple occasions, their takings included exotic coronaviruses previously unknown to science.

    The highlights of the Wuhan researchers’ work on bat viruses are spelled out in more than 40 published studies and academic papers that describe a sprawling, ambitious effort to document the connection between bats and recent disease outbreaks in China. The experiments were intended to illuminate how dangerous pathogens sometimes jump from animal hosts to humans. But experts say the research also carried an implicit risk: the possibility that the lab itself could facilitate the spread of the very diseases the scientists were trying to prevent.

    On Thursday, the U.S. intelligence community released an assessment formally concluding that the virus behind the coronavirus pandemic originated in China. While asserting that the pathogen was not man-made or genetically altered, the statement pointedly declined to rule out the possibility that the virus had escaped from the complex of laboratories in Wuhan that has been at the forefront of global research into bat-borne viruses linked to multiple epidemics over the past decade.

    “The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said, using a common initialism for the U.S. intelligence community.

    Yet, despite the intense scrutiny, the novel coronavirus’s origins remain as murky now as they did when the first cases emerged in China five months ago. While intelligence analysts and many scientists see the lab-as-origin theory as technically possible, no direct evidence has emerged suggesting that the coronavirus escaped from Wuhan’s research facilities. Many scientists argue that the evidence tilts firmly toward a natural transmission: a still-unknown interaction in late fall that allowed the virus to jump from a bat or another animal to a human.

    “It’s far more likely that Mother Nature is just a step ahead of us and has created a novel pathogen, now able to move quite effectively from human to human,” said Jason Rao, a biosecurity specialist, former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama and executive director of Health Security Partners, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization focused on global biological threat reduction.

    Chinese officials and scientists have strenuously denied any connection between the coronavirus outbreak and its showcase research center, which includes a high-security facility known as the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Wuhan team leader, renowned virologist Shi Zhengli, contends that the institute never possessed the SARS-cov-2 virus that triggered the pandemic and has infected more than 3 million people worldwide. In a social media post, Shi said she would “bet my life” that the outbreak had “nothing to do with the lab.”

    At the same time, scrutiny of the lab’s research has underscored what biosecurity experts say are significant risks inherent in the kinds of research the Chinese scientists were conducting. Academic studies examined by The Washington Post document scores of encounters with animals that are known hosts to deadly viruses, including strains closely related to the pathogen behind the coronavirus pandemic. While the scientists wore gloves and masks and took other protective measures, U.S. experts who reviewed the experiments say the precautions would not necessarily protect the researchers from harmful exposures, in caves or in the lab.

    The risks were not limited to interactions with animals. Dozens of routine studies required extracting viruses from bat feces and growing them in batches for use in a wide array of experiments. For some projects the researchers spliced genetic material from different coronaviruses to create chimeras that could more easily infect human cells for laboratory experiments.

    The research filled in critical gaps in scientists’ knowledge about deadly viruses and prompted Chinese scientists to issue repeated warnings about the possibility of a new SARS-like disease making the leap from bats to humans. But with each experiment came opportunities for an accidental exposure to dangerous pathogens, experts say. Indeed, such accidents occur dozens of times each year in high-security laboratories around the world, including in the United States.

    The National Institutes of Health, the Defense Department and other U.S. government agencies have spent millions of dollars in recent years to fund research by American scientists into coronaviruses in bats, federal records show. Some of those scientists have worked with colleagues at the lab in Wuhan.

    “Even if a lab is mechanically safe, you can’t rule out human error,” said Lynn Klotz, a senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a Washington nonprofit group, and author of a comprehensive study of lab mishaps. “Accidents happen, and more than 70 percent of the time it’s due to the humans involved.”

    Records of accidents in U.S. labs reveal multiple inadvertent infections and exposures to lethal microbes, including the pathogens linked to anthrax, Ebola and the plague. While no comparable records are available for Chinese labs, a Chinese scientific paper last year described widespread systemic deficiencies with training and monitoring of high-security laboratories where disease-causing pathogens are studied.

    “Maintenance cost is generally neglected; several high-level BSLs [biological safety level labs] have insufficient operating funds for routine, yet vital processes,” said the paper by Yuan Zhiming, a chief scientist at Wuhan, published in the Journal of Biosafety and Biosecurity. Most laboratories “lack specialized biosafety managers and engineers,” he wrote.

    While the source of the outbreak ultimately may be unknowable, the claim that the laboratory could not have been involved in the virus’s release “is not credible,” said Richard Ebright, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University.

    David Relman, a Stanford University professor of microbiology, said the outbreak at a minimum underscores the need for more stringent standards and comprehensive monitoring of research involving pathogens with the ability to inflict widespread harm on human health and economies.

    “There are far too many examples of lab accidents. Our own CDC and everyone else has had accidents, even with very dangerous agents,” Relman said. “There is simply no way around it, since humans are flawed — inconsistent, distractible — creatures.”

    'We just don't know'

    But while an accidental release may have been possible, no proof of such of an event has emerged. The closest relative to the coronavirus that causes covid-19 known to have existed at Wuhan was still a distant relative, scientists say. In March, a landmark study of the virus’s origins in the journal Nature Medicine played down the possibility of an accident, saying that “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”

    Scientists who worked closely with Shi and other Wuhan scientists described the researchers as particularly diligent and careful.

    Maureen Miller, an infectious disease epidemiologist who worked with Shi as part of a U.S.-funded viral research program, dismissed the lab-as-origin theory as an “absolute conspiracy theory” and referred to Shi as “brilliant.”

    “She is a rigorous scientist,” Miller said. “She is very, very committed to preventing the kind of scenario that is happening right now.”

    Concerns about unwarranted scapegoating of Shi and other Chinese scientists have increased following reports that the Trump administration has sought to pressure U.S. intelligence agencies to search for proof of a link between the Wuhan lab and the outbreak. The New York Times reported Thursday that some analysts fear the administration will seek to distort assessments about the virus as a means of blaming China for a pandemic that has already sickened more than 1 million Americans and killed more than 60,000.

    On Thursday, President Trump suggested at a briefing that he had evidence of a connection between the Wuhan lab and the pandemic. “Yes, I have,” Trump said when asked whether he’s seen anything that makes him believe that lab workers were responsible. He did not elaborate.

    Policymakers, during private intelligence briefings, have been told that Chinese officials tried to obscure the severity of the virus in its early days, but intelligence agencies saw no direct evidence that China was attempting to cover up a lab accident, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss administration deliberations.

    “What we know is it’s naturally occurring,” a second intelligence official said. “We know that it came from Wuhan. There’s been speculation: Did it come from a market? Did it come from a lab? We just don’t know.’

    'This won't be the last event'

    The Wuhan institute’s intensive focus on bats and their diseases began 25 years ago, when researchers started investigating the origins of the respiratory disease SARS, another viral illness blamed for the deaths of about 1,000 people in the early 2000s. Chinese scientists eventually traced the virus to horseshoe bats living in caves in the country’s southern Yunnan province. Subsequent studies confirmed that bats are natural reservoirs for numerous zoonotic diseases, and over the years Wuhan’s scientists embarked on scores of experiments to study them, sometimes in collaboration with researchers from the United States, Australia and other countries.

    To minimize risk of accidental infection during field work, the researchers wore goggles, tear-resistant gloves and N95 masks similar to the ones used by medical workers in hospitals, the research papers show. But the protective gear, while helpful, would not necessarily have shielded the workers from being scratched or bitten by horseshoe bats, say U.S. scientists who have participated in research involving live animals. Moreover, N95 masks are inadequate for blocking all viruses, even when used properly, the scientists said.

    “Whether the staff are interacting with bats in the wild or in the lab, they are routinely putting themselves at risk of infection,” said one U.S. scientist with extensive experience in federal government labs that study human pathogens using live animals. The scientist spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on foreign nations’ lab practices.

    More controversial was the Wuhan institute’s 2015 research into creating a chimera, the hybrid virus that combined elements from two bat-borne coronaviruses, including one that causes SARS. The mutated virus that resulted was more easily able to infect human cells, making it more useful for lab experiments. Such “gain of function” experiments — which enhance a pathogen’s natural traits — have been a source of controversy in the West because of the potential for harm if an altered strain escapes the confinement of the lab, experts say.

    “No lab worker goes to work planning to acquire an infection,” the U.S. scientist said. “My concern is that this won’t be the last event of this nature if the entire world doesn’t adopt better safety and transparency in laboratory practices.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...1fc_story.html

  22. #9347
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Let's face it, it doesn't matter how the Wuhan Virus got released, what matters is that the chinkies covered it up for so long.

  23. #9348
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    More controversial was the Wuhan institute’s 2015 research into creating a chimera, the hybrid virus that combined elements from two bat-borne coronaviruses, including one that causes SARS. The mutated virus that resulted was more easily able to infect human cells, making it more useful for lab experiments. Such “gain of function” experiments — which enhance a pathogen’s natural traits — have been a source of controversy in the West because of the potential for harm if an altered strain escapes the confinement of the lab, experts say.
    Wasn't that the reason why the lab was western founded but placed in China?

  24. #9349
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Wasn't that the reason why the lab was western founded but placed in China?
    To try and design new viruses?

    I think not.

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