Listen now | How politics stymied scientific research into the true origins of the coronavirus.
Can’t wait to listen. Just finishing up her book Viral. Between her work and Katherine Ebans work in Rolling Stone we’ve finally got some quality investigations on this.
Y'know what? She claims there is no evidence either way, and then her last statement is that years from now people will reveal what they know and are currently afraid to say. I'm sorry, but that assumes people 'know' things about a lab leak. Look - that could be true, but everything about that theory has the word 'could' in it. And that is the nature of conspiracy theories. Again, that's not a reason to stop asking questions. And if that lab was doing dangerous stuff, maybe it should be stopped - whether a leak happened or not. Meanwhile, get vaccinated and try to live your lives, folks.
My question is, ultimately (at least during the acute phase of the pandemic), what difference does it make. The tendency to dismiss the lab leak theory as a conspiracy theory is an outgrowth of what it would mean for dealing with the pandemic. Trump would most certainly have used it to excuse any and all mistakes in his administration's handling of the crisis. The joke is that he used 'blame China' rhetoric to excuse himself anyway. But even barring Trump, sure it would be important to know if a lab leak was involved, but what bearing would that have on the policies to mitigate the pandemic? That's why it kind of mattered to put a damper on such speculation. After all, it was just speculation with no direct evidence. And those doing the speculating seemed to *want* it to be a lab leak. Not speaking for the speaker here, but she surely had to be aware that there was an agenda behind the lab leak theory. So, sure, follow up and try to determine the truth, but quietly - until there's at least an iota of evidence to support your hypothesis.
If you are going to explore a controversial theory it would be expected that both sides be covered and balanced. You spent all you time with Ms. chan exploring how her ideas have been suppressed and very little on why and where her conclusions do not line up with those that champion the zootic explanation. Ms. Chan may be proven correct; but you could have found an honorable scientist, without any hint of an agenda, to debate with her. Lousy Journalism does little to honestly express complicated issues.
I am not a scientist, but I am educated enough to understand the importance of the scientific method. Life has also taught me that politics play into every life endeavor because we are all humans innately printed with a fear of survival subconsciously driving our species. This conversation reinvigorates me with hope that highly qualified scientists still exist with an intact conscience urging them towards finding truth, bottom line. That it is a woman scientist tickles me even more, because women are spectacular thinkers. Thank you.
I'm looking forward to the show as usual. Professor Khalid always has informative guests and engages them in an informative way. Unfortunately, Booksmart's iTunes feed stopped on my PC (I don't listen on my smart phone), even after I signed in again upon request and jumped through the hoops of the I'm not a robot click the pictures with crosswalks routine. I know it will be a good show once I am able to listen.
Thanks Amna for getting Alina on, I just realized this was the first time I had actually heard her in person discuss her work (Matt Ridley tended to handle the press it seems for Viral).
Like most people, I initially trusted the natural origin largely because lab leak was tied to Trumpism, and "they" told us that the WIV was in Wuhan because that is where there are so many Coronaviruses. I was only much later I learned "they" (Daszak, Anderson, Baric, Fauci, et al) had a vested interest in shifting focus away from the work they supported, funded, and carried out.
I'm at the point where the Natural Spillover origin feels about as likely as the Serial Killer hypothesis in the Nicole Brown Simpson murders.
Coronaviruses had ~4 million years to evolve while early hominids and bats comingled in caves. In those 4 million years, it didn't evolve this unique special sequence of amino acids at the Furin cleavage site which gives it unusually high efficiency to spread among people.
In the last decade, Baric, Daszak, Shi Zengli and the rest got obsessed with trying to insert similar sequences at Furin cleavage sites of other viruses, and successfully did so with MERS less than five years before the pandemic.
Daszak, collaborator of Zengli at the WIV, even proposed to DARPA to essentially create a Covid-19 a year before it appeared and was rightly rejected. Sticking with the OJ Simpson analogy, imagine if OJ's "If I did it" book came out in 1993 instead of 2007.
I know, I know, it's just a coincidence that Coronaviruses waited 4 million years to morph into the type of Coronaviruses we had been synthesizing in the lab, and it was just a coincidence that it evolved in this particular way down the street from the lab synthesizing Coronaviruses with these unnatural properties.
Even if we were to entertain the ridiculous chain of coincidences, we should be outraged at the lies... the non. stop. lies. from these people. As I read Viral, read the pieces from Eban in Rolling Stone, I tried to keep track of how many lies were told that it took DRASTIC to uncover, and it's just overwhelming. Natural or Lab Leak, these people should be held accountable for how much effort they put into disinforming, misdirecting, and attempting to halt any questioning of their research. It's really disgusting.