Sunday, June 6, 2021

The War On Anthony Fauci

 This title may seem a bit over the top, but for those not paying attention to the Trump media bubble they may not realize how completely out of control and over the top this has become.  It is topped off by Trump himself going after Dr. Anthony Fauci big time in his speech to the NC GOP earlier this evening for having urged people to wear masks and for supposedly covering up the supposed lab source of the coronavirus in Wuhan. But this follows what has become an almost all the time attack on Fox, Newsmax, and OAN on nearly all their shows, with people now claiming that Dr. Fauci (along with Obama) actively encouraged and aided the development of Covid-19 in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He is personally guilty for every person dead in the US as well as every job lost due to the pandemic, and a string of prominent GOP politicians are now calling for his firing, if not more.  No fault or blame should lie on Trump at all. This tirade reached an especially bad peak on Friday evening when Donald Trump, Jr. sent out an Instagram post in which he looked forward to being able to say "Dr. Fauci did not kill himself" with apparent pleasure. This has truly gone way over the top.

The basis for all this is that indeed NIH did provide some funding that Fauci had some signing off on connection with, did not initiate it or lead it or inspire it, that did support some research on virus research at the WIV, one of the world's leading sites for such research, with some US scientists involved in this research with some at the lab, especially Dr. Shi Zhengli.  But this financial assistance was relatively minor and apparently limited to supporting the gathering of some past data.  Even if the virus was created out of "gain of function" or other research there, this assistance would have played a trivial role in that. And while it is now being taken for granted that for sure the virus was so created in that lab, the most that can be said is that as of now that cannot be ruled out and that US intel agencies are looking at that as well as other possible sources of where the virus originated and how it got into the human population as a pandemic.  

Of course the main alternative, pushed for some time last year by a number of scientists as clearly the likely explanation, as been one involving a zoonotic transmission from bats to some intermediate animal, with pangolins the leading suspect, with such intermediate animal then transmitting it to humans in a wet market, possibly the Huanwan one in Wuhan that certainly was a very early superspreader site for Covid-19. But it is not clear pangolins were actually for sale there, and research on this alternative has apparently not gotten anywhere, with this still sitting as a strong possibility with many viewing it as still the most likely source (or some variation on it).  It has also come out that the person who organized a prominent article in Lancet early last year arguing this was almost certainly it and definitely not any lab, Dr. Peter Daszak, has been involved in research with people at WIV, and thus subject to conflict of interest problems.  As it is, some who supported that view last year are now saying that a lab origin is possible and should be further investigated.

Curiously, what looks to me to be a highly likely source, possibly the most likely, has received only minimal attention, although it has gotten some renewed publicity with a front page story on June 4 in the Washington Post by Eva Dou and Lily Kuo.  While Dr. Shi of the highly secure WIV has loudly and publicly declared the virus did not come from her lab, no such loud denials have come from another researcher, Tian Junhua, associate chief lab technician at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WCDC), a lab located only 500 meters from the Huanwan market and operating at a much lower level of security than the WIV.  Dr. Tian is the "bat hunter" who has explored many sites including caves in search of animals with viruses, and apparently brought back as many as 155 bat viruses to the WCDC from a cave where several people became seriously ill, with Dr. Tian himself having been spattered with bat blood and urine there while not wearing protective gear  Dr. Tian has made no public statements and is currently refusing to do so.  That one of these viruses might have infected somebody at his lab and gotten out to the market or elsewhere is certainly a possibility, with this case sort of lying between the Fauci-did-it-artificially-through-WIV story favored by the racist Trump gang and the it-came-purely-out-of-nature-through-an-intermediate-animal story favored by those turned off by the Trump gang push.

Of course there are a lot of loose ends and rumors, such as one that there may have been three people who go seriously ill possibly from it, in November 2019 at the WIV.  Without doubt the Chinese government should facilitate and encourage all parties to help track down who were the earliest cases to try to determine the origins of this.  However, this does not seem to be happening, with if anything just the opposite the case, with reports that some Chinese posting reports on all this being suppressed.

I note that in the SARS pandemic of 2002-03 we saw both sources.  The initial outbreak of that pandemic looks to have been the zoonotic route from the wild through civet cats. But then a second round, smaller than the first, was due to two leaks out of a Beijing lab.  

Pretty much anything is possible here, and unfortunately I fear we may never be able to get to the bottom of this. But the current wave of attacks on Anthony Fauci rolling through the right wing mediasphere has become completely outrageous, with this recent Instagram post by Donald Trump, Jr. really going beyond despicable.

Barkley Rosser

6 comments: said...

In today's (Sunday, 6/6) there are two long columns in the Outlook section. One by two virologists presents the argument based on looking at the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that it is highly unlikely that it was created in a lab. The other worries that if China gets blamed as either the source of the it or covering up seriously what went on with it in PRC, there will be heightened geopolitical tensions and conflicts, written by somebody at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Both columnists mostly look pretty reasonable. But they share one odd detail: neither mentions at all the second virology lab in Wuhan, the WCDC, which looks suspiciously like it might have served as a conduit for a naturally evolved virus to get to Wuhan and then out into the city, not a peep. The first article even goes on and on about "the lab" in Wuhan as if the WIV is the only one of possible interest there. I do not know if the authors realize how ignorant this lacuna by them makes them look, not too great for their credibility, although nobody is saying that the virus got created in that lab.

Anonymous said...

see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.....

quite a few things that suggest we have to investigate, and leave those 3 monkeys behind

reading long tripe you hope is true?

Anonymous said...

"in the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2, the CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally." said...

What is your point, Anonymous? I have seen arguments that the genetic sequence of Covid-19 is such that it cannot have been produced artificially in a lab via gain-of-function research, the argument made by those who want to blame the pandemic in the US on Dr. Fauci because he supposedly not only funded but encouraged the supposed creation of the virus in the WIV lab. If you are who I think you are, I would think you would not like this theory of the virus being so created to be true.

As it is, I am noting that a possible escape of it from the WCDC is much more likely than that, although it is being widely ignored by many people. Do you deny the existence of Tian Juanhua or that he hunted bats in caves in Yunna and brought back many bat viruses to that lab, which is only 500 meters from the Huawan wet market?

Perhaps you do not even like the idea of a natural transmission from bats through an intermediate species to the Wuhan wet market, preferring a theory that has it originating somehow outside of China and getting in on frozen food or whatever.

Actually there is a new theory floating around that the virus was found in sewage in Barcelona in Feb. 2019, and that there was a raised rate of flu and pneumonia there then. This theory would say that the virus originated outside China some time ago, but was not in a lethal form, getting people sick but in ways that just looked like normal flu or pneumonia. This would mean that the issue becomes where did the mutation happen that led to it becoming so deadly and how did it end up in the Huanan market? I do not know.

Let me assure you that I am not "for" any answer. I would like to know the truth of this, and there is a truth out there. But I fear we shall not be able to find it. I oppose all the politicization on all sides of this search, and this certainly includes both the past and ongoing efforts by the Chinese government to impede and block this search, which has involved aggressive actions against other nations, such as Australia. This is completely unacceptable and only makes the Chinese government loook guilty guilty guilty, although if you are who I think you are, you seem unable to ever admit that the Chinese government ever does anything wrong.

Not Trampis said...

I recently wrote on this at my modest blog.
an aussie who went to China to investigate along with others said we will never know exactly and put a 10% chance of the virus coming frrom the lab

Unknown said...

If you are who I think you are...

[ A horrid mistaken surmise.

The anonymous person who commented above is crude, hateful and wrong. ]