In March 2020, some colleagues in Parliament, knowing I was interested in genetics and medicine, asked me if I thought Covid began with a lab leak. “No,” I replied confidently. In this I relied on conversations with expert virologists and a paper that five of them published in Nature Medicine categorically ruling it out: “Our analyses clearly show that Sars-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposely manipulated virus.”
Today, I feel betrayed. Thanks to emails released under Freedom of Information this week, we now know that they did think a lab leak was possible, and the evidence that they then used to dismiss it was faulty.
One of the checks and balances on rampant bad scientific research is to continuously assess how new ideas fit into the framework of the bigger picture. A new piece of information may seem perfectly reasonable and well-documented, but the domino effect of its implications gives you another way to test its validity. When multiple lines of seemingly rock-solid evidence contradict one another, that’s a good sign that something is wrong, even if you don’t yet know why. Whenever a thread seems out of place, it’s time to pull on that thread until you can figure out what exactly is going on.
…”Trusting the science” is not (and never has been) about trusting results or trusting experts. Trusting the scientists is what got us into this mess. For science to function properly, we must NOT trust the scientists. Instead, we must trust in the messy self-correcting process that allows truth to boil to the surface even if every participant in that process is flawed.
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the Experts”
— Richard P. Feynman
Science is the relentless competition between measurable pieces of evidence, the ruthless gauntlet of debate, the willingness to question even the most “obvious” of assumptions, and the humbleness to test and retest any and all assumptions against hard evidence, most especially when those assumptions are our own.
The Prime Minister has talked of giving Whitty a knighthood — but after that reckless and irresponsible performance, the Chief Medical Officer deserves the boot.
At a stroke, he inflicted spectacular damage on our economy, particularly the hospitality sector which makes over a quarter of its profits in this period, and which has already taken a termendous battering during the pandemic.
…The irony is that if the most lurid forecasts of the lockdown addicts are realised, with the pandemic reaching every household, then all those oppressive measures they cherish most — such as social distancing, bans on large gatherings, venue closures and vaccine passports — will be largely useless.
…And in fact it would be worse than meaningless: it would be counter-productive. Lockdown directly undermines the fight against the virus by preventing the spread of naturally acquired Covid immunity in the population.
Aired on C-SPAN on October 29, 2019.
Michael Specter, staff writer for The New Yorker: “Why don’t we blow the system up?”
Health experts discussed the scientific and technological prospects of an effective universal influenza vaccine. Speakers included Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Margaret Hamburg, former FDA commissioner. Panelists discussed the need for more funding for research, better collaboration between the private and government sectors, advances in technology in flu research and the goal of a universal flu vaccine
Short clip shared by @R137K:
Full video from the Milken Institute:
The Associated Press recently ran a story they said debunked the dissenting Covid concerns of pathologist, Dr. Roger Hodkinson. In their article titled, “Pathologist falsely claims COVID-19 is a hoax, no worse than the flu,” they misrepresented several of Dr. Hodkinson’s statements. The also wrote specifically saying they were planning to debunk him, not understand what he meant. Dr Hodkinson is a medical specialist in pathology and graduate of Cambridge University, UK. He is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was previously the President of the Alberta Society of Laboratory Physicians, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, and CEO of a large community based medical laboratory with a full menu of testing for infectious disease and virology. He is currently the Chairman of an American biotechnology company active in DNA sequencing.
So it is curious that since the Covid pandemic began, this hugely influential figure has been at the heart of the scientific establishment’s efforts to stifle debate on the origins of the virus that emerged in Wuhan.
The Oxford, Edinburgh and London-educated infectious diseases expert has claimed scientists ‘know’ Covid was not created in a lab, suggested such an idea was a ‘conspiracy theory’ and insisted that ‘evidence’ indicates it spilled over naturally from animals.
Now, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that emails from America’s top infectious disease chief, Anthony Fauci, show how Farrar played a key role behind the scenes in marshalling top scientists’ response to concerns over the virus’s origins, even demanding secrecy on their discussions.
Crucially, he was a central figure behind two landmark statements published by leading science journals that helped to silence dissident views, arguing against the plausibility of ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario’.
The concern that SARS-CoV-2 could be spread by people without symptoms originally came from a single case report. It was alleged that an asymptomatic woman from China had spread the virus to 16 other contacts in Germany. Later reports showed that, at the time of contact, this woman was taking medication for flu-like symptoms, invalidating the evidence provided for the theory of asymptomatic transmission. As with other common respiratory viruses, SARS-CoV-2 spreads by being exhaled, coughed or sneezed into the air. The largest droplets fall quickly and settle on the ground whilst the most lightweight particles, known as aerosols, may remain suspended in the air for days. Once the virus is present in the environment, it spreads by finding its way into the respiratory tract of new hosts in a large enough quantity (known as the ‘viral load’ or ‘infectious dose’) to infect them. The theory of fomite transmission (touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face) is not supported by scientific evidence.
…In asymptomatic individuals, the viral load is typically very low and the infectious period is also short in duration. They may still exhale virus particles, which another person may encounter. However, the overall likelihood of transmitting the disease to others is negligible. Thus asymptomatic cases are not the major drivers of epidemics. As Dr Anthony Fauci of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated in March 2020: ‘In all the history of respiratory-borne viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. The driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person.’
It’s a touchy, complex question. People may not want to learn that millions of us covered our faces for 15 months for no good reason, after all. But asking the questions is exactly what we must do.
Last week, a trove of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s e-mails were released to the public. In a Feb. 5, 2020, e-mail to a Team Obama health official, the virus guru wrote that masks were for infected people, and that “the typical mask you buy in a drug store is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.”
Drugs are a risky business and, for equity investors hoping to eventually share in the profits, each stage of development presents an escalated risk. Lo reasoned that substantially lowering the risks, even if it meant correspondingly lowering the rewards, could attract investment instead from ordinary bond markets—that is, from managers of pension funds, university endowments, and sovereign-wealth funds, who control a great deal of money and generally invest in low-risk, low-return assets.
Given how uncertain vaccine markets are, the paper notes, governments (“public-sector interventions,” and so forth), would need to guarantee a vaccine bond by committing in advance to purchase and stockpile vaccines. The paper’s most creative suggestion is for a subscription model, a kind of vaccine Netflix, where governments would pay an annual fee to a new international-development fund, one that could perhaps be managed by the G7. The fund could float a bond to both advance vaccine biotechs and to make market commitments to Big Pharma. The virus, the markets, and the science are global.
…it would be much better for the government to say that the money is not from taxpayers. “We’re borrowing it from the rest of the world. And if and when you succeed, or any of the other hundred and fifty projects—that could have been funded, but aren’t being funded right now—succeeds, all the bond holders will get paid. That would be great. Everybody earns a return.”
Some interesting links between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer and advisor to the UK government), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer and advisor to the UK government, received £31million pounds of funding from The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008 and now takes Bill Gates public health policy’s directly to government.