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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Tx
Home country: USA
Current location: USA
Member since: Wed Oct 24, 2012, 10:44 PM
Number of posts: 1,338

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Why do there have to be only 1 or 2 possibilities?

I can envision a number:

1) natural occurrence, somehow jumped from bats to an intermediate to humans in Wuhan or somewhere in the general vicinity

2) natural occurrence, lingered for years around Mojiang where its most similar relative was discovered in 2012/13 and it slowly or suddenly mutated to SARS-Cov2, makes a jump to human(s) who then travel to Wuhan in 2019

2a) same as 2 but it somehow evolves in the body of a human without an intermediate host (it had about 7 years to do this). I believe the Mojiang Miners Passage hypothesis is similar to this but could be wrong.

3) similar to #2 but nobody traveled to Wuhan and instead samples were sent from Mojiang to WIV after abnormally high numbers of sick people start popping up in the area. Upon arrival or while being studied it escapes from the lab

3a) the person who delivered the samples from Mojiang to Wuhan was unknowingly infected

4) samples from Mojiang or other undisclosed strains were being studied using Gain-of-function experiments, lab accident occurs and it escapes

5) similar to 4 except it is intentionally released by a rogue “mad scientist” instead of accidentally escaping

5a) it is released with the blessing of the Chinese government

6) virus from Mojiang is intentionally redesigned as a bio-weapon and released in Wuhan, again either by a rogue element or as a government effort

7) the Chinese government version: Americans got ahold of Mojiang virus, turn it into a bio weapon and intentionally release it at Wuhan Olympic Games or some other event in order to make China look bad, or something

To me the first 3 or 4 are the most likely scenarios, 5-7 go against Hanlon’s razor (never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity) and are probably not the cause, at least not IMO. And explanations 6 and 7 have been pretty much ruled out by scientists, it has none of the signatures a bio-weapon would have.

Explanations 3 and 4 require a certain degree of incompetence on the part of the Chinese government or the WIV and would go a long ways towards explaining why the Chinese are being less than cooperative. If someone at the lab or higher up effed up they’ve probably decided that it’s best if it could just be swept under the rug, lest the country might be on the hook for potentially exorbitant penalties or retribution.

To further bolster this idea is that the government has thrown up roadblocks at every step of the way, and at times literally: last year a broken down van on the road to Mojiang was placed in the road mere minutes before a crew from the BBC was trying to get to the area to do a story. (So sorry about that guys, I’m afraid the road is closed today. Pity you can’t continue on).

These kinds of frustrating little incidents are why we’re hearing calls for a “real” investigation, the Chinese government just isn’t being transparent about some of the most important details and it gives the distinct impression they’re hiding something. Do I think they released the virus on purpose? No, at least not at an organized level. Do I think this is somehow the result of someone just screwing up at some point? Possibly, maybe even likely. Incompetence is far more likely than malevolence. The Trump administration had political reasons to point the finger to China since they were in a difficult re-election campaign and jumped on to any reason to deflect blame from their ineptness.

Will we ever know the real answer? That’s a good question, if the Chinese ever fully cooperate I’d say yes. If they don’t, are there techniques good enough to come to a conclusion with a high degree of certainty? That I don’t know, but I’d be willing to bet the farm intelligence agencies around the world are working on how to find an answer without the help of the Chinese government, using everything from forensics to quietly trying to contact inside people who might know something. I suspect we’ll have a pretty good idea of what went down within the next few years. Expect absolutely zero shock if it turns out that this whole tragedy was largely due to mistakes, incompetence and ineptness at many, many turns along the way from many people and institutions in many places.

Oh and about those reports of it being present in Europe much earlier: I believe this has been attributed to bad sampling, the confidence level is extremely high that this came from a virus with origins in the caves of southern China. To see it mysteriously appear out of the blue in Europe first makes absolutely no sense at all. If I didn’t know any better I’d say someone is trying to lead you down a rabbit hole.
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