[ExI] Stranger than fiction

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 29 17:34:59 UTC 2020

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 05:17:37 AM PDT, John Clark via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote: 

On Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 3:44 AM The Avantguardian via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>> This caused the NIAID, lead by Anthony Fauci, to give the virus lab in Wuhan China a $3.7 million grant to perform gain-of-function research in bat-borne coranaviruses because our labs were not secure enough?

> That sentence may end in a question mark but it is not a question.

So you don't think that if this information is verified, then it would have been poor judgement on the part of the U.S. government to outsource viral gain-of-function research deemed too dangerous to conduct in the United States to another country with a reputation for poor quality control on their exports?
>>What peaceful purpose could a gain-of-function mutation in the SARS virus possibly serve?
>  http://www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Documents/gain-of-function.pdf

> I would have thought you could have guessed that if one small mutation can turn a mild virus into a world killer (think 1918 flu) then that fact would be good to know, because then we can be prepared and start developing a vaccine for it. Like it or not it's probably only a matter of time before that mutation does happen. But if you couldn't guess the answer to your question the answer is in the first sentence of the very article you recommended:

"Gain-of-function studies, or research that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease, help define the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions, thereby enabling assessment of the pandemic potential of emerging infectious agents, informing public health and preparedness efforts, and furthering medical countermeasure development."

So we pay another country to develop potential world-killers in the lab so that we can have a head start fighting it if it evolved naturally? Maybe that's staring into the abyss a little too long even if our intentions were good. It sure didn't help us in this situation.

> As for the other article you recommend:  

> https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/why-us-outsourced-bat-virus-research-to-wuhan/?fbclid=IwAR05XIyKjGNhcJO6RgdflBITizA_znxY05EA5ElaP4kSUm6T2sNFYI8X-U8

> I became a little suspicious of the article when it cited such world renowned virus experts as Fox News Lou Dobbs, and when it stated that Donald Trump was investigating the matter, the same very stable genius who investigated Barack Obama's birth certificate for years. I stopped reading when I came to this:

> "in October 2014, because of public health concerns, the US government banned all federal funding on efforts to weaponize three viruses – influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)."

> The US government hasn't authorized funds to weaponize any virus, or any bacteria either, since Nixon banned all offensive bioweapons research in 1969.

Developing potential world-killers in the lab is a bad idea even if the motivation is defensive instead of offensive. Paying another country to do it for you because they are less strict about that sort of thing is an even worse idea. 

If the providence of the article bothers you, here is another one:
The controversial experiments and Wuhan lab suspected of starting the coronavirus pandemic

If SARS-CoV-2 evolved naturally, then viral gain-of-function research did not achieve its stated goal of preparing us for this pandemic. On the other hand, if SARS-CoV-2 is mad-made, then viral gain-of-function research flat out CAUSED the pandemic. Neither case is very supportive of the practice.

Stuart LaForge

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