[ExI] Dodged the bullet maybe

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Thu Mar 12 16:17:32 UTC 2020

Quoting Rafal Smigrodzki:

> Who quoted
>> I don't see anything to suggest this is an engineered virus, and I see no
>> need to conjure up weird hypothesis to explain a new virus suddenly
>> appearing in the human population. This sort of thing has been occurring for
>> thousands of years. And the researchers in The Lancet article
>> specifically say:
>> *"2019-nCoV is sufficiently divergent from SARS-CoV to be considered a new
>> human-infectin betacoronavirus. Although our phylogenetic analysis
>> suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, an animal sold
>> at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an intermediate host
>> facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans." *
>> ### China vloggers (ADV China, laowhy86) say that while the Wuhan market
> is filthy, they don't actually sell bats there. On the other hand, bats
> were reportedly used in research at the Wuhan lab. My guess is that
> somebody at the lab got accidentally infected, perhaps just inhaling bat
> saliva or poop, and that's how it all started, with a low likelihood that
> the virus was in some way manipulated at the lab. The meat market story is
> just an attempt to deflect attention and blame from a government lab.

At first I did not want to believe this but after doing some digging,  
I found a lot of circumstantial evidence. So you might be right about  
this. It is of note that bats don't appear on this menu of animals  
sold at the exotic meat market at Wuhan although civets do and they  
were implicated as an intermediary early on.


But if bats are NEVER sold at the Wuhan market because bats are not  
popular cuisine in the area, then how did the civets catch it from  
what bats? Also on reflection, that doesn't make much sense. Bats are  
much more closely related to humans than civets are so if anything, it  
would have made the virus less likely to infect humans. This is  
especially true because SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a lower affinity  
for civet ACE-2 than SARS-CoV-1's spike protein does.

In graduate school, I had a frequent lunch partner named Debbie  
something-or-other. She was a biologist who studied bats. It came up  
that bats and primates are rather closely related. I asked her why  
bats weren't more often used as model organisms in medical research  
labs since many species are as small as mice with wings. She replied  
that they lived too long, 25 years on average. They take too long to  
effectively pure-breed taking a year or more between generations so in  
the end they are no more convenient than primates. Now I would add  
that they are crazy reservoirs of over 200 viral disease:


Curiously, I found an archived pre-print of a manuscript on the  
Wayback Machine by a legit Chinese scientist that describe your  
scenario in some detail, but curiously the manuscript has since  
disappeared without a trace.

  by this guy:

Hopefully Dr. Xiao himself has not been disappeared by the Chinese government.

So all that does lend credibility to lab-accident-zoonotic-transfer  
hypothesis for the origin of COVID-19. There is quite a bit of  
evidence AGAINST the notion that the virus itself is engineered or  
artificial. To put it succinctly, SARS-CoV-2 is different enough from  
SARS-CoV-1 to make it highly unlikely that someone could have  
generated it artificially.

Stuart LaForge

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