What if

I don’t think the story is perfectly clear right now. But suppose it becomes clear. Suppose that we find that Covid-19 was ( for sure) the accidental product of virologists working in a Wuhan lab, funded by the US government.

What would happen?

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50 Responses to What if

  1. Gord Marsden says:

    very likely created in a lab in winnepeg and shipped over in full knowledge of the canadian government , big coverup and quick exit of secret employees

  2. magusjanus says:

    Probably the same thing that happened to Iraq War backers: they’ll get promoted, cushy NGO gigs, blue checkmarks on twitter, and continue to be respectable cited sources in mainstream corporate media. They’ll die fat and happy.

    • Kai says:

      Agreed. Probably it will stay a low-profile news anyway: Managing the end of covid is much more pressing and tricky, as the narrative to justify what has been done until now and which measures and vaccination scheme will be pushed in 2022 become crucial. Do it wrong and you can face pitchforks if public perception of covid dangerosity change quickly, which may happen end of winter…

    • Jason says:

      That seems to be standard procedure in dealing with massive screw-ups by our betters.

    • Jacob says:

      I had this exact same thought. Modern society punishes people who murder one or a few dozen, but if you murder thousands, you’re rewarded for it.

  3. Rum says:

    I think that what is actually coming is an extreme melt-down regarding the confidence inspired by agencies like the CDC by anyone with half a brain. The “authorities” will deny the obvious forever because they will think that is the best way to save their own skins even at the (extreme) costs to the institutions in which they spent their careers.

  4. Tim says:

    A limited hangout, blame rogue elements in the NIH conspiring with China, Fauci would definitely have to go under the bus.
    I’m not sure how much more clear the story can get. I can’t imagine the Chinese releasing the records of the Wuhan lab. Credible people working in the field seem convinced it was manufactured.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Lots of people suspected this from the beginning, at least the part about it escaping from a lab in Wuhan. Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying discussed it on Youtube,

      I did not hear that Fauci funding this gain-of-function research in Wuhan until recently.

      • S-Rien says:

        Did it escape or was it released.
        Remember the tardiness in closing down air traffic?
        Coincidence or cover up?

        • Frau Katze says:

          If it was released on purpose it was an extremely stupid idea. It’s cost them dearly.

        • saintonge235 says:

          I can’t see it being released deliberately. What’s the point?

          It isn’t deadly enough to do real harm. It mostly kills sick and old people, which isn’t going to harm the West much long term. Trump and Biden both responded badly, in different ways, but could the ChiComs count on that?

          And deliberately releasing it in Wuhan, without taking information offline first, without a cover story? This is just too wacky for me.

    • Frau Katze says:

      I agree: it can’t get clearer. But the media appear to be ignoring the story. I’m not sure why exactly.

      • Erik Sieven says:

        at least in Germany the media does not ignore the story. There are regularly articles in big newspapers describing it as the most likely answer to question of the origin of Covid. Also I think the situation is not clear at all. There are still also leading experts who doubt the lab-leaks theory.

        • Frau Katze says:

          That’s interesting. One might say the US media don’t want to get into anything controversial involving Fauci, although it’s not totally obvious why. I assumed that with his known funding of Chinese research into gain-of-function for human viruses, it wasn’t a safe topic in an election year.

          But this doesn’t explain why media in other English-speaking countries (AFAIK this includes the UK, Canada and New Zealand) are also avoiding the topic.

        • dearieme says:

          “There are still also leading experts who doubt the lab-leaks theory.” Initially there were leading experts who said they doubted the theory – indeed, rejected the theory. We now know they were lying. So why should we believe these further experts?

  5. dave chamberlin says:

    The story will never become clear, I think that is a pretty good guess, considering it’s China and China 100 percent of the time covers up fuck ups.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Yea well perfectly clear ain’t happening. But here is a podcast that paints a picture that incompetence was responsible for the outbreak. Lex Fridman podcast number 247. Jaime Metzl lab link theory. It sure as hell could have leaked from a lab that was built in a very shoddy way. But we won’t ever know. Lex has a bunch of great thought provoking podcasts, go forth and multiply your perspectives.

  6. John Massey says:

    If it becomes clearly established, Dazsak will be toast, Fauci will go under a bus, and Alina Chan will win the Nobel Prize for being a Smart Arse.

    But it won’t.

    • Jim says:

      This will contribute to the crumbling of trust in social and government institutions in the US. History shows that decaying societies can survive solely on historical inertia for quite a while but not forever. The final collapse is difficult to predict but when it comes it may be very rapid. Nobody in France at the beginning of the year 1789 thought that the monarchy would be gone in an historical blink of an eye.

  7. pyrrhus says:

    Given Dazsak’s attempt to fund illegal gain-of-function research through DARPA, and then successfully through Fauci, the whole development was intentional, and at least one major university was on board a year before the outbreak…They all, including executives at Pfizer et al, belong in prison…

  8. Henry Scrope says:

    Precisely nothing.

    • Henry Scrope says:

      Oh and congratulations on being right on the Epstein-Barr thing, hopefully a non-leaky traditional vaccine will become available soon.

      • Aidan Kehoe says:

        Yes, seconded, I expect to end my career as a doctor with MS no longer a real concern because of universal, early, EBV vaccination; that is great and vindicates your (Greg’s) perspective.

  9. dearieme says:

    The lab leak hypothesis: I almost admire the effrontery with which top dog science bureaucrats conspired to accuse others of being conspiracy theorists.

    In a sane world they’d be hanged from lampposts: in our nambly-pamby society they’ll escape unscathed.

    • Jacob says:

      “In a sane world they’d be hanged from lampposts: in our nambly-pamby society they’ll escape unscathed.”

      Ditto the instigators of the war in Iraq. A sane society would’ve painted the streets of DC with their guts, and I am not speaking metaphorically. Instead they all got promotions.

  10. another fred says:

    What would happen is the opposite of what I think was wanted, there will be a widespread loss of faith in government in people who now have that faith (I am not one of them). This will mean that when a really dangerous virus emerges there will be more millions that reject offered vaccines.

    I think it is clear that government is trying to prepare for future viruses, but they have botched this one so badly that they have shot themselves in the foot by trying to bring a new technology out wholesale before it was ready.

    Ironically, even if they perfect the technology, more people will reject it.

  11. Jacob says:

    People don’t put enough thought into what might happen if a pathogen crosses the species barrier in a lab. I work with SIV fairly regularly and, if my scalpel slipped in just the wrong moment, there’s a small but very real chance I could be infected. The virus that survived in my body would then be known as HIV-3.

    The lab-leak hypothesis is not tinfoil conspiratard nonsense. And I say this as a passionate supporter (and participant) of biomedical research.

    • Cat Rationalist says:

      I agree, except you are very unlikely to transmit that SIV further. Wasn’t it that single-use of needles weren’t mandated 50 ago in Africa?

      • Jacob says:

        I’m not a member of any of the high-risk demographics and I don’t mix bodily fluids with any of them, either. It’s pretty likely that if I were the first case of HIV-3, I could also be the last. That’d be an interesting story: “the epidemic that wasn’t.”

        Still, who wants to take that risk?

    • Coagulopath says:

      It’s a hard life. You follow BSL-4 precautions for 20 years and no one cares, but when you fuck one monkey…

  12. skeptic16 says:

    Have any of Nicholas Wade’s very valid questions ever been addressed?

  13. Craken says:

    Would it even be possible at this stage to demonstrate that Covid was bioengineered or was naturally evolved? The implication I’ve picked up from various sources is that neither position is falsifiable with current knowledge–and that either the cooperation of the relevant operators or the discovery of a closely related virus in an animal host would be necessary, at a minimum, for adequate knowledge. Even if it wasn’t a lab leak, it clearly could have been given the risks regularly taken in viral research. The operators–American and Chinese–have every incentive to do a cover-up. They have a parallel incentive to produce the appearance a natural origin. If possible, they might try to infect some obscure species with what could be interpreted as a Covid precursor. Why not take the earliest available sample of Covid, bioengineer it in a way that brings it closer to the structure of a similar virus known to exist in bats/pangolins/whatevers, then infect the chosen species, and, finally, serendipitously, (pre)capture one of these special creatures–thus proving a natural origin? There are some challenges–making sure the new virus is infectious and doesn’t kill the bats (too quickly), ensuring secrecy. But, they’ve had over 2 years to jump these technical hurdles. This kind of project might sound evil on the surface, but consider the risk to the anti-racist movement or the Official Science lobby if the general public comes to believe the wrong theory about the Wuhan virus.

    • Coagulopath says:

      My limited understanding is that if the virus was engineered (through CRISPR or whatever), we would be able to see it. There would be obvious splice sites and insertion of transposons.

      Creating the virus through selection isn’t realistic. The closest wild relative is RaTG-13, a bat virus with only 96% simularity. That’s a big distance to cross with a virus that only generates 2 mutations a month. “Passaging” RaTG-13 into SARS-COV-2 would have taken several decades.

      For what purpose would it have been engineered? Who would create a bioweapon with a 99.6 per cent survival rate? One that mostly kills strategically worthless targets (elderly, infirm civilians) while sparing young healthy soldiers?

      Most people I trust say the virus had a zoonotic origin. A lab-leak scenario might have been involved.

  14. Rum says:

    The lab in Wuhan has been putting out papers for 5 years or so describing their quest to make bat corona virus infectious in humans by splicing on new spike proteins. Those papers now have an addendum across the top saying “But this could not possibly have led to COVID 19 because we were careful.”
    Peter Daszak, their main cheer-leader, is on utube from 2016 bragging about making “killer viruses” in Wuhan.
    Daszak was the point guy for organizing that letter in Lancet denouncing even the possibility of a killer virus coming out of the lab in Wuhan.

  15. Maciano says:

    What if? By looking at neocon FP after Iraq and bankers after the GFC, I’m thinking “not much”, tbh. How many of those people really ended up in jail? Very few. Neocons have really become less powerful now, two decades later, at least, it seems that way; bankers didn’t notice any persecution.

    The only big political event that caused some spanking by the elites was the Trump presidency and its election brouhaha aftermath. And even that wasn’t world shattering, they only took out influential rightist accounts from social media and jailed a bunch of prole nobodies who joined the Jan 6th riot.

    So, I’m not holding my breath for Daszak, Farrar, Fauci, etc., or prominent GoF researchers like Ron Fouchier & the Chinese batcave researcher getting jail time or serious negative mainstream press. I don’t think the death count matters a lot, although it should; maybe in the further future ahead?

    • Frau Katze says:

      The media are not interested in this story. They’re only interested in one thing: ensuring continuing leadership – if you can call it that – by Democrats. They’ll stop at nothing. Comparing January 6 to .Pearl Harbor and 9/11? It’s ludicrous but that’s the story line.

      The last thing they want is some kind of scandal involving Fauci. Or even the Chinese. The story about Fauci funding gain-of-function research is receiving zero coverage.

      Poking around regarding the responsibility of Chinese is also receiving zero coverage. .The whole thing is too volatile. Who knows where it might lead?

  16. rgressis says:

    It depends on what “clear” means. If by “clear” you mean “the evidence makes it unreasonable to deny the lab leak hypothesis”, then maybe what is happening now would happen: a bunch of right-wingers would say Fauci, et al. should be hanged, while a bunch of left-wingers just ignore it. That said, if Republicans get in power again (seems likely) and decide they want to make an issue of this, then interesting things could happen. The left would be unable to ignore it, and would have to come up with a story: either they would have to let Fauci, et al., slide under the bus, or they would have to blame Republicans (that would be the first attempt) and then China (that would be the second attempt). If one of those convinced their supporters, then they’d stick with that, and to the extent that Republicans actually punished the people involved, much of the media world would condemn those Republicans as having put a black stain on liberal democracy. As for what would happen five years after that, well, that’s more interesting, but also much darker. My guess: 90% of people would either forget about it or not care about it anymore, and even progressives who were forced by their occupations to know about these sorts of things would admit–if pressed–that Fauci, et al., did pretty rotten things.

    If by “clear” you mean “pretty much everyone agrees that there was a lab leak, etc.”, well, I don’t see how that could happen. I mean, God could make it happen, but given people’s psychologies, it seems to be a quite distant possible world. There would have to be video. (I mean, for goodness sake, beagle-gate did nothing to dent Fauci’s popularity!)

    • Frau Katze says:

      Interesting that you split opinion along right / left lines,

      It’s my experience that nothing has split the conventional political categories like the pandemic.

      I can’t predict where my friends, relatives and acquaintances will fall until they explicitly make it clear.

      It is partly explained if one assumes that some people are more afraid of catching Covid than others. This is probably inborn.

      Then there’s those who are afraid of the vaccines. They are worried about things like long term side effects.

      There’s a camp that are outraged about vaccine mandates. A majority of them are not afraid of Covid. Another camp sees mandates as perfectly reasonable. They tend not to fear the vaccines.

      There’s also a split along age lines, Older people are – sensibly – more fearful of Covid than young people.

      It’s still not universal though. A friend of mine described her step-daughter’s young husband as incapacitated by a strong fear of both the disease and the vaccine.

      • Woof says:

        I have found in my social circle most of those who are pro vaccine are on the left and those who don’t trust them are on the right

    • Frau Katze says:

      My analysis assumes the variant is Delta.

      Omicron has changed things. The current vaccines at best provide modest help.

      The mildness of Omicron has also changed things.

      It’s early yet but just going by friends, relatives and acquaintances, some people have grown more fearful due to its highly contagious nature.

      We are told that we are all going catch it sooner or later.

      But this is all so new that people haven’t switched gears yet,

    • mblanc46 says:

      The Republicans? Make an issue of it? Surely you jest.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Could we get your take on Ukraine/Russia — how stupid have we been?

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