Montreal Christian Thinker

SARS-CoV-2 Origins, Lab-Leak Craze, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails

There are currently some hot exchanges concerning the origin of SARS-CoV-2, (1) whether it was zoonotic (nature-to-humans), engineered in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and then released, (2) or not engineered nor modified in the Wuhan lab but released unaltered; (3) or some combination of the latter two as can sometimes be noticed on some forum treads or alternative news.

I wrote this post before reading the following exchanges, but I here start with these exchanges to show that I have read some of these exchanges in order to review my own thoughts on this piece:

The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?

Lab leak conspiracy theory rears its ugly head again: this time it’s Nicholas Wade of the New York Times.

About the origin of SARS-CoV-2

About the Origin of SARS-CoV-2 Part 2: discussion with the WHO investigation team

The last exchange above (“About the Origin…”) published by Michael_Okoko notices precisely what I noticed myself on TWiV! So, what I have written here was written before I read Michael_Okoko’s post; I did not plagiarise! I simply noticed the same points as he did, evidently because he has also been following TWiV since the Pandemic (like me), which is hosted by Prof. Vincent Racaniello.

 

Now, for what I had already written before I saw the links above…

For discussion about a possible, but unlikely, leak of SARS-CoV-2 from a laboratory in Wuhan, see the following TWiV interview by Prof. Vincent Racaniello about WHO’s investigation on the origins of SARS-CoV-2 … Watch 50:00 – 1:09:00 mins for the specific discussion on a possible lab-leak, which is unlikely:

TWiV 760: SARS-CoV-2 origins with Peter Daszak, Thea Kølsen Fischer, Marion Koopmans

The WHO study report (“China Part”) is found here:

WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part

The downloadable link leading to the PDF format report

For discussion about a possible, but unlikely, lab-leak of SARS-CoV-2, see the following TWiV interview of Robert F. Garry, one of the authors of “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2,” Nat Med (March 17, 2020) … Watch 13:05 – 17:40 mins as well as 18:05 – 24:40 mins and 1:03:45 – 1:14:50 mins for the specific discussion on a possible lab-leak, but which is extremely unlikely. They also quickly discuss that SARS-CoV-2 would not have been engineered given what we know about the Spike protein and the SARS-CoV-2 genome (If I correctly understood what I heard on those points):

TWiV 762: SARS-CoV-2 origins with Robert Garry

Additional articles by Robert Garry for this are the following:

Early appearance of two distinct genomic lineages of SARS-CoV-2 in different Wuhan wildlife markets suggests SARS-CoV-2 has a natural origin

Spike protein sequences of Cambodian, Thai and Japanese bat sarbecoviruses provide insights into the natural evolution of the Receptor Binding Domain and S1/S2 cleavage site

 

News reports and non-scientists too often give their ill-informed opinions and remarks about matters that they can easily mishandle. This is a case in point concerning Dr. Fauci’s recent 3,200 leaked emails that has recently exploded in the News. Kayleigh McEnany is ill-informed and it shows in her assumptions that SARS-CoV-2 was either engineered or released from a lab intentionally or by mistake due to her reading of the emails:

McEnany points out ‘scandal’ in Fauci emails

The Five’ slam emails revealing Dr. Fauci’s relationship with China

This is what happens when people only read certain pieces, and subsequently inject their own shaky interpretations and ideas into out-of-context emails and do not know the subject matter at length: virology (and epidemiology, biochemistry, and even biology).

In contrast to News reports and ill-informed, non-scientists, please consider more learned inputs from much more reliable sources and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s own responses to critics of his leaked emails:

Dr. Francis Collins

“I Don’t Think We Can Rule It Out” – Dr. Collins On The Wuhan Lab Theory

Dr. Francis Collins Discusses The Complexities Of Herd Immunity

Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to questions about his emails having leaked

CNN’s Berman reads Fauci’s emails. Watch his response

Dr. Fauci Reacts To The Release of Thousands Of His Work Emails

Dr. Fauci’s responses make far more sense given everything I document here in this post in contrast to Kayleigh McEnany and Donald J. Trump’s misinformed statements and accusations! I am not claiming that Dr. Fauci cannot lie or is not lying, or hiding some things. However, it still shows how unreasonable, uncareful and imprecise they are. On the other hand, Dr. Fauci is careful, reasonable and precise in his statements and explanations. This alone does not prove a natural occurrence vs a lab-leak, but it does show McEnany, other non-scientists, and Trump’s oversimplistic minds when they do not know the details of what they are addressing, or the nuances of a complex subject. (Dr. Fauci’s emails do not prove a lab-leak at all!). This kind of behavior of not being able to recognize one’s own limits in specified knowledge occurs too often in the News and the general population. A lot of lay-people do not seem to be aware, or to actually practice at all, any kind of critical thinking, scientific or scholarly research methodologies, or careful review of peer review, conferences, debates, and other kinds of scientific and scholarly exchanges. Instead, there is a lot of precipitation, jumping-the-gun, or baseless wild conclusions based on misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and oversimplification.

 

Back to the origins of SARS-CoV-2, Dr. John Campbell also came out with a recent YouTube video titled “Virus confirmed”. It is actually not confirmed via peer review yet, as he clarifies in that video. Nevertheless, there is more and more evidence for a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2:

Virus confirmed, March 2019

Dr. Campbell references these documents:

SARS-CoV-2 detected in waste waters in Barcelona on March 12, 2019

Sentinel surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater anticipates the occurrence of COVID-19 cases (June 13, 2020)

The authors above of “Sentinel surveillance…” more recently published the following paper:

Time Evolution of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wastewater during the First Pandemic Wave of COVID-19 in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Spain (March 11, 2021)

Earlier, I mentioned Donald Trump. Compare the above and my previous post on this subject (“Lab-escaped SARS-CoV-2 virus? Possible, but highly improbable”) with the following Donald Trump’s wild, mis-informed statements (very typical of him):

Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

Dated June 3, 2021:

Now everyone, even the so-called “enemy,” are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from the Wuhan Lab. The correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore. China should pay Ten Trillion Dollars to America, and the World, for the death and destruction they have caused!


(Added 8:20 PM this June 6, 2021)

I was just listening to TWiV 765: Potpourri of COVID-19 and around 38 mins they mentioned Dr. Fauci’s emails and they observed the same as I observed in my post earlier this morning around 10:00/11:00AM (currently now 8:20 PM Eastern Time):

Watch 38:30 – 39:30 minutes about Fauci’s email:

Dr. Fauci’s emails do not prove in themselves that there was a lab-leak, yet people like McEnany and Trump jump to wild conclusions–just confirmation bias without any kind of understanding about virology or epidemiology. This confirms my own understanding above about some of Fauci’s emails.


(Added 6:40 PM June 7, 2021)

I reviewed several new YouTube videos surrounding a potential lab-leak and Fauci’s emails, and a few of them struck me as excellent to add to this blog post.

Again, a lab-leak is quite possible, but we must not unfairly precipitate ourselves to such conclusions in the light of the scientific evidence; and I must here differentiate scientist’s assessment of this in contrast to non-scientists who tend to more uncarefully attack rather than fairly assess anything at all (not to mention the fringe, conspiracy theorists who perform even worse).

Having said these things, I here share these two videos that I found captivating:

Face to Face With Dr. Fauci | The Truth Is…”It’s Almost Over”

COVID Lab Leak, Kid’s Vaccines, Fauci Emails & More (w/Dr.Vinay Prasad)

There is some very informative discussion going on over at Peaceful Science’s Forum (Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass’ Website).

 


(Added 7:30 PM, Eastern Time, June 12, 2021)

Some further very informative exchanges continue to take place over at Peaceful Science’s Forum.

Psychiatrist Faizal Ali, who has been part of the exchanges in the forum above, has written a very informative blog post on this matter on his blog Better Right Than Happy:

Why the Wuhan lab leak conspiracy theory is wrong, and why it matters

His links to Ethan Siegel’s “The Wuhan Lab Leak Hypothesis Is A Conspiracy Theory, Not Science,” as well as Prof. Edward Holmes’s recorded presentation entitled “The Discovery and Origins of SARS-CoV-2,” were particularly powerful to me.