And speaking of genetically engineered viruses, it is worth reminding that none other than Nature in 2015 described an "experiment that created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus" which has "triggered renewed debate over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks."
In an article published in Nature Medicine on 9 November 2015, titled "A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence" and one of whose authors was Shi Zhengli, the top researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, we read how researchers created a chimaeric virus, made up of a surface protein of SHC014 and the backbone of a SARS virus that had been adapted to grow in mice and to mimic human disease. The chimaera infected human airway cells — proving that the surface protein of SHC014 has the necessary structure to bind to a key receptor on the cells and to infect them.
Although almost all coronaviruses isolated from bats have not been able to bind to the key human receptor, SHC014 is not the first that can do so. In 2013, researchers reported this ability for the first time in a different coronavirus isolated from the same bat population2.
As Nature wrote in 2015:
The findings reinforce suspicions that bat coronaviruses capable of directly infecting humans (rather than first needing to evolve in an intermediate animal host) may be more common than previously thought, the researchers say.
But other virologists question whether the information gleaned from the experiment justifies the potential risk. Although the extent of any risk is difficult to assess, Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, points out that the researchers have created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory,” he says.
A little over 4 years later, we now know exactly what the trajectory is, if indeed the coronavirus is the outcome of the same experiments Nature described back in 2015.
Here are the key points:
1. Normally, bat coronaviruses are not able to bind to human receptors, although they show that pontential if modified.
2. We know the Chinese were attempting to engineer bat coronaviruses so that the engineered virus could bind to human receptors in airway cells.
3. The Chinese work was being done at the the Wuhan Institute of Virology--a bioweapons lab. What other purpose could there possibly be for engineering a modified coronavirus to bind to human receptors in airway cells--except for possible use as a bioweapon?
4. Other virologists regarded this Chinese work as high risk and unpredictable in its consequences if the virus should escape.
UPDATE 1: Another article from Zerohedge: Coronavirus Panic Goes Global. Check out this summary:
- Italy confirms 3rd death
- 4 more cases confirmed in UK
- 200 Israelis quarantined
- Italy cancels last 2 days of carnivale in Venice as cases soar above 100
- SK total cases above 600, rivals 'Diamond Princess' for biggest outbreak outside China
- Trump says US has everything 'under control' as he asks Congress for more money
- EU's Gentiloni says he has 'full confidence' In Italian health officials
- Turkey, Pakistan close borders with Iran as confirmed cases soar
- Global Times says virus may not have originated at Hunan seafood market
- Axios reports shortages of 150 essential drugs likely.
The deeper you dig the more disturbing it gets.
Why would 200 Israelis be quarantined? Because nine Korean tourists tested positive for the virus following a return trip from Israel. Yesterday, Tel Aviv issued travel warnings for South Korea and Japan. Travel warnings for East Asia? That should do wonders for the economy in those areas.
Why would Turkey and Pakistan close their borders with Iran?
In just a matter of days, the death toll in Iran has climbed to 8 on Sunday. Assuming a mortality rate of 2%, that would imply Iran had ~400 cases one month ago when these patients were likely infected. That means there could be thousands of cases roaming around the country already.
And it goes on.
Maybe this will lead the world to reconsider its support for the Chicom regime, and for economic dependence on China.
UPDATE 2: "Crazy Amount Of Requests:" Private Jet Demand Soars As Elites Flee Asia Amid Pandemic. Elites--probably the people with access to the best information.