Corrupted groupthunk ineptitude in virology may create further pandemics
Probably more egregious than the quasi-vaccinocentric failings of mainstream medicine and immunology
Here are some arguments (in 4 - Virology research dangers below) that a disastrous pattern has emerged, which must be reversed if we are to prevent further pandemics like COVID-19: that virology research created the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19, that the same type of research continues to this day and that it is being performed by many more researchers, in many more labs, with greater fervency - and lack of proper regulation and safeguards - precisely because of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased public funding and support for this inherently reckless research.
The text below is primarily comments I made to two beautiful, important, articles by Alex Washburn, in his Substack alexwasburne.substack.com :
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The first article alexwasburne.substack.com/p/a-synthetic-origin-of-sars-cov-2:
describes his work with two colleagues which analyses the genome of two early Wuhan variants of SARS-CoV-2 in ways which have not been attempted before and which reveal patterns which could only result from these being recently descended from a synthetic, chimeric, laboratory engineered, virus. This is an advanced layman level summary of their pre-print (not formally reviewed by others, but in fact, having benefited from review by multiple experts in the field):
Endonuclease fingerprint indicates a synthetic origin of SARS-CoV-2
Valentin Bruttel, Alex Washburne and Antonius VanDongen
bioRxiv 2022-10-20 (Preprint.)
The second article is Alex’s explanation of his scientific and moral principles, the background to the above research, and his response to recent criticism: alexwasburne.substack.com/p/open-letter-to-the-world:
I would be very happy if you stopped here are read these two Substack articles. I lack the time and expertise to fully evaluate the bioRxiv article, which I have not read.
Below are two of the three comments I made to the first article and one I made to the second. You may find these interesting, but they are not an attempt to summarise or represent what Alex’s articles contain.
I have not written a Substack article in 3 months, primarily due to concentrating on paying work. I have made some improvements to the submission I wrote, and which Patrick Chambers MD co-signed, to a UK government enquiry into vitamin D. They did not receive this submission, but I have improved to make it by far the best single document anywhere which cites and discusses research on vitamin D and the immune system:
I plan to write some Substack articles as guides to the most important aspects of this. For now:
For why everyone should supplement vitamin D3 in sufficient quantity to raise their circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D to at least the 50 ng/mL 125 nmol/L level their immune system needs to function properly: vitamindstopscovid.info/00-evi/#00-quraishi .
Vitamin D supplemental quantities as ratios of body weight: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/00-evi/#sjw-updated-ratios . For instance, for 70 kg 154 lb body weight, without obesity or several other conditions of ill-health, 70 to 90 IU per day per kilogram bodyweight, with the lower ratio being 1/8th of a milligram a day = 125 micrograms, also known by the scarily high number of “5000 IU” per day.
Ordinary daily vitamin D3 cholecalciferol intakes take months to raise 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Bolus (single high dose) vitamin D3 intakes such as 10 mg take about 4 days. For clinical emergencies, such as sepsis, COVID-19, Kawasaki disease, MIS-C etc. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels can be boosted safely over 50 ng/mL in about 4 hours with a single oral dose of calcifediol, which is 25-hydroxyvitamin D. For 70 kg body weight, just 1 milligram is sufficient: nutritionmatters.substack.com/p/calcifediol-to-boost-25-hydroxyvitamin .
Please also see the July 2022 article in Nutrients by New Jersey based Professor of Medicine Sunil Wimalawansa which concerns many of these subjects, and from which the above-linked body weight based vitamin D3 supplemental intake recommendations come from: Rapidly Increasing Serum 25(OH)D Boosts the Immune System, against Infections - Sepsis and COVID-19: www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/14/2997/htm .
The image above is from Walt Disney’s 1940 animated musical anthology, Fantasia. This is the part of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasia_(1940_film)#The_Sorcerer's_Apprentice_2 in which Mickey Mouse’s attempt to destroy an errant and indeed demonic broom made matters very much worse. I cite this segment, from www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DX2yVucz24&t=340s in 4 - Virology research dangers below.
“Corrupted groupthunk ineptitude” is shorthand for the sprawling morass of failures which are such a prominent and egregious feature of mainstream medicine today, alongside its many brilliant achievements and benefits. I had not heard of “groupthunk” before, but there is a book with this name.
Numbers 1 and 3 of my three comments in response to Alex Washburn’s 2022-10-21 article: A synthetic origin of SARS-CoV-2 . My 2nd comment was a quick account of how most doctors do not understand the immune system’s need for 50 ng/mL 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
1 - Queries about techniques for producing chimeric viruses
Thanks very much to you and your colleagues! Here are some questions prompted by reading your explanation/summary, above, and glancing at the article itself, which I lack the time and expertise to read and understand properly.
I found this Substack article via German COVID-19 (and other matters) super-sleuth eugyppius: www.eugyppius.com/p/new-evidence-for-sars-cov-2-lab-origins (426 likes and 222 comments. This is a Substack site accessible via the author’s domain name.)
I understand that a typical approach to researching viruses such as these is to copy (with an enzyme) the viral RNA into DNA and then to physically break the DNA into multiple segments of a convenient general size, ideally (this is probably essential) with the breaks resulting in each segment containing one or a few important genes. Then, by some manipulations, take out one or more of the segments and introduce other broadly similar, but different in detail, segments, with suitably (and very finely crafted) sticky ends so they naturally reassemble themselves into a complete piece of DNA which can be copied into RNA. The new RNA therefore contains primarily chosen segments from two or more sources as well as traces of the restriction sites and sticky ends. This can easily be introduced into a cell's cytoplasm (using electricity to break holes in the cell membrane) where the ribosomes go to work on the RNA and produce the proteins it encodes, thereby causing the cell to produce a bunch of viruses containing the same RNA. (One of those proteins is an enzyme which copies the original RNA so a copy can be encapsulated in each virus particle.)
I know enough about cell biology to be reasonably confident that the above is a general description of this way of working with viruses. However, I lack the expertise to know where to look for answers to the following questions. If you can answer them, or point to relevant articles, I think it would help quite a few people understand your work and the likely origins of SARS-CoV-2.
You mention that in order to make the restriction sites where the DNA will be cut, it is necessary to alter the viral RNA (before its information is copied to DNA) so that particular short patterns occur, which constitute the restriction site to which a given endonuclease enzyme binds, and so cuts the DNA. I understand that with great care - and I guess some necessary preconditions which enable this to be done only in certain parts of the genome - that it is possible to create these restriction sites by individual base-pair en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_pair changes which alter each codon of three base-pairs en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_code#Codons in a way which does not change the amino acid (or start or stop function) each codon codes for: hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Organic/gencode.html . (Such changes are known as silent mutations.)
(1) How do researchers make these individual base-pair changes to viral RNA? I know researchers have electronic files of the exact base pairs of numerous particular viruses which have been discovered or synthesized. As far as I know there are also services (or machines which can be run inside the researchers' lab) which can be given a file of base pairs and will produce a set of RNA molecules, each having that sequence of base pairs. If so, then why bother with DNA, slicing and reassembly when it would be easier to edit the file and order up the exact RNA which is desired? I can easily imagine there are cost and/or practical restrictions which make this impossible or undesirable.
However, at present I have no understanding of how individual base-pairs in viral RNA can be altered, with precision, other than by synthesizing the whole RNA according to an electronic file. Likewise the base-pair changes which remove existing restriction sites.
(2) I understand that in your tables and graphs, you chose two of the now countless thousands of SARS-CoV-2 variants as examples of early (Wuhan) variants: SARS2-WiV04 and SARS2-Whu1. Can you give us non-specialist readers an understanding of why you chose these two. Quick Google searches lead me to: https://gisaid.org/wiv04/ . "WiV04" gets 15k hits, but there are only 22 hits for this and "WHu1".
(3) Assuming that the restriction sites you identified in both the WiV04 and WHu1 variants delineate the ends of discrete segments of the genome, can you tell us anything about the the characteristics of each of these segments? This is beyond the scope of your work, but it would enable us to understand how researchers might have copied an entire segment from some particular strain of some other coronavirus either complete and intact, or with some modifications.
3 - The pandemic response and cover-up of its origins are arguably a greater crime than the creation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
It would be interesting to see a similar analysis of the earliest Omicron variant genomes, since their emergence is profoundly mysterious, given their only known, non-lab, links to other SARS-CoV-2 variants go back to mid-2020. I recall suggestions that these were a lab escape from research in South Africa. If so, perhaps there would be distinctive signs of such research in their genomes.
Whoever made the initial virus in the lab knows very well that the pandemic would not have occurred if either they had not done this research or if their containment methods were adequate. It is reasonable to assume the lab escape was in the Wuhan lab. I recall reading of reports of illness among some lab workers, and that this preceded the 2019-10-18 to 27 Military World Games which spread the disease within Wuhan and then to the countries of contestants: link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11845-020-02484-0 .
No matter where the work was done, the lives of those involved and who are covering up their work would be in peril if their actions were to be revealed, due to their government (not just the Chinese government) being so hell-bent on suppressing this information, but also due to popular hatred and fear that the same researchers may cause another disaster.
So the actual experimenters and probably dozens or hundreds of people around them know exactly who did the work and when it escaped.
It could be argued that this work was the crime of the century, to date. However, here are some arguments as to why both the quasi-vaccine-centric pandemic response (at last in most developed countries) and the continuing cover-up are greater crimes.
The original lab-escape occurred with a strain of virus which resulted from what was - and probably still is (such as the recent 80% kill Boston variant) standard procedure in many virus research labs. As such, the particular actions of these researchers were unremarkable - probably dozens to hundreds of teams all around the world have been, and probably still are, creating chimeric viruses. I can understand the scientific value in making such chimeric viruses, and I can imagine major difficulties in virus research if all such activities were banned outright.
In terms of culpability, creating the chimeric variant is arguably very low, since so many well-respected researchers were doing the same thing all over the world. One could argue, with hindsight, that the researchers were highly culpable because their containment methods failed. However, to what extent were their containment methods significantly less likely to fail than those used in other labs?
While it is difficult to separate virus research from research into bioweapons, since any research into improving immunity can also be weaponized by aggressive nations by applying this to their population, at present I don't know any convincing arguments that the research was driven partly or entirely for the purpose of biological warfare. If it was, then the researchers' culpability is extraordinarily high.
In terms of outcome, it is easy to argue that the effects of the research and lab escape were monumentally harmful, and so culpability of the researchers should be assigned accordingly, with some consideration as to how much they should have anticipated such an outcome.
However, I argue that the pandemic response itself has been a far greater crime in two dimensions. Firstly in terms of the egregious and at times sociopathic neglect of and/or hostility to the real needs of the public, and secondly in terms of the severity of the outcome. These are massive subjects, but the harm caused by social-distancing, lockdowns, masking, quasi-vaccines, vaccine mandates, censorship of discussion, especially by medical professionals, and the resulting distrust of medical professionals, politicians and law enforcement have arguably caused more harm than the virus itself. A particularly harmful and inexcusably reckless or deliberate aspect of the mainstream pandemic response was - and still is - the suppression, demonization and banning of all forms of early treatment, with the obvious purpose of corralling the public into accepting the quasi-vaccines, at least until the multinational pharmaceutical companies devised their own, extremely expensive, and not very useful, early treatments. Even if one did not know about vitamin D, this banning of early treatments on such a scale is arguably the real crime of the century to date.
The continuing cover-up of the origins of the virus is a strong contender for the crime of the century to date. This and other research shows there is such a cover-up, by dozens or hundreds of people and the organisations and governments for whom they work.
By deliberately preventing humanity from understanding the origins of this great disaster, those covering their actions contribute to fear, lack of action to prevent a recurrence, and to distrust of authorities, as well as to thwarting everyone's reasonable desires for a clear, scientific understanding of what happened, and for those responsible to be held accountable.
I believe that part of this cover-up extends to the whole field of virology. Collectively, virologists should have known, from early 2020 - and should all know now - that this pandemic occurred due to the work of virologists. Why then have there been inadequate steps to research the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and to identify those who were responsible? Why has there so far been no prominent, global, discussion and action taken by virologists and regulators to ban, or reliably safeguard, whatever research techniques resemble the actual work which resulted in this release?
I fear we are rapidly entering an age of more and more numerous and more serious breaches of trust and responsibility by whole professions and by governments regarding freedom of speech, scientific rigour, determination of responsibility and concerted regulatory action to prevent a recurrence. For instance, what if the Boston variant was highly virulent and transmissible in humans and/or other animals AND it happened to escape confinement?
4 - Virology research dangers
My comment in response to Alex Washburn’s 2022-10-21 article: alexwasburne.substack.com/p/open-letter-to-the-world.
It had not occurred to me that the pandemic response involves a proliferation of exactly the same type of virology research which created SARS-CoV-2. A handful of virologists are aghast at this and the remainder are oblivious or covering their collective asses by denying the risks in order that they can keep sucking at the billions of dollars engorged mammary glands of the internationally government funded and popularly celebrated Medical Research Industry.
Sci-fi novelists and video-game authors could not conceive of such twisted scenario: Generally good-hearted people, thinking they are doing much the same as the ideals to which you truly aspire, by their research into understanding and preventing disease, create pathogens which escape and cause far worse and more widespread disease than in prior experience. The corrupted groupthunk ineptitude which permeates mainstream medicine, government, immunology and virology (virtually none of these people realise how weak and pro-inflammatory the average person's immune responses are, due to lack of 25-hydroxyvitamin D vitamindstopscovid.info/00-evi/ ) leads them, with public support, to increase the amount of viral research which, in the absence of suitable regulation and even proper recognition of the perils, means more and more chimeric and otherwise engineered pathogens will be produced in the lab, with each such experiment being like Russian roulette with the bullet in the chamber being another COVID-19 scale pandemic.
Each such pandemic is the seed particle upon which rampant corrupted and otherwise harmful responses grow, further weakening society and further driving the reckless quasi-vaccination programs, oppression and still more dangerous virology research.
All this in an unsustainable economic setting, with increasing levels of government overreach and outright censorship and suppression of dissent.
I thought immediately of Mickey Mouse chopping up the troublesome broomstick only to find that unintended consequences made this a very bad idea: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DX2yVucz24&t=340s .
If only this was a game or a dystopian novel. Instead, it is as deadly and forcefully real as a stranded car being shredded by a freight train and its occupants' bodies being turned into mincemeat.
While some of us might escape the actual infection, none of us can avoid our lives, and the lives of everyone we know and depend upon, being vastly disrupted, dispirited and traumatised by what has occurred, and what will be even more likely to occur in the future unless the true origins of SARS-CoV-2 AND the vitamin D starved and so weakened immune systems which enabled its rapid transmission and destructive impact are widely understood, and suitable steps taken, in all countries, to prevent these problems in the future.
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Hello Robin - I have added another voice to the Vitamin D chorus. This piece of mine may add one or two papers to the mix that your readers have not seen yet;
Regarding Vitamin D: I have taken it daily for years. My regimen is 5000 IU daily, which nets me a circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D of 90+ ng/mL. My wife and I recently contracted C19 on a trip. I bounced back pretty quickly. Our adult children all caught it from us and they, along with my wife, are taking longer to shake the coughing. They are not as diligent about vitamins. I also took HCQ during my bout. It is said to be more effective than IVR on the later variants. I can safely say the vitamin usage coupled with my overall health (BMI-normal weight, daily fitness routine) have made me healthier overall. So my advice is to take your vitamin-d and get in shape. It was, for all intents and purposes, a strange cold.