Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Was the possibility that COVID originated in a lab suppressed and silenced?

Asked by Demosthenes (12567points) June 4th, 2021
20 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-origins

“On February 19, 2020, The Lancet, among the most respected and influential medical journals in the world, published a statement that roundly rejected the lab-leak hypothesis, effectively casting it as a xenophobic cousin to climate change denialism and anti-vaxxism. Signed by 27 scientists, the statement expressed “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China” and asserted: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

The Lancet statement effectively ended the debate over COVID-19’s origins before it began. To Gilles Demaneuf, following along from the sidelines, it was as if it had been “nailed to the church doors,” establishing the natural origin theory as orthodoxy. “Everyone had to follow it. Everyone was intimidated. That set the tone.””

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I find it interesting that the dominant narrative was set so early before we knew much about the virus and its origins. And I’ve never been a fan of “narrative over facts”. Do you think COVID originated in a lab? Does it even matter? If it did, who was covering it up and why?

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Answers

product's avatar

@Demosthenes: “Does it even matter?”

No. It doesn’t.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Our fright wing friends sure want to believe that.
If it is proven man made , what more will that prove,do they want to make China liable for the Pandemic?
If this had happen (proven it was lab made)in the US they would have tried to get it under control before they alerted the rest of the world.

chyna's avatar

I don’t see how it matters at this point.

si3tech's avatar

@Demosthenes I believe so. Plandemic, to be precise.

Demosthenes's avatar

@chyna It could matter if we want to prevent a future pandemic. It could affect our relations with China.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Demosthenes What would prevent a future pandemics by knowing COVID-19 came from a lab? ? ^^^

product's avatar

@Demosthenes: “It could matter if we want to prevent a future pandemic.”

You and I will not be researching this. Leave it to the scientists. For us it does not matter.

@Demosthenes: “It could affect our relations with China.”

This is why non-scientists have an opinion. It’s called manipulation, and if you find yourself having an opinion on this, you might want to ask yourself why.

canidmajor's avatar

If Covid 19 originated in a lab, it was very unlikely that that it was engineered in a lab, no matter what conspiracy theorists like to say. Viral cultures are constantly being studied in thousands of labs around the world, because corona viruses are not uncommon, they are highly studied. There may have been a small, accidental leak of a mutated type.

”Plandemic” is a stupid word used by idiots to try to create panic.

KNOWITALL's avatar

In December of 2019 the BBC started having articles about the virus shutting down China. From what I recall it was all about the lab creation and leak into the population.

After the Chinese government shut down and/or silenced the scientists, not much information was to be had. Correct statistics were not willingly shared and so the rest of the world didn’t have as much information or prep time as they could have, in hindsight.

Whether or not any of us think the origin is important, I’m fairly certain China doesn’t care. They blame us, we blame them, and the truth lies somewhere in between, I’m sure.

chyna's avatar

@demosthenes How will knowing prevent further epidemics?

ucancallme_Al's avatar

Nothing about this virus has been silent.
Rather shouted from the highest rooftop, with gusto I might add!

sorry's avatar

super oversimplification by the media…. Fuck the media…. They’re assholes and I work in the industry and I’m over the top pissed at this shit. I also might have had a few beers… so there is that also.

Demosthenes's avatar

@chyna I’m sorry, I’m just not accustomed to this “knowledge doesn’t matter” attitude. I don’t think knowing more about this pandemic’s origins can ever be a bad thing. At the very least, it could lead to improvements in lab safety if it leaked unintentionally. Clearly I’m also concerned with the way the media prematurely latches onto a narrative and effectively closes a discussion, which is a bad practice regardless of the topic.

@sorry Join the club ;)

sorry's avatar

Look… I’m facing the end of the academic year and it’s been HORRIBLE. I guess you’re just going to have to take my word for it. Me and my colleagues have had so many out of the weird field asked of us by the media, that we couldn’t even give an answer… and that was seen as some how ‘subterfuge.’ but the media were asking questions that were based on false preconceptions. We were automatically on the back foot because we had to explain why their question was based on fiction…. which they didn’t like to hear. does that make any sort of sense now… as I hear it…

product's avatar

@Demosthenes: “I’m sorry, I’m just not accustomed to this “knowledge doesn’t matter” attitude.”

Keep in mind that nobody (as in not a single person on the planet) is claiming that scientists shouldn’t research the virus. That’s silly. What is being proposed is that since you are sitting out 99.999999% of the research on this virus, you should also sit out the one part people are using to manipulate you.

@Demosthenes: “I don’t think knowing more about this pandemic’s origins can ever be a bad thing.”

Nobody (as in not a single person on the planet) would ever claim this.

@Demosthenes: “At the very least, it could lead to improvements in lab safety if it leaked unintentionally.”

That’s what scientists are working on. Scientists. Not propagandists on corporate media or your friends or you. You are not going to figure this out. This is a case where a little bit of knowledge on this subject can actually hurt.

@Demosthenes: “Clearly I’m also concerned with the way the media prematurely latches onto a narrative and effectively closes a discussion, which is a bad practice regardless of the topic.”

Scientific reporting in corporate media has always been a problem. The only solution would be to either ban it from being reported on or educate the public so that they are not susceptible to things like this. Again, your concerns here are only possible because of direct propaganda campaigns aimed at making sure you are concerned. There are approximately 9 billion scientific controversies that are being worked on right now. And you just happen to be worked up about the one that is being used to fire up the public’s xenophobic and nationalistic tendencies.

seawulf575's avatar

I keep seeing that it doesn’t matter. That is a foolish statement in my opinion. If we don’t know how this started for sure, it will definitely happen again. Do all of you that say it doesn’t matter want to go through another year like 2020?

seawulf575's avatar

As for the Lancet article, I have read it. I cited it in a different thread. For them to claim it wasn’t a leak was, at a bare minimum, irresponsible. Their data was from the first 41 cases found in China. Of those, 13 had no contact with the wet market. That is about 32% of the cases that were not associated with the bats at the wet market. Kinda hard to discount other methods of transmission (other than bats) with that sort of percentage. And 100% of those doing the test were directly under the control of the Chinese government. The Chinese government, if it was a lab leak, would want to suppress that, given the world wide damage that was done.
Not saying it was or wasn’t a lab leak, but I truly believe we need to investigate it honestly and thoroughly.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

“I keep seeing that it doesn’t matter. That is a foolish statement in my opinion. If we don’t know how this started for sure, it will definitely happen again. Do all of you that say it doesn’t matter want to go through another year like 2020?”

^^^^is that your doctoral opinion ?^^^^^

It matters especially since 600,000 people in the USA are dead and 400,000 didn’t need to die (because of miss management by old Tangerine make-up they did die) but according to Trump “It is what it is.”
Also known as don’t blame me I was only President.

Demosthenes's avatar

@product I don’t know why you keep mentioning scientists; I am not suggesting that scientists are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing nor am I suggesting that I should be doing the work instead. I like to know things. That’s the way I’ve always been. I also don’t like to be lied to and I don’t like people being prevented from discovering the truth because the truth is politically inconvenient.

I am all for the public being better educated. As I’ve pointed out before, the pandemic was an example of science being done in real time and being reported as it was done. The public was not used to this and found it disturbing the way things that seemed to be authoritative and lasting changed (e.g. “masks don’t work”) and were retracted as new information came to light. But there’s a difference between “the evidence we have now indicates it was not a lab leak” and “let’s all sign a pledge saying it’s impossible for it to have been a lab leak”.

product's avatar

@Demosthenes: “But there’s a difference between “the evidence we have now indicates it was not a lab leak” and “let’s all sign a pledge saying it’s impossible for it to have been a lab leak”.”

The work of scientists was under threat by these conspiracy theories. The statement, signed by a mere 27 scientists on February 20th 2020 was a public attempt to allow the science to continue by telling non-scientists to cut the shit. (“The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins.”) It was a public declaration in hopes of saving the open-channels that were necessary to do the critical work that they were doing.

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