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28 April 2020

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BillWade

Fred,laughing here, you really like splitting hairs don't you? so, laughing again I'll get even: it's anthropology.

No, it won't be me "getting the folks in Asia to listen to a retiree in Florida bemoan overdevelopment due to out of towners with money." It will be President Trump when he makes the CCP pay the price, other countries will follow suit.

turcopolier

All

I favor the idea of seizing their assets in the US as we did with the Iranians. Tesla, McDonalds, etc. would be exposed in China but a lot of that is owned by local franchises and Musk could absorb the loss all by himself.

Fred

Col.,
Sounds like a great idea.

R Zarate

Who is English Outsider? He or she deserves a regular column.

turcopolier

R. Zarate

Not a bad idea. EO, are you interested in being a guest author? The deal is that you write when you please about what you please unless I think it does not deserve to be on SST.

Yeah, Right

"Looks like you got in just in time to avoid the ban. Imagine that."

I was a long-planned vacation, Fred. Saigon, Hanoi, Da Nang, but none of the more interesting tourist places as they were all shut before we got to them.

"Did they accept your health declaration or was it diplomatic travel?"

They accepted out health declaration, took our temperature, and let us through.

"Of course "Vietnamese-to-Vietnamese transmission" won't happen if you blame it all on the foreigners."

I got into the habit while we were there of reading this enewspaper ever morning:
https://baodanang.vn/english/

Every case was discussed. Every "track back" was explained, sometimes in quite amusing detail; the shop where an interaction took plan would be named, which can't be good for business.

There did not appear to be any attempt to deceive or obfuscate, and one news report is my all-time-favourite: Corona Music Video Goes Viral!

"I thought you got banned, though not for being a communist propagandist. Thanks for the police state advice."

*sigh*

You may want to sit down for this, because I suspect it will come as a shock: there will be times when people do not agree with you because your facts are wrong. Nothing more. No less.

Nothing ideological.
Nothing personal.
Nothing to do with opinion or employment.

They'll simply think your facts are wrong, and shouldn't be allowed to stand without challenge.

Weird, heh?

Eric Newhill

Yeah right,
I'm afraid you are wrong, again. Do you think that just because the CDC published somewhat vague guidelines that everyone is going to follow the spirit of the guidelines (whatever that might be)? Especially with so much possible funding for "hard hit" cities and hospitals and opportunity for advancement of political goals floating around?

My career for the past 20 years - pathetic as it may be - involves analyzing healthcare insurance data; currently associated with 10s of millions of people. We have DB2 and Oracle warehouses full of all kinds of data and we have powerful analytical tools to go into those warehouses. We create clinical and demographic profiles of members (patients), profiles of practice patterns of providers (doctors, hospitals), study cost drivers, treatment efficacy, etc, etc, etc.

On claims forms there are data like place of service (where it happened), diagnoses, provider IDs, procedures, drug codes and so on and so forth. With data we can see that people were discharged to nursing homes with a covid diagnosis. We can see what their chronic conditions are. We see their age and medical history. We can see who died based on a few data elements, but especially discharge codes denoting the patient died.

I am telling you that people are being admitted to hospitals having a heart attack, testing positive for covid, dying shortly thereafter and the death being attributed to covid. I see patterns of elderly people being diagnosed with covid and then being discharged to nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities. I know which facilities and where they are. I can see that people with serious conditions are unable to visit their doctor.

We also have case management outreach wherein nurses talk to members - and complaint lines that are inundated with complaints about not being to see a doctor.

Can you imagine a 12 year old with "stomach pain" being told to just rest and stay warm, drink water and use a mild laxative and her mother desperately saying that it's not just constipation and that she needs to go to a doctor, but the doctor isn't seeing patients? Can you imagine it turning out that the girl is actually experiencing appendicitis and is at risk for death? Can you imagine how many people are going through similar potentially life threatening situations? Do you think that number might equal or exceed the number allegedly killed by the virus? What do you think an emergency room looks like right now (hint; it's not that way because of covid, but because the doctors have closed their practices during the panic/shutdown of society and the ER is the only place where there is a chance of receiving medical help).

You have no idea what you're talking about.

walrus

JJackson,

My information came from a private briefing at a private institution which I reported to SST on 6th March. I didn’t take notes. To paraphrase what I was told , part of a University here includes a sentinel Lab associated with the WHO. They specialize in detecting “new” types of virus if that makes sense rather than specializing on particular virus groups like most. I don’t know the technical details but WHO called them 2 January and they identified the virus as a member of the coronavirus family. That information went to a group in holland, rotterdam I think, that specializes in corona virii. They identified it as a new unseen before, type.

This all happened between 2 - 5 January.. I may be in error by a day or two but that is the gist of it. My post on 6 March contains all I knew at the time and was written same day as the briefing.

JJackson

Fred - Firstly an apology I wrote H7N9 and it should read H5N1.
That is not what happened you are making stuff up to fit your narrative. It was nothing to do with lab escapes. In the unlikely event you actually want to know what happened the following is a brief overview and a much more detailed account can be found at the link. Fouchier was working in the Netherlands and Kawaoka in the US and their experiment had some funding from the NIH which allowed the NSABB (a US gov. body tasked with looking at dual use biology research) to get involved. The results of their work were to be published in Nature but the NSABB tried to force them to edit out the sequence data from their paper because they thought it could be useful to someone trying to make a weaponised flu. A long battle ensued splitting the virological, and wider scientific community, and was basically about the US government trying to censor scientific publications. The result was a temporary holding of the paper while the community agreed to a broader review of what should, and should not, be published. While this was going on there was a moratorium on all gain of function research which had any US government funding. In the end the NSABB decided to lift the moratorium and the paper was published in full. I was against the censorship as the sequence data was not dangerous but was potentially very useful in looking at the changes in wild bird sequences to predict the likelihood of a flu pandemic much like the COVID problem we are dealing with now. (My reasoning is in post #139)
https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/the-pandemic-discussion-forum/118157-man-made-h5n1-super-version

EO
The problem of the pandemic plans goes back to 2005 at which time H5N1 avian flu was causing sporadic outbreaks in humans and was killing about half of them. The 1918 H1N1 had a CFR of about 2% and this seemed to have one nearer 50% which caused everyone to sit up and take notice. Every country was busily creating pandemic preparedness plans including the UK. The UK plan at the time did not even begin to address a 50% CFR pandemic but worked on 3 scenarios the most severe of which was based on 1918. As no flu pandemic ensued, although H5N1 is still circulating and has now been joined by H7N9 (also ~50% CFR) and many other variants, it got stuck in a draw and largely ignored. The fact that it was based on flu is in fact a good thing because SARS-2 is also a respiratory pathogen with very similar transmission dynamics, droplets & fomites, so the planning would be applicable to both. The plan was however flawed for two main reasons 1] It made no attempt to plan for a severe pandemic, despite H5N1 being the reason for its creation. 2] Although flu was, and still is, the greatest danger for a pandemic it did not account for a new disease with a different transmission method (food/water borne or contact like norovirus). As with everything else the biggest problem is our inability to stick with it, the danger does not change and we are in greater danger from a high path flu pandemic today than were in 2005 but human attention span is very short term relative to the evolutionary time scale of even the most rapidly mutating RNA virus.

Re The IHR(2005). This was badly needed update of the 1969 IHR and one of its major features was a change from an enumerated threats list to a flow chart in Annex 2 (linked to from post #1 below) which could cope with any kind of zoonotic pathogen. I had major problems with the IHR(2005) but these related to limited powers given to the WHO by the nation states which hobbled the Director Generals ability to act.
The link is to a post of mine written just after the IHRs publication (post #1) and further down the page (post #12) you will find a simplified version of relevant sections of the IHR I wrote for the West African Ebola outbreak when they again became a factor.
https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/the-pandemic-discussion-forum/jjackson-s-workshop/32603-on-the-role-of-who-ihr-2005-reveres-posts

Yeah, Right

English Outsider, interesting link here that may be relevant to some of the things you discussed, and more generally in this thread:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK368395/

Some quotes:
"Because of the critical consequences of delayed or non-reporting, WHO CHEPR should create a mechanism to hold accountable countries that try to suppress or delay reporting. Countries that share information quickly should be lauded and supported"

That might explain the effusive praise from the WHO for China's efforts. Not so much "captive" as it is "following protocol".

"Similarly, the CHEPR should create protocols to dissuade member states and the private sector from implementing unnecessary restrictions on trade and travel."

Obviously of relevance here to the accusation that China was irresponsible for letting infected individuals fly around the globe.

"To prevent travel bans, relevant stakeholders, such as the International Air Transport Association and the World Trade Organization, should be engaged prior to the next outbreak."

This might well be one of the reasons that the WHO took into account before declaring a pandemic.

These are all recommendations, as far as I can tell, and I have no idea if they were formally adopted. But they do indicate the Western "mindset" as late as 2016, and are an eerie predictor of what actually went down Jan - Feb 2020

Fred

Jjackson,

My initial source was the MSM, I am not surprised if their reports at the time or now are in error or "made up" to fit a narrative. It is beside the point as the Chinese lab leak and their government's response is the root causation of the deaths and economic destruction. There are also official records.

Obama Whitehouse records from 2014.
https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2014/10/17/doing-diligence-assess-risks-and-benefits-life-sciences-gain-function-research

https://healthjournalism.org/blog/2018/01/nih-lifts-ban-on-dangerous-pathogen-research/

You had problems with the WHO because the nation states only grant limited powers to it? Thank God for that. The UN is not a global government, nor is the WHO particularly trustworthy related to its executive leadership's conduct at this time.

turcopolier

walrus

What do you think? Is "yeah, right" a Chinese agent of influence?

Yeah, Right

Eric Newhill: "You have no idea what you're talking about."

And you have just spent 6 paragraphs making evidence-free claims.

"I am telling you that people are being admitted to hospitals having a heart attack, testing positive for covid, dying shortly thereafter and the death being attributed to covid."

Look, Eric, you are making a claim that you can not substantiate.

I have spelt out the WHO guidelines. I have pointed out that every country on Earth has adopted those guidelines. And I am quite correct to point out that the question you posed:
"Dies of cancer in hospice, but tested positive? Covid death."
is incorrect.

Feel free to point out that some people fill in the forms incorrectly. I'm sure they do, for any number of reasons.

But don't pretend that this anything other than that.

Yeah, Right

JJackson: " I had major problems with the IHR(2005) but these related to limited powers given to the WHO by the nation states which hobbled the Director Generals ability to act."

Fred: "Thank God for that. The UN is not a global government, nor is the WHO particularly trustworthy related to its executive leadership's conduct at this time."

There are serious cases of "having your cake and eating it too" in some of these threads.

Critics who will castigate the WHO for not acting soon enough, or forcefully enough.
Those same critics will then state - without a hint of irony - that It's A Damn Good Thing that nation states have hobbled the WHO, and no mistake.

Yeah, Right

walrus, you can always ask me.

But for what it is worth, if Pat Lang answers your question with a "yes" then he is making an error in judgement.

Up to you if you want to believe it or not but, so sorry, I am the only person who is in a position to answer authoritatively, and the answer is "no".

turcopolier

yeah right

I asked him the question, not the other way round.

Eric Newhill

yeah wrong,

Do you habitually call people liars, or is it only on the internet and not to their face?

Yeah, Right

Walrus, I went back and re-read your original article from Mar 6.

One thing struck me was this: "On or about 10th January the researchers in Australia and elsewhere concluded it was a new virus."

I then went back to your post in another article where you pointed JJackson to this news report:
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/how-early-signs-of-the-coronavirus-were-spotted-spread-and-throttled-in-china

There seems to be some very serious discrepancies between what you were briefed and what that newspaper was reporting.

In particular:
"As early as Dec 27, a Guangzhou-based genomics company had sequenced most of the virus from fluid samples from the lung of a 65-year old deliveryman"

"On Dec 27, the lab worked had sequenced most of the virus' genome and had confirmed it was a coronavirus similar to the Sars virus, the article said."

"Industry leader BGI received a sample from a Wuhan hospital on Dec 26. Sequencing was completed by Dec 29, and showed while it was not the virus that causes Sars, it was a previously unseen coronavirus that was about 80 per cent similar to it."

Yeah, Right

Colonel, you can simply go back and see the history of my posts on this site. It goes back many years and it covers many topics, irrespective of how often you have disagreed with me - which is very often.

For me to be a Chinese agent of influence would require me to have a prescience that I would, indeed, love to possess.

But, alas....

Yeah, Right

"I asked him the question, not the other way round."

Ah, so you did. My apologies to you both.

turcopolier

Yeah, right

You are a controlled agent with guidance.

RussianBot

There are a few comments suggesting the president was slow to respond to the pandemic and he failed to heed warnings from intelligence briefings. That Trump failed to take the virus seriously. These are sentiments broadly shared within the press.

The president has been sabotaged at every turn. Can we blame him for believing this was yet another hoax? That he was being baited to like a fascist by shutting down the country, hurtling the economy (his strong point) towards a recession? Can we blame him for distrusting the intelligence community, which took seriously claims he paid prostitutes to pee on a bed, and was responsible for spying on his campaign?

That isn't to say the president isn't completely excused for some of his less than competent moments (and let's face it, considering some of his whoopers, I'm putting it very mildly), but the failures we are now seeing is the result of a broken political process, not the failings of one man alone.

There's a valid question of whether or not China, a country intent on overtaking the US status as the world's sole eminent power, may have deliberately set about sabotaging the US and West as a whole. We don't see any other country in the world going to the same lengths as China to conceal their number of dead. This is a country run by billionaires who spout Marxist nonsense (and unlike the billionaires in the West, these ones don't pretend they're not Marxists). We can't afford to put our worst suspicions past them, not when the US starts to air suspicions and China's first response is to secretly test nukes.

walrus

Col. Lang,

Too polite and unquestioning of me to be genuine. I left a few loose ends that most Aussies would chew on and they weren’t picked up.

English Outsider

Colonel! Have now been fully reconnected to SST.

It's a shameful story. For weeks I've been thinking Typepad had lost it. Comments there one day were gone the next. Some never appeared at all. I had devised an ingenious way of getting to the lost comments via "recent comments" but that only worked as long as those "recent comments" remained current.

This morning I was cursing away as I tried various ways of reconstructing the comment section, and an infant wandered past. "Try pressing those two little arrows" he said. I did.

Now I have full access to your magnificent blog again. But I didn't quite like the pitying tone in which the infant uttered those words.

It is in fact a unique site and you are doing us all a great favour by running it. If I find I have anything relevant to contribute to it I most certainly will.
Posted by: English Outsider |

JJackson

The following is the WHO official timeline as given by Dr. Tedros on 29th of April (I have edit it slightly to remove asides) the full video can be found here https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

“Today I would like to take a few moments to look back at
the period preceding that announcement to be clear about what WHO knew and what we did,
which could help the country to understand the three months.
On 31st December WHO's epidemic intelligence system picked up a report about a cluster of
cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, China. The following day, New Year's
Day, WHO asked China for more information under the International Health Regulations and
activated our incident management support team to co-ordinate the response across
headquarters and our regional and country offices.
On 2nd January WHO informed the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network or
GOARN, which includes more than 260 institutions in more than 70 countries.
On 3rd January China provided information to WHO through a face-to-face meeting in
Beijing and through WHO's event information system, established under the International
Health Regulations. On 4th January WHO reported the cluster of cases on Twitter. At that
stage no deaths were reported.
On 5th January WHO shared detailed technical information through its event information
system. This included advice to all member states and IHR contact points to take precautions
to reduce the risk of acute respiratory infections, providing guidance on the basis that there
could be human-to-human transmission.
On the same day WHO also issued its first public disease outbreak news, publishing technical
information for the scientific and public health communities as well as the world's media. On
10th and 11th January WHO published a comprehensive package of guidance on how to
detect, test for and manage cases and protect health workers from potential human-to-human
transmission based on our previous experience with coronaviruses.
We also published a readiness checklist to help countries assess their capacities and gaps for
detection and response. Because Wuhan is a major domestic and international transport hub
WHO also advised that the risk of cases being reported from outside Wuhan was increased.
On 11th January China shared the genetic sequence of the virus for countries to use in
developing testing kits.
On the same day China reported the first death from the new coronavirus. On 13th January the
first case was reported outside China, in Thailand. That day, working with partners, WHO
published the first instructions for how to make PCR-based diagnostic test kits, enabling the
world to find cases. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Germany.
On 14th January WHO tweeted reports from China that preliminary investigations by Chinese
authorities had found no clear evidence that human-to-human transmission was occurring.
This is in line with our practice of reporting to the world information that countries report to
us. We post countries' reports, as is.
However earlier the same day WHO held a press briefing at which we said that based on our
past experience with coronaviruses human-to-human transmission was likely. Our senior
experts participated in that press conference and that news was carried by mainstream media.
On 20th and 21st January WHO staff visited Wuhan and on 22nd reported that the evidence
suggested human-to-human transmission was occurring. On 22nd and 23rd January I convened
the Emergency Committee, consisting of 15 independent experts from around the world. At
the time 581 cases had been reported and only ten cases outside China. The emergency
Committee was divided in its opinion and did not advise that I declare a Public Health
Emergency of International Concern.
The Committee asked to reconvene in ten days or less to allow time for more information and
evidence to be collected and considered. On 27th January I travelled to Beijing with WHO's
chief of emergencies, Dr Mike Ryan, and other senior WHO staff and met with President Xi
Jinping and other leaders to learn more about the response and offer WHO's assistance.
We discussed the seriousness of the situation and agreed that an international team of
scientists should travel to China to look into the outbreak and the response, including experts
from China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria, the Russian Federation,
Singapore and the United States of America.
On 30th January I reconvened the Emergency Committee and after receiving their advice -
because of the new information they gathered they had a consensus - I declared a global
Public Health Emergency, WHO's highest level of alarm. At the time, as you may remember,
there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside China. To be specific, we had 82 cases
outside China and no deaths when we declared the highest level of global emergency.”

The WHO’s legal authority is wholly based on the IHR(2005) http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/246107/1/9789241580496-eng.pdf?ua=1
The link is to version 3, but my posts linked to above will have been on ver. 1 & 2 which were current when they were written. It is a legal document & 75 pages which is why I wrote a ‘Cliff notes’ summary of the most pertinent section here https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/the-pandemic-discussion-forum/jjackson-s-workshop/32603-on-the-role-of-who-ihr-2005-reveres-posts?p=630472#post630472

Fred
If you read my linked post you would see that the limited powers given to the WHO are why they cannot investigate what is going on in China, or any other country with a disease outbreak, except by the invitation of that country. They are not even allowed to share what they are told by a state under the IHR reporting terms with any other country if it is contained within that states boarders. All cooperation between states and the WHO is basically voluntary with the exception of those outbreaks that meet the IHR Annex 2 criteria.
Also you are still working under the unfounded assumption that SARS-2 if a lab escape. As Harlan points out it is not theoretically impossible but is however wrong but I do not know how to explain why to anyone who does not have years of experience looking at viral sequence mutations.

Walrus thanks
Firstly I think your post on the 6th was excellent for someone who, by their own admission, had no background in this area but I will now pick it apart in a little more detail to try and explain where I think the confusion may have occurred.
“The timeline of the discovery of Covid -19 was detailed. I can't remember all the dates but more about that later. The alarm was raised by a Chinese doctor in Wuhan reporting via Promed (the infectious disease bulletin board) of some 50 "anomalous pneumonia" cases clustered in the Wuhan wet market (fish and edible animals) on or about December 31. The World Health Organisation (WHO) was notified the same day. It is understood that known causes (SARS, etc.) had been ruled out. The "index case" was reportedly identified on December 1.
Samples were obtained from China in the first few days of January by an Australian laboratory specializing in identification of new virii (note: this would have required the negotiation of a materials transfer agreement to protect future access to IP, etc.) Tests in China and perhaps elsewhere failed to identify the virus but the Australian lab had developed wide spectrum specialised tests and identified it as a Coronavirus. Further testing was done by a world expert on SARS and others WHO couldn't identify it as an existing type. On or about 10th January the researchers in Australia and elsewhere concluded it was a new virus.”

I commented at the time.
“The first sequence (WH01) was created in China but up loaded to virologica by an Australian colleague who had an account there at their request, not that that matters.”

The bit in bold I think may not be quite correct. I was notified on the 11th of Jan by a German colleague that the first sequence had been up loaded as a FASTA file to the virological.org site and I downloaded a copy on the 12th. FASTA files are just text file list of about 30,000 ACG & Ts that make up the nucleotide sequence of the virus along with a short text header. I checked my FASTA today and the dates on it show 11 ‎January ‎2020, ‏‎00:35:07 and 12 ‎January ‎2020, ‏‎02:29:09 the download on the 12th will be UK time but the 11th time was probably Australian. The header information reads “>WH-Human_1|China|2019-Dec” and Eddie’s comment 10th January 2020
“edward_holmes
6
Jan 11
10th January 2020
This posting is communicated by Edward C. Holmes, University of Sydney on behalf of the consortium led by Professor Yong-Zhen Zhang, Fudan University, Shanghai
The Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center & School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Central Hospital of Wuhan, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control, and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia is releasing a coronavirus genome from a case of a respiratory disease from the Wuhan outbreak. The sequence has also been deposited on GenBank (accession MN908947 20.2k) and will be released as soon as possible.
Update: This genome is now available on GenBank and an updated version has been posted 20.2k.
Disclaimer:
Please feel free to download, share, use, and analyze this data. We ask that you communicate with us if you wish to publish results that use these data in a journal. If you have any other questions –then please also contact us directly.
Professor Yong-Zhen Zhang,
Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center & School of Public Health,
Fudan University,
Shanghai, China.
email: zhangyongzhen@shphc.org.cn
The file I have is no longer there but the linked genbank file has an updated header which includes Eddie as a co author.
“AUTHORS Wu,F., Zhao,S., Yu,B., Chen,Y.M., Wang,W., Song,Z.G., Hu,Y.,
Tao,Z.W., Tian,J.H., Pei,Y.Y., Yuan,M.L., Zhang,Y.L., Dai,F.H.,
Liu,Y., Wang,Q.M., Zheng,J.J., Xu,L., Holmes,E.C. and Zhang,Y.Z.

The original notification of a problem was from the Wuhan site which was picked up by Promed, Flutrackers and the Taiwan CDC plus many others. I do not think Eddie, or anyone else, outside China physically had live virus until much later as moving dangerous pathogens across international borders without a ton of red tape is not possible (unless you smuggle it out in your socks). Eddie’s lab will have been working on the sequence data in that FASTA which when you BLAST it through the GISAID or Genbank databases brings up the closest existing matches which I, and they will have done. The closest match at that time came back as bat and pangolin sequences with about 90% homology, i.e. about 3000 of the 30,000 neucleotides were different to anything else in the sequence databases. This shows that is very different to SARS-1 (which is even further removed) but a new strain of beta corona virus whose primary genetic reservoir lies in bats.
The Straits Times article makes little sense and does not fit in with any timeline I have seen anywhere else and is probably just wrong.

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