The COVID Clinic

Look. There are two theories for the origin of SARS2, the lab leak theory and the natural origin theory. Now it turns out that a long series of particularly strange and surprising facts under the natural origin becomes perfectly and simply explainable under the lab leak theory. In this situation, shouldn’t we favor the lab leak hypothesis over the natural origin theory?

For those interested by the origin of SARS2, here is a long and remarkable piece by Alex Washburne showing the incontrovertible superiority of the lab leak over the spillover hypothesis.

And, in case anyone missed the previous long and remarkable discussion in which it was spelled out in painstaking detail why Wasburne and @Giltil are full of crap, here it is:

Evidence of a synthetic origin of sars-cov-2 - Peaceful Science


Quite the opposite.

From your article:

What the author seems to have left out is that animal cages did test positive for SARS-CoV-2, as did a brush used to remove fur and feathers. In fact, the very cage known to house racoon dogs (a species capable of carrying SARS-CoV-2) tested positive in the market. Not only that, but there was a strong clustering of the first COVID-19 cases and the Wuhan market.

So why the market? Why in the one place where there were animal cages that tested positive for the virus? If the virus leaked from a lab then why don’t we see the clustering at the lab, or somewhere else in Wuhan, like a university? Why the market?

In addition, there were two lineages early in the outbreak, and the common ancestor of those lineages was never found in humans. This is strong evidence for two spillovers from animal pools.

In addition, the SARS-CoV-1 outbreak was also associated with a wet market.

The lab leak can’t explain these observations. A natural origin in the market can.

I am fairly convinced of the wet market origin, but note that a lab leak and natural origin are not mutually exclusive. There seems to be this presumption among those who are heavily invested in the lab leak hypothesis that a lab leak infers the virus was intentionally altered. I expect that many creationists gyrate towards that narrative because it fits the information requires mind mantra.

1 Like

In that discussion, @Giltil stated in response to some very most excellent analysis by @Nesslig20:

Thank you for this thorough review of the 10 articles. Very helpful. It may well be the death knell for Washburne’s thesis. Let’s see how he responds.

@Giltil, since you have re-introduced the subject, has Washburne added any new information to the debate, such that you may now think that the points raised by @Nesslig20 are no longer “the death knell for Washburne’s thesis”?


Several things in that article seem highly misleading to me. For example the fact that the source animal for the virus wasn’t found at the seafood market, is characterized as showing that:

The Huanan seafood market yielded no clear signs that animal handlers or animal stalls were sources of the outbreak.

The fact that SARS-Cov2 was found on cages and in stalls is, and that the earliest documented cases of infection came from the area around the Searfood market is instead taken to imply that

… the virus was not lurking in an animal in a cage, but rather was spewed around the wet market by humans who walked around and visited animal and vegetable stalls alike.

One wonders what “clear signs that animal handlers or animal stalls were sources of the outbreak” would have to look like, if not SARS-Cov2 being found on animal cages, in stalls, and that the earliest documented cases of infection come from people associated with the market.

So this person seems to be saying that if we don’t have the actual animal host, then all other forms of evidence doesn’t imply animals at the market could be the source, but rather is just asserted to imply the opposite direction of transmission, that people were walking around “spewing” virus all over the place.

So people somehow made it to the market without infecting anyone on their way there, at work, at home, or anything, and then once at the market they started infecting people there. Or worse(now we’re really getting into conspiracy theory land), someone is deliberately walking around contaminating the market to make it look like it came from there. Is that where we are at now?

It’s either that, or someone gets infected at WIV without their knowledge, goes home and stays there for the incubation period, then without infecting anyone else they quickly run to their car, drives to the Huanan Seafood market and then start shedding virus there, and infects a shit-ton of people there?

It can if you combine it with some fatuous conspiracy theory that the whole thing about where the virus was first detected and in what form is some deliberately constructed scenario the Chinese have concocted to protect their researchers/national pride/pockets/etc.

1 Like

No. As I believe you suggested, it could have originated from a virus collected in field work and stored at the lab. But that still entails a conspiracy theory, since one would have to explain why the director of the WIV stated she immediately checked the record to see if any of the strains studied at the lab matched or could have been a recent ancestor to SARS-CoV-2, why no such strain has since been identified by anyone else from the records and publications from the lab, and why no one from the lab was reported to have contracted COVID early in the pandemic.

And, of course, one would also have to claim it was mere coincidence that the virus that escaped the lab first infected people in a wet market, of all places.

(To be clear, I am not saying that you endorse any of these options.)

1 Like

Suffice it to say, if the same evidence were associated with the Wuhan lab then it would be considered slam dunk evidence for a lab leak. Imagine if half of the earliest cases came from the lab and there were lab animal cages covered in the virus. Do you think these same people would just handwave this evidence away?

Exactly. As noted in one interview, one of the earliest outbreaks in the US was at a scientific conference. An early outbreak in Germany was at an auto repair shop. Out of the 10’s of thousands of places that could have been a focal point of the early infections in a city of 11 million people, why the market? The answer seems pretty simple.


Yet again showing that ID/creationists don’t understand the difference between theory and hypothesis.


NO. Conspiracy theorists (not naming any names, here, Gil) love to sneak the deliberate construction of a bioweapon into the lab leak hypothesis (which is nowhere near a theory).

1 Like

This look like pedantry to me

Looks like calling out your one of your misrepresentations to me.

I don’t know why this thread has got taken over by the discussion of Covid Origins. Can’t anyone reopen the About the origin of SARS-CoV-2 thread? or some other thread where it would more naturally fit.
Moderator help @Dan_Eastwood
Anyway, here are some stellar scientific practices and procedures put in place by the main controllers of the narrative.

Francis Collins’s email,
Hi Tony and Cliff,
See ( This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists who met with the
Secretary seems to be getting a lot of attention — and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike
Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises. I
don’t see anything like that on line vet - is it underway?


And here is a bit I copied months ago from a website called Haaretz. You may not be able to access the article anymore, or at least without paying. I can’t anyway. It is about the transparency an openness afforded Bret Weinstein.

Recently he received a warning from YouTube that it might remove his channels and block the podcast ׁ(his program is both a YouTube show and an Apple podcast). In their shows, Weinstein and his wife frequently discuss controversial issues – for example, the likelihood that the coronavirus originated in a leak from someone in a laboratory in China. That theory, which until not long ago was identified with conspiracy theorists from the zany right, was censored for months by Facebook and Google. Recently, however, the wind started to blow from a different direction on this subject. In early May the science writer Nicholas Wade published an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in which he argued that crucial evidence points to the Wuhan lab as the source of the virus. Later that month the Biden administration announced that it was investigating whether the coronavirus had leaked from the lab. What tipped the scales in the public debate was the declaration by the television comic Jon Stewart (appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”) – a standard-bearer for many on the American left – that he believes without any doubt that the coronavirus emerged from the Chinese lab. In an instant the “wacky conspiracy theory,” which had been suppressed by media companies, became an almost consensual working assumption.

“We were demonized publicly for a year or more for saying the obvious,” Weinstein says, “which was that the evidence such as it is, all points to the lab and there’s no evidence that points to a natural origin so far. For pointing that out, we were portrayed as conspiracy theorists.”

By whom?

“Many media outlets, news organizations, so-called ‘fact checkers,’ social media platforms and thousands of individual people. All those who made this point that the lab leak was a possibility, were portrayed as conspiracy theorists. Then suddenly for no reason – there was no change at all in the evidence – but suddenly upon the publication of Nicholas Wade’s piece the tide turned and suddenly it became possible for anyone to discuss this hypothesis out loud without being demonized. Which I found bewildering. Literally nothing new had emerged, it was just another presentation, there had been many prior presentations that had gone through the evidence, but suddenly it was like somebody had given people the green light to think for themselves.”

Probably good to insert the infamous line from the highly regarded Lancet,

The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens.

This is further supported by a letter from the presidents of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and by the scientific communities they represent. Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus. We support the call from the Director-General of WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture.

We want you, the science and health professionals of China, to know that we stand with you in your fight against this virus.

Has anyone here done that?
Can you name five people who have done that without a web search?

How would you restate.

so that it meets your approval?

I wonder in which alternative universe this happened. Maybe the one where people have hot dogs for fingers?

Yesterday that was too much for you to read. Were you taking Sudnay off?

Classic Faizal denial. And worse, denial with no specificity. Of what value is such a denial? Do you expect a plethora of likes from the Peaceful Science clapping seals? Not unlike the ones flipped off by Hitch here,

It happened in this universe.
What part of it do you doubt?

To be clear: I am well aware that Stewart (expert virologist that he is) is one of the conspiracy theorists.

What I am questioning is your claim that he was the reason that Biden opened an investigation, and that a lab leak became “an almost consensual working assumption” because of what Stewart said on a comedy talk show - or that it has ever been such an assumption for whatever reason.

And I can’t help but note the near absolute dearth of even the barest fragment of scientific evidence in your rants here on the subject. Most odd.

1 Like

Maybe what you were really looking for was not the presence of scientific evidence but the application of the Peaceful Science method so conscientiously carried out by Francis as seen below,

Francis Collins’s email,
Hi Tony and Cliff,
See (Great Barrington declaration) This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists who met with the
Secretary seems to be getting a lot of attention — and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises. I don’t see anything like that on line vet - is it underway?

No, I am looking for scientific evidence of which these articles are examples:

The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic | Science

The molecular epidemiology of multiple zoonotic origins of SARS-CoV-2 | Science

OK, I see that now. If you learn the proper use of the “quote” function here, it will help avoid such errors.

So, to be clear, you just cut/pasted an article that seems to be no longer available on the internet, and you have no idea whether its claims are true and you are not prepared to defend them. Is that it?

No, but perhaps I was unclear when I referred to “your rants here on the subject.” The subject to which I was referring was the question of the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. I have already given an example of what is generally considered to be scientific evidence on this forum (and in all other contexts in which science is discussed in an informed manner), so you should no longer be confused and uncertain on that subject.


Yes. House GQP members did so in a document.

There are four hypotheses that are not mutually exclusive:

  1. bioweapon
  2. constructed for scientific study
  3. lab leak of 1 or 2 or of a wild isolate
  4. zoonotic transmission in the wet market

The majority of the evidence supports #4. Most of those who promote the others ignore most of that evidence.