Politically, you are probably right. Nothing will come of it other than posturing.
But, humanitarian reasons, much discussion leading to changes, hopefully.
One thought is If there is gain of function research for a virus there should be a vaccine designed for it. They should be researching them parallel to one another. And if this is not the case, it should be labeled as biological weapons research.
Then the Biological Weapons Convention would be enacted.
This gets kinda explosive when NIH is funding these kind of research projects.
If it’s true, and that seems dubious at this time, then the only thing that will happen is renewed domestic antagonism against Asians. If it’s proven to be true then we have the truth and that’s always a good thing but how can anyone expect repercussions against the perpetrator(s)? Remember my last post about the onion? That, in reverse. What level takes the responsibility? Certainly not the top levels so good luck with any attempts to pin international laws on China as a whole.
With that in mind, why would Biden pursue this? The cost-benefit ratio isn’t exactly working for him.
It costs : money & resources, other countries’ money & resources, trade equanimity (cuz that exists now /s) with China, domestic targeted violence against all Asians (not just Chinese, because “they all look the same to me”).
It benefits : The Truth and its brightly shining sword of Righteousness ; another brick in the status quo Great Wall of China (hot tip : that’s a pretty big wall) that might, in 50 or so years, result in a political and social revolution.
The little I know is from this article I posted up there somewhere
Sorry there is some reading involved
“This research is intended to reveal targets to better predict emerging infectious diseases and to develop vaccines and therapeutics”.
But, if a vaccine is not developed while coinciding with the research, I would think it’s considered a bio-weapon. So, NIH could be funding bio-weapon technology. Maybe NIH didn’t think this was the case and why no one wants to talk about it. Sorry, tin-foil hat theory.
Someone pointed out to me that secret military programs are often, obviously, cloaked in a dagger-like cloud of secrecy. Cover stories are often nested within other stories. That way if the first unravels, the plebes will sink their little meat hooks into the next thinking they’ve figured it out.
-OF COURSE THIS IS ALL RANK SPECULATION-
Natural virus spread to humans in a wet market > accidental lab release > deliberate release to study effects and response.
Yes, yes it’s conspiratorial and very Tom Clancy. But the Hunt for Red October was an amazingly gripping novel.
I’ll note here I know almost nothing about gain of function research, and what little I do know I had to deliberately check, but my default assumption on the vaccines would actually be simple - cost. Vaccines take fantastical amounts of money and time to develop generally speaking. I think people may have gotten a somewhat unrealistic view of how they’re done based on the past year, historically this was an anomaly. Nonetheless, that does bring up the question of whether the benefits of gain of function research are sufficient to justify doing it on something you couldn’t stop anyways.
Lab X in country Y funded by country Z is doing GoF research to stay in front of coronaviruses, let’s say for legitimate reasons (public safety). Virus escapes captivity. Chaos ensues.
Who benefitted? Amazon, Elon Musk, Disney, Pfizer, et al.
(And before you say it, not China whose GDP only grew 2.3% last year which is still growth but poor growth compared to 2017-2019)
Who didn’t benefit? The lab, the sponsoring government who’s shovelling billions or trillions economic recovery. The general population obviously but evil overlords care not about plebs. And let’s not forget Temet who had a bitch of a time getting that EVGA 3080 at exorbitant cost.
I’m sure an argument can be made for long-game Chinese economic superiority but anyone who tries to make that argument would be……stupid. In the meantime, shape those tinfoil hats into parabolic dishes and aim them right at Elon Musk, cuz why not?
Point there. Albeit I will note according to the last work I saw looking at Chinese GDP, it’s on average being overstated by two points still (Chinese government statistics, a joke so old they’re the same age as the government) - so whether or not their GDP was actually positive last year is unclear.
On a mostly unrelated note, the new way the Census Bureau is trying to obscure personal data (differential privacy) for the census is rank idiocy. It’s so extreme it’s reporting things like census blocks with noone living there, or populations of only children.
To put it another way, there are over a dozen states (both red and blue ironically - bipartisanship!) suing the government over it already.
(Flying: throwing yourself at the ground and missing)
You know you’re in trouble when BOTH the Reps and Dems are equally mad at you. Either you screwed up big time, or you accidentally did the most sensible thing ever (but no-one likes it).
Did the NIH actually know who was getting the money at the end of the day? Normally, I’d think they’d have to since the accounting requirements for NIH (and NRC) grants are pretty stringent. But it seems like the money was being funnelled through more than one agency (although possibly at different times).
True, although things have improved significantly in the last 10 years in terms of technology and new approaches (such as using mRNA instead of antibodies). If there’s any silver lining in all this, it’s that we’ve shown pretty conclusively that the investment in the research behind all this innovation was very much worth it.
“U.S.-China tensions rose over the course of 2018, American diplomats lost access to labs such as the one at the WIV ”
Taken from this article:
”After consultations with experts, some U.S. officials came to believe this Beijing lab was likely conducting coronavirus experiments on mice fitted with ACE2 receptors well before the coronavirus outbreak—research they hadn’t disclosed and continued not to admit to. In its January 15 statement, the State Department alleged that although the Wuhan Institute of Virology disclosed some of its participation in gain-of-function research, it has not disclosed its work on RaTG13 and “has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.” That, by itself, did not help to explain how SARS-CoV-2 originated. But it was clear that officials believed there was a lot of risky coronavirus research going on in Chinese labs that the rest of the world was simply not aware of.“
(Flying: throwing yourself at the ground and missing)
That NPR is a long read but has some interesting detail. EcoHealth Alliance was the name of the organization I was trying to remember earlier.
So, the money was indeed not going directly from NIH to Wuhan, and certainly not the eye-boggling full grant amount - most of that was going elsewhere. At first blush, it seems like EcoHealth at least had a sensible strategy - they probably got more information out of the collaboration than the US Gov has ever gotten (or will ever get) by going directly to the Chinese government.
But politicians don’t do nuance any more…
So rather than giving ourselves more of an early warning, we’re going to completely cut off collaboration because CHINA FLU CONSPIRACY. Nice. Meanwhile, while we don’t have a ‘smoking gun’ for SARS-Cov-2 jumping to humans, we do know that many similar viruses have already made the jump from bat to human.
Well, that’s a cheerful prospect, isn’t it? Plenty of potential for another Covid-19 style pandemic, but without fast access to the genetic information that would allow a rapid mRNA vaccine response. If that happens (and it seems quite likely that it will sooner or later), the last year is going to seem like a positive dream in comparison.