Project News and Views
Phylogeographic Mapping of Newly Discovered Coronaviruses Pinpoints the Direct Progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 as Originating from Mojiang, China
Published on Monday 2nd August 2021 in Independent Science News: “Phylogeographic Mapping of Newly Discovered Coronaviruses Pinpoints the Direct Progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 as Originating from Mojiang, China“, by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD.
Synopsis: Many scientists are now openly considering whether a lab leak best explains the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Yet it is frequently also suggested in the media that the data ‘hasn’t changed’, only people’s opinions. This is far from the truth. One data set that has grown substantively since the pandemic broke out is the number of wild virus relatives of SARS-CoV-2 that have been identified and sequenced. In all, twelve isolates have now been described, ten obtained from bats and two from pangolins. All 12 isolates were found in Asia. These viruses constitute what we know of the SARS-CoV-2 reservoir population in its bat hosts. For most of these viruses, both their sampling location and their genetic similarity to SARS-CoV-2 are known. We therefore conducted a phylogeographic analysis of these viruses. It revealed that the SARS-CoV-2-related viruses form a coherent group, with a geographically ordered genetic structure. Because of this geographic ordering, the location from which human SARS-CoV-2 originated, i.e. the locality where its direct ancestor jumped from the bat reservoir, could be identified with high confidence. Using two different approaches, which gave the same result, this location was determined to be a comparatively small region of south-central Yunnan, China.
Positively locating the jump from bats represents an advance with major implications for understanding the origin of SARS-CoV-2. While a south-central Yunnan source does not rule out either a lab or a zoonotic origin in principle, the result compels all candidate hypotheses to incorporate a plausible link with that locality. Indeed, some well-known origin theories are clearly not compatible with this finding. They therefore appear to be non-viable. Perhaps even more importantly, a south-central Yunnan origin is a highly suggestive finding because at the centre of that region is the Mojiang mine. This mine has been the focus of most lab origin theories, in particular, the Mojiang Miners Passage theory, which posits that SARS-CoV-2 derives from tissue samples taken from miners who were infected in a novel coronavirus outbreak in 2012. This theory specifically predicts that Mojiang in south-central Yunnan was the site where the jump from bats occurred. For these reasons, this new analysis should transform the origins debate about COVID-19.
Read the full article at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/phylogeographic-mapping-of-newly-discovered-coronaviruses-pinpoints-direct-progenitor-of-sars-cov-2-as-originating-from-mojiang/
Published on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 by Independent Science News: “A Chinese PhD Thesis Sheds Important New Light On The Origin of the COVID-19 Coronavirus,” written by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD
An Interview with Richard Ebright: The WHO Investigation Members Were “participants in disinformation”
Published Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 by Independent Science News, “An Interview with Richard Ebright: The WHO Investigation Members Were “participants in disinformation.” Interviewed by Jorge Casesmeiro Roger.
Synopsis: In this exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Prof. Richard Ebright, the long-time critic of risky pathogen research is asked about the merits of the WHO investigation, its personnel, and its forthcoming report. The interview also asks about Gain-of-Function (GoF) research and the surprising silence of the Cambridge Working Group. In the interview Dr. Ebright describes how US scientific leaders deliberately circumvented the GoF research pause placed on them. The directors of NIAID and NIH even stymied risk-benefit assessment of such research.
Jonathan Latham, PhD Gives Three Video Talks: Natural Origin or Lab Escape? The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Series title: Natural Origin or Lab Escape? The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Video 1: Why Wuhan?Could SARS-CoV-2 have come from a lab? This online talk is the first in a series of three by Dr Jonathan Latham. The three talks were presented to the EAT online community on Jan 8th, Jan 25th and Jan22nd, 2021. The three talks describe aspects of our current thinking on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the political/economic forces attempting to influence public perception of its origins. In short, the evidence for a zoonotic origin is virtually non-existent, whereas several lines of evidence point strongly to a lab escape. However, powerful economic and political forces are preventing a frank discussion of the origins of the virus both in the media and in the scientific literature. View talk at:
Video 2: The Mojiang Miners Passage TheoryJonathan Latham, PhD, introduces the various lab origin theories for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of the COVID19 pandemic. In order of appearance: 1) Sirotkin and Sirotkin, 2) Segreto and Deigin, and 3) the DRASTIC theory. Dr Latham then discusses the latest thinking on the Mojiang Miners Passage Theory in more detail. This theory starts with the fact that RaTG13 (the closest related viral sequence to SARS-CoV-2) was sampled from a mine that had previously been the site of a disease outbreak in 2012. In that outbreak, six miners were hospitalized and three died of COVID-19-like symptoms. The ill miners had been shovelling bat guano and were diagnosed at the time as likely suffering from an unknown coronavirus. Samples of serum, and possibly tissue samples, from four of the hospitalized miners were transported at the time to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for testing. The Mojiang Miners Passage theory proposes that, by the time these patient samples arrived at the WIV, the original mine virus had evolved and adapted to their human hosts. It was this virus which subsequently escaped and caused the COVID19 pandemic. View talk at:
Video 3: The Pandemic Virus Industrial ComplexThe military has its academic industrial complex and so does virus research. The Pandemic Virus Industrial Complex (PVIC) is busy on many fronts, one of which is actively trying to obscure the likely lab origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.In this video, Dr Jonathan Latham, PhD, shares insights into the functioning and organization of the various elements that constitute the PVIC. How do its academic, military, and commercial aspects interact? Who, if anyone, pulls the strings? View talk at:
The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-case-is-building-that-covid-19-had-a-lab-origin/
A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/a-proposed-origin-for-sars-cov-2-and-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/why-china-and-the-who-will-never-find-a-zoonotic-origin-for-the-covid19-pandemic-virus/
See also independent journalist Sam Husseini’s important articles:
Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance Has Hidden Almost $40 Million In Pentagon Funding And Militarized Pandemic Science https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/peter-daszaks-ecohealth-alliance-has-hidden-almost-40-million-in-pentagon-funding?/
The Long History of Accidental Laboratory Releases of Potential Pandemic Pathogens Is Being Ignored In the COVID-19 Media Coverage https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-long-history-of-accidental-laboratory-releases-of-potential-pandemic-pathogens/
And this key article from by Sainath Suryanarayanan of U.S. Right to Know
EcoHealth Alliance Orchestrated Key Scientists’ Statement on “natural origin” of SARS-CoV-2 https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/ecohealth-alliance-orchestrated-key-scientists-statement-on-natural-origin-of-sars-cov-2/
Published on Tuesday, February 16th by Independent Science News, “Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus“, written by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD.
Synopsis: Wuhan, China, is a place that no one predicted a natural coronavirus pandemic would begin. Nevertheless, the numerical improbability of a natural coronavirus pandemic originating within commuting distance of a major coronavirus laboratory has, until now, never been properly calculated. But there is also another coincidence that defenders of a zoonotic origin for the COVID-19 pandemic need to account for. There are numerous coronavirus species. Any one of these might theoretically have caused a pandemic. Yet the actual pandemic virus belongs to the same species that was also the near exclusive focus of coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The magnitude of these two coincidences, we propose, explains why a natural zoonotic origin has not been found. Indeed, it implies that some variant of a laboratory escape is the only realistic possibility.
Could SARS-CoV-2 have come from a lab? This online talk by Dr Jonathan Latham was presented to the EAT community on Jan 8th 2021. It describes our current thinking on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In short, the evidence for a zoonotic origin is virtually non-existent, whereas several strong lines of evidence point to a lab escape. This is the first of three talks investigating theories of the origin of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 virus). Talk 2 details various lab origin theories including the Mojiang Miners Passage theory. Talk 3 describes the economic and political incentives to suppress discussion of a likely lab origin. The online talk can be watched here:
Further reading: ‘The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin’ https://www.independentsciencenews.or… ‘A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ https://www.independentsciencenews.or…
Dr. Jonathan Latham Is Giving a Series of Three Talks Titled: Natural Origin or Lab Escape? The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Dr. Jonathan Latham is giving a series of three online talks titled: Natural Origin or Lab Escape? The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2. The talks will be held on three consecutive Fridays at 5pm Eastern Standard Time: January 8th, 15th and 22nd. Talks are around 40 minutes long, with time afterwards for questions.
Talk I: Why Wuhan? (January 8, 2021) Dr. Latham discusses the collapse of the natural zoonotic origin hypothesis for COVID19/SARS-CoV-2 and the case for a lab origin.
Talk II: The Mojiang Miners Passage Theory (January 15, 2021) Overview of various lab origin scenarios. These include virus passaging in human cell culture or animals, genetic engineering of an experimental virus or a vaccine candidate, and the Mojiang Miners Passaging Theory.
Talk III: The Pandemic Virus Industrial Complex (January 22, 2021) The role of the Pandemic Virus Industrial Complex in blocking the search for the origins of COVID19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Jonathan Latham, PhD is the Executive Director of The Bioscience Resource Project.
You must register to view or participate in any of the talks, but registration is free. Register at: https://www.eatcommunity.com/jonathan
Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance Has Hidden Almost $40 Million In Pentagon Funding And Militarized Pandemic Science
Published on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 by Independent Science News: Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance Has Hidden Almost $40 Million In Pentagon Funding And Militarized Pandemic Science was written by Sam Husseini, Independent Journalist.
Synopsis: Independent Science News today publishes journalist Sam Husseini’s investigation into the finances of the EcoHealth Alliance. The New York based EcoHealth Alliance is a US non-profit with multiple crucial roles in the current pandemic. First, when the SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged in Wuhan, the EcoHealth Alliance was financing the Wuhan Institute of Virology to collect and study novel bat coronaviruses. Second, its President, Peter Daszak, has been the media’s primary expert chosen to explain the origins of the pandemic. And third, of the two major international committees now tasked with investigating the origins of the virus (the WHO committee and the EAT Lancet committee), Daszak is a member of the first and the head of the second. In none of Peter Daszak’s media appearances, nor during discussions of EcoHealth Alliance’s role before or during the pandemic, has it been revealed that almost $40 million, representing one third of EcoHealth Alliance’s total budget, is derived from the US Department of Defense. This revelation, plus evidence of other close military ties, adds a significant new dimension to analyses of the EcoHealth Alliance, the underlying purpose of its activities, and, potentially, the origins of the pandemic itself.