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2022-06-17 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Other Voices , 448 references
[Comments enabled]  

Once again the fish fly into the boat courtesy of Ishmael, where The Bottlewasher prepares to fillet and cook them..... -- Ed

June 2022

Unsolicited advice sucks.  I absolutely despise it when people smugly tell me what I should do. Therefore I have no desire to pass the frustration along.

If this describes you, skip this guest Ticker. No offense taken. Clown world raises blood pressure enough, and I don’t want to do my part of increasing deaths from suddenly.

There's a sentiment floating around the dark corners of the internet. It ebbs and flows, yet it builds as time goes on. People are waiting for something to happen. Some describe it as a war, some an apocalypse, and some just say, “Whatever this is, let's just get it over with.”  No one is excited about what’s coming, it’s pure resignation.

Today I'm going to tell you how to prepare for the end of the world. 

Ready for the big secret?  Ok, here goes: You can't.

Thank you very much for reading today’s guest Ticker, have a nice rest of your day.

Waiting and anticipating is a form of torture. Remember the gas lighting, two weeks to flatten the curve, and masks? Even once you knew it was bullshit, the waiting for normal was painful. And that limbo, in addition to the lockdowns themselves, enacted a real human cost that still impacts us today.

Limbo was the start of work ethics collapsing. Granted, the clot shot mandates made that slacking look like amateur hour. The productivity reports bear this out.

Honestly, with rising fuel, consumer, and worst of all producer prices, I almost miss 2020 when our biggest problems were lockdowns and tard rags. Almost. A more accurate simile is eating a shit sandwich while fondly missing the vomit soup appetizer.  

In three previous Tickers, I've discussed prioritizing a physical prep list, what to do with extra time on your hands, and the power of choices. This one is an attempt to prepare you psychologically, a guide out of limbo.  I hope this helps you sleep better, we all need rest for whatever comes.

Getting in a productive mental space is the difference between winning and losing the next battle. It helps to view what's coming as a personal war. Framing it like that immediately highlights win versus lose. And you want to win.

None of us know what will happen in the future, the anticipation becomes torture if we let it. Unknowns loom large and people instantly imagine the worst case scenario.

Short term situations are easier to predict and mitigate, they’re a good place to start.  Not the end of the world, because if that happens, you will not survive and it doesn't matter.  Describe something like this: What is most likely to rock my world this summer? Pick a scenario and define it concretely.  

Make a list of what-ifs. If necessary, put “end of the world” at the top so your mind moves on from it. Write down every scenario you think of, no matter how scary. Writing them down takes away some of their terrifying power. They might happen, but naming it is the first step in facing it head-on. 

Next, break down the items into two sections: what scares me the most, and what is most likely to happen?  Something appearing on both is normal.  Reality is scary, sometimes as much as what our minds imagine. 

Now make a third list: what can I influence?

How many of the scary scenarios are out of your control?  Be honest here.  You are not going to stop or start a revolution. We aren’t voting our way out of this.  But you can store food now if the trucks stop delivering for a month or so this summer.

The third list is the only list that matters. The other two will keep you up at night and disrupt sleep with nightmares.

Take that third list and prioritize it. This is your personal guide out of limbo. 

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2022-06-01 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Other Voices , 3809 references
[Comments enabled]  

Once again over the transom come "free fish" courtesy of Ishmael.... -- Ed

There are several ways to wage war on a people.  We have a current year example of overt war between Russia and Ukraine.  There was the Bolshevik revolution which eventually led to mass starvation.  There was the Cold War between Russia in America where an entire generation of kids learned to protect themselves against nuclear attack by hiding under a desk. Hey look, RussiaRussiaRussia and it’s only the first paragraph, this one’s gonna be lit.

There’s another long term and diffuse war happening on American soil now.  As I stated in the Why Disney Sucks guest Ticker, Satan owns the world.  He loses eventually, but we know neither the day nor the hour that will come to pass.  Satan has been alive a very long time and hates humanity.  His pawns wreak destruction until they are discarded, yet the damage they do is not interred with their bones.

The past 2+ years have been an example of evil's influence increasing.  Or more accurately, the past two years have made evil obvious to more people. 

This war goes by several names. Vox Day refers to it as the war against the good, the beautiful and true. I call it the War on America, but we are not the only country targeted.  Widespread clown world is proof of that.  

The purebloods lost the Coof War decisively.  The War on America accelerated because of that defeat.  Many of us are demoralized which makes victory harder this time. There are fewer soldiers available, the stakes are higher, and it involves the rest of the world. I don't know if it can be won without a legitimate leader arising.  If one doesn’t, there could be civil unrest in the United States that makes previous summers’ riot seasons look like vacations.

Satanic minions are sabotaging America from within.  We know who they are, no need to belabor that point here.  Instead, I want to provide a roadmap for the next battlefield: Manufactured Crisis 2022 – 2023.  My goal is not to be right.  It is to provide tools so you know what to watch for and prepare yourselves as best you can.

The War on America’s battle plan has three milestones:

  1. Negate America’s purchasing power

  2. Remove things they can buy

  3. Eliminate Americans themselves.  This is also a victory condition.

How can such a nasty, complicated operation be broken down into three goals?

We are all broke now
Purchasing power eroded steadily over time and accelerated these past two years.  Rent, groceries, and fuel are all pounding people’s wallets. As long as diesel remains high, so will every good in America.

The Russian sanctions are exacerbating the situation.  Every other foreign company sees that and will demand payment in their local currency.  All those US dollars sequestered overseas will flow back into the American money supply, deflating our purchasing power more.

Milestone number one is accomplished.  If an individual hasn’t experienced yet, it’s only a matter of time.

You can’t 3D print baby formula
Food, water, and shelter are essential to human life. Housing costs were already covered.  Milestone two’s tactics removes food and water.

Supply chain issues are the mere tip of the iceberg.  There are several potential shortages in the works.  Some of them are incidental to geopolitical events, and some are deliberate acts of war by our own government. Some of our current problems are partially, but not completely, by design.

Farming difficulties are an example of an incidental side effect.  Crops are not being planted this year.   Every few years, the weather is bad enough to produce lower yields.  Lower, but nowhere near a true shortage.  This year combines a cold dry spring and clown world.  Harvests will be down.

Two fertilizer ingredients are more expensive this year. The Russia/Ukraine conflict stopped the trade of potash and natural gas’s price increased.  Smaller farms aren’t planting or using less fertilizer.  Cereal grains will be pricier this fall and America will export less to Africa and Central America.  

Is claiming food shortages are due to sabotage tin or a spoiler alert?  Time will tell.  For what it’s worth, I hope this stays post-apocalyptic fiction fodder instead of headline news.

What happened recently that points to sabotage?  Here is a list of tactics from recent headlines to accomplish milestone two:

  • Food factories and warehouses fires

  • Abbott baby formula factory closed for months

  • Bird flu

  • A widespread recall on a cheap, nutritious source of calories (Smuckers peanut butter fuck up)

  • Exporting diesel to Europe

  • Denying drilling leases

  • Releasing our strategic petroleum reserve and not replacing it

The bird flu could be an act of nature, or the government could be lying about the whole thing.  Everything else was helped along by government meddling.  All were designed to disrupt enemy supply lines. In this case, we are the enemy!

What further tactics would deprive Americans of goods we currently take for granted? What is the simplest action that will have the broadest negative effects?

All the previous foods follow a pattern: they affect WIC.  This could be a coincidence.  Or it could be deliberate because there’s nothing evil hates more than children, the ultimate acts of human creation.  Satan demands child sacrifice.

WIC eligible foods are “infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants…For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula.”

Those bolded terms look familiar.  Grains and soy will be more expensive in the future.  That affects the italicized options.

This is where the tin comes in:  the WIC foods could be specifically targeted.  More likely, their shortages will be incidental to clown world.  Expect more food disruptions in the future. Starvation is a tried and true method of mass killings.  

One future tactic to watch for is exporting enough food to the Third World to ensure we are hungry. 

How can some malicious retard bureaucrat make things worse?  What is the worst regulation they could pass?

I mentioned water earlier.  How secure is your supply of fresh, potable water?  If the treatment plant can’t get chemicals or replacement parts, where will you get safe water?

The questions and your answers are not meant to fill you with dread.  They are meant to give you hope. If you came up with a doomsday scenario, dial it back until you reach something manageable.  Concentrating on an improbable worst-case will only stress you out and waste mental energy.   If you see what is coming, you can mitigate the results. Prioritize your actions based on what will have the greatest impact for the least money.  Some examples are canned food, bottled water, and a Sawyer filter, but make your own list.

No country for Americans
If you were born in America and are over 35, this is not the country you grew up in.  You might as well moved overseas.  Many words have been spent discussing our open borders policy for welfare trash, critical race theory, and other demoralizing public humiliation rituals.  These all contribute to alienating Americans.

But something even more poignant is the real reason we have no country.  We’ve stopped having babies.  Only Americans can create other Americans.  In fact, the justification for paying wetback sows to shit out six anchor babies is declining American birthrates.

Right now there are no incentives for useful citizens to have babies because they believe in paying their own way through life. Medical costs are prohibitive.  Women who want to stay home with their kids often have to choose between living in the ghetto and working.  This is not true in every locale yet, but swaths of America are too expensive for one worker to support a family.

A lot of young people don’t want their kid born into financial slavery and that’s if they can find someone to have one with.  The under 35 dating pool is atrocious, filled with land whales and soy boys.  Some purebloods only want another pureblood.  

I can’t argue with any of that. Things were bad before, the past two and a half years made them worse.  And we haven’t even gotten into fertility problems caused by the vax.  Even young people who want to have kids aren’t able to.  This is a demographic disaster and it’s been building for a long time.

Americans expect certain things to “just work.”  We have the work ethic and the knowledge to make it so.  Third World shit holes do not, hence the moniker.  If you look at primary school demographics, America is already the Third World, we are currently coasting on civilization fumes.  As people retire or check out of the workforce, less qualified and stupider people will replace them.  Eventually, all the people who make things “just work” won’t exist.

This should scare the ever loving fuck out of you, and the only people that can fix it are the same bunch we’ve saddled with massive student loan debt and impossible to afford housing.  For that, we all deserve the both-holes fucking that’s coming over the next decades.  Not only do these kids need jobs, they need a stable society that encourages family formation.  Large family formation.

I don’t like writing about or acknowledging American demographics, but it is dishonest to ignore the 900 pound elephant in the room.  

Which brings us back to what can we do about aspects we can directly control?  As individuals, protect ourselves and our families by making reasonable preparations for the future. 

Let them all starve
The current food shortages are political problems.  They were not caused by natural disasters, but human stupidity and evil.  Without a leader arising, America will let them all starve.  

To protect our families we must determine future tactics of the enemy so we can prepare and defeat them. Ask and answer the questions above to create your battle plan. Good luck, and good hunting.

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2021-01-31 09:15 by Karl Denninger
in Other Voices , 481 references
[Comments enabled]  

Note -- this is a guest post thus the "Other Voices" category; the author(s) have asked to remain unattributed.   There have been no edits other than spacing and formatting necessary to post, and make sure the links to references display.

Many questions remain unanswered about the origin of SARS-CoV-2, and we are certainly not the only scientists that have them. There are likely benign convincing explanations to everything, but to date we have not seen them. 

Some will say: why does knowing the origin matter? It matters for several reasons. First of all, it will help us plan for the future. If this indeed was a virus that arose from close contact with wildlife and humans, this contact in the future will have to be managed. Secondly, if in the unlikely event this was perhaps escape from a lab, then lab procedures will have to be evaluated, and lab experiments with infectious possibly pandemic viruses will have to be additionally regulated. Finally, if this again was an unlikely escape from a lab, then knowing the exact type of virus we are dealing with would help us manage the current pandemic.

The story starts, we believe, with a noble goal: to prevent the world from ever having the type of pandemic we are currently experiencing, through production of a vaccine effective against all coronaviruses past and future.

Coronavirus vaccines can be difficult to make. In animals, while vaccines are sometimes successful, toxicity of the vaccine as well as incomplete immunity can happen. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284272/ .

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) is a lot like SARS-CoV (SARS). SARS initially hit China and East Asia in 2003, killed 774 people, infected over 8000, and scared everyone. For the past 17 years there has been an enormous effort worldwide to develop a vaccine not only against SARS but also against all coronavirus strains. As we have detailed in another post, scientists knew in 2006 that recombinant spike protein RBD vaccines to SARS didn’t protect all animals from a re-challenge from a slightly different mutated coronavirus ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7124095/pdf/978-0-387-33012-9_Chapter_101.pdf ). Young animals can gain immunity, but it can be harder to get protective immunity in older animals ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17194199/ ). 

Killed whole coronavirus vaccines in animal models of SARS infection demonstrated that in some animals such as ferrets, killed whole virus vaccines gave a predominant Th2 response (you want Th1) and that there was an antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) of lung toxicity in mice ( https://jvi.asm.org/content/85/23/12201 ). This led to the idea of a live attenuated coronavirus vaccine ( https://www.nature.com/articles/nrmicro3143 ) ( https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.2972 ) ( https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.1635 ), which is a vaccine that infects and reproduces in a human, results in immunity, but does not cause severe disease.

This has been an important issue since the SARS pandemic in 2003 and was reinforced by MERS epidemic in 2012. Enormous amounts of resources and human effort have been thrown at this problem, and these resources have come from just about everyone: governments, industry, NGOs, and philanthropy. 

Various live virus attenuated recombinant vaccines have two issues among many. First, these vaccines have to be able to be grown in culture in great quantity for testing and for mass production. Second, the vaccines can mutate and revert back to severe pathogenicity once administered, especially in those with weaker innate immune systems. These dual problems have confronted vaccine developers. 

To make a recombinant attenuated live coronavirus vaccine that you can grow in culture, it should be pretty obvious that (a) you have to have it gain function to make it more viable in culture; and (b) while at the same time make it less pathogenic and less able to recombine. These are somewhat contradictory goals and can be hard to do.

Live attenuated vaccines can be hard to make without them mutating a lot in culture in ways you do not expect, not being able to grow them in culture to make lots of virus to work with, and without them reverting back to a dangerous live virus once someone (animal or human) is vaccinated, as happened in 1998 with a live attenuated poliovirus vaccination on the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11896235/ ).

Virologists have been making recombinant man-made coronaviruses to try to find one that is safe and will work as an attenuated vaccine for over 15 years. To do this they use “reverse genetic systems” to make the virus they want in bacteria or yeast ( https://www.pnas.org/content/100/22/12995 )( https://www.pnas.org/content/110/40/16157 ). In these reverse genetic systems, to make man-made viruses with specific functions, mutations are inserted into the DNA copies of the virus. Bacteria or yeast make lots of these DNA copies, which are added mammalian cells in culture to provide live RNA viruses in the fluid surrounding them. These fluids containing the man-made viruses can then be used to infect animals or people ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19036930/ ). The goals of these experiments were likely twofold: (1) to find out how viruses like SARS can jump from bats to humans, to develop countermeasures; and (2) to develop universal vaccines to protect the world in the case of a coronavirus pandemic.

Scientists have used several man-made strategies to make viruses weaker to use as possible coronavirus vaccines. These strategies included increasing the number of attenuating mutations in the virus through alteration of a necessary viral RNA proofreading enzyme called ExoN ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518599/ ), but these types of viruses were found to revert to a more aggressive phenotype with long term culture of 250 passages ( https://mbio.asm.org/content/8/6/e01503-17.abstract ). Viruses also were mutated to not recombine with each other (possibly increasing virulence through recombination) by changing a viral RNA “leader” sequence (ACGAAC to UGGUCGC) possibly responsible for this recombination ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-018-0175-7 ).  Additionally, there has been consideration to mutate viruses in a way, called “codon de-optimization” in which the RNA of the virus is changed to make the same viral proteins, but make them slower, and thus have slower virus growth ( https://jvi.asm.org/content/89/7/3523 ). This has been done for multiple viruses including influenza ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20543832/ ). 

As noted above, a major issue with experiments like these is that to fully examine the ways viruses jump from bats to people, and to fully develop man-made recombinant vaccines sometimes viruses are unexpectedly made that have the potential to become much more transmissible in animals and possibly in humans. These are called “gain-of-function” experiments. This appeared to happen in at least one experiment in mice published in 2015 ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26552008/ ). The danger of these experiments needs to be carefully weighed against the possible costs, since leaks from laboratories of viruses are not uncommon ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC416634/ ), and if a gain of function strain were to escape, we could have a pandemic similar to the one we are currently experiencing.

The US scientific community held a symposium in 2014, which led to the banning of funding of these “gain of function” experiments https://mbio.asm.org/content/5/6/e02366-14 . This ban was rescinded in 2016 https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/gain-of-function-research/ . Minutes of the meetings of the advisory body (the National Scientific Advisory Board for Biosecurity, or NSABB) to help the NIH and Secretary of Health (at the time, Sylvia Burwell) to decide to rescind the ban were heated ( https://osp.od.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/NSABB_January_2016_Meeting_Minutes.pdf ). The NSABB members asked for multiple safety “guardrails” for this research to proceed.

In 2013, six miners in Yunnan Province, 550 miles south of Wuhan, were cleaning out a copper mine of bat droppings. They all developed a severe pneumonia with symptoms very similar to SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, and three died. During the workup of these miners it was determined that several of the miners developed antibodies to a SARS-like coronavirus ( https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6981198-Analysis-of-Six-Patients-With-Unknown-Viruses.html ).

The WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology) became involved, and in 2013-2014 isolated viruses from fecal swabs of 276 bats in the cave and found novel SARS-like coronaviruses in 138 of them. These samples were brought to Wuhan for further study. Manuscripts describing these viruses were published in 2016, but for some reason the publication left out the deaths of the miners from the cave ( https://www.pnas.org/content/100/22/12995 ) ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7090819/ ).

Investigators then determined that about 9% of residents of villages around the Yunnan cave had developed antibodies to a SARS-like coronavirus, yet none of them appeared to have severe symptoms. All of these villagers described bats flying around, and none of them visited the cities where SARS was endemic in 2003, so they likely developed an asymptomatic infection ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6178078/ ). 

This experiment of nature likely became a matter of intense interest. How could these humans around the cave be exposed to bats carrying a supposedly lethal SARS-like coronavirus yet have no or minimal symptoms? The implications of the answers to this question were obvious: (a) bat to human transmission could be probed in depth, and (b) a live attenuated vaccine to coronavirus could be developed by mimicking the natural process that led to an attenuated virus that caused antibody production to a SARS-like coronavirus without symptoms.

It is entirely possible that investigators at the WIV could have been performing such experiments in coronavirus gain-of-function manipulation, trying to obtain a live attenuated virus for an attenuated vaccine, based on coronaviruses isolated from Yunnan province or elsewhere, when there was a laboratory accident/leak of virus sometime in the fall of 2019.

Prominent virologists argued in a letter to Nature Medicine in early March ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9 ) that lab escape, while not being entirely ruled out, was unlikely. Yet there are a number of unusual features of SARS-CoV-2, as well as some unusual scientific behavior of Chinese and US investigators, that requires explanation. Hopefully there are simple and trivial explanations, and that SARS-CoV-2 can be explained as a natural experiment that mimicked very closely a series of laboratory experiments performed in the exact place (Wuhan) where the virus was initially found in humans.

These questions point to a manipulated virus, which may have escaped from a WIV lab. These questions can be answered by an independent audit of the WIV P4 laboratories where the novel coronaviruses were being studied, which would have been one of the first steps international authorities usually take. Such an independent audit has not taken place, which is highly unusual scientific behavior.

Hopefully there are simple and trivial explanations, and that SARS-CoV-2 can be explained as a natural experiment that mimicked very closely a series of experiments performed in the exact place (Wuhan) where the virus was initially found in humans.

These questions, in no particular order, are as follows:

  • Why didn’t the investigators mention the 2013 deaths of the miners from a likely novel coronavirus in their 2016 paper describing the sequence of novel Yunnan coronaviruses ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7090819/ )? This would have been a matter of intense interest worldwide.

  • SARS-CoV-2, from its earliest isolates, appears to have optimal spike protein binding to ACE2, with very few new receptor binding domain (RBD) mutations in SARS-CoV-2 ( https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.03.074567v2 ). Usually viruses like coronavirus adapt their spike protein over time to bind human ACE2 more tightly. Can this be explained naturally?

  • A pangolin coronavirus isolated in 2019 under study at the WIV and elsewhere appears to have an RBD of its spike protein is very close to SARS-CoV-2 (97.4% amino acid homology) where the rest of this pangolin coronavirus has less homology (85-92%) ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2169-0 ). RaTG13 has a lot less homology in the RBD with SARS-CoV-2, yet is more than 96% identical to SARS-CoV-2 over the entire virus ( https://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674(20)30262-2.pdf ). Recombination to make SARS-CoV-2 from an ancestor of these two viruses would be an extremely rare one-time event. Is there a natural explanation for this?

  • In 2018, experiments with a novel recombinant SARS coronavirus substituted the typical TRS transcription leader and body sequences with a novel sequence (UGGUCGC) in an attempt to further reduce recombination in animal models as a live vaccine candidate ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-018-0175-7#Sec7 ). This TRS leader sequence, supposedly novel, is found starting at nucleotide 1465 in SARS-CoV-2 and could result, if utilized, in a novel viral RNA transcript that deletes part of the nsp2 protein of the ORF 1ab polyprotein. It is also found at nucleotide 1446 in RaTG13, one of the viruses found in the Yunnan cave in 2013, which has been proposed as a precursor to SARS-CoV-2. It is found in that area in no other coronavirus. This novel TRS sequence is also found in the 3’ ends of viral spike RNA transcripts of SARS-CoV. Why was this not mentioned in the 2018 paper describing the novel TRS sequence recombinant viruses? Is there an explanation for this? 

  • A recombinant SARS-like coronavirus (SHC015-MA15) containing a human SARS Urbani spike protein sequence inserted into a mouse adapted SARS-like coronavirus was found to develop increased pathogenicity during infection of aged but not young mice compared to the parent MA15 strain in a 2015 publication ( https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985 ). The RNA sequence of this recombinant manipulated coronavirus was not deposited in Genbank until May 2020, five years later ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0924-2 ). This is highly unusual behavior. Is there an explanation for this?

  • In the publication of SHC015-MA15 above in November 2015, the attribution of funding of Shi Zheng Li by the US NIAID was initially left out ( https://www.nature.com/articles/nm0416-446d ).  It was reinstated in the publication in 2016 in a corrigendum, perhaps after the meeting in January 2016 to possibly reinstate NIH funding for gain of function virus research. This is also unusual scientific behavior. Is there an explanation for this?

  • After amino acid 604 of the spike protein of RaTG13, there is no difference between the spike of RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2, yet other coronaviruses have multiple differences in this area ( https://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674(20)30262-2.pdf ).  The only difference between these two viruses is in the PRRA furin cleavage site, and there are novel nucleotide changes apparently inserted into SARS-CoV-2 that allow insertion of this furin cleavage site into RaTG13 ( https://medium.com/@yurideigin/lab-made-cov2-genealogy-through-the-lens-of-gain-of-function-research-f96dd7413748 ).  Is there a natural explanation for this?

There are quite possibly very simple and very benign explanations for all of these questions as well as others. They likely can be answered by a simple independent audit of the WIV P4 laboratories where the novel coronaviruses were being studied. This is one of the first steps international authorities usually take. Such an independent audit has not taken place, which is highly unusual scientific behavior.

The origin of the virus is extremely important in helping us determine what is going to happen going forward in the pandemic, as well as to suggest what possible therapies could have activity. 

It is therefore critical that we determine a precisely as we can the origin of the virus.

We are not the only scientists considering this.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.202000091 

We do not want in any way to cast aspersions on individual scientists or countries. All we want to do, as we have done from the beginning, is ask questions of the data.  We hope that there is international cooperation to put this issue to rest, hopefully with a benign conclusion. We also hope there is again widespread honest discussion about the risks and the benefits of gain of function viral research.

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