Monday, June 7, 2021

Wall St. Journal: The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak

By Steven Quay and Richard Muller

Wall St. Journal, June 6, 2021: The possibility that the pandemic began with an escape from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is attracting fresh attention. President Biden has asked the national intelligence community to redouble efforts to investigate.

Much of the public discussion has focused on circumstantial evidence: mysterious illnesses in late 2019; the lab’s work intentionally supercharging viruses to increase lethality (known as “gain of function” research). The Chinese Communist Party has been reluctant to release relevant information. Reports based on U.S. intelligence have suggested the lab collaborated on projects with the Chinese military.

But the most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. In particular, consider the genetic fingerprint of CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the disease Covid-19. 

In gain-of-function research, a microbiologist can increase the lethality of a coronavirus enormously by splicing a special sequence into its genome at a prime location. Doing this leaves no trace of manipulation. But it alters the virus spike protein, rendering it easier for the virus to inject genetic material into the victim cell. Since 1992 there have been at least 11 separate experiments adding a special sequence to the same location. The end result has always been supercharged viruses.

A genome is a blueprint for the factory of a cell to make proteins. The language is made up of three-letter “words,” 64 in total, that represent the 20 different amino acids. For example, there are six different words for the amino acid arginine, the one that is often used in supercharging viruses. Every cell has a different preference for which word it likes to use most.

In the case of the gain-of-function supercharge, other sequences could have been spliced into this same site. Instead of a CGG-CGG (known as “double CGG”) that tells the protein factory to make two arginine amino acids in a row, you’ll obtain equal lethality by splicing any one of 35 of the other two-word combinations for double arginine. If the insertion takes place naturally, say through recombination, then one of those 35 other sequences is far more likely to appear; CGG is rarely used in the class of coronaviruses that can recombine with CoV-2.

In fact, in the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2, the CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here. A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn’t present in any other virus.

Although the double CGG is suppressed naturally, the opposite is true in laboratory work. The insertion sequence of choice is the double CGG. That’s because it is readily available and convenient, and scientists have a great deal of experience inserting it. An additional advantage of the double CGG sequence compared with the other 35 possible choices: It creates a useful beacon that permits the scientists to track the insertion in the laboratory.

Now the damning fact. It was this exact sequence that appears in CoV-2. Proponents of zoonotic origin must explain why the novel coronavirus, when it mutated or recombined, happened to pick its least favorite combination, the double CGG. Why did it replicate the choice the lab’s gain-of-function researchers would have made?

Yes, it could have happened randomly, through mutations. But do you believe that? At the minimum, this fact—that the coronavirus, with all its random possibilities, took the rare and unnatural combination used by human researchers—implies that the leading theory for the origin of the coronavirus must be laboratory escape.

When the lab’s Shi Zhengli and colleagues published a paper in February 2020 with the virus’s partial genome, they omitted any mention of the special sequence that supercharges the virus or the rare double CGG section. Yet the fingerprint is easily identified in the data that accompanied the paper. Was it omitted in the hope that nobody would notice this evidence of the gain-of-function origin?

But in a matter of weeks virologists Bruno Coutard and colleagues published their discovery of the sequence in CoV-2 and its novel supercharged site. Double CGG is there; you only have to look. They comment in their paper that the protein that held it “may provide a gain-of-function” capability to the virus, “for efficient spreading” to humans.

There is additional scientific evidence that points to CoV-2’s gain-of-function origin. The most compelling is the dramatic differences in the genetic diversity of CoV-2, compared with the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS.

Both of those were confirmed to have a natural origin; the viruses evolved rapidly as they spread through the human population, until the most contagious forms dominated. Covid-19 didn’t work that way. It appeared in humans already adapted into an extremely contagious version. No serious viral “improvement” took place until a minor variation occurred many months later in England.

Such early optimization is unprecedented, and it suggests a long period of adaptation that predated its public spread. Science knows of only one way that could be achieved: simulated natural evolution, growing the virus on human cells until the optimum is achieved. That is precisely what is done in gain-of-function research. Mice that are genetically modified to have the same coronavirus receptor as humans, called “humanized mice,” are repeatedly exposed to the virus to encourage adaptation.

The presence of the double CGG sequence is strong evidence of gene splicing, and the absence of diversity in the public outbreak suggests gain-of-function acceleration. The scientific evidence points to the conclusion that the virus was developed in a laboratory.

Dr. Quay is founder of Atossa Therapeutics and author of “Stay Safe: A Physician’s Guide to Survive Coronavirus.” Mr. Muller is an emeritus professor of physics at the University of California Berkeley and a former senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


  1. "In gain-of-function research, a microbiologist can increase the lethality of a coronavirus enormously by splicing a special sequence into its genome at a prime location. Doing this leaves no trace of manipulation."

    This answers a relevant question you recently asked, as to why scientists wouldn't be able to detect the genetic engineering of other scientists. The insertion itself is not detectable.

    What is easily detectable is how very strange this particular insertion is, and actually NEVER SEEN in naturally-occurring viral sequences. And what's more-- is commonly used by genetic engineers for the reasons enumerated in the article.

    What this highlights-- that the scientists have seen and understood how unlikely the natural origin of Covid19 would be, while simultaneously seeing how likely lab origin is-- is it doesn't matter what scientists see, think, or find likely or reasonable. What matters is what the mass media chooses to tell the public scientists see, think, or find likely or reasonable. The mass media has chosen to lie to the public about these matters. In the case of Facebook and Google, actively-aggressively so, especially by their censorship of dissenting views and criticism.

    Well, the truth is out there now, but I am quite sure only a small number of people will truly pick up on it.

    I trust the Wall Street Journal. The business community requires accurate information in order to coordinate and manage competently. Back in the early 2000's when the NYT and the other "organs of disinformation" were peddling stories of WMD's and so forth in Iraq, I wasn't a bit fooled. I was reading the WSJ, and the WSJ, just by providing accurate information, was mocking what the rest of the press was churning out.

  2. I'm beginning to understand what's going on.

    RNA viruses readily produce variants. This is known. It was known from the beginning there would be variants. There would be variants regardless of how health authorities or anyone else responded. The variants would vary in pathogenicity. This was also known.

    An RNA virus was lab-equipped with a gain-of-function sequence amplifying the viruses infectivity and enter human cells.

    Purely by chance, this original, artificially-derived RNA virus was not virulent for the vast majority of the population.

    If there were no variants of the original, artificially-derived RNA virus, it would have spread through the global population, mild symptoms at most would have been exhibited by nearly everyone, while all the infected people of the world would gain immunity to this virus, and quite quickly, herd immunity would have been achieved. End of story.

    You very well understood this far ahead of nearly everyone, CS.

    When the additional "waves" of infection and sickness started hitting, I assumed all we were seeing was a manifestation of an inappropriate test yielding false positives, especially when the number of deaths declined to pre-pandemic levels simultaneously in much of the world.

    It has also been difficult to know how many of the elevated death counts in such places as the US have been due to collateral damage of the lockdowns and so forth, and how much due to Covid19 resurfacing in a very inexplicable way.

    However that may be, there are now variants of the original Covid19, as could have been predicted, and they are more dangerous than the original Covid19. Just as infectious, and yet more lethal, affecting, apparently, a much wider demographic. And this is just the beginning.

    My opinion is people were willing to go along with lockdowns and so forth, but only with the promise it would all end at some point. Whether it was true or not, people appear to have believed getting vaccinated would be the end point. They are behaving as if that is the cold hard fact of the matter. They are fed up. There's a chance they are in more danger now than before, and may end up in hideous danger. No matter. They are fed up. My doctor "friends" are fed up and also ceasing to observe or recommend compliance. It just shows how important science and reason are...Hardly at all.

  3. "That's how the masses are kept in almost total ignorance, but in a state of endless agitation and anxiety, to be readily panicked in any direction the elite may chose."

    In compliance with the FOIA request, Fauci dumped 3200+ of his emails into the public domain.

    As you once observed, it's all a bunch of old, cheap tricks. This one is the "avalanche of information" technique.

    Buried within the 3200+ emails are a handful of incriminating emails.

    Thing is, though, the news cycle will have moved on before the incriminating emails are fully discovered, sorted out, analyzed, and discussed. By that time, this will all be an old story and we'll have moved on. We'll no longer be concerned.

    Remember Fauci and Cuomo having law suits filed against them for dumping elderly Covid-positive hospitalized patients back into the nursing homes? I couldn't find any follow-up when I googled on that. It was a hot story few days-- then poof. This is happening all the time. The news cycle rules.

    1. Looking for law suits against Fauci and Cuomo I came across this:

      Lawsuit Claims $600M In Damages Against Ontario Long-Term Care Homes

      Remind me, when I become totally addled, to commit suicide, since death is clearly preferable to life in a Canadian "Care Home".

  4. "In the race to build the world’s first round of coronavirus vaccines, the spike protein—the thorny knobs that adorn each of the pathogen’s particles—was our MVP. Spike is a key ingredient in virtually every one of our current pandemic-fighting shots; it has been repeatedly billed as essential for tickling out any immune response worth its salt. “People put all their eggs in the spike basket,” Juliet Morrison, a virologist at UC Riverside, told me. And it undoubtedly paid off.

    In recent months, though, it’s become clear that the coronavirus is a slippery, shape-shifting foe—and spike appears to be one of its most malleable traits. Eventually, our first generation of spike-centric vaccines will likely become obsolete. To get ahead of that inevitability, several companies are already looking to develop new vaccine formulations packed with additional bits of the coronavirus, ushering in an end to our monogamous affair with spike. The potential perks of this tactic run the gamut: More vaccine ingredients could help the body identify more targets to attack, and loop in untapped reservoirs of immune cells that have no interest in spike."


    "To be clear, setting our sights on spike has served us well. The vaccines we’ve built against the coronavirus continue to be astoundingly effective shields against disease largely because the protein is such an excellent teaching tool for an immune system that’s readying itself to duel. Spike, which helps the virus unlock and enter human cells, is one of the pathogen’s most salient and dangerous features, certainly among the first that will be spotted by immune cells and molecules on patrol."


    There's some rationale for you, CS. Or, as I see it, some naive cheerleading from hapless, ignorant, pompous fools.

    1. Thanks very much for that explanatory?! reference, originating I see, from the Atlantic. If I have a spare weekend, I'll try to read the whole piece.

      Still, from the bit you quote, the article confirms that using the spike protein as the vaccine antigen was not the only option, or, in view of the mounting vaccine death toll, the the best choice -- assuming that saving lives was the purpose of vaccinating everyone, even infants at virtually no risk whatever from the virus.

  5. Does anyone remember this?

    In the early days of the "pandemic" physicians were concerned about a shortage of remdesivir, a broad spectrum anti-viral medication believed by our medical professionals to be our best defense against Covid19.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considered remdesivir to be a first-in-class medication. In other words, remdesivir is relatively novel and untested. It's use has been controversial, and in a way represents a breach in protocol for what's considered safe to administer to the general public.


    (1)"The most common side effect in healthy volunteers is raised blood levels of liver enzymes (a sign of liver problems).[8] The most common side effect in people with COVID‑19 is nausea.[8] Side effects may include liver inflammation and an infusion-related reaction with nausea, low blood pressure, and sweating.[18]"


    (2)"The most common side effect in healthy volunteers is raised blood levels of liver enzymes (a sign of liver problems).[8] The most common side effect in people with COVID‑19 is nausea.[8] Side effects may include liver inflammation and an infusion-related reaction with nausea, low blood pressure, and sweating.[18]"

    (3)"In November 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its guideline on therapeutics for COVID-19 to include a conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir, triggered by results from the WHO Solidarity trial.[14][23] The European Medicines Agency announced that they will evaluate new data to see if a revision to the authorization of remdesivir is needed.[24]"

    (4)"In November 2020, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the combination of baricitinib with remdesivir, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized people two years of age or older requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).[25]"

    (5)"According to international experts from the British Medical Journal, remdesivir "probably has no important effect on the need for mechanical ventilation and may have little or no effect on the length of hospital stay". Because of the high price, the authors point out that remdesivir may divert funds and efforts away from other treatments against COVID‑19.[26][27]"

    (6)"In November 2020, the World Health Organization updated its guideline on therapeutics for COVID-19 to include a conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir, triggered by results from the WHO Solidarity trial.[14][23]

    (7)"The most common adverse effects in people treated with remdesivir were respiratory failure and blood biomarkers of organ impairment, including low albumin, low potassium, low count of red blood cells, low count of thrombocytes, and elevated bilirubin (jaundice).[28] Other reported adverse effects include gastrointestinal distress, elevated transaminase levels in the blood (liver enzymes), infusion site reactions, and electrocardiogram abnormalities.[12] Remdesivir may cause infusion‐related reactions, including low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating or shivering.[29]

    (8)"Infusion‐related reactions. Infusion‐related reactions have been seen during a remdesivir infusion or around the time remdesivir was given.[29] Signs and symptoms of infusion‐related reactions may include: low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shivering.[29] Increases in levels of liver enzymes, seen in abnormal liver blood tests.[29] Increases in levels of liver enzymes have been seen in people who have received remdesivir, which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver."

  6. Oops. (3) and (6) are the same. The source is:

    The point is the medical profession is assuming in the face of a deadly disease risks and side effects which might ordinarily be considered unacceptable, are considered to be the least of our worries.

    They also seem to believe rushing things into treatment settings is justified, maybe because "this is better than nothing."

    I've started to feel real contempt for medical doctors. First, they assumed the worst about the "pandemic"-- that it was as deadly as the bubonic plague. Secondly, they immediately jumped to the conclusion what we needed in the therapeuatic department was a medication. Thirdly, they jumped to the conclusion this would be remdesiver. (Why? Because it was a broad-spectrum antiviral medication? So, perhaps, if you have to shoot at something you don't know about, choose a shotgun?Or, perhaps, because the sales representatives of the pharmaceuticals recommended it, and that's enough for M.D.s?) Fourth, because no matter what happens and no matter how damaging it has obviously been, they give themselves a good pat on the back. They can, as they see it, do no wrong. Fifthly, because their reasoning is time and time again questionable. Above, note their awareness the spike protein is the most dangerous part of the virus. Yet instead of considering this might be the best reason to not induce the spike protein, they cheer using the spike protein because "it will provide a good target" for the immune system. (That, by the way, appears to be just a guess. For all these pompous morons know, some other protein of the virus might be better, and much, much less dangerous. They simply do not know how to ask questions. Or think it through. At least most of them don't.)

    1. Yeah, but propose using something like hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin -- widely used drugs with minimal side effects, and they publish fake papers "proving" that these substances are highly dangerous, then they burn down factories making the stuff ... But only paranoid people suspect arson.


      Many scientists citing two scandalous COVID-19 papers ignore their retractions

      Whether HCQ is in fact useful seems open to question although a meta-analysis suggests a minor benefit at low dose rates.

    2. But it is open to question whether the value of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been fairly evaluated. As the very high powered medical research professor, Dr. Peter McCullough has pointed out, HCQ is an antiviral medication, so there is no point in using it to treat someone with breathing difficulty once they have been admitted to hospital. By that time the virus, which has damaged to the vascular system of the lungs, has long been eliminated by the patient's immune system response. So if HCQ is useful, its value will be in the earliest stages of infection, not by the time the patient is no longer able to breath easily.

      According to McCullough, treatment with HCQ, ivermectin and vitamin D in the immediate post infection stage, is highly effective in moderating the severity of the disease. For more see here.

  7. In the one study I saw, of 13 young, healthy adults administered with remdesiver, 11 exhibited elevated liver enzymes in the blood. This might be insignificant if young, healthy adults were exceptionally at risk from Covid19 infection, but they are not. Remdesivir strikes me as dangerous. (Insults to the liver can be cumulative and are usually asymptomatic until they are so far advanced as to be near-lethal or lethal.)The medical profession abandoned its Hippocratic oath when administering remdesiver to young, healthy adults. They did harm. They did no good, and they did harm. (Imagine administering this to two-year olds.) The truth is, they do this all the time. They are out of control.