This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Science Exposes Wuhan China Virus
Sam Pearson 6/9/2021 5:11 AM
I have been thinking and reading about how COVID-19 got started and found that Dr. Alina Chan, Broad Institute, MIT pointed out a detail no one else had noticed: COVID-19 contains an uncommon genetic sequence that has been used by genetic engineers in the past to insert genes into coronaviruses without leaving a trace, and it falls at the exact point that would allow experimenters to swap out different genetic parts to change the infectivity.
The statistical likelihood of 4 positively charged amino acids in sequence is mathematically the equivalent of flipping a coin 208 times and getting heads each time, it is the dead giveaway that the virus was created rather than a natural occurrence. Obviously, this defies the laws of biophysics and can only be manufactured in a lab. Going forward it will be interesting to see how the Communist Party of China can convince national leaders and their scientist that this was in fact a natural occurrence. I am still surprised that President Biden would have stopped the research initiated by President Trump to identify the cause of COVID-19s origination.
As best I can determine this is the COVID-19 timeline (I am using Dr Chan's comments where appropriate:
October 24, 2019, the first key paper was published in the journal Viruses. The authors were Ping Liu, Wu Chen and Jin-Ping Chen. December 12, 2019, the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, and January 12, 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence was published.
January 20, 2020, China confirmed human-to-human transmission. That same day, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researchers (Zhou et. al.) submitted a paper to the journal Nature detailing the genome of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the genome of a bat virus called RaTG13, which is 96% identical to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
RaTG13 is the most closely related virus to SARS-CoV-2, and was discovered by the WIV in 2013 after it was reported that six miners had contracted a mysterious viral infection that resulted in severe pneumonia. Three of the miners died.
January 22, 2020, Chinese officials said the virus likely spread from animals sold at a seafood market in Wuhan. That same day, Liu et. al. reuploaded the pangolin virus data into the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database that was originally published in the journal Viruses October 24, 2019. One has to ask the obvious question, "Are the two datasets identical?"
January 31, 2020, China admitted none of the animals at the Wuhan seafood market tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Then, during the week of February 7 through February 14, 2020, four separate papers are submitted to three journals:
Nature, Lam et. al.
Nature, Xiao et. al.
Current Biology, Zheng et. al.
PLOS Pathology, Liu et. al.
All four papers describe a pangolin coronavirus that shares a very similar spike receptor-binding domain with SARS-CoV-2. Liu is the co-author of two of these papers, one Nature paper and the PLOS Pathology paper.
What’s more, all four of these papers “relied heavily or solely on the Liu et al. Viruses paper,” Chan notes. Interestingly, Xiao et. al.’s Nature paper “renamed samples, failed to attribute them properly,” and “produced a profile that did not match any sample in their paper,” Chan writes.
Liu’s PLOS Pathogen paper was also missing data. All four manuscripts were posted on the preprint server bioRxiv between February 18 and 20, 2020, sending “the public into a frenzy, speculating that pangolins were the intermediate hosts who had given SARS2 to humans in a Wuhan wet market,” Chan writes.
March 17, 2020, Current Biology released a preprint of a paper describing a bat virus, RmYN02, that closely resembles SARS-CoV-2. Nature Medicine also published correspondence proposing SARS-CoV-2 is of natural origin. Both of these papers share an author with Lam et. al., which was submitted to Nature February 7, 2020.
Between January 29, 2020, and May 6, 2020, four different papers were accepted by scientific journals even though they did not share amplicon data, and some didn’t even report the raw data that scientists would need to independently assemble the published genomes.
May 19, 2020, Zhou et. al. deposited amplicon data for RaTG13, which most closely resembles SARS-CoV-2, onto the NCBI without explanation. Zhou et. al. had initially submitted their paper to Nature January 20, 2020.
This new data revealed that the sample had actually been sequenced in 2017 and 2018 — not post-COVID-19 as Zhou’s Nature paper suggested. What’s more, the new data also did not match the already published RaTG13 genome sequence, and no explanation for this discrepancy was given.
SO, “WHICH PRIVATE VIRUS DATABASE HAD THESE SEQUENCES BEEN STORED IN FOR YEARS?” AND ARE THERE “OTHER SARS VIRUSES WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT?” CHAN ASKS.
May 25, 2020, the director of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control announced the seafood market may not be the site of spillover (transmission from animal to human) as initially thought.
STUDIES UPDATED WITHOUT NOTICE OF CORRECTION
A month later, June 22, 2020, Liu et. al. posted a new paper describing a pangolin virus on the preprint server bioRxiv.
The paper shares authors with the Nature Medicine paper (touting a proximal origins theory), Current Biology (which proposed a natural insertion theory) and both of the Nature papers (which draw parallels to a pangolin coronavirus). And, since the two Nature papers were based on Liu’s Viruses paper, this new preprint paper also ties back to Liu’s original Virus paper.
The same day, a new pangolin sample was added to Xiao et. AI’s already published Nature paper, even though this sample had not been described, in any way, in the original paper (submitted February 16, 2020). Instead, this new sample resembled that found in Liu’s June 22 preprint paper.
July 7, 2020, Chan preprinted her findings that the pangolin virus genomes shown in the four papers (two Nature papers, Current Biology and PLOS Pathology) were based on data and samples from the same batch of pangolins collected in March 2019 in Guangdong, and that key data points were inaccurately reported by Xiao in Nature and Liu in PLOS Pathogens. According to Chan,
“Nature was notified about the potentially duplicated and unattributed pangolin sample.”
July 24, 2020, the WIV confirmed RaTG13 was not a novel virus. Its genome had actually been published in 2016, at which time it was named btCoV-4991.
The original sample had been sequenced again in 2018, at which time the sample was used up, leaving nothing for independent verification once SARS-CoV-2 broke out. In other words, RaTG13 was actually btCoV-4991, and had been known since 2016. Chan writes:
“This raised questions about why RaTG13 had been inaccurately reported and attributed in Zhou et. al. in Nature, and even the recent review by Shi in Nature Reviews Microbiology. As well as its connections to mysterious SARS-like cases in 2012, Yunnan, investigated by top Chinese labs.”
In August 2020, Current Biology was notified about the missing data (both raw and amplicon) for RmYN02. The paper made the authors share the raw data, but the amplicon data remains missing, so the published genome for RmYn02 still cannot be independently assembled.
By September 2020, scientists were starting to point out that there was a mismatch between the RaTG13 genome and the raw data and the amplicon data. Then, October 13, 2020, Zhou et. al. (Nature) updated the RaTG13 genome data on NCBI for the second time, again without explanation for how the mismatch had occurred or how the sample had been processed.
Those who have followed my postings since March 2020, know that I have attempted to convey the actual number of people who have been infected by all type A viruses and then extract those who were SARS-2 vs other Type A viruses who have been included in CDC data for COVID-19. This is more challenging than one may think as CDC has all of the data lumped under the same data base as opposed to being separated. Dr. Chan’s study helps to explain this anomaly in CDCs data base.
Over the next few weeks, I will: 1) Determine what was the actual risk from the virus using World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) data. 2) We will analyze what was the return on investment from the efforts to reach herd immunity comparing SARS-2 with previous similar virus outbreaks. 3) We will identify and analyze who benefitted from the way that we handled the SARS-2 virus. 4) We will attempt to identify how we should handle the next virus based on previous virus outcomes.
I wish everyone a great June!
 Weaver, Y. M., & Hagenbuch, B. (2010). Several conserved positively charged amino acids in OATP1B1 are involved in binding or translocation of different substrates. The Journal of membrane biology, 236(3), 279–290. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00232-010-9300-3
Sam Pearson is a retired Army Colonel with a variety of experience in both government and private sectors. As arguably one of the World's foremost military logisticians, he has been responsible for the on time delivery of supplies and services worth billions of dollars. After service in Southwest Asia, he was hand picked to support logistics operations in support of earthquake relief operations in Haiti. Pearson now serves as a consultant and volunteer mentor for students seeking their doctorates in advance statistical analysis.
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