On the Origin of the Covid Pandemic


This is too long for a meaningful excerpt. The origin of the report, and its motivation, are political, but it’s pretty detailed.

Have at it.

111 thoughts on “On the Origin of the Covid Pandemic

  1. dazz: According to this the have been an estimated 120 million infections in the US between Feb 2020 and May 2021, or a 36% of the population. Is this the data you are referring to? Sounds like a lot.

    I don’t buy that 120 million number – no-one has seen 36% seroprevalence, and surveys of seroprevalence are a better source than backing out from estimates of the diagnosis rate. OTOH, if that many juveniles got infected that early, then seroprevalence surveys might be an undercount…

    Going by your response, I’m guessing this will be incorrect, but I’ll try anyway.
    How about this formula to factor in natural immunity?

    Re = R0 ( 1 – ( Vac * Ve ( 1- Ni ) + Ni )

    Nope, that looks exactly right. In particular, you are right to subtract out the overlap “recovered and vaccinated”. Of course, vaccination and prior infection are not necessarily independent, but that’s the least of our worries with this math. 😮

  2. BTW, is it possible to tell in those seroprevalence trials who is immune because they recovered from an infection and who were vaccinated? Now this is a stupid question, since I’m guessing it would be as simple as asking each participant if they’re vaccinated and when.

  3. dazz,

    It is at least in theory possible to try to distinguish between immune response to one of the vaccines and immune response to an infection: someone whose only exposure is to a vaccine will likely have a strong response to the antigens in the vaccine, and no response to SARS-CoV-2 antigens not in the vaccine, although any one individual’s infection history could really mess with the analysis.
    But AFAIK the large surveys do not attempt such detailed testing.
    Also, the large surveys are conducted blind, for ethical reasons, so there’s no way to ask the patients if they’ve been vaccinated.
    So it isn’t a stupid question. At all.

  4. DNA_Jock,

    Oh, going by the survey results, it looks like they must be able to tell apart natural immunity from vaccine immunity. I mean, otherwise we would expect to see a much higher seroprevalence now that more than half the US population is fully vaccinated. Right? Or am I missing something obvious?

    Maybe there’s something here in the study methodology description:

  5. dazz: Or am I missing something obvious?

    For that original six-site study, the samples were collected between March 23 and May 3 of last year. Vaccination not a factor.
    The interactive dashboard, however, does offer estimates that are as recent as July of this year. And it does distinguish between looking for reactivity to the spike protein (all of the vaccines target the spike) and the nucleocapsid (not a vaccine constituent). Which assay is done depends on the jurisdiction and time period.
    This leads to an unfortunate apples-to-oranges situation, insofar as Puerto Rico is still reporting anti-Spike (squares) — they get up to 74.8% reactive, which includes vaccinations. For the past six months or so, the 50 states have been reporting nucleocapsid (circles), so they do NOT count the vaccinated: IL and OH manage to get into the upper 30’s, but most of the country is in that 10 – 20% range.

  6. DNA_Jock: For that original six-site study, the samples were collected between March 23 and May 3 of last year. Vaccination not a factor.

    Ouch! It’s right there in friggin title.

    Thanks once again, Jock.

  7. The animal market origin is looking even more likely, given that the previously identified “first case” accountant (who had no connection to the market) was actually infected later, after the market seafood vendor came down with CoVID.

  8. Preprints are available of the articles describing the scientific investigation of the origin of the pandemic. There’s a layman’s summation in the NYT.
    Obviously hard-core skeptics will have to await the peer-review of these papers, but the curious of mind can view the preprints here and here.
    Comments in the NYT complain (quite rightly) about the failure to locate the Wuhan Institute of Virology on the maps. Below, I “did my own research”.
    Comments in the NYT also complain about a wide range of totally spurious crap. Oh well.

  9. “ This leaves a vendor at the Huanan market, who fell ill on 10 December, as the earliest index case with a clearly established onset date, although it is unlikely that this individual was the primary case.”

    Which leads me to some questions that seem obvious.

    At what point did the Chinese become interested in the disease as something new?

    When did they isolate and sequence the virus?

    None of the animals required for the bat/pangolin scenario were present in any of the 17 Wuhan markets (and they were under constant observation from 2017 to 2019). And the only animal I’m aware of that seems confirmed to transmit Covid-19 to humans are minks, and none of the minks in the market tested positive. So why all the innuendo about the market as the source of the virus?

    I would suggest, based on china’s record for truthiness when facing embarrassment, that first case evidence is about as convincing as the bag of cocaine found by a cop who has a record for corruption, while searching a car in a traffic stop. Just saying the Chinese government is about as trustworthy as Russia’s.

    To tie the first recorded case to market animals, first find an actual progenitor candidate, then tie it to the market.

    Everyone concludes that this should be done, but they continue to assume the conclusion that the market is the source of the virus. Without stuff, you know, like evidence.

    I’m not demanding everyone be as paranoid as I am. Just as cautious about conclusion as a scientist should be, and suspicious of motives when the actors have no record to inspire trust.

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