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The Origins of Covid-19: An Investigation of the Wuhan Institute of Virology [pdf] (house.gov)
25 points by orbifold on Aug 16, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

One thing that stood out to me is the summary of the gain of function research conducted at WIV. For example p.41 quotes a PhD study, which describes that they had developed all the necessary techniques to modify corona virus samples to be infectious to humans by modifying their spike proteins, without leaving any evidence of genetic manipulation:

> We established a reverse genetics system for coronaviruses, and based on the genomic backbone of WIV1, we established a scheme to replace the S gene without traces, constructed infectious BAC clones of 12 S-gene chimeric recombinant viruses, and successfully rescued. Four of these recombinant viral strains (including Rs4231, Rs4874, Rs7327, and SHC014) were tested for ACE2 utilization by these strains in humans, civets, and bats.

The report concludes:

> As such, it is clear that Shi and others at the WIV not only possessed the capability to genetically modify coronaviruses “without traces,” but were actively doing so in the years leading up to the current pandemic.

>Based on the material collected and analyzed by the Committee Minority Staff, the preponderance of evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from a Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory sometime prior to September 12, 2019.

For those of us who aren't American, please provide some context! This report is from the "minority staff" of the house foreign affairs committee. It lists a "lead republican" as the author on the title page. Was it only authored by republicans? Why does the URL have GOP in it? Is it an unbiased, objective investigation from the US machinery of government that happens to be headed by a republican (I remember news articles about Biden ordering a more thorough investigation?) -- or is it a politically motivated, "political" document?

The US republicans seem to be quite happy to be completely counterfactual at times (e.g. denying that trump lost; or legislating locally that pi==3...), and I have genuinely no idea how much credence to lend this document.

I'm not American either, but looks like the Americans have separate Democrat and Republican versions of each of the parliament committees(?).

This is an HoR Committee, there is only one House Foreign Affairs committee but it like every other committee has a majority and minority split based on the amount of representatives from each party.

As an American, I can tell you the fact that this comes from the GOP (and not an unbiased source) is a giant red flag.

Is there anyone in the govt who is unbiased? Or perhaps more accurate, uncompromised?

In positions of power, No. I would, however, like to be proven wrong.

China broke into the US government's primary background check database the last time Biden was in the White House (the OPM hack, 2015). Personal details of millions of government employees with secret and top secret clearances, as well as the contact details for their family, friends, and coworkers over 7+ years (as required by said background checks) were stolen. The vast majority of people with a career in government service have a personal file somewhere in a CCP database - that is the baseline level of compromise.

The government did not lift a finger towards China in response.

Google "US government compromised by China" and you'll get loads of stories going back several years. This seems like an issue that affects all Americans.

Many US institutions are effectively controlled by Democrats. Journalists, educators, Big Tech, Washington D.C bureaucrats - all overwhelmingly Democrat. Same with the US government's executive branch today. Coincidentally, all of these institutions are soft on China, and for those that are capable of it, they will and do censor people who raise too many alarms about what's going on. It's very strange and sad that only Republicans seem to care.

The political party that's currently dominating has expressed their desires to have policies similar to those of China. Some examples are forced lockdowns, forced vaccinations, centralized economic control, forced disarmament of citizens, and limits on freedom of speech. Makes one wonder if the CCP is leading them by example.

Let us look on the bright side: With all the "alternate facts" promulgated by politicians one must undertake some discernment of the context, the source, and not immediately accept what is said as fact. This hesitancy to immediately accept what is written is a good quality to have. Unfortunately it does not seem to be a widespread quality in the US voter.

Many people were raised and psychologically used to the days when news media had professional journalist who dug out the truth and presented it to the people. Many have still that mindset even though those days are in the past, and many media sources are tainted with other objectives than digging out the truth. That seems to be left to the individual. So Life is forcing us to grow more discerning; hopefully there will be a long term payoff.

“In this addendum, we have uncovered further evidence of how top scientists at the WIV and Dr. Peter Daszak, an American scientist, furthered that cover-up. Their actions include bullying other scientists who questioned whether the virus could have leaked from a lab; misleading the world about how a virus can be modified without leaving a trace; and, in many, instances directly lying about the nature of the research they were conducting, as well as the low-level safety protocols they were using for that research.”

We have so man “show trials” in Congress. How is it that the only public questioning of Daszak was on the Racinello YouTube channel? Sort of astounding to me, unless he is “one of ours,” as they say.

Plenty of public questioning of Daszak and his associates was censored as “misinformation”.

Who questioned him? I’ve only found that racinello interview and my takeaway was that daszak seemed, how to put it, like an atypical sort of scientist with a curious background. Fauci’s response, “I want to say, officially, that you don’t know what you’re talking about” seems consistent with my speculation as to Daszak’s less overt affiliations.

I'd rather not make this political, but should one be suspicious of something coming from a specific political party (in this case the GOP) rather than a neutral/bipartisan source?

It seems the GOP are continually trying to pin this on the Chinese government. Even the introduction is a bit leading in my opinion:

> Until that time, it must be assumed General Secretary Xi and the Chinese Communist Party, prioritizes preserving the Party over the lives of its own people and those around the global suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you read this or do a little bit of googling you will understand why your question is naive at best, but more accurately I’d say you are misinformed. You can’t help but be misinformed because we’ve put out a lot of misinformation. Why?

I agree, I was more-or-less tiptoeing around. My question was definitely rhetorical and I am highly suspicious of the source.

Of interest: This was previously flagged 10 days ago here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28076193 (5 comments)

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