Can anyone recommend any articles, write ups, or anything else about the 2008-09 kleptocratic dream of a stimulus?

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Re Chinese working for Western news agencies. I d say there clearly has been a huge problem in the accuracy and representstiveness reporting out of China. The embarrassing, unavoidable, fact is that over the last 50 years, chicom prognosis on China has been consistently far more accurate than Western Media prognosis on China. Why? The simplest answer is the most likely correct answer: the runners/the local eyes and ears/the returnee proxies on whom Western agencies rely are RUBBISH, due to a combination of incompetence and habitual/careerist dishonesty (telling what their bosses expect and want to hear as their background and upbringing dictate am sorry to say). I d say Chicom s unexpectedly doing the West a favour. It is an opportunity to revamp the entire methodology/strategy/philosophy on how reporting on Chinese matters is done! I dont know the solution as i m not an expert but i know the outcomes have been willfully poor and one of the problems is precisely the rot from the ground up.

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This SCMP piece looks to me like a new, sophisticated attempt to "raise questions" about the origins of COVID-19:


The Nature Med commentary referenced [1] is by some of the biggest names in evolutionary virology (Ed Holmes quite literally wrote the book on "The Evolution and Emergence of RNA Viruses", and Andrew Rambaut is a creator of BEAST, the most widely-used software for this kind of analysis).

The paper primarily explores the evidence for two scenarios that would explain COVID's emergence, (i) natural selection in an animal host then spillover into humans; and (ii) natural selection in humans following one or more historic spillover events.

There is also some brief discussion which (convincingly) rules out deliberate bio-engineering as a plausible origin, and (somewhat less convincingly) argues that the evidence is against an accidental laboratory release scenario.

In essence, they determined that there's currently no way to conclusively determine which scenario occurred. This might technically be true, but doesn't particularly matter; either the virus spilled over with the ability to efficiently infect humans, or it acquired this ability in a recent mutation after period of silent transmission. Either way, the crucial event is overwhelmingly likely to have occurred in Wuhan around November 2019, which could and should have been caught and acted on immediately.

The SCMP piece spins this as the authors having "found [COVID] might have made the jump from animal to humans long before the first detection in the central China city of Wuhan", then later alludes to alleged unexplained pneumonia cases elsewhere in the world.

While Zhao Lijian's nonsense won't convince anyone who's paying even casual attention to the science, I feel like the narrative pushed in this SCMP piece actually might.

[1] Andersen, K.G., Rambaut, A., Lipkin, W.I. et al. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nat Med (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0820-9

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