Ron Runz, founder of Unz.com, for the past year has been pushing a theory that Covid originated from an American lab, and that US military officials somehow deliberately infected China and the Iran leadership with Covid, and then the virus got out of control and spread everywhere.
The fact he believes this despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and gaping holes in his thesis, is evidence people who are objectively very smart in terms of IQ and other accomplishments, can still believe really dumb things. To put it another way, if being smart means the ability to rationalize things, then it does not necessarily prelude rationalizing wrong things, too.
“…..we are left with the strong likelihood that Covid came from a laboratory (and) was designed as a bioweapon… China was the intended target (and) America seems the likely source of the attack… The most likely suspects would be rogue elements of our national security establishment… The virus and its dispersal devices might have been obtained from Ft. Detrick and CIA operatives… would have been sent to Wuhan to release it.” Ron Unz, Editor of The Unz Review; from the text
Although it’s possible, even likely, that Covid leaked from a lab in China and originated from bats, the evidence is much weaker that it was genetically modified (gain of function research) or an entirely new, man-made virus. The evidence suggests this is not possible, and that Covid does not exhibit the characteristics that would be expected if it were modified:
Narrator: Simply, there is just not enough knowledge about how to make a new virus that would also cause significant devastation, like SARS-CoV-2 has. So creating a new, deadly backbone is pretty much impossible. But there is another way the novel coronavirus could have been created in a lab, and that would be using an existing virus backbone or genetic sequence as a starting point.
With a recycled backbone, two main methods could have been used to create the new virus. They could’ve either quickly mutated it, or added and deleted parts of the existing virus. But additions and deletions in a virus leave a trace that can be pointed out pretty quickly, a little bit like removing a red brick from a wall and replacing it with a black brick. This is exactly what Maciej Boni, an associate professor at Penn State, looked for.
So the virus probably came from a lab. But the question now becomes “which lab?” Just as the MSM had promoted the totally unsubstantiated belief that Covid was natural, the MSM has now begun promoting the equally unsubstantiated belief that Covid accidentally leaked from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. However, the evidence of any such Wuhan lab-leak is so thin as to be almost invisible.
So, really, the virus originting in a city that happens to be in close proximity to a virology lab that was doing research on SARs-like viruses, is evidence that is “so thin as to be almost invisible”?
Wuhan is an enormously large metropolis of 11 million, much larger than New York City, and the Wuhan lab is located 20 miles(!) from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was the earliest epicenter of the Wuhan outbreak. A distance of 20 miles seems pretty far for an accidental lab-leak.
Yes, because cars, buses, trains, and airplanes do not exist. The virus must have become sentient and teleported itself to Wuhan using some unknown technology that violates all known laws of physics.
Immediately after the initial Wuhan outbreak, the virus began infecting Iran’s top political elites, and killing a number of them. Isn’t it implausible that a random lab-leak in Wuhan would so quickly jump to the Holy City of Qom on the other side of the world?
Iran health officials traced the virus to China:
The origin of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran can be traced to Chinese workers and students in the Shia holy city of Qom, said an Iranian deputy health minister.
“A strong epidemiology team began their research from the day we had the first coronavirus case in Qom,” deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said on Wednesday.
“Based on the findings, this disease is clearly and specifically from Chinese workers and students in Qom,” Raisi added.
I think I will trust actual health deputy, who has no reason to trust the US, over Mr. Unz.
Iran is on the other side of the world from China, and very few Chinese visit the Holy City of Qom. So it’s extremely strange that the Covid virus would have jumped so extremely quickly from a Wuhan lab-leak to Iran’s top political leadership, which suffered the next major outbreak.
All you need is a single infected person to board a plane and infect a new population in a new country. This is why restricting air travel and other transportation is so important to curbing epidemics, assuming it is not too late. The problem is, a long incubation period means a lot of asymptomatic spread, making the virus hard to contain.
America has the world’s largest and most comprehensive biowarfare program, and America’s two leading international adversaries—China and Iran—were almost simultaneously hit by a mysterious, deadly virus. Suspicion seems to point in a pretty obvious direction.
This does not prove anything. The US is the ‘world’s largest’ at many things.
Meanwhile, large numbers of right-wing, anti-China, or pro-Trump websites regularly claimed that the Covid outbreak was due to a lab-leak in Wuhan, and sometimes suggested that the virus was a Chinese bioweapon. I think we almost alone in focusing upon America’s huge and well-documented biowarfare program, sometimes publishing important articles that had been rejected elsewhere, and pointing suspicion in that direction.
And many of those sites and users got banned too. If social media companies supressed Unz.com for his article blaming the US for Covid, why would they also supress content suggesting a Chinese origin, too, if they are covering for the misdeeds of former? If social media companies are in on the conspiracy to suppress information blaming the US for Covid, wouldn’t they promote content that boosts the credibly of the Chinese lab leak hypothesis or gain of function research?
Meanwhile, the American government mostly ignored the entire potential problem and the possibility that the virus would back into the U.S. Our CDC botched the production of testing-kits, so for many weeks we had no way of knowing if the virus was starting to spread here. Trump and his supporters engaged in wishful thinking, claiming that the virus wasn’t dangerous and might disappear “like magic.” The American government only started to take the problem seriously after the horrific outbreak in Northern Italy.
But it was not wishful thinking…Trump was right…later data in April from prison studies showed a much higher rate of asymptomatic infection than previously assumed in Jan-Feb, meaning a much lower IFR (.05-.10% vs. 1%). Similar to the flu, is it by in large old people who are dying or getting really sick from this.
there were 300 American military servicemen visiting Wuhan for the World Military Games, which ended in late October. That visit would have provided perfect cover for America to slip a couple of operatives into the group, and have them release the virus in the city.
This doesn’t prove causality. Some participants reported feeling sick after returning to their home countries, suggesting the virus was already present instead of having been planted.
Meanwhile, the American government mostly ignored the entire potential problem and the possibility that the virus would back into the U.S.
How could officials not account for this possibility given how easily Covid spreads? How could this possibly be ignored if the virus was engineered to spread easily?
Although we cannot categorically rule it out, the evidence Unz presents is pretty weak even by the standards of conspiracy theories. All he did was string together some things that coincidentally could implicate the US, but these are inconclusive or easily refuted.