40 thoughts on “Friday’s Papers

  1. f_lawless

    I think this is an important story, . A glimpse into the murky world of genetically-modified pathogen research. It’s another aspect to the potential threat of pandemics which deserves more scrutiny.

    https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741

    Last year, the US ‘National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases’, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, gave millions in funding to scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. ‘Gain-of-function’ involves manipulating a virus so that it can infect humans.

    The insanely risky rationale for creating these highly dangerous modified viruses, apparently, is to aid the development of pharmaceuticals that might one day be used to combat any animal viruses which may develop gain-of-function naturally at some point in the future.

    Considering that similar work is also being done at numerous state-run bio-research (bio-warfare?) laboratories around the world (the US Defence Dept leads the way, operating such laboratories in 25 foreign countries worldwide), we’ve reached a precarious point where the world is potentially just one lab technician’s mistake away from causing a pandemic – a mistake, or not inconceivably, something more nefarious.

    1. Cian

      You don’t think that countries should be looking for cures for viruses like SARS, WARS, COVID-19, or whatever the next virus is?

    2. SOQ

      Yes- the US government’s chief adviser on public health is also responsible for part funding the ‘gain of function’ of bat viruses in China’s only level 4 lab- besides which this outbreak took place- fact.

      There has been a calls to fire Fauci which so far Trump has resisted but he also now claiming to have proof that CoVid-19 came out of that lab. If correct, which I suspect it is, then Fauci is gone.

      Either way, those labs contain some of the most dangerous pathogens on earth which could potentially wipe out the entire human race and probably most other species too.

      Once let loose, their trajectory is unknown and unless a cure is found in advance, which is near impossible, they will cause suffering at a level never seen before.

      There is no reason for them to exist.

      1. Cian

        “There is no reason for them to exist.”

        Except, perhaps, to find a cure for them?

        1. SOQ

          ‘Gain of function’ is not researching cures for existing diseases Cian- their reasons are not altruistic.

          1. SOQ

            Apologies Cian- my assumption was that ‘gain of function’ was specifically to do with bio weapons but it appears not- you may be right.

        2. f_lawless

          “You don’t think that countries should be looking for cures for viruses like SARS, WARS, COVID-19, or whatever the next virus is?”

          I never said that.

          From 2019: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/virus-biological-us-army-weapons-fort-detrick-leak-ebola-anthrax-smallpox-ricin-a9042641.html

          “America’s main biological warfare lab has been ordered to stop all research into the deadliest viruses and pathogens over fears contaminated waste could leak out of the facility…

          In 2009, research at Fort Detrick was suspended because it was discovered it was storing pathogens which were not listed on its inventory.”

          Fort Detrick was also discovered to be the source of the weaponised anthrax which was posted to several media newsrooms and Democratic senators in 2001.

          They can’t even properly manage the safety of labs in their own back yard.

          1. Mart Cattle

            You never said it because you were too busy poo-stirring with your conspri fruit bat and nut gobspoo-ery as usual.

          2. Cian

            you said “There is no reason for them to exist.”

            Let me rephrase
            “Do think that countries should be looking for cures for viruses like SARS, WARS, COVID-19, or whatever the next virus is?” and if so
            “Where should they do this research if not in BSL–4 laboratories”

          3. SOQ

            I don’t think there is a reason for them to exist no- because they are too bloody dangerous. As the newsweek article I have posted above, there has already been leaks out of those places.

            What is the point in creating new deadly pathogens when the only way a cure can be found is to first release them into the human population?

            Apart from as a bio weapon of course which is completely illegal so no government is ever going to admit to that.

          4. f_lawless

            “Do think that countries should be looking for cures for viruses like SARS, WARS, COVID-19, or whatever the next virus is?”

            Of course countries should be looking for cures to existing viruses and trying to prepare as best they can in a reasonable way for possible future pandemics. But to be actually creating new instances of very things which have the potential to decimate the human race or worse is in the realms of mad cap science. As the Newsweek article alludes to, many scientists have openly declared their opposition to these practices on safety grounds.

            I think that in order to best protect ourselves from the risk of future pandemics, an important part of what needs to happen is that increased public spotlight be put on the highly dangerous practices going on in these labs in the hope that there will be a collective global effort to put an end to them.

          5. SOQ

            There has to be some sort of global action now. I just don’t accept that this could happen within a stones throw of the only L4 lab in a country the size of China- what are the odds?

  2. GiggidyGoo

    Ministers begging Taoiseach Holohan to go easy on older people. The Boy Waster Varadkar becomes Taoiseach Holohan’s mouthpiece.

  3. Charlie

    Good morning people! Have a lovely weekend, stay positive and steer clear of the incessantly unhappy whingers. Life’s too short x

      1. Mart Cattle

        Lol I note you call nearly every other poster who despises you (and there are many) B9 now. Carry on!

        1. GiggidyGoo

          Naw, only the B9 fellow.
          Now, why would you despise me? You don’t even know me. Maybe you suffer from Hoose, or Mange-Mite or Female Ostertagia and it’s playing with your facilities? Try Nilzan

  4. jamesjoist

    May day greetings to all Broadsheeters. Perhaps a verse of a rousing anthem can shake some of the lethargy from fellow lockdowners . Arise you workers from your slumbers. Arise you criminals of want. For reason in revolt now thunders and at last ends the age of cant. Now away with all your superstitions. Servile masses arise arise . We’ll change henceforth the old conditions and spurn the dust to win the prize . Then comrades come rally and the last fight let us face . The Internationale unites the human race . It’s no use , I’m going back to bed .

        1. bisted

          …what about:

          Take it down from the mast Irish traitors
          It’s the flag we republicans claim
          It should never be flown by free staters
          For you brought on it nothing but shame…

    1. Andrew

      Which side are you on boys?
      Which side are you on?
      Which side are you on boys?
      Which side are you on?
      They say in Harlan County
      There are no neutrals there.
      You’ll either be a union man
      Or a thug for J. H. Blair.
      Which side are you on boys?
      Which side are you on?
      Which side are you on boys?
      Which side are you on?
      My dady was a miner,
      And I’m a miner’s son,
      He’ll be with you fellow workers
      Until this battle’s won.
      Which side are you on?
      Which side are you on?
      Which side are you on?
      Which side are you on?
      Oh workers can you stand it?
      Oh tell me how you can?
      Will you be a lousy scab
      Or will you be a man?

      1. Paulus

        Natalie Merchant does a great version of this on The House Carpenter’s Daughter.

  5. Bertie Theodore Alphege Blenkinsop

    Ah cool, it’s okay to love Victoria Beckham again… phew :)

    1. Brother Barnabas

      how would you feel if she caught you unawares and furloughed you, bert?

      1. Bertie Theodore Alphege Blenkinsop

        Could you imagine standing in front of her in your nudey wudey, with your little willy and pot belly when she’s used to David Beckham :)

  6. Gabby

    May Day is a rallying day for skilled, semi-killed and unskilled manual workers and domestic staff, and supermarket, hospital, fire brigade, defence & rescue personnel – and labouring as opposed to gentleman farmers, agus mórán daoine eile that I won’t mention in a long boring list of serving/servile deservers. Truck drivers and train drivers have had songs sung about them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSk7Po1sVF8

    Mayday is also an international distress signal.

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