Are scientists playing Russian roulette?

The biggest existential threat of the 20th century (nuclear weapons) was created by scientists. I’ve long suspected that the biggest existential threats of the 21st century (AI and new viruses?) will also be created by scientists. Zepnep Tufekci has an excellent article on this subject. Here’s an excerpt:

This kind of genetic manipulation had already raised concerns, especially after laboratories in the Netherlands and the United States announced in 2011 that they had created strains of flu viruses using genetic material from the H5N1 influenza A virus, which is very deadly but generally can’t yet spread among people. These new strains could spread by air among ferrets, which have humanlike lungs. The uproar had been immediate.

In defense of the 2015 coronavirus experiment by Dr. Shi and her colleagues, Peter Daszak, whose organization, EcoHealth Alliance, has worked closely with her and has been granted tens of millions of dollars in the last decade from the U.S. government, said the findings would allow scientists to focus on the greatest risk because it would “move this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger.”

Others were more worried. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory,” said Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

Recent history provided plenty of reason for such concern.

Nearly every SARS case since the original epidemic has been due to lab leaks — six incidents in three countries, including twice in a single month from a lab in Beijing. In one instance, the mother of a lab worker died.

In 2007, foot-and-mouth disease, which can devastate livestock and caused a massive crisis in Britain in 2001, escaped from a drainage pipe leak at an English lab with the highest biosafety rating, BSL-4.

Even the last known person who died of smallpox was someone infected because of a lab incident in Britain in 1978.

That story about bird flu research should make everyone very nervous. A highly contagious bird flu would be far more dangerous than Covid-19. Is science playing Russian roulette? I’m not qualified to answer that question, but given that experts like Marc Lipsitch have suggested the answer is yes, it seems like something worthy of investigation.

PS. Tufekci believes it is quite plausible that Covid-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab, although she doubts that the virus was artificially created. But the article is of interest regardless of your views on the origin of Covid.

PPS. I’m using the term “existential risk” loosely, not in the literal sense of extinction threat. Unless there is a big order for paperclips . . .



44 Responses to “Are scientists playing Russian roulette?”

  1. Gravatar of Logan Logan
    25. June 2021 at 10:59

    Always a good time to plug my favorite sci fi book on this topic: A Canticle for Leibowitz. Greatly under read,but explores the idea of dangers from unexamined faith in science and constant pushes for advancements while ignoring the human aspect and consequences to humanity at large.

  2. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. June 2021 at 11:16

    I read that when I was young—perhaps I should take a second look.

  3. Gravatar of Albert Passy Albert Passy
    25. June 2021 at 11:33

    Dr Sumner –

    Of course the biggest existential threats are created by scientists. Who else _could_ create them? Economists? Sculptors?

    The question you have to ask is why are the scientists, who one might argue are potentially amoral (not a a sociopathic sense, but a pursue discovery for it’s own sake), not being properly governed?

    Nuclear weapons were made becasue of political pressure. AI is being pursued for a profit motive. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    New viruses are being investigated both for offensive (weaponization) and defensive (counter-measure development) purposes. Again, where is the supervision?

    It is the immorality and ignorance of out leadership that is the problem. Not the scientists.

    And no, I’m not a scientist.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. June 2021 at 11:37

    Albert, I mostly agree, but of course scientists also bear some of the blame. Politicians can’t be expected to know everything that is going on; to some extent they must rely on scientists for information as to the appropriate public policies in this area.

  5. Gravatar of rayward rayward
    25. June 2021 at 12:03

    My interpretation of Ms. Tufecki’s essay is that negligence is what likely occurred. Negligence. Not appealing to those who believe the Chinese are sinister. Sumner’s friend Tyler Cowen will be interviewing Ms. Tufecki in one of his Conversations. It should be interesting.

  6. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    25. June 2021 at 12:05

    “The question you have to ask is why are the scientists, who one might argue are potentially amoral (not a a sociopathic sense, but a pursue discovery for it’s own sake), not being properly governed?”

    – There is no evidence that scientists are amoral.

    “Nuclear weapons were made becasue of political pressure. AI is being pursued for a profit motive. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

    – This statement is simply false. AI research grants are primarily funded by the Pentagon! And there is nothing wrong with profiting from this research!

    And no, I’m not a scientist.

    – Which is precisely why you shouldn’t be commenting!

    – With the rise of bacteria resistant pathogens, and emerging diseases, gain of function is necessary to find alternative solutions to future pandemics. Most people don’t propagate pseudo scientific rubbish, and discuss their pathetic sensitivities, while erecting safe spaces to hide from conflict. Statesmen, businessmen and politicians, cannot hide in safe spaces. They must make “hard choices” that invariably involve some degree of risk! You cannot engage in “gain of function” without any risk; and you cannot defend a country against modern day threats without engaging in modern science.

    Most politicians are not “ignorant” and “immoral”; rather, they have simply come to the conclusion that the benefits outweigh the costs.

  7. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    25. June 2021 at 12:55

    Well, the risks of GoF are catastrophic and labs leak. So, it certainly sounds terrifying. What worries me about stopping it is that GoF research is not being done for fun. There is healthy debate on the topic, but the advocates point to these as key reasons for it (all of which sound important to me):

    – prioritizing viral strains;
    – covering antigen space, and monitoring antigenic drift;
    – plugging gaps in surveillance;
    – making virus seed stocks faster

    Outlawing GoF research, will, I believe, stop most of the research and thereby greatly reduce GoF risk. But it won’t stop it all, just like nuclear bans didn’t stop North Korea and Pakistan from getting the bomb. So, we will still have some exposure to GoF’s risks without getting any of its benefits. Meanwhile Nature will be doing plenty of GoF research of its own.

  8. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    25. June 2021 at 16:05

    Good comments. I agree. There’s an upside and downside to everything. And… you can be sure that even if everyone were to agree to stop the research, there are bad political players who would cheat and just take the research underground.

  9. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    26. June 2021 at 00:28

    I am a scientist, at least originally.

    I believe that many scientists have a pretty narrow view of the world. They are very good at their specialties, but outside them they have the same blind spots and irrational beliefs as ordinary people. They also believe their own work and risks taken are justified, out of purely self serving reasons. This does not mean that they are aware of that fact. They just fail to take the necessary hard look at what is often their life’s work. Finally, they are sometimes politicised themselves. A lot of people became biologists because they were environmentalists first, or studied climatology because they were climate change advocates first. Their beliefs inform their research, not the other way round.

    So, no, I don’t have great faith in scientists taking political decisions, I’d rather have politicians take political decisions because they are used to find useful compromises for society. That’s what politics is about.

    On the other hand – as Carl pointed out, closing your eyes doesn’t reduce risk in and by itself. Covid was a catastrophe, but a minor one, it could have been both more transmissible and more lethal at the same time. It could have had a devastatingly long incubation period such as HIV. Yet, the catastrophe of Covid has given humanity a huge array of novel response modes that will come in very handy in case a truly terrifying agent emerges (or escapes). mRNA vaccines, testing, quarantaine methods, contingency plans… the world has suddenly got a lot of very useful practice. Not trying to be cynical here but that’s my personal silver lining to that cloud we’ve been under.

  10. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    26. June 2021 at 05:23

    “Gain of function” research is dangerous. What is the risk reward? I have read “anti” and “pro” essays on this research—-(I,am specifically referring to actual “gain of function” experiments) .

    What they both agree on is they have not ever replicated by experiment a “gain of function” result that has already occurred in nature. There is also disagreement on whether such a replication is even plausible.. Yet, the supposed reason for “gain of function” research is to help create vaccines/cures for these natural occurrences.

    As Scott has said before, I believe, it almost (I say almost) does not matter if Covid was created in a lab——because other viruses are—-and if Covid was not the escapee, some other one will be.

    This concept that gain of function research is “useful” is at best a misleading euphemism.

  11. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    26. June 2021 at 06:18

    From June 14th essay by Emily Willingham Scientific American
    RE: Gain of Function”

    “ So why do it? Some researchers argue the work can offer a peek at what a virus can before it goes into the natural world and poses a threat to people”

    “The high-risk practices are those that create mutations to examine whether a pathogen becomes more contagious or lethal as a means of estimating future threats”

    “gain-of-function virus studies can presage what will eventually happen in nature. Speeding things up in the lab gives researchers firsthand evidence about how a virus might evolve. Such insights could drive predictions about future viral behaviors”

    In other words, “might” and could” mean we have yet to demonstrate that gain of function research does nothing other than create new diseases.

  12. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    26. June 2021 at 06:50

    Let me first say that this is a debate that I am happy to lose. it feels very comforting to think that i will never have to worry about chimeric viruses and it can be done in a manner that will cost us nothing of great value. I’ve read articles by Lipsitch et al that say the benefits of GoF research are mostly theoretical and can be obtained in other ways. But I’ve also read how SARS researchers were able to speed their research by growing the virus in mice. And I’ve read scientists saying that there’s a wink and a nudge understanding that they do a little bit of what would properly be classified as GoF when developing anti-virals. I’ve also read that many of the benefits in knowledge are not quantifiable but contribute to our general understanding of viruses. That might be the thing that gives me the most pause, shutting ourselves off from whole areas of knowledge.

  13. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. June 2021 at 09:04

    Rayward, You said:

    “My interpretation of Ms. Tufecki’s essay is that negligence is what likely occurred. Negligence. Not appealing to those who believe the Chinese are sinister.”

    Most lab leak theorists believe it was an accident. And even if it were intentional, to call 1.4 billion people “sinister” on the basis of the actions of a handful of scientists seems a bit over the top. I know you aren’t saying that, I’m just saying that the way this issue is being used by some people is kind of unfortunate.

    Carl, You said:

    “So, we will still have some exposure to GoF’s risks without getting any of its benefits.”

    Marc Lipsitch suggests the benefits are pretty modest. In any case, if the research continues to some extent, then so will the benefits.

    There are other options of course, such as moving labs to a remote desert location and requiring quarantines before the scientists return to civilization.

    dtoh, Yeah, and if you make bank robbery illegal there are some bad actors who would cheat, so no reason to do so. If it cuts GoF research in half, that’s a big reduction in existential risk.

    mbka, To me the silver lining is that more people now know that gain of function research might produce something 100 times more deadly than Covid, and that virus might escape. That’s good to know! (And this is regardless of where Covid came from.)

    It’s like when terrorists tried to destroy the World Trade Center in 1993 with a truck bomb—a very useful warning! (Of course we still didn’t take the risk seriously, that would come later.)

  14. Gravatar of anon/portly anon/portly
    26. June 2021 at 09:06

    I’m guessing you saw it, but this June 2 thread by Trevor Bedford, covering some of the same ground as ZT’s NYT piece, was excellent, I thought:

    (And his June 22 and June 24 threads are good too).

  15. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    26. June 2021 at 09:14

    LOL, Sumner is now “woke” about bioweapons research, but avoids mentioning China. It’s a start though.

  16. Gravatar of Todd Kreider Todd Kreider
    26. June 2021 at 09:56

    Scott’s use of “existential” here isn’t just loose – it’s wrong and wonder why this strange use has become popular in the last few years. For example, a worst case let-the-nukes-fly nuclear war could maybe kill 2 billion people, putting the world population back to 1994.

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. June 2021 at 12:59

    Anon, Yes, I saw that. It seemed reasonable. Again, the real issue is not whether it came from a lab, but whether it might have come from a lab (anywhere.)

    Ray, LOL. No, I’m still not “woke” about bioweapons research; I haven’t become a conspiracy nut. I don’t believe the Chinese were devising military weapons that primarily kill old people, including their own!

    Todd, You said:

    “For example, a worst case let-the-nukes-fly nuclear war could maybe kill 2 billion people, putting the world population back to 1994.”

    I agree. As General Turgidson said, “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed”

  18. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    26. June 2021 at 15:04

    I wonder if we’re talking a bit at cross-purposes.
    One definition I’ve read of GoF research is “any selection process involving an alteration of genotypes and their resulting phenotypes.”
    My fear is not that nobody gets to see what happens if we make HIV transmissible by air but that we end up unintentionally criminalizing a lot of much safer research.

  19. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    26. June 2021 at 19:24


    yes that’s the vibe I got from your first comment and I agree. The whole situation reminds me a little of stem cell research / use of embryonic tissue. Then again there is a lot of progress in protein folding simulation these days and it’s not inconceivable that the more risky types of research could be done via biomathematical modelling.

  20. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    27. June 2021 at 05:15

    That’s a good example in two ways. On the one hand, we risked cutting ourselves off from helpful innovations, but the moratorium created incentives to innovate with less controversial means.

  21. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. June 2021 at 07:53

    mbka, You said:

    “Then again there is a lot of progress in protein folding simulation these days and it’s not inconceivable that the more risky types of research could be done via biomathematical modelling.”

    I take Marc Lipsitch’s views on this pretty seriously. He suggests that this research has very little benefit. A recent podcast discussed this issue, and they claimed that you could get the same benefit from modifying the viruses to infect mice as you do from modifying them for humans. I’m no expert here, but if experts like Lipsitch are making that claim then it’s certainly something that ought to be looked into.

  22. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    27. June 2021 at 08:01

    I think Scott needs to blow this site up and stick to econlib. His opinions are all over the place, changing them without admitting it, pretending he is consistent, ladened with red herrings and pretending he knows more than he does. He writes many essays and comments that are derived from readers without acknowledging it.

    So why do I read it? I must enjoy getting irritated. Like in sports, when my teams are out, I hunt for those I hate so I can root against them. I do not hate Scott, that would be insane, but I love hunting for his worst thoughts.

    But I get no satisfaction. I don’t know. I might go Ray. Less comments, less reading. Or double down.

  23. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    27. June 2021 at 08:44

    @Michael Rulle
    My experience of this blog is quite the contrary.

  24. Gravatar of Spencer Hall Spencer Hall
    27. June 2021 at 13:30

    For very sound proven scientific reasons which have been known for DECADES, there has never been a vaccine nor herd immunity for any known Coronavirus. So why would there be for SARS-CoV-2? and why has someone been lying about the details en masse for 16 months?

  25. Gravatar of Aladin Aladin
    27. June 2021 at 14:17

    I wrote a research article once about the debate that broke out between communists and anti-communists following the deployment of the atomic bomb. The USSR, through Lysenko and British communist John Bernal, developed a philosophy where science is subservient to the state. The response from anti-communists was no, science ought to be free. I’m simplifying but that was the basic debate.

    I do worry that we are today experiencing a modern day version of that debate … where a certain segment feels, not entirely wrongly, that technology has driven society for too long and that society must drive it, and therefore reinvigorate Bernalism.

    And like the atomic bomb, this crisis we are in might be the catalyst for that.

  26. Gravatar of BlueSilverWave BlueSilverWave
    27. June 2021 at 15:19

    I think one of the biggest problems I have with the LabLeak folks is they’re so light on actual policy recommendations. Given that you’ll never totally stop Gain of Function research, or research into dangerous, aerosol-transmissible diseases, what should the policies be for working in that space?

    A reasonable step would be moving all work on Gain of Function, and all work on dangerous aerosol transmissible pathogens, to BSL-4 facilities that are not co-located with any lab that operates below BSL-3. (note: part of BSL-4 accreditation in general should be no co-location with anything below BSL-3)

  27. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    27. June 2021 at 16:42

    Scott, If you don’t do GOF function research and have the ability to develop vaccines and prevention against more transmissible or virulent viruses, what do you do when a bad player releases the virus.

    I’m not arguing against allowing unlimited GoF research. It clearly should be very limited, but I think totally banning it so just the bad guys have the technology would be very naive.

  28. Gravatar of anon anon
    27. June 2021 at 21:36

    2bn lives lost is one thing, may be gaia would sigh a breath of relief.

    But what is the impact on the ecosphere – land, air and all stuff – that sustains Homo sapiens and all other species, you know life in general? How long will the land go fallow? How long will the air be radioactive? What will be the impact on the survivors that are latent but emerges 6m/12m/6y/12y hence? What mutations? Or do you have in mind a nuclear/atomic event sans any radiation and other untoward effect – like the green energy squads “clean energy”? Or eventually its just the 3rd rock from the sun sans any sentient being? Not the end of the universe by any stretch of means but still something that Homo sapiens have a big aversion to. The very idea gets Homo sapiens agitated – forget that so many Homo xxxxx have gone extinct and countless others and universe is chugging along fine nary a concern.

  29. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    27. June 2021 at 23:13

    “GOF Reveals that SARS-CoV-2 is Wo/Man Made & Paid for by U.S Taxpayers

    1999: U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) funds research amplifying the infectious character of Coronaviruses.

    2000: In May* Ralph Baric successfully uses reverse genetics (cDNA**) to rescued infectious clone*** of SARS-CoV Urbani.

    2002:In April Christopher M Curtis, Boyd Young & Ralph Baric file a patent for a recombinant (chimeric) DNA means of producing “an infectious, replication defective, coronavirus.” Funded by NIH Grant GM63228. Dr. Shi Zhengli and colleagues increase infectivity by combining an HIV pseudovirus with SARS-CoV-1.

    2003: Dr. Ralph Baric at UNC Chapel Hill receives NIH grant AI23946-08 officially classified as affiliated with NIAID. • Baric works on synthetically altering Coronaviridae.

    2006: Chinese**** researchers combine HCV, HIV-1, SARS-CoV-1 & SARS-CoV-2.

    2007: NSF Grant IIS-0513650 (Italy, France and Indiana University) study addresses FIRST CRITICAL STEP to control a pandemic – shut down International Travel. Given this knowledge why did Fauci tell Trump a Travel Ban was unnecessary?

    2011: Scientists express Concerns about GoF after Labs in Wisconsin and the Netherlands mutate already lethal H5N1 Asian Avian Influenza Virus (Bird Flu) increasing infectivity.

    2013: Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS) outbreak with 30-40% fatality in Saudi Arabia (2014) and South Korea (2015). Rhesus macaques show early treatement with interferon-α2b and ribavirin critical to treatment success. Baric* and Chinese scientists isolate 3 coronaviruses from bats with HKU4 spike protein – unable to infect human cells.

    2014: CDC accidentally exposes workers to Anthrax; ships deadly flu virus. NIH finds 50-year old forgotten vials of smallpox. Obama Administration halts Gain-of-Function Research

    * Yang Y…Baric RS, et al. Receptor usage and cell entry of bat coronavirus HKU4 provide insight into bat-to-human transmission of MERS coronavirus. PNAS 2014;111(34):12516-12521. Funded with NIH grants RO1AI089728 &

    2015: Dr. Zhengli et al “re-engineered HKU4 spike aiming to build its capacity to infect human cells.” “To this end, we introduced two single mutations…mutations in these motifs in coronavirus spikes have demonstrated dramatic effects on viral entry into human cells.”

    Baric and Zhengli announce they can make a more dangerous, virulent and infectious virus.

    2017: Gain-of-Function Research Ban Lifted

    2018: Zhengli presents research at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on 14 Nov. 2018 entitled “Studies on Bat Coronavirus and its cross-species infection.”
    This presentation has since been deleted from the University website.

    2019: Summer deletion of Wuhan Institute of Virology Corona Virus data bank.

    December 31 Wuhan Municipal Health Commission report** discussing COVID-19 pneumonia – deleted. * “

    Also see:

  30. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    27. June 2021 at 23:27

    ‘It’ could have been ‘worse’?
    ” . . . my
    49:09 understanding
    49:10 is that uh the uh the mortality
    49:13 uh is uh right around 100 [%] for the nipah
    49:16 virus
    49:17 uh peter dayzak and and his group at
    49:20 equal health
    49:21 is involved in experimentation with the
    49:23 nipah virus . . . “

  31. Gravatar of Spencer Hall Spencer Hall
    28. June 2021 at 05:48

    It sometimes takes 3 vaccine injections to finally stimulate antibodies.

  32. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    28. June 2021 at 06:12

    Daszak should go to prison. The whole affair is not a good look for Global Science, including many US academics and their buddies in the CCP.

  33. Gravatar of joseph church joseph church
    28. June 2021 at 06:58

    All this reminds me of Jurassic Park when Malcom says “your scientists were so focused on whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should!”

  34. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    28. June 2021 at 08:34

    Some of the questions on whether these are experiments are “net positive” is beyond my pay grade. But wouldn’t a simple solution be to move labs into low population areas be an obvious improvement? We don’t do nuclear test in cities.

    An island in the pacific would basically remove any risks of a pandemic.

  35. Gravatar of Todd Kreider Todd Kreider
    28. June 2021 at 09:17

    anon wrote:

    “But what is the impact on the ecosphere – land, air and all stuff”

    The 2 billion deaths estimate – far higher than would likely occur – includes all deaths for the next few years after an all out nuclear war. Carl Sagan famously co-authored “T.A.P.S.”, which was a hastily put together paper that argued for a devastating nuclear winter but subsequent modeling since the early 90s shows not much atmospheric effect on life. The effects of radiation are very short and would account for maybe 1% of deaths or fewer based on deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s the heat and the blast that kills 99%.

  36. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    28. June 2021 at 10:22

    Carl—-I was being–what’s the word? Oh yes—sarcastic—-This sight is the 4th one I read every day—–and I was being purposely exaggerative Scott does have those tendencies—-unlike people like you or me–


  37. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    28. June 2021 at 11:40

    @Michael Rulle
    My bad.

  38. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. June 2021 at 18:19

    Michael Rulle, The problem is that you don’t read my posts carefully, which is why you think I am all over the map. One day I say something good about China, and the next day something bad. You think that’s being inconsistent, whereas in fact China has good and bad points.

    I’ve been making the points in the post for a long time, you just haven’t been paying attention.

    dtoh, You said:

    “If you don’t do GOF function research and have the ability to develop vaccines and prevention against more transmissible or virulent viruses, what do you do when a bad player releases the virus.”

    Marc Lipsitch suggests this sort of research is not necessary to develop vaccines. If he’s wrong and it is necessary, then why not do it in remote facilities in the middle of the desert?

    Sean, I agree.

  39. Gravatar of Dtoh Dtoh
    29. June 2021 at 00:57

    I agree. Whether it’s in the middle of the desert or not, I do not know but I would certainly strictly restrict and regulate such research.

  40. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    29. June 2021 at 09:03

    Scott—I am sure there is an element of truth in what you said about me—but I bet I can answer a question about any topic (not monetary policy!) you have an opinion about and be right 90% of the time—right in the sense that I know what your opinion will be on almost any topic.

  41. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    29. June 2021 at 09:11

    to be clear—I do pay attention to what you say—and as I said to Carl–I was being exaggerative. Why? Because it is fun—-plus we disagree probably 2/3rds of the time–at least—again I am talking about “bad blog topics”. I have chosen to agree with you on monetary issues —not because I am so clever—that is obviously not true—but you have tended to be right. And when I try to guess “what would Scott think” I discover I get that right more times than I would have expected—at least 75% of the time. You always comment on monetary topics that I follow.

  42. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    1. July 2021 at 14:39

    Much of the facts and speculations in this NYT opinion piece were written in reader comments here and elsewhere back in March 2020 already.

    The writer also seems to be more of an outside resource. Is an article like that beyond the capabilities of regular NYT journalists?

    However, it is really nice that the NYT has now updated its knowledge base, and that of its readers, over one year later. Better late than never, or how does the saying go?

    The desert solution for GoF research seems like an interesting idea, be it an arctic or a sandy desert. But the basic problem remains: the human factor. These scientists want to live in big cities, travel, be important, go to symposia, meet with other people. And the elite rarely complies with quarantine rules when they apply to themselves.

    I have read a few articles and papers on the subject, it is highly controversial what benefits certain types of GoF research are supposed to have. The critics say it has zero benefits, however, no one can deny any longer the catastrophic, maybe even apocalyptic risks.

    And there are more than enough vaccine manufacturers who themselves say they don’t need this kind research at all.

    At least this obscure GoF research that generates strains of respiratory viruses that are highly transmissible and highly pathogenic must be stopped immediately. Up until very recently, for normal, practicing physicians, it was unthinkable that such research existed at all.

  43. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    9. July 2021 at 05:11

    A few points I’d like to make here:

    1. The Bill of Rights is not a U.S. conception. Glorious revolution? Locke, Kant, Cicero, Grotius?

    2. The liberals have always been the intolerant, bigoted party. It was the democratic, southern aristocrats, who consistently sought to undermine reconstruction with Jim Crow. Mao, Stalin, AOC, Xi Jinping, the list of left leaning bigots is long!

    3. Slavery was commonplace. 15M whites were enslaved by the Ottomans, including my ancestors. Many were castrated. The Chinese enslaved Vietnamese, and Korean. They still enslave Uighurs. Africans enslaved whites and blacks. Historical culpability is a return to the dark ages; it’s not progressive! In addition to that, you will have a hard time finding even 1% of whites in the United States who are ancestors of slave owners.

    4. The left has always favored micro managing life. They are the party that closes the beach at night so you cannot swim (I didn’t know a beach had a door), tells you that swimming without a vest is illegal (apparently a good swimmer can no longer decide for themselves), and tells you to wear a mask while having sex because it might be dangerous. I presume we should just outlaw sex now (where is the dictator at the CDC), because sex might lead to STD’s. “Please protect us government, because we cannot make decisions for ourselves” should be the new U.S. slogan.

    5. America has a lot to proud of. The American republic is a derivation of the enlightenment, and the federalist papers are arguably the greatest theoretical construction of any republic that the world has ever known. It’s been adopted by numerous countries.

    6. A country cannot survive without shared values. If you hate your country, or have a group of people who hate it, predicated upon a misreading of history, propaganda in the classrooms, or otherwise, then your country will not last very long! There is no country that exists today, which is free from past misdeeds!

    7. The problems America faces today are predomintely a derivation of left leaning policy. Policy that advocates for the centralization of the state, the reduction of freedoms, the consolidation of education, propaganda of media airwaves, tech platforms that violate free speech (a big problem since they have monopolized marketing), and the placement of people into groups.

    8. Blacks are not oppressed. Many Africans who come to America succeed. Why? Because they work hard, and they refuse to let the left leaning (mostly black bigots) pressure them into joining thugs and gangs by calling them “uncle toms” or “‘traitors to their race”. It’s amazing how Filipinos, Indians, Ghanaians, Rwandans can all succeed in the “oppressive” American hierarchy, but the southern black thugs cannot. Black thug culture is the main problem, not the US constitution. I highly recommend reading black rednecks, white liberals, by Thomas Sowell. And Sowell just doesn’t target blacks. He shows that both Jews and Armenians are consistently attacked buy leftward bigots for being “successful” too.

    A Federal Judge in Florida just issued a 124 page order, which labeled the CDC’s actions “totalitarian” and “unconstitutional”. That order has the potential to change the course of American history, and to finally return a century of consolidation and centralization back to the individual. The Supreme Court will almost certainly uphold, and when it does a flood of lawsuits will take down a number of laws past by a century of corrupt apparatchiks.

    Do you smell freedom in the air?

    I do.

  44. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    10. July 2021 at 00:04

    “7. The problems America faces today are predomintely a derivation of left leaning policy.”
    Says the shill for the M.I.C. and the U.S. plutocrats.
    Look, look, over there, it’s ‘the left leaning policy’.
    Don’t look here at the US ‘plutocrats’ and the M.I.C., there is nothing to see!

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