The Science™: Believe What We Say, Not What We Believe
Scientists behind popular article claiming that the virus behind COVID-19 definitively occurred naturally secretly believed the lab-leak hypothesis to be more likely
Reporting by Racket and Public is showing that the scientists behind an influential paper published in 2020 declaring the lab-leak hypothesis of the spread of the COVID-19 virus to be “improbable” all secretly expressed that the hypothesis was entirely plausible, and possibly even the most probable explanation of the source of the virus. Despite this, they went on a propaganda campaign to support the opposing hypothesis that the COVID-19 virus is naturally occurring and to cast doubt on the lab-leak hypothesis and those espousing it.
In their paper, The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2, these scientists write:
It is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of a related SARS-CoV-like coronavirus. As noted above, the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 is optimized for binding to human ACE2 with an efficient solution different from those previously predicted7,11. Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used19. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone20. Instead, we propose two scenarios that can plausibly explain the origin of SARS-CoV-2: (i) natural selection in an animal host before zoonotic transfer; and (ii) natural selection in humans following zoonotic transfer. We also discuss whether selection during passage could have given rise to SARS-CoV-2.
Yet in their private Slack channel they were far less convinced in the natural origins of the COVID-19 virus than they put forth in their paper. At one point, Kristian G. Andersen writes, “The lab escape version of this is so friggin’ likely because they were already doing this work…” and Robert F. Garry wrote, “It’s not crackpot to suggest this could have happened given the GoF (Gain of Function) research we know is happening.” In other words, it is not “improbable” in the least that SARS-CoV-2 could have emerged in the Wuhan Institute of Virology where they were actively engaged in working with coronaviruses just like it.
For the fact that these scientists were peddling propaganda rather than science, I’ll refer you to the reporting at Racket and Public. All of the communications have been made public by those organizations so you can see for yourself how these scientists publicly took a position highly beneficial to their careers while privately expressing their doubt about that position at the same time. Claims from the scientists that their positions evolved over time and prior to the publication of their paper in Nature are shown to be an outright lie.
What I want to point out is the seeming cognitive dissonance present in their private communications. On the one hand, these scientists are clearly saying that the lab-leak hypothesis cannot be rejected and is entirely plausible, but, on the other, they’re referring to anyone who publicly states this reasonable point as a crank or a conspiracy theorist. It’s one thing to be engaged in an act of public deception; despicable, but rational; but why are they taking their propaganda into their private channels?
The only explanation that I can come up with for this, in short, is some form of a God complex. These scientists believe that nobody has the right to question what they say, regardless of whether they themselves believe what they’re saying. It doesn’t matter whether or not they personally believe that the lab-leak hypothesis is plausible; what matters is that they said that it isn’t, and we mere mortals must uncritically accept their pronouncements as absolute truth. So they can call you a crank even though you’re making perfectly reasonable statements that they agree with because you are not simply deferring to what they’ve told you to believe.
This is the sociopathic mindset that was at the heart of the COVID-19 debate from the very beginning. There was to be absolutely no dissent from the official narrative peddled by Anthony Fauci on down, even when that official narrative turned on a dime overnight. We were told that experts, so long as they agreed with the Fauci narrative, were not to be questioned or we were “denying science,” when, in reality, those experts were doing everything that they could to quash any genuine scientific debate at a time when it was most necessary. Would you have listened to Anthony Fauci if you had known that he and his organization, the NIH, were responsible for providing funding for gain of function research on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Insitute of Virology, and that he urged these particular scientists to publish their paper in Nature denouncing the theory that COVID-19 originated in that very lab? Of course not, but the U.S. government and the corporate media colluded together to destroy the reputation of anyone who publicly connected those dots at the time in the name of “The Science.”