ZeroHedge "reporting" on Coronavirus is an evil disgrace
And that's at best.
At worst, they might be/have been the deliberate initiators of a disgusting hoax that both deceives their readers and defames a scientist who has nothing to do with the coronavirus, or bats, or bat viruses.
To begin with, they weren't banned from twitter because they were telling uncomfortable truths, or even because they "doxxed" the researcher at the Wutan level 4 facility. They were banned because they libeled the guy, based on no actual evidence of any kind, and then to make it worse, they published his contact info and encouraged their readers to harass him. It was pretty straightforward stochastic terrorism. Here is 100% of the actual information connecting that guy to the 2019-nCoV:
A. He works at the Wutan Level IV lab
B. He studies coronaviruses that infect bats
C. His lab is 7 or 8 miles from the "fish" market that has been marked as ground zero
D. 2019-nCoV appears to be a bat-hosted coronavirus.
That is it. 100%. From that, ZeroConscience directly accused him of:
A. Working to weaponize the bat viruses he was studying.
B. Releasing, accidentally or deliberately, one of his samples into "the wild".
And then they suggested that their readers contact him and demand the truth.
Let me be clear about this: If they had done anything like that to anybody working at any significant research facility in the US or Canada, they wouldn't have been just banned from twitter, they would have been sued by his employers into tiny little bits of humiliated regret.
Second, they have invoked the "Winnipeg connection", both directly, and in the various kookarama sources that they cite and link to. These sites imply that because a coronavirus was sent to Winnipeg from the Netherlands, there is a high likelihood that somehow 2019-nCoV was engineered from that virus. Yeah, no, they have a "reason" for saying that: Last year there was a scandal involving samples of two pathogens that were sent from the Winnipeg lab to the Wutan lab. In that context, the sites assert as fact that "the virus" was "smuggled" to Wutan from the Level IV lab in Winnipeg; and they repeatedly assert as established fact that the researcher who shipped them is a Chinese spy. Again, these assertions are supported by not one single actual fact that has ever been presented to the public by anyone involved. Here is 100% of the relevant information that has been made public by anyone with any first-hand knowledge:
A. The coronavirus shipped to Winnipeg from the Netherlands was a different strain from either the bat viruses being studied at Wutan, or from the apparent bat virus known as 2019-nCoV. All by itself, this simple fact completely moots the "winnipeg connection" thread, but nonetheless, know further that:
B. The two pathogens sent from Winnipeg to Wutan weren't "smuggled" -- they were sent with the full knowledge of the relevant authorities.
C. Neither of the two pathogens involved in the Winnipeg/Wutan scandal were coronaviruses
D. The entire scandal revolved around one missing piece of paperwork -- the one that would have stipulated whatever Intellectual Property rights were held over the pathogens, and by whom. It is in this sense, and only in this sense, that the pathogens were "stolen", a word that appears repeatedly in Kookarama.
E. Neither the researcher nor her husband, both of whom were indeed escorted from the premises, was ever accused of espionage by any Canadian authority. As far as anyone knows -- certainly as far as anyone with any firsthand knowledge has ever said -- they were given the boot because she violated the paperwork protocols in a field where violations of paperwork protocols are viewed as Extremely. Serious. Matters.
Now, don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I am not saying that we know the whole truth of the Winnipeg/Wutan scandal. I kinda doubt it, really. What I am saying is that nobody who knows anything about it has said Word One to the contrary. Which means, any remotely controversial or interesting other thing you may have read about that scandal is just something some jackass made up out of nothing. Out. Of. Nothing.
And finally (at least with respect to my own patience in the matter), there is the issue of the "preprint article" supposedly submitted by some big-shot researcher. To quote a c99p contributor:
And you did not likely find the published conclusions of a top Chinese scientist that the novel coronavirus probably came from a laboratory in Wuhan (or that a laboratory just 300 meters from the Wuhan fish market kept bats and was researching bat viruses) covered by the MSM, unless it was to mock it as conspiracy theory - but there is is on Zerohedge.
Feel free to follow that link if you want to either make yourself stupider, or alternatively to learn something about the manipulative rhetoric of people who are lying to you in order to make you stupider.
[SIDEBAR: I don't want to pick on the c99p poster who wrote the above paragraph, but nevertheless: When you have just read about some guy you've never heard of before, and you have exactly one source of information for what little you know about him, and that source is itself, to be polite, "controversial" with respect to its reliability and credibility, it's not really appropriate to prefix the guy's name with a qualifier like "top". In doing so, you are representing to the community that this is an established truth. Well, it's not -- at least not based only on the ZH article. I wouldn't have been entirely surprised to find that he didn't exist at all (though it turns out that he does. poor bastard. whether he's a "top Chinese scientist," i'm not prepared to judge.). ]
For your sakes, I'll save you the click to ZeroEthics and throw down a few excerpts. I haven't bothered to copy in any of the hotlinks in the original. Don't worry, you aren't missing anything.
... the mainstream media, whose purpose is similar to that of Beijing in minimizing public concerns and panic even if it means fabricating reality, presses on with the popular theory that the virus emerged from the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan (we recently showed why this appears very unlikely) while branding anyone who suggests that the coronavirus might have originated as a bioweapon developed in a secretive Wuhan lab as deranged conspiracy theorist (a propaganda approach first popularized in the 1960s by the CIA to discredit controversial views).
That has now changed, however, with what may be a "smoking gun" report, first noted by Harvard to the big house, from a scientist at the prestigious South China University of Technology in Guangzhou China. A pre-print published by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, titled "The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus" whose abstract is the following...
Okay, and no you don't have to pay me, or even thank me, but here's your first lesson in deconstructing bullshit rhetoric: If some emmeffer decides to throw the word "prestigious" in front of some institution that you've never heard of, he's probably scamming you. The "prestigious" SCUT is certainly a large university, and it's pretty well-regarded for its engineering programs -- which seem to get ranked, by those who rank such things, somewhere in the mid-to-high double digits, worldwide. However, overall SCUT gets ranked in the 350-450 range. I don't know. Maybe other folks have a different definition of "prestige" from mine.
Contrast that with Harvard University -- which just yesterday was confirmed to be, by c99p acclamation, insufficiently credible in the realm of certifying the quality of its own graduates, for anybody to ascribe any merit at all to one of its more notable, of late, alumni -- is almost universally ranked as #1. Not in the US, but in the whole fucking world. My own alma mater, for that matter, typically ranks in the low double-digits for its engineering program (from which I hold a degree) and mid-double-digits overall, worldwide.
Anyway, per ZeroTruth:
Who is Botao and should anyone listen to him? Well, yes: this is what we find about the research group of the Harvard post-doc:
The Xiao group study mainly in the fields of cellular and molecular biomechanics, single molecule biophysics and engineering. Current research areas are: protein-ligand interactions, DNA and RNA assembly, high-throughput nanometer measurements and manipulation, mathematical modeling and quantitative analysis. The experimental techniques include: magnetic tweezers, optical tweezers, biomembrane force probe, fluorescent microscopy, genetic engineering, and chromatography. An project example is using high-throughput single molecule techniques to study the modulation of protein drugs on interactions of integrins and their ligands such as TGF-beta. We also study von Willebrand Factor and glycoproteins on platelets. We collaborate with a number of well-known universities and institutions, and a few enterprises. Our research will be of relevance for the prevention and treatment of cancer, immune and cardiovascular diseases.
That's kind of cool. I mean -- if you have the background to understand those credentials, you'll know that what it means is that he does research that is only peripherally related to the evolution and epidemiology of viruses, but hey, whatever. What really matters isn't whether Dr Xiao has worthy credentials with respect to commenting on bat viruses. What really matters is that this is a hoax.
If you try to follow the link to the supposed preprint at ResearchGate, you'll be out of luck, because no such page exists. But that's okay -- it definitely did exist -- you can in fact find it in the Wayback machine. Not that you need to, because the helpful folks at ZeroCred pasted the whole thing just in case. Just in case what? Well ...
And until we eagerly await the answer, here is the gist of Botao's paper, which we repost here just in case it does disappear after all (ResearchGate link here):
Whew! Way to go, intrepid emmeffers! You saved this critical info that the eebildoers forced ResearchGate to retract -- maybe even forced Dr. Xiao to retract. Guys with dark glasses and skinny ties showing up at the lab, and all that. Or something. Who knows. Anyway, the ZeroSense writer grossly underrepresented the content that they had preserved -- it isn't the "gist", it's the entire article. And that's great, because it takes about 30 seconds perusal to realize that Dr. Xiao did not write this thing, that it is not and never was a preprint of anything that was ever going to be submitted to any journal of any kind, and that "the work" was not funded by "the National Natural Science Foundation of China" (which may or may not even exist, but probably does) because, most significantly, it contains no science of any kind. I don't mean it contains "bad" science. I mean, it contains no science. There is nothing in all of it that even pretends to be an analysis of the molecular biology of the 2019-nCoV pathogen. Nothing. Nada.
This is a nasty and unconscionable bait-and-switch, published by somebody exactly and only so that a whole lot of people would start flinging it, like so much monkey-poo, all over the intertubes. They invoked Xiao -- well, actually, they libeled him, by evilly representing him as the author of this content-free dumpster full of feces -- so that they could prate about the prestigious SCUT and brag on Xiao's credentials as a researcher in certain aspects of molecular biology; but there is no molecular biology in this sad document, which is really just a restating of a bunch of stuff we all already knew, if we were paying attention; Especially if we were paying attention to ZeroMarbles and the various sources on which they rely.
And that is why it ended up being redacted from ResearchGate -- because either Dr. Xiao contacted them and said, "HEY!! THIS ISN'T ME", or somebody at ResearchGate took at look at it and realized it was a hoax.
Which brings us back to that very nice little bit of prescience on the part of ZeroResponsibility, grabbing all that text before the nefarious forces of the New World Order could flex their eebil muscles and have it snatched back out of the sphere of public knowledge.
A very nice little bit of prescience.
** For the sake of anyone who doesn't believe my characterization, I may paste in the content of the hoax preprint in a comment below. However, it will take a while to get it formatted to any reasonable degree.
Also, as a final note, although I stated categorically that Botao Xiao didn't write this abortion, I admit that it's possible; which is to say, it's possible that he's out of his mind and decided to commit professional suicide by attempting to publish a brief tract of ascientific blather. Yup. It's possible.