Today China reported zero new domestic cases of novel coronavirus infections. It has beaten the epidemic just as we predicted early on. Other countries with still expanding epidemics will have to adopt all the measures China has taken to also win the fight.
Our extensive reporting about the novel cornonavirus has attracted many new commentators to this site. Unfortunately some of these, as well as some of the regulars, continue to spread disinformation and myths about the current pandemic and its causes.
To keep some level of quality at this site requires an aggressive countering of such comments. But our capacity to do so is limited. We do delete comments that are nonsensical or have been debunked and we do block people who insist to post or repost nonsense. But there are now many more comments per day than we can read. We therefore have to ask other commentators to counter the bad false ones.
Here are some of the false claims that are made about the pandemic and the facts needed to debunk them.
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a Chinese virus that comes from bats. It infected people because Chinese people eat bats.
The source of the virus is actually not known. The patient number 1, the person who first carried the virus, has not been found. The Wuhan wet market where exotic animals are sold was not the source of the outbreak:
The paper, written by a large group of Chinese researchers from several institutions, offers details about the first 41 hospitalized patients who had confirmed infections with what has been dubbed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). In the earliest case, the patient became ill on 1 December 2019 and had no reported link to the seafood market, the authors report. “No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases,” they state. Their data also show that, in total, 13 of the 41 cases had no link to the marketplace. “That’s a big number, 13, with no link,” says Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University.
While the novel corona virus might be one that was originally carried by bats it is unlikely to have jumped from a bat to a human. The older SARS virus, which is somewhat similar to the novel coronavirus, originated from bats but first spread to other animals before mutating from there into a form that infects humans.
The only place where bats are regularly used as food is the Pacific island Palau which is more or less a U.S. colony. Videos showing Chinese citizens eating fruit bat soup were actually filmed on that island.
The virus is related to HIV, the virus that causes aids.
Some Indian researchers found four genome sequences in the novel coronavirus that can also be found in the HIV virus. They self published their findings in a paper that was not peer reviewed. We discussed that paper in detail on February 1 in our second post on the virus and we strongly expressed our doubt about its veracity. A few days later the paper was retracted by its authors after other scientists had pointed out that the lengths of each of the four sequences they had compared were way too small to be of statistical significance.
Asian people are genetically more receptive for the novel coronavirus.
The virus enters human cells by binding to the ACE-2 receptor on the cells hull. There were assertions that people in Asia have more ACE-2 receptors than people elsewhere. But detailed studies of various genome sequence databases have found no statistical basis for such claims. People of Asian, Caucasian or African heritage all have the same numbers of ACE-2 building elements and receptors. The virus will effect them equally.
The virus originated from a military weapon research laboratory.
There is zero evidence that the virus is from a Chinese or U.S. or other (weapon) laboratory and the claim actually makes no sense. The genome of the virus consists of more then 23,000 'letters'. It is significantly different than the genome of other known viruses. (Added:) It is not lab made:
We offer a perspective on the notable features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and discuss scenarios by which they could have arisen. Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.
To artificially create such a complex entity and to test all its variants would have been a program of the size of the Manhattan project and would have cost billions.
Weapon researchers are sane people with a limited budget. They look for methods to defeat an enemy. A virus that affects all humans indiscriminately but kills mostly very old ones would have no military value.
Moon of Alabama has downplayed the danger of the virus.
Our first post on the issue was headlined The Coronavirus - No Need To Panic. It discussed the infectiousness and fatality rate of the novel coronavirus disease in comparison to other virus caused diseases. We pointed out that it is less infectious and less deadly than for example SARS but never said that it is not dangerous at all. In fact the numbers we pointed out said the opposite.
The piece simple set the current epidemic into perspective. We have since posted a total of 15 detailed pieces on the pandemic. To claim that this is a downplaying of the issue is nonsensical.
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:
- The Coronavirus - No Need To Panic - Jan 25 2020
- Novel Coronavirus Defies Conspiracy Theories As Data Shows Its Coming Decline - Feb 1 2020
- The Epidemic Recedes - Number Of New Coronavirus Cases In Decline - Feb 8 2020
- Coronavirus - Statistical Change Causes Confusion - New Case Count Continues To Decline - Feb 13 2020
- Coronavirus - The Decline Of New Cases Continues - Economic Ripples Begin To Emerge - Feb 21 2020
- As Virus Spreads Over The Planet Governments Are Slow To React - Feb 27 2020
- Coronavirus - Its Time To Press Your Government To React Faster - Feb 29 2020
- Coronavirus - Bad Preparation And Propaganda Increase The Onsetting Panic - Mar 6 2020
- Why Is The Coronavirus More Dangerous Than The Flu? - Mar 9 2020
- Coronavirus - The Hidden Cases - Why We Must Shut Everything Down And Do It Now - Mar 11 2020
- News-Nugget About The Coronavirus Pandemic - Mar 13 2020
- The Pandemic Will Cause A Global Depression - We Need Demand Side Measures To Counter It - Mar 16 2020
- Coronavirus - A Lockdown Is Not Enough - Mar 17 2020