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Dr. Fauci says he's 'not convinced' Covid-19 developed naturally

Dr. Fauci says he's 'not convinced' Covid-19 developed naturally

BurrShotFirst1804

This quote came from a Politifact interview in regards to statements Senator Rand Paul made to Dr. Fauci. We believe the title does not give a full picture of Dr. Fauci's beliefs. However, we believe it is important for this interview to be covered, so we encourage you to read the full transcript provided in the link below. https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/may/14/transcript-what-dr-fauci-told-politifact/


kaje10110

They have never found patients zero for covid. There’s a paper on the initial outbreak of covid in Wuhan. All the initial infected can be traced to be descendent mutations of two patients back in late 2019. However, these two patients’ virus have the same common ancestor but not one another. So, they have never been able to find patients zero. The initial outbreak at seafood market could just be a hotpot. Doesn’t really mean the virus jumped from animal to human right at the market.


Sangria_frog

Yeah, as I understand it the market was more of a superspreader event.


pkennedy

If an animal was sick at a market, it probably wouldn't have looked healthy/the best option to eat and could have remained there for a few days, possibly infecting other animals who then could have pushed that variety to others when they took them home as well.


Cheeseblock27494356

FYI there was an interview on On The Media this last weekend with a researcher who mentioned that the only "live" animals at that market were frogs and some other non-COVID-carrying small animals. There were no live animals at that market cable of carrying or transmitting this type of corona virus, nor had there been in the recent days/weeks. The only animals at that market with COVID19 were humans.


lannister80

Upvote because On The Media is the best show on NPR. The stuff about the whole "must be <5 micron to be airborne" thing being linked back to ancient studies on TB was really interesting.


Chidling

It’s not clear that the virus spread from an animal at the wet market. They haven’t found the jump from an animal population to human infection. Usually they would have by now. Ie. Palm civet caused SARS.


grv413

It took them like 15 years to confirm the origin of SARS


Chidling

They had taken samples of animals found in wet markets to see if any of the animals could be carriers of SARS. They found that the Palm Civet could have been a carrier as early as 2003-04. They did the same for the wet market in Wuhan and did not find any possible carrier animal. The bat known to be the carrier of Covid-19 is 1000 miles away from Wuhan. There are no humans who have been known to have contacted Covid-19 in between Wuhan and Yunnan(where the bat is found). I’m sure they’re still investigating the natural causes. We’re talking about a disease naturally occurring in Yunnan. This is one of the most infectious diseases in the world but it was able to avoid the tens of millions of people in between Yunnan and Wuhan before making Wuhan a hotspot.


_idl3r

SARS origin was also in Yunnan and 1000+ miles away from hotspots. Virus infection is usually only noticeable when it hits a populated area.


Chidling

Yes, but they had found an intermediate in the palm civet quite quickly. The palm civet was found to have been sold in wet markets for a particular dish. They haven’t found the intermediate host animal yet for Covid-19. They are still doing more animal analysis but no animal at the wet market at Wuhan could have been the carrier. This is something they would have possibly found by now. However the lab was known to have been researching this particular bat and their strain of Coronaviruses. The lab also happens to be very close to the wet market in Wuhan where it was spread. Finding that intermediate host is key to determining the origin on the virus and how it mutated to have that RRAR sequence that made it so infectious to humans maybe as well.


MessedUpDuane

It’s possible some random animal in the country evolved it, passed it to a human (locally) or some other variant of COVID which later evolved until what we think of as COVID hit Wuhan like a bomb.


Chidling

Yes, that possibility should be the strongest theory. That theory however deteriorates as we continue to search for that origin and continue to come up empty. That should continue to be the strongest case until more development occurs from the lab leak theory front. None of what you said though, should damage the lab leak theory.


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Valo-FfM

>The bat known to be the carrier of Covid-19 is 1000 miles away from Wuhan The Wuhan Lab of Virology studied and worked with a lot of those bat-derived Coronaviruses tho. They published about it.


ttttam86

There is no bat carrier of COVID-19 identified, only bat's that carry viruses 96-97% similar in their composition to what became COVID-19. Hence, in spillover theory, that would have to be an intermediary animal identified, which is why this is such a fascinating topic, as that hasn't happened.


plaid-knight

Wuhan is one of the biggest cities in the world. All you need is one person from Wuhan to travel to Yunnan, bring home the virus, and spread it to others asymptomatically via public transit, indoor dining, etc. You’re not infectious immediately after infection, so there’s time to return to Wuhan without infecting anyone, especially if driving a private vehicle. Full contact tracing would be impossible in many cases before lockdowns.


Chidling

For the person to bring the virus to Wuhan, there has to have been a way for them to contract it in the first place. So what you’re saying is that there was a reservoir for this disease that was already spreading in Yunnan before Wuhan. To be fair, you could be totally right. If there was evidence of a group of people infected with Corona-like symptoms in Yunnan before Wuhan, you could be right on the money for sure! Until there is reporting that shows the first possible cases beginning in Yunnan province though, I’m not sure how likely that could be the case.


fritterstorm

That’s another odd thing, they have yet to find an intermediate host. They found one relatively quickly for SARS 1. It still might be out there, but it does raise questions.


mthmchris

The Huanan seafood market was a wholesale market in a relatively bougie part of Wuhan (which is a major city in the country). Different parts of China have different regulations on live animals at markets - in Wuhan, you can't even have live chickens at markets. IIRC on the Chinese internet, people did some digging and they found one game vendor at the market - a vendor that did not sell live game. It's entirely possible that the virus did originate from within the Chinese farmed game industry, but I could say with relative confidence that emergence did not happen at that market. I'd be more sympathetic to the possibility of the lab leak theory if it weren't so obviously being pushed by the US intelligence agencies.


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scotticusphd

Not sure if you've seen what goes on in American industrialized agriculture, but it ain't pretty.


FargoFridays

Both can be bad .. ?


TheHunterZolomon

I’m watching these people take shots but I’m like...both are bad. Both are pretty bad.


Sorcerer_Supreme13

EXACTLY. Even the political parties in India. You make one comment on how the government is handling the pandemic and everyone will be like even the previous ruling party wouldn't have been able to handle the pandemic. I've stopped saying anything to M*d* bhakts.


Altruistic_Astronaut

Don't bring perspective into Reddit when someone is trying to be low-key racist /s.


pkennedy

Do you buy the shiny perfectly shaped apple, or the banged up, odd shape, miscoloured, weirdly spotted apple at the store? Same applies here. Unhealthy doesn't sell, it just sits there rotting the rest of the food surrounding it, until it's the last one there, and either is tossed or someone desperate buys it.


NekoArtemis

It's extremely rare to ever have a patient zero for a disease or outbreak. We only thought we had one with AIDS because it was an unusual circumstance, and because people can usually recall most of their sexual partners. If you asked me to tell you everyone I've ever had sex with I could give you their names, phone numbers, and if you give me like an hour I could get their home addresses. I couldn't begin to guess how many people I've breathed near in the last two days, and that's not even considering that coronavirus can infect someone even after the person spreading it has left the room. Even with AIDS we didn't know who the first person to have it was until over thirty years after the disease was identified. Patient Zero was just one particularly important super spreader.


andonemoreagain

Patient zero of the AIDS pandemic probably became that around 1910. Very far removed from the gaetan dugas character in The Band Played On.


NekoArtemis

Not quite that far back. The first human case we know of was a man who died in Kinshasa in 1959. Scientists used mutations in the virus to track the various strains back to him, and from there to a specific troop of chimpanzees, and from there to specific species of monkeys. Radiolab has a good episode on it. That's why I said "we didn't know who the first person to have it was until over thirty later" and differentiated between Patient Zero and the first person who know of to have AIDS.


andonemoreagain

Molecular clock dating suggests a zoonotic transfer occurring closer to the turn of the 20th century than to the first extant HIV blood sample from 1959.


ConnextStrategies

[Here](https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-patients-zero-contracted-case-november-2020-3) is closest we have which is from Hubei province. In addition, latest signals from WHO motors virus likely came from Southern China https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/03/15/977527808/who-points-to-wildlife-farms-in-southwest-china-as-likely-source-of-pandemic


germiphene

I don’t believe anything that the WHO says about covid.


socsa

Edgy


ConnextStrategies

Why? Care to explain. They seem to be a good source of global information and while not every move of theirs is a good one, they’ve stewarded the global view of COVID pretty well with a systemic perspective. Please let us know why you don’t believe anything they say. Go ahead.


karmafrog1

I too would like to hear Germiphone's answer, but my opinion is that they have not "stewarded the global view pretty well." It took them a year to acknowledge airborne transmission even though it was clear from contact studies as early as April 2020, and still barely acknowledges the all-important environmental factors of spread while emphasizing things like hand washing which have little to no efficacy against COVID. Recent evidence indicates they simply went with old generic health guidance and didn't update it out of institutional hubris. I can't speak to the political pressures they may have had vis China, which may be what Germiphene is talking about, but my view is there is much to criticize about the WHO's handling of this, though it's probably ahead of the curve to say so.


[deleted]

>still barely acknowledges the all-important environmental factors of spread while emphasizing things like hand washing which have little to no efficacy against COVID Had huge fights with family over hygiene theater, they still got sick because they didn't listen to "it spreads through the air for fuck's sake!" I resent this this most, but the outside stuff is a super close second. To the OP....if it's a bio-weapon or literally what the fuck ever, I'm that much happier that I've been fully vaccinated for 2 days now, well past the second jab woot.


Snoo75302

if it were a biowepon, it would have been much worse, but it wouldn't spread that far. bioweapons are ment to be fairly lethal, but fairly local as to avoid "friendly fire". ​ it probably started in china because its hot, densely populated, and a good percentage of the world lives there. so its more likely for the virus to pop up, where the most people are. hot also helps spread covid, because air conditioning recircs the virus, also chemical reactions happen faster when warm, so maybe viruses form faster. idk


TofuTofu

Even earlier. The Japanese authorities realized it was airborne in February by studying the Diamond Princess.


Eltharion-the-Grim

WHO don't just make proclamations based on whenever they feel it is expedient or based on opinion. They wait for data, and studies, and then make a decision. This takes time. The aerosol issue was an on-going issue that they finally have some data for. This was the same reason they took so long to call it a pandemic. To be a pandemic it must meet certain criteria. [https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/7/11-088815/en/](https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/7/11-088815/en/) The coronavirus took time to move and infect other countries. It was the same reason they took so long to confirm human to human transmission. Once the scientists confirmed it did they confirm H2H transmission. I clearly remember people were on their case to declare H2H transmission before they had any confirmation of it. Science takes time. We either want science and data backed information or we want random wahoo to just make random proclamation without evidence. In this sense, WHO will always be behind the curve, just as ALL these scientists and doctors have been consistently behind the curve over this pandemic. It took all of last year just to figure out what the actual symptoms were for Covid-19.


pargofan

>It was the same reason they took so long to confirm human to human transmission. If they didn't know one way or the other, why was WHO so quick to push the Chinese claims that there was no H2H transmission then? >The Jan. 14 tweet came less than two months before WHO declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. >“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China,” the organization had said. >It also relied on information from Chinese health authorities who have been accused of obscuring facts and figures during the course of the outbreak.


7elevenses

As reported in the Straits Times of Singapore on 14 January 2020 : >GENEVA (REUTERS, XINHUA) - There has been "limited" human-to-human transmission of a new coronavirus that has struck in China, mainly small clusters in families, but there is potential for wider spread, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday (Jan 14). [Source](https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/wuhan-virus-has-limited-human-to-human-transmission-but-could-spread-wider-who)


Jappetto

It's best not to read between the lines when it comes to tweets from WHO. What they said was accurate at the time they tweeted it. In follow up tweets they expanded on what they meant by the statement: "... there has been no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, such transmission is always a concern when patients have respiratory symptoms - this requires further investigation."


Aniensane

Only thing that comes to mind that he might be referring to is them waiting so long to announce it as a Global Pandemic.


RadiantSriracha

Also their absurdly long and stubborn denial that it’s an airborne disease (and refusal to even admit it was a possibility worth investigating), despite significant evidence and pressure from other scientists.


Fantasia30

To be fair, the CDC didn't realize that either. There was a fascinating article about that in Wired magazine. As it turns out, some of the assumptions about aerosols were incorrect. The article is worth the read, but the accepted science when all this started was that the particles had to be 5 micron or less to be airborne. It was only recently discovered that the 5 micron number was out of context. People just accepted it as fact. It had to be proven wrong, and once it was conclusively shown to be incorrect, the guidance changed. All that took over a year. https://www.wired.com/story/the-teeny-tiny-scientific-screwup-that-helped-covid-kill/


I_am_Velvet_Thunder

Thanks for sharing the article. It was a fantastic read.


Fantasia30

I thought this community would really like it, it's quite fascinating!


RadiantSriracha

Yes, I read this one. I agree it’s a great article! That’s what I was referencing - disease specialists with WHO assumed that it couldn’t possibly be airborne due to size. When aerosol scientists came forward challenging that assumption with solid evidence, WHO just dug in their heals and repeated the orthodoxy that aerosols can’t be above a certain size. They didn’t research it, say that it may be airborne… just repeated again and again the same flawed conclusion. Which cost lives and caused governments to waste massive resources on less effective control measures.


Fantasia30

Agreed. It was a huge misstep that cost many lives. I think that will be the failure of the pandemic. Well, that and the politicization of health issues.


socsa

Yeah, people on this sub are so fucking ridiculous about the airborne spread issue being "so obvious" but it's simply not the case. We knew the R0 rate was much lower than it is with properly "airborne" virus like polio and chicken pox. We also knew that surface area is proportional the square root of volume so the concentrations on surfaces *should* be an order of magnitude higher - so even in the case where it could transmit through air, the surfaces/droplet route should be just as bad or worse. It took a reworking of the underlying physics of aerosols and a heaping dose of novel epidemiology... the virus clearly behaves different than some other respiratory viruses, and it took some science to get there. But to all the people who are saying "I knew it the whole time, it was so obvious." Congrats - you took a guess and got lucky. Fortunately for us that's not rigorous science.


Fantasia30

I agree with your assertion that this is an unusual situation. It required some effort to determine what happened. We couldn't make any assumptions until the data was in. However, it should be noted that scientists (in the area of airflow) knew that some transmission via aerosols was happening and they were ignored rather rudely in favor of a constant (5 microns) that no-one knew where it came from. The WHO panel was unwilling to listen to them or research the issue more fully. They in fact cut them off citing this 5 micron constant as criteria for what's considered airborne. As it turns out, most of the respiratory viruses have some level of aersol transmission. It's fairly obvious that flu transmits that way as well. Of course these viruses also transmit via droplets and surfaces, but the five micron constant was just accepted as fact with no room for argument. There was no common sense in that if course there's nuance, as droplets of larger size can be suspended in air, just for shorter time periods. In fact flu viruses have long been found in areas they should not be if the prevailing wisdom were true (like air vents for example). Yet no-one questioned the prevailing wisdom as they should have. The lesson here is that we shouldn't just accept constants as fact without understanding the context. The WHO panel and the CDC were guilty of accepting an old data point as fact without first understanding the full context of the study that produced it. The only thing that convinced them was a group of determined people researching the origin of that number and plainly showing that it was false. In other words, a scientist can be just as capable as the rest of us at making false assumptions.


BlueCX17

Not exactly the same but for some reason it just makes me think of the repeated warnings about the O-rings on Challenger, that the engineers knew were a real concern about and then the foam strikes on Columbia and the upper brass didn't think either were big enough threats to put heavier research into. Then it was too late. Why do humans keep repeating the same pattern! Research all possibilities, if it seems nessecary.


SarahMagical

The papers coming out in the first half of 2020 didn’t provide concrete evidence for or against the airborne route, but the evidence was leaning more toward support than not. CDC and WHO both dragged their heels on this. I don’t get the argument that they had to wait until evidence was conclusive. That presupposes that they assumed no airborne route. In the early days of a pandemic, why make such an assumption? As for the CDC, I just think they were motivated by wanting to preserve masks and not cause panic.


BlueCX17

Oh I remember reading that article or and or a similar one in the New Yorker yeah it was super interesting that's why in February even though information about masting was different because this virus worked very different including the asymptomatic spread than most other similar viruses so all you got to do is understand a little bit of basic science. (Which, this country can't seem to do....)


7elevenses

WHO, just as other health authorities and scientists in general, don't "admit" things, they confirm them when they have enough data to confirm them. "There is as yet no proof that X is true" does not mean "we are claiming that X is not true".


AI8Kt5G

Actually China confirmed it's airborne on 8th February 2020. But in March many around the world still saying everything's gonna be ok, you don't need to wear a mask unless you are sick. https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/claims-coronavirus-can-spread-through-the-air https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/coronavirus-is-airborne-chinese-official-confirms/5DIR6LVQRX6YO4OL5XPRHEQITQ/


ConnextStrategies

Here is the [timeline of the WHO's activities.](https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/interactive-timeline) What should they have done differently and when?


nietzsches_pranks

That wasn’t really how I read his comment. He did say “I’m not convinced”, yes, It sounded more to me like he’s not certain enough that we should stop looking into it. Which is how it should be. We should look into it until we are convinced we have found out all we can and are as certain as we can be. Convinced doesn’t mean strongly suspect. It means agreeing (or believing you know) 100%.


amazingsandwiches

So the big smart science guy prefers to use The Scientific Method. Profound!


[deleted]

NEEEEEEEERRRRD!!!!


braveNewWorldView

Sir this is America. We base our decisions on the gut!


sml5621

https://youtu.be/Z7_QQn_2McM


rudecanuck

Yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying. He’s not Saying he thinks it was a lab leak but there hasn’t been enough evidence and investigation to rule it out.


thepoopiestofbutts

Given the Communist government's track record, I doubt we'd ever know for certain either way


ecuusa

I 100% agree with Fauci here. To me, it doesn’t seem like the “lab leak” theory is likely, but I also don’t think it’s been properly investigated. Even Tedros distanced himself from the WHO report on the topic. There’s also been some disagreement from top-level scientists on how likely it is. But when I’ve discussed this topic on this subreddit before, I’ve basically been called a conspiracy theorist.


frisouille

The "lab leak" also spans a wide range of scenarios: 1. The lab was studying bats, for something unrelated to sars. And that's where the first human was infected by a bat-human interaction. 2. The lab was studying sars in-vitro, and a human was infected from a surface/petri-dish/... 3. The lab was purposefully testing mutations of sars for scientific purpose (e.g. to understand what kind of pandemic we might face in the future). 4. The lab was purposefully testing mutations of sars as a weapon. I'm under the impression that, when scientists now say that the "lab leak" theory is likely, they have in mind 1-3. While conspiracy theorists talk about 4. The distinction is very important. Lab leaks happen regularly, even in developed countries. The answer to 1-3 could just be a review of safety guidelines, possibly with the help of more advanced laboratories. While the answer to 4 would be strong sanctions against China.


ecuusa

When I refer to the lab leak theory, I mean a potential for scenarios 1-3, and yet I’ve been called a conspiracy theorist many times. I’ve never once suggested that China maliciously created or released this virus. There are many people like me, including those on this forum, who have been shut down with the same line over and over. Even the former CDC Director and the former Secretary of State have been called conspiracy theorists. I’m sure there are people who believe China deliberately released a deadly virus. But why are they painted as the majority of people who have questions about this theory?


frisouille

My guess is that, in many conversations, people confused (1-3) with 4 like: * **Conspiracy theorist** on Twitter: "*China created covid to hurt Trum*p" (suggesting 4) * **Scientist** replying to them: "*That's absurd. The genome of the virus look to come from natural evolution, it would look differently if it had been purposefully engineered*" (refuting 4) * \--> **Average person** sees the exchange on Twitter and remembers "*the lab theory is absurd*". Three months later: * **ecuusa**: "*It's possible that the first human infection happened in a lab*" (suggesting 1-3) * **Average person**, misremembering what the scientist said "*You're a conspiracy theorist, scientists said it was an absurd hypothesi*s"


ecuusa

Interesting point. Some people don’t try to understand an expert’s logic. They just see that an expert said “good/bad.” Then they appeal to authority.


PaulsRedditUsername

Which is why experts like Fauci and others use many qualifiers when they make statements. Of course, it gets blown up anyway. An expert says: "Well, it's never a bad idea to wash your hands and keep your surfaces clean..." Next day's headline: "EXPERTS SAY HAND-WASHING CURES CORONAVIRUS"


timoumd

> Then they appeal to authority. As a side note, thats not fallacious here. Appeal to authority is really only fallacious when its outside the authorities area of expertise (ignoring cherry picking). People often presume they can fully comprehend a subject area in far less time than is truly needed to master it. If LSV says a magic card is bad in limited, it probably is, and that fact probably carries more weight than any argument I could make. If LSV says to buy silver, well that aint his area of expertise so its fallacious.


ecuusa

I don’t take issue with a simple appeal to authority. I take issue with blindly following authority. In this example, an authority figure said A, and a person misrepresented them to mean B. Then they proceeded to appeal to authority to support B. This misunderstanding occurred because the person did not try to understand the expert’s logic—they just wanted the expert to tell them yes or no. They wanted someone to follow. It seems like that is what so many people want. I can’t think of anything more pathetic than an adult who wants to be guided like a child. Maybe you don’t have the knowledge to argue with an expert, but you can look up what other experts say. Do they disagree? What are their points of contention? “Expert” does not equal above reproach, and you don’t need to be an expert to develop an informed opinion on a subject.


gizzardsgizzards

Fauci isn’t the pope and this isn’t Catholicism. People need to think critically.


Dragonfruit-Still

Some scientists offer lab leak as a possibility, all of msm and social media platforms then laugh and ban any discussion of this debunked conspiracy theory.


space_monster

yeah it's funny how that theory is fucking ridiculous for months and then as soon as Fauci makes one comment, it's suddenly entirely plausible. I've confessed a few times that I'm on the fence about the origin and I've been laughed out of the sub on every occasion.


BrightAd306

Yep. People were getting banned from Twitter just for saying this


gizzardsgizzards

It’s only a shut down if you shut up.


mrandish

> While conspiracy theorists talk about 4. I agree with what you say and would perhaps go a bit further. The idea of anything like CV19 being developed as a weapon has always struck me as so implausibly incoherent I suspect it may have been amplified by those seeking to discredit any consideration of #1-#3 by association. I can't even imagine a scenario in which a highly contagious respiratory virus would have *any* utility as a bio-weapon. It's like designing a handgun with a barrel that randomly fires backward at the person holding it just as much as forward. #4 is just so dramatically different than #1-#3, it's a category error to group them together. In the early days of CV19 there was a lot of overblown rhetoric and disingenuous argumentation coming from partisans on *both* sides. To me, the motivations of those who sought to loudly discredit #4 should be equally suspect along with those who sought to promote it. I was looking into origin possibilities at the time and never even saw anyone suggest it. The first I ever heard of #4 was from those lambasting it as ridiculous. If it wasn't a common proposal in the first place, then it being a central focus of "debunking" starts my 'straw man' alarm bells ringing.


leethobbit

I personally have numerous friends who from the very beginning were convinced this was a weapon from a lab, engineered on purpose to kill people. I wasn't on here loudly discrediting #4 but I definitely was doing so in my private life because I knew people who immediately jumped to that scenario.


Wtyjhjhkhkhkf

\*evil stare\* what if you have the only vaccine?


succulent_samurai

If 3 turns out to be the case, I suppose they technically accomplished their goal…


Fantasia30

Exactly. I think scenarios 1-3 are far more likely if there was any lab involvement. There are a few other accidental release possibilities as well (such as improper disposal of lab animals - like selling them at a market). But we don't know, and likely never will. It could be an accidental release, or just completely natural. It's fine to question that until we have an answer.


thephotoman

Scenarios does not use the Latin plural. It doesn’t even have a Latin ending (-us or -um).


angrypacketguy

Scenarios 2 - 3 seem plausible given previously published research. https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985


whatelseisneu

This is it. Otherwise reasonable people have been shooting down the lab leak theory for a long time, as the scientific consensus (relatively early) was that the genome did not have any of the hallmarks of artificial synthesis. That always seemed like flawed logic to me. It's like if a rhino was found a few blocks away from a zoo and biologists came out and said "the DNA seems to be of natural origin" and the general public took it as "See there's no way it could've come from the zoo!" No one knows what really happened, but the coincidences with this one keep piling up. China, if they don't have any knowledge of a lab leak, certainly aren't doing any favors when obfuscating the investigation at every turn. Almost 3.5 million people are dead, the world has been at a standstill for a full year, and yet we know nothing about where this came from. Natural transmission or lab leak, we need to understand how this happened. Is it just that those in power are truly that afraid to hold China's feet to the fire?


leethobbit

To play Devil's Advocate for a second... if the US had been the origin of the virus instead of China, would we have fallen over backwards to hurry up and let Chinese and Russian investigators come here and figure it out? Or would we have said "Nah, we got this. Thanks." I'm not saying this is the proper course of action, I'm just pointing out that if the shoes were on the other feet I don't think we would have been more welcoming to foreign investigators.


whatelseisneu

You're definitely right on some level, but I can't help but think of the Anthrax attacks, where the US zeroed in on American bioweapons experts relatively quickly, even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 - when it would've been easy to say "IT WAS BIN LADEN, NO MORE QUESTIONS, WE'RE DONE."


space_monster

> it doesn’t seem like the “lab leak” theory is likely it certainly wouldn't be the first time. I think Chinese labs have leaked viruses 3 times in the recent past. not that it's a uniquely Chinese problem.


buddytronic

Exactly! It has been pretty much forbidden to suggest a “lab leak hypothesis” - anyone you talk to will cite some experts who dismissed it! I hope more people will check out Bret Weinstein - he is a biologist, and he makes really compelling points about the need for us to properly investigate the lab leak hypothesis. No conclusions made - he just says let’s look at it - without being “cancelled” or called a nutbar. I hope more people look and see how our society gets manipulated.


thisiswhatyouget

Things have changed pretty dramatically on the consensus around the lab lean theory. It is legitimately a lot more likely than experts previously believed it was.


nietzsches_pranks

I know that the theory has “gone viral” again. Is there a cite for the scientific consensus changing?


StrangeSatellite

I know that it was recently revealed that 3 researchers from the Wuhan lab went to the hospital with Covid-like symptoms back in November 2019.


_______the______

I attended a Zoom conference several months back on medical literacy when a population health scientist (not a quack, by the way--someone who's been doing this work a long time and who regularly publishes in reputable journals) simply *explained* the origins of the suspicions of the lab leak theory. He did not even give his opinion, he merely said what the argument is. It was fascinating to me to watch the ensuing conversation, which was basically just an onslaught of people calling this guy a xenophobic conspiracy theorist. It became clear to me that, for many people, the root of the skepticism was that these people thought that such labs don't even exist or something. The idea that "there are these labs with viruses in them" is out of some sort of Frankenstein-like tall tale, rather than just a basic fact that there are a lot of them, they exist right here in the U.S. in the form of BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs, and a lot of people are uneasy with their proliferation.


NationalCaterpillar6

It is weird that Wuhan Institute of Virology took the pages about bat and coronavirus down from their "research progress" page. Someone please correct if I'm wrong, but I couldn't find them today. https://web.archive.org/web/20200221210529/http://english.whiov.cas.cn/Research2016/Research_Progress2016/index_9.html http://english.whiov.cas.cn/Research2016/Research_Progress2016/index_3.html


Acceptable-Cod7214

You're right. I checked their websites right at the beginning of the pandemic and noticed they were scoured later.


bgilb

Maybe they the scientists feared for their lives and didn't want targets on their back? Aren't they already getting death threats?


Bodens_mate

Shit, theres a huge one in Galveston, Tx and a bunch of people freaked out because when harvey hit, they worried that facility got flooded. https://www.oregonlive.com/today/2017/08/galveston_lab_that_houses_dead.html Edit: had to post a link with the story


ecuusa

I think the theory also coincides with a lot of people’s politics: what they think about US-China relations, what they think about a certain ex-president, etc. It’s no surprise to me that “xenophobic” was the go-to.


RipperNash

You will find out if automod chooses not to keep deleting any links to the article or papers published on this. Censor much?


thisiswhatyouget

Yeah, it deleted what I tried to post. Really absurd to shut down legitimate scientific discussion.


jdorje

When automod doesn't do that, though, we get a dozen conspiracy theory posts a day (hour?). The insistence of crazy people in loudly proclaiming that COVID must have come from a lab and there is no other possibility makes having a rational discussion on it hard.


thisiswhatyouget

If that is a problem they can white list national publications.


thisiswhatyouget

I tried posting some but apparently discussion about the theory isn’t really allowed here? Search “how I learned to stop worrying and love the lab leak theory”, it’s a good starting place.


mrandish

> Is there a cite for the scientific consensus changing? Here's Politico observing last week that it's jumped from conspiracy theory to mainstream debate: > "The hypothesis that Covid-19 was leaked from a Wuhan lab has leaped from its original host — Trump administration officials and people dismissed as conspiracy theorists — into the body of mainstream debate." While there's no conclusive evidence either way yet, a lot has changed on this since last year. https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/ https://www.cnet.com/features/how-the-coronavirus-origin-story-is-being-rewritten-by-a-guerrilla-twitter-group/


Jskidmore1217

Here. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6543/694.1


Jskidmore1217

Also here for a public declaration of a changed viewpoint. https://twitter.com/Ayjchan/status/1394710561347313670?s=20 “It quotes Prof Ian Lipkin who told former @nytimes reporter Donald McNeil Jr, regarding the WIV SARS virus research: “That’s screwed up... It shouldn’t have happened. People should not be looking at bat viruses in BSL-2 labs. My view has changed.”


Bone_Dice_in_Aspic

Before even reading any further, it just sounds like the way Good scientists speak by habit: don't draw and conclusions early, don't entirely rule out anything until you have all the information. Be reluctant to make confident statements. This informed but intentionally circumspect speech can sometimes come across as uninformed or hesitant if you're not used to it, while uninformed but confident statements can be convincing.


Jarrodslips

He sounded less convinced in person, listen to the interview...


nietzsches_pranks

I did. By “read” I didn’t mean take in information as visual words. I applied meaning to the comment I heard. I also mentioned how it sounded.


Duckmandu

Classic overamplification of a part of a sentence which ignores any context. Fauci is using the language of science which values certainty. All he’s really saying is we don’t know the origin of COVID-19.


rickfox80

from CBS weijia jiang(16 hours ago) quotes from Fauci-----NEW: Dr. Fauci tells me that **his opinion about the origins of COVID-19 have not changed: He believes that it is “highly likely” that it first occurred naturally before spreading from animal to human. Since no one is 100% sure, he’s open to a thorough investigation..............Dr. Fauci said that does not mean he believes the virus first emerged in a lab, as some have suggested.He does not know anything about the three researchers at the Wuhan lab who sought hospital care in November 2019 as reported by the WSJ.** [https://twitter.com/weijia/status/1396913345815617539](https://twitter.com/weijia/status/1396913345815617539)


saposapot

Again. Fauci talks in a 'sciency' way thinking everyone can understand nuanced speech. News organizations misinterpt it and conspiracy lovers run with it. What he's saying is that we don't know yet. It's likely it came from a animal reservoir but since investigations aren't finished we should investigate all possibilities. Not being sure it's just that: not being sure. Likely it was natural animal reservoirs but people just love to root for the underdog theory, right?


happiness7734

> What he's saying is that we don't know yet. The problem is that for most of the last year people have been insisting that we *do know* and that anyone who was skeptical of that conclusion was a "conspiracy theorist". So once there was no doubt. Now there is doubt. That's a significant change in attitude even if it's not a significant change in fact.


RogerMexico

I got downvoted to hell for suggesting that the wet market wasn’t the origin even after the Chinese government had confirmed cases predating that event. I still think the most likely scenario was that bats or other animal specimen were being transported to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and that somehow someone was infected during the process. I’m not saying that the lab created the virus. I just think that the simplest explanation for how the virus got from a bat cave in a remote part of Yunnan to a city 900 miles away may be the activities of the lab that is specifically known for shipping specimen from that very bat cave to Wuhan. And the notion that the lab director checked all of her records and ruled out her lab as the origin after the pandemic had already killed thousands of people is childish. Of course the lab director would deny any involvement. If she admitted that it came from her lab, she would have become the most hated person on earth and would have been subjected to extremely harsh punishment. Maybe she’s just as clueless to the origins as anyone but just because she is a scientist and she said it wasn’t her lab doesn’t mean it must be true.


happiness7734

> but just because she is a scientist and she said it wasn’t her lab doesn’t mean it must be true. On reddit, that's exactly what it means.


RogerMexico

I don’t understand why reddit gets such a hard-on for scientists. Maybe if they all went to grad school they would see how flawed and corrupt academia can be. For example, Elizabeth Holmes studied at Stanford and even did research on SARS CoV-1 in Singapore, and everyone agrees that she was a complete fraud.


Nheddee

"maybe if they all went to grad school" ... "Elizabeth Holmes" - your point is very valid, but someone who dropped out less than half-way to a bachelors' isn't the best example of anything about grad school, or scientists in general.


PPvsFC_

> Elizabeth Holmes studied at Stanford She was briefly an undergrad at Stanford. She has no real science education.


fartburgerz

Ideally, you'd listen to the science instead of the scientist. I think the reason you see Reddit cling to scientists is a mostly good intentioned reaction to people who place their faith in charlatans, quacks, and frauds.


Downvotezcollector

The issue is that they have not found that animal. HIV has been directly linked to Chimps, Swine flu to pigs, Avian Flu to birds, zooilogical origin should be provable. This is a major alarm bell that other hypotheses should be considered.


7eggert

They root for anything for blaming someone else because otherwise they might be at fault themselves.


Jellytastic

I guess I should just admit that I invented the coronavirus. I was just real drunk and don't remember how. My bad guys.


Iowa_Hawkeye

Interesting opinion article piece in April 2020 by the Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-warned-safety-issues-wuhan-lab-studying-bat-coronaviruses/


MatSciePhD

Question: If this were 100% proven to have originated in a lab setting, and was accidentally or even purposefully unleashed by the CCP/Chinese scientists, what kind of consequences would ensue for them? Would the world effectively cut off China?


saposapot

Russia annexed part of a country in plain sight a few years ago. What happened?


JonSnowKingInTheNorf

Accidentally leaked probably leads to heavy pressure to improve procedures in their labs to ensure it doesn't happen again, and a push to get international oversite in Chinese labs to ensure proper procedures are followed. If it was purposefully released (imo almost no chance this is the case, or could even be proven if it was) who knows, I don't think there has been any kind of historical precedence for that kind of attack on the entire world but I could see the outcome being anywhere from a complete cut off of the CCP from the outside world, all the way up to military action to remove current leadership from the country (if its also proven to have been released on orders from the government and wasn't a rogue scientist/lab)


kilbasa_sausage

>and a push to get international oversite in Chinese labs Yeah, good luck with that


wonderboywilliams

> Would the world effectively cut off China? Lol, not likely. They are committing genocide right now and no one is doing shit about that.


JonSnowKingInTheNorf

But that doesn't shut down/severely hurt the world's economy (not that means we shouldn't do something about it but this is the real world and we know how it works).


beener

Cutting off China would hurt the world's economy more than covid ever could


PFC1224

I know you're speaking hypothetically, but what government would unleash a contagious pathogen into their population? I know people go bit crazy and hyperbolic when talking about China but come on...


ecuusa

If the lab leak theory proves to be true, then the most likely scenario is that it was accidental. This could potentially lead to a worldwide change in how we research infectious diseases.


FlexibleBanana

Well I imagine it was likely an accidental leak if it did originate in a lab setting.


RemLazar911

From governments there would be literally no consequences, though citizens of various countries might be really unwilling to buy products made in China which could sting. But what could any government do? China is too big to cut ties with or attack.


pl487

No, they have nothing to fear from the world. But that's not to say the consequences wouldn't be huge. The government that had overseen such a thing might lose the support of the people. And that is the one thing the CCP cares about more than anything else. So the Chinese people will never learn that the virus came from a government lab, even if that turns out to be what happened.


King_Wiwuz_IV

Nothing. A lot of the countries already suspect that this was made in China and perhaps intentionally released. There's a reason China isn't allowing investigation of the matter. We'll never know what happened for sure and China will get away with it unfortunately.


toyz4me

Seeing several people making similar comments. [Gottlieb says there’s growing circumstantial evidence that Covid may have originated in a lab](https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/24/gottlieb-says-theres-growing-circumstantial-evidence-that-covid-may-have-originated-in-a-lab.html)


[deleted]

It’s absolutely crazy how everyone flipped out at people even *questioning* if this started in a lab. Calling it racist and xenophobic. Nobody finds it coincidental that China responded in the way they did with a full lockdown? While the rest of the world was figuring out what the hell this virus even was, China was literally *chaining* people in their apartments. Even early on, China seemed to know how this virus operated. Way ahead of everyone else. I don’t think it was purposefully released. I think there’s a good possibility they were studying it and there was an accidental exposure and eventual spread. At least a high enough possibility to at least ask the question and investigate it without being accused of racism or being a conspiracy nut.


nzz3

I remember my Chinese colleague telling me the news in China is that the virus is airborne that it lingers in air and air transmission is the primary mode of transmission in the beginning of February 2020. Whereas the West operated under the assumption that it isn’t airborne and thought that hand washing might be enough to stop the spread for the majority of the early months of the pandemic.


MadSquabbles

I had read that back in Jan 2020 I think. The one I read was about a bus where people who weren't near the infected person got infected. It's also said that everyone that wore masks didn't get infected. That was just a singular incident but enough for me to get masks before it got here.


BobSacamano47

Are you suggesting that the West didn't think that it was primarily spread airborne?


loglogthelogslogger

They didn't. There was a systemic miscommunication in the old literature and the medical folks though a 5nm cutoff meant not airborne and workshops listen to the epidemiologist saying it was more like 100.


gamedori3

5 micron, not 5 nm.


logicalnegation

People are fucking stupid. Obviously it’s airborne. Everyone knew this


Jskidmore1217

Lol they still don’t, in many ways. This has been a horribly frustrating battle seeing aerosol scientists trying to change the literature and policy in the west regarding airborne spread of Covid.


buddytronic

Yah that’s exactly the narrative that was pushed. I had a health science friend who was telling me if it was airborne or aerosolized it would be like the measles. (No thought whatsoever that anything can be aerosolized). We were told it was “droplets“ only. We were told a whole bunch of obvious bullshit - I can’t wait for the documentary


[deleted]

>Are you suggesting that the West didn't think that it was primarily spread airborne? Had raging fights with family who were later needlessly sickened, so....no.


dmitri72

I've said a lot over the last few months about how we should be very careful about declaring certain topics unfit for discussion and then hand faceless unelected Big Tech employees a blank check to shut everything down for us, because someday they're going to get it wrong. But I honestly didn't expect that scenario to show up so quickly.


bminicoast

> It’s absolutely crazy how everyone flipped out at people even questioning if this started in a lab. Welcome to the internet culture wars. You're supposed to have the right political opinion about *fucking Star Wars* or you're cast out of your online political tribe. Of course this was going to get roped into it. The more people that laugh at everyone that engages in these stupid, partisan culture wars, the better.


WackyBeachJustice

> The more people that laugh at everyone that engages in these stupid, partisan culture wars, the better. We're way waaaaaaay past the point of no return here. There is a small sliver of society that is able to do that, the rest are fanatics of their favorite political team.


-917-

> I don’t think it was purposefully released. I think there’s a good possibility they were studying it and there was an accidental exposure and eventual spread. Based on what exactly?


mdp300

>I don’t think it was purposefully released. I think there’s a good possibility they were studying it and there was an accidental exposure and eventual spread. IF it turns out that it came from the lab, I think this is the likely scenario. It wasn't released on purpose, rather someone got lazy with containment protocols in the lab and got infected. Possibly a few employees.


beyphy

That's actually not that unreasonable. Something like that could have happened in the US: https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/opinion/2021/03/22/why-covid-lab-leak-theory-wuhan-shouldnt-dismissed-column/4765985001/


Weird_Map_Guy

I thought it was weird how they imprisoned that Doctor who alerted the world about it in the first place. There is a way to make the argument that China didn't handle it appropriately without stirring up a bunch of anti-Asian sentiment here like Trump did. He also lied about knowing the severity of it and his plan was to just convince half the country to...get Covid. I mean two things can be true at the same time: the lab leak theory can't be discounted, but Trump handled it in about the most xenophobic and divisive way possible.


7elevenses

Imprisoned?


cootersgoncoot

It implicates the US too, though, through funding. In 2014 then President Obama forced all gain of function research to stop. In 2017, the NIH under Fauci resumed working on gain of function research. This isn't just a "punish those accountable" story. Hopefully this leads to a discussion on whether gain of function research is ethical and doesn't pose outsized risk at causing a pandemic.


RemLazar911

> In 2017, the NIH under Fauci resumed working on gain of function research. Not according to his testimony to Congress, lol.


cootersgoncoot

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2017/12/feds-lift-gain-function-research-pause-offer-guidance Not sure if you were doubting what I said, but above is a link.


lordpigeon445

Any time I mentioned it, giving a reasonable explanation on this subreddit or any other big subreddit, I got downvoted to oblivion. People on reddit don't fucking think.


ecuusa

I guarantee you that if I brought this subject up with a few real-life friends, I would get the exact same reaction. When this first broke out, I remember making one negative comment about the Chinese Communist Party to a friend, and she chastised me for racism. It was a criticism of a governmental policy and had nothing to do with race or the average Chinese citizen.


bminicoast

Reddit is as bad as facebook. I mean how many threads have we had where the former president was getting a negative headline? Lots, he sucked. How many times did a mod feel the need to make a sticky about how maybe that headline isn't 100% accurate? Fucking never lol People have decided their feelings about this based completely on which political tribe they associate with. Me? I have no clue, and think it's probably doubtful that it came from a lab. But goddamn, reddit is filled to the brim with young people who are like "OMG NO IT COULDN'T HAVE COME FROM A LAB BECAUSE DON SAID IT DID!" and have zero critical thinking involved at all.


Rather_Dashing

Yeah, they saw the out of control spread before anyone else did, they didn't want the rest of the world to know how bad it was. That doesn't say anything about the origin though.


KToff

They also had the experience with SARS.


ehs5

This. People forget this.


7eggert

Others decided to intentionally ignore their experience: "Hey, China is building a big new hospital because of the outbreak and locking down Wuhan - the virus is probably harmless, let's go on a vacation and take it home"


TiredManDiscussing

Love how we've went from "It's a plausible explanation' to 'It's a conspiracy theory", right the way back to "It's a plausible explanation." It doesn't really matter to be honest, because we will never know. If it was manufactured in a lab, why would China allow our scientists to go anywhere near it?


PhantaVal

It doesn't necessarily need to have been "manufactured" in a lab. At least one lab in Wuhan was studying bat coronaviruses, so it could have an animal origin AND originate in a lab.


nzz3

Yeah, it’s probably the most likely explanation — the virus had natural origin, was studied in the lab with protocols not being followed or lacking and lab staff got infected. Then they spread it to others before they realized this happened. If they had mild symptoms, or were asymptomatic, they might have never even realized that such a leak had happened.


PhantaVal

It's a plausible theory. I wonder if we'll ever know.


smiley_x

I imagine a guy who doesn't wear any PPE walking into a room with some bats in a simple cage. Little did he know that these bats were infected with a coronavirus that gets transmitted with aerosols.


No-Direction-3569

Or they wore PPE but didn't decon properly.


Substantial_Fail

Yeah, that actually makes the most sense


dpezpoopsies

In fact, the SARS 2 genome specifically lacks characteristics of it being genetically engineered, or "manufactured". That's part of why this theory was initially pushed aside in favor of the natural origins theory, which had the precedent of SARS 1 and MERS to back it up.


meagerweaner

Modern techniques don’t leave traces They were able to find the origin of sars and mers in a few months


dpezpoopsies

Yes, I was more talking right in the early days when we knew very little. It made more sense to assume totally natural origins since there was: 1.) No obvious tampering 2.) based on SARS and MERS precedent they were both animal in origin and 3.) early data led us to believe this one is animal in origin as well (though as the previous commenter suggested, that doesn't mean it wasn't also a lab accident). Given this evidence it seemed more likely to think this pandemic started the same way most other pandemics through history; via animal human contact. But if course, a scientists job is to continue to collect evidence to challenge this understanding and update our conclusions as that evidence comes out. As the picture has evolved Im not totally discounting the lab accident theory at this point. The point of my comment was that I think it's really important to give context of why we were thinking the way we were before we crap all over scientists for not immediately knowing the answer. This isn't to say there wasn't also geopolitical motives from our government for what we said, but that's not something I think I want to comment on without knowing more of the story.


tasunder

At this point, for the lab leak to have occurred, there *must be* a literal conspiracy. I know we use the term "conspiracy theory" as a pejorative to describe implausible, convoluted scenarios, but in this case it's a literal conspiracy theory. If it leaked from a lab, there was a conspiracy to cover it up.


N0tEnoughBrainTokens

That terminology is poisoned enough that it isn't worth using.


maximoburrito

It can be a plausible explanation AND a conspiracy theory. In fact, it is a plausible explanation AND a conspiracy theory - many conflicting and contradicting conspiracy theories. You don't have to look very hard to see half-dozen half-baked lab origin speculations presented as fact here. They can't all be true, and if any of them are true it's probably pure coincidence at this point. If you have enough monkeys typing enough random theories on enough reddit typewriters, eventually you might get something coincidentally true somewhere.


StrangeSatellite

Our scientists were not allowed near it and the documents about what, exactly, was being researched at that lab has been withheld by the Chinese government.


DunkFaceKilla

China could shut this speculation down tomorrow if they released the safety records from the lab, but they have yet to do this for reasons unknown


StrangeSatellite

Reasons unknown. Right.


RedditIsPropaganda84

We'll never know, China will cover it up.


KansaiKanpai

Username checks out


point_me_to_the_exit

A few months ago I mentioned that I wasn't convinced either, and the reddit harpies decended on me. I'm not a conspiracy nut, but all we had to rely on was what WHO was telling us. They've repeatedly been criticized for toeing China's line during this. Being skeptical of their assurances , especially when there's a bio weapons facility in the immediate area of the outbreak seems a legitimate stance.


kaboomtheory

> I think a lot of people get confused by the wording. I think the main debate is whether its origins can be traced to a natural world setting (i.e. transmission from animal to human in nature) vs it starting from a lab leak of a natural virus that the labs were studying. I dont think the debate is whether its a natural occuring virus vs a man-made virus. quoted from another redditor who explained what Fauci meant very well.


06maverick

How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Lab-Leak Theory Google the above article, blocked by reddit, and AMAZINGLY detailed. Well researched. No proof it was a lab leak, but certainly shows it was "possible".


gonadon

dr flipflop


travinyle2

Why is this now ok to discuss. I was told the intelligence community fully debunked this. Trump started this conspiracy. Reddit had been removing all mentions of this. What changed the evidence is the same. Is this literally because of Trump?


thomoya

Funny isn't it? For an entire year you normies and your media overlords censored debate on this issue.


supa_mans

All the censorship here and on social media about this issue was hilarious under the guise of "misinformation". Then when that didn't work, everyone straw manned anyone questioning the origin into the crazies that think the virus was genetically created and unleashed on purpose.


thomoya

I wouldn't say it's hilarious. More like sickening, deceitful.


no_spoon

Jesus. The news and media already have headlines saying it started in the lab because of employee Heath records. It is so obviously not natural. What am I missing? I feel like people like to hold on to the notion that humans are innocent. No they are not.


RobotVo1ce

Is there another title we can use for Fauci? At this point he's basically a politician.


abstract__art

The extreme Chinese propaganda that came out around this virus and other circumstances makes it very suspicious. - Originates 2-3 miles away from one of the few labs on planet earth that studies this sort of thing. - Chinese government covers up everything extensively - Chinese media pushes our idea of everyone falling dead in street randomly and mainstream USA media believe it lol. The president then said he believed it came from China. This was laughed at and social media would ban you for saying as such. Now everyone is trying to pretend like never happened.


Woody_Wins_

holy shit thought I was on the conspiracy sub for a sec. Nice to see this view become mainstream.


fire2374

> what he conflated is that therefore we were involved in creating the virus which is the most ridiculous majestic leap I've ever heard of. Fauci has such an eloquent way of calling Rand Paul an ignorant ophthalmologist.