OMG. Trump blackmailed Batwoman! How low can he go? Just bc Dr. Shi Zhengli asked for an apology, our President blackmails the NIH to blackmail Batwoman and cut off her life-saving research during the pandemic. If Dr. Zhengli wants an apology from Trump, the line stretches for miles.
It would take a genius to counterfeit an artificial virus to look like a natural virus. Dollar bills are one thing, but counterfeit genetic engineering on this scale is nearly impossible, or is it? Each virus has a serial number, so to speak, like a dollar bill. It’s hard to fake. As a biologist, I can imagine creating the coronavirus by selective pressure on human pulmonary macrophages or lung cells using a SARS lineage virus. But if selective pressure wasn't enough, I would then genetically engineer pieces of a receptor into the RBD sequence. Tell-tale clues of tampering might be unusual restriction sites around open reading frames. But there would be no way to mimic 70 years of evolution. And then comes the grisly task of human test subjects because monkeys won't cut it. Perhaps North Korea would be a good place for China to experiment? But, I think BatWoman was smart enough to go beyond my evil daydreams and conspiracy theorists. I'm with BatWoman, not Trump on this one.
The CDC has been hushed and Big Data migrated to the Oval Office. The WHO has lost the favor of their American champion. OSHA won't get on the dashboard to mandate masks for essential workers. Scientists are being hushed.
To say the least, it is a FUBAR for America. Thanks for a morbidly delightful article on the virus's family tree. It's interesting that their lineage would look more like vines than a tree since they seem to evolve more circularly and with alarming speed within 2 human generations than us humans taking thousands of years. It's interesting to hypothesize why we have ERV (endogenous retroviruses) in our genome. It may have a dark underbelly. On one side, it may prime our innate immune system against infection. On the other, it may play a double agent picking up human genetic material hoping for a skeleton key like the ACE-2 receptors conveniently located on the surfaces of pulmonary macrophages. It's like a 1–2 punch. It uses our body to find the key and then revs up our immune system on hyper-drive until we literally drown. Grisly to think about. Thank you.
Moral of your article? Don't get the Prez mad if you want his blessing. I leave you with a quote from BatWoman from the article you graciously hyperlinked:
"SARS-CoV-2 was "nature punishing the uncivilized habits and customs of humans," and she was willing to "bet my life that [the outbreak] has nothing to do with the lab."