On the one hand, mask mandates are back. On the other hand, the Associated Press says that's all a conspiracy theory. On the other other hand, Covid hospitalizations are up - and there's a scary new variant from... (hurls dart at map of the world) Denmark and... (hurls second dart, backward over shoulder) Israel. On the other other other hand, that eighth shot is sure to work:
Resident liberal & former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. tells the rest of @TheFive cast that his next Covid shot, which he plans to get, will be his 7th, and he's had Covid 3 times. 🤣🤦♂️👇 pic.twitter.com/g61dOSJCCO— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) August 28, 2023
I take it most of the above is just prepping the battlefield for next year's presidential election. But, as you know, I am more interested in the news that doesn't make the news. Which is why this Norman Fenton tweet caught my eye. Many of you will have seen Professor Fenton on The Mark Steyn Show, and some of you will have met him on last month's Mark Steyn Cruise. So I followed the links through to a research paper by two Japanese fellows - Atsushi Tanaka of Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University and Takayuki Miyazawa of Kyoto University.
I don't know these guys. Could be they're just another wing of that big conspiracy theory the AP is banging on about. Professor Tanaka has published peer-reviewed papers on the Significance of N-Sulfation of Heparan Sulfate as a Host Cell Factor for Chikungunya Virus Infection, and Professor Miyazawa has done likewise in prestigious journals on the Emergence of Infectious Malignant Thrombocytopenia in Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata) by SRV-4. So, if they are mere conspiracy theorists, they've constructed a pretty elaborate cover.
Professors Tanaka and Miyazawa's new paper is called:
Unnaturalness in the evolution process of the SARS-CoV-2 variants and the possibility of deliberate natural selection
What does that mean? Well, everyone except the brain-dead and the more aggressive interns of Ofcom's fact-checkers now accepts that the Covid came from a lab leak. How long is it since you've heard anyone even on MSNBC or Facebook say the word "pangolin" with a straight face? But Messrs Tanaka and Miyazawa have taken it to the next level:
In this study, we aimed to clarify the evolutionary processes leading to the formation of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants, focusing on Omicron variants with many amino acid mutations in the spike protein among SARS-CoV-2 isolates. To determine the order in which the mutations leading to the formation of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants, we compared the sequences of 129 Omicron BA.1-related isolates, 141 BA.1.1-related isolates, and 122 BA.2-related isolates, and tried to dissolve the evolutionary processes of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants, including the order of mutations leading to the formation of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants and the occurrence of homologous recombination. As a result, we concluded that the formations of a part of Omicron isolates BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 were not the products of genome evolution as is commonly observed in nature... [EMPHASIS ADDED]
Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up there. What exactly does that last sentence mean?
The analysis we have shown here is that the Omicron variants are formed by an entirely new mechanism that cannot be explained by previous biology.
Er, okay. But again, what are you really trying to say?
In the genetic variation in the S protein in these variants, most of the mutations were non-synonymous (Fig. 1). There were no synonymous mutations in the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Mu variants, but only one each in the Lambda and Omicron variants. Among these variants, the Omicron variant (BA.1 lineage), which shows the greatest accumulation of mutations in the S protein, is primarily non-synonymous in the S protein and has only one synonymous mutation at c25000u. The synonymous/non-synonymous ratio is abnormal, given how human coronaviruses have mutated.
What "synonymous" means in this context is that normally, when something mutates naturally, it does so mostly in ways that don't change the nature of the original: hence, such mutations are merely synonymous. When you have a "synonymous/non-synonymous ratio" as "abnormal" as that of the Covid variants, that means they are not occurring naturally:
The fact that most of these mutations occurred without synonymous mutations (Fig. 2) suggests that none of these mutations arose as a result of trial-and-error random mutations in nature.
In other words, not only did the Covid come from a lab, but so did the variants:
Suppose the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and its one amino acid reversion mutants were artificially and systematically generated. In that case, we should suspect that the other variants (Alpha to Delta) may also be artificially generated viruses.
Oh, really? But why would anyone do such a thing?
One idea, the hypothesis that these viruses were artificially generated, is more reasonable than proposing a novel mutation acquisition mechanism. However, is there any reason to artificially create these mutants, which are unlikely to have occurred naturally, given the current SARS-CoV-2 epidemic? [EMPHASIS ADDED]
Well, that's the question, isn't it? It's just about possible to believe that the original strain escaped from the lab accidentally. But is it possible to believe that every artificially created variant from Alpha to Omicron also escaped from the lab accidentally whenever the Covid showed signs of flagging? (Including presumably the incoming referenced at the top.) You'll recall Boris Johnson as late as December 2021 insisting that the impending Omicron made it more urgent than ever that you get your booster, or he might have to cancel Christmas.
Norman Fenton links to a Substack by a bloke called "psmi" that concludes:
Someone, somewhere, really is doing all this deliberately.
In fairness, the Japanese chappies aren't yet willing to go there:
It is inimical to virus research to consider that artificially synthesized viruses were deliberately spread throughout the world... Furthermore, we do not conclude that these viruses were artificially synthesized and distributed based on malicious intent.
If you say so. Nevertheless:
The analysis we have shown here concludes that the Omicron variants are formed by a completely new mechanism that cannot be explained by previous biology.
That's pretty interesting, isn't it? Particularly if you're one of these politico-media zombies droning "Follow the science... Must follow the science" thirty times a day. Well, for eleven years I've been stuck in the dank toilet of the DC Superior Court for being a soi-disant "science denier". Yet I managed to "follow the science" all the way to Osaka and Kyoto and I was discombobulated by what I found there. Why is it only psmi and a couple of others and not the science and health correspondents of the BBC and The New York Times that are interested in the ostensibly startling revelation that all the major Covid "variants" are also lab creations?
As I mentioned the other day, when this thing got going, my initial assumption was that, as with SARS, the Chinese were lying to the world. It then became plain that, in fact, the Americans - Fauci and the public-health bureaucracy - were lying to the world, about taxpayer-funded "gain-of-function" research offshored via a CIA front to Wuhan. Among the more curious details in the new Japanese paper is this:
The following results presented in this study may support the hypothesis that the Omicron variants may have been artificially synthesized rather than naturally occurring:
1) the presence of Omicron variant-associated isolates with one mutation site being Wuhan-type;
2) the almost complete absence of synonymous mutations in the S protein in these isolates;
3) the Omicron variant, which should have been first reported to WHO from South Africa on November 24, 2021, was already endemic in Puerto Rico in 2020, and that there were isolates that were recombinants between Omicron strains BA1 and BA2. [EMPHASIS ADDED]
How about that? Puerto Rico is a territory not of Japan but of the United States. Yet it takes a couple of guys in Osaka and Kyoto to reveal that the Omicron was endemic on American turf over a year before its official release date? Is it really credible that Fauci & Co didn't know that? And, if not, do they know where it came from?
And, if so, why aren't they telling us?
~As many of you know, Mark has filed his second Statement of Claim against the UK media censor Ofcom in the English High Court over their "rulings" against him for his coverage of the Covid vaccines and their victims. Many readers, listeners and viewers have inquired about how to support this landmark lawsuit against Lord Grade and his commissars. It is important, not least for the implications of the above, to put the thought-police out of the "disinformation" business. There are several ways to lend a hand, including:
a) signing up a friend for a Steyn Club Gift Membership;
b) buying a chum a SteynOnline gift certificate; or
c) ordering a copy of my latest book The Prisoner of Windsor. You won't regret it.
With the first two methods, one hundred per cent of the proceeds and, in the last, a significant chunk thereof go to a grand cause - and you or your loved one gets something, too.