The Science Behind the Past, Present, and Future of COVID.
Where did COVID come from? What can you do right now to make sure you can fight the virus, if you are ever infected? Should you get vaccinated?
In this episode of the Align Podcast, Dr. Steven Quay and Aaron Alexander discuss how the Coronavirus has been able to develop so quickly in the human body, the mechanisms of it, and how our immune system works to fight it. They talk about how exactly vaccines act to help our body fight viruses and how the antibody-dependent enhancement’s (ADE) unpredictability can affect people of different ages.
What is discussed:
03:58: How can we train our body to help combat COVID and other respiratory diseases?
06:09: Aaron’s symptoms when he was infected with COVID
08:04: What does Dr. Quay recommend you do to fight Covid?
09:20: Supportive breathing practices you can start today
10:27: Where does the virus originate from?
15:19: What kind of repercussions has Dr. Quay faced for his scientific opinions?
17:59: What will the world be like post-vaccination?
19:06: Should young and healthy people take the vaccine?
20:35: The race between covid-2 vs the immune system
21:42: Are masks effective?
27:39: What does the future of the coronavirus look like?
30:41: The antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)
32:28: What is the virus’ infection mechanism?
34:39: Describing the 3 phases of the virus
36:09: The burden of COVID in our world and political implications
40:56: Physiologic response to the vaccine Vs developed immune response
47:03: Why did Dr. Quay write his book?
48:50: What can we do to protect ourselves if we suspect we were exposed to the virus?
49:55: Why does it turn into pneumonia?
52:31: The issue with western medicine not looking at the importance of nutrition
57:52: How the metro transport system could have been the conduit to spreading COVID in major cities
A powerful group of scientists are calling on the World Health Organization to scrap its investigation into the origins of COVID-19 and start over. One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion has more.
Call for a Full and Unrestricted International Forensic Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19
March 4, 2021
Finding the origins of SARS-CoV-2 is critically important to both better addressing the current pandemic and reducing the risks of future ones. Unfortunately, well over a year after the initial outbreak the origins of the pandemic remain unknown.
As scientists, social scientists, and science communicators who have been independently and collectively looking into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe it essential that all hypotheses about the origins of the pandemic be thoroughly examined and full access to all necessary resources be provided without regard to political or other sensitivities.
Based on our analysis, and as confirmed by the global study convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese authorities, there is as yet no evidence demonstrating a fully natural origin of this virus. The zoonosis hypothesis, largely based on patterns of previous zoonosis events, is only one of a number of possible SARS-CoV-2 origins, alongside the research-related accident hypothesis.
Although the “collaborative” process of discovery mandated by the World Health Assembly in May 2020 was meant to enable a full examination of the origins of the pandemic, we believe that structural limitations built into this endeavor make it all but impossible for the WHO-convened mission to realize this aspiration.
In particular, we wish to raise public awareness of the fact that half of the joint team convened under that process is made of Chinese citizens whose scientific independence may be limited, that international members of the joint team had to rely on information the Chinese authorities chose to share with them, and that any joint team report must be approved by both the Chinese and international members of the joint team.
We have therefore reached the conclusion that the joint team did not have the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses to carry out a full and unrestricted investigation into all the relevant SARS-CoV-2 origin hypotheses – whether natural spillover or laboratory/research-related incident.
We are also concerned that the joint team’s work has been inaccurately reported by the media as an independent investigation whose conclusions reflect those of the WHO. The February 9, 2021 Wuhan joint press conference was a good example of this misunderstanding. Although the findings were those of the joint team, they were widely reported as representing the WHO itself.
As strong supporters of the WHO and its mission, we believe it must be made clear that any findings of the joint committee, while potentially useful to a limited extent, represent neither the official position of the WHO nor the result of an unrestricted, independent investigation.
For this reason, we believe it is essential that the contours of a full and unrestricted investigation be outlined to set a standard against which current and future efforts can be evaluated.
Limitations of the WHO-convened global study
The following core problems undermine the existing WHO-convened joint study:
The Terms of Reference, which govern the exact objectives, duties and responsibilities of the joint-investigation, were negotiated without sufficient transparency (July 2020), and then made public after considerable delay (November 2020).
These Terms of Reference were significantly limited, for instance by stipulating that most of the field work had to be conducted by the Chinese side with the results simply communicated to the international members of the joint team for review and discussion, in a format chosen by the Chinese side.
The intermediate and final reports of the joint study rely on a consensus among the 17 Chinese members and 17 international members of the joint team. It is likely, therefore, that reports resulting from this process will ultimately represent a necessary compromise based partly on political and other limitations.
The selection process of international experts on the team did not adequately screen for conflicts of interest.
The team did not have the mandate or access to granular lab records, data, and personnel to an extent that would allow them to confidently evaluate the various hypotheses.
The team operated in the context of a broad Chinese State Council gag order which prevented any spontaneous sharing of any information about the pandemic, and which coordinated the careful release of any such information with the Chinese government. That gag order was put in place a week after the departure of the Feb 2020 WHO joint mission from China.
The international members of the joint team, by their own admission, have often relied on verbal assurances given to them by their Chinese counterparts rather than independent investigation, particularly regarding the possibility of a lab or research-related accident.
At least one international team member had expressed a strong conviction towards the pure zoonosis hypothesis before joining the investigation – when hardly any data about the SARS-CoV-2 virus were available – and was dismissive of the lab-related origins. These public statements cast serious doubts as to his scientific objectivity.
What a full investigation should look like
Because the joint team investigation falls short of the mark, we believe it essential for the international community to outline how a full and unrestricted investigation could be organized. Such an investigation would need to:
Be carried out by a truly independent team with no unresolved conflicts of interest and no full or partial control by any specific agenda or country.
Be multidisciplinary by including epidemiologists, virologists, wildlife experts, public health specialists, forensic investigators, biosafety and biosecurity experts, etc.
Include several individuals with Chinese-language skills and with an understanding of Chinese culture, who can help to interpret behaviors during the original events and also help decode the dynamic during the investigation itself.
Start its study by considering all possible scenarios for each pathway. These should include:
A pure zoonosis event with/without intermediate host;
Infection at a sampling site of a lab employee or of some accompanying non-lab personnel;
Infection during transport of collected animals and/or samples;
Lab Acquired Infection (LAI) in one of the laboratories in Wuhan;
Lab-escape without LAI, for instance via waste handling or animals that escaped or were disposed of inappropriately.
Follow a common forensic investigation approach, based on:
Traditional rigorous on-the-ground investigation;
Desk-based analyst work to make sense of the elements collected;
Open-source intelligence to help gather additional information;
A review of previous zoonosis events and lab-related accidents, from which technical and institutional insights may be gained.
Have full or significant access to all sites, records, samples, and personnel of interest, including:
Key Wuhan markets;
All laboratories and institutions, Chinese or international, known to have worked on coronaviruses or shared facilities or equipment with groups that worked on coronaviruses;
Hospital records from fall 2019 of early or suspect patients, including interviews with patients or contacts;
Important pathogen sampling sites, such as the Mojiang mine;
Current and past personnel, such as employees of the labs in 2019 and people present on specific sampling sites.
Have full access to all relevant records of the labs and institutions involved in coronavirus research, including:
Key databases of pathogens, samples, and isolates, including those taken offline.
Have full access to granular data, preferably directly from the source and in its raw form, not summarized data. This data can be anonymized if necessary; there should be no legal reason to limit access.
Have full access to market samples, environmental samples, hospital samples and any potential samples such as waste waters and blood banks with full permission to perform independent sequencing or other testing.
Have full access to the Chinese CDC case records and related primary hospital and/or clinic records.
Have full access to other Chinese case databases describing pneumonia cases.
Be able to conduct confidential interviews, including of early cases and their relatives and past and present personnel associated with the sites or institutions of interest such as markets, hospitals, sampling sites, and laboratories.
Deploy a secure reporting channel for people to confidentially contribute information, wherever they are based, without fear of punishment or retribution.
Conclusion and Next Steps
We recognize that as an international agency that must rely on the collaboration of its member states, the World Health Organization is limited in what it can achieve in this type of investigation. It is not our intention to undermine the WHO, which is working under challenging circumstances at a time of tremendous global need.
Although the joint team investigation was a significant opportunity for the international community to gain some limited and highly curated information, it has unfortunately proven opaque and restrictive, greatly compromising the scientific validity of the investigation.
With more than two million deaths, more than a hundred million infected by COVID-19 worldwide, and a massive global disruption impacting some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, we cannot afford an investigation into the origins of the pandemic that is anything less than absolutely thorough and credible. If we fail to fully and courageously examine the origins of this pandemic, we risk being unprepared for a potentially worse pandemic in the future.
Because we believe the joint team process and efforts to date do not constitute a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation, we call on the international community to put in place a structure and process that does.
Colin D Butler, Honorary Professor, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (ORCID 0000-0002-2942-5294)
Bruno Canard, DR CNRS, molecular virologist, Aix Marseille University, France, (ORCID 0000-0003-4924-1991)
Henri Cap, PhD, zoologist, Museum of Natural History, Toulouse, France
Y. A. Chan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, Cambridge, USA (ORCID 0000-0002-0731-637X).
Appel à une enquête scientifique internationale complète et sans restriction sur les origines de la COVID-19
Élucider les origines du coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 est crucial pour mieux faire face à l’épidémie actuelle et réduire les risques de futures pandémies. Malheureusement, plus d’un an après l’apparition des premiers cas, les origines de la pandémie sont toujours inconnues.
En tant que scientifiques, spécialistes des sciences sociales et journalistes scientifiques ayant étudié indépendamment et collectivement les origines de la COVID-19, nous pensons qu’il est essentiel que toutes les hypothèses sur les origines de la pandémie soient examinées de manière approfondie et que toutes les ressources nécessaires soient rendues accessibles, indépendamment des facteurs politiques ou autres.
Sur la base de notre analyse, et comme le confirme l’enquête réalisée par une équipe conjointe organisée par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) et les autorités chinoises, il n’existe pas encore de preuve démontrant une origine entièrement naturelle de ce virus. L’hypothèse de la zoonose, largement basée sur les événements de zoonose antérieurs, n’est qu’une des nombreuses origines possibles du SARS-CoV-2, tout comme l’hypothèse d’un accident lié à la recherche scientifique.
Bien que le processus “collaboratif” d’investigation organisé par la World Health Assembly en mai 2020 ait été mis en place de manière à permettre un examen complet des origines de la pandémie, nous pensons que les limites structurelles de cette démarche ne permettent pas à la mission convoquée par l’OMS d’atteindre ses objectifs.
Nous souhaitons attirer l’attention sur le fait que la moitié de l’équipe conjointe réunie dans le cadre de ce processus est composée de citoyens chinois dont l’indépendance scientifique pourrait être limitée, que les membres de la commission se sont basés sur les informations que les autorités chinoises ont choisi de leur communiquer et que tout rapport de l’équipe conjointe doit être approuvé par les membres chinois et internationaux.
Nous sommes donc parvenus à la conclusion que l’équipe conjointe n’avait pas le mandat, l’indépendance ou les accès nécessaires pour pouvoir mener une enquête complète et sans restriction sur toutes les hypothèses concernant l’origine du SARS-CoV-2, qu’il s’agisse d’un événement zoonotique ou d’un accident lié à un laboratoire de recherche.
En tant que fervents partisans de l’OMS et de sa mission, nous pensons qu’il doit être clairement précisé que toute conclusion de l’équipe conjointe, bien que potentiellement utile, ne représente ni la position officielle de l’OMS, ni le résultat d’une enquête indépendante et sans restriction.
C’est pourquoi nous pensons qu’il est essentiel de définir les contours d’une enquête qui serait complète et sans restriction, afin d’établir une norme par rapport à laquelle les efforts actuels et futurs pourront être évalués.
Limites de l’étude mondiale organisée par l’OMS
Les problèmes fondamentaux suivants affaiblissent l’étude conjointe actuelle de l’OMS :
Les termes de référence, qui régissent les objectifs exacts, les devoirs et les responsabilités de l’enquête conjointe, ont été négociés sans transparence suffisante (en juillet 2020), puis rendus publics après un délai considérable (en novembre 2020).
Ces termes de référence sont limités, par exemple en stipulant que la plupart des travaux sur le terrain doivent être menés par la partie chinoise, les résultats étant simplement communiqués aux membres internationaux de l’équipe conjointe pour examen et discussion, dans un format choisi par la partie chinoise.
Les rapports intermédiaire et final de l’étude conjointe reposent sur un consensus entre les 17 membres chinois et les 17 membres internationaux de l’équipe conjointe. Il est donc probable que les rapports résultant de ce processus représenteront en fin de compte un compromis, fondé en partie sur des limitations politiques et autres.
Le processus de sélection des experts internationaux de l’équipe n’a pas permis de détecter correctement les conflits d’intérêts.
L’équipe a opéré dans le cadre d’un ordre de confidentialité de la part du Conseil d’État chinois qui a empêché tout partage spontané d’informations sur la pandémie, et qui a coordonné la diffusion mesurée de ces informations avec le gouvernement chinois. Cet ordre de confidentialité a été mis en place une semaine après que la mission conjointe de l’OMS ait quitté la Chine en février 2020.
Les membres internationaux de l’équipe conjointe, de leur propre aveu, se sont souvent appuyés sur la parole de leurs homologues chinois plutôt que sur une enquête indépendante, notamment en ce qui concerne la possibilité d’un accident lié au laboratoire ou à la recherche.
Au moins un membre de l’équipe internationale avait exprimé une forte conviction envers l’hypothèse d’une zoonose pure avant de se joindre à l’enquête – alors qu’il n’y avait pratiquement pas de données sur le virus SARS-CoV-2 – et il avait déjà écarté l’hypothèse de l’accident de laboratoire. Ces déclarations publiques jettent de sérieux doutes quant à son objectivité scientifique.
À quoi devrait ressembler une enquête complète
L’enquête de l’équipe conjointe actuelle n’étant pas satisfaisante, nous pensons qu’il est essentiel que la communauté internationale indique comment une enquête complète et sans restriction pourrait être organisée. Une telle enquête devra :
Être menée par une équipe véritablement indépendante, sans conflits d’intérêts non résolus et en l’absence d’un contrôle total ou partiel exercé par une institution ou un pays spécifique.
Être multidisciplinaire et inclure des épidémiologistes, des virologistes, des experts de la faune et de la flore sauvages, des spécialistes de santé publique, des experts en biosécurité et en sûreté biologique, etc.
Inclure plusieurs personnes ayant des compétences en langue chinoise et une compréhension de la culture chinoise, qui peuvent aider à interpréter les comportements lors du tout début de l’épidémie et également aider à décoder la dynamique pendant l’enquête elle-même.
Considérer tous les scénarios possibles, y compris :
Un événement de zoonose pure avec/sans hôte animal intermédiaire ;
Infection sur un site de prélèvement d’un employé de laboratoire ou d’un membre du personnel accompagnant qui n’est pas du laboratoire ;
Infection pendant le transport d’animaux et/ou d’échantillons collectés ;
Infection Acquise en Laboratoire (IAL) dans la ville de Wuhan ;
Fuite de laboratoire sans infection acquise dans son enceinte, comme par exemple à la suite d’un déplacement de déchets ou via l’évasion d’animaux, ou encore qui auraient été éliminés de façon inappropriée.
Suivre une approche d’enquête scientifique et systématique commune, basée sur :
Une enquête de terrain traditionnelle et rigoureuse ;
Un travail analytique de terrain pour donner un sens aux éléments recueillis ;
Des renseignements de source accessible pour faciliter la collecte d’informations supplémentaires ;
Un examen des zoonoses et des accidents de laboratoire antérieurs, afin d’en tirer des enseignements techniques et institutionnels.
Avoir un accès complet ou significatif à tous les sites, dossiers, échantillons et personnels d’intérêt, y compris :
Les principaux marchés de Wuhan ;
Tous les laboratoires et institutions, chinois ou internationaux, connus pour avoir travaillé sur les coronavirus ou pour avoir partagé des installations ou des équipements avec des groupes qui travaillaient sur les coronavirus ;
Les dossiers hospitaliers des patients précoces ou suspects, ainsi que leurs entretiens ou leurs contacts, depuis l’automne 2019 ;
Avoir un accès complet à des données détaillées, de préférence de source directe et sous leur forme brute, et non à des données résumées. Ces données peuvent être rendues anonymes si nécessaire ; il ne devrait y avoir aucune raison légale d’en limiter l’accès.
Avoir un accès complet aux échantillons du marché, aux échantillons environnementaux, aux échantillons hospitaliers et à tout échantillon potentiel, tel que les eaux usées et les banques de sang, avec la pleine autorisation d’effectuer un séquençage indépendant ou d’autres tests.
Avoir un accès complet aux dossiers des CDC chinois et aux dossiers des hôpitaux et/ou cliniques concernant les premiers cas.
Avoir un accès complet à d’autres bases de données chinoises décrivant des cas de pneumonie.
Pouvoir mener des entretiens confidentiels, notamment avec les premiers cas et leurs proches, ainsi que le personnel passé et présent associé aux sites ou institutions d’intérêt, tels que les marchés, les hôpitaux, les sites d’échantillonnage et les laboratoires.
Déployer une ligne de communication sécurisée permettant aux personnes de fournir des informations en toute confidentialité, où qu’elles se retrouvent, sans crainte de punition ou de représailles.
Conclusion et prochaines étapes
Nous reconnaissons qu’en tant qu’agence internationale dépendant de la collaboration de ses États membres, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé est limitée dans ce qu’elle peut réaliser dans ce type d’enquête. Notre intention n’est pas d’affaiblir l’OMS, qui travaille dans des circonstances difficiles à un moment où les besoins mondiaux sont immenses.
Bien que l’enquête de l’équipe conjointe ait été une occasion importante pour la communauté internationale d’obtenir des informations limitées et très encadrées, elle s’est malheureusement révélée opaque et restrictive, compromettant grandement la validité scientifique de l’enquête.
Avec plus de deux millions de morts, cent millions de personnes infectées par la COVID-19 dans le monde, et une perturbation massive touchant certaines des populations les plus vulnérables de la planète, nous ne pouvons nous permettre une enquête sur les origines de la pandémie qui ne soit pas absolument approfondie et crédible. Si nous ne parvenons pas à examiner pleinement et courageusement les origines de cette pandémie, nous risquons de ne pas être préparés à une pandémie potentiellement plus grave à l’avenir.
Parce que nous pensons que le processus et les efforts de l’équipe conjointe à ce jour ne constituent pas une enquête approfondie, crédible et transparente, nous appelons la communauté internationale à mettre en place une structure et un processus en mesure de le faire.
Colin D Butler, professeur honoraire, Centre national d’épidémiologie et de santé de la population, Université nationale australienne, Canberra, Australie (ORCID 0000-0002-2942-5294).
Rossana Segreto, PhD, Département de microbiologie, Université d’Innsbruck, Autriche (ORCID 0000-0002-2566-7042).
Günter Theißen, Dr. rer. nat., Professeur de génétique, Institut Matthias Schleiden, Université Friedrich Schiller d’Iéna, Allemagne, (ORCID 0000-0003-4854-8692).
Jacques van Helden, professeur de bioinformatique, Université d’Aix-Marseille, France, (ORCID 0000-0002-8799-8584).
Invitación a favor de una investigación forense internacional completa y sin restricciones sobre los orígenes de la COVID-19
(Traducción al español, texto original en inglés)
Encontrar los orígenes del coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 es crucial para afrontar mejor la pandemia actual y reducir los riesgos de futuras pandemias. Desafortunadamente, más de un año después de la aparición de los primeros casos, aún se desconocen los orígenes de la pandemia.
Como científicos, especialistas en ciencias sociales y comunicadores científicos, que han investigado de forma independiente y colectiva los orígenes de la pandemia de COVID-19, creemos que es esencial que se examinen a fondo todas las hipótesis sobre sus orígenes y que se proporcione pleno acceso a todos los recursos necesarios sin tomar en cuenta sensibilidades políticas o de otro tipo.
Basándonos en nuestro análisis, y tal y como ha confirmado el estudio global organizado por la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y las autoridades chinas, todavía no existen pruebas que demuestren un origen totalmente natural de este virus. La hipótesis de la zoonosis, basada en gran parte en los patrones de eventos de zoonosis pasados, es sólo uno de los posibles orígenes del SARS-CoV-2, al igual que la hipótesis de un accidente relacionado con la investigación científica.
Aunque el proceso de investigación “colaborativo”, ordenado por la Asamblea Mundial de la Salud en mayo de 2020, tenía como objetivo permitir un examen completo de los orígenes de la pandemia, creemos que los límites estructurales de este enfoque no permiten que la misión convocada por la OMS alcance sus objetivos.
En particular, deseamos sensibilizar a la opinión pública sobre el hecho de que la mitad del equipo conjunto convocado en el marco de ese proceso está formado por ciudadanos chinos cuya independencia científica puede ser limitada, que los miembros internacionales del equipo conjunto tuvieron que basarse en la información que las autoridades chinas decidieron compartir con ellos, y que cualquier informe del equipo conjunto debe ser aprobado tanto por los miembros chinos como por los internacionales del equipo conjunto.
Por lo tanto, hemos llegado a la conclusión de que el equipo conjunto no tenía el mandato, ni la independencia, ni los accesos necesarios para llevar a cabo una investigación completa y sin restricciones de todas las hipótesis pertinentes sobre el origen del SARS-CoV-2, ya sea que se trate de un derrame natural o de un incidente de laboratorio o relacionado con la investigación científica.
También nos preocupa que los medios de comunicación hayan informado de forma inexacta del trabajo del equipo conjunto mostrándolo como una investigación independiente, cuyas conclusiones reflejan las de la OMS. La conferencia de prensa conjunta del 9 de febrero de 2021 en Wuhan es un buen ejemplo de este malentendido. Aunque los hallazgos fueron los del equipo conjunto, se informó ampliamente que representaban a la propia OMS.
Como firmes defensores de la OMS y de su misión, creemos que debe quedar claro que las conclusiones del comité conjunto, aunque pueden ser útiles hasta cierto punto, no representan ni la posición oficial de la OMS ni el resultado de una investigación independiente y sin restricciones.
Por esta razón, creemos que es esencial que se determine el perímetro de una investigación completa y sin restricciones para establecer un estándar contra el cual se puedan evaluar los esfuerzos actuales y futuros.
Limitaciones del estudio mundial convocado por la OMS
Los siguientes problemas fundamentales debilitan el actual estudio conjunto convocado por la OMS:
Los Términos de Referencia, que rigen los objetivos, deberes y responsabilidades exactos de la investigación conjunta, se negociaron sin suficiente transparencia (julio de 2020), y luego se hicieron públicos tras un retraso considerable (noviembre de 2020).
Estos Términos de Referencia fueron significativamente limitados, por ejemplo, al estipular que la mayor parte del trabajo de campo debía ser realizado por la parte china y que los resultados simplemente se comunicarían a los miembros internacionales del equipo conjunto para su revisión y discusión, en un formato elegido por la parte china.
Los informes intermedios y finales del estudio conjunto se basan en un consenso entre los 17 miembros chinos y los 17 miembros internacionales del equipo conjunto. Por lo tanto, es probable que los informes resultantes de este proceso representen en última instancia un compromisonecesario, basado en parte en limitaciones políticas y de otro tipo.
El proceso de selección de los expertos internacionales del equipo no permitió detectar la existencia de conflictos de intereses.
El equipo operó en el contexto de una amplia orden de silencio del Consejo de Estado chino que impidió cualquier intercambio espontáneo de información sobre la pandemia, y coordinó la difusión cuidadosa de cualquier información de este tipo con el gobierno chino. Esta orden de silencio se implementó una semana después de que la misión conjunta de la OMS abandonara China en febrero de 2020.
Los miembros internacionales del equipo conjunto admiten haberse basado principalmente en las garantías verbales de sus homólogos chinos en lugar de una investigación independiente, especialmente en lo que respecta a la posibilidad de un accidente de laboratorio o relacionado con la investigación científica.
Al menos un miembro del equipo internacional había expresado una fuerte convicción hacia la hipótesis de zoonosis pura antes de incorporarse a la investigación -cuando apenas se disponía de datos sobre el virus del SARS-CoV-2- y desestimó los orígenes relacionados con los laboratorios. Estas declaraciones públicas arrojan serias dudas sobre su objetividad científica.
Cómo debería ser una investigación completa
Dado que la investigación del equipo conjunto no es satisfactoria, creemos que es esencial que la comunidad internacional establezca cómo podría organizarse una investigación completa y sin restricciones. Dicha investigación tendría que:
Ser llevada a cabo por un equipo verdaderamente independiente, sin conflictos de interés no resueltos y en ausencia de un control total o parcial ejercido por cualquier programa o país específico.
Ser multidisciplinaria, e incluir epidemiólogos, virólogos, expertos en fauna salvaje, especialistas en salud pública, expertos en bioseguridad, etc.
Incluir a varias personas con conocimientos del idioma chino y comprensión de la cultura china, que puedan ayudar a interpretar los comportamientos durante los acontecimientos iniciales y también a descifrar la dinámica durante la propia investigación.
Comenzar su estudio considerando todos los escenarios posibles para cada vía. Estos deberían incluir:
Un evento de zoonosis pura con/sin huésped intermedio;
Infección en el lugar de muestreo de un empleado del laboratorio o de algún acompañante que no sea personal del laboratorio;
Infección durante el transporte de animales y/o muestras recolectados;
Infección adquirida en laboratorio (LAI) en uno de los laboratorios de Wuhan;
Fuga de laboratorio sin LAI, por ejemplo como consecuencia de la manipulación de residuos o por escape de animales o que hubieran sido eliminados de forma inadecuada.
Seguir un enfoque de investigación forense común, basado en:
Investigación de campo tradicional rigurosa;
Trabajo de analistas documentales para dar sentido a los elementos recopilados;
Inteligencia de fuente abierta (open-source) para facilitar la recopilación información adicional;
Una revisión de sucesos anteriores de zoonosis y accidentes de laboratorio previos, con el fin de extraer lecciones técnicas e institucionales.
Tener acceso pleno o significativo a todos los sitios, registros, muestras y personal de interés, incluyendo:
Los principales mercados de Wuhan;
Todos los laboratorios e instituciones, chinos o internacionales, de los que se sepa que han trabajado con coronavirus o que han compartido instalaciones o equipos con grupos que han trabajado con coronavirus;
Registros hospitalarios de pacientes tempranos o sospechosos, incluyendo entrevistas con pacientes o sus contactos, desde el otoño de 2019;
Principales bases de datos de patógenos, muestras y virus aislados, incluidas aquellas cuyo acceso se ha restringido.
Tener pleno acceso a datos detallados, preferiblemente directamente de la fuente y en su formato bruto, no datos resumidos. Estos datos se pueden anonimizar si es necesario; no debe haber ninguna razón legal para limitar el acceso.
Tener pleno acceso a las muestras del mercado, las muestras ambientales, las muestras de los hospitales y cualquier muestra potencial, como las aguas residuales y los bancos de sangre, con completo permiso para realizar una secuenciación independiente u otras pruebas.
Tener pleno acceso a los registros de casos de los CDC chinos y a los registros primarios de hospitales y/o clínicas relacionados.
Tener pleno acceso a otras bases de datos de casos chinas que describan casos de neumonía por coronavirus.
Poder realizar entrevistas confidenciales, incluso a los primeros casos y sus familiares, así como al personal anterior y actual relacionado con los lugares o instituciones de interés, como mercados, hospitales, lugares de muestreo y laboratorios.
Implementar un canal de comunicación seguro que permita a las personas compartir información de forma confidencial, dondequiera que se encuentren, sin temor a castigos o represalias.
Dr. Steven Quays paper ‘A Bayesian analysis concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 is not a natural zoonosis but instead is laboratory-derived’ is featured on The Published Report website.
Jorge Casesmeiro Roger (El Imparcial), conducts an interview with Dr. Steven Carl Quay, MD, PhD on his statistical analysis of pandemic origin, a study that concludes “beyond a reasonable doubt” that SARS-CoV-2 is a lab derived virus at 99,8% chance versus a 0,2% probability of being a natural zoonosis.
He would love to be wrong and coincide with the WHO Wuhan Commission on CoV-2 origin. But too many hard evidence point to the lab theory. It’s Wednesday, February 16 2021, 5:30 pm in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, from where he grants me this interview. Physician, inventor and entrepreneur, Dr. Steven Carl Quay recieved his MD & PhD from the University of Michigan. He was postdoctorate fellow at the MIT Chemistry Department with Nobel Laureate Gobind Khorana, resident at the Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital, and spent a decade on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine. Chairman and CEO of Atossa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Seattle, Dr. Quay holds 87 U.S. patents, 7 FDA-approved pharmaceutical inventions and he is also a very prolific and cited author. Coronavirus prevention and treatment is one of his fields of research and his last book,the best selling ‘Stay Safe’, is precisely a kind of coronavirus survival manual.
But our conversation will focus on his amazing outcome about Covid-19 origin. A pandemic that has a 99,8% chance of coming from a laboratory, and only a 0,2% probability of being a natural virus. At least according to the result of his report titled: “A Bayesian analysis concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 is not a natural zoonosis but instead is laboratory derived”. A full of facts & figures 193 pages statistical study, pre-published last January 29 at Zenodo CERN open repository. A paper on the way of his peer-review that since it’s first upload has an average of 6.000 views and downloads per day and a total view of over ninety-eight thousand. No wonder why. If proven to be true, this conclusion would change the whole narrative of the pandemic, the role of advanced bioresearch on it, and above all its political regulation to prevent a next catastrophe.
Jorge Casesmeiro Roger
Dr. Steven Quay
JCR.A 99,8% chance for the lab origin doesn’t leave much room to the zoonosis theory. How did your study arrive to such a shocking conclusions?
DrQ: The starting probability of my report was setted at 98,5% likelihood in favor of the natural-zoonotic origin. A very conservative approach that leaved the laboratory hypothesis just a 1,2% chance. But due to the available evidence, after the math adjusments the results shifted to a 99,8% that SARS-CoV-2 is a laboratory derived virus. This exceeds the parameters for a “beyond a reasonable doubt” conclusion.
Your report uses a statistical tool called Bayesian analysis.
A direct application of the Bayes Theorem,so a little tribute to the English mathematician Thomas Bayes (1702-1761), a Presbyterian minister who wrote this method of doing analysis. His notes where found when he died so it was published posthumously.
What is a Bayesian analysis and how does it work?
It’s a very standard model of statistical inference. We all actually do Bayesian analysis in real life. Its basically the way we bet in the World Cup or whatever sport. You have certain ideas of who is going to win at the begining of the season, before the first football is kicked. And then as games get played you adjust that, and that adjusment is your own Bayesian analysis. You are trying to predict who is going to win the Cup and then you go into the final games. That’s the process.
And that’s how the Covid-19 laboratory theory won the World Cup.
Yes,you have to think of it in three ways. You start with what is your prior estimate of the likelihood: if nature or laboratory origin. Then you drop evidence in, you turn a little mathematical crank and see if the probabilities change. So by the end of my analysis, after going through 26 different pieces of evidence, the outcome was that Covid-19 has a one in five hundred chance of coming from nature.
WHO Commission at Wuhan dismised lab origin and discourage this line of research. But still no proof of zoonosis. At this point, are you aware of any data that could change your results?
No, and the beauty of a Bayesian analysis is this: If you bring me a 27th piece of evidence we can drop it in, turn the crank and see what it does. Its like having an extra game in the World Cup. But everything I’ve learned since I wrote my report continues to point in the direction of the laboratory.
EvenWHOs General Director had to correct its Wuhan Commission stating: “All hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and study”.
Remarkably, in the three hour interview the WHO group gave they did provide new facts. It’s quite interesting. In China, over 62,000 different potential animals have been tested over the last year for the virus. Individually. Every animal had either blood or tissue taken and the PCR test was done. And at this point of time they have found zero out of 62,000 of any of the intermediate host animal that they predicted.
A bit discouraging for the zoonosis bet.
Now, why is 0 out of over 62,000 important? Let’s go back to 2003, with SARS-CoV-1. Once they knew within four months that it came from civet cats in a market, 90% of every cat that they tested from that point forward had SARS-CoV-1. And in 2015, when a similar coronavirus broke out in the Middle East, ten months after the first human patient they knew it was from camels and, again, 92% of every camel had the virus. So now we’ve done a random study in all of China for a year in over 62,000 animals and we found zero virus. The probability of that being similar to prior zoonosis its just abnormally low.
You’ve sent your report for peer review to all members of this WHO Wuhan Commission and The Lancet Commission of Cov-2, among others. Have you recieved any objection on the core of your study?
Yes, I did get some confidential feedback from the individuals on the Commissions, that I’m going to incorporate when I update. But it’s not going to change the statistics very much. One of the criticisms, for example, was that if there is an infinite number of species of coronaviruses and I don’t find a “furin site” in six hundred, is that really meaningful? So it turns out that one member of both Commissions, Dr. Peter Daszak, has actually estimated how many different species of coronaviruses there are in the world: 3.204. So instead of having an infinite number, I can drop 3.204 into my analysis. Which modifies the number by only about 0.5.
So it doesn’t change the outcome.
But it was a useful observation and it made me rethink things. I mean, there are very clear evidence of coming from a zoonosis that could possibly flip my analysis. But every time someone has provided evidence in those directions it points away from it, from coming from nature.
Your paper its being lately headed with a very aggressive and accusatory warning: “Potencially Misleading Contents: Substantial peer feedback has been received that this record does not follow the norms of scientific rigour or balance (…)”. Did you contact the platform for an explanation?
It’s very timely, your comment, because I did ask them: Could you please share with me those criticisms so I can incorporate them into a new version? And about thirty minutes ago I received an email from them. They’ve changed the disclaimer. Now it simply informs that it hasn’t been peer-review.
You are right, the new header goes: “Unverified Contents (…)”. And the line that follows has much more conservative tone.
I really appreciate they changed it. I am willing to debate any of the people, in a public forum, with my data and their data. And let’s just have it out, because again, I would love to be wrong. Life would be a lot easier if I am wrong. It would require a change in the way we do, perhaps, urbanization… There are always outcomes from the understanding of the origin of something. But I believe the outcome here is that we need to relook at Gain-of-Function (GoF) research and decide whether the benefit-cost ratio shows its justified. That’s my long term goal.
Will talk about GoF. By the way, a very well known GoF coronavirus researcher, the aforementioned Peter Daszak, president of Ecohealth Alliance, is specially active in spreading that lab origin of the pandemic its just a conspiracy theory. He even tried to discredit lab hypothesis orchestrating at The Lancet an apparent editorial statement against it, in a way that was later revealed as something very similar to a conspiracy. Paradoxically, the starting probabilities of your analysis are based on Daszak’s work, among others.
Look, I want to get to the truth, but I also want to do it in the most aggressive way I can. So wherever I could, I either used data from Dr. Daszak, who’s widely published, Dr. Shi at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) or Dr. Baric from North Carolina and leading coronavirus US expert.
And from theWHO themselves.
Yes Jorge, that’s right. They were the ones that studied 540 people for what’s called seroconversion. In SARS-CoV-1 and MERS there were blood samples in a refrigerator from people who had an early infection that wasn’t strong enough to become an epidemic. But they showed evidence of having antibodies. That’s called seroconversión. And it was about 1 to 3% in SARS-CoV-1 and MERS that you could find it in stored, refrigerated samples. But with CoV-2, in March 2020 the WHO examined 540 samples from Wuhan and found zero seroconversions. The probability of this is less than one on twenty that it was running around in Wuhan before the epidemic broke out.
In your analysis there are two pieces of hard evidence that flip abruptly the probability from zoonotic to lab origin. The first one is “Lack of posterior diversity”.
Posterior diversity is the virus version of what I describe for seroconversion. In a zoonosis you have three living forms: an animal host, a human and a virus. And in a natural process it jumps into the human but it doesn’t have all the tools it needs to cause an epidemic. For example, in SARS-CoV-1, the first human case had only 17% of the mutations it needed to become an epidemic, the first time around. But with SARS-CoV-2 it has 99.5% of the best mutations from the very first patient. So the posterior diversity is that process where as it intermediate host jumps to humans, gets mutations but it also jumps back and forth inside the intermediate host.
Which is what happened with SARS-CoV-1 and MERS.
Yes, in the first six months of the epidemic about every other patient got it from an animal. The intermediate host, either civet cats or the camels, developed those really good mutations to get into humans as well among themselves. So when you look at the virus in humans where the epidemic happens, you can trace the virus back through the mutations. If it traces back a year earlier or two years earlier that’s called posterior diversity. That means that the virus was really jumping into humans from cousins of the virus as opposed to a single primary parent virus.
But in SARS-CoV-2 we don’t see this.
In CoV-2 we have over a hundred million cases and they all trace through one patient: a patient the end of December at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) hospital in Wuhan, about three kilometers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). That patient had what was called Lineage A. Every CoV-2 in the entire world is a descendant of that one. Even the one President Trump got. They all can trace back to that single individual patient. In SARS-CoV-1 you had multiple jumps from animals into humans. In MERS you had multiple jumps from camels into humans. CoV-2 is a one to one. You have one jump into one human from one animal. An animal in a laboratory I believe.
Another hard evidence you present is “Lack of furin cleavage sites in any other sarbecovirus”.
Let me explain that. We all have a key that gets us into our house. It goes into the lock, we turn it, and the door opens. Thats how it works. Coronavirus is the same process. It has a Spike protein which is the key, so that attaches to the cell. But then another event like the turn of the key has to happen before it opens your cells. The virus get’s your own cells to clip the Spike protein, in a particular spot, to sort of release the spring and spring load the RNA into your cells. The enzyme or scissors that we have, that we help the virus with, its called “furin”.
The furin cleavage site, you say, has been known since 1992.
Yes, and there are at least eleven different laboratories around the world, including the WIV, that have purposely put a furin cleavage site in a Spike protein. They put a particular set of amino acids and the furin enzyme clipper says: Oh, I like that spot. Then they clip it and the virus goes into the cell. And every time that’s been done since 1992 it always increases the infectivity, the transmissibility and the lethality of the virus. So when you see a furin cleavage site in a coronavirus you know it has a great significance. Now, SARS-CoV-2 comes from a subgroup of coronaviruses called the sarvecovirus. But it’s the only one of this subgroup, this subgenera that has a furin site.
If we look at between six and nine hundred other Sarbecoviruses, it depends on the numbers you use: zero have a furin cleavage site. All the furin cleavage sites are in distant relatives of this subgenera and the virologists tell me, and they agree, that recombination can’t occur that far apart. Different species we know can have an offspring. In viruses they recombine but only within a certain groups. Covid-2 comes from a group that has no other furin sites. So where did it get it? That’s the first point about the aminoacids, the part the scissors that furin attaches to. I worked at MIT for Gobind Khorana, who discovered the genetic code, which means that all the amino acids that make our enzymes have a code behind them, where each aminoacid has a three letter word. So the furin cleavage site has to have two R genes: RR. There are six different three-letter words for arginine.
The codon code.
Exactly. So the two codons in SARS-CoV-2, the two three letter words for arginine, are the least frequently used codons in all coronaviruses in the entire world: the CGG codon. Coronaviruses hate the CGG codon. And in Covid-2 there is two of them together. I looked at 580.000 codons in other coronaviruses and I didn’t find a single CGG-CGG pair. Not one. So nature doesn’t use those codons. But what happens in the laboratory? Now, when a scientist wants to put an arginine into a genetic code they buy the DNA, the RNA, and they drop it in. And what is their favorite arginine codon? CGG. So the codon that nature never uses, and the codon the laboratory always uses, is the one found in SARS-CoV-2.
Something similar of what you explain about the genome sequences of the bat coronavirus RaTG13 identified by Dr. Shi and colleagues.
The RaTG13 has the unique sequences necessary to be the precursor of SARS-CoV-2, with two rare restriction sites that fit with a synthetic bio lab technique called “No See’Em”. The chance of these two sites, present and placed at their exact location, as an act of nature, is of one in a billion. On the other hand, the additional steps needed to créate SARS-CoV-2 from RaTG13 are not clearly identified in the genome and so there are likely additional laboratory viruses involved in the process.
Didn’t Dr. Shi state that none of the gene sequences of Covid-19 checked matched the viruses held by the Wuhan lab? You actually emailed her about it, but she never answered.
I really want to stick with evidence. And I want to act almost like I am in a court of law. You can’t go in a court and say: My neighbour did this. You have to bring the neighbour, he has to swear and then make his statment. So one of the statments that I put in the analysis at the end was that Dr. Shi was very carefully when she said that none of the viruses that she collected in the wild matched SARS-CoV-2. Which I believe its a true statement. But one that is a little bit tricky. Because what you just said its not what she actually said. You said that none of the viruses in the lab matched SARS-CoV-2. But Dr. Shi did not say that. What she said is: None of the viruses collected in the wild matched SARS-CoV-2. But if she collected a virus in the wold and then manipulated it in the laboratory, her careful statement would be true.
The most shocking fact, in ethical terms, its the one you name “Oportunity”, which approaches the 2017 disclosed material on GoF coronavirus experiments with genetic manipulation to permit human infection. Several high risk coronavirus experiments have been performed at the Wuhan lab with US public grants, before and during the pandemic.
Yes, that is true. Gain-of-Function is a kind of research where you genetically manipulate an infectious agent to make it more infectious, more transmissible and more lethal. The academic goal of that is to say: Ok, let me make nature’s worst case virus, and then let me figure out how do I stop it? How do I find a vaccine or a therapeutic against it? Arguably its noble research in some ways.
But you think there are other ways to get at it.
I can talk about that in great detail. Anyway, the dangerous experiments in 2014 scared everybody and the virology community said: Maybe we shouldn’t publish some of it. There were discussions, hearings and the government placed a moratorium. United States refused to fund GoF research and asked the world community to participate as well. But in May of 2017, after a large report was produced by the end of 2016 by the the National Institute of Health (NIH), the moratorium was lifted.
The 2014 moratorium came straight from the White House during Obama administration. But who lifted the May 2017 moratorium in Trump times? Do you know if the new President was aware or consented?
I think in both cases it was the NIH and not specifically the President.. If you have an organizational chart you’ll see President at the top and the NIH down beneath. In 2014 the NIH, probably with concurse of the White House of course, put the moratorium in place. And I think the reversal was done in May of 2017. It was the NIH who announced the release and allowing the funds going back into that space.
Anyhow, the 2017 lift reactivated US public fund on high risk coronavirus Gain-of-Function experiments with the Wuhan lab.
Making something more infectious for you can get ahead of it and prevent a pandemic is a risky option. And the history of laboratory leaks is really troubling, in the context of making something that is so deadly as a GoF experiment.
Super-viruses that didn’t exist in nature, as far as we know, until we made them.
I was a little surprised by one of the WHO individuals who said that lab accidents are rare and so I sent him an email. In my Bayesian análisis there is a reference that showed that in Asia there was 0.8 laboratory leaks every year over a 30 year period.
Roughly one a year.
Yes Jorge! Maybe that’s rare for some people, but if every leak is a lethal virus that can lead to an epidemic that’s much to high. These experiments are very sophisticated, and if you are techy they are really cool. But I think there are other sophisticated ways of doing GoF with vectors and things that cannot reproduce. The key thing of GoF is you take something that can reproduce and spread around the world and you add new tools to it, new weapons to it. But there are psudoviruses. HIV if you can believe that. There is a model system that you can use in a high school laboratory because it has only a couple of the elements of HIV, and you can packed it with whaever you want and it cannot possibly infect anybody. So you could use that. But you could also do a little GoF on something that you know it couldn’t replicate. Not as much fun as the Full Monty, but much safer.
It’s a fascinating debate for public opinion and the scientific community. What media and academic institutions have spread your report?
I have assisted some major organizations. I can’t get into their names for confidentiality reasons. But my analysis is being used by some very large organizations. There is a process I want to go through. The problem is no journal that I am aware will publish a 193 pages manuscript. I have published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers so I know how this works. But its important to have this peer-reviewed and I’m in the process of getting that done. So I’m writing a distilled version and hope to get it up in the next three to four weeks.
Your Company, Atossa Therapeutics, has a line of research on coronavirus prevention and treatment, but how did you become interested in Covid origin?
I’m a bit of a nerd. I’m always looking at scientific papers on the weekends and that sort of thing. So obviously last January, when the coronavirus hit, I started to study it. And it turns out that the “furin cleavage site” it contains is something that I was researching when I was a young, thirty-year-old in the Faculty of Stanford University.
Connecting the dots.
Yes, the active component of the bee venom, the melitin, that causes all the pain when you get stung by a bee, its basically a furin cleavage site in a small peptide. And for about five years I was sort of the world’s expert on bee venom. So as soon as I saw the furin site in January I said: I know what that’s going to do to cells and maybe I can get a therapeutic to prevent it. So I went to the board of the Company and got permission to develop two therapeutics, one of which is in the clinic now and moving their way to approval at some point of time. Treatments for either preventing the virus to get into the cells, or preventing it from getting into the lungs in a nebulized form. That’s how I’ve started. And now we have two drugs in development.
But what led you specifically to the origin of the pandemic?
I guess when I saw the aforementioned Lancet statement. These twenty-seven authors were saying, with no science, that the lab hypothesis was just a conspiracy theory. And I said: But, what’s the evidence for that? Because when I looked for references there was no evidence. So I was bothered. Because if you are a scientist you want science to be respected, for the truth, and the last thing we need is to have one more thing politized, science.
I was shocked when I read the disclosed emails that revealed the manouver. What it seemd an official statment from The Lancet resulted to be a plot of Daszak Ecohealth Alliance, a group that has recieved millions of US taxes to fund for years GoF experiments at the Wuhan lab, with Dr. Shi. And now Daszak has been appointed for the WHO to clear out if this pandemic comes from a lab leak at Wuhan? I can’t imagine a bigger conflict of interest. And to clarify the virus origin seems a truly relevant outcome. Because as you point out in your report, it is central to know how to prevent a next one.
It absolutely is. And I am really hopeful that truth will prevail and that we’ll end up with some discussion around what elements of Gain-of-Function we can do to help prevent further pandemics. But to stop the current process from continuing. I mean, Chemistry was used in World War I with chemical warfare, and then it was banned. Then Physics was used in World War II with nuclear bombs… Now it seems to be Biology’s turn to show its darks arts.
But you don’t think this virus was released as a part of a bioweapons program.
I do not. I belive it was an accidental release or a scientist with a laboratory-acquired infection. Of course, in my paper I urge the world to gather further data to support or refute the bioweapon probability. But the report only concludes that SARS-Cov-2 is a lab-made derived virus and that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the laboratory where it was created.
And how do we tame the horse?
First recognize that the horse has left its stall, has left the barn, and is running free. So it will be hard but not imposible to catch it and put it back in the barn. Part of the process is to control the supply chain of how you make these things. So if this was a biological GoF process some steps could be taken. The tools for doing GoF can be bought from certain companies that make them. You could perhaps do everything from scratch, but it gets really hard. Like when we say: Well, we let people dig uranium ore and then they can purify it. But with uranium you don’t worry about that. You worry about the pure uranium and following its custody.
So there are things that are currently done in Chemistry and Physics that we could bring to bear in Biology.
If we really wanted this. And we should want it. One of the most striking papers I read in last February or March, was from a group of about thirty young scientists from Switzerland. What they basically had done was to take some sourdough bread yeast, bought a some chemicals from a laboratory, and in a week they were able to get yeast to make coronavirus out of these chemicals off the shelve. They were true scientists, so they were really excited and proud about what they did.
When I was a kid they called that: Playing with fire.
Exactly. So when I look at that paper and see its been downloaded 60.000 times I wonder: Are there sixty thousand laboratories in the world interested in this or maybe there are people learning how to do it who have dangerous intentions like, you know: Would you like some coronavirus in your sourdough bread? Not a good picture.
Definitely not something to model. Where you connected to the scientific ethical Cambridge Working Group formed at Harvard University in July 2014 for enhance public understanding of biosafty risks regarding Potencial Pandemic Pathogen (PPP) resarch? Very impressive panel of scholars. But it seems that the Group stopped its activity on January 2016. Although members like professor Richard Ebright, from Rutgers University still very active on the subject.
I wasn’t involve in that. Though I have written to Richard a coupled of times and we had a nice exchange regarding the science I’m doing. But I believe they lost the debate. It kind of went by the wayside.
Going back to your fields of research on coronavirus prevention and treatment. You have two lines: a nasal spray and something about ventilators.
Yes, a spray and ventilators are both in different ends of the spectrum. The nasal spray contains three inhibitors of the host of the furin… To simplify. We have three enzymes: Furin, ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2. These are the three diffferent scissors that can cut the Spike protein of the virus. Coronavirus doesn’t want to miss his chance to get into a cell, and has three different enzymes that can do the job. So I have put an inhibitor on all three of those enzymes in a nasal spray.
The coronavirus gets a new mutation once every two weeks. The virus goes into every patient and goes out of that patient with a new mutation. But the enzymes on the surface of our cells don’t change over a lifetime. So the purpose of these inhibitors is to slow down the infection if you can use it early on, like within a 24-48 hours in a PCR positive case. But also maybe more important, to give it to the other adults in your home. That product has finished a Phase One study. We are wrapping up the data, then going to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for a study again in early patients, or reduce their symptoms, and to prevent in patients who where exposed in a household.
Very interesting. And the ventilators?
Go to the other spectrum of patients. You are in the hospital, having trouble breathing and they put you in a ventilator. We know that, even now, being on a ventilator with Covid is a very dangerous situation. So what we do is to nebulize inhibitors that block the Spike protein.
It’s similar to the spray.
But here we are not working on the enzymes of the cell, we are actually trying to make what I call a chemical vaccine. Basically it wraps around the Spike protein and the furin site. Something I learned teaching at Stanford back in 80’s. Its a product I’m pretty excited about. Because if you are on a ventilator you have a large chance of never coming off and passing away. So I think they are both important products. With vaccines they will become less important, but still valuable. Influenza its been around for three decades and we still spend a billion dollars a year on pharmaceuticals for treating patients with influenza. So we are going to end up with a belt and suspenders approach on this. I’m quite sure.
Good news. All public discourse has been focused on the vaccine since the first moment, and I’ve missed more energy on products for prevention and treatments. By the way, regarding other kind of prevention measures, some of them proven very aggressive: what’s your view on social distance, public masking and lockdowns?
Look, it’s really easy to criticize people in retrospect, so I want to be really careful. Having said that, we knew from a study of 80,000 people in China in February 2020, and I posted on my website, that this virus had a huge impact on mortality-morbidity based almost totally on age, on the elderly. And that fact hasn’t changed in a year. So I guess that if I’ve been an advisor in the Spring of 2020 and they asked me I would have said: Well, let’s use this data and see the world that we live in. We have children, we have schools, we have young teachers… Maybe forty or thirty and under is the teacher population. And schools don’t seem to be a place where the virus is either very deadly or passes very easily. Last year we’ve still lost more people under 18 years old from influenza than from SARS-CoV-2.
And what do we do with the rest of us?.
I think we should do things for people of 60 and older who don’t want to go to work and prefer to do it from home. We need laws in place so they don’t get fired or discriminated and get hurt economically. But people in between we should let them do their own thing.
There have been so many studies on masks. They probably have a small incremental benefit and they definitivey have no detrimental factor. I have a lot of friends that are anti-maskers. They made me go into all the literature, but there is no evidence that masks have any detrimental factor I can find. Maybe you get the mask infected and you get an infecton from it, but still not very solid. Its a non-risk some-benefit proposition. So just wear the mask.
Ok, but maybe we can lift lockdowns in exchange.
In another study from China, where they tracked 200 cases, they found 2 from outdoors and all the rest, 198, from indoors. So this idea of getting the people out into nature taking walks in the woods or in the street is a really good idea. Actually the more you lock people into small spaces you probable enhance the infection. Because we know that 80% of the infection cases are passed within the household. And I think some of the cultures that have a common three generation household, perhaps in Italy and others, may have been one of the contributing factors to some of their consequences of the pandemic.
Very solid argument.
I don’t think lockdowns are a good idea.
Last question, Dr. Quay, but allow me preceded by a reflection. In the coronavirus page of your website there a text challenging to put the Covid pandemic in a long historical perspective. You remember how Black Death, in the mid-14th Century, wiped out 30 to 50% of European population, which took two centuries for demographic recovery. This would be, as you estimate, like having 3 billion deaths from coronavirus. More closely, in 1918, another pandemic wiped out 52 million people in one year, then 2% of the world population. The badly named Spanish Flu.
Named like that, by the way, not because it was from Spain, but because the Spanish press was the only one that was free to report about it, while all of the other countries locked down their newspapers.
Thank you for that, Dr.
Just the truth.
So following the thread we have an example of a 3 billion and 52 million pandemic fatalities. Morover, if we take the Event 201, the coronavirus pandemic simulacrum that the John Hopkins CHS hosted in New York with the WEF and the Gates Foundation in October 2019, just before the Covid hit: They stablished an scenario of 62 million world deaths in one year. Again around 2% of the global population. So when you look at the figures of the current pandemic its hard not to compare. We’ve lost 2 million people in one year, because of Covid-19. Its a lot of people, its a tragedy and we must take it seriously, especially for the safety of our most elderly. But is this a reason to shutdown the social life of every nation and the hole world economy?
I think you are absolutely right there. If you look at the average mortality rates during the pandemic they are not changing much with the ones before 2019 or 2018. People are dying at about the same age. They are just dying of Covid and not of something else. So it’s really skewed towards the elderly. We should have done a better job with them. And we should have done a better job with the youngsters. But I kind of letting this out and I am not about of a politician. I don’t understand how we ended up doing what we did, which is basically kind of destroying the world economy for a year, in a process never seen before. It was a global experiment that has never been done before in public health. And in retrospective it didn’t turn up very well.
Thank you for your time, Dr. Quay.I suppose you are following Covid origin breaking news very close, and that you are going to update your work and to keep on researching on the topic.
Its been a pleasure. I absolutely will be updating all of this things that I found and that I want to be sure on before I release information. So Stay tuned as they say.
* The Spanish translation of this interview is published in El Imparcial, 24 Feb 2021, Madrid digital newspaper. I wish to pay my special regards to Dr. Steven C. Quay, MD, PhD, for his correction on my original english manuscript.