Arthur F. Wayne, ITNT News – According to the most recent reports there are 17,373 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, 362 related deaths and 486 recoveries – globally. However, there’s no way for the public to actually vet these numbers independently, so it remains to be seen how accurate the proposed data is by the World Health Organization and the Johns Hopkins University.
To understand what the latest proposed coronavirus numbers mean, we have to observe them in an appropriate perspective. The data for flu (influenza), therefore, is an ideal point for reference since influenza data is readily available every year – because there’s always a flu season every year.
In The Netherlands, with a population of roughly 17 million, 1,207 people died of the flu in 2018, out of an estimated 400,000 people getting the flu. That’s 0.3% of the flu cases resulting in flu-related deaths.
In the United States, with a population of roughly 327 million, 10,000 to 25,000 people have already died of the flu during the ongoing 2019-2020 flu season, out of an estimated 19 million to 26 million people getting the flu.
That’s between 0.06% and 0.09% of the flu cases resulting in flu-related deaths, using an average of 17,500 deaths.
Recent reports claim there are currently 17,373 alleged cases of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections, worldwide. It is unclear, however, whether or not that number includes the recoveries as well (the data collection and reporting methodology is not fully explained by the World Health Organization, nor by Johns Hopkins University). We assume that the number of confirmed cases, since the very first report, does include both recoveries and deaths. Meaning, that the number of recoveries are not deducted from the overalll confirmed cases since the very first report by Johns Hopkins University.
Out of the 17,373 confirmed cases, 362 have reportedly died of 2019-nCoV. That’s a 2% mortality rate for the novel coronavirus, at this stage.
With the mortality rate for 2019-nCoV clearly being higher than the seasonal flu, there is, however, an upward trend in the number of recoveries. Meaning, that there are more reports of people recovering than reports of people dying.
As of January 27, 107 deaths and 63 recoveries were reported. On January 29, 132 deaths and 110 recoveries. On January 30, 170 deaths and 133 recoveries. On February 1, 259 deaths, 252 recoveries. On February 2, 305 deaths and 340 recoveries. On February 3, 362 deaths and 486 recoveries.
Of the many, many conspiracy theories that are currently floating around on the internet, the one described below is arguably the most popular one and the most dangerous one (because it is aggressively being disseminated with the aim to instill fear and to let people make irresponsible choices).
“The Novel Coronavirus is Laced with HIV”
Monostream media reports claim that 2019-nCoV has had HIV “inserted” artificially, to “depopulate” the world. These “news” articles also state that the coronavirus was manufactured as part of a covert bioweapons war against China. These articles all reference a dubious paper that was posted online on January 31.
The paper, which never has been peer-reviewed – allegedly written by people from the Kusuma School of biological sciences, Indian institute of technology, New Delhi, India – claimed that “the finding of 4 unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV, all of which have identity /similarity to amino acid residues in key structural proteins of HIV-1 is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature.” Implying that the “HIV” insertion was not by accident or natural evolution.
As of February 2, “This paper has been withdrawn by its authors. They intend to revise it in response to comments received from the research community on their technical approach and their interpretation of the results. If you have any questions, please contact the corresponding author,” the bioRxiv website, that still hosts the paper, states.
The problem with this conspiracy theory, that 2019-nCoV somehow is a secret bioweapon, is of course that 2019-nCoV is not secret at all and nor is the above paper, since you can still download it from the bioRxiv website – even after the authors have publicly stated that they have withdrawn their paper.
Additionally, if 2019-nCoV was indeed part of a depopulation campaign, the paper would never have reached you through the monostream media to begin with. The reasoning for this is very simple.
Why would the monostream media tell you the truth about the coronavirus that is currently spreading when they can’t even figure out and won’t even tell you the truth about who is seeking the assassination of Donald Trump, or who the “Iranian terrorist” in Palm Beach is or who the “new” leader of ISIS is? Let alone all the other instances where the monostream deliberately lied to you. Including about and during the 2014 ebola “outbreak” where there were no cases of ebola in the epicenter of the outbreak, according to the BBC. We can go on here for a whole while… I’ll save you the frustration, though.
Still, the paper continues to cause commotion because people don’t understand it and they take any alarming conclusions, by known liars, as factual accounts.
What are people, who are critical of the paper, saying (we already know what the “believers” say)? Before we go through the comments, the authors of the paper have provided this statement on February 1, 2020 (emphasis added):
“This is a preliminary study. Considering the grave situation, it was shared in BioRxiv as soon as possible to have creative discussion on the fast evolution of SARS-like corona viruses. It was not our intention to feed into the conspiracy theories and no such claims are made here. While we appreciate the criticisms and comments provided by scientific colleagues at BioRxiv forum and elsewhere, the story has been differently interpreted and shared by social media and news platforms. We have positively received all criticisms and comments. To avoid further misinterpretation and confusions world-over, we have decided to withdraw the current version of the preprint and will get back with a revised version after reanalysis, addressing the comments and concerns. Thank you to all who contributed in this open-review process.” – Prashant Pradhan, Kusuma School of biological sciences, Indian institute of technology.
Jing Hou (The Donnelly Center, University of Toronto) wrote:
“[T]he conclusion made by the authors lacks scientific merits.
As already pointed out in multiple comments, the so called unique insertions in the Wuhan isolates compared to the SARS isolate are cherry picked. In fact, a simple blast returned alignments with Bat SARS-like coronavirus that does contain 3/4 insertions in the most recent isolate from 2015, strain SL-CoVZXC21, from bats in the Hubei province, where the novel infectious virus supposedly originated (see attached figure).
All of the insertions sites coincides with positions variable across homologs, which make sense in that these positions are important for host interactions. This is not “uncanny”, it’s simply how selection works. As for the so called “identity” with HIV gag proteins, again, as pointed out by others, is spurious. Both HIV and coronaviruses are RNA virus and are hypermutable. The fact that positions important for host-virus interactions, i.e. where the new insertions were found, can be variable in the new infectious Wuhan isolate is expected and there is no evidence suggests that this is a result of human manipulation.
This preprint already gained notice in the media, as fear spread across nations, especially in China where the epidemic is currently escalating. This kind of fear mongering pseudo-science is harmful for the general public, who are less equipped to distinguish the merits of non peer-reviewed researches.
I strongly suggest that the authors revise or retract this manuscript.”
“This paper is fake. I aligned all 4 insertions. 3 of them share with BAT sars-like virus (GISAID no.: BetaCoV bat Yunnan-RaTG13 2013 EPI_ISL_402131). The fourth insertion (CTCCTCGGCGGG), which is the only one 2019-nCov specific insertion, has the best match to Marine virus AFVG_250M1136. Since the 2019-ncov outbreaks from the seafood market, the possibility of marine virus rcombination might be much more persuasive.”
Trevor Bedford wrote:
“These short inserts do indeed exist in #nCoV2019 relative to its closest sequenced relative (BetaCoV/bat/Yunnan/RaTG13/2013, seen here https://nextstrain.org/groups/blab/sars-like-cov. However, a simple BLAST of such short sequences shows match to a huge variety of organisms. No reason to conclude HIV.”
Gaetan Burgio (the Australian National University) wrote:
“I performed an alignement of these sequences and indeed found that these 4 insertions mentioned in the preprint are real. However I blasted each of these insertions to the non-redundant protein database and found over 100 hits for every single of these 4 insertions. The hits are others coronaviruses, plants, parasites, bacteria. This indicates the hits to HIV seems fortuitous and the evolutionary link between 2019-nCoV and HIV is to me not ascertained. Additionally, the authors in the manuscripts did not provide a e.value for their findings, nor they have explained in their methodology why they restricted their search for viral genomes only and not others organisms. Therefore I would argue that the results presented do not appear “uncanny” to me based on a flawed methodology. Therefore the results presented in this paper should be taken very cautiously.”
Alessandro Manetto wrote:
“This is a really dumb study and these scientists should be ashamed. Those amino acids are so short. They just went and looked for a virus to match. You can go and blast the amino acids yourself. Just copy and paste from the journal entry into NCBIs BLASTp. I did it and there’s hundreds of matches to those sequences. HIV didn’t even come up in the first 100. The 4th residue is missing like 6 amino acids. There are conserved regions in viruses. Their “gp120” match compares 6 amino acids out of 850 in the whole protein for example.
They found 4 sections that were in the new virus but not SARS. They then took these differences and ran them against all known viral proteins. They only looked at proteins with 100% matches, but if you look at the table they didn’t match 100% for alignment. So like one is ABCEFG and they match it to an HIV protein that is ABCXYZEFG and they are calling those total matches. There’s also tons of viruses that match these tiny sequences, they just noticed all 4 have HIV matches so they ignore the other matches and only looked at HIV.
Go blast it yourself if you want.
These would be their blastp results if you don’t exclude the vast majority of known proteins:
You can look for significant virus hits yourself though by clicking on my blast results and filtering for “viruses” (you’ll see that they don’t hit HIV, nor any other virus). The reason for not reproducing their results is that when you consider the whole protein sequence space, the hits for viruses are too random to be significant.
But, if you insisted to repeating the searches only within viruses, here are the blastp results only looking for “Viruses (taxid:10239)” as Organism:
Here is a HIV hit, BUT the number of expected random hits for this kind of similarity is 224, which is incredibly high.
Here is an HIV hit, but similar likely is a Bat coronavirus, a Tupanvirus, and a Herpesvirus; it is expected to find 86 similar sequences by chance.
There are over 1000 expected random hits for this sequence! And even then, the list is lead by a Hepatitis E virus, an Edafosvirus, a Bat coronavirus, some phages and Hepatitis B virus.
No HIV seen. However there are some phages, a papillomavirus …
There’s just no sense to it, this is pseudo-science.
So far, there has not been presented any shred of evidence ANYWHERE that proves that this coronavirus is a manufactured bioweapon being used to “cull” human population.
If such evidence would emerge, ITNT will be one of the first to report on that. Obviously!