Continuing the discussion from At what point would you consider dictatorship to be better than democracy?:
In order to avoid further derailing the thread of origin, and also placed in the BBQ Pit so that the querying poster can make direct statements instead of engaging in snide insinuations, I’ve continued this discussion with quoting the last post on the topic.
There is ample evidence of a disinformation campaign by the PRC government and state-run media organs regarding origins and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These aren’t from Internet conspiranoia sites, but as reported in reputable media, to wit:
In fact, the delay between detection and international notification was 23 days (public announcement) and 26 days (reporting to the World Health Organization):
Good of you to truncate the sentence after the comma and then explicitly define what I am “implying” so as to make it appear as if I’m some conspiranoist promoting some kind of unregulated “gain-of-function” bioresearch effort. However, in the interests of clarity, I’ll cite the entire sentence:
I’m personally agnostic about the “lab leak” theory, and I don’t subscribe to any notions that there was any deliberate effort on the part of the PRC to propagate the pandemic (which has hurt China economically at least as bad as any other developed nation) but the reality is that in autocracies and especially dictatorships there is the immediate and reflexive response to dissemble and disinform the public because that is how they maintain control of the population.
I said nothing about genetic modification or any other efforts to manipulate the virus for enhanced transmissibility or virulence, and in fact explicitly stated that I don’t believe any theories about any intentional effort to distribute the virus. Being “agnostic” about any “lab leak” theory literally means that I don’t care to engage in speculation either way since there is no way to assess that by looking at the genome, and no independent evidence that could establish whether the virus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, whether it might have unintentionally brought to Wuhan by a field researcher who was naturally infected during field work, or whether it arrived at Wuhan by some other means. Of course, pathogen escape from research facilities has occurred in the past, and hardly restricted to China; nearly every nation that does research on infectious pathogens has had some kind of release, and the United States has had serious problems at all of its major research labs:
The fact that China restricted the World Health Organization investigation of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to an absurd degree (prompting criticism of the investigation from even within the WHO investigation team) does not give confidence that the Chinese government feels that it has nothing to hide, even if it is the same issues of security and safety that every other pathogen research has. Which, of course, is the point I was trying to make, to wit, that autocracies (such as the Peoples Republic of China) tend to dissemble, disinform, and lie, even when they aren’t doing something nefarious, just because it becomes an ingrained way of doing business for a regime that has to promote the appearance of absolute control in all things. And again, this isn’t just limited to autocracies, as one can certainly point to attempted coverups and lies promoted in democracies, but democracies have independent media that is allowed to criticize and publish evidence against the government, something you will never see in the state-sponsored Chinese media.
Now that we have that out of the way, please feel liberated to free yourself of the need to make sniping, passive-aggressive comments and ‘cleverly’ edit my posts to give the appearance of meaning something other than what is explicitly stated, and just express your grievances in fullness without restraint. You may use both sides of the paper and any words you find in the OED.