If China had been more open at the beginning of the pandemic, how would it have mattered?

I was going to reply to all that piece by piece, but you are all over the place so I’m just going to reply in general. You seem to, on the one hand, acknowledge that the reasons for their coverup were corruption and general secrecy and paranoia (I agree with all of this), but then you are splitting hairs about Covid and asking me for cites (which you have already acknowledged we don’t have and can’t get because, you know, all that secrecy stuff). Covid-19 (or SARS-CoV-2 or whatever its official name is) IS a bat corona virus, exactly what they were studying. Officially, as far as we know, what they were studying wasn’t exactly the same strain or whatever as Covid-19 (I’ve seen folks stating that it was 96% similar, or whatever percentagain)…but that’s what we know of. So, on the one hand you acknowledge a cover up, then ask me for a cite for info you seem to understand we can’t get and don’t have.

Anyway, moving on, I won’t get into the face thing, as to me that’s a perception thing. Why have they lost face with is fairly easy to ascertain, as it’s many other countries and even internally, but that’s going to be subjective.

This part:

Actually, I’ve heard even earlier, but since we don’t know let’s go with November. So, say by mid-November there is an international team in China looking at what’s going on, compiling data, studying the effects. By December they know, for a fact, that it’s human to human transmissible and that it’s highly contagious. They can then warn their own governments and the international community that this is happening, give details on what exactly is happening and how to start screening for it and put in travel restrictions. Also, they can start preparing their own health systems on what to look for and to be aware this is happening. It’s all about that early preparation and knowledge, in starting to understand what is happening and the magnitude of what could happen. Instead of in February when they had to figure it out first hand because it was exploding in Europe and they weren’t prepared.

You can call BS all you want, but you’d have to give some rationale as to why early preparation and onsite knowledge wouldn’t have done what it’s done in other potential pandemic situations in the past. Hell, you’d have to explain why the CDC, WHO, and other agencies even bother with onsite inspection teams and early observers in the past or why we spend money on that in the going forward if it does nothing. I’m guessing however that you can’t do that because it’s a silly argument that flies in the face of past experience AND the protocols and procedures that are used to combat pandemics. To me, this is all about handwaving away the CCP’s actions and justifying them with basically ‘well, it would have happened anyway, so no big deal’…which IS BS.

I can’t believe you are even saying this…or why, if you don’t know this, I’m bothering arguing with you. You weren’t aware that the CDC has sent observers to other outbreaks, such as the ebola epidemic in 2014-2016? That they have teams that are set up specifically for this purpose to travel on short notice? And that they aren’t exactly the only such agency in the world who has this??

The rest of your post was just either talking past what I’m saying or just wrong. The main point is that, while we may not have had a vaccine much earlier, having a vaccine wasn’t and isn’t the point of early contact observation and data collection. Basically, you don’t need a vaccine if you contain the early outbreak. That’s kind of why we have organizations who go in and do observation and assistance early on…and that’s kind of what the Chinese blocked and smoke-screened, buying key time for Covid-19 to spread worldwide and to catch many, if not most countries health care systems off guard and out of position.

Yeah let’s go with facts and evidence and not just what a person has heard.

Again there’s no evidence that anyone was aware of a novel disease at that time. A patient was found whose blood tests retrospectively suggest that they had covid in November, but that’s a very different thing from proof that doctors knew of a novel virus (or novel anything) already at that time.

Let me be clear: in answer to the OP, I think it is difficult to estimate the impact and China hiding information about this early on may well have cost many thousands of lives. I’m not excusing what they did.

But it’s not helpful to exaggerate the timeline and pretend as though Chinese scientists can instantly know things that would historically take epidemiologists and virologists at least weeks to ascertain, more usually months.

Ah, you have this? Or do you have what the CCP gave us? I think there is some debate about when this thing started, and it’s still up in the air…unless, of course, you slavishly believe a regime that has never lied or exaggerated the truth such as the CCP…

The trouble is with much of this, we just don’t know the truth. The CCP has systematically covered up and destroyed data and then spent the last 2 years attempting to obscure what happened, to deflect it from them, and to redirect it to everyone and anyone they can including many countries in Europe, several in South East Asia, the US, Australia and basically anyone else they can try and pin this on. And, sadly, our own media have played along with a lot of this, just regurgitating the CCP official story and stats as if they are the truth. Even though, on just about every other subject they clearly lie, exaggerate and hide the truth. Economic data…census data…climate change data…basically, everything and anything. Yet this time they are totally telling the truth and their timeline is totally correct.

Well, we COULD know this, at least in theory, had the CCP released the blood samples they had from August through January of 2019-2020. Sadly, they didn’t, and those samples were destroyed. Bummer.

I think it’s unhelpful to simply buy what the CCP dishes out without any sort of critical eye or skepticism…which is what we collectively have had for the past 2 years. Especially considering the lengths the CCP has gone to in order to obscure what happened and white wash their own response.

The real trouble is that a lot of the data on this, even wrt social media posts and the link that showed something was up much earlier are written on sand. In China, all of this is subject to removal at the whim of the CCP anytime they want to. Awkward posts about strange viruses or other things that put the CCP in a bad light? Gone with a wave of their hand, the companies who are responsible are happy to help! Data published in Chinese only scientific papers telling of issues or problems with the Wuhan institutes policies and procedures or pointing to earlier timelines? Poof…gone. They can erase everything and anything they want. Or they can go after people to force them not to talk about what they don’t want talked about. It’s only the tidbits that get out like a doctor trying to say that this thing was more serious than officials said, being silenced and threatened for it, but that goes viral before the CCP can stomp it down completely. How many of these didn’t make it on our own radar and were vanished from theirs? We…don’t…know.

That’s good. I agree…it is difficult to really know what the impacts might have been, but I think there is a compelling case to be made that had access and data been shared earlier it would have had an impact. What that impact would or could have been is hard to gauge, as it’s tied into what, exactly, the actual timeline was and what, exactly, was covered up, destroyed, white washed or otherwise obscured by the various antics the CCP did.

I’m glad you aren’t excusing what they did.

@XT I have no problem with speculation, but it seems a bit pointless in a thread like this to say “If China did this or that terrible thing, then that’s terrible!”, sure it would be. But where’s the evidence?

Indeed, for many of the CT claims absence of evidence is significant, as if covid had been ravaging around for long enough for Chinese scientists to figure out it was a new viral disease and confirm it was human to human transmissible for sure…that’s not so easy to hide, as we have seen with countless nations trying to pretend they didn’t have any outbreak.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence. But hard evidence? As you well know, the CCP controls the narrative and the data, as well as any ‘evidence’, so it IS a silly thing to ask where it is or ask for it.

I don’t see the discussion as pointless. It shows where people are thinking, and how much of the narrative they believe. If you believe the narrative, as most seem to, then you are going to say that nothing could have been done, nothing much would have changed if the CCP had opened up early because shit happens, etc etc. And that’s fine…it’s good to get folks thoughts on that and see where they are.

The funny thing is, while you and many, many others have tried to portray this all as a CT (western media went for that hook, line and sinker), it really isn’t…at least if it’s not conflated with a bunch of other baggage that, inevitably, it IS conflated with. The lab leak theory is not a CT. It’s a theory. The zoonotic theory is the same…it’s a theory. While most scientists come down on the zoonotic side, there still is no actual evidence that this is what happened because we still don’t have the animal or the virus in the wild. That’s the thing about much of this…it could all be settled if there was a real investigation that really could look at the early evidence and data, could do interviews and observations and all the rest…but it didn’t happen, and at this point it’s probably too late. Too much has been covered up, destroyed or otherwise hidden.

I get it. You buy the narrative. So do most of our fellow 'dopers. And if you buy the narrative that this all sprang up in mid-December, then the CCP hiding it until mid-January only has a marginal impact on how things played out. Of course, even with the narrative you have to ask what if at the end of December the Chinese had allowed in those observers and shared the data and NOT used the WHO to spin a web of lies that tricked the world. Perhaps there still would have been an impact, maybe this thing would only have been as bad as the last SARS outbreak. Perhaps, alerted, many countries would have taken more precautions, would have put more checks in place. Instead, it was mid-January (somewhere between January 20th and the end of January) when they were even told there was in fact human to human transmission, and even then the WHO was not exactly blowing the alarm bells. But, sure, those couple of weeks might not have mattered much…if you buy the narrative.

Obviously, I don’t. I think there is enough circumstantial evidence to at least pause before swallowing, and I think there is enough historical evidence of the CCP systematically lying about stuff to, again, at least take a pause and consider if perhaps this thing didn’t play out as they claim. YMMV of course…well, obviously it does. I’ll be honest…what I resent most about these discussions, especially a year or so ago, is the ganging up mentality and the fact that all of this is put into CT realms and then automatically dismissed by so many. Even after the western media finally came clean about the lab leak theory NOT being a CT you still get this. Even after the WHO basically admitted that their investigation was a joke (not that it fooled most people) you get this. Even after the CCP has done everything it can to deflect the blame to anyone and everyone (but themselves), to ‘cite’ ‘evidence’ that this all started in India, or Italy, or Australia, or Indonesia, or the US (and their own lab leak ‘theory’ about Fort Detrick) you get this.

And you still get calls…which, to me are complete horseshit…for ‘cites’ for the ‘evidence’ when bringing any of this up. Now I just shake my head and weep a bit when I see them…

Go ahead. The circumstantial evidence actually points very much at this being a wild virus introduced via the wet market.

I alluded to one thing that gets cited a lot – the patient whose stored blood test from November tested positive for covid antibodies. This is cited as evidence of a cover up by people who don’t understand scientific and clinical processes and how impossible it would be to immediately identify a new disease.

This is actually the opposite of what I said.
I’m quite prepared to say that the delays in China may have made a catastrophic difference (though it’s difficult to know of course).
I just abhor misinformation, and there’s a lot of it flying about. The timeline in particular seems to get stretched with every retelling.

Sorry, didn’t realize you had replied to this. Of the top of my head, the circumstantial evidence would include the coincidence that this virus originated in a city and in an area where there was a lab researching bat coronaviruses, with one of the acknowledged leaders in the field, at a facility that had been dinged by foreign countries for safety issues, that there is some evidence for some sort of event that happened in October or November from 2019, that there is some evidence for some sort of outbreak among the staff, that there is definitely evidence that some of their web site data was changed concerning much of this early on in the outbreak, that it’s pretty certain that the CCP was covering up something and that this lab had ties to the Chinese military. None of this is, of course, a smoking gun, much of it is speculative…because the CCP has covered up…something. We don’t know what. But they could have been studying the Covid-19 virus and simply not publishing it, it could have gotten out. Or it could simply be a bunch of coincidences and the fact that the CCP is covering up their own inept response is really the culperate. That’s the problem with a regime that lies about everything, that distorts and covers up anything they think will make them look bad…we simply don’t know.

We still don’t have a smoking gun, for the zoonotic theory or for the lab leak theory. Most scientists seem to think the zoonotic theory is accurate, but many haven’t ruled out the lab leak…and, to me, you could have the lab basically studying a bat coronavirus, maybe with some gain of function (all stuff labs do all the time), and do to the notorious bad safety standards and corner-cutting, they basically got infected, and infected others, letting it out in the wild. Or, could be a pure animal in the wild origin, and because of the coverup and dog and pony show investigation they simply haven’t really looked all that hard for it themselves, and since outside researchers haven’t exactly been welcomed in it simply hasn’t happened.

Again, the reason this stuff is even plausible (and even the US intelligence services are split on the question, and it still is a viable theory even in the scientific community, even if it’s the less likely) is that the CCPs secrecy and history of coverups makes it plausible.

And the fact that they destroyed those samples and didn’t test many of them, as they could have and as they were asked too really doesn’t help their case.

I do to. But in your case, you are defending a regime that does this all the time (i.e. misinformation) and are buying their timeline, while I’m skeptical. C’est la vie.

Firstly we don’t even know yet whether bats were the origin, it seems the most likely but we haven’t found a close enough match yet.

Secondly not “in an area”. The Wuhan Lab is nowhere near the wet market. There is a much smaller facility that does not do any virology lab work, within a few hundred metres of the market, that deliberately gets conflated with WIV.
You can see this even from the photos: the Wuhan lab is a large site surrounded by green space and a big hill. The wet market is in a dense part of the inner city.
I am sure that this has been pointed out in our conversations previously.

Regarding coincidences, the bigger coincidence is surely the majority of early cases coming from the wet market. What are the odds of no-one anywhere near the lab getting the virus early on but dozens of provable cases at the market, the only other place that could plausibly be the origin?
Yeah I know – China somehow perfectly contained any spread of the virus from the lab, apart from it transferring across town to the wet market to the extent that that looks like the origin.

Do you have a cite for this? I can only find US officials having concerns.

I know some news sites have made big whoop about 3 scientists going to hospital with flu like symptoms, but it’s important to note that in China, hospitals fulfill the role of primary care; you would go to the hospital just to get a prescription for a sore throat or the runs, say. And you may be prescribed a traditional remedy. Hospital =/= A&E
3 people in the whole WIV going to the doctor for flu remedies doesn’t stand out as unusual.

We should also note that this shows the reality of how much info the Chinese government can really keep secret, if something as trivial as a doctor’s visit is known to US intelligence.

Anyway, that’s enough on this gish gallop.

I don’t think we should rule out the lab theory, but I think anyone trying to be objective here would acknowledge it’s a very distant second behind the wet market hypothesis.

So, is the reason that the governor of Florida, for example, still isn’t treating covid seriously today because he isn’t aware that COVID is human to human transmissable? Has anyone tried to tell him?

Are all the Dutch who are rioting against COVID restrictions today simply unaware that COVUD spreads between humans?

It wouldn’t have mattered if China was more open because too many people here in America as well as in Europe aren’t willing to make even the tiniest sacrifice (masking, social distancing, vaccinating) to protect their countries. This doesn’t excuse anything that China may or may not have done.

No, we don’t. We don’t have a patient zero and we don’t have an animal in the wild. That said, and here I’m not that knowledgable, the virus resembles bat coronavirus more than anything else…so, probably a bat.

My understanding is they were studying bat coronavirus at both facilities, and it’s the close one where there is speculation about a leak. The one you are talking about is the more high intensity lab and is further away.

Yes, you were making this claim last year so I did some digging and found that both facilities were involved in the study at various times.

IIRC, the French also had concerns which is why they pulled out, but, yes, it was mainly the US who had concerns about safety and procedures.

It was the time frame it happened. Also…the caveat ‘that we know of’ is always good to insert. Like I said, a lot of this is circumstantial and speculative. Hard for it to be different considering the way the CCP has been handling all of this. We still haven’t had an independent team with full access be able to do an investigation into any of this. What has been done is mostly trying to connect the dots with what information is available.

Never said differently. I wasn’t saying that last year either…just that it was and is still a viable theory. Basically, the only reason this has any traction is because of how the CCP has handled this, had bottlenecked or even stoppered the information, has covered up and censored data, and generally blocked any attempt to do a full, independent, and free investigation. Most likely this IS an animal reservoir somewhere with the virus, but we just don’t know because the investigations have been just the CCP allowed ones.

I’m not sure why you quoted me when you posted this, as it has zero to do with anything I’ve said. To me, this is hopefully either a joke or yet another attempt to put words in my mouth, conflate a bunch of bullshit with what I’m saying, or as seemed to be the favorite tactic last year, try and paint me as a Trump supporter and CT nut as well.

I’d be interested to see that. The only time I have seen the other facility mentioned anywhere is being incorrectly labelled as WIV.

“IIRC” is not a cite.

I found this cite, of the French official who oversaw the safety review saying that there is no chance there could have been a leak.
And this one, of the only foreign expert who worked at the lab saying that the procedures there were so good that she incorporated some of their processes in her lab back in Australia.

Correct; winter.

And in terms of your caveat, this is just trying to reframe the lack of evidence as evidence.

It’s not “the only reason”.

I have been, and will always be, critical of how the doctors were silenced and China’s initial blocking of foreign scientists going to China etc etc.

But, there are many reasons beyond this for why some people will go to their graves believing that it was a lab leak (and for many: a synthetic virus), no matter what information is ever revealed in the future.
For one, it’s good to have someone to blame: something this nasty being invisible and impersonal is extra disconcerting, it’s simpler to view it as the product of a malicious government.
Secondly for years China has been the “primary antagonist” in much of Western media. Even in the rare instance where there is some positive story about China, reporters can’t resist throwing in some comment to remind viewers that they are the bad guys. As I said in the other thread; China *is* a very real threat in many ways, but with many people only familiar with that perspective they can jump to laughable notions of what life must be like in China.
Finally of course, Trump and Republicans in particular wanted to pass 100% of the buck for their part of the fuck up, and stoke racism along the way.

Your claim is that if China had given the rest of the world more info we’d have been better prepared to deal with COVID. My point is that no matter how much information we have, there is a significant chunk of our population and government that refuses to do what it takes to stop COVID and I don’t see that being different just because China had provided more info earlier in an alternative timeline

Yeah, pretty much the point I tried to make earlier in this thread:

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you know, or when you knew it, if the people responsible for acting simply refuse to act, because of some other motivation.

Sure the Chinese behaved in just the way you would expect them to. Sure this response was sub-optimal. On the other hand, I cannot think of any nation that handled this horror perfectly. Even the Smart People who think about epidemics for a living we often wrong.

We can blame the Chinese for their mistakes, but we ought not to ignore our own.

My ER nurse daughter says that the previous November they were reporting patients with flu symptoms who did not test positive for flu. Statistically this must have been happening all over the US. It was ignored.