- Dr. Greg Ganske is a retired surgeon who served as a representative to the Iowa Legislature from 1995-2002.
A YouTube segment of Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” featuring Jon Stewart has gone viral. Comedian Stewart, who will be making a guest appearance in June 2021, discusses the origins of COVID-19. A little too suspicious! As Stewart became increasingly enthused that the ‘Laborique’ hypothesis was correct, Colbert moved uncomfortably, echoing President Donald Trump’s sentiments and party policy that COVID-19 had a spontaneous origin. I object to the explanation of
Using a humorous metaphor, Stewart continues his point by saying, “There was an explosion of ‘chocolate goodness’ near Hershey, Pennsylvania. Guess what happened?” He answers his question with sarcasm. Or is it a (expletive) chocolate factory! Stewart then ridiculed the orthodox theory that “a pangolin kissed a turtle, or a bat jumped up the turkey’s cloaca and into my chili.”
Whether he was aware or not, Stewart was repeating a medical diagnostic point made long ago by the Chief of Surgery in teaching medical students. Students tried to embarrass him with an unusual medical case. He then analyzed his medical history, physical examination findings, and laboratory findings to make his diagnosis. He often insisted, “When you hear hooves, think of horses, not zebras.” That is, common diseases commonly occur, and rare diseases rarely. So which one is more likely?
This clever phrasing was not my surgical director’s original. The proverb is attributed to Dr. Theodore Woodward, a respected teacher at the University of Maryland and a founding member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, who has advanced the treatment of many infectious diseases. This saying is familiar to most doctors of my generation. It is pertinent to remember this maxim when discussing the origins of COVID.
a few weeks ago, US Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Issues Report A study conducted in China shortly before the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019. In April 2021, I wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register “Why we need to know the origin of COVID-19” The IG report supports my contention that the National Institutes of Health-funded research that the EcoHealth Alliance was conducting at the Wuhan Institute of Virology should have been more vigorously scrutinized.
Inspector General Christi Grimm said, “The NIH has not effectively monitored or taken timely action on EcoHealth’s compliance with several requirements to report U.S.-funded research being conducted in Wuhan. I found that there was no Many virologists agree with biologist Alex Washbourne, who told Yahoo News that the project at the Wuhan lab was “obviously gain-of-function research.”
Grimm noted that the NIH had even “raised some concerns” about the study, but hadn’t finished it. This is despite the fact that the US government had warned about the safety of the laboratory’s viral protocols and precautions against leaks. US intelligence agencies also had evidence Several researchers at the Wuhan Institute fell ill with COVID-like symptoms in the fall of 2019.
Why shouldn’t a lab leak be a prime candidate? Even the most advanced biological laboratories in the United States have had safety breaches. In 2014, a forgotten smallpox specimen in a cardboard box was unsafely transported to another building two blocks away. His one of the vials was damaged. Luckily, it was a tissue specimen, not one of the vials containing the virus, and no one got sick.
However, China’s Laborik theory was dismissed as a conspiracy theory. Anyone who suggested it was called a “chauvinist.” Even comedian Stewart was criticized for appearing on this talk show, drawing attention to a possible leak from the lab. To counter this theory, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins highly recommended A group of NIH-funded virologists, led by EcoHealth director Peter Daszak, said: Publish a letter in The Lancet Medical Journal It said the virus did not come from a Chinese laboratory, but naturally arose from an animal vector. Since then, The Lancet has issued a warning about a conflict of interest between the letter’s author and Dazak in defending China. bottom. Mr. Stewart’s “Pangolin” doesn’t exist yet. China has denied access to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its workers, hiding data and blood samples that could help figure out their origins. Most recently, Fauci acknowledged the validity of Laborique’s origin theory.
The world does not know all the facts necessary to determine the origin of this pathogen. But the Wuhan lab was working on bat coronaviruses, gain-of-function studies were being conducted there, there were concerns about the lab’s safety practices, and the pandemic started in the city where the lab is located. I know that. And there was no explanation for the spontaneous generation of the virus. Which theory is the most likely?
Maybe Colbert doesn’t realize “when he hears the hoof beat looking for horses instead of zebras.” But he certainly heard of Sutton’s Law. Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed a bank.
Dr. Greg Ganske is a retired surgeon who served as a representative to the Iowa Legislature from 1995-2002. He served on the committee that governs the National Institutes of Health.