Here is a one-step-at-a-time journey through my contribution to #DRASTIC research


Here is a one-step-at-a-time journey through my contribution to #DRASTIC research. I ordered it so as to make it easy for any new comer to start picking up fact and understand the issues.

This, I hope, may be a good learning resource for journalists, decision makers or anybody interested in the debate.

Most of it is based on collaboration with the fanstastic members of the multi-disciplinary DRASTIC Team. They deserve the credits just as well as I do. Please check the research of the rest of the team too.

  1. Let’s start with some historical and institutional context: It is very important to understand how China works. Without that it is so easy to fall in for naive generalisations and some whisful thinking (which is really a form of patronizing). Of great importance here is how the media and some sound institutions can frame a WHO investigation of a lab-leak. The 2004 Beijing SARS leak has unfortunately set a very bad precedent.
  2. Then we get into the mistery of the Mojiang mine accident and the surrounding sampling efforts, including Eco Health Alliance
  3. From there we can move to some important considerations: The common probabilistic misunderstandings that have plagued the debate: THIS IS ESSENTIAL – SO MUCH NONSENSE IS BEING SPOUTED
  4. From there we show the many gaps in Chinese biosafety – using Chinese sources: An evaluation of the Lab Escape risks by the Chinese authorities:
  5. Then we start digging up in the exact chronology and the answer of the Chinese authorities: This article is about a data leak by Epoch Times. Please do not discount the source – despite its political motives. I did an analysis of the leak before writing my piece and concluded that it is credible. And indeed it was confirmed during the WHO conference by the Chinese joint-team head then (see ‘Silent Numbers’ below). That article is important for the chronology, especially the various papers published at the time (particularly the one from the botanical garden scientists, not that far from the Mojiang mine) and then the 2 gag-orders. It is essential to understand that transparency peaked during the Feb 20 WHO trip. After that an iron curtain dropped with the two gag-orders issued as soon as the WHO left China.
  6. Then we move to show that China has manipulated the 2019 case numbers – the ‘Silent Numbers’: It is amazing to see that nobody is asking real questions about this. That CDC graph is damning – it tells us everything that we really need to know. I put my ‘Silent Numbers’ notes there: There is a lot there (please note that there are 6 tabs to the spreadsheet). Ask me questions if needed.
  7. Analysis of the Health Times interview: The Health Times interview gave some Nov 19 cases, which were retracted just after the CDC gag order.
  8. Some good background information is given in this paper about the Deleted DB: It covers all the research objectives, the funding, and the many contradictions in some statements about it. A very succesful paper.
  9. Here is a Gedankenexperiment that aims to challenge some common assumptions:
  10. The WHO Terms-of-Reference are very important too: They were negotiated and finalised rather secretly during a WHO trip in July 2020 and only published in Nov 20 for some odd reasons. They illustrate the structural limitation of that joint-study review effort.
  11. If one has time left, one could also read quickly through my main paper where I gathered many relevant pieces of information: Please check references 29 to 31 (I put a lot of important facts in the references).
  12. Various Tweets. I have started collecting some of my key tweets: Eventually we may want to build such a larger DRASTIC collection.

Good reading. If you have any question just contact me on Twitter (@gdemaneuf) or drop me a mail at

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