TWiV 774: Kristian Andersen, Robert Garry, and the deleted SARS-CoV-2 sequences

July 1, 2021

Kristian Andersen and Robert Garry join TWiV to discuss recovery of deleted deep sequencing data from early in the Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, and whether they shed light on the early phase of the outbreak.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Kathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker

Guests: Kristian Andersen and Robert Garry

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VincentHuman Behavior During the Pandemic Is More Important Than Any Covid Variant

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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11 comments on “TWiV 774: Kristian Andersen, Robert Garry, and the deleted SARS-CoV-2 sequences

  1. John Hempel Jul 1, 2021

    FWIW, I was able to access your NYT piece from the link in Picks above, without subscription. Thanks!

    • JJackson Jul 1, 2021

      I am in the UK and also had no problem with link.

      • BeVegan Jul 3, 2021

        The first handful of NYT articles are free every month.

  2. JJackson Jul 1, 2021

    Excellent as always with a lot of useful information but also very scary. The scariest bit by far was that the NYT thinks you can not go above the science that a 10 or a 11 year old can understand. If that is the attitude they hold about the public’s ability to understand things that are critical to their safety and ability to make informed decisions is it any wonder how poor the public understanding and discourse on the WIV ‘hypothesis’ is.

    • Norman Bauman Jul 2, 2021

      Look at the reader comments in the NYT and you’ll get an idea of what the NYT readers are like.

      I’d estimate that about half of the readers (and reporters) are … how can I put this politely … somewhat lacking in scientific literacy. (The most common mistake in medical reporting is to confuse association with causation.)

      The top half or quarter of the readers are pretty sophisticated, though. The NYT is the newspaper that MDs, PhDs, and teachers read. When the NYT wrote a story about Emergent BioSolutions, the vaccine manufacturer that was better at lobbying than quality control, the reader comments were filled with personal accounts by chemical engineers of how they worked for contract manufacturers that blatantly ignored basic safety procedures. Readers have arguments about interpreting statistics, and link to Science, Nature, and even TWiV.

      *I* think the solution is to have an easy explanation of a few important central ideas (like association versus causation) at the top, and go into the technical points at the bottom. But maybe editors don’t like to publish stories where only half their readers can get to the end.

      One of the ways they sneak through difficult ideas is by letting the graphics do some of the work, like Carl Zimmer’s explanations of the proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

      The quality of the reporters also varies greatly. Some of them have MDs or PhDs, and some of them just have a good understanding of science after attending hundreds of conferences. Some of the reporters, like William Broad, were hired from Science magazine. Others are … did you see Jane Fonda in The China Syndrome? A lot of the reporters from the politics beat seem to get lost when they have to deal with the science, and difficult concepts like association versus causation. (Just quote Mike Pompeo.)

      The problem with newspaper science coverage is like the problem with democracy. You need better readers. You need better voters.

  3. k twi-s-reader Jul 2, 2021

    I would (and I believe your viewers would) prefer seeing a copy of your original essay. I’d like to see what you wrote — before all the Times editing.

    Can you send it to me or perhaps, provide it on a TWiV episode?

  4. Helix Jul 2, 2021

    I follow that the media is misrepresenting the finding of this slightly earlier genetic sequences from SARS-COV2. What this group in the podcast isn’t acknowledging is the very low probability that the virus happens to spillover in Wuhan, the site of the presumably biggest lab that studies bat coronaviruses. Furthermore, the WIV was known to be doing GOF research on bat coronaviruses and passing them through human cells and humanized mice. If indeed the spillover occurred at a wet market why did it happen here as opposed to the wet lab markets around the world?

  5. Helix Jul 2, 2021

    I can tell by the tone in his voice that Bob Garry already made up his mind on the origins. That is wasn’t a lab leak. You have to give the lab leak a fair look. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that having Daszak on the WHO team investigating the roots is a obvious conflict of interest since he was tightly involved with the WIV. This isn’t good science.

  6. BeVegan Jul 3, 2021

    Just when the concept of RACCOON DOG couldnt get any worse he mentioned they are used for human consumption!

  7. Michael Geiger Jul 11, 2021

    Forgive me, Vince, for sending this twice, but this version has corrected typo’s…..
    If you do allow it to be published, I would prefer this version for clarity…
    Thank you.

    I myself am not a virologist. But the way I see it, and whether anyone in virology likes it or not, the following is what seems to now be going viral, and will likely soon be a pandemic of belief around the globe:

    We hear in this podcast of Garry’s and Andersen’s and Holme’s “dear virologist friends” and reputations to protect at Wuhan.
    We hear these two struggling to make as of yet non-existent connections to other animals and food markets and drains, and on and on.
    We hear them protest and protest, and further protest the likelihood, if not certainty, of a lab manipulated leak of cv19. Brings up the old adage of “methinks ye protest too much”.


    COVID-19 Origins and Andersen’s and Garry’s and other virologists apparent conflicts of interest, including those of simple protection of friends and fellow virologists in China, are also obvious. The following is regarding Garry’s and Andersen’s and Rambaut’s and “Eddie” Holmes’ published work in Nature Medicine in which all were early promoters of the origin of Covid 19 as a natural evolutionary virus, versus origin of Covid-19 as a lab creation:

    [[The following information is according to the findings of: House Holds Hearing On COVID-19 Origin, Lab-Leak Theory]]

    Late on January 31 2020, Anthony Fauci of NIAIDS received a now leaked email from Scripps virologist Kristian Andersen informing Fauci that Covid-19 appeared to be an “engineered” virus, stating “Some of the features look engineered”. Andersen also stated in this email that fellow virologists “Eddie (Holmes), Bob (Garry), Mike (Ferguson), and myself all find the genome (Covid-19) inconsistent with expectations from an evolutionary theory”.
    Such an early finding of Covid-19 as having been created in the Wuhan lab, upon becoming public, could have verified to government officials and public health officials worldwide, and to the general public, that Covid-19 had likely been created in, and escaped from, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Such information may and likely would have had great impacts upon life saving governmental and health department measures and reactions to the pandemic. Bat coronavirus study and manipulation of such was long known to have been performed at the Wuhan Institute. Such a finding of an escaped manipulated virus becoming a public threat is a certain threat to Anthony Fauci’s and other virologists reputations and future funding of such experimentation, as it poses a direct threat to the NIH/NiAids funding of a large number of virologist grant recipients, including Andersen and Garry, and all 4 of the signers of their Nature Medicine piece. The morning after Fauci had been notified by these two of the likelihood of Covid-19 likely being an escaped lab manipulated and human-transmission-amplified virus, and just 13 hours later at 11:30 am on February 1, 2020, these four NIH funded virologists held a private and as yet undisclosed “emergency” conference call with Anthony Fauci. This call included 11 virologists in total; Kristian Anderson, Holmes, Bob Garry, Ferguson, Christian Drosten, Ron Fouchier, Marion Koopmans, Stephan Pohlmann, Paul Schrier, Patrick Vallance, Andrew Rambaut, and without any other oversight of public health officials who certainly should have been included.
    Just four days after Fauci’s private conference call with those eleven virologists whose NIH funding would be at stake, Kristian Andersen of Scripps very publicly and quite suddenly changed his public presentation with a total flip, to a near certainty that the virus was natural in origin. He publicly stated “The crackpot theories going around at this moment relate to this virus as somehow engineered. That is demonstrably false”. Yet four days before, Andersen, Garry, and Holmes were those very same crackpots.

    Such a 180 flip statement showed that just four days after the conference call, wherein it is obvious the discussion was of the certainty of the virus as being lab manipulated, these virologists changed their public position 180 degrees, to publicly declare a great certainty that the virus, Covid-19, was a natural phenomenon. So here we have Andersen, who partook in Fauci’s “emergency” conference call, including Andrew Rambaut , Edward “Eddie” Holmes, and Robert “Bob” Garry, who altogether co-signed and published the article in Nature Medicine, published March 17 2020. The article included such statements as “This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation”. Yet only one of these virologists who put their name to these papers, Robert Garry, as a co-founder of Zalgen Labs, had bothered to disclose any conflict of interest at all. None disclosed their conflicts of interest to past, present, or future funding that had come or would be coming through Anthony Fauci, NiAids, or the NIH. Additionally, a large grant of approx. 2 million $US was bestowed by Fauci/NiAids upon Kristian Andersen just a few weeks after he changed his position on the origin of Covid-19, and aligned himself with publishing a natural theory of origin for the Covid-19 virus.

    Maybe they flipped to cover their friends in China. Maybe they flipped because their livelihoods and funding are on the line. Maybe they flipped because these virus hunters would be looked upon as dangerous threats to public health. Maybe they flipped because Fauci told them all virology funding is now threatened by the Wuhan leak.

    Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together can only conclude that all this looks very bad. It looks very very very bad, for the promoters of natural origin.

    One thing is for sure, they all had a lot of personal reasons to promote a natural origin, and absolutely NO reason to put the well being of their trade and fellow tradesmen to threat, even though the public health of each and every one of us around the globe was at threat.

    But Andersen and Garry would prefer we continue chasing every track but the viral lab leak track, that we chase after the lesser of likely origins, while ignoring or dodging Ocam’s sharp razor that is dangling at their very throats.

    The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2, March 17 2020, Nature Medicine

    • It’s almost 2 weeks into the new year here in Boston and I’m watching Rand Paul beat up Tony Science on his rather obvious obfuscations. very prescient of Michael Geiger to have known about this 6 months ago. I think we’re all just waiting for the other shoes to drop. does anyone know why Racaniello is absent on this story?