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Coronavirus as Chinese Biowarfare—Haugaard in July Said “It’s Possible!”

Bonus baloney from Representative Steven Haugaard’s comments on coronavirus in an ALEC panel discussion back in July, in which he promulgates the Trumpist distraction that China launched covid-19 as biowarfare [listen at 36:25]:

…it’s highly likely that this might be the new warfare. I don’t know if China intended this but you know it’s possible [Rep. Steven Haugaard, on coronavirus, ALEC panel discussion, 2020.07.22, ~36:25].
The evidence has been pretty clear since the beginning of the pandemic that covid-19 is a natural phenomenon, not an engineered virus. The press has shared this point from scientists multiple times, before Haugaard’s July comments and after, that this coronavirus was neither produced by humans nor released from a lab as a weapon of mass destruction:

COVID-19 is sufficiently unlike other viruses to have been created from them, and making a virus in the lab from scratch would be “virtually impossible,” said Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. “I don’t think we know enough about coronaviruses—or any virus—to be able to deliberately make a virus for release,” he said.

James Le Duc, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology and director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said that engineering COVID-19 “would have taken an incredible amount of ingenuity. People’s imaginations are running wild.”

…Shi Zhengli, PhD, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) lab in China relatively close (25 to 35 kilometers [15 to 22 miles]) to the Wuhan live-animal market at the epicenter of China’s outbreak, has extensively published the genetic sequences of isolates from the bat coronaviruses she studies.

None of them match those of COVID-19, Andersen said, something Shi herself confirmed in a recent interview in Scientific American. “If she would have published a sequence for the virus and then this pops up, then we would have known it came from the lab,” Andersen said. “There’s no evidence for this, but there is plenty of evidence against it.”

Le Duc said that Shi’s work on bat coronaviruses has shown that “these viruses exist in nature, and some of them have characteristics that would allow them to be transmissible among humans. The fact that we’re seeing it today is not a surprise to folks that have been working in this field” [Mary Van Beusekom, “Scientists: ‘Exactly Zero’ Evidence Covid-19 Came from a Lab,” University of Minnesota: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, 2020.05.12].

The people spreading coronavirus aren’t Chinese agents bent on killing off the global consumers who buy all the cheap plastic junk from their state-owned factories (Steve! Think about the strategy there!). The people spreading coronavirus are the people who let knuckleheads like Haugaard and his party distract them from real science and sensible public policy with jingoistic fantasies about bioweapons and Communist invaders.


  1. Donald Pay 2021-01-12 09:17

    Animal-to-animal-to-human transmission of diseases is nothing new. New Influenza outbreaks often evolve first in ducks or swine, or both. Anthrax, plague, small pox, chicken pox. The list goes on and on. With domestication of animals came massive loads of diseases and considerable death until. And we now concentrated animals in disease factories and load up animals with antibiotics that create superbugs. Humans are the dumbest species around if they think they can make a buck.

  2. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2021-01-12 10:00

    China has had 4,000 plus deaths from Covid 19, USA has had 370,000 plus deaths. China has 3x the people we do. Which is the smarter country, for public health?

    Tr*** has weaponized Corona virus by encouraging no masks. Noem, too.

    Impeachment for both of them.

  3. mike from iowa 2021-01-12 12:42

    Noirthern Mississippi wingnut legislators neck sizes are greater than their IQs.Noem’s is a perfect size 6.

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-01-12 16:23

    Listen you can find a quote of trumps on any issue, both sides now, usually a couple of days apart. Usually he says something totally outrageous and pares it back a couple of days later. He’s a con man from the start. He has no position on any issue really, he plays to the audience in front of him. You think he’s anti abortion, sure, sure, he needs their votes so he is. Its the same with every issue. He destroyed so many markets for farmers but buys them off and lies about it and tells them he’s doing it for America. Its such a scam its hard to look at really. The attitude he projects is what the ignorant find attractive. He gets along with authoritarian rulers because he sees himself as one. He can’t admit that he got fired so he lies to his base, same old, same old. Luckily for the Democractic party he’s destroying the Republican party by his refusal to give up. Thune thinks they will be able to go back to a party of principles and that is a joke. Its done pubs you have a third of the country that will follow you to hell and that’s where you are heading but you will lose more than you win from now on.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-01-12 17:28

    Mark, but you can’t find those quotes anymore on Twitter! :-D

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-01-12 18:51

    SD20PN: If we slip briefly into Haugaard’s fantastic muck (hey! you guys! hold my belt and pull me out if I get stuck!), we can maybe try to figure out what sense covid-19 makes as a bioweapon.

    Covid-19 seems a relatively weak bioweapon. The virus doesn’t stop an army in its tracks. In the U.S. (the target), coronavirus has killed only 1.7% of the people who’ve gotten it. (The mortality rate from covid-19 in China has been 4.9%, so, oops.)

    I don’t want a virus that starts out in my own country, shuts down our economy first, then goes global and affects all of our global trading partners with a recession that depresses our sales.

    We build and deploy weapons to kill the enemy. If I have a team of scientists who can build a virus to mess people up, I want a virus that will cause death, terror, and disruption of the enemy’s war-fighting capacity quickly and without side effects on my own troops. As ruler of China, I tell my Chinese scientists to build a virus that prefers the taste of white meat. I order a virus that spreads easily, kills fast… but maybe won’t survive the time it takes to fly over the Pacific. I order a nice nasty ebola variant, something truly horrifying. I send agents to release it in the water supplies of the five largest cities and in Rapid City, Minot, and other military towns… or, if feel like playing on Haugaard’s fantasies, I stage a first release in a city with a major government biological research lab, then stage the second within 24 hours in cities with close travel links to the home of Patient Zero, and I have my cyberwarfare team seed the U.S. Twittersphere with reports that the virus escaped from a U.S. lab.

    I design and deploy a virus that breaks out fast and kills thousands of people within 24 hours, terrifying the nation and prompting the rest of the world to shut down all travel to and from the U.S. America bleeds to death in isolation and, if my plan really works, takes the blame for the outbreak.

    All that applies, of course, only if my goal is to kill millions and swiftly destroy the American superpower. And I only deploy that plan if I don’t look at the history of bioweapons and chemical warfare and recognize that I’m putting my own people and the rest of the world at grave risk. If all I want is to cripple the United States, I focus on computer viruses, not people viruses. They’re much easier to engineer and target. I could fry the entire United States electrical grid, erase every American bank account, and set off some EMP charges for good measure and not get a scratch or a sniffle in mainland China.

    But then what do I do? Go to war with Russia? Gamble that I can come out on top in a world no longer stabilized by the U.S.? Why do I, as China, want to destabilize the U.S., let alone kill lots of its big-spending consumers? America is tearing itself apart while I’m winning global dominance in the marketplace! Why mess with success?

    Global biowarfare upends a geopolitical strategy that’s been working for 40 years. Only an idiot or a James Bond villain would throw that away just give the world coronavirus or something worse.

    Guys like Haugaard think they sound smart when they blurp little conspiracy theories based on the fact that he and his wife visited China (he says that in the video, establishing his expertise on global politics). But if we game it out, the notion that China built and deployed coronavirus to wage war on America doesn’t makes sense scientifically or strategically.

  7. grudznick 2021-01-12 19:05

    Mr. Haugaard, indeed, is insaner than most. The problem is that he has a bunch of fellows in the legislatures who follow him and they have assembled into an anti-intellectual horde who like to hear themselves talk. You mark down grudznick’s words with a red pencil and circle it twice: you will hear some real bizarre law bills coming from the maws of his minions during the sessions. His primary minion, Ms. Frye-Mueller, won’t have as much luck on the other side of the wall but Mr. Haguaard’s ladies are known by many to be among the insanest. It is also known that Ms. May and Ms. Mullally are witches. This has long been known.

  8. Mark Anderson 2021-01-13 17:14

    It’s true Cory, his twitterness can no longer twitter, but the pubs will see him through to the light or the dark, it depends on his mood.

  9. jerry 2021-01-13 22:32

    Covid 19 was discovered in Milan, Italy in November 2019. Merle is in the bag again.

    “Researchers say they have uncovered what could be Italy’s first case of Covid-19. Photo: EPA-EFEResearchers say they have uncovered what could be Italy’s first case of Covid-19. Photo: EPA-EFE
    Researchers say they have uncovered what could be Italy’s first case of Covid-19. Photo: EPA-EFE
    A young woman who visited a Milan hospital with a rash on her arms in November 2019 could be the earliest confirmed case of Covid-19 in Italy, according to a re-examination of sample materials collected at the time.
    Raffaele Gianotti, a dermatopathologist with the University of Milan, said Sars-CoV-2 – the virus which causes Covid-19 – had been found in the 25-year-old woman’s preserved skin tissue. She was misdiagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder, but could now be Italy’s “patient zero”.
    The disease was unknown until early January 2020, when Chinese researchers isolated the virus to an outbreak at a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan. Since then, it has been reported across the globe, infecting and killing millions.
    “Our patient could represent the oldest case in literature of detection of the virus on tissue samples,” Gianotti and his collaborators from Spain and Britain said in a peer-reviewed paper published in the British Journal of Dermatology last Thursday.”

    Hag clearly doesn’t know that Asian Foods will be employing several hundred people in Sioux Falls and now they will know what a flaming racist he is. Welcome to South Dakota boys, where you clearly are not wanted.

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