Wuhan smoking gun

Featured image A highly regarded professor at Harvard Medical School writes from Cambridge: The argument that the COVID pandemic resulted from a spillover of SARS-CoV-2 from a natural reservoir has always relied on the claim that scientists don’t know enough to change previously known coronavirus sequences into SARS-CoV-2 intentionally. That is true, but it relies on the assumption that we know about all of the sequences that were being manipulated in Wuhan. »

Rockin’ pneumonia or the Wuhan flu? A look back [With comment by John]

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend’s big story about the probable origin of the Covid-19 virus in China’s Wuhan lab. In the related editorial this morning the Journal calls its scoop “Another turn in the Covid lab-leak story.” The editorial harks back to the April 2020 op-ed column “Coronavirus and the laboratories in Wuhan” by Senator Tom Cotton. Senator Cotton has posted the column in accessible form here. Today’s »

Breaking: Biden Administration Ratifies COVID Lab Leak Hypothesis

Featured image The Wall Street Journal is out this morning with a report that the U.S. Department of Energy has issued a classified intelligence report (who knew the DoE did foreign intelligence?) based on new information that concludes COVID originated from a lab leak at China’s Wuhan virology research center: The U.S. Energy Department has concluded that the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak, according to a classified intelligence report »

China contributes, cont’d

Featured image Washington Free Beacon reporter Alana Goodman appeared for a three-minute segment on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show this past Wednesday evening. Her appearance followed up on reporting that we noted two weeks ago in “China contributes.” The Free Beacon posted a summary of Goodman’s reporting along with video of the segment (below). This remains something like a deep secret: The University of Delaware has received $6,704,250 in donations from China »

It came out of the sky

Featured image White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared at yesterday’s press briefing (transcript here) that they have no indication of alien involvement in the recent proliferation of “objects” over the United States and Canada. “I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no — again, no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity — (laughter) — with these recent takedowns,” KJP told reporters. What’s so funny ’bout »

Close encounter of the fourth kind

Featured image No sooner had we noted the “Balloon war of the worlds” yesterday morning than we had a close encounter of the fourth kind over Lake Huron. NORAD posted this statement on it at 2:42 p.m. yesterday afternoon. This morning’s AP story is here. U.S. Air Force General Glen VanHerck is the commander of NORAD. He held a briefing following the shootdown (audio below). He professed not to know what’s going »

It’s Raining Balloons*

Featured image The U.S. Air Force shot down its third balloon in as many days over Lake Huron: US fighter jets shot down an unidentified object over Lake Huron on Sunday, marking the third time such action was taken in as many days and coming on the heels of last week’s Chinese spy balloon scandal. Sunday’s takedown is believed to have involved an object that was tracked by radar over Montana on »

Balloon war of the worlds

Featured image In the past 48 hours or so American pilots flying under the auspices of NORAD have shot down two more unidentified objects over North America, one off the coast of Alaska and one over the Yukon in Canada. The objects are said to be smaller than the huge Chinese spy balloon President Biden let traverse the United States before having it shot down over the Atlantic off the coast of »

Where Covid came from

Featured image Andrew Sullivan has just posted an accessible 50-plus minute preview of his Dishcast with former New York Times science writer and editor Nicholas Wade. Wade is the author, most recently, of the essay Where Covid Came From, published by our friends at Encounter Books. Sullivan introduces the Dishcast here at his Substack site. (Wade’s grandson interrupts briefly at about 39:30.) Sullivan has separately posted two clips from the interview on »

You won’t see me, spy balloon edition

Featured image “When I call you up, your line’s engaged.” That’s the complaint registered by the singer in the Beatles’ “You Won’t See Me.” The song comes to mind in connection with this morning’s interesting AP story by Ellen Knickmeyer: “‘It just rang’: In crises, US-China hotline goes unanswered.” Knickmeyer reports right at the top of her story: Within hours of an Air Force F-22 downing a giant Chinese balloon that had »

And now, the awareness gap

Featured image President Biden sat down for an interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff yesterday. Students of ancient history may recall the “credibility gap” whose power was deemed to have brought down a president or two. I would like to seize on Pentagon bureaucratese to declare that we have an “awareness gap” in the Biden administration from the top down. In one of the video clips of Woodruff’s interview with Biden below, the »

Who knows?

Featured image David Niven lifted the title of his best-selling memoir The Moon’s a Balloon from the poem “who knows if the moon’s a balloon” by e.e. cummings. This is the poem: who knows if the moon’s a balloon, coming out of a keen city in the sky–filled with pretty people? ( and if you and I should get into it,if they should take me and take you into their balloon, why »

Who was that masked defense official?

Featured image The Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross reports that the Department of Defense won’t identify the senior Pentagon official who told the press on background this weekend that the Trump administration let Chinese spy balloons transit the United States at least three times. The senior defense official omitted the critical fact that these incidents went undetected by the defense and national security establishments. Ross links to the Pentagon transcript of the call »

After last night

Featured image I thought the flight of the Chinese spy balloon across the United States was a national embarrassment, but it was nothing compared to President Biden’s State of the Union performance last night. I thought he hit the high point with his congratulation of Kevin McCarthy for ascending to the Speakership in the first few seconds of his speech. The speed of the descent varied, but it was downhill all the »

White House claims credit

Featured image We have struggled to following the evolving leaks and statements from the Biden administration regarding the Chinese spy balloon. In the adjacent post we note one set. This morning the Associated Press has a total of five reporters on the administration’s claim of credit for getting on top of it: “White House: Improved surveillance caught Chinese balloon.” It bears on the story of previous balloon overflights that I discuss in »

Spy balloon stops a rollin’

Featured image The Chinese spy balloon entered the territory of the United States a week ago yesterday. Thanks to the observant eye of Chase Doak, we learned of it as it made its way over Montana this past Thursday. The Biden administration intended to keep it a secret while it made its way across the United States and Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed off to meet the friends of the Biden »

Spy balloon keeps a rollin’

Featured image The Chinese spy balloon keeps a rollin’ across the United States. Relying on the reporting of Bloomberg (which has to be stripped of its credulity over the White House spin) and the Associated Press, I wanted compile the facts roughly making out what we know as of this morning while adding a few comments of my own. • The observant Mr. Chase Doak spotted the spy balloon traversing Montana on »