Quote of the Day: Ignorance is Woke

 

“Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not yet here.” — Apoorva Mandavilli, NY Times reporter focused on COVID-19,  May 26, 2021

This tweet (because of course, it is from Twitter) is absolutely maddening. According to this excuse for a journalist, we should not consider the theory that the Wuhan Coronavirus escaped from a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, because it is derived from racism. Aside from idea we should ignore concepts that evil people come with (in which case, I’m tossing out socialism, as Karl Marx was a scumbag), the whole idea that the lab leak theory is racist is pure and utter madness.

Have you ever heard of Malcolm Casadaban before? He died as a result of a lab exposure to what was thought to be a non-virulent strain of Y. pestis, to which he happened to be uniquely vulnerable. This was at the University of Chicago, in 2009. People unfortunately die in lab accidents regularly. My job is there to prevent this. Working with dangerous pathogens requires diligence and defense in depth. I can describe to you how to implement these protocols from the NIOSH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) manual – it is not a trivial process. One of the most important elements of our biosafety program is having an open and honest reporting culture – if you see something wrong, you can report it without fear of reprisal. As you can imagine, that is almost certainly completely absent from Chinese laboratories.

This is a recurring problem with totalitarian governments and safety. I can wax rhapsodic on how awesome nuclear energy is, and I would happily live at the fence line of the largest nuclear power plant in the United States. However, that does not go for totalitarian countries. You could not pay me enough money to live next to an RBMK reactor in the old Soviet bloc. Not only was it a bad design, it was operated in a culture of fear and cronyism.

This is why I am not concerned about the work at most US high containment laboratories, not very concerned about work in Taiwan, but very concerned about work in the PRC. I have heard reports of workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology selling lab animals for meat. If true, that’s such a failure of biosafety I would never imagine having to explain it, like having to explain to shop workers not to grab a running sawblade or lab workers not to do shots of denaturated alcohol.

This is something that sounded at least as reasonable as the bat soup theory since I heard of it in March 2020. No racism necessary. However, Facebook and other social media squashed it. It’s still something that people fear to mention on YouTube for fear of getting their channels struck down. I thought this was driven by Chinese cash and companies selling out, but this tweet suggests we may be giving them too much credit. This moron is so brainwashed into the woke cult that she views any criticism of a non-white country as racist in origin. I’ve seen video game characters with more depth and reasoning than this reporter, who probably looks down at all of us as subhuman. Better to refuse to know the truth than accept a heretical thought.

Ignorance is Strength, and also like totally Woke!

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  1. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    The left’s working definition of “racism” now seems to be “when something bad happens to someone who’s not white.”

    So, I ask: If a tree falls on a black man in a forest, is it an example of systemic racism?

    • #1
  2. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    The left’s working definition of “racism” now seems to be “when something bad happens to someone who’s not white.”

    So, I ask: If a tree falls on a black man in a forest, is it an example of systemic racism?

    That’s arborist.

    • #2
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    How is this appreciably different from Berlinski’s view that any criticism of Israel or a Jew (Soros) is anti-Semitic?

    How much of this woke-ness has been a part of our culture for decades, only recently being extrapolated to all minorities?

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Not much to add here. Could list all the environmental and related disasters in totalitarian countries to pile on, and most of them were not Chinese or of another (non-white) race.

    Edited to clarify “another race.”

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    OmegaPaladin: This is why I am not concerned about the work at most US high containment laboratories,

    One of the most important elements of our biosafety program is having an open and honest reporting culture – if you see something wrong, you can report it without fear of reprisal.  As you can imagine, that is almost certainly completely absent from Chinese laboratories.

    Do we have this now?

    • #5
  6. dajoho Member
    dajoho
    @dajoho

    Ignorance is Strength 

    Great rant OP. You should make t-shirts with that “motto “

     

     

    • #6
  7. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    1) she is to charges of racism what “the Bruce Dickinson” is to cowbells in the infamous skit-in any matter she’s “gotta have more cowbell”

    2) I know people who went on medical missions to China 30 years ago and were appalled by the lack of honesty by Chinese personnel when reporting difficulties or complications- things were commonly withheld apparently to avoid admitting problems and the patient care would suffer. Probably partially cultural and partly d/t work in an authoritarian system. Such a phenomenon no doubt would be very worrisome in a virology lab and there are reports that Western visitors weren’t impressed with the labs safety protocols.

    • #7
  8. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Apparently, that moronic quote from Apoorva Mandavilli was a bridge too far, even for the NYT which had, almost simultaneously with it, published its own article gingerly suggesting that there might have been a lab leak.  She deleted her Tweet (weasel-wordily saying that it had been “badly-phrased”) and has now deleted her Twitter account.

    Two years ago, this nitwit was awarded a prize for “Excellence in Medical Science Reporting.”  She seems to have made her mark with in-depth and persistent reporting on the Bhopal disaster (Union-Carbide) in India in 1984.  I remember when that happened.  It’s an awful story, and it should have been investigated.  But I can only suppose that she’s on that story like white on rice (can I say that anymore?) because it was a United States company at fault—and Union Carbide’s transgressions were legion and lethal–so it was perfectly fine to run the perpetrators to ground.  But the idea that someone might suggest that China has something to answer for in relation to the origins of COVID?  That’s racism, not science, so don’t even go there.  Very sad.  And, as the OP states, infuriating.

    ***

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    • #8
  9. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin: This is why I am not concerned about the work at most US high containment laboratories,

    One of the most important elements of our biosafety program is having an open and honest reporting culture – if you see something wrong, you can report it without fear of reprisal. As you can imagine, that is almost certainly completely absent from Chinese laboratories.

    Do we have this now?

    In all of the places where I have worked, yes.

    I thank God that there has not been any attempts to get out of safety requirements via Wokeness.

    One of the nice things about my field is that if you screw up, you are likely to die, so people incentivized to take things seriously.

    • #9
  10. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    So we comment on the likelihood that an accident might have happened at a research lab in a country with a famously repressive, murderous government, known for squashing dissidents and reporters, known for reqiring the bowdlerization of all media that comes into the country, so the truth can be controlled, we comment on that, and she immediately thinks of race.

    Who’s the racist here?

    The protection and defense of the Chinese government is now simply a reflex of many in the media, and in much of our government. Why is this?

    In this case, why is it not a perfectly reasonable thing to wonder about, for a good reporter to not only ask, but demand answers? A highly novel virus appears. We find that it could easily have been manufactured in a lab with the right equipment, or possibly it mutated in the wild in some animal, and then got loose in an open food market.

    If it’s the animal, no one has a clear explanation of how this could have happened randomly. Also, there were none of that animal at the market. So how did it get there?

    Down the street from the market is a big viral research lab. It has all the right equipment.  It has been working on things exactly like this. It has been reported before for having questionable safety practices.

    If a reporter can’t figure out which story they should be pursuing, aren’t they in the wrong job??

    Unless there is a good reason why they don’t pursue it. With the NBA and Hollywood, it’s obviously money. But why reporters and politicos?

    Perhaps we should start asking some questions of these people, do a little auditing. Find out where the money came from for the kids’ ballet lessons.

    • #10
  11. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin: This is why I am not concerned about the work at most US high containment laboratories,

    One of the most important elements of our biosafety program is having an open and honest reporting culture – if you see something wrong, you can report it without fear of reprisal. As you can imagine, that is almost certainly completely absent from Chinese laboratories.

    Do we have this now?

    In all of the places where I have worked, yes.

    I thank God that there has not been any attempts to get out of safety requirements via Wokeness.

    One of the nice things about my field is that if you screw up, you are likely to die, so people incentivized to take things seriously.

    Thankfully. I was thinking about what we have seen in law enforcement and election processes, just to have two examples. Aren’t we trending?

    • #11
  12. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    If it’s not racist, why do so many people here on Ricochet work overtime to make it a China problem more than a problem with our regulatory state?   I would guess the ratio of Ricochet complaints about China to complaints about Fauci is about 100 to 1, and the ratio of complaints about Fauci to complaints about our regulatory state is also about 100 to 1.  

    Complaining about China isn’t necessarily racist, but one wonders about the single-minded obsession with making it a problem with China rather than a problem with our government.   

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    If it’s not racist, why do so many people here on Ricochet work overtime to make it a China problem more than a problem with our regulatory state?

    Because it was China’s regulatory state that ran the lab that came up with the virus. Ours is a problem, too, as in funding the work.

    • #13
  14. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I know Jim Geraghty isn’t exactly a writer of choice here, but this was excellent.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    If it’s not racist, why do so many people here on Ricochet work overtime to make it a China problem more than a problem with our regulatory state?

    Because it was China’s regulatory state that ran the lab that came up with the virus. Ours is a problem, too, as in funding the work.

    But it’s not just the funding, it’s in the mechanisms that allowed the funding to take place despite legal restrictions.  Bashing China isn’t going to fix that problem.  

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I know Jim Geraghty isn’t exactly a writer of choice here, but this was excellent.

    When he’s right, he’s right.

    • #16
  17. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    If it’s not racist, why do so many people here on Ricochet work overtime to make it a China problem more than a problem with our regulatory state?

    Because it was China’s regulatory state that ran the lab that came up with the virus. Ours is a problem, too, as in funding the work.

    But it’s not just the funding, it’s in the mechanisms that allowed the funding to take place despite legal restrictions. Bashing China isn’t going to fix that problem.

    True. Nuke Washington first, then Beijing.

    • #17
  18. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    If it’s not racist, why do so many people here on Ricochet work overtime to make it a China problem more than a problem with our regulatory state?

    Because it was China’s regulatory state that ran the lab that came up with the virus. Ours is a problem, too, as in funding the work.

    I would not put it beyond our government but I think the virus arose, purposely or accidentally, from work related to the development of bioweapons by the Chinese Communist Party. What does pointing that out have to do with racism?

    • #18
  19. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    If it’s not racist, why do so many people here on Ricochet work overtime to make it a China problem more than a problem with our regulatory state?

    Because it was China’s regulatory state that ran the lab that came up with the virus. Ours is a problem, too, as in funding the work.

    But it’s not just the funding, it’s in the mechanisms that allowed the funding to take place despite legal restrictions. Bashing China isn’t going to fix that problem.

    What makes finding research in China different from funding research in Israel?

    Undoubtedly, we are doing both.

    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    Part of that argument must be uniquely tailored to our relationship with China as a global, economic, power with a hostile ideology. If the arguments take on a flavor of xenophobia, that is tangential to the core of the question on whether China is someone we should be giving research funds to, especially (but not solely) where national defense is concerned.

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I would not put it beyond our government but I think the virus arose, purposely or accidentally, from work related to the development of bioweapons by the Chinese Communist Party. What does pointing that out have to do with racism?

    So you don’t think Fauci’s funding approvals had anything to do with it?

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Stina (View Comment):

    What makes finding research in China different from funding research in Israel?

    Undoubtedly, we are doing both.

    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    Part of that argument must be uniquely tailored to our relationship with China as a global, economic, power with a hostile ideology. If the arguments take on a flavor of xenophobia, that is tangential to the core of the question on whether China is someone we should be giving research funds to, especially (but not solely) where national defense is concerned.

    The problem I’m talking about isn’t “funding” in the abstract but the way our government can prohibit funding and allow it at the same time, at the discretion of a program officer.

    • #21
  22. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I would not put it beyond our government but I think the virus arose, purposely or accidentally, from work related to the development of bioweapons by the Chinese Communist Party. What does pointing that out have to do with racism?

    So you don’t think Fauci’s funding approvals had anything to do with it?

    Oh, I agree totally with that. Enabled and facilitated.

    • #22
  23. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    What makes finding research in China different from funding research in Israel?

    Undoubtedly, we are doing both.

    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    Part of that argument must be uniquely tailored to our relationship with China as a global, economic, power with a hostile ideology. If the arguments take on a flavor of xenophobia, that is tangential to the core of the question on whether China is someone we should be giving research funds to, especially (but not solely) where national defense is concerned.

    The problem I’m talking about isn’t “funding” in the abstract but the way our government can prohibit funding and allow it at the same time, at the discretion of a program officer.

    I think I understand your point, but generally, people don’t care how things are done until something bad happens. So using China as an example of why we shouldn’t do this necessitates successfully convincing people that funding China is bad. It’s a simplistic argument that doesn’t get to the root of it, but the argument appeals to a majority while the detailed is more suitable to the policy wonk. “Oh, people don’t want us funding tyrannical regimes? Well let’s fix how we do funding.”

    The resulting policy should not be to pass a law forbidding all future funding to China. Although an executive order could be used to do just that.

    • #23
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Stina (View Comment):

    How is this appreciably different from Berlinski’s view that any criticism of Israel or a Jew (Soros) is anti-Semitic?

    How much of this woke-ness has been a part of our culture for decades, only recently being extrapolated to all minorities?

    I don’t think that the hypersensitivity to anti-semitism that a few Jews have (with understandable reason) is equivalent to abandoning all moral reasoning. I have written about the condescension of left-wing racism and it seems quite different from hypersensitivity to me.

    • #24
  25. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    What makes finding research in China different from funding research in Israel?

    Undoubtedly, we are doing both.

    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    Part of that argument must be uniquely tailored to our relationship with China as a global, economic, power with a hostile ideology. If the arguments take on a flavor of xenophobia, that is tangential to the core of the question on whether China is someone we should be giving research funds to, especially (but not solely) where national defense is concerned.

    The problem I’m talking about isn’t “funding” in the abstract but the way our government can prohibit funding and allow it at the same time, at the discretion of a program officer.

    The premise of the Article I Project is simple: the federal government is broken, and congressional weakness is to blame. Congress allows much of this through ill-conceived and unconstitutional “delegation” of legislative authority to the regulatory bureaucracy. 

    • #25
  26. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Stina (View Comment):
    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    It does depend on the types of research.

    • #26
  27. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    How is this appreciably different from Berlinski’s view that any criticism of Israel or a Jew (Soros) is anti-Semitic?

    How much of this woke-ness has been a part of our culture for decades, only recently being extrapolated to all minorities?

    I don’t think that the hypersensitivity to anti-semitism that a few Jews (with understandable reason) have is equivalent to abandoning all moral reasoning. I have written about the condescension of left-wing racism and it seems quite different from hypersensitivity to me.

     

    There is a high degree of hypersensitivity in its application. And CRT is not the sum total of the left’s anti-racism. Micro-aggressions come from hypersensitivity.

    • #27
  28. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    How is this appreciably different from Berlinski’s view that any criticism of Israel or a Jew (Soros) is anti-Semitic?

    How much of this woke-ness has been a part of our culture for decades, only recently being extrapolated to all minorities?

    I don’t think that the hypersensitivity to anti-semitism that a few Jews (with understandable reason) have is equivalent to abandoning all moral reasoning. I have written about the condescension of left-wing racism and it seems quite different from hypersensitivity to me.

     

    There is a high degree of hypersensitivity in its application. And CRT is not the sum total of the left’s anti-racism. Micro-aggressions come from hypersensitivity.

    I think it comes from post-modernism and narcissism. 

    • #28
  29. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):
    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    It does depend on the types of research.

    Could this have something to do with who is a political enemy and who is a political ally? I realize there is some disagreement and much confusion regarding this. It is really sad when high level bureaucrats don’t know this.

    • #29
  30. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):
    If funding research in Israel is ok, then there must be something about China that makes funding research there unpalatable beyond simply our state funding foreign research.

    It does depend on the types of research.

    Could this have something to do with who is a political enemy and who is a political ally? I realize there is some disagreement and much confusion regarding this. It is really sad when high level bureaucrats don’t know this.

    Or when it changes with a new administration?

    • #30