The SARS Coronavirus and Wet Markets

The SARS Coronavirus and Wet Markets
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The role live animal markets and the trade in exotic animals have played in the emergence of deadly coronavirus outbreaks.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

SARS was the first new global disease outbreak of the 21st century, which went on to cause about 8,000 cases and about 800 deaths. Many of the first cases of SARS were tied to the same kind of place most of the first cases of COVID-19 were linked to: live animal “wet” markets in China.

Freshly slaughtered animals are thought to be more nutritious by many regional consumers, and some seek ye-wei, the “wild taste,” believing the consumption of exotic animals bestows benefits to health and social status. This convergence—fresh slaughter with exotic animals—leads to a perfect storm for disease transmission, where crowded cages in these wet markets are contaminated with the blood, urine, and feces of countless species mixed together in a potential cauldron of contagion.

There was a vast expansion of the wildlife trade in the 1990s to supply the emerging urban middle-class demand, driven, according to the World Bank, predominantly by demand for wild animal products in China. Many of the wild animals, typically while alive, enter China through Vietnam from Laos, where the wildlife meat trade rose to become the second-largest income source for rural families. Markets there sell a ton of animals (literally), many of which are critically endangered.

Then, as demand surpassed supply, the cross-country wildlife trade was supplemented with the creation of intensive captive production farms, where a menagerie of wild animals are often raised under poor sanitation in unnatural stocking densities before being transported and caged at markets for sale. Fourteen million people are involved in China’s wildlife farming industry, valued at 74 billion dollars.

The genetic building blocks for the SARS virus have since been identified from 11 different strains of coronaviruses found in Chinese bats, but there are bat-borne coronaviruses around the world. The reason China in particular has been ground zero for multiple jumps of deadly human coronavirus epidemics may be because of these wet markets.

In the case of SARS, the intermediate host appeared to be the masked palm civet, a cat-like animal prized for its meat. In addition to being raised for their flesh, civet cat penis is soaked in rice wine for use as an aphrodisiac. These animals also produce the most expensive coffee in the world. So-called fox-dung coffee is produced by feeding coffee beans to captive civets and then…recovering the partially digested beans from their feces. I don’t know if you can see, but those are actually civet turds. “A musk-like substance of buttery consistency secreted by the anal glands gives the coffee its characteristic flavor and smell.” One might say this unique drink is good to the last dropping.

Coronaviruses acquired from civets in live animal markets were almost identical to the SARS virus. While civets at wildlife farms supplying the live markets were found largely free of infection, up to 80 percent of sampled civets at the markets showed evidence of exposure. This suggests that most infections happened at the market, perhaps due to a combination of crowded interspecies mixing and the immunosuppressive effect of stress.

Live animal markets not only allow for cross-species transmission, viral amplification, and human exposure, but viral modification too. The SARS coronavirus exploited opportunities provided by wet markets in southern China to adapt to the palm civet and human. Apparently, civets were not just passive conduits for the virus; they appear to be incubators for human-adapting mutations in the virus itself.

The virus uses its corona of spikes like a key in a lock to latch onto host receptors to gain entry into its victims’ cells. To switch from infecting one species to another, the genes that code for the spikes have to mutate to fit into the new host’s receptors. A new lock requires a new key.

Both the SARS coronavirus and SARS coronavirus 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, attach to a specific enzyme coating the cells of our lungs. By the time a mishmash of bat coronaviruses made it into civets, the docking spikes of the virus were only two mutations away from locking in the configuration that bound to human receptors, and then the human-to-human SARS epidemic was born.

After the initial SARS outbreak ended in 2003, new human cases were confirmed, tied to a restaurant serving civets. Unlike most of the previous cases, the new victims presented with mild symptoms, and didn’t seem to pass it on. Viruses sampled from palm civets at both a local market and the restaurant were found to be nearly identical to those discovered in the new, milder human cases. The new civet viruses shared only one of the two civet-to-human spike mutations found in all of the new human patients, but none of the previous year’s civet’s coronaviruses. These findings suggest that intermediate hosts can help transform coronaviruses from the primordial reservoir in bats into greater human infectivity.

Yes, bats are trapped for meat in Asia, and many bat hunters do report getting bitten. Yes, the handling and consumption of undercooked bat meat is still practiced in China, Guam, and other parts of Asia. But it appears intermediate hosts may be needed as a stepping stone for bat coronaviruses to adapt to humans to trigger a human pandemic. And it’s hard to imagine a system that could be better designed to facilitate this process than a live animal wet market.

In response to the SARS outbreak, the Chinese government implemented strict controls over the wildlife market, including a ban on the sale of civet cats. Though the permanent closure of live animal markets has been called the “strongest deterrent to another zoonotic disease outbreak,” within months, the ban was lifted, and trade resumed as before. Civets were back on the menu.

Had authorities in China learned its lesson from SARS and listened to experts and enacted a permanent ban on live animal markets, it’s possible humanity would not now be suffering the worst pandemic in a century.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by AvoMedia

Image credit: Mindy McAdams via flickr. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

SARS was the first new global disease outbreak of the 21st century, which went on to cause about 8,000 cases and about 800 deaths. Many of the first cases of SARS were tied to the same kind of place most of the first cases of COVID-19 were linked to: live animal “wet” markets in China.

Freshly slaughtered animals are thought to be more nutritious by many regional consumers, and some seek ye-wei, the “wild taste,” believing the consumption of exotic animals bestows benefits to health and social status. This convergence—fresh slaughter with exotic animals—leads to a perfect storm for disease transmission, where crowded cages in these wet markets are contaminated with the blood, urine, and feces of countless species mixed together in a potential cauldron of contagion.

There was a vast expansion of the wildlife trade in the 1990s to supply the emerging urban middle-class demand, driven, according to the World Bank, predominantly by demand for wild animal products in China. Many of the wild animals, typically while alive, enter China through Vietnam from Laos, where the wildlife meat trade rose to become the second-largest income source for rural families. Markets there sell a ton of animals (literally), many of which are critically endangered.

Then, as demand surpassed supply, the cross-country wildlife trade was supplemented with the creation of intensive captive production farms, where a menagerie of wild animals are often raised under poor sanitation in unnatural stocking densities before being transported and caged at markets for sale. Fourteen million people are involved in China’s wildlife farming industry, valued at 74 billion dollars.

The genetic building blocks for the SARS virus have since been identified from 11 different strains of coronaviruses found in Chinese bats, but there are bat-borne coronaviruses around the world. The reason China in particular has been ground zero for multiple jumps of deadly human coronavirus epidemics may be because of these wet markets.

In the case of SARS, the intermediate host appeared to be the masked palm civet, a cat-like animal prized for its meat. In addition to being raised for their flesh, civet cat penis is soaked in rice wine for use as an aphrodisiac. These animals also produce the most expensive coffee in the world. So-called fox-dung coffee is produced by feeding coffee beans to captive civets and then…recovering the partially digested beans from their feces. I don’t know if you can see, but those are actually civet turds. “A musk-like substance of buttery consistency secreted by the anal glands gives the coffee its characteristic flavor and smell.” One might say this unique drink is good to the last dropping.

Coronaviruses acquired from civets in live animal markets were almost identical to the SARS virus. While civets at wildlife farms supplying the live markets were found largely free of infection, up to 80 percent of sampled civets at the markets showed evidence of exposure. This suggests that most infections happened at the market, perhaps due to a combination of crowded interspecies mixing and the immunosuppressive effect of stress.

Live animal markets not only allow for cross-species transmission, viral amplification, and human exposure, but viral modification too. The SARS coronavirus exploited opportunities provided by wet markets in southern China to adapt to the palm civet and human. Apparently, civets were not just passive conduits for the virus; they appear to be incubators for human-adapting mutations in the virus itself.

The virus uses its corona of spikes like a key in a lock to latch onto host receptors to gain entry into its victims’ cells. To switch from infecting one species to another, the genes that code for the spikes have to mutate to fit into the new host’s receptors. A new lock requires a new key.

Both the SARS coronavirus and SARS coronavirus 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, attach to a specific enzyme coating the cells of our lungs. By the time a mishmash of bat coronaviruses made it into civets, the docking spikes of the virus were only two mutations away from locking in the configuration that bound to human receptors, and then the human-to-human SARS epidemic was born.

After the initial SARS outbreak ended in 2003, new human cases were confirmed, tied to a restaurant serving civets. Unlike most of the previous cases, the new victims presented with mild symptoms, and didn’t seem to pass it on. Viruses sampled from palm civets at both a local market and the restaurant were found to be nearly identical to those discovered in the new, milder human cases. The new civet viruses shared only one of the two civet-to-human spike mutations found in all of the new human patients, but none of the previous year’s civet’s coronaviruses. These findings suggest that intermediate hosts can help transform coronaviruses from the primordial reservoir in bats into greater human infectivity.

Yes, bats are trapped for meat in Asia, and many bat hunters do report getting bitten. Yes, the handling and consumption of undercooked bat meat is still practiced in China, Guam, and other parts of Asia. But it appears intermediate hosts may be needed as a stepping stone for bat coronaviruses to adapt to humans to trigger a human pandemic. And it’s hard to imagine a system that could be better designed to facilitate this process than a live animal wet market.

In response to the SARS outbreak, the Chinese government implemented strict controls over the wildlife market, including a ban on the sale of civet cats. Though the permanent closure of live animal markets has been called the “strongest deterrent to another zoonotic disease outbreak,” within months, the ban was lifted, and trade resumed as before. Civets were back on the menu.

Had authorities in China learned its lesson from SARS and listened to experts and enacted a permanent ban on live animal markets, it’s possible humanity would not now be suffering the worst pandemic in a century.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by AvoMedia

Image credit: Mindy McAdams via flickr. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

This is the 2nd in a 17-video series on pandemics and COVID-19. First, we looked at Where Do Deadly Coronaviruses Like MERS-CoV Come From?

We continue exploring the sources of these viruses next, in:

You can download the whole series (for free) right now on DrGreger.org and take an even deeper dive in my new book How to Survive a Pandemic (note: all my proceeds from this book are donated to pandemic prevention charities such as the Good Food Institute, Plant-Based Foods Association, A Well-Fed World, and the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy).

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

88 responses to “The SARS Coronavirus and Wet Markets

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  1. What about melatonin for cov-sars-2? Melatonin could limit virus-related diseases and may be beneficial in patients with COVID-19? Pistachios have more than 200 micrograms of melatonin per gram, 2 milligrams per gram. And you can get the normal daily dose the brain gives by taking just 0.3 micrograms, meaning just two pistachios. So taking a full handful of pistachios is like taking one of those high-dose melatonin supplements.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32217117/
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24878439/

    1. Melatonin could limit virus-related diseases and may be beneficial in patients with COVID-19?
      —————————————————————————————————————————-
      I thought I knew about every supplement-like approach to CoVid-19, but this is the first I had heard that melatonin is so powerful.

      I’ve always been a fan of under-the-tongue melatonin drops when I needed to fall asleep outside of circadian rhythm natural sleep. During my current troubles I have been using the drops much more often as trouble sleeping or staying asleep has been my main problem.

      Thanks to your posting the links above, I’m upping my dose and frequency!

    2. I know a lot of people who have used melatonin to sleep for years. They all get sick like everyone else from whatever is going around.

      1. I know a lot of people who have used melatonin to sleep for years. They all get sick like everyone else from whatever is going around.
        ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
        I thought observational studies were unacceptable? ‘-)

          1. No more unacceptable than ‘speculation’ though?
            ——————————————————————
            “Speculation” based on scientific experience… not just one person’s thinking. To be clear, I’m not opposed to “large-numbers” observations. Nor am I against researched speculation.

            Based on clinical features, pathology, the pathogenesis of acute respiratory disorder induced by either highly homogenous coronaviruses or other pathogens, the evidence suggests that excessive inflammation, oxidation, and an exaggerated immune response very likely contribute to COVID-19 pathology. This leads to a cytokine storm and subsequent progression to acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and often death. Melatonin, a well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecule, is protective against ALI/ARDS caused by viral and other pathogens. Melatonin is effective in critical care patients by reducing vessel permeability, anxiety, sedation use, and improving sleeping quality, which might also be beneficial for better clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Notably, melatonin has a high safety profile. There is significant data showing that melatonin limits virus-related diseases and would also likely be beneficial in COVID-19 patients.

        1. It’s not a panacea
          ————————
          Yeah, that seems to be the norm for EVERYTHING when it comes to CoVid-19. This is just one more pellet in a shotgun shell of “helps.”

  2. The indiscriminate and horrific food consumption of freshly killed animals does not seem to be consistent with what we have come to expect of asian culture, highly educated, fastidious, well manored. Maybe what you would expect from the Kleons of Star Trek fame.

    1. I should not be geo-specific about animal farming. A satellite image shows rain forests that have been removed for grazing.

    2. Well. Asian cultures differ. China is not the only Asian country. In the case of China, it has historical roots back to the Great Famine. People hunted everything for food back then. Unfortunately, it continues to this day. You can watch the documentary on YouTube.

      1. Wow!

        I haven’t found the documentary yet but I am already fascinated and it already explains why China is quietly buying so much meat and soy from America that we might have shortages because our companies like to sell to China.

        They were just talking about it and I have been thinking whether it will affect things like tofu and vegan products (and my meat-eating relatives)

        The concept that they tried to kill all of the sparrows and ended up having a Great Famine so big that it wiped out 45 million people and led to cannibalism and all sorts of horrifying things makes me know that my prepping project is probably very important.

        https://io9.gizmodo.com/china-s-worst-self-inflicted-environmental-disaster-th-5927112

        How horrifying when the death toll is over 1 in 10 – some places having 1 in 3 people die.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/01/china-great-famine-book-tombstone

        It was 1959 through 1961 and IT is why the relatives would always say, “Eat every bite, people are starving in China.” Honestly, I didn’t understand that the Great Famine was then.

        My relatives in America would have been having food rationing and food shortages for most of their lives up until about then, but we went into excess and mentally, I would have really, really liked it if they had talked about what really was happening in China in that regard.

        There are food shortages happening now. It is devastating already.

        I am prepping but I am not so worried about myself. I am devastated for the poor all around the world.

        1. My relatives probably were wondering whether the famine would be global.

          That is so interesting to me.

          The “Eat every bite. People are starving in China..” became this driving force of manipulation for a generation or two of parents.

          Fascinatingly, I read that, in China, it was impolite to finish every bite on your plate.

          I wonder if that was a tale someone came back from China explaining and it got reversed somehow and we learned to finish every bite and they learned that leaving a little bit meant that the cook didn’t need to provide seconds.

          1. Yes. We lived in Shanghai for 8 years. If you clean your plate, more will be added.

            We heard first hand of horrific meats being consumed first hand. Bear claws (particularly if they are taken from the bear when alive) were asked to be served at a restaurant where our friend was one of the chefs. It was said to give the consumer power.

            Our food was frequently purchased at wet markets but mostly fruits and vegetables. Our family went to a plant-based diet while living there.

        1. Right now, 1/4 of Americans are skipping meals because of not having money for food with lost wages.

          I think that is why I am prepping.

          I have had friends go over a year before finding employment and living most of that time with no savings or income at all.

          People have suddenly ended up losing their vehicles because of it.

          Logistically speaking, I don’t understand a global economy anymore.

          I don’t understand if my job is safe or how people are surviving even now.

          I have plenty but I just don’t understand the concept of preparing for the future anymore.

    3. Dan, 50 million Chinese are completely vegetarian. Chinese folk religion, which is distinct from Taoism, Chinese salvationist religions, and New Religious Movements is similar to Shintoism in Japan insofar as while the killing and eating of animals is not forbidden, it is considered impure and not ideal for a believer. Tofu, soy milk, and seitan, which are popular among vegetarians in the world, originate in China.

      1. RB,
        That is a good understanding of religion. It seems a small fraction of populations have a consideration for the well being of life forms other than human. Perhaps surviving is such a struggle that all food sources are used, especially when population density and resource depletion factor in.

      2. Reality bites,

        I was just reading about China buying the USA meat and soy at such high levels that the USA places are complaining.

        The concept of a famine lasting 3 years seems like a good concept to prep from.

        I am not going to prep every single thing, but I am going to have dry goods. Slowly building them up.

        The grocery stores are still spotty most of the time and I am careful to not take too much from any place.

        I don’t want to hoard. I want to slowly prep.

  3. I do not see asian culture in the same light as you do Dan, so the horrors of the wet markets come as no surprise to me. I make an effort not to buy things (certainly not food or tea) made in china. Anyway, I think I have had my fill of coronavirus discussion so I’ll put my attention on other matters for the next four months or so. Be well.

  4. Getting a little political here, enough that in today’s xenophobic, pro-Trump, China-bashing climate, unfortunately I can’t repost this. Yes, China could and should have changed policy just as America should regarding it’s industrial animal agriculture, considering the pandemics that have started here as well, and are likely to in the future.

    Perhaps what was left out is that Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan, immediately adjacent to China, had almost no covid 19 deaths and no community spread today, because they knew to maintain close monitoring inside China, including Wuhan, and went into immediate pandemic defense mode early. The US had this type of monitoring in place before Trump took it apart, so simply bolstering the WHO instead of sabotaging it might have also prevented worldwide spread.

  5. I find it very interesting that we ‘humanity’ completely ignore the cause of so many of these issues and diseases. Eventually overpopulation, and land and tree destruction for feeding of the animals we eat will eventually destroy the earth. It is not infinite..

    1. Well said, Sharon. We seem to be incapable of seeing our own responsibility for our problems. Overpopulation is all but taboo as a subject in public policy discussions. Unrestrained reproductive drive seems to regarded as some kind of inalienable right. Instead of addressing ultimate causes, I predict that the solution we will come up with in the present crisis will be something like exterminating all bats.

    1. Absolutely! We should all be vegans.
      Our animal breeding practices and slaughter houses are no better than the wet markets! Why do you think there are so many Covid cases among slaughter house workers?

  6. These “wet markets” are not just in Asian cultures, but also here in the U.S. unfortunately. I recently signed several PETA petitions against them — NYC comes to mind, but I believe there are many more locations.

  7. Money, Money, Money, Power and Prestige. I have seen chickens on their way to market in 18 wheelers and the milk industrial complex. Money, Money Money.

  8. Dr. Greger has a video on phosphorus, saying good luck trying to put phosphorus on the Nutrition facts label. I think Phosphorus is linked to baldness in men and women based on an internet search and some nutritional medicine research. I have started trying to put more foods that contain phosphorus in my diet for my thinning hair and it worked a quite well. Does anyone know plant based foods that have a lot of phosphorus? I think Dr. Greger implied that Phosphorus is deficient in the plant based diet, as my doctor said minerals deficiency is a possibility in the vegan diet. Minerals like zinc, phosphorus, lithium, and others.

    Thank you.

      1. Thank you. It’s soybeans, pumpkin seeds and lentils for hair growth, if phosphorus is the cure. I hear you can put onion juice on it too.

  9. Hi, although I usually love NutritionFacts.org for its focus on facts, this video slips into China-bashing by association by overly focusing on what China and Southeast Asian countries do and also by further propagating the anti-China dog whistle term “wet markets,” which is really just a farmers market where they sell meat, but given a scary name and left unclarified here.

    Yes, I get this video was made a while ago. But being released now as actual facts come up that disprove its anchoring framework, looks plain embarrassing.

    For example, as of 3 weeks ago we now know that the first known COVID cases originated in France, not China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLFH6WsZu8M

    There’s also no evidence that the Wuhan seafood market was the origin of the outbreak. Much more likely, it was the victim:
    * https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-26/Official-Wuhan-seafood-market-may-be-the-victim-of-the-coronavirus–QNVxtMlFbW/index.html

    Please stick to what is scientifically proven rather than showing some kind of causality by correlation to make a point about how China could have prevented the outbreak if only it wasn’t so dirty and irresponsible. Like many racists in the past, it helps give a scientific veneer to racist ideology that they weaponize to legitimize their hateful and destructive acts that target Chinese and others.

    1. Alex,

      Thank you for taking a stand. We don’t want to bash a people group.

      We do want to examine governments and agencies and question them.

      But we don’t want those questions to spur racism or xenophobia.

      We also do want to look at our own actions.

      America didn’t want to shut down when we had a few cases. People will point to the federal government or an agency, but it was across the board. Cities still wanted to have parades and wanted their economy to not be harmed by closing restaurants and sports wanted to play and businesses wanted to stay open and nobody wanted to stop eating animal products.

      Dr. Greger has taken a stance against both wet markets and factory farming and his stance is also against that in the USA and he doesn’t shy away from using the same criticism standard when it is his own country.

    2. There is a lot to unwrap here Alex. A day or so ago I saw an individual on the side of the rode with a sign saying “tariff Chinese products to pay for Wuhan pandemic”. Other than the scientific and economic illiteracy, one can easily infer the racist intent of that individual and others expressing such nonsense. So yes your point about the Wuhan wet markets is reasonable. It is easily the basis of a lot of racist filth.

      However, that is not to let those markets off the hook though. Years ago I had to work in chicken factories in Arkansas. I can tell you with certainty that there is no racism involved in recognizing the disgusting facts of animal agriculture whether a “Chinese wet market”, or an Ozark mountain chicken factory, or Carolina swine death house. An image of any of the three should make the stability of your last meal somewhat questionable.

      The real point here is that our close unsanitary association with animals as food will cause such zoonotic viruses to initiate pandemics. Our factory farming methods provide a perfect environment for the rise of all sorts of animal origin pathogens. Such outbreaks are inevitable and not limited to a particular country.

    3. Like many racists in the past, it helps give a scientific veneer to racist ideology that they weaponize to legitimize their hateful and destructive acts that target Chinese and others.
      ———————————————————————————————————-
      Alex, you do your race no favors (assuming by your avatar you are of Asian decent) by defending China with a charge of racism for anyone believing they would “cheat” in some way.

      Ask anyone who’ve had their intellectual property stolen with the blessing and likely, help from the state.

      Elon Musk famously said he doesn’t bother with patents because the Chinese use that as the blueprint to steal his technology. I think this points to the character of the country of China. Why shouldn’t they be deprived of the benefit of the doubt.

      Personally I consider Huawei one of the greatest threats to the West in regard to the safety of our privacy. Japan kinda started out making knock-offs but later changed so that they are one of the most honorable actors among nations.

      When China reaches that same level, there will be no “racist” feelings toward China.

      1. Heh, the above made me think of the judge who threw out Lenny Dykstra’s (former baseball player) defamation lawsuit against someone attacking his veracity… the judge stated that Dykstra’s reputation was already so bad that it would be impossible to defame him. ‘-)

  10. Had we not been funding gain of function research with bats and coronavirus we probably wouldn’t have this pandemic right now. There is mounting evidence that this was manipulated in the lab in Wuhan using insertion techniques. The theory that it came from the wet market is just that, a theory.

    1. Julie,

      Every answer is a theory right now.

      But factory farms and wet markets and, yes, also labs are the “usual suspects” for how viruses mutate and spread.

    2. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/05/scientists-exactly-zero-evidence-covid-19-came-lab

      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-not-human-made-lab-genetic-analysis-nature

      https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-scientists-think-of-the-coronavirus-was-made-in-a-lab-rumour

      You were saying?

      One of the biggest motivators of people spreading these conspiracy theories is the idea of them having ‘special’ knowledge. So it does not matter if you are an expert in that field, they know more than you because ‘you are part of the conspiracy’ or you’re just an idiot to them. That is called illusory superiority or illusory knowledge and it is very very alluring to certain people.

      Narcissism is a factor behind this. When people spread conspiracy theories, they get a sense of satisfaction out of it. They feel like they are special. So sometimes the people perpetuating this are doing it for their own gratification but at a long term cost to public understanding of science and medicine and ultimately sometimes to public health.

  11. Where is the complaint about the people who use civet cats to produce coffee that has been pooped by the cats? Luwak coffee price is from 35 to 100 bucks A CUP. Just because it is ’boutique’ and expensive does not make it any safer.

  12. You have never seen heart disease or cancer either Sparky, do they also not exist and kill?

    Just because science is too complicated for some of you does not mean scientists are working against your interests.

    1. Thanks for posting her interview. She makes me smile. Sweet personality.

      You have to add the: The bats are perfectly fine if they are left alone.

    2. George this is a great point and should always be central. My friend Merlin Tuttle who is one of the world leading chiropterologists insists that the science blaming bats for being the origin community is nonsense. He notes that the virus actually found in bats has about a 96% genetic commonality with the coronavirus. (somewhat less than our commonalty with chimps and bonobos)

      My point is that even if there were real proof of bats as the origin (and no, there really doesn’t seem to be such proof when the assertions are examined critically) the problem is with our handling of animal agriculture.

      I must also mention that the beneficial aspect of bats consuming tons of insects and pollinating numerous crops makes their value to human society astronomical. Our two million or so bats living under a bridge in Austin, TX consume a monumental amount of potentially harmful insects every night in central TX. Furthermore, no one has ever gotten any disease from This colony in spite of hundreds of people in close proximity watching them emerge every night for many years. Merlin tells me he has been bitten hundred of times when handling bats all over the world and never once was a disease transmitted. (But no you should not handle a sick bat if you find one.)

      The claims that bats are disease vectors comes from many unreliable sources like Time magazine which has said,”Bats are the number-one carriers of disease” and with equal credibility, “Butter is Back”

      In fact, bats may well be our most important ally in the animal world helping us survive as a race.
      Besides; they’re damned cute.

      1. In fact, bats may well be our most important ally in the animal world helping us survive as a race.
        —————————————————————————————————————————-
        Not to mention their guano… I hear that stuff is the gold standard of poop-for-fertilizer.

        (I have a theory that the CoVid-19 is bat related but not from the flying kind. I think if he were tested, we would discover that Batman is patient zero… seriously.)

        ‘-)

  13. A bit of a stretch to call Dr. Greger a paid shill for the NIH, WHO, CDC. big pharma and the AMA.

    That is a bit of a wide net in the first place.

    If those organizations are paying shills, something tells me that Dr. Greger wouldn’t be the top of their list.

    If they were paying him, perhaps his words might line up more with theirs than they do.

  14. I was watching the videos that the Fat Emporer guy posted and the opinion of his guest speakers was that we had already hit the peak before lockdown and that the lockdown had no benefit and the hospitals didn’t need it and that it was gone from NY May 1st.

    I hope the man is right. If it is gone, there won’t be a spike from these gatherings in NY.

    If it spikes, I will say again that they are using the benefit of lockdown as proof that it wasn’t needed.

    I am hoping it really is over and that we will find out a few weeks from now.

    No, I don’t tend to trust their logic either because NJ, MA, and CT had such high growth after when he said that we hit peak and so did the places the people from NY ran to, like Florida. I would have liked them to shut down earlier. Another site said that we would have had 36,000 fewer deaths in NY if it had closed earlier and that would have been wonderful.

    There was NO WAY anybody could have gotten them to close earlier.

    And many places may never close again.

    The logic has split in half and I don’t think it will be coming back together ever again.

    1. Why would you listen to professional fat apologists like the Fat Emperor?

      Such people are either possessed of remarkably poor judgement or they have sold their soul to the food industry. Either way, nothing they say can be trusted.

      1. He interviewed the Stanford Nobel Prize winner about COVID-19.

        The fact that the Stanford Nobel Prize winner did a superficial process of filling numbers in an excel sheet – no more sophisticated than I could have done myself – was highly disappointing. But the Fat Emporer and I politely had a few exchanges and he has posted several videos trying to help me out.

  15. Dr Greger moved from pandemic-focus to lifestyle medicine because people wouldn’t listen.

    I still don’t think they are listening.

    But getting Plant-Based to spread faster and farther, that could bring down the factory farming quite a bit.

    Listening to Dr. Barnard tell what tangible things were accomplished this year was so much more hopeful than listening to the experts’ debate all kinds of nonsense.

    Maybe it is just that most of the people are using statistics in such a frustrating way that it is so much harder to know who to trust in the first place and it is hard to follow the agendas.

    I don’t like waste-of-time processes and I feel like the debate in America is about to go there.

    And, no, I am pointing to Dr. Greger. His information has given a vision that we could close down the factory farms and wet markets and have meat be made the way Winston Churchill envisioned and maybe never have a pandemic again.

    I love concepts that are very practical. Whole Food Plant-Based is practical like that.

    One of my dear friends who has no ability to eat well and her kids were raised on fast food and junk food entirely asked me questions about lowering pain and WFPB and she listed all of the pains in her body and her childrens’ bodies and asked, “Would it work for neuropathy?” “Would it help with back pain?” etc and I just LOVED how many good answers I could give.

    I have 3 friends who want to do WFPB and they are all so far away from it that they might not succeed but I love that they listened and want to do it. I know that they might all fail. It won’t be easy for them. It might take a long time for them to even try it. But mentally and emotionally, they want to. That made me smile.

    My cousin is on the verge of gangrene and I can’t get him to try my gadgets and I have 3 that have small case studies where it worked.

    People get older and everybody around them starts having health issues and dying. WFPB is easy for me to hang onto.

    And, Dr. Greger, I will not die from a pandemic. I believe that you want to stop them from happening.

    I believe that you are not a shill of the agencies.

    I believe that you and people like Dr. Barnard have already saved so many lives with lifestyle medicine and you have already saved so many animals lives and changed the culture.

    I am saying this because listening to the warring logic, and going from Mic’s mask video and MedCram’s mask video back to Dr. Popper’s newer mask video and her video that Fauci has destroyed America rather than saving lives. I feel like I have hit the wall of not wanting to hear the negativity anymore unless the arguments really do help save lives.

  16. I am all for plant based whole foods (or I wouldn’t be here). But Covid-19 probably did not come from the wet market.

    China Rules Out Animal Market and Lab as Coronavirus Origin
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-rules-out-animal-market-and-lab-as-coronavirus-origin-11590517508

    “Separately, China’s top epidemiologist said Tuesday that testing of samples from a Wuhan food market, initially suspected as a path for the virus’s spread to humans, failed to show links between animals being sold there and the pathogen. Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in comments carried in Chinese state media, “It now turns out that the market is one of the victims.””

  17. I like it when information comes:

    If you wear a mask you have a 75% lower risk of exposure than if you don’t wear a mask.

    I like the videos that show the particle droplets with and without a mask.

    If people want to add why not to wear one, I want them to present it in a practical format.

    If you stand closer than 1 meter apart you double your risk of getting it. You cut it in half again for every meter further away.

    I want news to be like Jeapardy where instead of “Put it in the form of a question” I want “Put it in a form that is practical enough that it accomplishes something.”

  18. I think what scares me is that with all of the pandemics and flu seasons- there is no agreement between groups like the CDC and WHO even about masks or any of it.

    Neither is there agreement within the science or medical community.

    We might have a second wave in the winter and we know we can’t afford to shut down but we seem to have lost the ability to come together enough to say:

    Let’s see, doctors should wear masks. Meat processing plant people probably need them.

    Rather than having the information come closer together, we move further apart.

    We debate about labs versus wet markets versus factory farms versus military misuse of virus rather than shoring up all of it in a useful way.

    We end up with stores where people are not allowed in with masks as a form of protest, rather than having things become clearer over time.

  19. We could have saved the elderly. We probably could save their lives every year during flu season.

    We don’t try.

    And we don’t try to help the black communities because it is too hard…

    But we don’t have clever people in food trucks handing out healthy food or simple things.

  20. I appreciate these posts. Dr. G is a great compiler. However, the quick edits, and graphics don’t allow me the time to read anything, reflect, further study. I would like to suggest publishing links and sources, so we’re not left with just taking your word for it.

    1. You can pause the video to read what’s on-screen.

      Further, you are encouraged to check the sources for yourself by clicking on the ‘sources cited’ box under the video screen.

    2. Laurence and others – Slow down the audio and everything by slowing the playback speed by clicking the settings gear at the lower right of the video. And instantly, whenever a new graphic appears, pause the video while you slowly read and ponder it.

  21. Hydroxychloroquine finally has a double-blind study.

    https://www.startribune.com/anti-malaria-drug-in-u-of-m-trial-does-little-to-stop-covid-19/570989342/

    Also, another study on it is falling apart

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/mysterious-company-s-coronavirus-papers-top-medical-journals-may-be-unraveling

    So, my previous rant needs a “nevermind” attached about both things.

    The previous study falling apart makes me happier still. Somebody did their job.

    1. “The head of the French team, Didier Raoult, MD, PhD, is one of the world’s top infectious disease and virology experts, with roughly 2,000 peer-reviewed publications and multiple awards to his name. Raoult and coauthors point out that a major advantage of ‘repositioning’ older drugs for this coronavirus is that their safety profile, side effects, dosing and drug interactions are already well documented. However, Ian Lipkin, MD, of Columbia University recently told MSNBC, with a grin, that investments tend to go toward treatments that are ‘sexy and new and patentable’ rather than to ‘tried-and-true, classical sort of methods repurposing drugs and strategies that have already been shown to work.’

      “For biopharma companies that are poised to profit from COVID-19-related misfortune, older drugs that have outlived their patent terms are not terribly helpful for the bottom line. Could this be why leading White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Fauci, MD, long-time head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), recently pooh-poohed the published chloroquine evidence as merely ‘anecdotal’? Fauci is a stalwart enthusiast of ‘patentable’ vaccines, skilled in attracting massive government funding for vaccines that either never materialize or are spectacularly ineffective or unsafe….

      “Fauci is predictably shining a spotlight on risky and uncertain coronavirus vaccines that may not be available for two years, rather than prioritizing the short-term therapies that patients need right now.”
      Dr. Fauci and COVID-19 Priorities: Therapeutics Now or Vaccines Later?
      https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/dr-fauci-and-covid-19-priorities-therapeutics-now-or-vaccines-later/

      Infectious-disease expert: ‘American medicine has gone nuts’
      https://www.wnd.com/2020/05/infectious-disease-expert-american-medicine-gone-nuts/

      1. There is little point in repurposing existing drugs if they are ineffective or do more harm than good, no matter how quickly they can be put to use.

        1. A compilation of evidence on hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in treatment of COVID-19 and breaking results from antibody prevalence studies
          https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O6Cls-Oz2ZAgJuyDbnICEGjMvQPEyM-aaXARUomR9Ww/edit#

          From:
          A Tale of Two Drugs: Money vs. Medical Wisdom
          https://aapsonline.org/a-tale-of-two-drugs-money-vs-medical-wisdom/

          At the Presidential Briefing on Apr 30, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced early results, prior to peer­review, of one clinical trial using remdesivir, an intravenous (IV) experimental antiviral medicine in patients hospitalized with COVID­19. At the “warp speed” currently in vogue for the Fauci­led push to a new vaccine, the very next day the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) for remdesivir to be used in seriously ill hospitalized patients. To announce the emergency approval, President Trump met with the CEO of the drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, in the Oval Office.
          Such rapid authorization is quite unusual with the FDA. Unlike the experimental remdesivir with no prior FDA approval, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) required two months from reports of successful use in China and South Korea to get the Mar 28 FDA EUA for use in hospitalized COVID­19 patients….
          In decades of widespread use, HCQ has an impressive safety record. Irregular heart rhythm or damage to the retina occur rarely, usually with high doses used long term. FDA shows only 62 cardiac deaths attributed to HCQ out of more than 50 million prescriptions, or 0.000124 percent (1.2 out of each 1 million Rx)….
          Early results of the first clinical trial of remdesivir against placebo in coronavirus were announced at the White House Apr 30, and showed modest benefits, according to The New York Times. Surviving patients given remdesivir were discharged 4 days sooner than patients given placebo, though no criteria were given for determining improvement. Death rates were not significantly different. About 25 percent of patients receiving remdesivir had potentially severe side effects, including multiple organ dysfunction, septic shock, acute kidney injury, and low blood pressure. Another 23% showed evidence on lab tests of liver damage.
          Gilead’s own press release revealed the side effect of acute respiratory failure in 6 percent of patients in the remdesivir 5­day treatment group, and 10.7 percent of patients in the 10­day treatment group, clearly ominous findings with a drug designed to treat respiratory failure caused by COVID­19….
          Dr. Michele Barry, a global health expert at Stanford University, expressed concern about Dr. Fauci’s overly enthusiastic praise for remdesivir: “It is unusual to call a drug the ‘standard of care’ until peer review of data and publication, and before studies have shown benefit in mortality.”
          The leading communicable disease specialist in France, Professor Didier Raoult, asked about another odd aspect of the remdesivir trial: “Could Anthony Fauci explain why the investigators of the NIAID remdesivir trial did change the primary outcome during the course of the project?” Death as the primary outcome was moved to a secondary outcome, and days to recovery became the primary trial outcome. Changing the primary outcome before trial results are completed is highly unusual and suggests “p­hacking”—manipulating the data to get a statistically significant “p value.”
          In contrast, the multi­country compilation of evidence on HCQ and azithromycin in treatment of COVID­19 (updated Apr 27, 2020) has consistently shown that these older medicines prevent infections, significantly reduce severity of illness, reduce viral load and duration of infectivity, reduce number of hospitalizations, reduce ventilator use, and markedly reduce deaths. The data is far beyond “anecodotal,” as Dr. Fauci dismissively called it.
          Money appears to be trumping medical wisdom in the recent enthusiasm for remdesivir based on just one study with modest results. One naturally wonders whether this may have anything to do with the fact that the “world’s largest asset manager,” BlackRock, owns the largest share of all Gilead stock at 8.4%. BlackRock’s influence in Washington, D.C., is legendary, and it recently was awarded the financial crown jewel of administering the Federal Reserve’s $4.5 Trillion COVID­19 loan bail­out program.
          Is someone stacking the deck in Gilead’s favor? Nineof the experts on the NIH COVID­19 Panel recommending treatment options have disclosed financial support from Gilead. Why did these nine experts not recuse themselves? Did financial conflicts of interest affect the recommendation against HCQ, the older, safer, cheaper medicine, and for use of remdesivir, the new, expensive experimental medicine, based on weak, not­yet­peer­reviewed evidence?
          HCQ has been off patent for decades, is available from a dozen U.S. generic manufacturers, and is also produced in China, India, Israel, and other countries. HCQ costs the patient on average less than $10 (range 37­-63 cents per tablet), for the usual 5­7 day course of treatment. Remdesivir costs upwards of $1,000 per dose, plus the added costs of having to be hospitalized to receive it.

          1. Rudy,

            I liked your link of all of the hydroxychloroquine studies. Some of them were really interesting.

            I have suspected that, in America, it might be that people so desperately want to topple Trump for the next election that his mentioning it positively may have been part of the downfall of hydroxychloroquine. Or that other drugs or vaccines were on someone’s agenda.

            No matter what, the press has consistently used it as proof that Trump is an idiot.

            He already says plenty of things on his own and they lost credibility in my eyes by mocking him for that over and over again.

            Well, I was familiar with a lot of the studies on the list, but not all, and some of them were interesting.

            I do believe that the latest double-blind placebo was legitimate, but it is definitely strange that other countries have had such excellent results.

            I did feel like someone was coming against it and, yes, it could be that they could make more money on other drugs.

            I will be reading the studies in that again. I am going to send it to my friend who takes it for autoimmune.

            The scary study freaked the lupus community out.

            1. Did you see what happened in Florida?:

              “They said DeSantis was killing his state’s people by not issuing a stay-at home order early enough and never issuing a full lockdown against church services and other activities. Then, on May 4, he decided to end even the tepid lockdown. Last in, first out. What are the results?

              “Despite the fact that Florida is the haven for those most susceptible to the virus, the elderly, the state’s numbers beat almost every comparable state….

              “Daily fatalities also plunged after he ended the stay-at-home order on May 4….

              “Florida never had a disproportionate surge from locking down late and then enjoyed a sharp drop in hospitalizations after opening up – much more than most other states.

              “Also, the number of patients on ventilators dropped by 55%:…

              “While it wasn’t as cool and heroic as locking up every healthy person with near-zero risk in their homes, DeSantis quietly barred hospitals from sending COVID-positive patients to nursing homes – the exact opposite of what Cuomo and many Democrat governors did. He also used the National Guard to secure nursing homes rather than to spy on people….

              “In New Jersey, 51 senior care residents out of every 100,000 people died. In New York, nearly 27 per 100,000 have died. Even in smaller and younger Colorado, more than 10 nursing home residents have died per capita. In Florida? Just 3.5 per 100,000. In the state of ‘God’s waiting room,’ just .008% of the population died of COVID-19.

              “DeSantis was even pressured by the White House to go along with the flat-earth lockdown science. But he understood that the threat of the virus is limited to a known population and that outdoor transmission is negligible.”

              Horowitz: Science and liberty over power: Ron DeSantis delivers for the people of Florida
              https://www.conservativereview.com/news/horowitz-science-liberty-power-ron-desantis-delivers-people-florida/

              It seems like Knut Wittkowski was right when speaking against the lockdown.

              Epidemiologist Dr Knut Wittkowski: ‘Lockdown Has No Benefit, Only Negative Effects’
              https://21stcenturywire.com/2020/05/01/coronavirus-epidemiologist-dr-knut-wittkowski-lockdown-has-no-benefit-only-negative-effects/

              “In his second interview with Journeyman Films, Dr. Knut Wittkowski states how his initial claims have now been vindicated – the US and European policy lockdowns – came way too late as the virus had already made its way into the populations and therefore any panic measures to contain it would not be effective, and more likely could exact a massive cost on society and the economy. In other words: from a public health and respiratory virus mitigation perspective, the lockdowns were useless.

              “In Perspectives on the Pandemic Episode 5, John Kirby talks with Dr Wittkowski across all the essential topics of the crisis, and gives answers you are unlikely to see in the major media. The original video of this interview was removed by YouTube’s censored bureau, but was uploaded on Bitchute….

              “KNUT WITTKOWSKI: So, I have had an academic career, originally in Germany, where I worked for 15 years with Klaus Dietz, one of the leading epidemiologists at the University of Tubingen. And then I came to New York, and was, for 20 years, with the Rockefeller University, heading the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the hospital. I apologize for being precise, but because I’m thrown dirt at, I have to be precise. I was never, and never claimed to be, a professor at the Rockefeller University, although, as I said, I had an academic career before. Now, people have corrected the factual problems they had with what I had said, because they mis-reported me, and that was Tagesschau, in Germany, which is the government-funded television station; it was also here, a similar situation with USA Today, where the so-called fact-finders started to throw dirt at me, and in particular, they said that I had, in my own words, misrepresented myself as being a professor at the Rockefeller University, which I have never done….

              “WITTKOWSKI: Well, I think if somebody says something that you don’t agree with—because you have a different opinion, because you are used to praising the government—and you cannot attack somebody for what he said, in terms of the facts, then you try to create a smoke screen of some allegations that are totally baseless, and use that to try and discredit somebody’s credibility. But as we have seen now, and at least since yesterday in New York, the New York Times reported that at least 21% of the population are already immune. I think I am now vindicated, that what I said three weeks ago, when we had the first interview here, was correct.”

      2. Rudy,

        I woke up thinking about the place that stopped having deaths once they started using hydroxychloroquine early and about the places that said it was the best drug they used.

        There could be factors like Vitamin D status or something that could make one study not show the same benefits.

        Either way, large clinical anecdotal evidence that lasts months interstate me very much.

        As long as I can verify it.

        I will be diving into a few of those studies.

  22. Duds:
    Heard on the news this evening that the drug the Prez took (Cloroquin Sp?) and blood plasma (from recovered patients) didn’t pan out in studies.

    1. Dan,

      Well, the scary study was fake.

      There is a new double-blind study and there was only something like a 2.8% better results from taking it and that wasn’t statistically significant and there is a 35% chance that the lower risk was accidental so, you are right, the study didn’t work out.

      It wasn’t a proper study about the zinc part, but some people in both the control group and the drug group did take zinc and some took vitamin c and neither of those look promising either, but, again that part wasn’t the official study and if hydroxychloroquine ever does work, they believe that zinc would have been the mechanism.

      Yes, and one of the vaccines didn’t pan out either.

      Plus, the Remdesivir is pretty disappointing except for one sub-section of patients, too.

      There are still 5 viable vaccines in testing. MedCram covered those today.

      1. Deb,
        Thanks for explaining. I think Vitamin D is promising. I’m getting lots of sun and taking the supplement. With lots of exercise my body is loosening up,

  23. Hi there,

    I have subscribed  for a long tume and read most blogs and watch most videos, but still EVERY email I open opens a large sceen covering prompt inviting me to subscribe!!!!

    Please can we get rid of that invitation. It has been accepted and appreciated for a long time and it’s wearing thin

    Love your work

    Jennifer

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Sorry to hear that is frustrating! Do your cookies clear out every day? That may be why it’s continuing to pop-up, as I believe it should not be coming up daily for return users. I’ll pass this on to our tech team just in case.

  24. Re The SARS Coronavirus and Wet Markets. At about 5:29-6:20 you talk about the second wave of SARS infection although very infectious, being less severe than the first wave due to the changing in the human receptor to the virus. I’m wondering if you think the same thing will happen going forward with covid-19 despite being very transmissible in humans perhaps next year it might be less severe if the same pathology changes occur.?

    1. Jen,

      We are all on bated breath for that one.

      Swine flu and the pandemic of 1918 got worse the second wave.

      Most of them became less severe – even if there are still cases around the world today.

    2. With Pandemics we can really only know AFTER the facts. As you indicated IF Covid19 acts like SARS did, we might take comfort in thinking that it will be less severe, but we can’t expect even experts like Dr. Greger to know for sure. Let’s hope your reasonable expectation proves true.

  25. It is still debated if the SARS Cov2 spread through a wet market or if it came from the lab. Of course, wet markets are dangerous for spreading diseases, but we should still be cautious about the origin of the outbreak because these facts are still not given.

  26. “Spain has found COVID19 in water from March 2019, nine months before it was found in China.

    Ironically because China was the first & most competent to discover it while other nations failed, China saved millions of lives but is now blamed as the origin.” (from a tweet)

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spain-science-idUSKBN23X2HQ

    Even though it is now widely confirmed that COVID-19 was circling the world & infecting people months before China detected it, this will never receive the same coverage as all the news blaming China and most people will still think China is the origin & “botched” the pandemic.

    This nutritionfacts.org hit piece on wet markets that suggestively blames China for hundreds of thousands of lives dead because of its wet market policy, the term wet market itself being racist-inspired white supremacy talk to other and assert that farmers markets that sell meat is inherently dirty and disease-spreading, an old white racist trope to demean Chinese people and just like the past in scientific jargon and hand waving, also does spread this hatred for Chinese people whether it is through malice or ignorance, going along with the racist section of the scientific community ready to conclude without evidence China’s culpability, not its commitment to Science in snuffing out the virus in its own borders.

    In any case, I think it’s appropriate at this time to to edit this video and remove the references to racialized phrase “wet markets,” and certainly to edit the ending section that targets the Chinese government that actually saved millions of lives, not endangered them, now that the evidence is out. Would love to see that. Thanks.

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