Another Ralph Baric Lecture
"Imagining the Next Flu Pandemic – and Preventing it!" delivered in 2018
Author’s Note: This is my second post in a series about the lectures and papers of UNC professor Ralph Baric. As I mentioned in my first post, Ralph Baric: The JS Bach of Viral Genetic Engineering, Professor Baric has—through extraordinary focus over a thirty year period—become the preeminent authority on coronaviruses and genetically altering them. My title did not imply that Baric’s work bears the same moral and aesthetic qualities as Bach’s. The point of my title was to give the devil his due in terms of diligence, focus, and industry.
The following lecture from 2018 is titled Imagining the Next Flu Pandemic – and Preventing it!. The following passages struck me as notable:
1). At around 10:50 he talks about creating Chimeric SARS-like Viruses in the lab.
Three of these could replicate just fine and use human receptors for entry. … If you took a mouse that has a human receptor instead of the mouse receptor, these viruses are lethal. So they clearly have the potential to create lethal disease.
1). At 19:00 he talks about serial passage of viruses through mice resulting in the virus becoming more pathogenic. E-mails exchanged between Anthony Fauci, Francis Collins, and a group of prominent virologists in early February 2020 reveal their concerns that SARS-CoV-2 was the result of laboratory serial passage, though they never mentioned this concern in their papers or other communiques with the public.
2). At around 26:00 he talks about the pathophysiology of “emerging coronavirus” disease and he specifically mentions blood clots and cytokine deposition in the lungs. Note that this was precisely what happened in the small percentage of the population that became gravely ill with COVID-19. Doctors such as Peter McCullough, Pierre Kory, and Paul Marik strongly advocated treating these terrible conditions with corticosteroids and blood thinners. All three doctors were heavily persecuted (fired from their jobs and harassed by medical societies) for trying to help their patients.
3). At 30:35, Professor Baric mentions that developing vaccines for SARS coronaviruses:
could take months to years to decades. The newest technologies will drop that [development time] quite a bit, but this is also then complicated by vaccine induced immune pathology and vaccine induced enhancement or antigenic variation. They’re tough nuts to crack.