Here is a one-step-at-a-time journey through my contribution to #DRASTIC research. I ordered it so as to make it easy for any new comer to start picking up facts and understand the issues.

This, I hope, may be a good learning resource for journalists, decision makers or anybody interested in the debate.

Most of it is based on collaboration with the fanstastic members of the multi-disciplinary DRASTIC Team. They deserve the credits just as well as I do. Please check the research of the rest of the team too.

  1. Let’s start with some historical and institutional context: It is very important to understand how China works. Without that it is so easy to fall in for naive generalisations and some whisful thinking (which is really a form of patronizing). Of great importance here is how the media and some sound institutions can frame a WHO investigation of a lab-leak. The 2004 Beijing SARS leak has unfortunately set a very bad precedent.

  2. Then we get into the mystery of the Mojiang mine accident and the surrounding sampling efforts, including Eco Health Alliance

  3. From there we can move to some important considerations: The common probabilistic misunderstandings that have plagued the debate: THIS IS ESSENTIAL - SO MUCH NONSENSE IS BEING SPOUTED

  4. Another list of 30 common logical errors This list is important. It addresses many very common logical issues in the origins debate.

  5. From there we show the many gaps in Chinese biosafety - using Chinese sources: An evaluation of the Lab Escape risks by the Chinese authorities:

  6. A liitle recap on what US intelligence knew in Nov 19 and what they did then: These notes aim to clarify how US intelligence first learnt of an outbreak in Wuhan in the second week of November 2019, and how that intelligence progressed from a ‘situation report’ to a ‘formal assessment’ before reaching a range of military and civilian consumers in December 2019, with a intermediate disclosure to key military partners at the end of November.

  7. Then we start digging up in the exact chronology and the answer of the Chinese authorities: This article is about a data leak by Epoch Times. Please do not discount the source - despite its political motives. I did an analysis of the leak before writing my piece and concluded that it is credible. And indeed it was confirmed during the WHO conference by the Chinese joint-team head then (see ‘Silent Numbers’ below). That article is important for the chronology, especially the various papers published at the time (particularly the one from the botanical garden scientists, not that far from the Mojiang mine) and then the 2 gag-orders. It is essential to understand that transparency peaked during the Feb 20 WHO trip. After that an iron curtain dropped with the two gag-orders issued as soon as the WHO left China.

  8. Then we move to show that China has manipulated the 2019 case numbers - the ‘Silent Numbers’: It is amazing to see that nobody is asking real questions about this. That CDC graph is damning - it tells us everything that we really need to know. I put my ‘Silent Numbers’ notes there: There is a lot there (please note that there are multiple tabs to the spreadsheet). Ask me questions if needed.

  9. Analysis of the Health Times interview: The Health Times interview gave some Nov 19 cases, which were retracted just after the CDC gag order.

  10. Some good background information is given in this paper about the Deleted DB: It covers all the research objectives, the funding, and the many contradictions in some statements about it. A very succesful paper. That paper was the basis on some collaboration with the Washington Post resulting in an Editorial:

  11. Here is a Gedankenexperiment that aims to challenge some common assumptions:

  12. An analysis of the results of routine employee testing for SARS-like infections within the WIV and other Wuhan labs: This is crucial as it shows that one cannot trust the vague statements made to placate the questions about possible infections in these labs.

  13. A monograph on the Zhendian research platform which includes the WIV and the WIBP:

  14. The WHO Terms-of-Reference are very important too: They were negotiated and finalised rather secretly during a WHO trip in July 2020 and only published in Nov 20 for some odd reasons. They illustrate the structural limitation of that joint-study review effort. My annotated version: A Medium article questioning the circumstances of their redaction:

  15. My take-down of the gross argument that no resarcher or students tested positive for Covid-19 in any institution working on BatCoV. The probability of such a result with any properly constructed population to test is totally minuscule - vanishing quickly to zero.

  16. ‘Call for a Full and Unrestricted International Forensic Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19’: This is the Group of Paris’ first open letter I co-organized with Jamie Metzl - 4th MArch 2021.

  17. ‘Call for a Full Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19’: This is the Group of Paris’ second open letter I co-organized with Jamie Metzl - 7th April 2021. (Note: the NY Times article which released it points to a PDF version without active links - please use the version above - same text but with active links)

  18. If one has time left, one could also read quickly through my main probabilistic paper where I gathered many relevant pieces of information: Please check references 29 to 31 (NOTE: I put a lot of important facts in the references).

  19. Various Tweets. I have started collecting some of my key tweets: Eventually we may want to build such a larger DRASTIC collection.

Good reading. If you have any question just contact me on Twitter (@gdemaneuf) or drop me a mail at