What would the liability be for the source of the Omicron variant?

Before the new Omicron variant appeared, scientists were engineering lab versions of the COVID with very similar characteristics:

Paul Bieniasz and his colleagues wondered if SARS-CoV-2 could evolve in a way to completely knock out antibodies’ ability to detect and kill the virus. “The goal was to answer the question: Is it possible for SARS-CoV-2 to completely evade neutralizing antibodies?” Bieniasz says.

So he and his team intentionally engineered a supermutant version of the virus — though not the full virus, just a piece of it. Specifically, they focused on the infamous spike portion of the virus, which binds to human cells and is the target of important antibodies. Bieniasz tried to make this spike completely impervious to antibodies. . .

Interestingly, Bieniasza says, the omicron variant has many of the same mutations as this polymutant spike protein. But it has even more mutations, he says. Instead of just 20 mutations on the spike protein, omicron has about 30 . . .

If scientists have been producing highly infectious versions of COVID in the lab, then what is the probability that they can keep it the lab? The possibility of a leak seems especially likely for a virus with symptoms that are so mild that people may not even know they are infected.

So far omicron appears to be highly contagious, and a large portion of the reported infections involve vaccinated persons. The reported symptoms are mild; no one has died with Omicron even though it has already spread around the world. In South Africa Omicron has already displaced the earlier more-dangerous variants.

Even Dr. Fauci is saying that the travel ban from southern Africa may be unnecessary:

From what I see, Omicron is likely to sweep the world. Everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, is likely to develop natural immunity from the new variant. By displacing more dangerous variants and giving superior immunity to future infections, Omicron may save millions of lives and make vaccines obsolete.
It could also end any scientific basis for lockdowns and coerced vaccinations.

If the variant is ultimately traced to a lab and renders the existing vaccines obsolete, could vaccine makers sue to recover the tens of billions in lost revenue?

Could undertakers sue for the loss of millions of funerals?

Or should the creator of Omicron get a medal for saving millions of lives and ending the pandemic?

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Fauci said it was dangerous to talk about letting omicron run free and compete with delta. It’d be a shame if they had to give up control.


Yes, omicron could be an existential threat to the profits of the vaccine makers.

Amazon could lose billions in on-line sales as well.

That is not what they were doing.

So all the other stuff is just nonsense.


Yes, the Bieniasz only admitted to testing a component of the virus that has very similar features to the that found in Omicron. On the other hand, similar experiments have been done in the past with complete, infectious viruses:

Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.

There probably dozens of labs capable of making the Omicron variant, and there are indications that the variant did not originate in southern Africa:

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi said some of the four diplomats who first tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant in the country had come from Europe . . .

There are probably dozens of labs in the world that could produce a complete Omicron virus, but what lab would risk loss of funding if they leaked a virus that would make the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines obsolete?

“Only Admitted”

Funny phrasing.

They were studying the spike protein only and not the main component of the virus.

Linking to other articles does not change that fact that what they were doing was not in any way manufacturing a new variant.

The rest is just silliness.

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Yes, no one would be stupid enough to admit that they created Omicron and it leaked out the lab.

The potential liability is enormous.

Or… and now hear me out… the part that they “created Omicron” is simply a fever dream because that is not what they did.

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It must be hard living in a world where everything is a conspiracy.


How are lab leaks conspiracy? The conspiracy was our govt and social media censoring anyone who talked about lableaks from Wuhan.

The real question is why we paid money to China, which is the modern equivalent of National socialism complete with Mengele medicine, to help them research how to make bat viruses deadly to humans.


Yes, the omicron variant is out from left field. It is not closely related to any of the variants that were circulating when it came out. It is either a freak of nature or the product of a lab.

It must be hard to keep the faith with the debunked “natural origin is the only explanation” narrative.

The fact is that dozens of labs around the world can and do produce novel viruses, and many releases from labs, accidental of deliberate, have occurred in the past.

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Or… as the article you posted says.

No need to invent that it was manufactured.

Yes, there is no proof that that omicron was manufactured in a lab. On the other hand, there is no evidence for speculation about a natural origin.

The point is that there are many governments and private entities with the capability and the incentives to produce and experiment with new COVID variants.

Comes pretty easily to most of them.

Their preferred media has been training them to believe in nonsense for years.

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‘No evidence for speculation’ is the kind of phrase that gives away the game, no?

I mean, in a thread that begins with speculative fiction, no less…

The existence of the technology does not mean that Omicron is manufactured.

The question asked in the OP is predicated on something that has not been proven to be true.

There are multiple natural pathways for the existence of the Omicron variant… no need to declare that it was made in the lab and wonder if the vaccine manufacturers would be able to sue.

It is quite silly.

If a researcher finds Omicron in a population of African antelopes, will he have any trouble publishing the results?

If a researcher finds that his lab produced Omicron for experiments shortly before was found in humans, would he be able to publish the information?

I expect that no natural source will ever be found, and any evidence of a lab origin has been destroyed.

No on both.

There is an unfounded assumption that was made.

It is pretty funny.

Attempting to publish true information that implies a likely lab-origin for the variant would the kiss of death for a career. It may also result in criminal or civil liability against the author.