Scientist who worked at Wuhan lab says COVID was man-made virus

A scientist who worked at a controversial research lab in China has claimed that COVID was a man-made virus that leaked from the facility, according to a report.

Andrew Huff said COVID leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China two years ago and blamed authorities for the “biggest US intelligence failure since 9/11,” Britain’s The Sun reported Saturday.

The lab has been at the center of fierce debates about the origins of COVID, with both Chinese government officials and lab personnel denying that the virus leaked from the facility.

A picture of scientist Andrew Huff.
Scientist Andrew Huff said COVID leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China two years ago.
AndrewHuff.com

Huff, an epidemiologist said in his new book, The Truth About Wuhan, that the pandemic was the result of the US government’s funding of coronaviruses in China.

He said that China’s gain-of-function experiments, which were carried out with lax security, led to a lab leak at the Wuhan lab.

“Foreign laboratories did not have the adequate control measures in place for ensuring proper biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management, ultimately resulting in the lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said in his book, which was exclusively excerpted in the newspaper.

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Virologists work in the P4 lab of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.
Virologists work in the P4 lab of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.

A picture of the cover of a book written by Dr. Andrew Huff.
“Foreign laboratories did not have the adequate control measures in place for ensuring proper biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management…” Dr. Huff wrote in his book.

Over the last two years, increasing evidence has suggested that the virus was man-made.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology, a state-run and funded research facility home to China’s riskiest coronavirus research, has been under immense pressure by the ruling Chinese Communist Party to produce scientific breakthroughs to raise China’s global status despite lacking resources, according to a recent investigation published by ProPublica/Vanity Fair.

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Man killed when car slams into disabled truck — driver slapped with DWI

A 28-year-old man was killed when the car he was riding in slammed into a disabled tractor trailer overnight on the Van Wyck Expressway, police said.

The driver of the vehicle was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI.

The deadly crash took place on the Queens highway just south of Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens at around 11 p.m. Friday, authorities said.

Police responding to a 911 call found the 28-year-old in the front passenger seat of a 2019 Honda Accord, “unconscious and unresponsive, with body trauma.”

EMS pronounced the 28-year-old dead at the scene and transported the 31-year-old driver to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, “with complaints of pain,” cops said.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested and charged with a DWI.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested and charged with a DWI.
Seth Gottfried

The 31-year-old driver was subsequently arrested after the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad determined the Honda Accord had been traveling in the right lane of the northbound Van Wyck, when the operator swerved to the right shoulder and rear-ended the disabled 1999 Western Star tractor trailer.

Luis Angamarca, of Queens, was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content .08 of 1%, police said.

The 42-year-old male truck driver was also taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens in stable condition, police said.

The identity of the victim is pending family notification, the NYPD said.

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‘Surface’ Renewed By Apple TV+ For Season 2

Surface has been renewed by Apple TV+ for a second season.

The streamer has decided to move forward with Season 2 of the thriller starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The eight-episode first season ended just three months ago.

Created by Veronica West (High Fidelity) and produced by Apple Studios and Hello Sunshine, Surface follows Sophie (Mbatha-Raw), a woman who has extreme memory loss after a traumatic head injury.

In Season 1, which is set in San Francisco, Sophie seeks to rediscover herself, unearthing sins ranging from an affair to much deeper questions about a hidden past and her true identity.

“I am thrilled to continue this journey and dive deeper into the tension and mystery of ‘Surface’ with with this brilliant team,” said Mbatha-Raw in a statement. “I love playing Sophie and I can’t wait for fans and new audiences to join us as she enters the dangerous new world of her past in season two. As an actor and executive producer, it’s incredibly meaningful to be bringing this story home to London.”

“This is really a brand new chapter set in a whole new world — I can’t wait for people to see how the show evolves as we explore an emboldened, fearless Sophie in season two,” added West. “It’s been such a pleasure working with Gugu, Apple and the team at Hello Sunshine and a real privilege to continue the journey.”

Season 2 will take place in Sophie’s hometown of London, where she’ll find out where she really came from and what made her into the flawed person she is. The mess she left behind in San Francisco, however, will catch up with her — something West hinted at following the season finale.

“She certainly leaves a tsunami in the wake of her actions, so people are not going to let sleeping dogs lie,” West told The Hollywood Reporter after the season ended. “Even if Sophie has other plans, I think there’s definitely a possibility that some of the people we love from season one would come back.”

Mbatha-Raw and West executive produce alongside Hello Sunshine’s Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. West serves as showrunner. Sam Miller, Kevin Sullivan, Jennifer Morrison and Tucker Gates directed season one.

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Yankees could be in trouble on Aaron Judge front if Giants follow Texas’ lead

You know who had a bad Friday night? 

The Yankees. 

The Mets lost Jacob deGrom, but his signing in dollars spent and the team that landed him offered the blueprint by which Aaron Judge could leave the Yankees. Namely, a desperate organization with lots to spend making an offer that can’t be refused and won’t be matched, even by a New York team. 

DeGrom will turn 35 in June. He has played sparingly the past two seasons due to worrisome arm issues. He is hardly known for his leadership skills. Yet he reached agreement with the Rangers on a five-year contract for $185 million that could grow to $222 million via a conditional sixth-year option. The guaranteed portion provides deGrom a $37 million annual average value, which is the second largest ever behind the $43.33 million of now ex-teammate Max Scherzer. 

It won’t be second for long.

Judge will turn 31 in April. He has had two straight healthy seasons, including a record-breaking one in 2022. He is the Yankees’ leader on and off the field. 

In spring training, Judge suggested he should be paid annually on par with Mike Trout’s position record of $35.5 million. Now, it is hard to believe that he won’t top deGrom’s $37 million, on a considerably longer contract. Will it be $40 million? Will it be more than Scherzer’s deal?

Was this past season Aaron Judge's last with the Yankees?
Was this past season Aaron Judge’s last with the Yankees?
Getty Images
Jacob deGrom signed a massive five-year $1185 million deal with the Rangers on Friday.
Jacob deGrom signed a massive five-year $1185 million deal with the Rangers on Friday.
USA TODAY Sports

The biggest threats to the Yankees signing Judge — the Giants — have a lot in common with the Rangers (who were always seen as the biggest threat for deGrom): namely irrelevance, worrisome attendance and lots of payroll. Texas has not made the playoffs since 2016, opened its new stadium, Globe Life Field, in 2020 amid the pandemic and was 18th in average attendance in 2022 even after investing a half-a-billion dollars on middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien and going 68-94. 

The Giants have made the playoffs just once since 2016, when they won 107 games in 2021. But they slumped back to 81-81 in 2022 and their attendance was down nearly 900,000 from 2016. They have only $18.5 million guaranteed to players in 2024, so like the Rangers purchasing Seager and Semien and still having dough for deGrom, the Giants can go big for their No. 1 target, Judge, and still have plenty to spread elsewhere this year and in the coming ones. 

Will Judge leave? 

We do not have the answers yet to a few questions: 

1) Is Judge’s goal to stay, but he is going through the pantomime that he will leave to extract the most possible from the Yankees? 

2) Is he going to whichever club gives him the most money? 

3) If Judge is going to whichever club gives the most, is Hal Steinbrenner determined that will be his team, or will he tap out if the Giants do what the Rangers did with deGrom and soar somewhere that not even Steve Cohen would follow? 

So we still don’t know if Judge will be in the home dugout when the season opens in The Bronx on March 30, 2023, or if he will be with the visiting Giants. 

The Mets know now deGrom will not be in the home dugout when they host the Rangers on Aug. 28-30 at Citi Field. DeGrom had been the Mets’ starting-pitcher priority going into the offseason, and they offered three years at about $120 million. But by the day deGrom signed, there was no back and forth with the team that drafted him — no shot at a last counter. The Mets found out that he had signed via a courtesy conversation with his camp not long before the world did. 

Aaron Judge is coming off a record-breaking 62 home run season.
Aaron Judge is coming off a record-breaking 62 home run season.
Getty Images

At some point, deGrom will provide further clarity about how much he truly wanted to stay in Queens. But the Rays made an offer believing he might give a discount to be home in Florida. Tampa Bay has been bold before when it wanted a player, offering Freddie Freeman seven years at $160 million last offseason. But considering where the dollars ended up, Tampa Bay was never really in the competition. 

DeGrom was viewed as one of three big starters, along with Carlos Rodon and Justin Verlander, and the Mets began the offseason determined to sign one of them. That persists. But if they cannot secure Rodon or Verlander, the Mets could pivot to a duo such as Kodai Senga and Jameson Taillon and focus more intently on re-signing Brandon Nimmo. 

The deGrom signing launched the big-boy market, with the Winter Meetings set to open Sunday.

The worst of the COVID pandemic is believed to be over, a new collective bargaining agreement has been signed and the game’s finances are again growing, so there seems a sport-wide willingness to spend. As one NL executive said, “There is a little less tanking and little more desire to be competitive, especially after expanded playoffs brought San Diego and Philadelphia [to the NLCS].” 

An executive in the starting pitching market said that the prices are up because “you might be surprised who is ready to spend.” Perhaps not at the top of the market, but Baltimore, Kansas City and even Pittsburgh are expected to invest in rotation help as are behemoths, including both New York teams, the Dodgers, Giants and Red Sox. 

But the Yankees and Giants can both also consider one of the big shortstops (the Yankees probably only if they lose Judge) from among Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner. The Phillies are fixated on that market, particularly on Turner, but if they strike out, they could play in the better part of the starting-pitcher market. 

And many clubs are on Nimmo, who was described by one executive as “the darling of a lot of teams right now. Because he helps so many and won’t cost over $200 million. He just fits a lot of teams.” 

Well, maybe he won’t cost $200 million. As the deGrom signing emphasized, there are motivated teams ready to spend and his agreement has more fully opened the floodgates.

Yankees could be in trouble on Aaron Judge front if Giants follow Texas’ lead Read More

Tucker Carlson Goes to Town on the 'Twitter Files' and FTX Scandals

On Friday evening, Elon Musk dropped a bomb into the middle of the political sphere, releasing a trove of documents outlaying a concerted effort by Twitter to suppress the Hunter Biden story during the 2020 election.

What really set things off, though, was the revelation that Joe Biden, the DNC, and Democrat government officials had been colluding with Twitter to make those decisions. In one stunning instance, a Twitter employee passed along demands from the then-Biden campaign to remove content up the food chain, receiving the message “handled” in response. In another, Democrat congressional members were shown to have denigrated the First Amendment as not being “absolute” in their attempts to bend Twitter to their will, asserting that a lack of censorship was a threat to “democracy.”

While all that information was beginning to flow through reporter Matt Tabbi, Tucker Carlson addressed the situation on his top-rated show. Later in the broadcast, he also slammed the lack of federal response to the FTX scandal, pulling on a common thread that I’ll cover in a moment.

In the first video, Carlson notes the seriousness of the matter, including the fact that Democrats were directing censorship at a private corporation in a clear and obvious attempt to interfere in a presidential election. He goes on to note that in doing so, they suppressed a true story about the Biden family’s scheme to peddle influence to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in profits. Even putting aside the election interference angle, which no fair person would or should do, the story was important regardless.

The second video touches on the scandal surrounding FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried. As Carlson notes, Bankman-Fried isn’t in jail for stealing billions of dollars from his clients. Instead, he’s doing a media tour because he’s untouchable, unlike the rubes who took selfies at the Capitol Building.

Now, one might be asking what these two stories have in common. The answer is a lot, actually. Both are symptoms of the same illness. Namely, if you have the right politics and you know the right people, you can get away with anything in the United States. In the case of the “Twitter Files” scandal, Democrats will face no reprisals for their possibly illegal acts of colluding with a private entity to violate constitutional rights. In the case of the FTX scandal, Bankman-Fried will probably never go to jail. He’s a top Democrat donor, after all.

More and more, our government system appears to be one big leftwing hierarchy, from Congress to the FBI, and anyone who helps uphold that hierarchy is protected. Anyone who questions it is targeted with the full weight and power of the federal government. How sustainable that is over the long term as a societal dynamic? I guess we’ll find out.

Trending on Redstate Video

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FanDuel Promo Code: Score $1,000 No Sweat bet on SEC Championship Game

The FanDuel promo code lets new users take advantage of a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet. Follow the link below to learn how to claim your bonus for Georgia vs. LSU this afternoon.

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All you need to do is follow our link to add the FanDuel promo code to the registration process, and place your first sports bet at FanDuel Sportsbook.

SEC Championship Game pick

The SEC crowns its champion later today when the Georgia Bulldogs play the LSU Tigers in Atlanta.

No. 1 Georgia enters the game 12-0 after a dominant regular season. The Bulldogs are the national championship favorites and boast the best defense in the country, allowing just 11.3 points per game. Their opponent, No. 14 LSU, comes in at 9-3 in the first season under head coach Brian Kelly.

FanDuel Sportsbook lists the total of this game at 51.5 points. I think the play here is to take the under and trust Georgia’s defense to put the clamps on LSU.

The Bulldogs’ defense has played its best against the best competition this season. The unit allowed just three points in Georgia’s blowout win over then-No. 11 Oregon in the season opener, then gave up 13 points in its win over then-No. 1 Tennessee.

LSU’s offense is not as good as either of those two teams, so Georgia should be able to stymie the Tigers. If Georgia can put together another excellent effort, it’s hard to see the total exceeding 51.5 points.

Georgia vs. LSU prediction: UNDER 51.5 points

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Georgia vs. LSU prediction: College football odds, pick

As we highlighted in our college football conference championship preview on Friday, we’re riding with underdog Kansas State and the Clemson-North Carolina under as two of our top picks on Saturday. But there’s one bet that isn’t getting enough attention — and it’s a team total under. 

Loyal readers know how much we love to aggressively target strength versus weakness wherever we can, which lends itself to a high volume of team total plays. So, naturally, we’re drawn to the overlooked SEC final between Georgia and LSU that likely will have no bearing on the final playoff rankings. 


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That has obfuscated what profiles as a brutal matchup for the Tigers’ offense, which looked as if it might be without quarterback Jayden Daniels after he was seen in a walking boot following the loss to Texas A&M last week. He’s expected to play on Saturday, but his mobility is sure to be limited by the effects of that sprained ankle. 

Betting on College Football?

It’s bad enough that Daniels — who ranks second among all QBs in rushing yards (824) — could see his rushing production capped by injury. Yet that limited mobility is amplified behind an LSU offensive line tied for the eighth-most sacks allowed (41) out of 131 FBS teams this season. 

Georgia’s defense is easily the best in the country, allowing a mere 11.3 points per game and holding eight of 12 opponents to fewer than 17 points. With LSU’s offense already hindered by injury, this is a juicy matchup for the Bulldogs’ front to wreak havoc. 

Georgia vs. LSU pick: LSU team total under 16.5 points

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Chloe Fineman raves about ‘deeply charming’ Pete Davidson

Chloe Fineman understands why Pete Davidson is such catnip for the ladies.

“I’ve worked and chatted with him,” Fineman told Page Six exclusively at the 2022 American Museum of Natural History Gala on Thursday night. “I find him deeply charming. And I remember my first year [on ‘Saturday Night Live’], going to all my girlfriends and being like, ‘I get it.’”

Fineman, 34, also shared that she has “friends who have dated” Davidson, 29, who “report back nice things.”

And she isn’t the only “SNL” cast member who gets why the “King of Staten Island” star has romanced A-list celebrities including Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Kaia Gerber and most recently Emily Ratajkowski.

Pete Davidson wearing a Staten Island shirt.
Davidson has dated some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
GC Images

Mikey Day told us that Davidson is a “cool” and “very smart dude.”

“I don’t think people know how smart he is because he’s [always like], ‘Yo, what’s up? I live with my mom. I’m smoking weed,’” he continued. “But he’s a very intelligent, well-spoken, interesting dude. I love Pete. He’s the best.”

Mikey Day on a red carpet.
Mikey Day noted that Davidson is “smart.”
Getty Images for American Museu

Day, 42, rued that he was unable to provide any additional tea for Page Six, noting that Keke Palmer is hosting “SNL” this week and has been an “absolute delight” to work with.

“Drama-free. So, it’s been pretty smooth sailing so far,” he added.

The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" - Arrivals

The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" - Arrivals

Davidson’s last girlfriend was Kim Kardashian, and he’s currently linked to Emily Ratajkowski.

Getty Images

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13640121o

Davidson’s last girlfriend was Kim Kardashian, and he’s currently linked to Emily Ratajkowski.

Michael Simon/Shutterstock

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Day has worked at “SNL” since 2013, while Fineman joined the cast in 2019. She went viral last month for parodying Nicole Kidman’s AMC commercial, which admittedly bugged her boyfriend.

“I was at an AMC theater, and my boyfriend was so mad at me. When their ad would come on, I would try and recite it,” she shared. “I really wanted to go in and just like, stand up and do it and be a psychopath.”

Chloe Fineman as Nicole Kidman on "SNL."
Fineman hilariously parodied Nicole Kidman’s AMC Theatres ad on “SNL.”
SNL

Fineman, who has impersonated the likes of Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, revealed that she is currently trying to “nail Aubrey Plaza,” telling us, “That’s, like, a new one. I’m obsessed with ‘White Lotus’ right now.”

Thursday’s gala — which Jimmy Fallon emceed and included celebrity guests Colin Jost, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin — raised $2.5 million for the museum.

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