Futures Tumble Amid Sudden Fears Over “Dramatically” New Covid Strain With “Extremely High Number” Of Mutations

by | Nov 26, 2021 | Headline News | 16 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Be ready. Is this the proverbial variant that will break the camel’s back?

    Here we go again…

    Futures are sliding on Thursday night when, with most US traders snoring in a tryptophan coma, the world is suddenly freaking out, and algos are hitting bids, amid fears that a new coronavirus strain detected in South Africa, known as B.1.1529, reportedly carries an “extremely high number” of mutations and is “clearly very different” from previous incarnations, which may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defenses South African scientists said.

    Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions in new stimmies are coming… an outcome so “unexpected”, we rhetorically asked if this was the endgame just one week ago.

    According to the Guardian, only 10 cases in three countries have been confirmed by genomic sequencing (and up to 100 suspected), but that is more than enough for the Pharma-Government complex to set the wheels of widespread social panic and future lockdowns in motion and, according to the liberal outlet, “the variant has sparked serious concern among some researchers because a number of the mutations may help the virus evade immunity.” Which of course is a polite way for Bill Gates to suggest you panic.

    According to reports, the new B.1.1.529 variant has 32 mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that most vaccines use to prime the immune system against Covid. Mutations in the spike protein make it harder for immune cells to attack the pathogen, just as so many vaccine skeptics have been warning for the past year when making the point that taking inefficient medications shoved down the population’s throats (such as those from Pfizer and Moderna) that do not serve as real vaccines but merely palliatives, will only lead to more dangerous and weaponized versions of the virus.

    That’s precisely what is happening now.

    The variant was first spotted in Botswana, where three cases have now been sequenced. Six more have been confirmed in South Africa and one in Hong Kong in a traveler returning from South Africa.

    Botswana’s health ministry confirmed in a statement that four cases of the new variant were detected in people who were all fully vaccinated. All four were tested before their planned travel. One sample was also detected in Hong Kong, carried by a traveler from South Africa, South African scientists said.

    With over 1,200 new infections, South Africa’s daily infection rate is much lower than in Germany, where new cases are driving a wave. However, the density of mutations on this new variant raises fears that it could be highly contagious, leading scientists to sound the alarm early.

    “This variant did surprise us, it has a big jump in evolution, many more mutations than we expected, especially after a very severe third wave of Delta,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform.

    The B1.1.529 variant has a “very unusual constellation of mutations,” with more than 30 mutations in the spike protein alone, said Mr. de Oliveira. On the ACE2 receptor — the protein that helps to create an entry point for the coronavirus to infect human cells — the new variant has 10 mutations. In comparison, the Beta variant has three, the Delta variant has two, said Mr. de Oliveira.

    Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, agrees with Oliveira. Peacock posted details of the new variant on a genome-sharing website, noting that the “incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggest this could be of real concern”.

    In a series of tweets, Peacock said it “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile.”

    But, as some cynics pointed out on Twitter

    Perhaps even more importantly, it also appears that the Chinese were busy splicing away in the past few months (this time probably without Dr. Fauci’s money): according to Peacock, this variant contains “not one, but two furin cleavage site mutations – P681H (seen in Alpha, Mu, some Gamma, B.1.1.318) combined with N679K (seen in C.1.2 amongst others).” As Peacock notes, “this is the first time I’ve seen two of these mutations in a single variant.”

    Why does this matter? Because as even the reputable Nature mag recently noted, researchers have asked Covid’s “furin cleavage site — a feature that helps it to enter cells — is evidence of engineering, because SARS-CoV-2 has these sites but its closest relatives don’t. The furin cleavage site is important because it’s in the virus’s spike protein, and cleavage of the protein at that site is necessary for the virus to infect cells.”

    Translation: use of the furin cleavage sites is how covid would be genetically-engineered inside, say, a BSL-4 lab in China… of which the only one can be found in Wuhan.

    In any case, while nobody knows yet what the spike protein mutation cluster actually does yet, the speculation that it will lead to another wave of global infections is already in the wild. Sure enough, Ravi Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University, said work in his lab found that two of the mutations on B.1.1.529 increased infectivity and reduced antibody recognition. “It does certainly look a significant concern based on the mutations present,” he said. “However, a key property of the virus that is unknown is its infectiousness, as that is what appears to have primarily driven the Delta variant. Immune escape is only part of the picture of what may happen.”

    Prof Francois Balloux, the director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said a large number of mutations in the variant apparently accumulated in a “single burst”, suggesting it may have evolved during chronic infection in a person with a weakened immune system, possibly an untreated HIV/Aids patient.

    “I would definitely expect it to be poorly recognized by neutralizing antibodies relative to Alpha or Delta,” he added.

    Translation: in terms of vaccines, B.1.1.529 could well represent an entirely new disease, as the existing neutralizing antibodies will have little to no impact on a virus with all these mutations. Which is music to the ears of politicians who have just the catalyst to order a whole new round of lockdowns and, critically, stimmies that keep them in power for another quarter or two.

    Case in point, just as news of the new strain emerged, the U.K. announced it will temporarily ban flights from South Africa and five neighboring countries (Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Botswana) over worries about the new covid variant. The travel restrictions go into effect at noon Friday and are a precautionary measure to keep the spread of the new variant in check, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said. The six African countries will be placed on the U.K.’s red list as of Sunday, requiring travelers to quarantine in hotels upon arrival.

    “As part of our close surveillance of variants across the world, we have become aware of the spread of a new potentially concerning variant,” Javid said in a statement, adding that the new strain it’s now under investigation.

    Israel also has banned travel from the six countries, along with Mozambique, another neighbor of South Africa, BNO News said in a tweet, without citing the source of the information.

    The U.K.’s move is a further blow to the airline industry, which was starting to recover from earlier travel restrictions and lockdowns but now faces fresh curbs and a resurgent virus in parts of Europe. The measures announced Thursday mark the biggest change in the U.K.’s Covid travel rules since the so-called traffic light system was overhauled earlier in the autumn to ease border crossings. From 500 to 700 people daily arrive in the U.K. via South Africa on flights, a number that would normally be expected to increase in the next four to six weeks due to seasonal travel.

    Of course, such bans never actually stop the virus from spreading, but they do ramp up the public frenzy about the new strain. And since B.1.1.529 is too long to pronounce, sometime tomorrow we will have a new Greek letter to fear: according to the NYT, South African scientists will meet with the World Health Organization technical team on Friday, where authorities will assign a letter of the Greek alphabet to this one. It will take several weeks to see the impact of the new variant on hospitalizations and deaths and to study how it may interact with vaccines.

    “Armed by our experience and understanding of the alpha and delta variants, we know that early action is far better than late action,” Ewan Birney, deputy director-general of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, said in a Science Media Centre briefing note. “It may turn out that this variant is not as large a threat as alpha and delta, but the potential consequences of not acting on the possibility it could be are serious.”

    For those who wish to learn more about the new “horrifying” strain and superglue no less than 10 masks to their face, they can do so at this just-released article from Nature “Heavily mutated coronavirus variant puts scientists on alert.” The Strangelove who provided that convenient media clickbait epithet ‘horrifying’ has also admitted it may be LESS not more of a danger” and indeed, the Guardian report notes that it may turn out to be an “odd cluster” that is not very transmissible. “I hope that’s the case,” he wrote.

    The sudden surge in fears that a new “delta” variant was coming was enough to spark a futures dump late on Thursday, and S&P 500 futures fell 0.6% as of 10:20 a.m. in Tokyo after news of a new coronavirus strain discovered in South Africa. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 were down 0.3% (tech/growth stocks tend to do much better during lockdowns than value), and the broad MSCI Asia-Pac index was down 1.4% as worries about a new coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa were compounded by thinner liquidity in markets. .

    Asia’s stock benchmark was on track for its worst day since Sept. 29, as selling on the news about the latest Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa was exacerbated by thin liquidity. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slumped as much as 1.4%, with financials and tech shares dragging the measure the most in a broad-based selloff. Japanese equities declined, leading to losses in Asia, and the yen strengthened with some traders away for Thanksgiving celebrations.

    “The fact we have North America off the desks means there’s a wall of buyers missing” at a time when there are “scary” headlines about the new Covid-19 variant, said Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG Markets. According to Rodda, the virus-related headlines “may have caused a knee jerk reaction,” while “thinner markets make for more pronounced moves.” He added that some weakness through cyclical, implying markets are also concerned about growth and an aggressive Fed that may slow the global economy.

    Oil, an asset that is extremely sensitive to any future lockdowns, tumbled.

    “Even before this news, virus cases were back on the rise in the U.S. and Europe, so investors are now wary of the possibility that with a new variant, infections could spread all at once,” said Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management chief market strategist Masahiro Ichikawa.

    There’s a risk the Nikkei 225 will break below the 29,000 mark; if it breaches that level, there’s a possibility the measure will finish the day in the 28,000-yen-range. “Today would have been a quiet day if not for the news of the variant.”

    Ichikawa is right, only it’s kinda the other way round because this “heavily mutated variant” is just the deus ex both central bankers and politicians have been desperately hoping for: with Europe already locking down in several countries, expect a uniform global lockdown to follow in weeks, which will serve to reset the supply chain collapse and buy markets, pols and bankers about one or two-quarters of time, during which expect several more trillion in stimmies, much more QE (to monetize the debt used to pay for the stimmies) and generally a rerun of the past 18 months only in a much more truncated timeline, which in turn will lead to a burst of inflation that will make the current soaring prices seems like Japan’s deflationary debt trap.


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      1. As I predicted, and as most people here knew even if they didn’t post about it, the vaccine is generating new and stronger strains of this disease.

        A vaccine that is only partially effective -as opposed to totally ineffective -kills off the weaker part of the viral infection and leave the stronger part of it to be transmitted and become a dominant strain.

        Nietzsche’s “that which doesn’t kill me, strengthens me” thing applies to a virus as well as a man.

        In the real world, this means that no vaccine at all is actually better than a poor one that only lessens or hides the symptoms of a disease without fully immunizing against it.

        Those among the virtually invisible rulers that determine our futures know this and put it to use for their own purposes.

        • This has more to do with Africa being reluctant to vax and go COVID-1984. Europe is cracking the whip at their exploited resource storehouse to get with the Europe First Reset.

          African leadership assassinations apparently aren’t doing the trick, so the tiny internationalist elite middle class with family in Europe and economically dependent on European travel, is being targeted with essentially a travel embargo.

          The COVID-19 vaxxes force viral change, but changes will be limited to the genetic potential of SARS CoV-2 to infect, kill or disable. To exercise that potential, the virus needs a large and diverse victim pool. Which Botswana does not have; they may have some unique genetics, but not that unique. Botswana isn’t heavily populated either.

          The virus doesn’t ‘know’ what works and what doesn’t. Constant viral change produces and repeats a lot of duds that never get noticed or go viral. Successful variants like Delta quickly out-compete all others.

          More Delta casualties would have been the result of more people infected, not an individually more deadly variant. Yet, there’s no indication that Nu is particularly deadly even if claimed more infectious.

          Nu seems more a creature of aggressive lab testing finding yet another odd non-Delta variant that can persist.

          Nu has very little wiggle room to outcompete Delta, and may trade off being more infectious (if that’s really true…) but less deadly or disabling (which seems apparent).

          In August 2021, Botswana did experience a sharp uptick of vaccinations but the current vax rate is reported at around 37.56%.

          Like India, where Delta emerged, Botswana was once part of the British Empire. Unlike India, Botswana is not densely populated @ 9.6/sq mi.

          India’s population density is 1,070.4/sq mi. South Africa, which is headlining travel bans, has a population density of 109.8/sq mi.

          The odds of a significant COVID variant emerging from Botswana is extremely low, barring unlikely artificial intervention from Porter Down.

          South Africa is right next door to Botswana and is kind of a nexus between the UK and India.

          Odds are Nu emerged from South Africa or India, but neither of those countries want to be tagged with producing yet another variant. Botswana seems a convenient patsy.

          • Nothing to do w/ a vax or a pox.
            Cumbre Vieja to be blown up in ritual sacrifice coordinated w/ Hannukah. Eruption began on Erev SUKKOT after swarm which began 9/11/21. Look who sponsors the AntiChrist to rise..

      2. Just more shฯt Fauci,Gate’s, or some other worm pulled outa their filthy ass. People you have to ignore the B.S. and live your life! Tell these Globol Homo’s to shove it up their sodomite ass! It’s all designed to scare you into getting the kill shot. There is hope,people are resisting them around the world in Australia,Germany,Canada,the U.S. etc. The Globalists have no exclusive right or license to make you do anything,especially to force you or your children to be jabbed with a kill shot. Stand up to the son’s a bitches. We all have the right to self defence. Either that or grovel at their feet,and lick the dog shฯt off their boots and DIE!

      3. Better ask Bill Gates about this as he has done mucho dastardly deeds in Africa with his false medical help! sounds like another manmade virus was released by Gates and or others.

      4. Is it time to go “all in* on airline stocks.

      5. They must be frantically working hard mixing those different diseases up to give out to the public.

      6. I have ignored much larger issues!
        This will never stop until they start to get a least a 60% fatality Rate. We have been at this circus for two years now – How could anyone with two working brain cells not figure out whats going on?That said fear gets the stupid and weak to succumb to the proletariat propaganda. The name sheep is very accurate!

        • ^^^^ He’s right again you know ^^^^

        • It won’t stop till the elites take the rope swing.

      7. … After scouring the internet, there seems to be no information on how many have died of Omicron variant.

        Just around a hundred confirmed cases, with the non-African cases limited to a few quarantined travelers who seem to be unhospitalized.

        So far, the Botswana variant is a phantom menace based entirely on WHO modeling.

        Not that Omicron couldn’t become serious, but its been identified since November 11, 2021. No-one is hyping how deadly this variant is, only how dangerous it could be based on the usual flawed modeling and that maybe it spreads easier than Delta.

        With the Wuhan panic there were at least a few hospitalizations and deaths to back the fearmongering up.

      8. They weaponized an extremely fast mutating virus. They may as well be trying to make a vaccine for the common cold, which also mutates to fast to ever have a vaccine or cure.

        • Totally untrue.

          I haven’t had a cold in almost a decade. If you catch it at the very first symptom with colloidal silver (which kills 99.2% of all viruses, germs, microbes & parasites – and I had someone challenge me on that last one on another site years ago), it will stomp that cold into oblivion before it even gets a chance to take hold.

          That said, even if the ‘Coronavirus’ was real (NOT!!!), my silver would stomp it down just as easily as any cold. It is hands-down THE best antibiotic on the planet, which is why Big Pharma doesn’t want the sheeple to know about it.

      9. The so called stock market IS one of the biggest scams and has been for many years, at one time long ago it was legitimate now it is run on rumors and played with as the BIG boys ALLOW. nothing more than a smoke and mirrors crap shoot.

      10. Omicron is an anagram for moronic. Will you be fooled? The elites are mocking their constituents to say the least. If everyone could unite and tell TPTB to pound sand, then this totalitarian nightmare will end! Get plenty of sleep; exercise and fresh air. Enjoy this marvelous fall we are having! Ignore these tyrants and laugh at them. They hate that!

      11. Tyler’s newest article nails it… Omicron is an anagram for MORONIC.


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