Sir Humphrey Appleby, the Machiavellian senior civil servant in the hit 1980s British sitcom Yes, Minister once famously commented that one should “never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.” Which meant we could be fairly confident that racial and ethnic differences in susceptibility to Coronavirus exist, because our race-denying Ruling Class so dogmatical refused to consider the evidence. Now that’s over: a study by a Chinese research group has emerged that offers concrete proof of race differences in susceptibility to Corona virus are very real.
The study—a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed—is entitled Single-cell RNA expression profiling of ACE2, the putative receptor of Wuhan 2019-nCov, By Yu Zhao et al., bioRxiv, 2020] and is authored by a group of medical scientists based at Tongji University in Shanghai
The authors explain that “2019-nCov was reported to share the same receptor, Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)” as the SARS disease, an outbreak of which in 2003 seemed almost exclusively to kill Northeast Asians.
Based on “the public database and the state-of-the-art single-cell RNA-Seq technique” the Chinese scientists “analyzed the ACE2 RNA expression profile in the normal human lungs.” Crucially, they further found (in a comparison of eight individual samples) that the “Asian male one has an extremely large number of ACE2-expressing cells in the lung” in comparison to other races. (The database was based on analysis of eight normal human lung transplant donors of different races.)
As they put it:
We also noticed that the only Asian donor (male) has a much higher ACE2-expressing cell ratio than white and African American donors (2.50% vs. 0.47% of all cells). This might explain the observation that the new Coronavirus pandemic and previous SARS-Cov pandemic are concentrated in the Asian area.
So, there you have it: scientific evidence of how there are, indeed, genetic differences underling the empirical evidence that I have been presenting for weeks that there are racial differences in susceptibility to the Coronavirus (now widely known as COVID-19).
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And this finding comes as more and more people are beginning notice the racial dimension to Corona virus. According to Woke Wisdom—which declares that “race” is only skin deep—the Corona Virus should be ravaging Africa by now. After all, Africa is poor, poor health compromises the immune system, and access to medical care is, for most Africans, extremely limited. Surely, Africa should be worse affected that any other continent in the world—as should black minorities within white countries. But, consistent with the findings of the Chinese scientists, this is not the case:
Whether it’s a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their fragile health systems, continues to puzzle – and worry – experts.
This is a remarkably small number for a continent with nearly 1.3 billion inhabitants, and barely a drop in the ocean of more than 86,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths recorded in some 60 countries worldwide.
[With only three official cases, Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts, France 24, March 2nd, 2020].
Does this low infection rate worry “experts” precisely because it raises the possibility—which I discussed last week—of blacks having a relatively high immunity due to many of them being adapted to a hot and wet ecology which, like the cold and wet ecology of much of Europe, is high in flu and thus selects for flu resistance?
The report then presents a number of hypotheses. Has there been a lack of travel between China and Africa? No. Could it be to do with the climate? France-24 produced a senior medic to reject this one:
“This hypothesis was rejected by Professor Rodney Adam, who heads the infection control task force at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. ‘There is no current evidence to indicate that climate affects transmission,’” he said.
Professor Adam also used his interview as an opportunity to cast doubt on the race hypothesis:
“While it is true that for certain infections there may be genetic differences in susceptibility…there is no current evidence to that effect for Covid-19.” [Emphasis added, ellipses in original]
It’s not obvious why Professor Adam felt obliged to offer this opinion, since France 24 does not directly raise the race hypothesis.
But note that, significantly, he concedes that “for certain infections there may be genetic differences in susceptibility…” Of course, this is known to everyone in medicine (see: Tay-Sachs Disease; Sickle-Cell Anemia). But for some reason, we’re not allowed to ask about it with COVID-19.
And there is “current evidence.” It has not yet passed “peer-review,” it has not yet been critiqued by other scientists, but there is certainly evidence—beyond the circumstantial—that genetic differences seem to explain race differences in the reaction to the Corona virus.
The African media have noticed the surprising lack of deaths as well. Recently, a series of African news outlets reported that “the African Blood Genes” may permit resistance to Corona. In response, the Nigeria-based Centre for Democracy and Development (a democracy-promoting NGO, not a scientific organization) has asserted on its blog that: “experts have said claims that black people were resistant to the virus were ‘false information.’”
A UK-based specialist in infectious diseases and epidemics, Paul Hunter, told DW [Africa has been spared so far from coronavirus. Why?, February 14, 2020 ]that the absence of Covid-19 on the continent maybe largely due to luck. There is nothing special about Africa not having seen a case other than pure chance at the moment… “I doubt we will see a big outbreak in Africa, Droplet diseases don’t seem to be as big an issue in Africa,” he said, adding that SARS, a respiratory disease that is also a coronavirus, spread through 26 countries in 2003 but failed to gain a hold in Africa.
From scientific evidence, there is no medical proof that African blood is resistant to the Coronavirus
[Is the African Blood Resistant to Coronavirus? CDD West Africa, February 17, 2020].
Perhaps not. But there is now scientific evidence that Africans (and Whites) are more resistant to it than Asians and that this is for genetic reasons.
Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.