Drastic Team

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Drastic (Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19)[1] is an international team of amateur[2] scientists and analysts organized for the purpose of investigating the origins of COVID-19.[3][4][2] It is a decentralized group composed of approximately 30[1][5] core members, formed near the beginning of 2020 (at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic),[6] whose activity is primarily organized through the social media website Twitter.[1][7] Many of Drastic's members prefer to remain pseudonymous[6] due to "safety concerns, fear of losing their jobs and a constant stream of hacking attempts".[1]

A March 2021 article in the Daily Telegraph described them as a part of a "group of diligent online sleuths" who had, near the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, sought to "fill the gaps" and locate literature on coronaviruses with potentially similar genetic sequences to SARS-CoV-2.[8] The Washington Post cited their work on databases (including genetic sequences) belonging to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including studying database usage records.[3] CNET said that Drastic's research "challenged the prevailing theories of the virus' beginnings [...] in the highly polarized theater of Twitter".[1] In February 2021, Drastic member Gilles Demaneuf was interviewed by Sky News Australia.[4]

Their pseudonymity, and their style of engagement with other scientists on Twitter, has drawn criticism.[1] Members have engaged in "ugly incidents" on Twitter involving personal attacks against virologists and epidemiologists, falsely accusing some of working for the Communist Party of China.[1] In April 2021, CNET said that "the abrasive attacks have, at times, overshadowed the team's work".[1] UnHerd said that, while their efforts have been "crucial [...] to ensure the lab leak theory is properly investigated", they sometimes "hurtle down blind alleys".[5] Drastic members have called for a "full and unrestricted investigation" into the origins of COVID-19, conducted independently of the World Health Organization.[1]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ryan, Jackson. "How the coronavirus origin story is being rewritten by a guerrilla Twitter group". CNET.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kannan, Ramya (June 6, 2021). "Online group digs deeper into coronavirus leak theory" – via www.thehindu.com.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Washington Post Editorial Board (February 5, 2021). "We're still missing the origin story of this pandemic. China is sitting on the answers". The Washington Post.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "World 'not impressed' by the WHO's COVID-19 origins report". Sky News Australia.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Birrell, Ian. "The Covid dissidents taking on China". UnHerd. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Aublanc, Manon. "Qu'est-ce que DRASTIC, le collectif qui enquête sur l'origine du virus ?". www.20minutes.fr.
  7. Eban, Katherine. "The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19's Origins". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  8. Ridley, Matt; Chan, Alina (February 6, 2021). "Did the Covid-19 virus really escape from a Wuhan lab?". The Telegraph.



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