The Bangladeshi-Neanderthal Connection—Yet More Evidence Of A Genetic Factor In Covid-19
10/25/2020
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Covid-19 played a major role in last Thursday’s Presidential debate and is being again hyped by the Dem/MSM complex, although the actual U.S. death rate is still growing very slowly. Meanwhile, a startling new study casts further light on the race differences in Covid-19 incidence. Discussion of these race differences was repressed by our Race-Denying Ruling Class until it became clear that some minorities were disproportionately impacted, at which point it was proclaimed to be the fault of whites. But it remained possible that these differences were the result of deep-seated cultural practices. Now it increasingly appears they are at least in part genetic. Which means the one-size-fits-all public policy response was wrong.

England has a large “South Asian” population—recent ancestors from India, Pakistan, and Bangladeshi—about 8% of the population on the 2011 census of England and now likely considerably higher. These people are 20% more likely than whites to die of Covid-19 and 12 years younger than whites when admitted to hospital with it [South Asian people in UK 20 per cent more likely to die of coronavirus, study finds, by Sarah Knapton, Telegraph, June 19, 2020].

This disparity is definitely not due to poverty. South Asian doctors and nurses working for Britain’s National Health Service are also far more likely to die of Covid-19 than are white medical workers: they are 21% of NHS workers but 63% of COVID-19 deaths among NHS workers.

Intriguingly, British citizens of Bangladeshi extraction have been particularly hard hit. Age-adjusted, they are 4 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than whites, whereas for Indians the risk is merely 1.6 times more.

Needless to say, the Leftist British newspaper The Guardian claimed that the high Bangladeshi-heritage death-rate was because Corona “is a disease that thrives on pre-existing inequalities within society.”

However, the new study reveals something very different: 63% of Bangladeshis—the highest of any group studied by far—carry a series of genetic variants which lead to serious risk of respiratory failure when infected with Covid-19.

And they’ve inherited these from the Neanderthals.

The study—The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals [September 30, 2020]—has recently been published in the important journal Nature. [PDF] Researched by Hugo Zeberg of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and fellow-Swede Svante Pääbo (right) of Germany’s Max Planck Institute, the study draws upon earlier findings whereby a cluster of genes on Chromosome-3 have been found, if you have specific forms of these genes, to be a serious risk for respiratory failure if you contract Covid-19. This was proven using a sample of 3,199 hospitalized Covid-19 patients and controls.

The new study builds on this by establishing precisely which segments of this gene cluster confer the risk, where they have come from, and to what extent there are population differences in their prevalence.

The results are yet another nail in the coffin for those who argue that “race” is mainly a “social construct” (except when white people pretend to be non-white, when it mysteriously is wholly biological) and that any biological race differences are trivial. One such race-denier is Britain’s half-South Asian science writer Dr. Adam Rutherford—who himself became seriously ill with COVID-19.

The Swedish researchers found that the relevant genes on Chromosome 3 are all strongly associated with each other, because they all entered human populations via “gene flow”—that is, intermixing—from Neanderthals. Accordingly, they constitute a “haplotype”—a group of genes that come together.

The at-risk genes are strongest in the kind of Neanderthal that lived around Croatia, in Southeast Europe, about 50,000 years ago. This Neanderthal—known as the Vindaja 33.19carried 11 of the 13 polymorphisms (forms of a gene) that are associated with severe Covid-19 symptoms.

Only three of these polymorphisms were found in the Altai and related Neanderthals, who derive from around Altai mountains in Siberia.

The team then analyzed 5008 haplotypes in the Human Genome Project to see which human groups were most likely to carry the Covid-19-risk haplotype that appears to have been inherited from the Vindaja 33-19 Neanderthal.

No Sub-Saharan Africans carry this haplotype, consistent with evidence that there has been very little gene flow between Sub-Saharan Africans and Neanderthals.

However, this haplotype was found at a rate of 4% among Native Americans, 8% among Europeans—50% among South Asians.

Among Bangladeshis it was particularly high: 63% of Bangladeshis carry the Neanderthal haplotype that is associated with serious complications from Covid-19 and 13% of them are “homozygous” carriers of it.

This means that they have inherited it from both of their parents. A gene is composed of two alleles, with one allele being inherited from each parent. These Bangladeshis have two copies of each of the same risky set of alleles, implying that they will experience particularly pronounced problems with Covid-19.

Part of the reason for this is surely that, in Britain’s Bangladeshi community for example, a remarkable 60% of mothers are married to their first cousins, meaning that the children are much more likely to inherit two copies of any mutant, or otherwise problematic, allele which either parent might carry [The tragic truth about cousin marriages: They can cause a litany of genetic illnesses and they’re a key factor in the deaths of two children a week in Britain, so why is it taboo to talk about them, by Sue Reid, Mail Online, July 7, 2018].

It’s a common belief that Europeans are particularly high in Neanderthal ancestry. So it might seem surprising that Bangladeshis should be so high in this particular form of Neanderthal ancestry.

However, more recent research is revealing that this common belief simply is not accurate. East Asians carry around 30% more Neanderthal DNA than do Europeans [Neanderthal DNA By Race: Asians Have Closer Link From Multiple Breeding Events, Studies Say, by Morgan Windsor, International Business Times, February 19, 2015].

South Asians and Europeans are relatively closely related genetically, as has been set out by Frank Salter in his book On Genetic Interests. So we should not be surprised to find that they also carry Neanderthal DNA. In this case, of course, the key issue is that they carry DNA from a specific Neanderthal type, and that this impacts their ability to fight-off Covid-19.

So, for the Race Deniers and those who insist race differences in Covid-19 fatality are due to “white privilege” or some other unscientific nonsense, here we have a study in a top quality journal which provides very strong proof that the genetics of race very substantially explains the devastating impact of Covid-19 on South Asians in Western countries.

I conclude with the now-traditional mantra I include in all my Covid-19 articles:

If Covid-19 is not an Equal Opportunity disease, that means our race-denying Ruling Class is frightening most people too much—and not warning some people enough. This will not merely cause unnecessary chaos—it will cost lives.

It’s almost as if the lockdown was completely unnecessary for all but elderly and seriously sick white people. It’s almost as if, for the vast majority of Westerners, this has all been, well, pointless.

Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.

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