COVID Surprise?

Swedish geneticist Svante Pääbo, a favorite of this site, has been all over the media in the last few days for recognizing genetic differences among races for susceptibility to the COVID virus.  A paper has been released by Pääbo and his colleague at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany,

The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals

The summary from

COVIDA recent genetic association study1 identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. A new study2 comprising 3,199 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and controls finds that this is the major genetic risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalization (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative). Here, we show that the risk is conferred by a genomic segment of ~50 kb that is inherited from Neanderthals and is carried by ~50% of people in South Asia and ~16% of people in Europe today.

As a result, mainstream media and science media are acknowledging, perhaps inadvertently, major tenets of race realism.

Pääbo is quoted in the UK Daily Mail, Sept. 30:

“It is striking that the genetic heritage from Neanderthals has such tragic consequences during the current pandemic.’

Oddly, the chromosomal variant impacts south Asians, specifically Bangladeshis, more than Europeans who have similar percentages of Neanderthal DNA.

From Science Alert, Sept. 30,

Risk of Severe Coronavirus Linked to Neanderthal Genes From 60,000 Years Ago

The team suspect that in the past these genes may have proved an advantage for some people – perhaps against another pathogen. A previous study hinted Neanderthal DNA may have provided protection against ancient viruses.

This may explain why this now unfortunate variant of chromosome 3 is prevalent in some populations, like in Bangladesh, where 63 percent of people have it, but it’s almost absent in others, such as Africa.

Back in July, the Washington Post editorialized that recognizing racial differences with COVID was racist.

From our piece, July 16,

WaPo: Suggesting Blacks more susceptible is “scientific racism”

These ideas have roots in the 19th-century theories of scientific racism…


Since we first published this piece there have been major finds, on Neanderthal DNA affecting COVID patients.

From, Aug. 12, 2021:

Neanderthal DNA and COVID-19

Researchers have found that having Neanderthal DNA may affect the health of modern people who carry it. Perception of pain, immune system function, and even hair color and sleeping patterns have been associated with having Neanderthal DNA.

Scientists have even found a potential link between severe COVID-19 infection and Neanderthal DNA, CNN reported.

In “The Major Genetic Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19 Is Inherited from Neanderthals,” published in the journal Nature, scientists with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Onna-son, Japan, wrote, “Here, we show that the risk is conferred by a genomic segment … that is inherited from Neanderthals and is carried by about 50% of people in South Asia and about 16% of people in Europe today.”

Other reports show conflicting data. will continue to provide updates on COVID and Neanderthal DNA.




Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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