He has himself agreed to step back from the EA community more generally, and to step back from public life in general, which would be an odd move if these were minor misdemeanours.
fwiw he didn't step back for very long, at least on Twitter.
His next tweet was 10 days after this was posted, and as far as I can tell he never mentioned this episode on his feed. (He has ~30,900 followers on Twitter.)
Some good background here: https://www.reddit.com/r/China_Flu/comments/exe552/coronavirus_faq_misconceptions_information_from_a (a)
Cleared up here on the EA Hangouts fb group.
Would love for someone to poke this & assess its epistemics: Coronavirus Contains "HIV Insertions", Stoking Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon (a)
I'm more curious about the trustworthiness of the scary graphs than about the claims that it may have been bioengineered.
Definitely apply to Tyler Cowen's Emergent Ventures: https://www.mercatus.org/emergentventures
Your situation has the makings of a highly competitive application, and he'd be an excellent funder/patron.
(If you apply, make sure your "grant application in a tweet" answer is strong, as that's the most important part of the application. Also I'm happy to take a look at a draft of your application if that'd be helpful; you can reach me at the email given here.)
FYI it looks like the Saudi government probably monitors Facebook & Twitter:
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are widely used in Saudi Arabia, with nearly 30 percent of Arab region Twitter users from Saudi. Twitter has become an important platform for expressing dissent.
However, liberal citizens, and more recently conservatives, have been arrested and sometimes given punishments, such as prison time and fines, for criticizing the government on social media.
The government has been reported to have a hand in utilizing bots and human "trolls" in order to minimize the work of its critics on Twitter. Saudi was also accused of infiltrating Twitter through a Saudi employee that joined the company in 2013 but was put on leave two years later after the potential plot was brought to the attention of Twitter.
Becoming successful + established in Saudi Arabia whilst remaining EA-aligned could be v impactful. https://80000hours.org/career-guide/career-capital
Perhaps a few bullet points in a comment if there's no space for a top-level post (better written quickly than not at all...)
I personally haven't found these arguments to be particularly persuasive, and most people around me seem to feel similarly about such arguments, if they are familiar with them at all.
Have you written somewhere about why you don't find cluelessness arguments to be particularly persuasive?