Conveniently for politicians who might otherwise be ansering tricky questions about their countries’ involvement. Science writer Matt Ridley, author with Alina Chan of Viral (2021) has the story:
The central question is, and always has been, who or what brought a bat virus more than a thousand miles north in the autumn of 2019 to the middle of a modern city? …
In effect, the new paper reveals that the Chinese government (which approves all publications on the topic of Covid’s origins within China) is in a dilemma. It cannot concede that the virus started in its legal or illegal wildlife trade without huge embarrassment to the Xi Jinping regime, which has encouraged the first and tried to eliminate the second. But nor can it admit that the virus escaped from one of its labs without even greater humiliation. Yet it still cannot think of a remotely plausible alternative…
But there is one thing that stands out about Wuhan. It is the home of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This is China’s leading bat SARS-like virus research laboratory. It (and nowhere else in China) is the lab that tracked down the ancestral source of the first SARS epidemic. It led more expeditions to look for bat SARS-like viruses in southern China than any other lab. It sampled that mineshaft in Mojiang county at least seven times after the guano shovelers fell ill and found the then closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2 in bats there. It is where scientists sent samples from bats in Laos, a country where an even closer relative to the pandemic virus was found. It has the largest database of SARS-like viruses in the world by some distance, but has refused to release it, even though doing so at the start of the pandemic would have been the easiest way to exonerate its scientists.
And that is only the start of the coincidences.
We don’t say this virus definitely jumped out of a laboratory, but we do say that if there is one city in the world where a laboratory leak of a novel SARS-like virus from bats would be most likely to happen, it would be Wuhan.Matt Ridley, “The case for the lab leak theory” at Spiked Online (June 27, 2022)
Incidentally, the U.S. has quietly stopped funding a number of overseas virus labs. Naw. Nothing to see, folks. Move along.
Or maybe … not!
You may also wish to read: We’re not your lab rats any more.
3 Replies to “Remember when the lab-leak theory of COVID-19 was “just a conspiracy theory”?”
Yes, this is the central question. That is, if this virus developed in nature and not in a laboratory, then why didn’t the outbreak begin where the bats are naturally found–1,000 miles from Wuhan!
Oh, come on.
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Lancet, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the WHO, the CDC, Dr Fauci, and milllions of other Top Scientists said this was a conspircay theory. Take myself. If I didnt trust these authorities on the Wuhan virus, how could I trust them on other things?
There is NO reason to believe that a factual origin story will appear. None.
There is NO reason to believe that actual conspiracies do not exist. None.