Wednesday 10 August 2022

Lab Leak Theory Redux

I’ve followed this issue -- what was the origin of the SARS CoV2 virus -- since the beginning of the pandemic. When we were told by a letter in Lancet that it was a conspiracy theory, which I accepted at the time. Then it turned out that the letter was authored by one Peter Daszak who was deeply implicated in funnelling gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which conflict of interest was not disclosed at the time. The Lancet later withdrew the paper. 

I’ve read books on the subject and heaps of articles, on both sides. The two sides being: 

(1) Zoonotic origin Hypothesis: transfer of the virus from an animal at the Huashan Wet market in Wuhan to humans.

(2) Lab Leak Hypothesis: From a leak of an experimental virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Here’s my sum of the evidence on both sides, all the evidence being circumstantial, as there is no hard evidence. 

Zoonotic origin Hypothesis: Zero evidence

 Lab Leak Hypothesis:         Heaps of evidence.

On the Zoonotic side: there has not been a single animal found with the virus or anything like it, despite years of searching and testing of over 80,000 animals. In the case of SARS of 2002, a transfer animal was found within weeks. 

On the Lab Leak side: Experts who saw the structure of the virus early on (early 2020), thought it looked like it had been engineered. They include the top expert in the field, Kristian Andersen. He and the others were quickly contacted by the indomitable Dr Fauci and recanted (without telling anyone until recently). We know from emails that surfaced earlier this year that there were factors relating to their funding at stake: shortly after they recanted, they were allocated millions of dollars in grants. 

We know that gain-of-function research was being carried out at WIV. We know that part of the funding came from the NIH, run by Dr Fauci, via Peter Daszak. We know that the gain-of-function research was into the very area that became our Covid coronavirus. 

And more, and more....  For nerds, the best book on this is Viral, by Alina Chan and Matt Ridley. And the video above is an excellent summary. Megyn Kelly does her research, and Josh Rogin is well read on the subject. Significant that he works for the Washington Post, which is of the Left, and was an early denouncer of the “conspiracy theory” of the Lab leak hypothesis. 

Why this matters is we need to know the origin, so we don’t make the same mistake. As Rogin says, if we have a plane crash we spare no effort to find out the cause, so we don’t do it again. So for Covid. We must find out where it came from. Shame on the US and the West that we have not pressured China. Australia tried to press the issue and got hammered economically by China for its efforts. 

Rogin is also good on China. He rather pooh-poohs the idea of sticking to the status quo, while I think it’s a pretty good place to be (in the case of Taiwan). 

ADDED: I forgot: what prompted this is the publication now, of the peer-reviewed version of an article which first appeared, non-peer reviews, back in February in the New York Times, claiming that they had “dispositive evidence” that the epicentre was the Huashan market. In the peer-reviewed version, that certainty -- “dispositive”! --  is dialled right back to “insufficient evidence”.... Yet the non-peer reviewed version of events will likely prevail because it was front-paged, while the peer-reviewed was buried on inside pages. Great. Here’s a summary of the difference in Conclusions: