…Some, such as Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, were smeared by Washington media as wild-eyed Republican conspiracy theorists infected with a highly contagious political virus that had to be stamped out lest others catch it.
“Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,” blared a New York Times headline in February 2020, saying such theories gain “traction among those who see China as a threat.”
And there were many others just like it, including in The Washington Post, with the headline “Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research.”
“Experts.” Lazy reporting is what that word should connote when readers see it.
But now the worm is turning with reporting from The Wall Street Journal that three researchers became ill, sparking questions as to whether the COVID-19 virus that crushed lives and economies had escaped from that lab.
A May 5 essay in a science journal by Nicholas Wade, a former science writer from The New York Times, deals with the origin story and asks: “Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?”
Why was it so important to cling to the wet market theory and demonize others? Was it that former President Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, hinted that intelligence led them to believe it came from a lab?
Part-thriller, part-expose, What Really Happened in Wuhan is a ground-breaking investigation into the origins of COVID-19, the cover-ups, the conspiracies and the classified research, from Walkley Award-winning journalist Sharri Markson.
It features never-before-seen primary documents exposing China’s early cover-up of the virus.
There are fresh interviews with whistleblower doctors in Wuhan – the eyewitness accounts dismantling what we thought we knew about when the outbreak hit.
A computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is leading a renewed push for a thorough investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter published Thursday in the journal Science, lead author Jesse Bloom and 17 fellow scientists say so many unanswered questions remain that it’s impossible to rule out either of the leading theories: that the virus spilled over naturally from animals, or that it was released in a lab accident in Wuhan, China.
“Understanding how the pandemic emerged is going to be really critical to our efforts to prevent future pandemics,” Bloom said in an interview.
Despite the uncertainty, a joint Chinese-World Health Organization team that spent four weeks tracking down leads and interviewing officials concluded earlier this spring that it is “extremely unlikely” the virus escaped from a lab. It almost certainly emerged in bats, jumped to a second species, and then mutated enough to infect humans, their report says.
The WHO team conceded there isn’t strong evidence yet for natural spillover and called for further study. However, the Chinese government has not been cooperative or transparent, limiting the release of data and bristling at suggestions it may be hiding the truth.
Bloom and his colleagues point out that the lab accident scenario got short shrift in the WHO investigation, accounting for only four out of 313 pages of the final document. Similar concerns were raised by WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Mar. 22, 2021:
Nobody has been routinely vaccinated against smallpox in decades, leaving most people in the United States and around the world vulnerable to infection. Yet after forgotten specimen vials dating to the 1940s and 1950s were discovered at the NIH in an unlocked cold storage room, nothing was done to ensure their safe transportation. They were allowed to bump around in a cardboard box with dozens of other old biological specimens as a lone laboratory worker walked them to another building about two blocks away, federal records show.
One vial had already shattered.
The world got lucky that day, as it often has when safety breaches occur at biological laboratories in the United States and around the world.
A deadly epidemic wasn’t unleashed. It was only a tissue specimen that broke and nobody got sick.
“Had any of the six glass vials containing the Variola virus been breached, there would have been nothing to contain the agent and prevent its release to the surrounding environment,” according to a joint investigation report by the FBI and federal lab regulators.
Let me be clear: Labs in Wuhan might not have played any role in the origin of the pandemic. But a year later, no source has been found, and the world deserves a thorough, unbiased investigation of all plausible theories that is conducted without fear or favor.
These and similar safety lapses are happening with disturbing regularity at elite U.S. labs operated by government agencies, the military, universities and private firms.
No matter what, this is a moment for the United States and the world to take a hard look at the safety of biological research labs and the risks they can pose – because problems at these facilities are real.
May 24, 2021!!!
Evidence that Covid-19 originally leaked from a Wuhan, China, virology lab is growing, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday, pointing to reports that three researchers from the lab sought hospital care with a Covid-like illness in November 2019.
“People a year ago who said this probably came from nature, it’s really unlikely it came from a lab, maybe a year ago that kind of a statement made a lot of sense because that was the more likely scenario,” Gottlieb, a former head of the Food and Drug Administration, said on “Squawk Box.” “But we haven’t found the true source of this virus.”
Scientists still haven’t discovered definitive proof that the virus came from an animal, he said. With other coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, researchers were able to identify the animal those diseases emerged from at this point in those outbreaks.
ARTICLE MAY 25, 2021!!
Long dismissed as a kooky conspiracy theory favored by the far right, the idea that Covid emerged from a lab leak in Wuhan has been gaining increasing momentum in the United States.
The government’s position has shifted to agnosticism in recent weeks, with top pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky both saying they are open to all possibilities.
“We need to get to the bottom of this and we need a completely transparent process from China, we need the WHO (World Health Organization) to assist in that matter,” senior White House Covid advisor Andy Slavitt said Tuesday.
Rand Paul Says “Great Deal Of Evidence At Least Suggesting” COVID-19 Origins Stem From Wuhan Lab
May 25, 2021
Forbes Breaking News
In Senate floor remarks, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) laid out reasons it may be possible that COVID-19 emerged from a lab at the Wuhan Virology Institute
What we know: US intelligence found Wuhan lab researchers fell sick in fall 2019
U.S. intelligence report found that three researchers at a lab in Wuhan, China, the city where the coronavirus pandemic is believed to have originated, fell sick in the fall of 2019, according to new reports.
The finding, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, has prompted questions into the origins of COVID-19. U.S. officials and scientists have long said not enough is known to determine definitively whether the virus jumped from animals to humans or came out of a laboratory.
Here’s what we know about the new report:
What do we know about where the coronavirus came from?
Early theories were that the virus that causes COVID-19 jumped directly from animals to humans, because that is how over 70% of new human infections began in recent decades. One possible explanation is that the virus jumped from bats to humans, or first to another animal before spreading to humans. The earliest cases of COVID-19 infection were traced back to a wildlife market in Wuhan.
President Joe Biden has asked the intelligence community to redouble its efforts to get to the bottom of the origins of the coronavirus, after new reports raised questions about whether it spread from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
The intelligence community has been unable to reach a “definitive conclusion” on the origins of the virus and is conflicted on whether it came from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident, Biden said in a statement.
“As of today, the U.S. intelligence community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” the president said.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, admitted earlier this month that he is no longer convinced that the Covid-19 pandemic originated naturally.
“I am not convinced about that, I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” Fauci told PolitiFact’s managing editor Katie Sanders.
“Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,” he continued.
Which is, quite clearly, a change from Fauci’s previous view that the disease very likely came about after animal to human transmission. Here’s Fauci in an interview with National Geographic last May:
China and WHO cannot be trusted. The United States must call for a credible investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
We all deserve to know why 3.5 million people died and what the world is going to do about it. pic.twitter.com/CfYg85MgSO
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) May 25, 2021
h/t Digital mix guy