The US funded dangerous gain-of-function research on coronaviruses in China. Claire Robinson reports
Media coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s origins is increasingly focusing on the possibility of an accidental escape from either of two laboratories in Wuhan, China: the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Wuhan CDC) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Both are known to have been working on the bat coronaviruses that are closely related to SARS-CoV-2. The first lab is about 280 metres from the Huanan “wet market” that was first fingered as the origin of the virus, while the second is about 10 kilometres away.
Bolstering the lab escape hypothesis in the eyes of the media is the news that the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has updated its assessment of the origin of the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2 to reflect that it may have been accidentally released from a lab in Wuhan due to "unsafe laboratory practices".
But while many media outlets are whipping up fury over the alleged culpability of China, few are mentioning an uncomfortable fact: the dangerous research that could have led to the virus escaping was largely funded by the US. Furthermore, as we shall see, that funding itself had its roots in major safety lapses in US labs, involving deadly infectious diseases.