The Covid-19 pathogen has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus.
The possibility that the pandemic began with an escape from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is attracting fresh attention. President Biden has asked the national intelligence community to redouble efforts to investigate.
Much of the public discussion has focused on circumstantial evidence: mysterious illnesses in late 2019; the lab’s work intentionally supercharging viruses to increase lethality (known as “gain of function” research). The Chinese Communist Party has been reluctant to release relevant information. Reports based on U.S. intelligence have suggested the lab collaborated on projects with the Chinese military.
But the most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. In particular, consider the genetic fingerprint of CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the disease Covid-19.