So far, most (not all) mainstream and progressive media outlets have toed the line on the origins of COVID-19 story. No genetic engineering. No lab escape.
Anyone who suggests otherwise is merely peddling conspiracy theories. But could the tide be slowly turning?
This week the Wall Street Journal, published an article that begins with this:
“New research has deepened, rather than dispelled, the mystery surrounding the origin of the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19. Bats, wildlife markets, possibly pangolins and perhaps laboratories may all have played some role, but the simple story of an animal in a market infected by a bat that then infected several human beings no longer looks credible.”
The Journal article refers to numerous studies, including one by Nikolai Petrovksy and colleagues at Flinders University in Australia who, the Journal reports, have found that SARS-CoV-2 has a higher affinity for human receptors than for any other animal species they tested, including pangolins and horseshoe bats.
“[Petrovsky] suggests that this could have happened if the virus was being cultured in human cells, adding that ‘We can’t exclude the possibility that this came from a laboratory experiment.’”
Why does it matter where the virus came from? Because as the news reports, including this one in 2016, reveal, safety measures at labs similar to the one in Wuhan are frighteningly lax. And the number of labs is growing.
According to a recent article in the New Yorker:
“Before 1990, there had been only two BSL-4 labs in the United States: one at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, and another at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (U.S.A.M.R.I.I.D.), in Fort Detrick, Maryland. In the nineteen-nineties, three were added. In the first seven years after 9/11, the United States opened ten more. In a 2007 report, Keith Rhodes, then the chief technologist in the Government Accountability Office (G.A.O.)—the independent watchdog that conducts research for Congress—observed that there was ‘a major proliferation of high-containment BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs is taking place in the United States.’ Rhodes counted fifteen known American BSL-4 labs (including N.B.A.F. [National Bio and Agro-defense Facility]) but suggested that there could be others; the number of BSL-3 labs appeared to have increased even more. ‘No single federal agency knows how many such labs there are in the United States,’ Rhodes wrote, and ‘no one is responsible for determining the aggregate risks associated with the expansion of these high-containment labs.’ In theory, the Federal Select Agent Program keeps tabs, since any lab in possession of a substance on its list has to register; a 2017 report from the G.A.O. counted two hundred and seventy-six high-containment select-agent labs in the United States. But the actual number is almost certainly higher, because not every dangerous pathogen is on the federal list.”
The real question we should be asking ourselves now is this: What possible justification is there for allowing (and funding with taxpayer dollars) researchers to engineer viruses to make them lethal to humans?