Lab leak

This website has consistently argued that the idea that Sars-Cov-2 leaked from the lab in Wuhan is a serious theory. This web site has queried why a reasonable theory has been dismissed by the mainstream media as “a conspiracy theory”. This “conspiracy theory” line is strange. A “conspiracy theory” is something which has no evidence to support it and is inherently unlikely – such as the Pentagon organised 9/11. But there is nothing inherently unlikely about the lab leak theory for the origin of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. The Chinese Communist Party is a secretive and untrustworthy organisation so official denials carry no weight. There is a lab in Wuhan where gain of function experiments have previously been carried out on Coronaviruses. The lab is just a few kilometres from where the outbreak is said to have started – in a food market; an amazing coincidence considering the natural location for these viruses is in bat populations some hundreds of kilometres further south. The evidence to support the alternative theory – transmission via an intermediary animal and then an infection source at the food market has looked less likely over time because no evidence has emerged to support it. China has not provided the WHO team (which they stalled for months and then loaded with favourable scientists) with all the data such an investigation normally gets. [1] Journalists investigating the outbreak in China have been blocked by state security. [2]

All the above makes it very strange that until the last few days the mainstream liberal media has consistently called the lab theory a “conspiracy theory”. The only credible basis on which to discount the lab leak theory is that the majority of virologists who have studied the genetic composition of the Sars-Cov-2 virus have said that it looks natural and not man-made. But even so there have, for some time, been several exceptions – perfectly credible mainstream scientists who have said “it could have been engineered”. Some of these are mentioned in the DM article linked below. [3]

The DM article [3] anticipates a paper by two scientists who have studied the virus and who claim that based on its structure it is unlikely to have occurred naturally. These scientists previously published a paper in which they discussed the virus and asserted that it looked man-made. In that paper the question of the origins of the virus was not the main theme of the paper and at the time they promised to produce a paper which would focus on this question. The new paper is, according to the DM, due to be published in The Quarterly Review of Biophysics Discovery shortly.

It is extremely interesting to observe how the liberal press has flip-flopped on this. Until recently the lab leak theory was dismissed as a “conspiracy theory”. (E.g. this piece in the Guardian by a scientist who is financially linked to the Wuhan lab by being a member of something called the Eco Alliance which funded work at the Wuhan lab – described as ‘partnering’ in the article. Or this piece aiming to discredit an Australian journalist who has been researching and arguing for the lab leak theory). In the last few days with no new information the media narrative has flipped. Suddenly it is ok to consider the lab leak theory. All this is a nice illustration of how what passes for news and objective reporting in the liberal press is really just ideologically-driven narratives. When Trump was promoting the lab leak theory it was ‘fake news’. It appears to have become respectable because it is now being investigated and considered seriously by the Democrat Biden.

This web site has previously questioned why the liberal press is has been so keen to supress the perfectly credible lab leak theory. Apart from a kind of reflex desire to oppose anything which Trump backed there are probably other drivers. One is probably an affinity amongst Western liberals for China. They might not like to admit it but they are probably attracted to the Chinese model of efficiency and political repression. As to why there has been a ‘consensus’ amongst scientists in the West to dismiss the lab leak theory the authors of the new paper reported in the DM [3] have a suggestion; in defending their Chinese colleagues these people are defending their own discipline (no doubt with many lucrative business links). They are worried that if the lab leak is established their own research projects into viruses may come under scrutiny. – And, perhaps, it is in part just an instinctive reaction to back colleagues no matter what.

At any event it looks like the new paper by Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen will make interesting reading.

Notes

  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-china-idUSKBN2AD090
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-55404485
  3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9629563/Chinese-scientists-created-COVID-19-lab-tried-cover-tracks-new-study-claims.html

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer