This is probably the reason why the (highly likely) scenario that Sars-Cov-2 was the result of a gain-of-function experiment which leaked from the lab in Wuhan is being suppressed by a concentred effort of the Western media and political classes. If established as true there will be difficult to manage public demand for sanctions and reparations which could lead to a collapse of the global economy.
At the same time – there is enough of a tendency left in the West (in the US) to base policy on something resembling the truth and it may yet be that the US administration is willing to face the (highly likely) reality that Sars-Cov-2 leaked from the lab and China has been engaged in a monstrous cover-up.
Of course the last year has seen massive control of populations by the State in the ‘free’ West – people have been deliberately frightened into ‘giving up their freedoms’ and then accepting that freedom is a gift of the state; rather than the idea that the function of the State is to guarantee freedom, which resides in free relations between people. People in this cowed stated may be willing not to demand reparations and may well be willing to accept a very muted response. It is not inconceivable that this is a planned strategy. At any rate having a submissive and cowed population is the dream of any state apparatus which works for a small private interest group but which requires mass acquiescence in its plans – as is the case with the states of the West. Once they have such submissive acquiescence they can do whatever they want. E.g. tell the people that the lab leak theory is a crazy conspiracy theory or tell them it is true but for various reasons we should not be too hard on China.
I think that the lab leak theory is highly likely – it looks to me about 95% for the lab leak theory and 5% for the evolved naturally via an intermediary animal theory at the moment. On the question of how likely – the more evidence emerges of concerted efforts by China not only to block and impede an investigation but also to spread ‘fake news’ in relation to the matter the more the likelihood of the lab leak gains ground: they stymied the WHO investigation , blocked journalistic investigations , released an obviously hoax theory about cold-food as a transmission vector , faked science about Pangolins as the source , and apparently prevented scientists speaking out . All of which is difficult to connect with the idea that the virus emerged naturally.
This seems to be a very serious piece discussing the two competing theories. The author is a respected Science Writer. Particularly interesting is the section exposing as bad science the view that the genetic evidence is that Sars-Cov-2 cannot have been produced artificially. This view which has been much parroted by the media appears to simply not take account of the full range of techniques available to produce artificial viruses. Note that this specific point has been made previously by virologists (and reported on this website) – however it has been reported as an outlying view. It seems it is in fact mainstream. The article also points out that British scientist Peter Daszak who is linked to the Wuhan lab though a funding body has been a key player in spreading the notion that the pandemic cannot be traced to the lab.
The whole of the above linked article by science writer Nicholas Wade makes compelling reading. There are multiple threads in it each one of which alone would point more towards the lab leak theory than the natural evolution in the wild theory. Just as a highlight I rather like this:
“Steven Quay, a physician-researcher, has applied statistical and bioinformatic tools to ingenious explorations of the virus’s origin, showing for instance how the hospitals receiving the early patients are clustered along the Wuhan №2 subway line which connects the Institute of Virology at one end with the international airport at the other, the perfect conveyor belt for distributing the virus from lab to globe.”
He also points out that the Coronavirus research at the Wuhan lab was being funded by the US NIH. (It doesn’t seem to be clear if they knowingly funded gain-of-function experiments). This is also quite fun:
One can imagine the behind-the-scenes conversation in which the Chinese government says, “If this research was so dangerous, why did you fund it, and on our territory too?” To which the US side might reply, “Looks like it was you who let it escape. But do we really need to have this discussion in public?”
In short; if the US was funding work which led to the pandemic (and they were certainly funding research into Coronaviruses and how they could infect humans) this would appear to be a very solid reason as to why they might be keeping quiet.
I’m also relinking to this: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/18/1021030/coronavirus-leak-wuhan-lab-scientists-conspiracy/ which is another more balanced piece (from March 21).
- https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-who-rebukes-china-for-blocking-investigator-entry/a-56131087 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-56054468