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Thomas Gallatin / Jan. 8, 2021

Wuhan Lab Origin Theory for Coronavirus Gains Traction

“Lab Leak Theory” isn’t as crazy as media and establishment elites initially contended.

The hypothesis that the origination for the novel coronavirus was from a Chinese lab in Wuhan has quietly gained in popularity among scientists across the world, contends a recent article from New York Magazine. Known as the “Lab-Leak Hypothesis,” the article’s author Nicholson Baker writes, “Many thoughtful people dismiss this notion, and they may be right. They sincerely believe that the coronavirus arose naturally, ‘zoonotically,’ from animals, without having been previously studied, or hybridized, or sluiced through cell cultures, or otherwise worked on by trained professionals.” Yet a growing number of experts are concluding there was a “reasonable chance” COVID-19 originated in a lab.

So why now, a year after the pandemic began, are experts more willing to concede the possibility and even probability that COVID-19 was not a result of natural mutation but of lab manipulation? Baker contends that the reason is President Donald Trump.

“Over the course of the fall,” he writes, “and especially after the election muffled Donald Trump’s influence over the country’s public-health apparatus, that proximity problem — and the uncomfortable questions of origins it raised — began to grow somewhat more discussable.” In other words, various experts and scientists did not want to appear in any way to lend potential support for Trump’s blaming of China.

However, now that Trump’s on his way out, questions over the possible Wuhan lab connections are no longer taboo. “In late October, the World Health Organization convened the first meeting of its second inquiry into the origins of the disease. The WHO’s effort is perhaps the world’s best chance to satisfy its curiosity about goings-on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and at the Wuhan CDC’s virus lab near the Wuhan seafood market. But, as the New York Times has reported, the WHO’s information gathering has been hindered by Chinese secretiveness since February, when an initial investigative team sent to Beijing was told its members’ access to scientists would be restricted and that it couldn’t visit the seafood market, then considered a hub of the pandemic.”

Wuhan, China, had not one but two labs dedicated to studying coronavirus that originated in bats. It therefore is not crazy or ridiculous to wonder about some experimental study leaking out. Baker points to the recent history that compelled China to study pneumonia-causing viruses following an incident in 2012 wherein three men shoveling bat guano from a copper mine died from a novel pneumonia-based virus.

Far from being a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory, the Wuhan lab connection has become increasingly plausible. Baker observes, “In the climate of gonzo laboratory experimentation, at a time when all sorts of tweaked variants and amped-up substitutions were being tested on cell cultures and in the lungs of humanized mice and other experimental animals, isn’t it possible that somebody in Wuhan took the virus that had been isolated from human samples, or the RaTG13 bat virus sequence, or both (or other viruses from that same mine shaft that Shi Zhengli has recently mentioned in passing), and used them to create a challenge disease for vaccine research — a chopped-and-channeled version of RaTG13 or the miners’ virus that included elements that would make it thrive and even rampage in people? And then what if, during an experiment one afternoon, this new, virulent, human-infecting, furin-ready virus got out?”

What if, indeed.

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