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November 1, 2022

New Report Supports COVID Lab Leak Theory

A recently released report from GOP senators provides more evidence that COVID originated in a Wuhan lab.

An interim report released last week by the GOP Senate minority on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) has come to the conclusion we’ve written about time and time again: COVID-19 was “more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident.” The report, commissioned by North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr, comes from the Republicans’ investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Part of the investigation involved digging through years of publicly available archives of communications between scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) laboratories as well as their communications with Chinese government officials. It was a somewhat novel but rather straightforward effort to essentially decode publicly available communications from the WIV labs.

When COVID first hit the scene in late 2019, it just happened to be in the city of Wuhan, China, which just happened to be the location of the WIV labs that just happened to be researching bat coronaviruses. And since Wuhan was ground zero for the COVID outbreak, many scientists immediately began suspecting that these factors pointed to a lab leak being the most likely culprit.

Indeed, the convergence of all these glaring factors was too much for even leftist comedian Jon Stewart to ignore. Recall his response to “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert’s question: “Do you mean perhaps there’s a chance that this was created in a lab?” An exasperated Stewart answered: “A chance? Oh my God, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China. What do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab.”

That suspicion — along with rebutting the mind-numbing media narrative of a wet market origin — led the Senate Republicans’ investigation. As the report details: “While precedent of previous outbreaks of human infections from contact with animals favors the hypothesis that a natural zoonotic spillover is responsible for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 that resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic was most likely the result of a research-related incident. This conclusion is not intended to be dispositive. The lack of transparency from government and public health officials in the PRC with respect to the origins of SARS-CoV-2 prevents reaching a more definitive conclusion.”

The ChiComs have indeed been belligerently opaque, blocking substantive investigations while still ridiculously maintaining just 5,200 deaths in a population of roughly 1.4 billion.

The report notes several factors supporting the conclusion of a lab leak being the most likely origin, including “persistent biosafety problems” at WIV biolabs as well as evidentiary “gaps” in scientific research. These “gaps include the failure to identify the original host reservoir, the failure to identify a candidate intermediate host species and the lack of serological or epidemiological evidence showing transmission from animals to humans, among others,” says the report. “As a result of these evidentiary gaps, it is hard to treat the natural zoonotic spillover theory as the presumptive origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This report contradicts the World Health Organization’s initial conclusion in 2021, when the Chinese-beholden organization asserted that it was “extremely unlikely” that a lab leak was the original source for the global pandemic. Yet after that dubious conclusion, this year several WHO scientists changed their tune, stating that they “remain open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available in the future to allow for comprehensive testing of all reasonable hypotheses.”

But as the lab leak theory was gaining in popularity, another couple of studies were produced that once again suggested a natural origin for COVID associated with the Wuhan wet market.

The COVID origin question has become a political football, where opposing sides have presented their conclusions. But with China refusing to hand over any of the significant data regarding the research being conducted in that Wuhan lab, the ability to come to a definitive answer continues to remain frustratingly out of reach. Even so, the preponderance of evidence points to the Wuhan lab.

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