The (very strong) case for COVID-19 leaking from a Chinese lab


After months of being dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory, official support is starting to build for the notion that the COVID-19 pandemic is not a freak accident of nature, but was rather the result of an accidental escape from a Chinese virology lab. […]

The SARS pandemic was sparked by the eating of wild meat in China’s Guangdong province. HIV leaped from apes to humans in 1920s Congo. But COVID-19, a pandemic that has thus far killed at least 3.5 million and cost the equivalent of several world wars, could well be the result of a single breach in laboratory hygiene. […]

The world’s first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Wuhan, a city of 11 million located about a day’s drive west of Shanghai. Wuhan is also home to China’s first-ever BSL-4-certified laboratory; a rare classification given only to labs dealing with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. […] Opened in 2018, the BSL-4 campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology is known to work with coronaviruses, and in particular bat coronaviruses, the likely origin of COVID-19. A January investigation by New York magazine is to date the most rigorous journalistic probe into the potential lab origins of COVID-19. Among other things, it noted that the Wuhan institute is home to the “most comprehensive inventory of sampled bat viruses in the world.”

The lab also engaged in gain-of-function experiments, wherein researchers would attempt to supercharge coronaviruses in order to infect lab mice or human cell samples. The idea with gain-of-function is to find ways to combat the emergence of new viruses from nature, as occurred with SARS in 2003. But gain-of-function is also “exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged,” read a lengthy scientific breakdown of COVID-19’s origins by the Indian news site The Wire. […]

In other words, if the Wuhan Institute of Virology turns out to have no connection to the birth of the COVID-19 pandemic, then a novel coronavirus with likely origins in bats will have coincidentally started infecting humans within walking distance of a lab that just happens to be the world centre of studying highly infectious bat coronaviruses.

This is a conspiracy theory that I’ve been following for 18 months. If it proves to be even half true — which I’ll admit is rare for any conspiracy theory — the how will the world’s governments respond?

Canada won’t do shit, because who cares what Canada thinks. Japan will write a strongly worded letter to the UN as if it means something. Will anyone apart from perhaps India have the nerve to sever relations with such an irresponsible and hostile nation? India and China don’t get along very well as it is, but they seem to be the only country on the planet standing up to Xi and his penny-ante comrades.